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Question
Posted by: Nicks | 2007/02/26

My family, my happiness & my pain

Not sure if I am alone in this battleground of family life...? We have two daughters 9 & 6. 6 year old has various medical conditions, but she handles everything well and knows how to cope...but demands my full attention when she needs me, if only for a hug. This is a pleasure and I gladly tend to her needs I feel she makes it easy. She seldom fibs and confesses almost immediately. You can discuss issues with her and know you will get a very honest answer. So now the guilt sets in because my other daughter is completely different. She seems to have a split personality at times. In company she is well mannered and polite. Smiles sweetly and enjoys the company of peers and family. She is loving and kind and often too mature for her age (9). She loves helping others and even around the house.
The other side, she would slyly taunt her sister until she provokes a fight so that we hear her sister's raised voice attempting to get her into trouble...she would sit there and say she did nothing wrong. If I say it takes two to fight and that they are both wrong...she runs to her dad and complains that she's being treated unfairly....if he consoles her (in ignorance) and I enter, she starts crying. This behaviour is at least 10 times worse when her grandmother is around...she becomes hysterical and acts as though she's afraid of me...clinging to my mom who lunges into full verbal attack. This morning however, I lost my temper completely. She was clinging to my mom and I told her that I would take her home and give her a hiding for throwing her books on the floor and screaming when she arrived at my mom's. All in a raised voice and using foul language...which is despicable. My mom proceeded to threaten me saying she would throw the boiling water (in her hand) at me...and I threatened her. All this happened with my children watching!

I stormed out there saying that I will withdraw them from my mother's presence completely because she only becomes hysterical when my mom is around.

The feelings I am left with are guilt, sadness & frustration. I know the way I behaved is absolutely wrong and regret it. I have always tried to resist getting into arguments with my mom over the kids by avoiding her completely...drop and go. She tends to act like a child rearing expert when I know she messed up big time where I am concerned. (she will never admit it though)

I find that I hate myself so much when these things happen because it feels as though I have lost complete control. It makes me sad that my daughter looks at me with hatred in her eyes only to cry and apologise when we arrive at home. We will have a talk this evening and I know that she will say that she doesn't know why she behaves that way and that she sorry she did. I told her on numerous occasions that we try our best to make them happy...but now they make me sad.

She has been diagnosed as ADD and is taking medication...I thought this could be it but she's only been using it for a month. I don't know what to do anymore because (the blow out of this morning was the worst ever)...usually I either just leave the room or give her a time out, but try to stay calm all the time. Things are getting out of hand because I wanted to slap her in her mouth for screaming at me...

Please help...I don't know which way to turn anymore

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Our expert says:
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You are never alone, Nicks, though it may feel that way at times. Your daughter may be in some ways jealous of what she sees as special attention given to the other sister ( however well-deserved and needed such attentions may be ). With the conflict between you an d tyour daughters, and your mom, family counsellign would seemt he bestw ay to sort this out for the benefit of all of you, and to discourage this daughter from her unreasonable and unpleasant, manipulative behaviour. And as RMC says, set aside specific time for each daughter, irrespective of their asking for it, or not, and independent of their need for something, or not.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: RMC | 2007/02/26

Perhaps she is feeling jealous and that you devote more time to the sibling that has medical problems? Aside from taking her for counselling, perhaps you could start taking them out individually for special times, like one saturday it could be her turn to choose and activity to do with you, the next week it could be the siblings?

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