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 Post subject: help with 12 year old step-daughter
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:39 am 
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I have a 12 yr step-daughter who is out of control as far as behavior. Honor student in school but major behavior problems. Her father and I are married, she is ****ed off at that, then her mother passed away almost 2 years ago, but before that we had shared custody 1 week with us, 1 week with the mother. I had and have structure and rules in my household, unfortunately the weeks that she was with her mom she did whatever whenever however. For the past 2 years that she has been living with us full time has not only disrespected me in many ways but also her father. We took her to therapy and she convinced the therapist that there was nothing wrong with her it's all the rules in the house and she's ok, so my husband and I were told that she's fine and does not need to be seen anymore. But as the months went by it has gotten to a point where she raised her hand at me. She does not listen, constantly needs to be asked to go take a shower put a deodorant on, her chores include cleaning her own room and her own bathroom, once in a while wash dishes, but it's a battle because why she has to do these things she's a child except for when she starts arguing and the arguments becomes nasty she gets things taken away from her such as computer, tv texting, her response is I don't give a ......I am at fault for trying to have some kind of structure and rules as I had asked my husband many times it should have been him doing it so not me even though she's my stepdaughter the hatred that she has and shows towards her father and I is un-describable. I tried to explain to my husband that all the arguments start is because she does not listen, he let her getaway with too many things because he was trying to be compassionate about the loss of her mother and she took advantage of it. She told me straight up I am nobody to her and she does not and will not listen to me. She tells my husband when he tells her to do something once he gets ****ed off and it takes him a while to get mad, she tells him that the words are coming from me not him. Anyway she's defiant, know it all, nasty you can even ask for anything because she starts screaming on top of her lungs so then you scream etc. Don't know what to do last night I drew a line when I found out she went into our bedroom and snooped in my closet. As I have told and asked my husband many times that I will not allow a 12 year disrespect me or him for that matter, he has yet to put his foot down.


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 Post subject: Re: help with 12 year old step-daughter
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:30 pm
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DEAR JWMO812,

YOU HAVE LOT ON YOUR PLATE, I REALLY FEEL FOR YOU, HOWEVER YOU ARE HER ONLY LIGHT NOW, YOU ARE ESSENTIALLY HER MOTHER. HERE'S THE BOTTOM LINE SHE CAN'T DO ANYTHING WITHOUT YOU. YOU HAVE THE MONEY. I THINK NO TO EVERYTHING, UNTIL SHE COMPLIES IS APPROPIATE. IF SHE HITS YOU CALL THE POLICE. WHEN THEY SHOW UP, TELL HER YOU WILL ONLY DROP THE CHARGES IF SHE COMPLIES, IF SHE DOES COMPLY, UNTIL THEY LEAVE OR SAY SHE COMPLIES FOR A FEW WEEKS, THEN STARTS AGAIN, YOU CAN GO & PRESS CHARGES. IF HER BEHAVIOR IS THAT BAD, THEN HER LIVING SPACE CAN BE HER ROOM, WITHOUT ALL THE EXTRAS. ESSENTALLY, PRISON AT HOME. WE DID IT DO OUR SON FOR 3 DAYS. HE HAD NOTHING BUT HIS BEDROOM FURNITURE & THE BIBLE. HE WASN'T ALLOWED TO TALK TO US, EXCEPT WHEN HE NEEDED SOMETHING, WE REFUSED TO TALK TO HIM ABOUT ANYTHING. WE DIDN'T YELL, WE STAYED CALM. HE ALSO TOOK ALL HIS MEALS IN HIS ROOM. HE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE IN WHAT HE ATE. HE EITHER ATE IT OR DID NOT. THE ONLY THING HE CAME OUT OF HIS ROOM FOR WAS SCHOOL & TO USE THE BATHROOM. BE CONSISTANT IN WHAT YOU DO ALSO TELL HER YOU LOVE HER A LOT. DON'T ARGUE WITH HER, ONCE THAT HAPPENS SHE IS IN CONTROL. I WILL SAY THIS, IF YOU HAVE ANY FAITH, START PRAYING, GO TO CHURCH, SEEK OTHER BELIEVERS.
THIS IS WHAT WORKED FOR US IN THE END. LEARNING TO HANDLE IT GOD'S WAY. YOUR IN MY PRAYERS HOPE


