She's so rude lately!!!!! LONG-SORRY

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Loving Abbey 2, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. Loving Abbey 2

    Loving Abbey 2 Not really a Newbie

    I'm just fed up with this child, she is soooooo rude and disrespectful and mouthy!! She acts like and states that she is in charge. And it just flares up the urge in me to freak out. It's like How dare you be so rude to me!!!

    Part of it is the seperation and eventual divorce and part of it is that she is now talking to me like "d"h used to. I just can not get it to stop! She is on much less medications than she was a couple of weeks ago, but I don't think it's the medications. For the most part she is happy. But then all of a sudden she will just refuse to do something I ask or she will get frustrated with someting and start yelling. And then she becomes extremely disrespectful and rude and oppositional. With some defiance poking out-like she is testing the limits. But the rest is just out and out brattiness!! I have mostly addressed this in the past-when it wasn't this bad-by saying that is not how you talk to me or excuse me. In a firm but calm voice.

    That's not working anymore. Neither is taking away TV until she earns it by talking appropriately. She's been TV-less all week and it's the one motivator she has. I am only focusing on the important things to get done-getting ready for school and getting ready for bed (both times involve eating and medications). She's not being distructive, she just won't do what I ask her to and she is very rude in her refusals. Or if she wants something that I will not let her have, she demands it like she is the Queen. And it's really arbitary. The only thing that seems to help is to back off on it, give her a few minutes and then start talking to her like she never refused or was disrespectful. And then she will comply.

    But I feel like she is not learning that she must respect me or talk as respectfully as expected from an 8yo. I want to nip this in the bud but I can't seem to. She will talk about it after the incident and apologize and understand why it's not okay to say whatever it was. But it keeps happening.

    With the school's help, we've gotten homework going a lot better. She is also getting to school on time more often. And she is doing different chores than before and is actually doing them without a hassle. So I don't get it!! HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Disdain for authority and grandiosity (being in charge) are symptoms of mania. There's a very good chance her higher Seroquel dose was keeping these manic symptoms in check.

    I recommend talking to Abbey's psychiatrist about what you're observing.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Why are her medications being scaled down?
    Also, if you and hub are separated, she is hurting badly. I went through a divorce. Kids truly suffer from this, so it can't be helping.
    I don't know if she's manicky, but I do think her moods are unstable and that you should call the psychiatrist. I am sorry things are tough right now, but I also doubt it is all her fault. So much is going on and medication changes affect us A LOT.
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Wow...many many hugs to you. Sounds exactly like Miss KT at that age. No reward great enough and no punishment great enough, and then she would keep at it and at it and at it until I was ready to scream or choke her or something. What worked for me at that time was my refusal to acknowledge her when she was horrible. I would remind that that was not the way to talk to me, that she was not the boss, and when she chose to speak respectfully I would be more than happy to talk to her, then I would pick up a book and grit my teeth till she toned it down. With Miss KT I think she felt so out of control with everything else in her life, few friends, her father being a poop, that she wanted to be in charge of something. Good luck to you. I wish I could say it gets easier, but it hasn't yet!
  5. Loving Abbey 2

    Loving Abbey 2 Not really a Newbie

    Her medications were cut back because of side effects and constant irritability. For the most part she is happy, as hyper as always, but much more "here". Like her personality is coming out, the teachers report that she is more engaging in class and having better interactions with her peers. She is able to settle down pretty quickly when it's time to stop playing or being silly or whatever she is doing. She's sleeping fine. She's not raging or doing any high risk stuff or being destructive.

    I really don't feel like she is manic. Aside from this issue, she is actually doing better than or the same as she was on the medications. I just want to keep the medications as low as possible. I know if I call the psychiatrist he is just going to increase the medications, without even considering any other option. And the side effects are not acceptable to me, and she has already trialed and doen poorly on so many medications. I just was really hoping that I can address this behaviorally or maybe with a therapist (I'm looking for a good one for her/us).

