Want to Avoid a Violent Scene....Any ideas?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello everyone--

    My difficult child has a bad habit of bringing home things that do not belong to her. When we find suspicious candy, gum, makeup etc...we confront her (which is always a nasty scene) and confiscate the stuff we found.

    A couple of weeks ago, I found more makeup that appeared out of nowhere...and wanting to avoid all the drama...I just threw it away and didn't say anything.

    The past week, she has been stomping around miserable and cranky and accusing DS of stealing and other crimes in an effort to get him in trouble with husband and I. (BUT, she won't actually say why she is so angry at him). I assume that difficult child thinks her brother STOLE the makeup (but of course, won't say that she thinks her brother stole from her something she wasn't supposed to have in the first place...) , so I am only guessing...

    Last night was the worst! She came up with a convoluted story about tying a necklace to a shampoo bottle and now the arrowhead charm has been removed from the necklace and we need to go search DS's room RIGHT NOW! My first reaction was to NOT believe her, of course, and her reaction was to get very angry. Everyone went to bed upset and I promised that I would search the bedrooms for this missing charm in the morning.

    So this morning, husband decided he would tell her that I was the one who threw out the stuff she is missing and sent her off to school.

    As promised, I searched the bedrooms and came up with nothing...

    But now, I am worried about what happens when difficult child comes home today. Will she be all mad at me? And will it be because I didn't find anything or because I threw away stolen makeup? Or, will she be mad at DS because I didn't find anything and so he is not in trouble?

    I don't know how to approach these "I'm-mad-so-I'm-gonna-take-my-anger-out-on-SOMEBODY" situations. They usually get ugly and violent. But that's exactly what I expect from her when she walks through the door today...

    Any ideas? How can I stop it before it begins?

  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    So I placed a call to therapist who advised me to just "stand firm" and not tolerate any angry behavior...

    I'm supposed to tell difficult child to "Stop it" and she if persists I'm supposed to give her a "time-out" for twenty minutes or so so that she can calm herself. (Personally, I'm not sure that twenty minutes will be enough time to settle a rage, but therapist says she has given difficult child some tips for calming herself).
  3. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Hope things go well today. In the future, I'd be more direct so as to avoid your DS getting the blame. Also, while the make up was not hers, you did take it from her without her knowing which is stealing. In the future, I'd tell her that you will take away anything found in the home that you know does not belong to her. You may also want to penalize her by taking away something of hers which is similar or is about the same value. She is going to angry and at this point I would take the tdocs advice. If a time out doesn't work and things become violent, you may need to call the police. I would set a very firm precedent that physical aggression will not be tolerated. It's not an easy thing to do but it does let difficult child know that you are not going to pushed around.

    Good luck,

  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That seems a reasonable approach. However we all know what reasonable means when dealing with our darlings...lol.

    This happened all the time at my house. I would confiscate a forbidden item and toss it. Instead of just doing what a normal kid would do and think to oneself...oops! I got caught, better tiptoe around and pray Mom doesnt punish me in some horrible way and I best be on my very best behavior...Oh no, my lil wonder came out roaring like he was totally the wounded party! I had the nerve to steal from him something he shouldnt have had in the first place!!!! Brat.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I know. Their thinking is so convoluted. It's always our fault.

    I agree with-the doctor, to stand firm and tell her to cut it out. You have to make her more miserable than she would normally be, if that makes sense. So you're teaching her avoidance of her own bad behavior.
    It will take a while. Days, weeks.
    Sometimes when I had to confront difficult child like that, I would prepare myself as though I were going onto a tennis court to win a hard game. A lot of the same thought processes and physiological effects go on and, hey, every little bit helps!

    When she's calm, ask her where these things are coming from and if the reason she likes them is because they are things she's not normally allowed to have, or whether she's trying to emulate the person she took them from. Maybe the person who originally owned the makeup was prettier, funnier, somehow cooler than difficult child. Maybe you could start out by telling her about a time that you wanted to be like a classmate.
    Finding a way to do it with-o making her go ballistic is hard.

    Now, all I have to do with-my difficult child is say, "We have to talk."

    He knows it's not going to be a chat about the weather. He'll do anything he can to dive in and get it overwith. So I have to be careful not to drag it out and talk it to death.

    Don't forget, your difficult child is probably going through the child-in-a-woman's body issue right now. Her emotional age may be more like 10. So don't expect too much maturity at this point. If she's like my difficult child, the maturity comes in flashes, then disappears just as quickly. :)

    Best of luck. been there done that. I feel for you.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Yes, it was my mistake for confiscating without confronting...

    In order to avoid a big outburst at the time, I guess I only delayed it.
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    "When she's calm, ask her where these things are coming from and if the reason she likes them is because they are things she's not normally allowed to have, or whether she's trying to emulate the person she took them from. Maybe the person who originally owned the makeup was prettier, funnier, somehow cooler than difficult child. Maybe you could start out by telling her about a time that you wanted to be like a classmate.

    Finding a way to do it with-o making her go ballistic is hard."--Terry


    difficult child has been taking things that do not belong to her for a very long time...

    We STILL do not know the reasons why. Sometimes it is an item for which she has no earthly use (such as camera memory cards). She once brought home a straightening treatment for ethnic hair--even though she's white and her hair is straight. Mostly though it's candy, gum, makeup and jewelry.

    When confronted the item is almost ALWAYS a gift. My friend gave it to me. The boss gave it to me. The neighbor gave it to me. Sometimes, she says she found it. difficult child is also a bully--the "stealing the milk-money' type--so I also suspect that they were gifts that difficult child had demanded from other kids under threat.

