My daughter hates me

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sadlady, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. sadlady

    sadlady New Member

    Well it's Christmas Eve and I really feel like my daughter hates me. She REFUSES to listen to my/our commands and I resort to the wooden spoon. I want nothing to do with her anymore. I never disrespected my mother as she does to me. I told her that I was the one who makes her world, gymnastics, karate, swimming, horseback riding, etc and she just doesn't give a sh**. My husband is taking her away from me for 3 or 4 hours today. I've have done nothing but good for this kid. I was the one who suggested we adopt her from China. Boy what a mistake that was. My nerves are shot. I want to leave and not look back. Thank God for my dog - he's what keeps me here and alive.
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Adopting a child is hard. Adopting a child from another country and culture makes it a tad more difficult. Adopting a child that is not an infant from another country add another layer.

    Did you get her from an orphanage? If so, do you know how long she had been there before you adopted her? You might want to look to see if there any attachment issues. If so, you're in for a very long, tough road. The more you love, the more frightened she is. It takes a lot of therapy and frequently some sort of residential treatment to have a child with attachment disorders overcome even some of the issues.

    There were many times I regretted adopting my daughter but usually because I wondered what I did wrong and thought maybe someone else could have done better. Like you, I gave my daughter everything I could. I sacrificed a husband, career, friends, even my mother for this child. Fortunately, I went into the adoption with my eyes pretty wide open. I understood that love and sacrificing might not be enough; that my daughter may never appreciate anything I had ever done. It sounds like you went into the adoption as so many do -- starry-eyed and thinking your child would be grateful from being taken into your heart and home. Sadly, it rarely works that way. Even biologicial children aren't grateful until they are adults -- kids just take our love for granted.

    If she doesn't appreciate what you are giving her in the way of outside activities, maybe it is time to start taking them away. When my daughter was at her worst verbally (about age 12), I quit taking her places. If she could not be civil, I had no reason to want to be in a car with her. A few weeks of no soccer, no movies with friends, no gymnastics and she became civil. She didn't necessarily like me at the time but she did quit mouthing off. If she did become rude, I had no problem not taking her turning around and taking her home if we were on the way.

    Don't get me wrong, I allowed her her anger. She could get mad, go to her room, go outside to cool down. She could even tell me how she felt so long as it was not at the top of herlungs and so long at is was not abusive. If, however, she started calling me names, hitting me, screaming, I quit doing.

    I don't remember if your daughter is in therapy. If she isn't, I suggest you get her into therapy, preferably with one who specializes in adoption issues. More importantly, get yourself a therapist, again one who understands the added stressors put on a parent who has adopted. It really help and make a huge difference.

    I hope you find some relief.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I am sending you cyber hugs in hopes that they comfort your troubled spirit today. From reading your post it sounds as though you are in an unhealthy pattern of parenting and parent response. I am sorry.

    There are many things you can do to change your environment at home but none are quick fixes. May I suggest that you stop and rethink the use of "commands" and "the spoon"? Children do not
    respond with respect when they feel forced into submission. I
    sure wouldn't ...would you? Probably not.

    Try to avoid confrontation to salvage what can be saved of the holidays. Others will come along soon with more questions and suggestions. I just want you to know that I have read your post,
    I am genuinely sorry you are so stressed and I really do believe
    that things will get better for you now you have found a group of
    experienced supporters. DDD
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I've never adopted but agree with the two responses above. This sounds like a bad cycle has developed and you both need a little help to get it back on a good, more constructive, path. There's nothing to be ashamed of for that- most of us here need that on occassion. I'm looking for it for our home currently, even though my difficult child has his own individual counselor. It's sad for you to be living each day feeling the way you do and it sounds like more than just an occassional mood. The "spoon" approach will not lead the situation in a better direction, I'm afraid. in my humble opinion, this will ultimately make difficult child's behavior and negative attitude toward you and others and herself worse. I regret ever slamming a door and spanking my difficult child just because I was frustarted, angry, and knew no better solution. It caused more turmoil in the long run than any five minute turn-around it ever seemed to give.