    Do you think maybe she is just angry because I made my ex leave, police were involved, it was bad? It was three months ago and she has been seeing the the SW at school 1-2 times per week. And I ask her about her feelings and questions about what's happening about once a week. And if this is it, how do I fix it?

    Anybody think I can do this without more medications? It's so nice to see her be so here. There is no other way to describe it! And I don't want to lose that.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry things are so rough-my difficult child is rude like that most of the time. It's no fun. I would probably call the psychiatrist just to see what he/she has to say. Gentle hugs.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Michelle, hey, I hear you about the medications. I hated them and my son was better off of them. Yes, in my mother's layperson opinion, I think she may be mad. My kids were REALLY mad at me at first--they didn't know the real story as ex and I tried hard not to talk about each other in an angry way. You are in a tough spot and I'm really sorry you have to go through this. Divorce was the hardest thing I've ever done, and ours was AMICABLE. I can only imagine if it's not...take care of yourself, hon.
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I wish I had some words of wisdom for you, but as you saw on my thread I'm still dealing with it and my kid is 13. :faint:

  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Michelle, I think you are trying to control too much. Your parenting style might be perfect for a easy child, but she's a difficult child and I think it's backfiring badly. Really badly. You can't go on like this, you not only can't win this way, you will make things worse.

    Have you read "The Explosive Child" yet? I think it will help you find a better way to handle difficult child.

    First step - you need to get into her head, work out how she is thinking and what pushes her buttons. Then you need to choose what behaviours you MUST deal with (Basket A); what behaviours you would like to deal with but are prepared to ease back on to avoid a meltdown (Basket B); and what behaviours you are going to completely leave alone for now (Basket C).

    Make up your list. Now look at it - in Basket A there should be nothing at all, except school attendance and immediate safety. If your kid is about to run onto the road in front of a truck and you know that grabbing her would provoke a meltdown, you would still do it because you love the child and don't want her killed or injured.

    Basket B - only a very small number of things. You say you're working with the school on homework - that sounds like a Basket B issue. From what you say, it sounds like things are working. That's a really good sign - she is able to cooperate and wants to cooperate.

    But some behaviours are often beyond our kids. Sometimes it's surprising.

    When your child is calm, happy and feeling in control, she is probably polite, helpful and sensible. But when the difficult child characteristics are kicked off, it all goes out the window. Believe it or not, this is normal. If you put it in adult terms, it's like having a huge argument with the boss, and while you're still angry and fuming, he asks you to work back until 10 pm. Chances are you'd flip him a rude gesture and walk out.

    Think about things from your daughter's perspective - her father's gone, so life at home is unsettled. If he's gone, how secure is her position? What if you tell HER to leave, too? Could she move in with her father? Would he want her to? What would happen to her?
    Now you and I know these ideas are not likely to happen, but to a young girl the world can be uncertain and scary. She has probably seen you upset over a lot of things and is herself feeling traumatised in her own way - any violence in the home, either physical or emotional, can have a nasty impact on the children even if you think they didn't witness anything. My best friend's husband walked out on her when her children were 3 and 5. She thought they didn't know about the beatings and the violence, but even now that they are adults, those two still have been damaged by it all.

    Your EX modelled some very inappropriate behaviour for her. It doesn't help that t his pushes your buttons and re-triggers your PTSD. Again, I went through something similar with easy child 2/difficult child 2 - I had been working as a counsellor and had one client who was a tad more unhinged than most. She also had my home phone number. I had to screen my calls for some time. It was coincidence, but unfortunate that easy child 2/difficult child 2 managed to adopt the same abusive tone of voice when she demanded something from me; my reaction to her was inappropriate as a result of my unfortunate experience.

    We've been using "Explosive Child" techniques for some years now. It's not a cure, but it's made life so much easier for us. difficult child 3's behaviour has improved immensely in that time, largely due to this technique. But the LAST thing, the LOWEST PRIORITY, has been tackling 'rudeness'.

