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Have made 11-year-old dd appointment with counsellor - feel I've failed her

17 replies

EvaBeaversProtege · 28/07/2013 13:37

Just what the title says really.

I've named changed for this thread as I really need advice, I've discussed this with my sisters who think I'm over reacting. Which is why I want second/third/fourth opinions.

DD is our first child, she's 11 years old, we also have an almost nine year old son.

She seems to totally hate me and any form of communication/discipline she is forced to have with me.

I am not an uber strict parent. We live in the country so she's not down the street every night with her friends. They all have to be left here or her dropped at their houses, which we do when she needs us to. We never stop her from meeting her friends etc..

She is going to secondary school in September, only her and one other girl in her class are for the same school, I understand she may be anxious about this and we all agreed she could take part in a summer buddy group ran by her new school. First meeting is this week.

That's a bit of background - basically, she acts like a two year old when confronted with something she doesn't want to do ie: I needed to do groceries last week, as already said, we live rurally, the shops are an hour away, so an hour there, shopping time and an hour home again and I didn't want to leave her on her own. Dh was coming too as he'd to get printer stuff and ds was coming. DD started stamping her feet, crying that she wasn't a baby (despite acting like it) and insisting she wasn't going, she was staying at home..

I argued that she needed to come as we didn't know how long we'd be and we were planning on going for lunch when out etc... she crawled up into a ball & rocked like a baby, then stamped her feet, stuck her lips out, yelled she hated me (this is regular).

In the mean time, ds is shaking his hands, clicking his fingers with anxiety & crying his eyes out. I ended up crying (shamefully) and told Dh I can't live like this anymore. She has no respect for us (more for him than me admittedly).

She finally came with us & couldn't have been nicer in the shops.

(sorry this is so long)

This week she had a melt down because I had friends coming to stay and she needed to tidy her room to share with the girls in the family. She screamed that she hated them, (she has only met them twice, I've been friends with their mum since childhood, so she doesn't know them well enough to hate them) Again, she lay flat out on the floor, kicking legs in air, screaming like a child.

I sat on her bed & asked her to look at me, take a breath etc.. I tilted her chin & asked her to look at me (mistake number one I admit) she started screaming, backing herself into the corner saying I had reached for her throat (I swear on my life I didn't, not that I didn't feel like it!) and that I was going to choke her.

Ds arrived at the bedroom door and was bawling his eyes out - dh who had been in bed due to night shifts got out of bed and tried to talk to her.

Ds was convulsing in fear saying he was scared of dd and hated her doing this, he asked me why I choked her, I said I hadn't, but that she was angry.

She blows everything out of proportion, I know her hormones are flying around at the minute, I try to allow for that, I'm not asking her to live by rules, just to stop lying, exaggerating & to treat us with a bit of respect.

Whilst this was going on I left her in the room with dh and called our local health centre who put me in touch with a Cllr. As dd is too old for Health Visitor help we've to pay for private counselling.

Her first session is next week, we can't afford this. I don't know what to do & have explained myself so badly here I know I make no sense.

none of my nieces behaved like this, yes, they were moody/cheeky etc but not one of them had complete meltdowns like dd has. It's like she loses control of everything.

She is a very intelligent child, she is for an excellent school in September after outstanding transfer results - what have we done wrong with her?

OP posts:
Notmyidea · 28/07/2013 16:17

I don't think you've failed her at all, I think you've made an excellent job of sending her a very clear message that you love her and want to be supportive, but that the way she is carrying on is totally unacceptable. Well done and good luck. If I'm honest I've been close to doing the same for dd1.

amothersplaceisinthewrong · 28/07/2013 16:24

I would take her the GP first before paying for a counsellor - it could be she has a medical condition and needs a qualified psychiatrist to assess her rather than a counsellor.