    I wish I knew what to say to make you feel a little better and relieve some stress and frustration. {{{HUGS}}}} If you've decided that it's pointless to continue with everything the way it has been have you given any thought yet to what changes you want made (that you have control of) - what you might be willing and can do differently? Are just just seeking a way to find difficult child another place to live or are you looking for a treatment plan? Sorry, I'm just confused over the direction you want to go in.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't know how old she was when you got her, but she could have attachment problems. I adopted older kids and infants. The infant adoptions are great (even one adoption of a two year old). All three older child adoptions were not good--two of the kids are gone, for sexually abusing my younger ones. I don't think the older kids attached the way the younger ones did. BUT I also don't feel our adopted kids owe us their undying gratitude for "rescuing" them from their situations either.
    Older child adoption is very challenging. I would never try it again.
    The spoon is child abuse in many states. I think it should be abuse in all states. You won't teach her to respect you by beating her with a spoon. In fact, she will probably resent you all the more. She needs therapy--I think the whole family does. Is this your first child? It is a rare child who honors us for what we give them. Most parents do what they can for their kids. I'd say love is more important than the trimmings. But she may have been so traumatized in China that she's afraid of love, and that makes your job harder. Do you love her?
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Sadlady, I cannot discourage you enough from using corporal punishment on your daughter. It's obviously not helping, so why continue hitting her with the wooden spoon? It's probably hurting your relationship with more than anything.
    I want you to read the following thread on adapting The Explosive Child to younger children:

    You need to choose your battles very carefully. Choose only the most important things, safety and violence for instance, to react to right now. Then maybe school work, or personal care issues. Sit down with your husband tonight after she's fallen asleep to decide what the most pressing issues are so that those are addressed first. Then you can slowly add new behaviors to modify to work on.

    But please leave the spoon in the drawer.
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader


    I agree with everything everyone has said. I'm sorry that you're feeling so unappreciated and forelorn over the way your daughter is treating you.

    I don't want to overstep any bounds, but you really need to lose the wooden spoon. It will only cause her frustration, resentment, and abusive behavior. It's become a power struggle and the small line of communication between you needs to be salvaged.

  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's a good point Jog- when my difficult child had the worst issues and I was the furthest at witz end, the docs said more than anything, I needed to re-establish the emotional bond that was suffering due to difficult child issues and my repsonses and remind difficult child that I would always love him and be here. At the time, that sounded like the opposite of what most everyone else was telling me- like that would be condoning or sending the message that poor behavior would be tolerated. However, a couple of talks during walks in the park, a couple of dinners out just talking, etc., really seemed to start us in a new direction. Not that difficult child doesn't still have difficult child moments and we still have problems, but we're "on the same side" again and that's remebered, even in the most heated moments.
  9. sadlady

    sadlady New Member

    the wooden spoon is the only thing my 6 year old listens to. It is not used very often. I got my daughter at 1 year old from an ophanage in China and should have left her there. She's beautiful, intelligent, and has no fear whatsoever. I am old fashioned - I grew up with a belt on my behind and I turned out just fine and I have no problems with the belt. Although I never treated my parents the way my daughter treats us. Especially at the age of 6 well it's been going on since about 4. I have just contacted CHOPS the children's hospital of Philadelpia and they are sending me forms to fill out for our appointment. I am going to have her examined for my own piece of mind. I do see a marriage and family counselor for myself and also have my daughter an appointment on Jan 3. I do try many many things, doctors, I buy books, etc. I sick of this mess and I really just need to vent. She is gone now with husband and I have piece of mind for the moment. I will try when they get home much later to be kind and polite but I know she will try to set me off again. I guess I just expect to get a hug from her and say sorry but I know that won't happen. I suffer as it is from a lack of love and attention from husband. He was raised the greatest way and there is not much love in his family. We are however the best of friends and I'm okay with that but sometimes I sure could use a hug and a kiss from someone other than my dog. I love my dog.
  10. sadlady

    sadlady New Member

    MISTAKE - husband was not raised the greatest way.....
  11. slsh

    slsh member since 1999


    Your daughter's behaviors are not a reflection on you nor are they a personal attack against you, though it's very easy to interpret them as such. I think it's pretty safe to say that most of the parents on the board have *never* in their life treated another human being the way our difficult children have treated us. But our kids are not us. There is something that isn't quite connected - be it cause and effect, attachment, empathy, basic decency. Our job as their parents is to learn how to work with what our kids' have, how to build on it, how to teach or train them to be able to function successfully.

