I am so sick of the constant negativity

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterbee, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I know I probably sound like a broken record, but I don't have a brick wall handy to slam my head against a few times so I vent here.

    The constant negativity is wearing me down. You all know the drill...if something doesn't work exactly like she wants it to or whatever. My mom and I went in together and got her a laptop for her birthday. I wish we had never gotten the stupid thing because every single day she tells me how much she hates it cause it's too slow or her Sims game doesn't work right on it or whatever. I've spent so much time working on the thing to speed it up and it works fine for me. It has Vista on it which I don't know (and I hate that program) so working on it is NOT my favorite thing to do. She's just lucky she has a laptop. *I've* never owned a laptop.

    We live and breathe *everything*. Nothing is ever good enough...nothing I say, nothing I do, nothing that is done for her, nothing that she gets. She can't do this or she can't do that and she's 'told me this a thousand times but I never listen'. She accuses me of yelling at her everyday. Her definition of yelling and the rest of the world's definition of yelling are two different things. If I disagree with her, I'm yelling at her. If I'm tired and don't sound all perky, I'm yelling at her. If I'm adamant or stern, I'm yelling at her. Tonight she even accused me of kicking her while she's down. :surprise: :hammer:

    Oh, and apparently I ALWAYS take easy child's side in things. That's interesting because I don't get involved in their disputes. They can work it out. But, apparently ONE time I stepped in and told her to knock it off and so now I 'always' take his side.

    And then she wants to rehash these things at least a few times a week just to make sure I know how terrible of a mother she thinks I am and how miserable I make her. There is no way she can be happy if everyone around her is yelling at her all the time just because she's not a perfect little angel, she says. (The perfect little angel thing is new. Started when I picked her up from my Mom's on Sunday.) I wish I could remember the last time I really did yell at her. It's been too long ago.

    She makes me tired.
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    That's what we are here for, Heather. {{{{{{{{{{{Hugs}}}}}}}}}}

    I don't envy you your position at all. She's only 12 years old and there is so much time ahead of you. Your profile says that she likes to cook. How is she doing in school? Is it at all possible that she could take a community college cooking class? They will let her if she is there with an adult. Maybe that is something nice that the two of you could do together?

    There must be something that she enjoys that you could get her involved in? Maybe dog walking at the local animal clinic or humane society?

    Do what you can to get a few moments on your own for yourself. I know it seems like it will be forever, but she won't always be this way, and she won't always be with you.
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    She's taught herself to knit and she really loves it. She's quite good, too. She made a teddy bear (she finished it just last week) without a pattern. It's really cute. I've looked locally for some knitting classes so she can learn the different stitches (who knew there were so many?), but I haven't found anything. I need to expand my search.

    I keep telling myself that she won't always be this way, too. But she's been this way since birth - intensely for almost 9 years - and it's becoming harder to believe that it will change very much. The only thing that has changed thus far is that she has more experience at it. :devil: As far as her not always being with me...I don't know about that. She's quite capable intellectually, but emotionally and mentally is a different story. She will probably never be far from home.
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    The point is, she has been this way since birth. There are so many skills she just missed as she "grew" up. It sounds as though there are many boundaries & manners that she should have learned during the 4 - 7 years of age that she just cannot bring to mind. Mostly because she just doesn't know how to use them.

    I'm talking from the heart & the home here. I have 2 tweedles that are just like this. While kt has made tremendous strides you can see the "holes" in her life skills & training. You can see the regressive acts of a toddlers pop out; kt hates when I ask her what age or part she thinks she's using. Last night as she was throwing a tantrum after dinner she let me know that she was being 6; it's okay to throw a tantrum at 6.

    Guess what, little ktbug - 6 y/o's don't get to play SIMS or have a computer in her room. Stopped kt in her tracks.

    And that has taken years - literally years. You've had difficult child with you, what - a year or two now?

    Take heart, stay strong & use your ear plugs.
  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    difficult child has always been with me. Kids are supposed to be egocentric. That's normal. difficult child, however, has always taken it to a whole other level. I remember telling my mom when she was less than 2 years old that she could be an only child, I could be a stay at home mom and spend every second with her and it still wouldn't be enough. She's always needed so much. There just aren't words to describe it.

    She's always been so dependent on me and, I think, what is happening now is that she's trying to pull away (normal), but it is creating conflict for her because she's still so needy. We've been working on taking responsibility for her own happiness. IOW, you can't control what happens around you, but you can control how you react to it.

    She does really well for a couple of days and then we have episodes like this where everything is my fault or where she wants me to fix everything. Like when she told me when her knee or ankle was hurting that if I really cared I would think of something to make it better....after she had refused all remedies I had suggested.

    I think what we are seeing is resentment. She resents how dependent on me she feels.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    With the laptop - I'd be telling her that if it's no good, you'll take it instead because it works fine for you. She clearly doesn't value it if it's too slow.

    She has to learn to value what she's given and you have to learn to stop apologising (either in words or manner) to her. She complains; you try to fix. it would be better if you just told her to put up with it and go do something else.