Happypiglet · 28/07/2013 16:26

You haven't failed her. I don't really have much wisdom other than to say that my DS1 starts a new school in Sept not with his friends who are all going somewhere else.
He is finding this really hard and swings wildly between emotional melt downs and surliness and anger.
It's also the age where they need to test the boundaries and start to really push for independence whilst not really being able to handle it emotionally. I really don't think she sounds massively extreme but the behaviour does need to be dealt with. And you are doing that. The counsellor may be able to help her with all the change she is having to handle ( physical, emotional, school etc) which may be at the route of it?

ab101 · 30/07/2013 20:35

EvaBeaversProtege I really feel for you and know exactly where you are coming from. My daughter is nearly 12 and since she was a baby she has ruled the roost in our home. She can be very immature, wants everything her way and very argumentative. This upsets my other daughter who is 10.

We clash a lot and I am at the end of my tether with her sometimes. She speaks to me with little respect and then when it suits her she wants my undivided love and attention.

I know everyone says to me that shouting does not help but I can't help it and at my wits end. I have been on antidepressants for a long time because I find it so difficult to deal being a mum. The doctors don't seem to want to know; thought of counselling for her but she won't go. Just hope its hormones and she will grow out of it.

EvaBeaversProtege · 30/07/2013 20:56

Hi, thanks for all the responses.

Ab101, that's exactly how I feel about dd.

She has so much love, she likes hugs/cuddles & lots of attention.

The counsellor spoke to me after their initial assessment today & she will only go ahead if dd wants to. She said its attention seeking in a way that's she's mature but not mature enough to express herself.

Afterwards, dd said she didn't want to go back, the counsellor kept writing things & she felt 'cracked' in the head.

So, here we are then! Counsellor says its up to dd if she wants to go back, she can help her, but if she decided not to go back she can give us 'tools' to help us work through her moods.

OP posts:
Sconset · 30/07/2013 21:08

Some of this is v similar to my DD's behaviour, particularly around leaving the house.
It took me a long time to realise it was her expressing anxiety, not naughtiness.
I can really relate to the little brother being scared, because my DS certainly was/is!
To be honest, she was beginning to scare herself, so we went to our GP, described all her problems, and he referred us to CAMHS.

Tbh, she won't engage with them (despite starting off well) but that's not to say it's going to happen in your case.
They actually want to assess DD for asperger's syndrome, and from what I understand, many girls don't get picked up with AS until they hit puberty.
It's definitely worth approaching your GP.
In the meantime, try and give her lots of warning about going out, etc, I have found DD is slightly better if she's had some time to build up to an outing,so I'll usually mention at breakfast anywhere we're going that day.

ab101 · 30/07/2013 23:11

My daughter is a very anxious child always has been! Slightest thing worries her like if she gets a spot on her skin, she questions if it is cancer (her nan had cancer) this is just an example. Or she reads something bad online or on the news and thinks the bad story is going to happen to her. She worries so much.

Since starting Senior school, her friendships have changed for the better but she finds it difficult to put herself forward to join in after school groups, won't pick up the phone to ask a friend to play, always waits for others to make contact with her. That's why I have bought a Blackberry for her to interact more with her friends and get a social life.

Her mouth at home is vile - the cheek I receive is vile. She tells me one minute she hates me and wishes her sister was dead and next she is very apologetic.

She still plays with dolls ... Likes playing with younger children .. finds it hard to interact or entertain herself with older kids or when she is on her own. She trys to act hard and mature but she's not. I just hope this changes soon. She won't go to the doctors about it - hates the doctor, dentist anyone who she thinks is scary!

spepples · 02/08/2013 11:07

Don't despair you're certainly not alone, her behaviour sound similar to my DD also 11 years old. It's heart breaking isn't it.
She too has real toddler tantrums whilst screaming 'I'm old enough to stay here on my own...'
We now just see it as attention seeking behaviour all confused with hormones. If she has a big tantrum you go to her, DB gets involved, DH gets involved - all giving her attention. I'm not saying you're wrong I know how difficult it is.
We now try just ignoring her. If we planned to go out and she has a meltdown because she doesn't want to go, the rest of us just wait - read / tidy anything to try and act normal until she calms down. The more we talk and argue with her the longer it takes. We always make sure we go out eventually. That way she doesn't get any extra attention, she still ends up doing what we asked her too but she faffed about for half an hour wailing like a two year old instead of getting the task done and then getting back home to do what she wanted. She has a lot less tantrums now. Good luck.

