I just don't like her anymore

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by miche, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. miche

    miche New Member

    I feel like a terrible mother, but I just don't like my 5 year old difficult child. At all. I have no patience for her at all anymore, and she is just plain nasty and mean. I've given up. We don't have our evaluation with the developmental pediatrician until October, and I hope I don't lose it before then. Thank god I'm going back to work in 2 weeks, cause that's all I can take.

    husband is working 10 hour days, and doesn't get home until 7. That's 13 hours with her everyday. I am trying to hug her when she is tantruming, but I really feel like slapping her across the face for her talking back. I mean, how do you let a 5 year old call you an idiot and tell you she hates you and then respond with a hug? I just can't do it -- I don't mean it. Help me -- how can I change this?
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I also felt that way when my daughter was about that age - actually she was younger. She was such a total brat - very much a diva even at that young age.

    If you are not feeling good about the tantrum hug, you may want to discontinue it. I believe hugging a tantrum is more to help calm the child down, however, the child will pick up on your frustration and hatred of the situation and the hug will not really work.

    I think she is old enough for a time out for name calling. Don't take her words personally, she is just talking out of frustration and anger. Calmly put her in a time out.

    For tantrums you may want to try ignoring. Without attention, she may learn to stop?

    I know I am not too helpful in what to do, but I did want to let you know that I do understand because I didn't like my daughter either.
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I felt like Ducking was rubbing my psyche raw with sand paper when she was about your difficult child's age. The only way I got through this stage was to watch her sleeping and to look through the family photo album. I have one picture in particular that makes me smile: my uncle snapped a picture of Duckie on Santa's lap at age three. They were having a very animated conversation and she was absolutely beaming with joy. It helps me to remember the good in her.

    I know this is hard, but try to remember that she's not choosing this. No child wants to be so nasty that her own mother doesn't want to be around her. You may want to try keeping your expectations at a bare minimum for the time being until you can get past this problem. Also, you need to find a way to get a break. Thirteen hours a day alone with a 5 year old difficult child and a 2 year easy child is just too much to ask of yourself. You need a break. Take out your calendar and find a way to have at least two hours of uninterrupted time for you in the next two weeks. You aren't going to be able to care for the kids if you don't take care of you!
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would buy "The Explosive Child" by Ross Green while you are waiting for an assessment. It's a great read and got many of us through the hard days, before evaluation and proper treatment.
    Also, maybe it will help if you remember she doesn't really get up every day thinking "What can I do to drive Mommy nuts?" She must have some sort of disorder that causes her to be unhappy or frustrated, and is miserable herself as well. If you can think of her that way, perhaps it will help. You aren't doing anything wrong; she's just wired differently than most children.
    Welcome to the board.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Here's another mom who's been there done that. I was a single parent for about 6 years, and was ready to scream during most of that time. When I was at work, I was all right, but when I was home, I had this mean, hostile, obnoxious person velcroed to my butt. And I hated it. Even after I remarried, I had a mean, hostile, obnoxious person velcroed to my butt. And I hated it.

    It was (and still is sometimes) so hard to remember that her brain isn't wired the way mine is, but I admit there are days when I have that little voice poking at me that says, "She knows exactly what she's doing, and she's doing it on purpose. She's just wanting to be awful." In my more rational moments, I know that's not true.

    Sending hugs. It's so hard.
  6. miche

    miche New Member

    Adrianne -- she was in time out when she was calling me an idiot. Time outs don't work for her really. And the hugs -- that was my husband's idea to try to calm her down because when she starts to tantrum she'll go on for an hour if you ignore it.

    I have the Explosive Child. I read it. I just don't "buy" it. Until I have a diagnosis that says she is "wired" differently, I am not letting her get away with these behaviors because they should be in basket B. I just don't buy it.

    Sometimes I think she is just a brat and that's that. Other times I think she is biploar (but there is no history) or something else. But I just want her to be a normal child. I want to believe that she will grow out of it with the right guidance.

    Unfortunatley, a break is not possible. I would never ask a neighbor to watch my child for fear of what she might do -- and my family is hours away. Keeping her busy usually works, but again -- what might she do if we leave the house?