    Why does she have a laptop? Is it to help with schoolwork? If so, then the next time she complains scrape out everything she doesn't need (including SIMS, and any other games) and just leave her with the basics. Then maybe she can earn back any privileges, and lose them again is she complains about it INAPPROPRIATELY. Clearly, if she complains about a serious, genuine problem then that doesn't count, but she HAS to learn to respect you and what you do for her.

    Part of it is typical teen but a big part of it is her unacceptable behaviour.

    And a troubleshooting thought - you don't have trouble but she does. I wouldn't mind betting she's keeping SIMS up and running while at the same time doing homework, surfing the 'Net and having a stack of other programs open (iTunes, iPhoto, other hungry programs). This would slow it down badly.

    Again, it comes down to compromise. She is going to have to STOP wanting everything perfect, on a silver platter and go back to having to make choices. Does she want to lay SIMS? Then play SIMS. IS she choosing to do schoolwork? Then turn off SIMS. The 'Net too, if necessary. If she's online and not much else and it's STILL slow, then tell her to cut down the number of windows she has open, or learn to avoid memory-hungry sites like youtube.

    I do think the difference between you is the sort of things she's using the laptop for. And if it's mostly for entertainment, I would be rethinking why you gave it to her. You should NOT reward ingratitude with acceptance and servility.

    I do hope you can sort this one out. No computer can run everything it has all at the same time. It wasn't that long ago that computers could only run one program at a time. Our kids never had to live like this, maybe they would do better if they had to do it for a while.

  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ahhhh Heather...I hear you.

    I hate the negatives too. I like Margs idea as far as the computer goes. As far as the rest of the negativity goes, this is your prime chance to tell her that if she is unhappy with the way her life is and the way you treat her that she has the option to go talk to someone about it anytime she wants to. When my kids used to whine to me about how unfair I was I always told them I was giving them ammo to tell a therapist at some later date...lol. If she wishes to go kvetch to her therapist now...so be it.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Telling her to keep a diary is another option - "don't whine to me, go tell your diary (so you can share it with your therapist)" should at least get her off YOUR back.

    Except that the whole purpose is to be on your back. It's no fun if you won't listen!

    Good luck with this one. Keep telling yourself, "I am the parent, I am the parent..." and if that doesn't work, keep telling yourself, "She'll be 18 in six years, only six years to go..."

  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Oh, I do the countdown! For years I've said (tongue in cheek) that she's moving out on her 18th birthday even if I have to pay her rent!

    I did recommend to her that she and I see her therapist together for family type therapy. Like I said earlier, I do think she has a lot of resentment because she's so dependent on me. Her therapist agrees with that. And, according to her therapist, not splitting from the caregiver properly (or something along those lines) can lead to borderline personality disorder...and she already has so many traits.

    Sigh....I didn't expect parenting to be easy, but I never expected it to be quite this hard, Know what I mean??
  10. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I understand how you feel about being totally surrounded by constant negativity. It definitely wears me down too...Like Janet, I think Marg's idea about the computer is a great one. I also like Marg's idea about keeping a diary. You shouldn't have to listen to this constantly!!!

    Like you, I've been counting down the days until my difficult children turn 18.(I'm just afraid that they won't be able to leave the nest as quickly as I'm hoping... But, this is not my post.) Try to get in some time for yourself. :bath: :reading: ...

    And, please don't apologize to difficult child for things that aren't your fault. in my humble opinion, she is using you as her punching bag. Until you make some changes, she'll continue to do so. I know how hard it is. And, usually, from my personal experience, whenever changes are made, things get worse before they get better.

    Sending a couple of cyber shoulders to lean on...WFEN
  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    That sentence really struck a chord with me because I can see this with my difficult child, now 18. She can admit and recognize that she's still not ready to go off into the world on her own and yet, she is so annoyed AT ME, as if I haven't been trying to train her since forever to be more responsible for her own care!! It's a double edged sword, it really is. You're dam*ed if you and dam*ed if you don't. :hammer:

    I strongly suggest that you schedule time without her around. I know, I know...it's hard!

    Have you checked your local stores? Michael's stores offer many arts and crafts classes like knitting, cake decorating, floral design, etc. Also, see if there is a Sur la Table nearby - they have all sorts of cooking classes for kids and teens that she may be interested in.

    In fact, and I know it's the last thing you want to hear, but they offer a mother/daughter class that I hear is quite fun.

    When I felt like difficult child was always pulling on me (still do at times) I found that designating "difficult child time" helped a lot. She felt singled out, special that I was scheduling a specific time just for her and seemed to be less annoying to me the rest of the time. She was about your daughter's age at that time. It was hard to find something really, because she hated everything I love so I had to get creative. We visited pet shops (how we wound up with one of our pups), we went to the library, we went to music stores, record stores (yes, I'm a 100), plays. easy child was always easy, enjoying things like manicures and shopping and lunch out.

    Anyway, sending hugs to you - I know how difficult it can be.
  12. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Heather, I wish I had words of wisdom for you.

    Alas, I do not.