Cheddar1976 · 03/08/2013 15:29

I have just registered with Mumsnet in order to reply to this thread. I am nearly in tears knowing that others are experiencing the same situation and knowing it's not just me!

What you described is exactly my life as well!

I have a beloved 10yr old Daughter and 9 yr old Son and my daughter's moods are so extreme throughout each day, I am emotionally exhausted dealing with them. I too have considered counselling or going to the GP for both me and my daughter, but then I kept thinking 'reap what you sow' and deciding it must be my fault. I have today turned to the internet for some sort of parental advice and discovered why Mumsnet is a godsend and so popular!!!

I'm sorry I don't have any answers for you but please take some comfort, as I have done with your post, that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

EvaBeaversProtege · 03/08/2013 20:31

Aw cheddar, you're not alone either - I guess it's a stage our girls are going through & I hope you get some help.

Dd still adamant she doesn't want to go back to cllr.

We had another meltdown yesterday, this time I understood her as a previous poster on this thread had mentioned about last minute changes flipping their child.

Dh had taken dd to choose an item she needs. We had no room in the car so said we'd get it this morning. Dd was fine with that - then dh said actually the shop is open til 9pm, I can pick it up later & you'll have it for tonight. Dd was delighted.

So all evening she said I've tidied my room, it's ready for the item, can't wait etc etc then dh says actually, I think I'll get it tomorrow....

Que meltdown. I talked to dh, explained what he'd done wrong, spoke to dd who understood her behaviour was wrong (but explained that if her dad hadn't said he'd get it before 9pm she wouldn't be upset)

So that's the only meltdown since I posted this thread.

On another note whilst putting away underwear in her drawer I stumbled upon sweet/chocolate wrappers.. Didn't make a big deal of them, just set them on her desktop to let her know I saw them.

OP posts:
stargirl1701 · 03/08/2013 20:38

Do you have any role models for her?
A young aunt, an older cousin, a youth worker, a Brownie leader, a Young Farmer, etc?

She sounds like she needs someone to talk to who can point out how her behaviour is inappropriate without her blowing up. I certainly did this with younger cousins (approx 10 year age gap).

Is there a Family Support Worker at her school who could help?

EvaBeaversProtege · 03/08/2013 20:44

Yes :)

And they all talk to dd. my nieces are brilliant with her, hair, make-up etc music, all great with her. She stayed with my 17 ye old niece through the week & she talked to her about cllr etc but dd says shes going to talk more to us.

If she doesn't want to go back I can't force her, but must support her decision.

Thanks for all the support! The problem with the school cllr erc lies where she's changing schools in August, so no continuation.

Her hormones are also going to be flying high, I need to be more aware & not flame the fire.

OP posts:
stargirl1701 · 03/08/2013 20:49

Could one of them stay with you for a week? I did this and it made a big difference. My younger cousin saw me pitching in, chatting with my aunt, etc. for an extended period. It was quite an eye opener for her. I saw 2 episodes of behaviour - quite an eye opener for me - that I talked through with her.

BerkshireMum · 05/08/2013 08:29

This is my daughter! I've been in tears so often in the last few weeks and feel like such a failure. Her behaviour is so bad with me (and DH) now, even in public, yet she's still beautifully behaved for my parents, sister and at friends' houses. Really don't know what to do. You are not alone OP.

HandMini · 05/08/2013 08:39

I was like this when I was 11/12. I truly believe hormones have a huge amount to answer for. I really hope you find some answers. You all sound like wonderful, loving, involved mothers.

Cazzymaddy · 06/08/2013 16:03

Exactly the same thing in my house with dd2 (11) - we are waiting for our CAMHS appointment at the moment but she is refusing to go to the appointment or did not fill her part of the form in that they sent me. The only thing I'm hanging onto at the moment is that I have successfully parented dd1 to 15 yrs, so it is not my parenting. Most of the rest of the time I feel a failure though with her. So, no advice I'm afraid other than I know what you are going through and it really sucks and is ruining family life Sad

foolonthehill · 10/08/2013 15:49

Can i recommend Blame my Brain by nicola morgan? It has helped me (and my daughter)

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