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10yoDD needs to go to school-she is ruining our homeschool


Moxie
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EVERY. DAY. last year, my now 10yoDD had some big melodramtic meltdown. Tears, yelling, "no one cares about me!", all kinds of drama. It sucked! All summer, she was fine. Not one hissy fit. I thought she had outgrown it.

 

On the first day of school this year, THE FIRST MINUTE OF SCHOOL, she started her drama again. The kids knew it was the first day, they were playing school and I said, in a silly voice, "Ok students, time to come to the table". She took her play backpack off, threw it across the room and yelled at me for talking in a silly voice. Our school year has sucked from the very first minute.

 

Weekends, spring break, she is fine. School isn't too hard for her, I don't make her do too much. Right now she has been crying and sassing because I told her she has to do all 16 problems on her MUS worksheet. She hates math. I get that. But she has to do it and MUS is the best choice for her.

 

If I told any of my IRL friends about this, they would think I was nuts because she is so sweet and gentle outside of school.

 

I'd love some ideas if anyone has them. I feel like a failure for thinking about sending her to school but she is really ruining my day, every day!

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The thing I've learned from DD's counselor is to not put up with it. DD has learning struggles and a low frustration level, but it's a constant battle over appropriate reactions. We've seen improvement by not giving the behavior attention--time outs, banished to her room. Also helping her find better ways to ask for help than melting into a puddle of "I don't understand" before any explanation or assistance has been given.

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A few thoughts.

 

I remember when my oldest was 11 and I had 4 younger children to care for and teach (well, just 2 others to teach). It was a stressful time. My oldest is not a drama child, and she didn't pitch tantrums, but she often would not do her work, or not do it well.

 

It was hard. Honestly, I expected too much from her. I needed her to do her work so I could deal with everyone else. She sensed that. I'm guessing your dd does too. She knows she can get away with the drama beause you have so much to do. (I'm not blaming you, it's just how it is).

 

Maybe sending her to school would be best, for her and for you. You don't want your relationship with her to become all about fighting. But if you do want to keep her home you will need to take time to just focus on her.

 

Keep her with you, and you stay with her. You do the work with her. You keep calm and pleasant. When she starts to rant, you gently bring her back (physically, I mean. If you can), and make her do her work. You explain, calmly, how her act is not helpful, and that you are there for her.

 

This will take time. Weeks, maybe months. She needs extra attention. You can't let her run the family, so try not to get caught up in her drama. (I know that's hard).

 

Take time to outline progress with her. I mean, tell her you want to work on her behavior and that there will be rewards for improvement. The rewards should be special time with you. Take her to a movie, out for icecream or have a "coffee" date. Take her to the book store and get her a new book. Anything, but it should be about the two of you. You need to focus on your relationship.

 

I do think homeschooling is worth the effort (well, most days I do. ;) ) But only you know what will work best for your family. It is not a failure to send her to school. You do what you have to do for you, the other kids, and for her.

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I feel like a failure for thinking about sending her to school but she is really ruining my day, every day!

 

I've always assessed my children individually. What works for one will not necessarily work for the other one. They are unique individuals and have unique needs. That said, my youngest has been in and out of public school. Sometimes it was perfect and other times it didn't work like we hoped. Now she is in high school and we have made the decision that she will stay there and not return to homeschooling. I'm not a failure. I'm not saying you should definitely send her to school, but I am going to suggest that you are not a failure if that is what makes her thrive.

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I'm sorry things have been so difficult. :grouphug: DS is often like that too. It's hard.

 

If I told any of my IRL friends about this, they would think I was nuts because she is so sweet and gentle outside of school.

 

 

 

Since your DD is so sweet and gentle around everyone else, maybe she's just one of those kids that needs to be taught by someone other than mom. I've heard many people on these boards share that one of their DC just needed mom to be mom, and did better when learning from someone else.

 

Is public school the only option? Or could you enroll her in co-ops and homeschool enrichment programs a few days a week? Around here, we have so many co-ops and homeschool enrichment programs that a parent could probably send their child to those types of programs every day of the week. ;) Even if she's just attending something like that 2-3 days a week for a few hours, maybe it would give her (and you!) enough of a break that the rest of your school time would go more smoothly.

