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feels like hell: 11yr DD

23 replies

HelloHormonesHell · 27/05/2020 01:07

My 11yr was kind, friendly, respectful, social butterfly, popular, academic, compassionate, thoughtful, considerate, compliant good human and then lockdown happened. She has completed the physical transition of puberty unfortunately for her she’s the first and her peers are not even close behind. Her peers still jump to go when the parents say “Right we’re off” and don’t dare think about their human rights to have their own thoughts. There is a massive difference between them and her and I know it must be strange.
But since starting her menses during this lockdown she has become a nightmare to parent. I’ve found myself feeling like there’s an angry lodger in the house. I cannot ask her to do anything without resistance, literally anything. She is an extremely stubborn know-it-all but doesn’t know what she’s all. It’s as if her confidence is 18yrs but her logic is 7yrs. I try and drag her out the house for a walk and help with shopping bags i get either a straight “no thanks” or “it’s my choice, you can’t force me, respect my choice”. She is not scared of covid-19 we have been out, we got room decor supplies once and danced in the park...see she just loves being home doing nothing. She just says she can’t be bothered And can’t do people, she just likes cats. She also has rejected most of her friends from school, says she couldn’t stand them, they were fake and just came to her cos she was popular. So she talks to just one person. I know it’s difficult right now Plus she’s an only child. Family are far away in another city. It’s just the two of us. She heavily relies on tiktok and Pinterest, browsing clothes and watching Gossip Girl on tv to occupy her time But she tells me she can’t sleep and will do all these things I mentioned late late late at night including tidying her room at an incredibly slow pace cos she’s unsurprisingly never tired. If I take the devices away she will have a breakdown saying “why would you take the one thing away from me that connects me to the outside” and cry...saying crazy things like “I don’t know what’s wrong with me!” Or “how do I know what’s right for me when I don’t know myself!” - it’s heavy.
Although I am venting. I need to know how I get her out. Because it seems that physically dragging her will cause torn clothes, anger and a greater distance been us and we are kinda all we have.

OP posts:
malificent7 · 27/05/2020 01:17

You are not 11 year old dd is just the same and will argue that black is white. It's a nightmare!

malificent7 · 27/05/2020 01:20

Tbh though...i know it is a concern but the lockdown has been tough and she may not be ready untill it eases up more. Perhaps when clothes shops open up you can tempt her with a shopping trip. My dd loves screens and plays up when removed...its hard work!

Turangawaewae · 27/05/2020 01:32

I have an 11 year old only DD who also struggled in lockdown. She didn't want to go out and spent a lot of time gaming online with her pals. After 8 weeks she was starting to lose the plot.

We're out of strict lockdown now and she has gone back to school and back to normal. Don't underestimate how hard isolation is. I've noticed a lot of people struggling and it has taken two weeks for me to start to relax.

I did a mindful parenting course and try to use some of the techniques with DD. They are mainly:

  1. All emotions are valid. Kids need to trust their feelings. Don't tell them something isn't an issue or try to fix it. Empathise. "That sucks. It makes perfect sense that you feel angry". I often just let a rage blow over by ignoring it.

2. Boundaries not punishment. Don't try to inflict a punishment when a kid is misbehaving. Their brain is in flight or flight and they can't take it in. Instead use natural consequences when they have calmed down.

3. I don't accept her speaking to me nastily. I say "try again sweetie" until she says it in an acceptable way. This phrase is flipping magic. Although it sometimes takes 5 goes.

It's hard. I certainly don't have the answers but the mindful approach helps me.
CrazyToast · 27/05/2020 01:54

The only advice I could give is that 11 might be too young for Gossip Girl and it might not be helping with her attitude as they are all privileged little shits on the show lol. It is addictive but boy is it poisonous and has some sexual themes etc. I hope things get better OP.

HelloHormonesHell · 27/05/2020 09:21

Thank you!
I have felt SO alone. None of my parent friend can relate because they’re not on this boat yet. Lucky!

It’s so hard and when she has breakdowns it’s so so dramatic that I start fretting about her mental health and the next day it’s as if nothing happened!?