    This *****.
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Miche, if you've given up and are in danger of losing it, then it's time to make some changes in your life and your approach. You need a break. Every Mom needs a break. Moms of difficult children often feel like they can't leave them with anyone else when in reality the kids often do better for a sitter or friend for a short time. Part of it is that they simply don't act the same everywhere or for everyone. Part of it sometimes is that sometimes us moms get caught up in the negative energy and contribute to the problem. It happened to me this past week as it was county fair week and we were all so tired that any time three of us would be a room together one of us would "go bad". Including me. I felt downright mean. I left two kids at home, parked the third in her dad's office with a movie and took a break from them all (I went to the animal barns--it dawned on me I was at an all time low having a getaway in the swine barn, but the kids would never follow me there.) We ALL need breaks from our children.

    I also want to add that your neighbor/friend/whoever might be a lot more skilled at dealing with a difficult kid than you imagine. If you sincerely think that there's no one in your world that can handle her then you might call county mental health and see if you can get respite, as they will involved trained, experienced caregivers.

    I meam this kindly, but things are unlikely to change until you come to a mental position that will allow you to try some different approaches with your daughter because what you're doing doesn't sound like it's working. If you suspected that she had a physical handicap but her doctor appointment wasn't until October would you not buy it until she had a formal diagnosis? Would you not make any adaptations for her to see if they would help her, not adjust expectations for her? Not get a head start and try different strategies that other parents have found helpful by parents of children with that suspected physical disability? Label her a brat because her physical disability was causing her attitudes and actions to be so much different than other children?

    There was a time when I felt stuck like you--nothing was working and we were all miserable. I kept pushing all the buttons I could trying to get my difficult child to change, getting movement in the direction I wanted, using methods that weren't working because I kept thinking they should and I didn't realize difficult child couldn't do what I was expecting. In the end I learned difficult child couldn't change until I did. As long as I kept rolling along in the same mode, I got the same behaviors and no improvement.

    Try and give some thought to what we're saying here. And hang in there--summer's end is hard on many families. None of us signed up for this journey and it's a tough one.
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    {{{Miche}}} My Duckie officially has the ODD label and nothing else. At least nothing psychiatric or neurological. She's within normal limits apparently (though I have my suspicions that she's just adapted a little too well). She has allergies and that's what we work with medically. The ODD diagnosis has pretty much slipped away, at least for now.

    I'm not going to tell you that you have to try the Explosive Child because we each have to do what we feel is best in our families' interests. I will tell you that it helped us because it helped me to set priorities with Duckie's behavior. The key to being successful is that eventually you have way more in Basket A and Basket B than in Basket C. It teaches you not to sweat the small stuff. And that gives you the time and energy to parent your child rather than have friction all day every day.
  9. Calgon_Take_Me_Away

    Calgon_Take_Me_Away New Member

    All I can offer is ((((((((((Hugs)))))))))) ~ it's difficult at times.

    I've told all my kids at one time or another "I love you dearly, but I don't like your behavior".
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. in my opinion you are harsh on yourself and your child. Your approach isn't working and is making you angry at your daughter. Do you really feel a child her age wakes up each day to make you nuts? She is not a typical child (I've raised five). Something IS going on. You need both a break, and you do need to realize that she probably IS wired differently and that the best way to give her the best life possible is to accept this and get her help. Bipolar itself doesn't have to run in the family for her to have it (as far as I know, I am the only person to get an official bipolar diagnosis in my family, but I see many possibly undiagnosed people). First off, depression problems on either side of the family tree is also a huge red flag for a mood disorder. So is substance abuse and/or suicide attempts on either side of the family tree. High functioning autism is another possibility, even if she is on target. That is hard to find in younger kids, but can make them act like holy terrors when it is really just that they don't "get" our world and need a lot of intervention. Most kids (again I have five) easily conform to traditional discipline. It's the atypical kids who don't or can't and you need to learn how to best help your child. If something is not working, why keep doing it?
    Anyway, I wish you luck, regardless. For your own peace and sanity I do recommend giving The Explosive Child another look. It doesn't have to be used after your child is stable, but it cuts stress 50% if you use it until you have answers. This is not a brat...she's an itty bitty child who needs help. Just because you want her to be a "normal" child won't make her one. She is not acting like a typical child, and you know that in your heart or you wouldn't be here. Take care of BOTH of you
  11. miche

    miche New Member

    I know I need to change my attitude, but how do I do that? I just can't stand being around her, and she is completely corrupting our 2 year old. She copies her, and even repeats her. It is infuriating!

    husband is at work, so he keeps saying "just stay calm" blah blah. Well he is not here. We are not the type of people to air our "dirty laundry" so to speak, and we would rather people NOT know how difficult child behaves-- including our friends and neighbors. We try to leave social situations before or as soon as she starts to act up so they think it's just typical 5 year old stuff....

