easy child 2 may not be...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Its been mentioned before that she exhibits some questionable behaviors and tha she may be a budding difficult child. Well, here's another to add to that list.

    She asked to work on the computer tonight to find a picture for a summer school thing. I first said no, because I was outside, but she's been using the internet and we've had NO problems, and I was only going to be outside for 5 or 10 more minutes, then I'd be in and out, mostly in. The computer is very close to the door, at the end of the kitchen and in no way private. I cruised in and out and walked by her purposely several times and all seemed well til the last time I came in.

    She shut down really fast. Then she brought the picture she printed, kept saying how she "just" got finished. Used "just" too many times. I got suspicious and looked, she'd managed to shut off the safe search and had been searching porn images.

    A few rainbow searches, then a bunch of porn searches.

    I've been concerned for some time that we will have trouble with her with regards to sex and boys. She has no self esteem and a very poor self image, and will take ANY attention from ANYONE. Claims to like anything that is mentioned by any person she's with, etc....I think I've posted that concern here before.

    I am not happy with her. Obviously, she knew it was wrong, cause she knew to hide it from me, and I trusted her to use the easy child in the right manner. I'm mad at myself for not watching closer, but dang, I was RIGHT there!!! But I'm not sure where to go with it or what to do. She needs to know she's violated trust, but I don't want to make an already borderline child worse, Know what I mean??

    If I ask her about it, she will lie. She has proven this repeatedly. If I ask her why she did it, $1000 bucks says she'll stick with "I don't know" and when that answer is pushed, she'll make something up. I'm not sure she does know why she does this junk.

    Any suggestions? Besides a better net nanny and spanking myself for letting her do this?
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    At age 10? Ugh! Twenty lashes with the wet noodle for you, but not much more, I think. You know better now and you won't let it happen again.

    Do you have any ideas as to how to help her with her self-esteem? What are her interests, what is she good at? When I was 10, no one had really ever taken the time to help me be neat and clean, and in hindsight I think it would have helped me a lot. The other kids thought I was grungy, and they were right. How is she about her appearance? Would maybe a cute haircut and some summer clothes help her feel better about herself? Or redecorating her room?

    I don't know, these are just things that pop into my head. Tweens are a difficult age.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I wish I knew. I posted about her bikini in WC last week or so, she is SO overweight and it just compounds the problem - she insists on dressing like a supermodel, then everyone laughs at her, then she isolates herself further.

    She wants to take cheerleading class or gymnastics, but honestly, I don't think they'll take her, IF I can even get her mom to agree to letting me take her. She's just turned 11 and physically, her fitness is SAD. She is so overweight she can't get off the floor without crawling up something, and even if they will take her, I think she'll give up before she makes any progress with it. I've tried encouraging dance to start with, but she won't hear of it. She wants glamour. Cheerleaders are glamorous. If she's a cheerleader, she's glamourous.

    I tried taking her shopping for new clothes with the suggestions here, and it was a bust. She went straight to skimpy despite everyone's attempts to ooh and ahh the sexy clothes with coverage.

    We're getting her hair straightened, but not til the next time she's with us. We have her so little, really, that I'm just not sure what impact I can have, but she desperately needs something. And we're trying to figure out how to have her more so we can get her the tutoring, counseling, and into activities. Her mom would cut off easy child's hand if she thought it would hurt husband.
  4. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    She probably doesn't know why she did it. Or doesn't have the maturity, insight and ability to articulate to explain. Why did my generation look at National Geographics at that age? Sex and nudity are pretty compelling.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Does she already see a therapist? If it were my difficult child and we were already in regular counseling, I'd discuss it privately with the therapist and ask that they address sexuality and self esteem issues in earnest for a while...

    I think you need to address the trust violation and issue a consequence. You need to have a hard and fast line about that kind of stuff with no wiggle room in my opinion.

    Conversations about the virtues of thinking for one's self, not following the crowd or doing things just to make other people like you are always good. I'm famous for my subtle and not-so-subtle sermons in the car -- love that captive audience!

