looking for support...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ria, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. Ria

    Ria New Member

    Hello all... I really like the "soft landing" logo of this forum. Right now I feel like I am at my wits end.

    The main reason is my niece who has been living with us for a couple of years and is, sorry to say, the one who is causing all my anxiety at this time. I would have thought she would have learned quicker, but she remembers nothing from one day to the next, one experience to the next.

    Example: Our pastor absolutely hates gum chewing during service. She was called out once a few months ago in an extremely embarrassing situation. Sunday I caught her chewing during service; when I spoke to her about it, she had totally forgotten the embarrassing situation.

    She lies at the drop of a hat to everyone, specially me. She is mean to some girls at school who have gotten on her nerves, saying mean things and has even physically attacked one of them by pinching and hitting. I realize these girls are not nice to her, but her reactions are out of control.

    I am going to counseling with this child on the 9th, but really needed to let off some steam.

    We went to the band banquet on Saturday. I am the secretary. During this time, I had to endure three different issues in one night due to this child. The first, two girls with whom she is having continuous issues came to tell me she had called them the "B" word and at scholl had called them "stripper" (go figure). I told these girls that they needed to help JTW (my niece, 13 going on 14) learn how to be a good friend as she had never had friends before (true statement). Then I confronted my niece who lied straight out. I told her I had witnesses, and she finally told me the truth. All without a shred of remorse. Is this normal? My other kids DO NOT act, and have not ever acted, this way (19-boy, 14, 12), yet my girlfriend says this is typical JR high girl behaviour, that they are all mean and vindictive. What is going on here? Do I live in such a bubble world?

    She then asked a number of adults if she could use their phone to call her "boyfriend" of a week because I would not let her use mine. #1 she NEVER asked. When I confronted, she said "I thought you would not want me to." ARGH!

    by the way, this boyfriend is none other than the younger child's (12 year old) best friend (this one is a boy). Another sore point...

    I am hoping counseling will work, but it is getting hard to be civil. I have seen actual parents get to this point, so I do not think it is only because she is my niece; I think it because I cannot tolerate this kind of behaviour. My oldest son (19) and I have gone nose to nose until he adjusted his behaviour, but this was before she ever got to our house.

    Thanks for listening, I am hoping the counseling will help! I will post and let you know I feel better letting this out in this kind of a forum. I think my friends are tired of me complaining!
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Hi Ria and welcome. I'm going to move this thread to our General forum where most of our new member introductions are made. You aren't alone any more.
  3. ML

    ML Guest

    I know what you mean about talking/complaining to friends. The best gift I ever gave my friends is finding this forum :) All I can say is that it's great you will start counseling soon. I have some questions about her developmental history. She's 13 going on 14 and I wonder if she's had problems all along or if they are new symptoms. Did she experience trauma recently? I look forward to getting to know you better. I have a 10.5 year old difficult child (manster) who brings me both joy and grief every day. Welcome. Hugs, ML
  4. cyncan

    cyncan Guest

    Hi and Welcome

    Some of that behavior is middle school - they are very mean to each other - my daughter was the receiver and giver of much of it in her situation. Also - I can't tell you how many embarrassing moments I have had with her regarding what she tells other people. I have received the following calls from school:

    "GFGSD is in the office with a blister and tells us there are no bandaids at home...we've given her some to bring home with her" (What she failed to tell them is that she likes to use bandaids to stick all over everything -and did not tell us we were out so she wouldn't get in trouble)

    "GFGSD is unprepared for class again and tells us that you can not afford supplies due to your husband being off work...." (Ugh - we have a supply box fully stocked at home....)

    "GFGSD says she can't eat lunch because you don't have an 'soft' foods at home that will work for her appliance - maybe you could buy her some liquid nourishment...." (Ummmm we do - yougurt, puddings, fruit cups, etc. but GFGSD either 'forgets' to take them or does and they ferment in her locker for 3 months).

    So, not sure if it is a difficult child thing or age thing - but she tells stories like you wouldn't believe. What amazed me was that she would always be caught and then continue to do the same thing.

    I have been a lurker for so long (and trying to give back now) - and the people here are not only in the same boat - they have excellent advice.

  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Ria, welcome.

    I'm guessing that your neice has had problems all along but they're really coming to the forefront now.

    Counseling is a good idea. It would be interesting to do some testing to see what else is going on. Most kids lie to avoid confrontation. She should be old enough not to do that any more, so I'm thinking that her emotional age is much younger than her chronological age.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Ria - welcome!

    It's not because she's your niece. Some of this is going to be middle school. Ever seen the movie "Heathers" or "Mean Girls"??? But I have a stepdaughter about that age. And there are other issues, trust me.

    The counseling thing is awesome. Keep in mind that if she feels comfortable with the counselor, she might want to talk to him/her with you not in the room. She can say things without you there that she can't with you there.

    I agree with Terry that the problems are just now showing their faces - if I can pry and be incredibly nosy... Maybe you could give us a thumbnail sketch of why your niece is living with you?
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. Long time warrior mom here and adoptive mom, which you sort of are.

    We really need to know more about your niece's background to have any sort of grasp of what may be going on. Why do you have custody? Are her parents abusive? Substance abusers? Is it possible her birthmother drank while she was pregnant. Her cluelessness from one week to the next reminds me of fetal alcohol syndrome forgetfulness...not intentional; the kids have organic brain damage. She doesn't seem to understand social norms either if she is calling her peers by the "B" word and has never had a friend. Why has she never had a friend? Is it possible that she's on the high end of the autism spectrum? Did she have any early delays?

    I would want this complicated child evaluated completely by a neuropsychologist. in my opinion a counselor will not be enough for her, and may not even help her. It depends on how much she can comprehend or how well she can bond with the counselor and without a diagnosis, you really don't know what is wrong with her. Nor does the counselor. Counselors are not diagnosticians. They don't know how to test. NeuroPsychs do 6-10 hours of intensive testing and in my opinion are the best diagnosticians you can find.

    Was this child ever sexually assaulted? If so, that will also play a big role in her development and, besides other evaluations, her counselor should be very specific to understanding this sort of childhood trauma.

    Is she on medications? Did they help?

    Glad you're here. :D
  8. oneparent

    oneparent New Member

    Kudos for getting her some help.

    I must say though I hope these issues are not the only issues shes having because they sound to me like almost normal teenage rebel behavior.

    I think she is living with you for a reason so apparently there were some issues in the home she was in. Maybe she's crying out for attention.

    Also kids can be cruel , its probobly not a good idea to tell other children her problems , they may act all understanding around you but turn it on her at school teasing her.

    Maybe getting her involved more with some activities with you perhaps someone giving her one on one attention "sounds like a cry for love" but this is only one piece of advise I know that I dont live there and Im sure there is more to it. Maybe talk with the school about the teasing , its hard enough growing up without having to deal with others bad mouthing you while your trying to learn . Just think if it were you there in her shoes what would you do or want done ?