Our expert says:
Giving kids a hiding is NEVER a good idea, it teaches that it's OK to use physical violence when you're angry or frustrated, and it does NOT teach kids to behave better. Do you really thi nk she voluntarily and deliberately, and consciously, decides to "lose" something ? If so, it would only be as a sign of distress and a desire for attention.
Is it not likely that your child has been temporarily disturbed by the move up from Durban, loss of friends and a school where she was confident and successful ?
Stay away from Ocupational Therapists who are too busy aggressively expanding their territory into fields where they have no effective training or expertise. A child psychologist would be best especially if the main part of the problem sems to be emotional ; an educational psychologist could be helpful if it seems mainly an educational problem.
Her father, as you describe him, is surely part of the problem, providing inconsistency and confusion, and inappropriate problem-solving.
As Maria says, give it time, lots of love, understanding, and calm chats about how things are going.
Take care to notice everything she does right and praise that ( not too lavishly, that feels insincere )
And as Purple says, think carefully about the possibility of bullying, which often explains why a previously conscientious child starts "losing" things.
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