Reaching my witts end, 10 year old daughter issues!!!
zoeann1988 · 19/03/2015 10:19
I've not used forums like this before but am kind of running out of ideas and in desperate need of some advice/assurance that I'm not alone in this!
I have 2 daughters, 7 and 10, the youngest is prone to the odd tantrum but still at that age where distraction is a fool proof technique, but, the 10 year old.. what the hell?? Since when did they turn 2 again?? With attitude?!
She has never been the easiest child, having raised her alone without the input of her absent father I did the best I could, I was 17 years old when I had her and had no clue about anything but did the absolute best I could, I read every book, attended classes and groups and made every effort to be the best I could be for my kid.
We had a great relationship, even when I met someone and her little sis came along we were just as close, closer even!
She has always had an alarming naivety about her, she has far too much trust and for that reason I suppose I have been somewhat overprotective and maybe at times a little overbearing for her, but, I have made every effort to back off a little, give her some space, not make her look 'uncool' in front of her friends etc..
She has never had contact with her father, he is contactable but unreliable and chooses not to bother with her.. of course at the moment that's my fault.
She has a great relationship with my now husband and he has never treated her as if she wasn't his own, he considers himself her father as he has raised her with me for 8 years, so he's also feeling a little bruised emotionally.
She has become moodier, resentful, ungrateful and emotional! One moment she manically laughing, the next she's having an emotional breakdown and acts as though the world is ending.. she rolls her eyes at me, lies to me, answers back and has told me on several occasions that she wants to die :( and that nobody would care or miss her :( I will be the first to admit that I haven't handled these changes well, and I have gotten cross, impatient and frustrated.
So I read some advice about not engaging in her drama and just try to reassure her etc.. makes it worse..
I was told to ignore it.. makes it worse..
I was told to try and be sympathetic to her problems.. Makes it worse..
I was told to stamp it out immediately, lay down the law etc.. makes it worse..
I get that she has a million hormones rushing around and that her world, that is unchanged, is confusing, that she's trying to find her place in it etc.. I understand all of that.. but I don't know what the hell to do about it!!!
I cant be alone in this..!!
..sorry for the essay, feel a little better!!
hillyhilly · 19/03/2015 10:24
I haven't worked out how to get through it but mine is similar!
I have bought but not yet read "get out of my life but first take me and alex into town" as it was recommended for parents of teenagers but I'm not sure it'll be appropriate yet.
I'm trying to stay calm as I can definitely escalate things very quickly by getting irritated by her.
I'm also trying to enable more independence in spending time with her friends, sleepovers are increasing (& her friends parents love her so she must be ok really!)
zoeann1988 · 19/03/2015 11:18
Major bonus of working directly opposite WHSmiths, I'm gonna pop in and see if I can find this or similar.
I have also been spending some time researching bond strengthening tips and one is a communication book or feelings book.. she will more than likely give me a dramatic eye roll but it could work, or help, who knows, worth a try!
Thanks for your book tip, glad I'm not the only one!!
SavoyCabbage · 19/03/2015 11:24
You are definitely not the only one. Everything is a drama in my house too. I just never know how my dd will react. Sometimes she seems so young and other times she just takes my head off. There's plenty of eye rolling too.
SavoyCabbage · 19/03/2015 11:27
Something I've been trying to do is give her a bit more responsibility. So she feels more grown up.
She is planning and making her own packed lunches.
Last week I got her to walk her sister to school as I had to be at work early.
And I've extended her bedtime so she can watch TV on her own, without her sister.
Slingclutter · 19/03/2015 11:39
You have my sympathies. Your post struck a chord because my dd is also too trusting, and too easily led. And I can perhaps be a bit too full-on, prone to impatience/being shouty myself .
Do you think it could be hormones?
I have an 11 yr old who is developing physically and she swings wildly between a child-like state (in which she still plays with Playmbobil, is fairly placid/easy-going, loves playing silly games with dancing teddy bears etc) and a feisty pre-teen (who answers back rudely, is really difficult when asked to cooperate, is trying different hairstyles in front of the mirror/taking selfies etc and is sometimes quite inappropriately shouty/bordering on the hysterical over apparently small things).
From her point of view I think she might be finding these changes in herself unsettling and I guess alot of this behaviour could come from fear or anxiety. In which case I guess the thing to do is keep firm and consistent boundaries but enforce them very lovingly ifyswim.
That's the theory but I don't find the practice easy at all. I am working on slowing down my responses to annoyances and not letting my temper flare - trying to keep calm and consistent - but it's not easy.