    I used to try and track down all the rightful owners, but since I never got a straight story from difficult child in the first place--that was always impossible.

    These days, we just take it away and tell her "Do not bring home anything that does not belong to you!!"


    I like the tennis game analogy....I will have to visualize that. It might help me "gear up".

  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    It's nice to know that I am not the only one that is experiencing this!

    It reminds me of the stories of drug addicts that call the cops to report that their stash is missing...You just want to ask them "Do you not understand that you are in the wrong, here?"

    What are they thinking?
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I completely disagree that takeing something she stole from her is "stealing". It is the natural consequence for having a forbidden or stolen item, in my opinion. I know many will NOT agree with me and that is OK.

    Wiz (and the rest of the kids) ALL knew/know that husband and I retain the right to search their rooms at any time with or without their knowledge. ANYTHING that is stolen, borrowed with-o parental permission, or is something they are not allowed to have or even just too much candy (Jess has a habit of "going to the bathroom" when shopping with us and instead goes and buys $10 worth of candy and some of the teen magazines filled with garbage like "do you love him enough to sleep with him?" articles.

    The items are not so much forbidden but something we want to know how much she has of them (and she unwraps large amounts of candy and then lets it sit around and melt onto the furniture - ick!) so if I find them in her room I just toss them or put them in a drawer in our room. She knows that if they are gone it is not her bro. She also knows if she comes and asks nicely while apologizing for breaking a rule she is likely to have us give the stuff back a bit at a time.

    Wiz knew and would have a tantrum until he was about 12. After that I told him he was not going to tantrum if something he wasn't allowed to have or have in his room disappeared. If he had a fit there was another consequence.

    My take is that they KNOW they are not allowed to have the things and so having them disappear with-o being told in advance we are taking it is just how things work. Period.

    As for her rage, try what the therapist says. Tell her to knock it off or take it to her room where all she can damage is her own stuff. If she gives you grief, be calm and let her know there will be further consequences if she doesn't calm down.

    It may be time to go and strip her room down to a week's worth of outfits, a bed or even mattress on the floor and a light if seh won't damage it. Sometimes our kids need this to help them see how out of line they are getting.

    I hope things go easily and smoothly. Sending extra rhino skin armor for the family in case it doesn't!
  10. Christy

    Christy New Member

    I have no problem with taking something away that is not hers, I only question the taking it without her knowledge, which I consider stealing (while it is kind of like Robin Hood style stealing). I am all for searching rooms and have reminded my son on several occasions that since he is a minor child with no means of support, everything he has is because we have allowed him to have it and we have the authority to take it away if we choose to do it. I would have taken the stuff as well but I would have told her about it.

    At any rate, DaisyFace, it's obvious that you are concerned about your daughter's stealing and trying to make an impact on her. She's lucky to have a mom who cares even if she may not see it that way.

  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    When difficult child arrived home yesterday, she did try to launch into a few tirades (that had nothing to do with the missing necklace accusation from the night before)--but I stopped her by having us all sit down as a family to discuss the "stolen" items. I told both kids that I had thoroughly searched bedrooms and I had found nothing.

    Then I explained to difficult child that I was confused that I had not seen this necklace that was supposedly missing (which kind of started her up her attitude again--Well, Dad knew about it!!!)--especially because she claims that she used it as a decoration for a shampoo bottle in the shower. I said it seemed to me that if there was a bottle of shampoo wearing a necklace, I would have noticed it.

    At that point her face turned bright red and she LAUGHED. Last night, when I questioned this very thing, it was a tantrum about how I never believe her. Today, after I have gone through the trouble of thoroughly disproving her claim....NOW she can admit it was a silly story.

    So the whole thing was a SET-UP. difficult child came of with the missing necklace story just to get her brother in trouble AND we had to endure her angry **** until we could dis-prove her lie.


    This is the stuff that makes me just want to pull my hair out. It's a lie. She KNOWS it's a lie....but she's furious because we don't believe the lie...and in order to get her to stop the angry behavior, we have to come up with all this evidence to prove the lie.

    Somehow husband and I have this backwards, I think...


    Thanks for listening, and for all the great advice.

    by the way--Susie, I don't consider it stealing either. Removing contraband from my child's room is my duty as a parent.

  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hey, I think you made huge progress there!
    You showed her brother that this was an important issue that you could discuss as a family and sat by him at the table while difficult child talked. That is really good for him.
    Also, the way you said, if there was a bottle of shampoo wearing a necklace, I would have noticed it. is actually pretty funny, in a sarcastic way. I can see why she laughed.
    You have to put a chink in her armor. I know you are angry and frustrated right now, but from this end of the keyboard, I can see you've made progress.
    What does the therapist say?
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Why on earth would she put a necklace on a bottle of shampoo? Is she 4? I cant even see how you would get one to stay on a bottle! She was really reaching there.

    I really am not looking forward to teen years with my granddaughters...lol.

    I witnessed a relatives granddaughter the other day who informed me that all she wanted to do was get a man, get drunk and get high. Those were her ambitions in life. She is 14, in 8th grade for the second time and already on depo because she is sexually active! If Keyana dares even think that way, she will be in convent in 2.2 seconds.
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    O I agree! The whole thing was suspect from the start! And of course I didn't believe her, which made her so angry. Her rages always start with her clenching up her whole body and growling--and that's what she was doing when I questioned the story when she first told me.

    Why? Why would someone make up such a ridiculous thing and expect me to go punish her brother for it? It makes no sense...

    And then as soon as I "proved" it was a lie, she drops it--but before that, she will go twenty rounds about how I don't believe her.