I want us to take walks together because being outside helps right, but she refuses. I tried giving her the Option so she felt she had a say and I’ve tried Telling her with assertion. Nothing works. I’m going alone is sending the wrong message so I stay home and potter about.
Schools are opening and I (immunosuppressed) am not that keen being in Busy London so I’m not sending her in, although I really want her too. She had her bus card and would happily walk alone and jump on the bus to school relishing in the freedom and responsibility and I miss her being that girl - but now she is like;
“NEVER do I want to go back, if you send me back it would be the worst thing you could do to me — I just want a fresh start in secondary”.

I went into her room last night and I kid you not, it was after I posted this thread, I had a sleep, woke up to use the bathroom... so let’s assume it was almost 3am.
I poke my head around her door and she was sitting up doing her nails!! I said stop this, go to sleep. She said she couldn’t sleep. I replied “of course you can’t sleep if you’re sitting up right in a bright room with your eyes open - lie down.”
It’s like she’s 2yrs old.

I maybe made the error of googling tv shows for tween. Gossip girl was on the list and I thought it would be a break from her needing drama from the tiktok comment section. She mentioned some quotation correlation with JOJO Sewa(that nauseating-irritating-loud-hyperactive- kiddy-pink-bubblegum-trinklet adorned American tv personality) and I thought oh yess winner winner chicken dinner . I watched one episode and died of boredom. When I noticed she was binge watching. I asked her about reading. She said she doesn’t have any books she likes and that she’s like high-school drama/thrillers to sink her teeth into... I listened and bought some young adult books authors Sophie McKenzie, Karen McManus, Dana Mele. Well dust is collecting on them and is simply arranged in her room to look “aesthetic”.


OP posts:
HelloHormonesHell · 27/05/2020 09:26

Excuse my poor grammar! I'm new to this and bursting at the seams at the thought of having people to discuss her/us with! Sorry!

OP posts:
laburnumtree · 27/05/2020 09:40

Sounds v hard for you, I'm also on my own and not having a partner to discuss stuff like this with makes it even harder.

I have an 11yo DS so we don't have puberty issues yet but other than that he will often behave exactly as you have described. Sometimes he can be the most delightful, helpful and mature boy and other times a screaming defiant unreasonable so and so who wishes I was dead and that he was dead and his life is the most awful thing imaginable etc etc.

I certainly don't have any magic answer, what I've been trying to work on is helping him to understand himself and helping him to try and help himself. So we discuss things like how he can start to recognise the anger/frustration building up inside and what he can do to defuse it before he has a meltdown - he recognises eg that dancing helps make him feel happy so he has an app 'just dance now' on his phone which he connects to the laptop and then dances away to lots of songs. Or he takes himself off outside to sit on the swing to have some peace and quiet to himself. He loves listening to music so he has a basic MP3 player that he can listen to it on with headphones. I also try and recognise the signs so I can suggest things before he goes into totally unreachable meltdown.

I would also say that she is too young for tiktok and gossip girl etc, devices in her room at night etc. I do think these things encourage 'teenage' behaviour and are addictive. My ds has only recently got a phone and there is a strict limit of 1 hr a day for most apps (other than a couple like the dance one), he cannot download anything to it without permission and no access to anything between 7pm-7am and it must be left downstairs overnight. He has no other devices in his room other than the basic MP3 player which he listens to when he can't sleep. I limit screens a lot other than the laptop for school work which is done where I can see. He's really got into baking & cooking over lockdown - he enjoys making lunch for us when I'm wfh for example. Also playing games together and doing art/craft stuff together. That's something positive for him.

Good luck, I think it's a really hard time for them in transitioning to secondary school and being 'tweens' too young for teenage stuff and feeling too old for 'toys'.

ChessIsASport · 27/05/2020 09:46

I agree with the Gossip Girl comment. My daughter watches children’s Netflix so technically everything on there should be suitable but I have banned her from watching some of the shows because they really affected her attitude. I don’t think children even do it consciously. I think that they somehow absorb the rudeness! It just shows how important positive role models are.

HelloHormonesHell · 29/05/2020 18:46

Could I ask what the nighttime/evening routine looks like for during these times? We wake up at 8.30am after hitting the sack late. I’ll be honest we lean on each other for company and giggles watching silly tv.
What’s the bedtime ?