    How bout a bunch of hugs?
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hon, use the laptop or your own computer and go to http://www.loveandlogic.com Listen to the free audio downloads, go through the site, the parent's stuff, the teacher stuff, ALL of it.

    by the way, after spending a solid week of being told I was "yelling" at my son every time he didn't like what I said or how I said it, I greeted him at the top of my lungs. Everything I said was at the top of my lungs for about an hour. Then he had a period to think, independently. Then he got the offer to have rational communication and not let me hear the "you always yell" thing, or be YELLED AT.

    This was done with the utmost encouragement from our tdocs, (his, mine, the other kids' and the family one!!). Maybe getting to see what being yelled at is like (you say you can't even remember when you actually raised your voice to her) you can let her know she is to cease and desist this behavior.

    YOU get to set some rules. YOU. YOU. YOU. NOT your laptop owning 12yo.

    TAKE THE LAPTOP. How can you provide adequate supervision on a laptop? Most recomendations I have seen are to have children (yes, 12 is a child) still be supervised while on the computer.

    At the very least, make sure her wireless hook up is in a main room, where she cannot hide the screen from YOU and YOUR supervision.

    If after a while she treats you respectfully, and without the negativity, then let her USE the laptop. The computer makes the world a big scary place. And our kids can hack around a LOT because that is what THEY learn from friends.

    Take care,

  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member


    As you know, I tend to find the negative in most situations too. Im trying to think of this from W's perspective and see if I can even attempt to offer any plausible solutions.

    She is negative and whines about everything because she has this empty hole inside her that cant figure out how fill for herself yet. She doesnt have the tools to self sooth. Her emotional regulation tools are missing and so she is looking at you to fill her every emotional need. You are her emotional compass. You have to be her everything. Because of this she feels torn. She both loves you and hates you for her neediness. She wants you to make things right but she doesnt want you to do it also. This causes her to reject everything you say completely out of turn. It doesnt matter if it was something that she really wanted or thinks would work, you said it, it cant be or work.

    Does any of this sound plausible?

    (Can you tell what Im working on in therapy? LOL)

    I am so like this in many ways. There are times that I get so out of hand that I will get angry because my needs arent being met and nothing anyone does is good enough for me. I cant even state what need it is that I want met, I just know that they arent being met and a meltdown is fixing to follow.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So sorry Heather.
    My son is just like that. He's getting better.
    We have taken away his computer, clothes, cassette player, anything he complains about. He has a fit, of course. I've told him that he's too negative and when he stops complaining, I'll give him back XYZ. The second he complains again, it goes away. If he complains about other things, I tell him I understand, but I do not want to hear about it. We do a lot of "Silent Timeouts, especially in the car after school. I think he just wants to vent but he won't stop--plus, somehow, it always ends up being my fault (you know how that is!).
    I really don't care if he's depressed, although if I thought he was clinically depressed I'd do something about it. But I can see that he's happy when his friends show up at the door so boom!--depression disappears. Amazing.
    The key is just like anything else--consistency. Nip it in the bud fast. Sometimes my son only gets 3 words out of his mouth and I'll say, "UNH-UH! That's it! Either Silent Timeout here or in your room. Take your pick." And I walk away.
    It works but he needs reminders.
    These kids ALWAYS need reminders.
  16. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Thank you ladies for the support and hugs.

    Marg - I'm ready to take the laptop away. It's not used for schoolwork...this computer is. I know what they say about 12 year olds and unsupervised computer use, but trust me when I say that I don't have to worry about what she's doing.

    WFEN - thanks for the shoulders and understanding.

    Jo - I had a feeling you could relate. I've said before that your daughter reminds me of mine. I do need to do more special time. I used to do it more often. We don't even go anywhere a lot of the time. Just do something special around the house...bake a cake or something. The thing is, she's always so demanding of me that I always feel like easy child is getting the short end of the stick no matter what. Since he's gotten his permit, he and I have been able to spend a lot more time together. We just go for drives.

    BBK - thanks for the hugs.

    Susie - I'm tempted to use your yelling method.

    Janet - You hit the nail right on the head. That is exactly it. OMG, you put into words what I have been unable to express. So...what do I do about it? You know what it is...fix it! :rofl:
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting Janet. Thank you for sharing that. I will give it a lot of thought. My son is like you (and Heather's daughter, and others here). How to teach someone to self-soothe ...
  18. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I hear you about the constant negativity. Maybe we should get all our difficult children together for a weekend and let them whine to one another. Hugs.
  19. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Terry - One thing I've been doing is holding a mirror up, so to speak, to difficult child. We are really working on her being responsible for her own happiness. Like I said, she does really well for a couple of days then we have a night like last night. Today she's back to doing well.

    I've even made the comment to her that I don't have super powers and that I simply cannot fix everything.

    It's a process.
  20. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    I think you have gotten some great advice.

    I wanted to suggest a different line of thought. I see she is on Lexapro, right? Do you think it is helping?

    It might be worth thinking about a medication switch. Lamictal made a big difference for my depressed negative 12 year old -- he is probably not bipolar, but with definite issues with emotional regulation, separation anxiety, depression etc.

    I too feel tired living with all the emotional dysregulation of my two.