Help with my 10 year old daughter

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jennjenn25, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. jennjenn25

    jennjenn25 New Member

    I am a single mom of a brilliant 10 year old girl (11 in February).
    She has no problems in school, the only issue she has really ever had was talking too much. She hasn't always gotten along with her classmates, she's very bossy and likes to be in control of all situations. Which is what she does at home as well. She is very disrespectful to me. Now, it's never what she says but how she says it. Her tone is horrible! there are times when we have so much fun together I just soak it all up because I never know when her attitude towards me is going Occupational Therapist (OT) change. I would like to blame this on her age becoming a pre-teen but she's always been like this. I just need some advice on what to do to get her to understand that this is unexceptable behavior. I've tried talking to her & being her "friend" but I simply do not know what in the world she needs. Therapist to talk to? A friend outside the life her & I have together to talk to? Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you~
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Welcome to the board!

    Are you sure you don't have MY daughter? She is much the same, sharp as a tack but that mouth of hers...and she is only 8. And I know how tough it is being a single mom.

    Does your daughter have a diagnosis? What was her childhood like?

    The best advice I can give you this early in the game is to get a hold of the book "Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It covers a whole spectrum of behavioral issues with kids and how to best handle them.

    You might want to do a signature as I have on the bottom of the post, to help us get to know you. Click on "user CP" and follow the instructions.

    You are not alone!
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi JenJen, welcome.
    My son is like that, too. Mr Know-it-All.
    It's gets old, fast. :(
    I would definitely try a child therapist and work on taking turns talking, as well as making sure she knows you are in charge. It's not going to get better with-her teen yrs unless you get a hold of it now.
    I still don't know why my son thinks he's in charge. He was born that way. I'm sure I've made it worse along the way, giving in to things I thought were minor. If I could go back and do it all over, I would not give in to one, tiny thing. Consistency, consistency, consistency.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.
    Can you give us an example? I'm having trouble figuring out exactly what the problem is. Does she mouth off or just sound snotty? Is she violent? Have tantrums? Steal? Or is she just disrespectful? Are her social skills completely inappropriately? Was she ever socially appropriate with her peers? Can she have a give-and-take conversation or does she sort of monologue at you about her interests? Any obsessive interests? What does she like to do in her spare time? How was her very early development? Did she maybe start reading really young and sound very precocious? Does she still? Is she a rigid, inflexible child? We can't diagnose, and I"m not trying to, but the first thing I thought of was "Aspergers Syndrome." Welcome :)
  5. jennjenn25

    jennjenn25 New Member

    Hi & thank you for taking the time to read my post.
    My daughter has no diagnoses. She is very mouthy, thinks she does not have to listen to anything I say, & is disrespectful. I need to teach her to respect me but how in the world do you even begin that trek? I wasn't always a real good mom, I love my daughter with all my heart & always have but was young & almost to the point of denial about having a child & especially a child who is so strong willed. I realize the errors of my ways & have been trying to "fix" them. I've gotten better I simply have no clue how to be a good parent. Not trying to weasel out of anything I want badly to learn how to become a good parent. I am consistent, well, I guess to a point but when your almost 11 yr old daughter is constantly mouthing, arguing, & yelling, what exactly is the correct form of punishment? Again, thank you for taking the time to read my post.
  6. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Hi JennJenn, and welcome. It's easy to tell that you love your daughter very much and want the best for her. You're identifying a very important task when you say, "I need to teach her to respect me". She does need to learn that, because learning to respect others, and to respect authority, is critical to her happiness and success as an adult.

    You are the one in a position to teach her this, and to do it you must be her mother rather than her friend. By that I mean that her long-term interests must guide you and lead you to create structure and boundaries for her, rules and consequences that she will not like at first. You'll have to see yourself as the responsible adult who will do what's best for her even if she says she doesn't like you for it. One day she will, maybe not just right at the time. ;)

    You may want to sit down with a family or parenting counselor to work out a list of basic rules that focus on respect - in tone, in words, in body language. When she breaks a rule, there is a consequence. The consequence has to be meaningful to her - removal of a privilege that she enjoys, technology that she uses daily, TV shows or outings with friends - any and all things that will really bring her up short if they are removed. Everything beyond a bed, basic clothing, and food of your choice (and school, which is not negotiable) is a privilege and can be removed. Our son was very strong-willed and at times we had to remove everything from his room but a mattress on the floor, blanket, pillow, and two or three sets of basic clothing. We even had to remove his door because he was willing to pound on it and damage it. Your daughter is not at this point and I doubt you would have to go this far, but it's the principle - you own everything she has, literally, and it's all a privilege.