    If it's just a matter of normal curiosity, maybe a book geared towards girls discussing puberty, etc. that the two of you could either look at together or talk about might be an approach to take.
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I wouldn't treat this as a punishment issue. She's 10 and curious, but probably doesn't know why. She probably heard someone talking about it or something. She might have tried to hide it more out of embarrassment than worrying about getting trouble. Or both.

    I would use this as an opportunity to address some self-esteem issues, though. You're not going to solve everything in one conversation or even two or three. But repetition does work. They do hear us and we do become the little voice in the back of their head. At least I hope so. I know I used to hear my mom's voice. And I see my daughter FINALLY starting to use some of what I've repeated over and over and over again.

    I would tell her that what she saw wasn't 'real'. That it's not what it's like in real life and the images go through so much editing.

    So many kids - girls, especially - really judge their worth based on some edited photo of some girl on a magazine or on tv. They have no idea how much editing is involved, how much radical dieting, how much personnel it takes to create the hair and makeup, etc.

    I had - and still struggle with - serious body image and self esteem issues. I was in my 20's when I realized just how much went into what we see as real and I tell you...it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

    I would impress upon her the importance of being healthy. Again, not going to fix it in one visit. But I do believe that even with the little time you have with her you can make a difference. It might take a while - couple years or more - to really start to resonate with her - but it will be worth it.

    I hope I'm making some kind of sense. I'm really struggling with my mental capacity tonight.
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    There is a lot going on here. For one, I don't think the porn is a huge, huge issue. While I think 10 is pretty darn young, she could have been responding to something she heard. I think it's tough the first time we catch our child mastrubating (or become aware they are doing it) or find out they are tyring to view porn. It's just not something most parents are comfortable with - but it really is natural. It's time to worry when it becomes obsessive or is believed to be attributable to a mental disorder.

    I can tell you that whether or not she admits the porn is of no consequence. She will be embarrassed to have been caught and surely will not say "I was curious." In my opinion, what is important is that you state your stand on what is and what is not allowed in your house. I would let her know that you know she was looking at inappropriate adult material on the internet. No asking, just stating what you know. That gives her no reason to lie.

    Then I would let her know that is is totally normal that she be curious about sex, about nudity, etc. However, the type of stuff on the computer is called pornography because it degrades men and woman. That type of filth will not be allowed in your home, period. Then end the conversation right there.

    In regards to her body, like another poster said, it is good that she is not measuring herself by the yardstick of our media. However, if she cannot get up off the floor by herself at 10, it sounds like we are talking more than just a little extra weight, we are talking extremes. Sounds like it may be time to get a doctor involved in a eating and exercise program. Perhaps she may also need some testing to check thyroid and such.

    I think it's great that she wants to do, but like you, I would be concerned about the reactions of her peers. But on the other hand, it appears she marches to her own drummer which can be a wonerful thing!

  8. Christy

    Christy New Member

    With all the talk kids hear in school today and catch in the media. It is natural to be curious. If no one has talked to her about sex, it is time to get to do so. Don't let the only information she gets about sex to be from porn! Talk about distorted images!

    You are doing all the right things as far as the clothing is concerned by trying to get attractive clothes appropraite for her bodysize. Unfortunately at age 10 it is more important to have the cool clothes then to look good in them. It is hard to get the point accross as to why she shouldn't be wearing them without insulting her. But on the other hand, you don't want her to be laughed at for looking foolish. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Could you show her a photograph of herself in her bikini and one in what you think is an appropriate swimsuit and ask her which looks better? Continue to play up how good she looks in the outfits with more coverage.

    I wouldn't discourage physical activity of any kind. A cheerleading class at the YMCA offers practice with skills without the outfits and flips and pyrimids and things. She will get an idea of how much work is put into all that glammour and her physical limitations may encourage her to make changes if she is motivated to do so.

    One great way to make her feel more self-confident is through weightloss itself. Pressuring her will be disasterous but if you can get her involved in a weightloss support group, she may find the motivation she needs. Look up TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) in your area. It has weekly weigh-ins and meetings like weight watchers but is a nonprofit group that meets in community rooms and church basements and is really cheap. I don't know if you have any weight to lose yourself but if someone who does could go with her that would really help and be a great bonding experience.

    Good luck and good for you for trying to help your easy child.