    "Rudeness" is just too complex. How do you define it, for a young difficult child to understand?
    It's oscillated between Basket B and Basket C, depending on difficult child 3's ability to control his outbursts and to understand a situation. Even as I type this, I can hear a 'situation' possibly escalating between difficult child 3 and husband. It's like handling unstable gelignite - you do it gently, carefully and with a view to dropping everything and ducking for cover if things begin to get bumpy.

    We no longer punish, except natural consequences. As far as possible, we try to mimic real life. And in real life if you are rude to your friends, they don't want to play with you. Not until you apologise and sort out your differences, anyway. Your friends will not ban you from watching TV for a week or send you to your room.

    OK, I was just trying to sort out the fracas in the kitchen. difficult child 3 was asked to do the washing up. We set this up much earlier in the evening (an important thing to remember) but now he has been complaining that he is tired and wants an early night. We've pointed out (calmly) that
    1) he agreed;
    2) the job will get done much faster if he just gets on with it;
    3) we're also pottering around, helping him get the sink organised and speeding up the process because we ALL want an early night.

    He's been argumentative, rude and disrespectful but we stayed calm. We finally told him, "We're here helping. We choose to do this. If you continue to be unpleasant we will leave the room because we don't want to be around you when you're being unpleasant. It's your choice - accept our help graciously, or do the job entirely on your own."

    If we had let this escalate, he would have thrown a tantrum (and probably some china) and then stormed out of the room. The washing up would not have been done, we all would have been angry and blood pressures would have climbed. Nothing productive would have been the outcome.

    I just heard him complain. He makes a loud growling sound when he's frustrated. Jurassic Park is playing on the TV, so I went out to him and said, "What's the matter? You sound like the T Rex on the TV. Is there a problem? Wasn't the goat to your liking?"
    By this point he was still trying to sound frustrated, but he was giggling. I said to him, "Have you noticed how hard it is to stay cranky when you've got the giggles?"
    Meanwhile he was still washing dishes, he finished while we talked. Because it's late I said to him, "Skip your shower tonight, just clean your teeth and get to bed."
    He's gone to bed happy, the washing up is done, we averted a rage.

    But husband & I got our way, he did the washing up.

    As for the rudeness - he learned that we would leave the room if he was unpleasant, but if he stayed polite we would do the same.

    A lot of his rudeness (and I suspect the same thing applies to many difficult children) comes from frustration, anger and fear. As a result, I ignore any rudeness which I feel is primarily fear or frustration talking. Once he feels safer and not frustrated, THEN I might say calmly, "You were rude to me back there; I didn't like it. I'm not rude to you; why were you rude to me?" Increasingly, he will apologise without being prompted.

    A more usual parental response would be, "Don't you back talk to me, sonny! Now march your behind right into your room right now and don't you dare come out until you apologise!" Trust me - as they get older especially, this stops working.

    We need to get back to what WE want out of the interaction. What we want - we want the child to learn that being rude is not the way to go. We want the requested task accomplished. We want to be respected and valued for what we do.

    Now how do we get what we want? Frankly, having a loud altercation is perhaps the LAST thing we should do, to get what we want. It generally will backfire on us. A child whose frustration and fear has been met with a loud insistence on "respect" (which is a very abstract concept for young children and a lot of difficult children) will feel even more frustrated and fearful that their concerns are not being heard. Instead, we try to deal with the underlying frustration and fear FIRST, and THEN work on the respect.

    We also show respect to them, even if they aren't showing it to us. How else can they learn, unless we model it?

    If it's too difficult to wrap your head around (because it seems totally counter-intuitive) then think of your relationship with your child as being a relationship between flatmates. This works especially well as your children reach their teens and want to be considered as adults, even while they lack the maturity and skills for it.