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 Post subject: Re: help with 12 year old step-daughter
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:43 am
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I know exactly what you are dealing with, and I hope you can find the appropriate help. I have been dealing with a bi-polar and ODD daughter since she was 3. She turned 12 yesterday. I am a single parent, so it has been especially difficult with little support. I dealt with the hitting, kicking, knife pulling, etc. too. I have gone so far as to enroll her in a day treatment program 3 years ago, and it was the start of getting REAL help. Our program was through Aurora Healthcare, and with it came doctors who REALLY know about behavior disorders! We have stuck with the Psychiatrist who finally prescribed the correct medication for my daughter, and I have since found a Cognitive Behavior Therapist, who has been JUST HUGE in helping our relationship with each other. We have behavior contracts and 'homework' each week.
I wish you luck with your step-daughter. I really hope your husband understands that she won't respect you until boundaries are set. I, too, gave into every demand early in my daughter's life, feeling guilty for the divorce from her father (she was 2 1/2). All it did was create MORE problems later! Stay strong, and reach out for help EVERYWHERE!!!! If you want to keep in touch, my e-mail is cmartell2@wi.rr.com. God bless you!


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 Post subject: Re: help with 12 year old step-daughter
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:51 am
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Hi - While I agree with you that rules and structure are necessary, you have to understand from your daughter's perspective. She has lost her mother, someone else has taken that place, her life has turned topsy turvy and if she is like any middle schooler, there are other issues at school she is dealing with. I think first you have to repair the personal relationship with her. She probably sees you as just the enforcer of rules and is missing the loving relationship she had with her own mother. Again, I am not trying to judge you and perhaps you are already trying the TLC first so excuse me for any misrepresentation. If all she hears is ranting and raving and nagging, 12 year olds dont respond well to that. Have you had any chance to spend 1 on 1 time doing mother-daughter fun stuff together? Tell her kindly and gently - that once a week, she needs to at least make an effort to clean the room and then reward her in some small way (whatever it is she is into). She will start to build more and more trust and likely to respond to you if she sees you not as a adversary but as someone she can bond with. If after all your efforts to bond with her, you still hear her screams and verbal abuse (and I am sure things will go back and forth), react to it calmly tell her you are trying very hard to develop a relationship with her and that you see her as your own daughter and that you cannot replace her mom but will try the best you can, But her words and screaming are not helping you and not acceptable behavior. Say it kindly but firmly. About cleaning bathrooms, I am actually in 2 minds about that. Frankly I think a 12 year old can do some basic wiping of the sink and floor but to expect them to scrub a toilet and bath tub, honestly, that can wait.

All I can say is - I have a 12 year old and by taking a very high handed and authoritative attitude, her Dad is loosing her. With me, I dont scream back when she screams. I try to be firm and kind, eventually she comes out, says sorry and does what I told her to do. A 12 year old is going thro a lot at school and if you havent read this book, 'how to talk to your kids so they will listen'., that is highly recommended. good luck to you.

Update: This is another book that is really really good "The Big Book of How to Say It Kids "
Also I was re-reading your post and you said she was 'snooping' in your bedroom and closet and you didnt take to this kindly. Personally I wont see it as snooping if my own 12 year old is in my closet but yes, if I find things missing, that is a concern, but it is usually because she wanted to try my new top as she felt she had nothing to wear. Is your bedroom off limits to her. When you caught her in the closet, you can ask if there was anything she needed from there and that you would be happy to let her borrow. Start out this way and then go from what reactions you get. I bet she just wanted to check out your clothes. As for the posters who advise calling police, that is the LAST resort..if you find her getting violent without control. But first try to repair the relationship, you may want to try group therapy between you , your husband and your step daughter. You need a good family therapist. I was just reading when kids are angry, it is usually they are very hurt inside and that is the only way they know to express it. Hope it works out for you. She is going to need lots and lots of patience and yes love and feeling of acceptance from you. And rules and chores will follow. Again hope the books help.


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