no clue if I belong here but definitely need help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by kkit, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. kkit

    kkit New Member

    I have a 12 year old daughter (just turned 12). She is an only child...and over the past 2 years things have gotten progressively worse in more than one area. She is very gifted programs, can carry on a conversation with an adult all day. She is an only child....very selfish, egotistical and non-accepting of others opionions/ideas.

    The hugest problem at present is her and my relationship. I have always considered her to be somewhat "difficult". I had been blaming a lot of this on the fact that I did not follow through with discipline while she was growing up....but I now feel there is more to it. She is very oppositional with me. I walk on eggshells wondering if she is going to be nice and in a good mood, or more often....disrespectful and moody. The other thing that has made this difficult is trying to decide how much of this is tween, hormonal stuff. It just can't be all that?

    She is often (at least a few times a day) disrespectful and rude to me. She does the eyeball rolling and basic disreguard for my authority. If we are having a disagreement or I have said something and she doesn't like it...she will push and push and push until every ounce of patience I have is long gone. If I ask her to stop talking about it...she won't...if I TELL her to stop, she doesn't....if I try to walk away. she follows me. If I try to ignore her, she gets mad and yells at me "MOM,. DON'T IGNORE ME, MOM...MOM MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" If I tell her to go to her room (to calm down, get in a better mood, let me calm down...) she refuses.

    I have suffered from depression and anxiety adn some anger issues for years. I have been on anti-depressants, various ones...for a longgg time. For this reason I assume she is more apt to have these traits as well.

    She also has anxieties that keep her from sleeping at times....also causing her to have almost what I consider panic attack.....such as getting her ears pierced. She wanted desperately to do it for about the past 6 months....but was terrified. I did not push the issue. She would look at earrings in the the " i want to do it, i can't do it, why can't i do it?" self talk over and over. we would leave the store and as soon as we get in the car she starts "mom, we need to go back, i have to do it, i want to now, please!!! we have to go back now!!!!" at times negative self talk such as not being able to get to sleep and saying "i am so stupid, why can't i sleep? i was almost asleep and i blew it, i am so dumb..." and getting into such a frenzy I am not sure where my child went (seems in a different state of mind almost)

    I know this is disjointed and may not make sense. I am very upset and at the end of what I can deal with. I love my child but I do not like her very much at times.

    She has no friends....because she is bossy and refuses to listen to others ideas and suggestions. It's her way or nothing (She would tell you she does not do this....but she even does it to therapists who give her suggestions to try with friends and she won't try them saying it won't work or she has tried that.

    One thing that baffles me is her obvious disrespect for adults...mostly me, but at times others. She told the therapist last week that if she doesn't think what I am asking her to do is fair, she isn't going to do it...such as going to her room when I ask her to. I ask that so she can calm down/change her mood...or so I can calm down. She says no...and just will not go. I can not drag a 12 year old up the stairs and it will turn into such a huge emotional screaming crying thing with her I just can't do it.

    She has no diagnosis but I am asking for a referral to a psychiatrist to see if any medication could help her (and me). She does argue with her teachers at times as well.

    I am divorced but my ex and I get along very well and he is very supportive of me. However...most of these oppositional behaviors are saved for me. She may be mad at what he asks,,,,,but she does it. She does have trouble sleeping at his house which we think is due to stress/anxiety and it all surfaces when she lays down and allows her brain to think about it. The result of this night time anxiety is that sometimes she is awake for HOURS at night....sometimes runs back and forth to the bathroom saying she is going to throw up.

    There is no doubt in my mind that she loves me and I love her.....but we have a very volatile relationship. I am trying to find ways to afford putting her in camp most of the summer because she and I just do not do well if we spend too much time together.


  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board. :hugs:

    You've landed in the right place.

    My take? You're dealing with multiple things. Tween hormones....which may or may not be the mood shifts (if you didn't see it younger probably is hormonal, effects some girls worse than others), inconsistent discipline (as you stated), and a possible diagnosis mucking up the waters. Obviously anxiety is there, so that is one all by itself. I'd say having her evaled by a psychiatrist is a good idea.

    Anxiety may be causing many issues with her such as the sleep issue and the need to feel in control. Less anxiety when you're in control.

    The Defiant Child by Ross Greene you may find helpful. Many parents here have.

    You're no longer alone.

  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Welcome... Yeah, some of what you mention (basic disrespect, disregard for others' feelings) is typical.

    HOWEVER - extreme anxiety over semi-minor issues such as ear-piercing is not typical. I can work myself into a frenzy easily over something I think will cause me pain, but... That's a bit beyond normal, and I do have some obsessive tendencies - so I am not normal.

    Have her behaviors been getting progressively worse, or did they explode seemingly out of nowhere?

    How long has you and your ex been divorced? It is GREAT that you have a good parenting relationship with your ex. This helps. I'm guessing that she lives with you most of the time? This could explain part of the refusal to get along with you - she feels safe to be defiant.

    With her sleep patterns - is this making school an issue at all? Can she stay awake during the day? Does she have other physical complaints like upset stomach, headache, etc. after not sleeping? (And have you tried melatonin for the sleep issues?)

    Medication might help - I'm not a doctor, so I can't really say - but therapy would not hurt! Sometimes, it takes both. I think there's something underneath, pushing the anxiety up - and that makes everything else, worse.

    And... FWIW... Gifted kids get bored easily... Which can cause issues. I know this for a fact.

