Horrible horrible day

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by helpmeplease, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. helpmeplease

    helpmeplease New Member

    Today was terrible. daughter missed the bus. She missed the bus because she was being defiant when I told her it was time to leave. I can't win in this situation. If I don't remind her, then I'm to blame for not telling her to leave. If I do remind her, then she's defiant and will not walk out the door. I have to literally push her out. Today she sat around til I said "time to go" then she says "Oh, I can't find my shoes" and "I need to go up to my room for something" and "I'm thirsty, let me get a drink of water" She ends up leaving late a couple of days a week. Sometimes she gets lucky and makes it, other times, like today she isn't so lucky.

    Ten minutes later, she comes back inside and I'm furious. I yelled a bit, told her that she is grounded for the day, no computer, no phone, no going with her friends anywhere. While I'm saying this I'm sitting at the table with my laptop and coffee. She grabs me and pushes me, causing my coffee to spill all over the laptop. Everything I've read says that the motherboard will likely be fried and the laptop will be dead and so far all of these computer experts seem to be correct because it won't power on.

    Now, my laptop isn't nearly as important as my child, but this is just another day like so many others. Each time, the broken items get more expensive. Phones, holes in walls (lots of them), furniture, a chandelier, toys that belong to the littles, remot controls, dishes, cabinet doors....the list goes on. Thousands of dollars worth of damage has been done to our house and it just won't stop.

    Not to mention the constant threats. "if you ground me I'll cut/kill myself/kill you/act worse til you give me what I want" I've tried giving more chores as discipline thinking that it will keep her busy, give her a sense of accomplishment and keep her body moving and her heart pumping. She just refuses to do what I ask and then runs up to her room to go to sleep. I've taken away priveleges like the computer or outings with friends, but when I do that she follows me around the house begging and then when I don't give in she gets violent. I've tried sending her to her room when she's having a tantrum but she refuses to go and if I try to restrain her she bites me or hits me or pulls my hair.

    Even the smallest thing results in a big deal, like today. All she had to do was walk out the door on time. That's all. She was ready to go, she just wanted to be defiant so it blew up. I got hit, damage to my computer, and she got herself in more trouble.

    I just don't know what to do. If I ignore her, let her brain rot in front of the computer all day and only talk to her when I'm doing something to make her happy, she'll not act this way in front of my little ones. If I try to get her to anything that isn't her idea, then this sort of thing happens. Even simple things. I don't ask for much. Go to bed, get up, go to school, do a few chores and refrain from cussing, threats, and violence. Other than that she can do as she pleases.

    I feel so hopeless right now, like there is no where to turn and I have to subject my little ones to this every day. I fear for their futures and mine if this doesn't end today.
     
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So sorry! I had a long response typed here and my computer went buggy. I have to log off b4 it does anyting else but wanted to say that this sounds very familiar!!!! Good luck.
     
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    When my kids miss the bus, I drive them to school and deduct a "gas fee" out of their allowance. Would something like that work for your difficult child?
     
  4. ROE

    ROE New Member

    I'm so sorry you are going through this. Your daughter does not sound very stable right now. Have you tried another therapist? My son's very first therapist and p.doctor were not very effective. I don't really count the first p.doctor because I only took him there once. But p.docs #2 (moved) & 3 and t.doctor #2 were godsends.

    I hope things get better for you soon. Take care.
     
  5. helpmeplease

    helpmeplease New Member

    I do deduct it from her allowance, but honestly at this point she owes me hundreds for recent damage to the house anyway. Another $5 isn't going to matter to her one bit these days. Even when she doesn't owe me anything, she will say things like "I don't care, I'll miss the bus today and you can just take it out of my allowance" As if, I'm a taxi and she's going to spend her allowance on purchasing a ride to school. The thing that gets me is the inconvenience. It's a 30 minute ride to her school during rush hour. The littles are trying to wake up and get ready for their day and I have to rush them, get ready quickly myself, and put everyone in the car for the hour drive. It disrupts everyone's day and she misses her first class of the day.

    We are looking for another therapist, but since she's leaving in a month to spend the summer with her dad, I doubt there is much we can do til August.
     
  6. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    What would happen if you took her to the er for threatening to kill you or herself? You're in a pickle legally if I remember correctly because you don't really have custody until July. At this age you might need to take those threats seriously. What are you going to do if she ever says she'll kill the littles? She isn't far off that mark right now.
     