    A flatmate is respected in a different way. As flatmates, you tell each other where you are going and when you will be back. This is so household activities can take people's movements into account (such as who will be home for dinner, and when to send out a search party). As flatmates, if its your turn to cook dinner you find out what people are prepared to eat and cater accordingly. As flatmates, if someone doesn't like what you cook, they are free to take over kitchen duties and organise the meals. As flatmates, we take turns, we work as a team, to comply with landlord inspections. We support one another in cleaning the bathrooms, doing the laundry, washing the floor etc. We note every product we use and put it on the shopping list. We put our washing in the laundry (or wherever it's been decided dirty washing is to go). We do whatever chores are needed, each according to ability and time available.
    As flatmates, failure to comply with house rules can lead to eviction. Or at the very least, loss of any special treatment or support. "Why should I go to the trouble of cooking your favourite food, if you are rude to me about my cooking? If you don't like what I cook, then you can take over planning the meals for everyone. This includes shopping to a tight budget."

    When our kids grow up we expect them to be able to survive in the big bad world, with other people. We are successful parents when our children are able to leave home and live happy, fulfilled, productive and independent lives. The "Explosive Child" methods can actually fast-track this, by teaching them to take responsibility and control in their own lives, often much younger than we would have thought. A lot of the frustration in difficult children comes from not being able to control anything in their lives. This technique allows them control, in areas we frankly don't care about, and in doing so they learn control in general instead of having control imposed on them.

    It's like teaching your child to walk; or more accurately, allowing your child to learn when they are ready, but with your hands hovering nearby in case they begin to wobble a bit.

    If we respond to 'rudeness' and absolutely every small infraction with strict control, we can undermine a lot of good progress without actually teaching anything useful. It can also seem, especially to a difficult child, that we are doing it because we CAN, because we're the adults and we have the control. This builds resentment and makes the problems worse.

    And if we're honest with each other, there is something very satisfying in having the final authority over a child who is smart-mouthing us. "Go to your room!" announced almost triumphantly can give us a sense of, "At least I've got the last word now; I'll have a couple of minutes' peace and then hopefully she'll apologise, I'll say my piece about respecting your parents and for a little while longer she will know her place."

    Michelle, do read the book. You've had a lot on your plate and you're trying to hang onto the shreds of your authority, at a very bad time for both you and difficult child emotionally. You need help yourself, I hope you are seeing a counsellor. The emotional fallout for both of you is not good. It would be surprising if things WERE peachy-keen. They're clearly not, and there are so many reasons why, it's hard to know where to start.

    I applaud your decision to cut back on her medications, I think it shows just how much you care about your little girl and how she is doing. It is going to be one more thing which unsettles her a bit. Give her and yourself a bit more leeway, try to not react so hard when you hear your EX coming out of her mouth. Leave the room instead. She will get the message, plus she will lose the person on the other end of the rope playing tug-o'war.
    Instead, applaud her when she does something well. Catch her out doing something right.

    She sounds like underneath all this, she's a great kid. But you both sound like your world feels like it's collapsing, and this is a hard time for you both. You need to be good to yourselves - not easy.

    Hang in there. Keep us posted in how you get on. It's a long ride, sometimes a rough one, but we're here.

  10. Loving Abbey 2

    Loving Abbey 2 Not really a Newbie

    Thank you everyone for your support.

    Marg-I think you are right. I am seeing my own therapist, I'm trying to find one for difficult child that actually takes my insurance. I just want everything to be okay again. Things were in such chaos for a while before I got rid of him, that I am just tring to get some control over our lives back. And I realize controlling difficult child is not going to help anything. And I have to keep in mind that she is going through a lot too.

    My Ex is her step father but I think a lot of the same things apply. I'm getting to the point where I think it may be better to just have him completely out of our lives--not seeing difficult child at all. That will be hard on difficult child, but I can't imagine that this is any better. I'm so angry at myself for getting us into this situation and I feel guilty for letting difficult child get attached to someone who turned out to be verbally and emotionally abusive. Like I should have seen the signs, but I didn't. I'm working on that.

    I have the explosive child book, I haven't read it since difficult child was about 4 or 5, so I could use another read. I'll keep you all posted.

    Thanks again