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Posted by: Worried Mom | 2010/09/07

PLEASE HELP WITH MY 11 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER

Okay I am at my wits end and do not know what to do anymore. My daughter is 11 I know these days there are so much stress on the little one''s much more than we had..she started her period 3 months ago so I know she is going through some changes but this is worrying me and dont know what to do

She LIES about everyhing, she gets into verbal fights at school, she steals (no need to disguise it with nice words) steal is steal and was cought out this morning again... She has no lack of anything when she needs something and we can do it we do it for her she asked me a while ago if she can become Emo i asked her what does that mean??? She said to me that emo is when you wear only black and you cut yourself apparently there is a girl in her class that does this....

She HATES her brother they fight constanly her brother is 7 she cant stand him and make no secret about that I have had her at a psychologist and she could not find anything wrong I really dont know what more to do she and her father was extremely close she just worshiped her father but lately with this attitude of her back chatting everything arguing with us screaming and these lies and stealing they do not have to close bond anymore and I do not know how to handle or help her for that matter

PLEASE HELP

Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

She sounds like a troubling kid, though such difficulties are not uncommon at this age ( the age at which kids start their periods is getting lower. year by year, and so is the age at which they become disturbing to their parents.
Fashions like the awful "Emo" thing ( self-mutilation is NOT an acceptable fashion, and black or Goth outfits are dreary but at least leaves no scars except on one's sense of fashion and good taste ). Its a comforting thing that she asked you about Emo before embarking on it.
I wonder what your psychologist thought the purpose of the visit was. Presumably she did a standard clinical assessment and discovered no signs of serious mental disorder. BUT you weren't asking just about the presence or absence of disease, but whether the child was troubled or troubling, and if so what to do aout it - and I would really expect a good psychologist to have been able to give you sound and detailed advice on how to deal with this phase.
The back-chatting, negatavism, stealing and desire to be challenging used to be typical at around 16, but appears to be starting earlier these days.
Maybe a personal counsellor could help you plan the most helpful ways of handling this disruptive behaviour. Getting too upset about it can encourage it in some ways, so calmness and keeping to the routine and predictable rules and expectations helps

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Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2010/09/08

Just two examples of what I mean - When my son turned ten, I took him for a tandem skydive for his birthday. Now before you blast me for giving such an expensive present - My friend was a tandem master with his own plane and I just paid for the camera-man. Yes - it is dangerous. But statistically it''s less than 30% of the danger of riding a motorcycle. I''ve also allowed him to use powertools since he was 11. At first it was under my supervision, but by the time he turned 12, he was better at using my drill - and more careful - than what I was.

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Liza | 2010/09/08

My apologies for not making this clear, but yes - children need boundaries. All that I''m saying is that kids must learn on their own what their strengths and weaknesses are. I definitely will not tell my son to yes - go do drugs. That is way beyond the boundaries. But a child that knows himself/herself well will be far less likely to give in to peer pressure and start doing things like drugs and drinking.

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Maria | 2010/09/07

An IQ test would not tell you if the child has ADD. I really think you need to see a different psychologist who is experienced in working with young teens.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Worried Mom | 2010/09/07

Thanks all for the advice and would tend to agree with unbelievable I just think my kid is to young to be exposed to all the things that we were never exposed to at this young age. We had boundries and we knew what we were allowed to do and what not and that was enforced by our parents and feel that this must be enforced on them as well. I dont say keep them hidden away in the closet but they must know what they are allowed to do and what not..I always get the best of compliments when she attends sleepovers the moms always tell me how sweet, helpfull, well mannered she is and then I wonder why is it that she rarely like that at home??? I have even considered sending her away to a school in Bloemfontein we live in (Welkom) to see if this wouldn''t change her attitude but then I worry that she will feel we dont want her and does not love her enough and thats why we are sending her away I really dont know anymore how she can change from this sweet little girl into this rebelious girl.

Reply to Worried Mom
Posted by: unbelievable | 2010/09/07

So Liza you are saying that if my 13year old comes home and say he want to try drugs i should say yes go ahead and experiment and learn from it? then when he get addicted then who''s problem is it?