  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    {{{{HUGS}}}}}
     
  8. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Hi,
    I am sorry about your situation. The way to survive is to understand that there is no magic bullet , education is a long process and that we have little ' power' of kids. Your kid is also transitioning into a teenager. We have to learn to cope better despite our kids and nurture ourselves. We have to become emotionally strong and independent and try think creatively to change ourselves, do things out of the box, not rely on external power but try to initiate change in your daughter from her inside.in my humble opinion the way to go, is to concentrate on relationship building, bonding, one to one time , communicating, dialoging , getting her to speak and you listen on non-emotive issues. A family therapist can help you guys problem solve , learn the skills, learn to trust this process. A buddy-tutor , older sister is very important , she becomes a confidant for the kid, positive influence, and the kid develops thinking and other cognitive skills and help her become part of the solution for her issues. One has to lower the rope and relax the atmosphere. I feel it is better to bond and let go of trying to force compliance with chores etc and try to reach out to her. Power struggles, rewards and punishments do little to help kids reflect deeply about situations , but rather ask what's in it for me. We are dealing with perceptions , it is not a question of right and wrong , in relationships , it is not who is right and wrong but learning to get along , give and take , find mutually satisfying solutions. The kid has to get to the point where she perceives you as a help, feels understood and starts to trust you.

    1 caregivers handout 2 Myrna Shure site 3 How to get your child involved in problem solving 4 family meeting, thinking skills 5 nuturing yourself and many others.
    As I said it is not easy , changing a dynamic from a win-lose to win-win takes a lot of practice and time.If we get the kid on our side , we can do some parallel thinking, thinking together how you together can help her with her concerns , issues and ultimately realize her potential.
    Take care
    Allan
     
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry-it sounds like a horrible day and I understand the damage thing. difficult child asked the other day why we don't sell our house. Not that we're looking to move but we told him with all the holes in the doors and walls and other damages (inflicted by him) it would be rather difficult.


    I truly hope today is a better day-hugs to you. :flower:
     
  10. oceans

    oceans New Member

    When the threat and violence started for us, we eventually called the police and explained the situation and that we felt he needed to be hospitalized. They tried talking to him, and he agreed to a voluntary commitment. They escorted him to the ER with us following behind. We talked to the social worker at the hospital and told him all the medications he had tried and that nothing was working. We explained the difficulties as home and the threats and acts of violence. He agreed that he needed to be admitted and found him a bed at a hospital close-by. At the hospital they gave him an evaluation, and put him in a structured environment with therapy. They worked on the medication. He was in one hospital for 3 weeks and another for an additional 3 weeks. The hospitalization was the best thing we did. The medication changes started helping and with the structure and therapy he started getting better. There was even an option of him going to their Residential Treatment Center (RTC) if he needed for a longer stay, but he was well enough to come home. You might want to consider that the point has been reached that a hospitalization needs to happen. It is not right for you to live in a situation where you are treated so badly, and it sounds like she needs more help than what you can provide at the moment.
     
  11. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Ahhhhh, difficult children & raging hormones. I'm not saying that's the entire problem but it sure isn't helping.

    Rather than yelling about missing the bus, can you be sympathetic? Say something like "I'm sorry to hear that? What are you going to do about it? How can I help?" I'd also encourage difficult child to lay out her clothes & shoes the night before with her backpack at the front door - waiting. kt & I spend a lot of time choosing the "right" outfit of the day (will it go with my nail polish, mom?)

    (I have to do this daily & believe me, it's hard not to scream.) However, sympathy & understanding for whatever reason, helps kt become more aware of her choices & have pushed her (baby steps) to be a bit more responsible in making choices. It certainly has lessened the morning struggles.

    On another note, I calmly comment on the huge emotions that kt (or wm) must be feeling to display such anger, defiance, frustration, happiness, silliness, whatever. I help kt decide which emotion she's feeling & try to help her sort it out.

    I know that anger; I know that destruction of property. It's ugly. Our tact here is to redirect - to empathize with the huge emotions, confusion that the tweedles must be feeling. For kt it's an acknowledgment of her as a being versus a lost mentally ill child. (For over the top physical aggression toward herself or others it's a call to crisis team or a trip to ER.)

    I seem to be rambling a bit this morning - I hope you can find something here that helps.

