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Question
Posted by: Sue | 2011/03/04

Is it my fault?

Hi Doc,

My daughter is nearly 11, is ADHD and on Straterra. I''m a single mom, no maintenance so carry the financial burden on my own. The problem is this, my daughter has recently gotten into trouble at school for apparently bullying another little girl. The child in question is known as a problem (recently pulled her own fathers gun on her visiting school school friend - the parents are friends though, so it never came to light with the school), she is not a very nice child, but by the same token, I am not witness to what goes on in school hours, so have to try and find the right vantage point to stand by. My daughter will stand up for herself if threatened and I dont know her to be a vicious or nasty child - In any event, both children were sent to the headmaster, and are now having counselling with the school counselor / social worker. Last night my daughter said she doesn''t understand why the counsellor is asking her personal questions about me ie. how old is your mom, hows things at home, where does your mom work, does she have a boyfriend etc. Are these normal questions for the counsellor to ask?
Secondly, if my daughter is being too reactive at school, or bullying, is this my fault? I try my best to do the right thing, and to give my daughter everything she needs on all levels, but with her going through puberty at the moment, and having ADHD it is soemtimes a rough ride. I couldnt bear the thought that I''m doing something wrong.
My daughter is very reactive, throws temper tantrum and hysteria attacks if she cant get her way at home etc, but I try and ride the wave and be firm, I just dont know if I''m doing the right thing all the time, and have no one to share the problem with (no family in SA and no support structure). I''m in a very stressful job that doesnt pay well, so am stressed at work and with the current school issues, I could just sit and cry. I dont have a boyfriend and havent since my daughter was a baby, as just taking care of the both of us is a full time job, so there is no upsets there. I work 8-5 during the week, but spend every evening and weekend with my daughter. I just feel that I should be doing more - especially after all this, and the questions the counsellor is asking.
Please help!!!!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hmm. The other girls sounds FAR more problematic ( but an extraordinarily bad selection of someone to bully, if she threatens anyone with a gun and has acess to one ).
From your description, these sound like normal questions for a good counsellor to ask, to understand a child's background, and scan for any other potential problems. You can advise your daighter to tell the counsellor that you always discourage bullying, but do encourage her to stand up for herself if she herself is bullied. And tell her to tell the counsellor that you are happy to make some plan to meet with her to discuss any concerns she may have or advice she may offer.
The issues here are probably not ADHD related.
But it sounds as though you need and deserve some support and encouragement - maybe SADAG ( number on this page ) could have a useful support group within reach.
It sounds to me, and will probably sound the same to the counsellor, is that you are a good and concerned mom, over-stressed a bit, and maybe a bit over-harsh on yourself !
Oh, and as another reader remarked - go to maintenance court and ensure thatyour child's father has to pay proper maintenance to help with her expenses.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/03/05

Hmm. The other girls sounds FAR more problematic ( but an extraordinarily bad selection of someone to bully, if she threatens anyone with a gun and has acess to one ).
From your description, these sound like normal questions for a good counsellor to ask, to understand a child's background, and scan for any other potential problems. You can advise your daighter to tell the counsellor that you always discourage bullying, but do encourage her to stand up for herself if she herself is bullied. And tell her to tell the counsellor that you are happy to make some plan to meet with her to discuss any concerns she may have or advice she may offer.
The issues here are probably not ADHD related.
But it sounds as though you need and deserve some support and encouragement - maybe SADAG ( number on this page ) could have a useful support group within reach.
It sounds to me, and will probably sound the same to the counsellor, is that you are a good and concerned mom, over-stressed a bit, and maybe a bit over-harsh on yourself !
Oh, and as another reader remarked - go to maintenance court and ensure thatyour child's father has to pay proper maintenance to help with her expenses.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Befre you do anything else, do this! | 2011/03/04

If u know who the father is sue him for maintenance NOW!

Reply to Befre you do anything else, do this!

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