Needing Help Badly

Old 07-28-2008, 10:03 PM
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Exclamation Needing Help Badly

I just dont know what to do with my 11yo right now. I have tried everything I know to get thru to her from being a friend to being a mom. I try to talk to her but she shuts me out and wont listen or talk. I try forcing her to talk.

I just had another screaming match with her about her behavior and attitude. She is so lazy and despondant. She never listens to anything or does anythingto change. She needs some serious therapy. All she sees is that Im being mean and hateful. She resents me with every fiber of her being. I dont want to go to Division of Family Services as they have invaded my house and took my kids once before. They had no reason to. Im scared she might say we are abusing her and they come in and take them again. I wont invite them into my house ever again. They did more harm than good the last time. I really dont know where to turn here for support for her. Even her grandmother says she is like she is because its what we let her get away with it. But I really feel she needs help. I have insurance but really no extra money. Anyone have any ideas? Please I really need help here.......
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:19 PM
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Black and Yellow
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I'm going through that with my daughter, she will be 13 on the 2nd. I can't believe how RUDE and LAZY and DISRESPECTFUL she can be!! I have not figured out what to do about it so I can't answer your question but I DO understand what your going through!
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:36 PM
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Hey Gwen--
Tough times when kids really start pushing all your buttons.

One thought:

11, 12 13, those are transitional years. They aren't little kids anymore and so they won't really just "do" what we tell them to anymore. They aren't adults yet either and so we need to be firm and protective but respect their autonomy and not increase their self-consciousness or damage their fragile new mind. Because their mind is expanding by leaps and bounds at that age. Any little hypocrisy we've been living in front of them becomes unbearable and confusing as they enter adolescence. We have to adapt our parenting style for the adolescent.

Two books I found really helpful
"Your 10-14 Year Old" by Louise Bates Ames and "How to Talk so Kids will Listen and listen so Kids will Talk" by Faber and Mazlish. Both widely available at libraries.

I had the wrong expectations of my oldest as he entered those years. Those books helped straighten out my thinking.

I had to change! My way of dealing with him and, now his brother who just turned 13 this year, had to change.

MY tone of voice had to change.

MY attitude had to change.

And when I worked on those things in MYSELF things got better for all of us. No lie.

It's work, and it ain't easy, but it is worth it.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:47 AM
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It is incredible, how WE affect those around us. Even in doing what we think is our best and what comes naturally (defensively?) we sometimes get in our own way. I have only been here a week or two and have already learned so much. Thanks Benrnadette for posting your experience.

GM, hope things settle down for you. I would be at my wits end...
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:59 AM
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Gwen, she has to change too. Could you take her to a counselor?
There are income based clinics.
You deserve respect.
I used to tell mine that yes, they could tell me no.....but sooner or later they would want something from me and I would choose a time most important to them and say NO.
I meant it. They knew I did.
I was pretty stern, but from my parent's point of view (times have changed) I was pretty tolerant.
I also felt that if they didn't care about their things enough to pick them up weekly, then they didn't need them.
Maybe I am a b!tch?
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:49 AM
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Gwen, I think we both know that once it becomes a screaming match, it is out of control for both of you.

You are the adult, you get to set the rules and enforce the consequences when broken. You also get to praise anything well done or worthy of praise.

She is at a difficult age...and I hate to say it but the next couple of years are likely to be very hormonal for her.

Counseling would be good, read the book that was suggested, but most of all find a way to talk to her that doesn't include screaming.

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Old 07-29-2008, 04:14 AM
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Dear Gwen, What was said above is excellent advice. What Bernadette said is very valuable. The books are great resources. What she said about hypocrisy is so true. I have found kids become very legalistic. They see things either right or wrong, with them there is no shade of gray.
I can only speak from my own experience & Looking back ( 20 20 hindsight ) I didn't do a very good job with my kids. I was a single parent for 10yrs & I had sons & no daughters. I am not a man & never was a little boy so my priorities were different.
I do know that any litle thing I did wrong they would use against me. They used my behaviour to excuse their own. Plus they also pushed it way beyond anything I ever did.
Good luck with anything you try. I hope I can learn right along with you as now I am helping my son ( a single dad ) raise his 2 boys ages 6 & 3 and I am having trouble already with the 3 yr old Screaming matches really, no matter howyou try & talk to him he won't listen to you & screams at you!!!!
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:00 AM
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Excelent advice above. A whole lot of things are going on with you and your family. Lots of stressors for you and your daughter. She has you so tied up in anger and anxiety right now that you probably can't even think straight.