     
  12. tracy551

    tracy551 New Member

    Let her miss the bus. My son did the same thing, messed around long enough for the bus to leave so I'd go on to work and call the school and tell them what had hppened. Eventually we went in front of the jugde for truancy, and the judge found him responsible and my son received the fines. He now has a PO because he won't get a job to pay it. As long as those fines are over him he will NEVER legally be able to get a drivers lic.
    Not saying this is what you should do, everyone is different.
    Good luck, talk to the school and see what they suggest (sometimes you can find someone there willing to help)
     
  13. helpmeplease

    helpmeplease New Member

    Thanks for all the advice everyone. I'm going to read and try to remember as much as I can.

    She has been in the hospital 4 times already. Our insurance company won't pay for more than 3 days even though the doctors disagree with her being discharged. We can't afford a Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but if I need to protect the little ones she will have to move in with her dad and he can finish raising her. At least she can't beat him up or hurt any little people while she's living with him. I think their "system" in PA is much better than here in AL anyway, so maybe that would be a good thing. I told her that if she hits, swears, threatens or breaks anything again that she will be on the first plane to PA. I explained that I don't want to do this, but if I have to do so in order to save the rest of the family then I have no choice.

    The police say that the only thing they can do is arrest her if she assaults me and I have an obvious injury. Vandalizing the house is something she can get away with cause she lives here. If she gets arrested over and over again, maybe the state will take custody of her and put her in a program but I'm not sure exactly how that works.

    I agree that building a positive relationship is important. We try to bond and spend time together, but every other word out of her mouth is a cuss word or some mean commment about how stupid, fat, ugly, mean I am. Even when I do something nice like offer to take her to DQ for ice cream, it's not good enough. She'll throw a fit because I'm not taking her to Cold Stone Creamery. Not that we do ice cream often these days but that is an example of how she never allows me to do anything nice for her. We try to go out and do things together, but no matter what we do, it's never enough or the right thing. It's so hard to even have a conversation with her anymore. I hate it.

    Oh, and about missing the bus. I do let her and have let he miss the bus. She's about to fail 7th grade if she misses one more day of school. We've been to juvenile court over her absences and during that meeting I cried like a baby to them and told them everything. They said they would look into local programs to help me and so far I haven't heard back other than one person who called to tell me to get her into counseling, duh!!!

    Anywyay, my husband is at the point where he can't even look at her or talk to her so he ignores her every night when he comes home. I know that is bad, but he is so angry with her. She has completely destroyed this house that he works so hard to pay for. She swears at him and calls him names too. It's bad.

    So, I guess for now we will do the best we can to get thru the next month and hopefully some time away at her dads for the summer will do her some good.
     
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Just to chime in my two cents :wink:

    I have a son in a very similar situation, and have been tearing my hair out as well. Two things I have found that are simple....but work extremely well.

    1) Try and comment on EVERY single thing that she does that is positive. From, "wow you put the shampoo bottle away where it goes, thanks!", to, "wow, you made the bus on time - I am impressed because I know how hard that is for you." Yes, there are days where there is nothing you can possibly think of - but even if it is the way she styled her hair - try and find something, no matter how little.

    2) Make everything about HER choices as much as possible rather than YOUR consequences if she does not follow the rules. I would suspend all "consequences" or "chores" for a bit.....and simply pick a few things that are the most important items to implement natural consequences for. For instance, "if you choose to miss the bus - you have chosen to stay in your room and read and catch up on homework." If she pitches a fit, simply ignore her and remind her it was HER choice to miss the bus, and next time if she gets there on time, she will not have to endure a day of reading. Make everything not about you - but HER choices. Try and refrain from your consequence from me is: "----", but rather you have a choice "to --- or to ----".

    She is wanting power and control of your house, which she has succeeded in getting - but internally it is indicative of the fact that she is mentally out of control. She is really crying out for her own internal control, but she does not know how to get it. Therefore - you need to make her feel like she has the power to change things - not that you will "whip her into shape with consqueces." Again, this is only my 2 cents, from my own trial and error........but I know that this approach has finally yielded a breakthrough in my own home.

    The last thing is to TRY (I know it is very very hard) to not react when she breaks things. She is simpy wanting attention, and by you getting angry she is getting it. If I were you, I would calmly talk a walk, or go for a drive while she is raging. With my son, if I leave, the whole drama stops, because it is only for my attention that he is throwing things or breaking things. The next day, if possible, have her fix what she broke - even if it is attempting to patch the drywall, or attempt to superglue the vase back together. "Charging" for broken items, does not help in our house either.

    I hope this helps. And hang in there..........I know, know, know, how hard it is!!!!!! :grrr:
     
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