Another tactic is to try and slightly distance yourself emotionally from all the angst that is flying around ie just state calmly, "you will get your Ipod back when you have done x, y and z" and don't engage with all the backchat and hurtful comments (which you both know she doesn't really mean).
(I'd never go out of my way to embarrass her in front of her friends of course but thankfully I'm old enough not to give a toss about being uncool!!)
You sound like a fabulous mother and as the previous poster said, your dd is luck to have two parents who really love her, even if she doesn't always appreciate it right now! Hang in there!
Slingclutter · 19/03/2015 11:40
Going to try those ideas about giving more responsibility SavoyCabbage
zoeann1988 · 19/03/2015 13:12
Thanks so much for your ideas, I'm going to try them all!
More responsibility could be a good thing, the only issue we get with this is that she tends to get bored with new things quite easily, but we will persevere!
slingclutter it sounds like our girls could be twins!! Its such a crappy time with her at the moment I've started to dread the school pick up "/
I have been and bought a book for me and a book for her, and a notebook with a cool cover.
My book is for the tween angst and how to cope with it all, hers is telling her why she's turning in to a 'huff monster' the notebook is so that if she has any questions about the content of her book but doesn't want to feel uncomfortable asking me about it then she can pop in a note and leave it on my desk, I can then reply without the awkward feeling too.. maybe I'm being a wuss but OMG this stuff is so difficult!
It is such a relief to know that I haven't messed up, doesn't matter how many books you read, there are no absolute blueprints are there!
Slingclutter · 19/03/2015 13:30
Swapping notebooks sounds like a great idea Zoeann. Thinking about it, dd and I exchange quite a few e-mails!! especially when we are negotiating a new rule. Takes the heat out of difficult stuff I find. And every so often she will deign to speak to me in person (usually late at night at bed-time etc) or when we are baking or something. Anything that works!!
Hang in there! And try not to take it personally (easier said than done I know). The good thing about tweens is that things are ever-changing. The week before last, it seemed as if every conversation I had with dd was grumpy and defensive (and like you, I dreaded the school run). Last week she was totally different. We are a bit grumpier again this week but to be fair she is ill with flu. I think we just have to try our best (which you are already doing) and ride it out. In reality, it will probably get worse for a few years before it gets better [sigh].
manechanger · 19/03/2015 20:56
i am in the middle of a row with my ten year old. her older sister has her issues (12) but didn't behave like this. please can you tell me the title of the book you bought for your daughter zoeann?
our current argument is about something specific and I am trying to work out whether i should stop her going to the two parties she is going to this weekend. She has been really rude and completely uncompromising. I run her around all the time and pay for clubs, activities etc as much as possible. She is refusing to continue with an activity that she originally committed to and wont even discuss a compromise, yet finds it disgusting that i suggest that she miss out on these parties. She was hysterical for about 4 hours this evening. I don't usually pull back on parties like this as I feel terrible for the hosts but I just don't think she deserves it. Does anyone have any opinions on this?? Think she should understand that there are consequences for shouting i hate you repeatedly to someone all afternoon. aaargh
Heartofgold25 · 20/03/2015 08:48
Manechanger: Did dd say why she wanted to stop the activity? Poss there is a good reason. I have this alot too. I think possibly you could let her go to the parties if she 'earns' her right to go by being helpful in other ways? Perhaps she could help with some small chores in the house or complete her homework every night until party night no arguments. Maybe she is feeling overwhelmed with school and her activities (This was the reason my dd stopped some of hers) If you stop her going to the parties that is really going to hurt, and possibly make things really difficult for her with her friendships...
Heartofgold25 · 20/03/2015 09:02
zoeann. I think this is completely normal for this age range. All of my friends and I have moments like this all of the time. We were all unprepared expecting teen tantrums to start at least four years down the line.
I don't think this is a reflection of you raising her alone or anything else, although I can see why you might connect the two. I think most girls of this age are struggling with this. My GP said girls are going through puberty at a much younger age now, and so we DO need to treat them like teenagers. That was his advice, so reading books for managing teens is a good idea. I am doing the same, and some of them are excellent!
We also use a feelings book, and I left it on a pillow with a chocolate, and low and behold she wrote it in that very night. She told me her deepest feelings, which were really just the usual crap at school, but for her it gave her space and privacy to reflect and share them with me. It was so helpful having the insight into her worries. I bought one for all of my friends as well, you can order them on amazon. Or just use a normal book with blank pages. The book must never be shared and must always remain private, and don't use it to scold I think are the only rules.
I look forward to my messages from her. I think it has bought us closer. My six year old has asked for one now!