    The activities you have her involved in are good and, in my humble opinion, should continue. This gives her an outlet and an opportunity to have success, and you a bit of a break.

    I suspect you and I were raised in similar kinds of homes in terms of corporal punishment. I can only reemphasize the above - these methods are not going to correct your daughter's behaviors and may very well make them worse. Your daughter has quite a different temperament than you did at this age. Nothing positive will come out of corporal punishment.

    I hear your frustration and have been there. You need help with your daughter. Getting the application for CHOP was an excellent step. Getting her into a therapist is another good step. You and husband may have to "tag team" parent until you're able to get an evaluation and a plan in place. I'm so glad to hear he has given you a break this afternoon. Take this time to find your place again.
  12. mum2JK&TH

    mum2JK&TH New Member

    It sounds like your making the right step by having your daughter evaluated. I have never adopted so I really don't know what it is like but I something caught me that I have noticed in another situation I am aware of with a lady and her children.

    I don't mean to sound harsh if I do, so please don't take it that way. You posted that she does not listen to your commands. It sounds like you are training an animal, not raising a child. She sounds like many of our difficult child's and physical punishment and ordering them to do things just does not work, especially at 6. You can't demand things from them. Despite how frustrating they can be, and believe me this is a road I have travelled many times with my own difficult child and my daycare difficult child's, they are little people and need to be treated so. It's like the saying goes "you can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar".

    You have her in many activities, is it possible that she's in overload? I know for difficult child he plays hockey but some times he can be on the ice 4-5 times a week. There are times when even though he loves it, it's too much and can make for some difficult behaviors. Sometimes they need their own kind of downtime, even though that shows as driving you nuts or running around the house swinging toys in front of the new tv! (See it happens to us all)

    The thing is that she does not owe you anything. I think you might be just expecting too much from her. It does sound like she has some problems but you are going to have to accept them for the downward spiral to change. She shouldn't be responsible for your need of affection, that just seems a lot to ask from a 6 year old. I know for my difficult child, it's on his terms. There are times when I try to hug him and he will honestly cringe like I am the most disgusting thing on the planet and then there are times when he will walk up and give me a hug. I've learnt to accept that this is him, it's not personal to me, it's just the way he is. I take them when I get them and hold on to them for the times when I don't. I know he loves me in his own way.

    I don't think it matters whether they are adopted or biological, I think we have all wanted to run away or give them back. You are not alone and it sounds like you are definitely headed in the right direction by getting help and finding some support.

    I know it's not easy, but you have a wonderful group here to offer suggestions and support. Don't give up