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theliverpoolone · 08/06/2020 23:42

No words of advice I'm afraid, but just wanted to say I recognise so much of this. I am a single parent to an only 12 yr old dd, who now doesn't want to go out or do anything, just wants to stay in playing games on her phone. If I gently pull her up on anything (very rarely), she gets really worked up and rants at me that I'm constantly making her life a misery, I'm 'always' making her feel bad about herself etc etc, so then I end up letting some behaviour go that I really should challenge, just so as not to cause such an extreme reaction. However, I would say that often afterwards when she's calmed down, she is able to talk about it more rationally and does recognise that what she's said isn't really true. It's a nightmare time - I guess the only thing to say is that lockdown shouldn't last too much longer - although the teenage years will feel like they're going on for ever!

OmegaAlpha · 12/06/2020 17:57

I'm also a single parent to a 10, nearly 11yr old dd, who has changed personality in lockdown. She used to be so sweet with her 5/6yr old brother (he had his birthday recently), but she hasn't played with him at all on lockdown, and is positively mean to him. She shuts herself in her room and dances to spotify, is rude and moody, barely speaks to me or smiles, unless she wants something. I try and limit her time on TikTok to 40 mins a day, and also check who she is following etc. She isn't allowed to post or use it in her room. She doesn't watch Gossip Girl, more light-hearted American crap like Sam and Kat but I try and watch some shows with her like Next in Fashion and Glow Up which we do enjoy. She refuses to leave the house, most of the time I end up taking my ds out on his own. He has lost his playmate just when he needed her most, I feel I have lost a child. Today she left to go to her dad's for the weekend and didn't even look at me on the way out. It's her birthday next week and I am busy buying presents, planning a picnic, have even got her a refurbished iphone 7 and sim (she doesn't have a sim card at the moment) as a surprise but meanwhile she is treating me like shit! It makes me not want to bother - and not to give her the phone. I find it very upsetting. @TurangawaewaeTurangawaewae I thought your mindful parenting info sounded good - do you have any more!

OmegaAlpha · 12/06/2020 18:04

Did I tag you correctly @Turangawaewae ? Your name doubled up in my previous post - sorry, new to this

HelloHormonesHell · 13/06/2020 08:35

Hi @theliverpoolone and @OmegaAlpha
I must say the both of you sound like you’ve peered into my home! You describe exactly what I’ve been going through.
Things have been less intense here, finally, I mean on average cos I did yell yesterday, my fault though for losing my cool - I was resenting cleaning! But I basically ordered a book which has been incredible to read. During a hot tempered day and a bloody frosty atmosphere of us barely communicating, I, instead of trying to escape my emotions by eating, bingwatching, social media-ing or calling relatives to complain, I sat down with my raw feelings(the type that gives you butterflies) and read a book that I ordered a few nights before, it has been reason for the shift and we are both happier. Her hormones are all over the place and it’s scary. Some kids simply go through puberty longer and my dd is mature enough to strongly discuss politics but immature enough to need to want to sleep beside me again. Yup no more insomnia or bedtime battles since I allowed her to camp in my room - Crazy right. The rejection is normal growth but they come back for reassurance -The book calls it being ‘swimming-pooled’!!!Grin
I just want you to know that I genuinely was a snotty mess when I opened this thread and hopefully you can gather that things got better with understanding of the not so much tween but the teen process xxx

OP posts:
HelloHormonesHell · 13/06/2020 08:47
OP posts:
OmegaAlpha · 13/06/2020 12:08

Thank you @HelloHormonesHell - I just read the preview and I have indeed gone from jelly bean to brussel sprout! And the rejection is painful! I had ordered a different book about tweenies, but although my daughter is only (just about to be) 11, she has already started her periods, wears a bigger bra size than me and has all the other signs of puberty, so I feel she is probably more like a teen hormonally. She is definitely an adolescent. I will order the book too. Thank you

Studycast · 13/06/2020 12:34

Op you are not alone and I think that book is brilliant too - very reassuring - I have just recommended it on another thread.

It’s so hard and when she has breakdowns it’s so so dramatic that I start fretting about her mental health and the next day it’s as if nothing happened!?

^^I very much identify with this and my dd is 16 yrs (although she had started to control herself a lot better before lockdown began and I thought we were through the worst).