Remaining calm is easier said than done, but I do think they must frighten themselves with the intensity of their feelings, and need help to learn to manage them and not be afraid. My dd has calmed down a lot since she accepted this is 'the hormones' and not her, she now knows that when she is having a moment she needs to go outside breathe in the air, count to ten and come back. Sometimes she is still raging, but she is getting there. We have such a long time to go until they grow up properly...!! Which is daunting. I never think of dd meaning to be so cross and rude to me, I know she loves me deeply, I think of it as just her hormones and so I never take it personally. I remember even now the hellish child I was, so mine is possibly karma!!
jaykay34 · 20/03/2015 13:39
My daughter is 12 and has been hellish for 2 years. Infact sounds like all the other daughters on this thread.
There is a really lovely side to her, and she is kind to her peers and lovely outside of the home. She can be honest, caring, affectionate and generous - however, at home she is lazy, rude and untidy. She's a loose cannon, I never know which side of her I am going to get. Her twin brother, on the other hand is like the perfect child so then I get all the "you love him more than me!", "you blame everything on me !!" type statements.
I've just ordered the "Get out of my life" book, after reading about it on this thread. I was a horrible teen so part of me empathises, I just don't know how to deal with it.
manechanger · 20/03/2015 13:44
she wants to give up violin because her collarbone and fingers hurt when she plays. I am annoyed that she wants to give up because we talked at xmas when the teacher wanted to reduce her teaching hours and agreed to carry on till end of primary at that point. I then bought a new violin because her knackered ebay one was too small (£70 new violin four weeks ago) and entered her into an exam which is in about 6 weeks (another £40). I have now said she can give up after the exam (a year before I originally said) she is steadfastly refusing to do exam although has known about it for quite a while. she is also lazy and would prefer to watch telly
We had another argument this morning and i told her she could choose to go to the party or do the exam. It turns out she's really worried about the exam (we say, 'you will have to do them all your life', 'do your best we don't mind what the result is but do 10mins practice a day till exam so you have confidence', 'you cant just back out, you need to practice managing anxiety') and that the result will be announced in assembly. I will ask teacher to ensure it is not talked about in assembly and she can give up as soon as exam is over. at the eleventh hour she agreed to do the exam so is still going to the party, though not before suggesting other punishments which might suit her better and which she wasn't bothered about losing.
Not bothered about the giving up it was the hysteria she brought into it and complete refusal to talk about a compromise. Her older sister is very athletic so I resist her giving up sporting clubs (I let dd2 give up running but dd1 has to go still - god I'm mean). She has always been happy to discuss and understood that she had to meet some goals - I made her wait six months to be sure that she wanted to give up gym squad as she'd put so much effort in. Now she regrets giving it up!!!!
argh, its such a first world problem and they are so bloody indulged. I know they are only ten but I wish they had some bloody perspective and realised how lucky they are - it's not endearing.
manechanger · 20/03/2015 13:46
I mean choose not to go to the party or do the exam.
Sorry to hi jack and sorry for such a rant.
Heartofgold25 · 20/03/2015 22:36
I wonder if she thinks she is going to fail the violin exam, and actually behind the epic meltdowns is a child who is desperately afraid to fail?
I am sure you are not going to thank me for this, BUT I have a duty has a MN poster to be honest and speak my mind.
If the result is being announced in the assembly this is possibly ADDING more stress and pressure to an already very frightening prospect.
I would sell the bloody violin on ebay and get as much money back for it as you can, tell her it is not worth the worry (Is she going to be the next vanessa Mae??) Maybe you are not teaching her about dealing with anxiety at this very moment, but it does not seem to me that she is in the right place for life lessons at this very moment. Maybe I am not the right person to be chatting about this. But I just don't think it is worth it. If she hates violin and is so stressed, and is feeling under this much pressure, it simply can not be worth it. She will have plenty of practice at real life stress when she is older, she does not need to learn these lessons now.
Particularly if she has a very sporty, successful sister, this can only be adding to the nightmare no?
Personally I would sit her down and work out how to reduce her stress, strip out the tension, they are only young once and we are obliged to keep the stress out of their lives for as long as possible. Apologies in advance if this is the last thing you want to hear, but from an outsiders point of view, this is how I see it x
TheOddity · 20/03/2015 22:50
I was a very placid child, always wanted to do right by my parents and I took part in an activity I hated for years before I got the courage to ask them to stop. I never ever enjoyed it and stopping was the best thing I ever did. I was scared every time I had a tournament, I dreaded Thursday evenings when the practice was. I was fairly good at it (regional level). The fact I remember it was a Thursday says it all really! It was all boys at the activity except for me and I had no friends. I had other hobbies I enjoyed. I just think life is too short to continue doing something you hate, what lesson is at teaching? You are basically paying money right now to give your daughter a miserable time. Why?!
manechanger · 20/03/2015 23:47
I do take on board your comments and I am first to admit that Im fairly stubborn. But the 3 of us are having a meeting in a fortnight (me dd and teacher) to discuss. My initial suggestion is that she practice 10 mins every night for 2 weeks. Then comes a discussion about the exam.