    I would be mortified if anyone found out if I called mental health. we live in a small town. I guess I'm just on my own, here.

    one question, though. If you basket behaviors for your difficult child, what about the younger easy child? Is it really okay for her to see difficult child "getting away with" things???
  12. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Miche, this isn't a journey that most of us can handle alone. Do you have anyone in your life that you can confide in--a friend, another mother of a challenging child in your area, clergy, etc? There are certainly times to remove a child from a situation but remaining behind closed doors and not letting your friends and family and the people in your world know you are struggling will quickly lead to frustration, isolation, and depression. Many of our moms here have needed support beyond friends and online and have needed a counselor or medications to fight off depression, anxiety, help make sense of it all, etc. At our worst point I had friends bringing in meals, driving my kids to activities, and one friend even came and ran errands for me once a week. If mom isn't coping well, the whole ship tends to sink, so it's important if you aren't coping well to take steps in that direction. The assessment process usually takes several months, as do getting interventions into place, so you need to take care of you. I didn't plan on having a child that is different and would have preferred never to have had to tell anyone that news, but since that's what life has served me, I found I couldn't hide it away and still be the best mother to a different child that I could be.

    I don't think there's any one path to changing one's attitude. Certainly getting away helps. Getting a diagnosis helps because it settles the mental war of "she's doing this on purpose for XYZ reasons" and "maybe she can't help her behaviors". It also helps give you a specific direction/intervention path to try instead of floundering with nothing working. I know that the day that I made the step over to believing that difficult child might not be able to help the behaviors was the beginning of attitude change for me.

    There's no one answer for families when it comes to younger easy child's. I took the high road and demanded good behavior where it counted (safety, kindness, language, etc). I opted to take the low road for things that were of lesser importance to me like picking up toys, cleaning rooms, etc. Still do.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  13. Carey

    Carey crazy mom of two boys

    I totally know how you feel! I don't hit my kids but how many times can you get slapped, screamed at, hit, etc. before you go mental?! Was the hugging some advice you got when a child is tantruming? Just curious....when mine tantrums I isolate him from me...seems to work usually....

  14. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I wnat to make it clear that all of us are highly sympathetic to what you young moms are going through. Being a mom of young children is tough enough but being a mom of a challenging child is a tough, tough road.

    If your children are routinely higging, screaming, and slapping at you it's really important--for your child, for you, for sibs and spouse if applicable--to step up the level of treatment and/or services. We have families here who use respite care to get one weekend a month free at home, families who have in home therapists come to offer guidance, families whose children are in day programs in order to help stabilize them. Start making calls to your child's pediatrician, child psychiatric, therapists, social workers, county mental health, insurance companies, etc. to see what is available in your area.
  15. Needsupport

    Needsupport New Member

    I'd just like to add to what the others have said that possibly getting counseling for yourself will help you handle the situation better. It would give you a chance to let out all the anger that you're holding inside. Even though we try hard to hide the anger our children can sense it so that may also be contributing to your difficult child's behavior. Having a support system for yourself will help you as well as your difficult child.

    Take care.
  16. karif

    karif crazymomof4

    It is very important to preserve your relationship. Believe me I know where you are coming from. My guy has odd,Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED),Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), and pica. I deal with day long tantrums. Hugging doesn't help but basket holds do. She needs to come back to center in her body. She is wired differantly. We all are. She is going to be you little girl for the rest of your life. Get some more help call the presdent if you have to. Your family needs help. YOu deserve help. Call the school district that you are in. Maybe they can help you on who to call or get her in a special program. Hugs and hang in there.
  17. SmartGrl001

    SmartGrl001 Christy

    I am very new to this as well. All I can say is that reading numerous websites and trying to figure out what my daughter has going on myself, and being pretty sure of what it is she has now has helped a lot. We have not had an appointment with anybody yet. I just started calling around last week. But once I could find a dysfunction that she really fit the criteria for, I could read why they think children act that way. I still have absolutely no clue what to do to help her yet, but it has changed my perspective from constantly thinking she's just being a brat and being very very upset with her all day every day, to being very very happy that she is doing well with some things. I have been able to let go of some of the control I thought i needed with some things with her, because understanding WHY she is doing some of those things makes me realize that she isn't reacting certain ways on purpose....things are really bothering her.