It does get you down. I feel quite alone with it as my dh doesn't impose many boundaries so I am permanently cast as wicked witch of the north, and my friends in rl never discuss problems with their teens. It makes me wonder if they are having similar issues and don't want to discuss it, or are all much better parents than me (which is eminently possible).

I am really quite depressed about our relationship ATM. The other day dd screamed at me that she wouldn't feel so bad if she had got up earlier and exercised more and and studied longer and we had a stricter daily family schedule (she wasnt doing too badly with all of those things in reality but she is an all or nothing perfectionist currently) , so I introduced a daily time when we could join up for breakfast (we always have a sit down dinner together as it is) and suggested we did exercise videos together at a particular time, and was told that wasn't to her liking. "Fair enough" I said, "in what particular area would you like support?" , at which point I got screamed at for being too controlling. Confused. And breathe ... .

I try and keep in mind that she is feeling a lot of inner turmoil ATM and she is metaphorical dumping those feelings on me when she can't cope with them, but goodness, it's really hard.

WotsitWiggle · 13/06/2020 12:35

Hopefully this is a link to the book "Why your parents are driving you up the wall" by Dean Burnett.

I have a 12 year old who went through puberty earlier than her peers, and I can empathise completely with you. DD has left the house twice since 18 March, when we self isolated as DH had covid symptoms. She won't even sit in the garden, just her room with the curtains shut and the cat for company.

I read the book first, although it's aimed at the child, but it's very funny and breaks down what is happening in the teenage brain. Sometimes, I'll pick it up, turn to a chapter and we'll talk about it together eg why I'm asking her to go to sleep at 10pm even though she doesn't feel tired.

It's a hard slog, their brains are in turmoil and they don't know what they want, what will help, why they feel the way they do. My DH is very black and white, he thinks she's misbehaving and needs to be punished. Where I can (finally) see that her behaviour is linked to her hormones. So I let most things go on the bad weeks, and offer up chocolate and hugs. More carrot, less stick.

She recently told me she keeps the curtains shut because she thinks people can see into her room. They can't, but rather than saying that, I asked if voile curtains would help her feel more comfortable. It's using coaching techniques I use as work to mentor people. Ironically, DH is the one who works in HR, but he just can't seem to apply what he knows to his own daughter.

I'm not perfect, there's still days when I'm tired, hormonal, overworked and lose it over a wet towel left on the floor. But we're making progress.

QualityFeet · 13/06/2020 12:55

It’s tough no doubt. The one battle you need to fight as a non negotiable is the internet. It goes off at whatever time you have decided. Phones are not in bedrooms at night. These two together will save endless angst later. Insist on meals together and other wise be gentle and tolerant of the hormonal shit show. There is a toddler inside who still craves boundaries

QualityFeet · 13/06/2020 12:57

Missed your last post sounds like you are getting there - hope it goes more smoothly.

Studycast · 13/06/2020 13:00


rainsworth88 · 13/06/2020 14:54

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HelloHormonesHell · 13/06/2020 16:19

Wow isn’t this such a shift, as mums it genuinely feels traumatic, you lose your little sweet buddy who adores you and you them but, It’s a process an ugly, messy and a much needed and normal one (I can say that now thanks to that gold leaf book!) and I know that I rather her be like this than not because that’s kinda odd so it was explained. I know a parent who is gripping tighter and tighter drawing a huge mental and thus social distance(not the covid type) between the child and their friends, like a helicopter.
Funny what you say @Studycast about friends NOT talking about their experience, I don’t know if it’s denial, or if I’m too open, or it just frightens them. I honestly told my friend that mine started her period and I got blanked and subject changed. So strange how we all cope with pending reality.
Periods does divide a child from a teen, and peers... hormonally there is just so much else going on and to contend with mentally.
Just wanna say it is really comforting to be here talking to other mums, being frank about this transition, it really helps to vent and know we are in the same boat.
I don’t know if you have ever watched Bird Box with Sandra bullock but that blindfolded in deep water thing kinda feels similar Grin

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TheFoz · 21/06/2020 23:06

Just a heads up for those whose kids watch Netflix. You can change the settings on the profiles for age restriction viewing, you can also restrict particular TV shows. I just blocked Gossip Girl from being a choice. She hasn’t watched it yet but she definitely won’t be now!

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