Take a deep breath Gwen, drag out those tools you have and use some of them here in this situation. First of all, give yourself some down time to digest everything, take a long hot bubble bath. You can't force someone to do the right thing, or think correct thoughts, or even act appropriately, especially when it comes to a teenager or pre-teen. She kinda has the upper hand here with you, and she knows it. She has you in fear of something that prevents you from using all of your options. If she can manipulate you with DFS then she has a way to undermine your authority. This is just my opinion here, but even with your prior bad experience there, I'm afraid I would have to call her bluff on that one, I would have to eliminate that control method, even if it meant dealing with it again. More damage is done by you fearing that right now than if they actually came and got her.

Next, (after you have some Gwen time and have calmed down and can think straight) I would change tactics. Do something that totally throws her off guard, something that she wouldn't expect, something that would be so confusing to her that she would actually walk away thinking about it. Do it very calmly and even if you don't have control, pretend that you do. Pretend that she, or anything that she is doing, doesn't have you by the short hairs. Let her know that you love her, but that you can't protect her from the real world consequences of her actions, and let her know that it scares you that you can't protect her that only she can protect herself. Give her that control over her own life. Her screw ups, her consequences. Ask her what she thinks you should do, ask her what she would do if your roles were reversed. Tell her that you want to know what her thoughts are on the whole situation. Then let her know your own thoughts, but also let her know that your anger is born out of fear for her because you love her so much. Let her know that it hurts you to have to disipline her but that it is your job and you do it for her, not to her.

I know she is only 11, but she is doing some pretty adult things and how you handle all of this right now will set the tone for how you handle things in the future. If it involves a lot of yelling and fighting and punishment, then she is just going to tone you out, do what she has to do, and not learn a thing from it except how to get around you and not get caught.

Something I did with my teenagers. I told them that they, or I could call a meeting. In that meeting, everyone was allowed to say anything they wanted to say, with no consquences, as long as it was said with respect.

Hugs and Prayers
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:26 AM
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Gwen, you got some great advice above. I could understand your frustration with your daughter. I believe it has to do with the age... my daughter is 11 and could drive me absolutely insane. She has an answer for everything, always says the opposite of what I say. At times I have to say I even have broken down crying because I was at a loss.

I think I might get the book mentioned above it may be helpful.

Well what I am trying to say is that you are not alone and you have people who understand where you are coming from because we are in similiar situations.

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Old 07-29-2008, 12:49 PM
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I remember my daughter at that age, I was going through a divorce at the time and she was a real b**ch. So my heart goes out to you.
I would talk to a pastor if you can't afford someone to speak with. Take a hot bath, and try some deep breathing excerises. When she starts maybe just say you are not happy and need a few minutes to think about what is going on. When you calm down some, tell her that you will not stand for this action and this is what she has to do and if she says no take something away. Bike, phone computer tv etc. If she does not pick up things go through pick them up and put them in a trash bag, telling her since she does not care about them she lost them. You don't have to really throw them away but let her think you did. I said my daughter went into permament PMS at that age, she is 24 and still in it.
Good luck and read as much as you can.
Hugs from another mom of a girl.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:26 PM
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I also gave mine responsibilities. I figured if they could work video games they could turn that dial on the washing machine.
It's part of our job, anyway, to teach them to live on their own.
When angry I softened my voice and spoke deliberately, my dad did this with me and it worked.

Heck, I would count the days until she was 18 and explain to her that is how long she has to learn to manage as an adult...and I mean managing a checkbook, budgeting, cooking, writing a resume...all of it.

You are the parent.
And my kids still came to talk to me and knew I was on their side and loved them.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:59 PM
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You got some great replies, especially about you setting the tone for respectful communication. I'll add that the book by Ames is excellent. I haven't read that particular one but it's part of a series that I used when I was teaching. Another thought I had is to take her Alateen. Just like Al-Anon, you could take her to six meetings and let her quit after that if she doesn't like it. It's basically free and I think it would be good for any young person to have a safe place to let off steam and maybe learn some good coping skills.
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:07 PM
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I Just wanted to say thank you so much for all the helpful information posted by all of you and the support. I will be checking at the library for that book Burnadette. I will be talking to the pastor at our church too. And I will be talking with a friend of mine too on this matter.
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:44 AM
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just sending up prayers for you & your family. raising children in todays world is so much different than it was when i was rasing just do the best you can & the rest is up to her.
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