Reply to unbelievable
Posted by: Liza | 2010/09/07

Children should be taught responsibility from a very young age. Parents these days just don''t know how to teach children how to be responsible anymore. They say no - you can''t do that. What parents should be telling their kids is yes - you can do that - but you have to face the consequences. Most parents are far too scared to let their kids try things out. I''ve let my 14 year old son do most of the things he wanted to do from a very young age. I don''t tell him what he can and cant do - I just tell him why certain things are a bad idea. Sometimes the Why is more important than saying no. If you just say no - the child doesn''t learn anything. If you tell a child why he shouldn''t do something - they will learn little by little. If you allow them to face the consequences of their actions - they learn a LOT and quickly turn into mature kids who don''t throw tantrums or sulk when they don''t get their way. Today my son is much more mature than his peers and I hardly ever have problems with him. If e.g. he doesn''t clean his bedroom - he has to live in the mess. I will not clean it for him. After living in the mess for a while, believe me, kids start cleaning up after themselves. If he doesn''t put his dirty washing in the laundry basket, it doesn''t get washed and he will have to walk around with dirty clothes. At the end of the month, he gets R100 pocket money. But he has to compile his own budget to ensure that he has airtime, toiletries etc. for the month. If its finished, it''s finished - he doesn''t get more. This teaches him the value of money.

There is a quotation that says -Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor, once observed this about American families: “ The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children.” 

It’ s crazy, really…  No parent thinks they are obeying their children, but so many of them are. Most parents’  main desire is to keep their kids happy so they don’ t scream, cry, moan, yell, throw a fit, or hit somebody.

“ I don’ t want to pick up my toys… ” 
“ I don’ t want to go to bed… ” 
“ I don’ t want to go to school… ” 
“ I don’ t want to eat that for dinner… ” 

Usually, parents are too tired to fight, so they just give in. The problem is that the kids begin to realize that their dreams have come true…  they really are in control! So, guess what they’ re going to do? Take advantage of it!

What ends up happening is disastrous. Kids are disobedient, not only to their parents, but every other adult. And then they also start to think that privileges are actually rights!

Reply to Liza
Posted by: CTMOM | 2010/09/07

Sounds like you just described my daughter 3 years ago. I really feel for you.

I moved my daughter to my mom for a year (we in Cape Town, my mom is in Durban) and even though it was heartbreaking, she is now home and is my little girl again. Maybe a change of venue / schools / friends is a fitting thing. It hurts, but worked in my case.

Reply to CTMOM
Posted by: Worried Mom | 2010/09/07

The reason for our visit to the psychologist was the fact that she was very negative and at the age of 10 became to threaten taking her live and she hates her live and does not want to live she did an IQ test to see if she has ADS she prescribed her some anti depresants and that was that then a few months ago I took her to an occupational therapist and she told me she just have a stronger personality and we have to work along that I just dont know how to approach this how to help her overcome this hate and negativity in her life...Thank you for the help

Reply to Worried Mom
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/09/07

She sounds like a troubling kid, though such difficulties are not uncommon at this age ( the age at which kids start their periods is getting lower. year by year, and so is the age at which they become disturbing to their parents.
Fashions like the awful "Emo" thing ( self-mutilation is NOT an acceptable fashion, and black or Goth outfits are dreary but at least leaves no scars except on one's sense of fashion and good taste ). Its a comforting thing that she asked you about Emo before embarking on it.
I wonder what your psychologist thought the purpose of the visit was. Presumably she did a standard clinical assessment and discovered no signs of serious mental disorder. BUT you weren't asking just about the presence or absence of disease, but whether the child was troubled or troubling, and if so what to do aout it - and I would really expect a good psychologist to have been able to give you sound and detailed advice on how to deal with this phase.
The back-chatting, negatavism, stealing and desire to be challenging used to be typical at around 16, but appears to be starting earlier these days.
Maybe a personal counsellor could help you plan the most helpful ways of handling this disruptive behaviour. Getting too upset about it can encourage it in some ways, so calmness and keeping to the routine and predictable rules and expectations helps

Reply to cybershrink

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