I am a bit advocate for kids to see a child pysch in situations like this...it gives them an outlet and the pysch can often give you some really good pointers. I personally know 3 kids that were really struggling with grief issues that have had a total turn around in about 6 months due to seeing someone. They found a way to express themselves and faced the emotions that were eating them up inside...i kid you not...the change is amazing and they were already good kids...but now they are happy and no longer have meltdowns.
I would go see your GP and get a referral/mental health plan for her...and then take advantage of the free sessions!
I'm so sorry you're going through this...I'd just like to add another perspective.
Whilst it may hurt when your daughter says/does things like that, try to remember that you're not the centre of her world in the way that she is yours. I think as parents, it can be easy to take things personally when children are angry at us etc., but it's not fair to expect them to act like adults. We chose to have our kids, we're aware of how our words and actions may hurt others. You're her mother, and undoubtedly one of the most important people in her life, but she doesn't live FOR you in the way that many parents do for their kids. She's also not going to be aware of how to negotiate relationships in the same way as an adult. Whilst it may feel like she doesn't think you're good enough, I think that's projecting and unrealistic adult understanding onto a child.
Hope that makes sense.
I agree with others that you emphasise her feelings are valid, that you'll do your best to address them, but that bad behaviour is not acceptable.
hi jodes86, sorry you are going through this. Can I suggest you take a step back. At seven, your daughter has to deal with school, hormones, peer pressure, like all other kids, plus a mostly absent father, and a step father. All of that can be hard on a kid. She is coming to realise that she actually has some power to hurt and rebel when she is upset about things. This is not a bad thing, it is part of normal growing into teenager years. I would spend time going over her feelings, trying to understand where her anxiety and fears are coming from, and be as reassuring as you can to her. I see this as not something to be punished, but as a time to show her different, more acceptable ways to handle her emotions. If you make too much of a punishment you might push her away and confuse her, but if you tell her she has hurt you, but you forgive her, and want to help her behave better, she will learn to blend with the family. hugs, Marie.
Oh I have no more advice tham has already been shared but just wanted to offer you some hugs. You have all been through more than anyone should ever have to go through, It isnt anything you have done to her so please try not to blame yourself. It's so clear you love her more than anything. Xo
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I agree if it continues to escalate a child psych may be helpful.
A technique you could try is emotional validation. This is where you acknowledge the emotions that are causing the behaviour rather than just punishing the behaviour.
For example, exciting day yesterday, got a phone call from dad, she wakes up in a foul and stinky mood and starts slamming things around. You might say something like "Sweetheart, I know if was very exciting yesterday and sometimes after a very exciting day we feel a bit sad the next day because it's not so exciting anymore." You might be lucky to get a nod at this stage. "Do you think you are feeling sad and a bit angry and that is making you want to slam things around?" Maybe another nod or a yes. "You know it's not acceptable to slam things around, let's talk about what to do when you are feeling like this instead of breaking things."
You can still include a repurcusion to the unwanted behaviour, explaining they know what they did was wrong and that's why they're having a time-out etc. But by validating their emotions it helps them know that you understand, you are there for her and that it is OK to feel sh!tty sometimes. Just not OK to take it out on you.
7-8 is a hard age for girls (I've taught this age group). DD is only 6, but we're about to move interstate and DH is about to start working away, so I think I'll be needing to pull every bag out of the hat to help her keep it together over the coming year as she can be quite emotionally sensitive.
Jodes, I'm so sorry if my post upset you. This isn't something you've caused - in fact it sounds like you've given your little girl the gift of love, safety and stability for her whole life. She is lucky to have you. I was just commenting on that one event and trying to offer a different perspective.
I have no experience with dealing with ex's and shared parenting etc. However I do have a very spirited, highly strung at times, nearly 6 year old. Some things we have found that help her (and us) around the house is giving her plenty of warning about things we expect her to do. For example if she is watching TV and I tell her it's time to turn it off and go and have a bath she will have a melt down, but if I say to her "after this show has finished you will have to turn the tv off and go and have a bath", she will almost always do it without a fuss. If she is playing and I want her to pack her things away, tidy her room etc then I find setting the timer help - I will tell her i'm setting the timer on the oven and she has 10 minutes until it goes off, when it does I want her to do x, Y & z etc.
It does mean I need to think ahead and plan things a bit, I can't just tell her "go and tidy your room" without it becoming a big drama.
We use the oven timer for her a lot - either to give her warning about stopping one activity and starting another or for playing a game "beat the buzzer", ie you have 15 minutes to tidy your bedroom, timer is set, go! Off she runs to beat the timer! This works great in the mornings getting ready for school - she has 20 minutes to eat her breakfast, 20 minutes to get her school uniform on etc. When she knows the timer is on she rushes around to get ready without too much fuss.
Just thinking that if you can avoid some of the conflict around the house then that might help things. For example after a nice day watching the TV in bed you telling her to go and tidy her room wouldn't have looked too appealing and it became an all out war for all of you. However if you were to give her a bit of warning, ie this show has nearly finished, when it 's done you go and tidy your and I'll go and make us some dinner (or hang the clothes on the line, or whatever), I'll set the timer for 20 minutes and we'll see who finishes first.
For some reason my youngest doesn't like being told what to do, it feels like I am always trying to "trick" her into doing things, which is hard for us as our middle DD has always been very compliant and happy to do whatever is asked of her.
River Song (04-03-2014)
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