This is my first posting and I found this website out of sheer desperation over my 8 year old daughters behaviour.
She is a very bright, articulate child who is much loved in this house. However, she has three younger brothers and for this she's never forgiven me. Her behaviour has gradually worsened over the last 5 years and I'm now at the end of my tether. She swears, hits, kicks, bites, spits, tells me and her father she hates us, wants us dead, in a car crash, with cancer etc etc...
It's got to the point that she argues all day long now and our family life is falling apart. I've tried loving her more, being more affectionate etc etc.. I've tried punishing her, taking away privilliages etc.. And before anyone comes on and tells me to explain why I'm angry and that I should send her to her room...oh, we are so past that. The only way to get her to her room is to drag her, a situation which leaves me sobbing and panting, often cut with torn clothes.
She is seeing a counsellor at school who does 'play therapy' with her. Frankly it's a waste of time. In school she's perfect, nobody can believe how she is at home.
I feel like I'm losing my mind and quite honestly, I hate her some days. At age 11 she is able to attend boarding school and this is the only thing on the horizon that gives me hope. However, I did wonder if some kind of boot camp for younger children exists as she needs to relearn the meaning of respect and decent behaviour.
It sounds like I'm passing the buck, but really, with three little boys I'm just beyond dealing with this each and every day at this stage. I wake each morning frightened at what the day will bring with her.
Before you send her away, I'd recommend a family counselor. A school counselor isn't going to be fully trained to handle these types of issues and you need to sit down WITH her in a room with a counselor and talk through the issues. This isn't just her problem, not just her behavior...This is a FAMILY problem, so you should deal with it that way. She's not going to learn much respect if all you do is send her away and not listen to her. She's going to learn respect when you all respectfully discuss why she is doing this and actually listen to why she is mad! She may have some valid issues... Perhaps she feels that the boys get preferential treatment? If so, what can the FAMILY do to see that everyone is treated fairly? etc.
I completely understand what you're going through. I have an 8 year old boy whos behavior has gone completely down hill in the past 3 1/2 to 4 years, last year being the worst.(so far....) While I do agree with the idea of a family counselor it is so hard to find a good one. You have counselors that specialize in adult and then ones that specialize in children but finding a good one who can do both is very difficult. We have tried everything you have tried and have been in the dragging him to his room position almost on a weekly basis. I am very happy she is behaving at school, thats a start. Mine has the bad behavior at school but its always worse at home. I have not heard of any bootcamps for young children and believe me I have been looking. The closest thing I am able to find is military school. (i'm in Florida) Some of theses schools have dorms for the older children to live in but there aren't any for younger ones and the closest school for me is 2 1/2 hrs one way and unfortunately thats just not possible for our family. I would try the family counseling, it really couldn't hurt. We tried it for a little while, but if she's a very bright girl you may run into the same problem we had. They seem to be able to "read" the counselor and tell them exactly what they want to hear, that was our problem. I know its hard try to be as patient as possible and tell her you love her as often as possible. Maybe a mom & daughter day will soften her a little. If you need to talk, vent or share horror stories don't be afraid to email me(should be in my profile). Sometime being able to unload on a stranger is helpful. Good luck to you and if you find something that works please let me knw.
I do believe family counseling would be the best option. Dustin&Vanna, you bring up a good point about the child being able to “read” the counselor. slummymummy, this may be why the counselor at school is not helping…because she is so well behaved at school. May I suggest to you both to maybe set up a video camera or 2 around that your child will not be aware of. That way when you sit down with a counselor, you will be able to illustrate the behaviors you are dealing with. Then the child will also not be able to lie or sweet-talk his/her way out of dealing with the hidden issues. You will also be able to discuss with the counselor if there are other ways you can handle certain situations in a different way that may be more effective. Be sure to videotape multiple occurrences.
I hope things get better for both of you. It’s so sad to think how manipulative children can be at such a young age. Please, don’t blame yourself! Children just know to do whatever they can to insure they get what they want. My oldest stepdaughter (12) can be the same way. She will act so loving and respectful of you, then turn around and stab you right in the back by making up lies. I don’t have any idea where she learns it from…I’m 26 years old and I have no idea how to manipulate people the way she can.
Good luck to you both!
I wanted to share my experience with boot camp. My son is in a boot camp because of attitude problem. I can't even know how to handle that he has. Guidance is what he need to overcome those but I'm lacking that. We're not perfect parent but I'm trying to be one.
I need help and help that I need is I found it on boot camps. And now we're getting good relationship me and my son for a month now. Thanks to boot camp.
Last edited by learningmom; 08-18-2011 at 09:05 PM.
I am a therapist and I always recommend The One Week Parenting Miracle website by Dr. Randy Hyde. The problem with sending the child away is most children will thrive with an absolute controlled schedule. This is the same reason why people lose weight on tv shows and then put it back on when back in their environment. Try a good behavioral counselor in your area. An stay away from play therapy. That is not an effective technique when dealing with behavior problems.
Ask the contact person at any system to provide you with evidence of success. Get evidence that their system works, that the employees offers appropriate qualifications and has sufficient training and guidance to efficiently execute the treatments used by the system.
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Girl with the 8 year old i really feel u and my daughter is 6 going through the same **** and im feel the same way so im looking for a boot camp now too because i really dont know what else to do and i have a 2 year old son and she gets very mean with him sometimes. So can anyone out there help with a boot camp