After the exam she can give up, the violin can be used by younger sibs so not a problem. I am going to make sure that there is no announcement at assembly, I think that humiliation at school is the biggest problem and I really don't think it should happen.
True dd1 is more successful at sport but, like me, totally tone deaf. dd2 is a lovely little singer and pretty talented at violin but resists working hard, generally things come easily to her (much easier than older sis who is a grafter). Not expecting vanessa mae, not expecting that on 10 mins practice a week and general reluctance, just felt that she asked to do it,she should give it a shot, especially as one month ago she was happy enough to continue so i paid out whilst finances are pretty tight as dh out of work. She says she didn't realise we had to pay for exam.
anyway, I dont think I'm making her do an activity for years that she doesn't like. i just wanted her to come out of this being able to read music and having gained a skill ie being able to play a tune if she fancies.
sorry for dragging you all in to such a specific argument. Last time we had this was before xmas performance and she really enjoyed getting the piece right as long as we sat in the room to hear her practice, think we can do it again then give the bloody thing up.
fellowship33 · 21/03/2015 09:09
This is all so familiar it's making me feel happy! My 10-year-old is out on a sleepover so the house is calm.
She just gave up violin and football - hated violin and was only carrying on because she was scared of telling the teacher she was giving up. But can see why you are making yours continue. I don't know whether it's best to make them experience consequences of their own decisions or let them be idle. Think this is just hard work either way!
sharonthewaspandthewineywall · 21/03/2015 13:29
I'm at my wits end with my ten year old DD. She's chippy, opinionated and very stroppy at the moment.
I've tried everything and like the OP says, it makes it all worse.
Watching this thread with interest
shebird · 22/03/2015 17:26
When DD is having one of those hissy fit moments I try to defuse the situation by making her laugh or just saying lets have a cuddle. I try to view it in the same way as when she was a toddler having a tantrum, reasoning just does not work. Remember the days of 'I want the pink cup', ok here's the pink cup, 'but I wanted a blue cup' - cue massive tantrum! Its exactly the same you just can't reason with them in this frame of mind. Of course it doesn't always work and sometimes I react without thinking, but overall humour, hugs and distraction have been the best tactic so far.
Slingclutter · 23/03/2015 07:51
manechanger if it's any consolation, dd had a similar issue with ballet. She was going through a hard time at school aged 9yr and ballet and her other extra-curricular activities were adding to the stress. So we just gave everything up for a year. I must admit I was a wee bit disappointed at the time because she is a good dancer but it was worth it because she was altogether much happier. She then decided herself to go back after a year and is enjoying it again. It took a while to catch up but she has done so already and is having fun.
Having said all the above, she has now found lots of other things to be stroppy about
Btw, don't know anything about this, but my niece plays the violin and I noticed she has some sort of added attachment that prevents it from hurting her neck. (Sorry if you already know about this/have this.)
fellowship33 · 23/03/2015 11:48
Yes, my 10-year-old has given up everything... but now has started a dance class with friends which she never complains about. My younger dd generally resists clubs too... though I make her go to swimming classes. Clubs really don't interest them - ballet, drama, dance, football, gymnastics, violin, singing... all tried over the years. They just do not want to go even when I bribe them with clothes vouchers. They simply want to be at home, or with friends.
manechanger · 23/03/2015 18:17
slingclutter. Thanks. dd1 also gave up gym as i mentioned above because of stress and too much going on. she recently took it up again but only for one hour perweek and really loves it. DD2 is going to give up violin but only once she's done the exam. her violin has a plastic bit which rests on her collarbone i don't think its an extra bit but tbh, she will complain about it whatever we do now until she gives up, i think the 'hurting' was real but was also an excuse.
smileymam · 23/03/2015 20:45
Sorry but reading everyone's post on here has made me feel so much better, that it's not just my 10yr old daughter behaving this way. I seem to spend all my time wondering where my wonderful daughter has gone. She over reacts about everything! This morning she threw a shoe across the kitchen knocking over a glass because I asked her to brush her hair!
I love the notebook idea, anything is worth a try at the moment I feel like life is just one big argument with her :(
smileymam · 23/03/2015 20:47
Also I end up feeling annoyed with my self then because I,ve lost my temper and shouted at her and i,m trying to remember she's going through some tough changes.
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