    Once you've made your list of rules and consequences, a violation is followed by a consequence. No discussion, no argument. Action rather than talk. Argument or yelling by the child merits a further consequence/removal of privilege, whether for a longer time or another item. Typically a child who gets consequences like this for the first time will be furious, will test, and will test again. If the parent remains calm (the hard part!) and is consistent every time, it will work. The child may say hurtful things and tell you that you're a bad mom; all moms hear this at some point. But you're in this for the long haul, to teach her to be a functioning, successful member of society. And once she learns the security of having a strong adult figure who sets boundaries for her she will be much more pleasant to live with.

    This is too long already and I'm sorry if it sounds harsh, as it may if you haven't run across this before. Verbal and other forms of disrespect are a warning, though, and if ignored they progress to worse things. You're absolutely doing the right thing to be trying to figure out how to deal with this.
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Hi and welcome. Another one whose child thought she was any adult's equal from at least age 3 from what I heard.

    Here's some things I found that helped. Not stopped it, but did help.

    1. Quit being her friend. She can make those at school once she learns how to change her behavior. Right now, she needs you as her mother. You can become friends if she so chooses when she's an adult.

    This doesn't mean don't do things together or don't just sit and talk and cuddle. It means being fair and firm when it comes to consequences. It means making as many things as possible teaching moments (preferably fun teaching and definitely without her realizing you're teaching when you can). It means you don't talk to her as you would an adult friend nor do you respond to her as one of her buddies. She needs friends her own age to discuss things with like school, boys, sex, drugs, etc. She needs you there to be sure she is getting her facts straight and to guide her moral viewpoint as much as possible. You are her compass. She will learn as much from your actions as she does from your words, if not more.

    2. When she gets mouthy and rude, simply tell her you are not accepting that and walk away. Yes, she'll follow you and try to escalate. Remember, you have to change both of your mindsets/past reactions. She'll do almost anything to get back to the status quo. It is definitely not a move for the faint at heart. It is hard and it is a long process. However, it can work. No matter what she does, you do not respond until she uses an acceptable voice. You simply tell her that you do not respond to that voice and you only say it once. From that point on, you remove yourself if possible or simply continuing what you are doing.

    3. Get a good therapist and probably some group therapy for her. She needs to learn that bossing, controlling and bullying do not make for good friends. She probably has no idea how others perceive her. A therapist will help. One thing that helped with my daughter was puppets at home. I would become her and she would become whatever friend she had offended. There would be occasional lightbulb moments where she would actually see how she could have handled things differently.

    4. Hang on for the ride of your life. The mouthiness will increase. Sadly, it is part of being a teen, especially a teenage girl.

    5. Do read The Explosive Child. It will help you even if not really applicable to your situation. The more you read, the more you'll be able to become the parent you want to be. Honestly, it sounds like you're doing a pretty good job. We all mistakes and do things we regret. Good parents learn from that and try very hard to not repeat. It is parents who don't try to help their children or try to change that are truly the bad parents.

    I wish you the best. It is not easy to parent a pre-teen girl. It is even harder to do so as a single parent. However, you love your daughter. It shows. Love really does go a long way in raising our kids. It helps us fight for them when we need to, it gives us the strength to detach when the time comes. Most of all, it gives them some confidence in a world geared to tear down any child's self-esteem whenever possible.
  8. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    Pre-teens...gotta love 'em.:whiteflag: LOL

    There's some great advice given above and I really cannot add much more. I just wanted to say HI and WELCOME to the board.
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member

    i'm just jumping in to welcome you as well :)

    you have found a great place.....