  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sadlady, I would not personalize this or even make it about you. It's about a little girl who may have a genetic predisposition to mental illness or neurological problems, may have had a birthmother who drank too much and caused fetal alcohol effects, and your daughter is not the same as a child you gave birth to. Often a child that you adopt as young as one can attach like biological kids, but some kids, especially those from orphanages, don't attach for various reasons--no love/touching/nurturing in infancy, no primary caregiver (so she didn't learn to trust any one person), again the genetic mental illness or neurological problem or prenatal drug/alcohol exposure possibility, etc. This is really about HER and HER problelms and it doesn't sound that, up until now, she has gotten much help. She needs it. She can not show you love (or maybe not love you for a reason that is not your fault). However, many people on this board gave birth to their kids and are having the same problems. You have to put your own hurt aside and not look to others to love you (this is cliche, but we need to love ourselves) and I'd try to HELP your child. You may be able to do a lot of good. I'm not a huge fan of attachment therapy, but I know some have used it and some claim it helps a lot.
    Even if you have no trouble with the spoon, and use it sparingly, it can still be turned in as child abuse and you won't get too many social workers to be sympathetic to your point of view. If you bruise her, you are REALLY in trouble and I can't imagine a wooden spoon NOT bruising her. Also, she is NOT you. She was not born into a stable, loving family who doted on her. She was sent to an orphanage where there were tons of other babies who the workers tried to nurture, but it was impossible (I have two overseas adoptions). My daughter who came from Korea had a foster mother who spoiled her rotten and she had no trouble attaching to us. But my six year old son from Hong Kong had never had any real nurturing in his orphanage and, brilliant kid that he was, was able to articulate his lack of ability to feel love towards me and his dad (and we gave him everything too). He wanted to love us, but he couldn't. He was a good kid, never got into any trouble, never disrespected us, but he didn't attach to us either. When you adopt, if you truly expect an older adopted child to attach to you like a biological child or an infant, you are not prepared (not your fault--your social worker should have warned you). I'm lucky my adopted son who was two attached to us so quickly because that's unusual. But he also was in a loving foster home before us. That matters. There are good books on adopting hurt children and I suggest reading them. For all you know, she could have been molested in the orphanage. The info we get is sketchy, at best. in my opinion you should focus on helping your daughter and try not to worry about your hub's lack of ability to show affection and your daughter's inability to love. I would get individual therapy for yourself because you sound so stressed and unhappy. It's different to be in family therapy and to have your own therapist. If your hub lived in a loveless home, he's going to have trouble being demonstrative. Your daughter's first year is a reason why she can't be demonstrative. I hope your testing involves neuropsychologist. Do you know anything at all about her birthparents? That would give you so many clues to her behaviors.
    Good luck (I'd still go easy on the spoon--THAT gives me the creeps). Take care!
  14. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Keep in mind that fear is not respect. Fear of being beaten doesn't translate into respect.....or love.

    And commanding anyone to do something is generally not effective in creating positive bonds.

  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Are you, and/or your husband, from oriental cultural roots? Do either of you have caring family that are close enough to help guide you through this parenting crisis? Have you discussed taking medication for awhile to help you cope with this difficult

    Quite a few of us have found that when our patience is close to expiration we need to temporarily take a gentle medication (like Lexapro, for example) to help us maintain our composure and not feel over-whelmed or overly hostile toward our difficult child. Do you have an MD that you trust who might be able to help you?

    Caring supportive thoughts are coming your way. DDD
  16. tammyjh

    tammyjh New Member

    I can feel the frustration you have.

    My difficult child was not adopted but has extensive neurological problems and is not attatched to us. The part of her brain that helps her form bonds and understand how to function socially in relationships, especially those in the family, is gone. She's not this way purposely...her brain is wired or unwired that way. Whatever is going on with your daughter, you can probably look at it in much the same way...she's not purposely trying not to bond with you, she just doesn't know how. We've been in hopes that some rewiring can go on and even though it hasn't, we still continue to do the same things with our daughter...even though it never really seems like its working. Repitition is what helps rewire and I think that can happen even when the entire brain is present.

    I learned a long time ago that spanking and my daughter didn't mix and punishing her in that way for problems she couldn't help, just seemed kind of cruel and without any purpose. It didn't make me feel any better either. Just guilty. We try to be consistent with our rules and loss of privilege and time outs is what we do. Sometimes she gets it, other times she doesn't. She had a day or two just this week where we saw her doing positive things that we're not used to seeing so we're hoping its the beginning of progress. But, she's 14 and its taken a long time to get there.

    I know its hard. I have many days that I want nothing more than to turn my back and let difficult child be someone elses responsibility. Like you, we do so much for her and its never really appreciated. We have a case manager who helps us located services for our daughter and we're now working on respite because we desparately need the break. Maybe you would be eligible for case management and respite as well.

    Hang in there!!