    Others will be along, but I wanted to send you two some hugs! Never easy.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Lets see... gifted + hormones alone = insanity. (we have one).
    Add something like anxiety, and ... wow.
    Yes, you need hugs!

    To add my two cents to what others have already said...
    - ditto to getting help for the anxiety - it might not BE anxiety directly (perfectionism, etc. can all produce anxiety), but good tdocs will sort all that out

    - ditto to getting help for the sleep patterns - might even be a factor in the anxiety and/or a two way street (each affects the other), but sleep problems ARE a problem. Having said that... some gifted kids need LESS sleep... Other gifted kids are all "brain" and no "activity", and that lack of physical output can affect sleep as well - not to mention that a good physical workout also has some effect on emotions like anxiety!

    - ditto to the boredom factor; they need to be challenged - all day, every day; in my humble opinion they are more work than behavior problems, because you can't "fix" giftedness... they're smarter than we are, and so we have to work 10x harder just to try to keep up.

    Keeping ahead of gifted takes time, money or both. Usually, some trade-off between time & money. Also depends on interests...
    - musical? try multiple instruments (all being learned at same time, not from same family... e.g. piano plus flute plus trumpet, but not alto sax, and clarinet).
    - likes animals? get a dog and get involved in formal training... obedience, rally-o, agility, tracking, therapy (visiting hospitals/nursing homes), etc.
    - likes physical activity? ...
    You get the idea.

    You could even get more than one thread going at once (music, dog, physical stuff, etc.) - IF you can keep it all together... Some of it should be stuff you can do together, because it isn't just a matter of filling up her timetable - need relationship time too. Swim together? learn a martial art together? get two dogs? (no, I did NOT say that - 2 dogs = insanity)

    Our house is half-way between... grew up with an extremely gifted brother who was almost impossible to stay ahead of, and have K2 who is toward gifted, 12, female, migraines, adhd,... and hard to stay ahead of!

    And remember - you are not alone!
  5. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Welcome-I think you will find some really great support here. You've gotten some good advise. I'd like to add that with some girls, puberty brings on a devilish drive to seperate from their mom. I am the punching bag of our 16 year old difficult child, who is also gifted. Age 12 was when it all started for us. My child has other issues as well but we have had major sleep problems for a number of years, and with the PTSD a whole lot of anxiety. When kids don't sleep, all else goes down the tube. How can anyone remain remotely sane when they are continually sleep deprived? Add gifted traits like perfection, and the need to be stimulated and you can be over the edge quite fast. I think that needs to come under control yesterday. We tried melatonon first-it didn't work so she now takes a prescription sleep aide (another SSRI which causes drowsiness). Having rest has helped her mood greatly.

    Does her therapist call her on her disrespect and opposition? If not, time for a new one that will help her but be supportive of your rules and limit setting. Bounderies and rules can actually help kids with anxiety as they know what to expect-the trick is picking your battles and following through. I made lots of bad choices here as I wanted to pick every battle and was quickly exhausted-my daughter knew it and used this in her favor. (Smarter than me!)

    I teach at school which attracts many gifted kids (children with disabilities as well)-about 1/2 my class. Very few of them are "diagnosis free". Being different is hard, and about 6th grade (age I teach) it hits hard as they become more socially aware. Many are just like your daughter,controlling, can't see other points of view etc. Being on either side of the "normal" curve puts kids at risk for mental problems. I'm glad your going to see a psychiatrist. Knowledge is power. You are not alone. Good luck and keep us posted.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Welcome.. you aren't alone anymore. As a matter of fact, your daughter sounds a lot like she could be my difficult child's cosmic twin! :thumbsup: There are a few notable differences: At 10, my difficult child does have friends and she's generally respectful to other adults.

    Let me ask a few questions:

    *What was her early development like?
    *Does she have any health problems?
    *Does she have trouble making friends or keeping friends?
    *Any discipline activities at school or outside activities?
    *Is there ever a time when she's happy & content?
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, kkit. Your daughter sounds a lot like mine was. The extreme awfulness started when she hit 7th grade, with the attitude, mouth, etc. out in full force. It didn't help that I had broken my leg, so I was pretty much down for the count during that time. Most of the rudeness was saved for my Hubby, so I got fallout from them both...I understand living in an armed camp, and we still have souvenirs of those years, like holes in the wall, a chunk out of the kitchen tile, and Miss KT still has no bedroom door.

    I couldn't tell you how much is typical teen and how much is difficult child behavior, since I'm still asking those questions myself. The rudeness, though, would definitely earn some swift and painful consequences from me, as I have a pretty low BS tolerance level. The lack of friends...yep, even now, she wears people out, but it's getting better.
  8. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

  9. God created teenagers so you're not sorry when they leave.

    12 year olds are teenagers in training. Yeah, sounds like your girl has some other stuff going on, but my easy child could give her a run for her money. I think the only reason my easy child tolerates me is because 1) I actually try to listen to her and 2) she and her dad don't get along much at all. I'm the lesser of two evils sometimes. As long as you don't have your whole ego in the parent thing, you'll be OK.

    I think the others gave you some good advice. You'll find some good info here!
  10. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    It sounds like your daughter needs to first and formost get her sleep disorder under control. Lack of sleep can cause all of her other symptoms but likely it is not the cause of them but contributing to her difficulties. Get a complete neuro psychiatric evaluation done on her. medications at night to squash her anixety and help her sleep seem like a possibility. She should also be taught ways to calm herself. Maybe some sleep inducing music with subliminal sounds to help train her brain. A sleep study should be done also to rule out RLA and apneas. -RM