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Question
Posted by: Worried | 2011/03/29

Concerned mother needs help with 9 year old daughter - stealing, lying and eating

I do not know which field of expertise will be required to deal with this.
She has previously seen other physiologists but I haven’ t seen any results.
She is 9 years old, overweight and has a problem with stealing &  lying.

Her history:
She never knew her father (I’ m a single mother). He died when she was 4 years old. The first “ father figure”  she ever had was just before her 4th birthday –  Mr. X. We stayed with him for 4 years and in this time he did not treat her very well or fairly. As a matter of fact, he abused her emotionally. He was continuously insulting her and had no kind “ bedside”  manner or any form of people-skills. He was unable to complement her in any way, or even provide fatherly love &  attention. After 4 years she finally approached me to tell me that she was very unhappy and no longer wished to stay there. After questioning her about this, she told me that she was scared that I loved Mr. X more than I loved her and she was scared that I would leave her or hate her. However, when we still lived with Mr. X, my daughter were caught stealing money from us. After extensive questioning she eventually admitted that she needed money to buy her friendships. I explained to her why that was not acceptable. Eventually we moved out and lived alone for about 8 months.
I met a wonderful person (Mr. Y) who has a daughter of his own (a year older than my child). We get along famously and he is very, very good to my daughter and I. We all moved in together beginning of this year and initially all went well. Lately, she started lying to us, took Mr. Y’ s wallet and stole his daughter’ s money from her room. She even claimed a “ lost”  wallet from school which wasn’ t hers. We are continuously catching her lying to us about insignificant things. Over and above this, my daughter is overweight and we are trying to help her lose weight. We encourage her to eat less, exercise and drink plenty of water. There are no sweets or sugary foods in the house and yet she just gains weight. Eventually she admitted that she was eating behind our backs –  at school she would beg food from her friends. She promised to stop this behaviour, but just today was again caught eating too much. (i.e. 30 minutes after breakfast have a sandwich, which is completely unacceptable)
We have tried everything. We have punished her, spoken to her, explained to her, given hidings and took away privileges … . Everything! Nothing seems to work.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I wonder what on earth the other psychologists did with her. If you'll read my response to the neighbouriong question, much the same advice applies here. She needs a clear clode of discipline and behaviour, with reards for behaving well ( and not lying or stealing ) and unwanted consequences for breaking the rules and for lying or stealing. NO excuses acceptable.
I also agree with Star about the importance of schedfuling proper mom-daughter time together, to chat abou all sorts of things, and to make it clear how much you love her. If she feels she doesn't get enough attention from you, then misbehaving usually works by bringing more attention. Hidings are pointless, but losing the use of cellphone or watching TV for a week is far more effective as a deterrant
And talk with her friends about how important it is for them NOT to feed her ANYTHING that isn't on her diet. See a good dietician to be sure she is on a healthy and filling diet to lose weight, and remember that some exercise is also essential as part of the plan.

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Star | 2011/03/29

I also wanted to add that she is 9 years old she is still a child and children do not have to worry about exercise at that age all she needs is to play, invest in a basket ball hook, practice " netball"  with her, the weight will come off eventually.

Reply to Star
Posted by: Star | 2011/03/29

She has never really had alone time with you... There has always been a man in your life except for the 8mnth, so I would suggest some one on one time with her. Make time over the weekends just for her, go for walks a picnic etc... talk to her and find out what she is about instead of reprimanding her every chance you get, teach her how to be and act like a young lady.

Reply to Star
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/03/29

I wonder what on earth the other psychologists did with her. If you'll read my response to the neighbouriong question, much the same advice applies here. She needs a clear clode of discipline and behaviour, with reards for behaving well ( and not lying or stealing ) and unwanted consequences for breaking the rules and for lying or stealing. NO excuses acceptable.
I also agree with Star about the importance of schedfuling proper mom-daughter time together, to chat abou all sorts of things, and to make it clear how much you love her. If she feels she doesn't get enough attention from you, then misbehaving usually works by bringing more attention. Hidings are pointless, but losing the use of cellphone or watching TV for a week is far more effective as a deterrant
And talk with her friends about how important it is for them NOT to feed her ANYTHING that isn't on her diet. See a good dietician to be sure she is on a healthy and filling diet to lose weight, and remember that some exercise is also essential as part of the plan.

Reply to cybershrink

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