 

The only BTDT advice I have is to just calmly stick to the program, don't give in to the yelling and tantruming, make your child's motivators (e.g. screen time, etc.) available only after all work is done, and just do the best you can. Easier said than done. :grouphug:

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Have a similar 10yr old DD here.

 

We have crazy outbursts that I know are partially related to her SPD, partially hormonal (ugh!) and partially where in the world did that come from?

 

For our family, one of the few things that has worked is not engaging in her argument. It's very difficult, as she needs to have the last word and will continue to be sassy and rather nasty even if disciplined (i.e. screen time taken away, trip to the library rescheduled, sent to her room, etc). But choosing to not argue back and ignore what she's doing (as long as she's not hurting anyone/thing) has helped. It's not a perfect solution, and it is very hard to do, but for my child, it works, at least with the adults - my 15 year old can't do it yet and ends up getting sucked into her drama. And the 5 year old just yells back, lol.

 

Everyone outside of our home also thinks she is the sweetest, nicest girl. I want you to realize that's a testament to your parenting, though: if your child really were a "bad" kid, she'd be lashing out at everyone, not just mom. Kids tend to save their worst for their parents because they know that at then end of the day they will still be loved and accepted by them. So kuddos to you for having a great kid outside of home!

 

Hugs. It's not easy, and I have also threatened ps when she acts up because I can't imagine spending even more time with her when she's like that. But in the end we both know it's better for her, so we manage to work it out. But yeah, some days are really really hard.

 

:grouphug:

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I've always assessed my children individually. What works for one will not necessarily work for the other one. They are unique individuals and have unique needs. That said, my youngest has been in and out of public school. Sometimes it was perfect and other times it didn't work like we hoped. Now she is in high school and we have made the decision that she will stay there and not return to homeschooling. I'm not a failure. I'm not saying you should definitely send her to school, but I am going to suggest that you are not a failure if that is what makes her thrive.

 

:iagree:

 

I've never felt that homeschooling is the end-all, be-all way to live. It worked for us, we loved it, and I'd do it again. However, there came a time when it didn't work (for me), and I sent my son to school. No regrets, with the exception that my school was more rigorous and he rose to the challenge.

 

My dd is still homeschooled for this year, but she is eagerly anticipating going to school full-tme next year. I'm sad, because she and I have a great time learning together, but it's an appropriate time, and I support her.

 

They are not failures or homeschool drop-outs.....times, and needs, change.

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I sent a dd to public school in 6th grade because of her terrible oppositional attitude.

She was a model student in school... at home (and still now when she visits) she is oppositional towards me.

 

Public school was a good choice for our relationship (and now an apartment in a DIFFERENT town is a good-- but expensive-- choice too!).

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:bigear: I've got one just like that. Tears over everything, doesn't want to do anything. It's been like this for almost 2 years now. It's getting very, very old. I'm very tempted to send her to school next year. I had thought she would outgrow it, but it seems to be getting worse. My dd, just turned 11 in March.

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I used to have a daughter like that (I say used because she isn't like that anymore). When she was about that age I let her become an independent learner. It revolutionized our homeschool. She is the most motivated kid I have. She always, ALWAYS gets her school done first thing in the morning. She has grown by leaps and bounds. The main reason we had such trouble was she just doesn't process information the same way that I presented it. She also needed to go at her own pace. If I had sent her to school she would have had issues there also. The program we use is Heart of Dakota. She does it completely independently. I check her work once in awhile but she always has it done. I even made her an office in a small room upstairs so she wouldn't be distracted by us. This year we did a homeschool co-op and she has done pretty good but I know she still learns best on her own.

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Is it a full moon? My 9.5 year old is sobbing in the bathroom because of some transgression of mine or another. I may be cracking out the vodka as soon as DH walks through the door.

 

It must be. We just had a total and complete meltdown about how many times 1 goes into 10. YIKES.

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In a lot of ways, I get her. I was her. My mother will attest to the fact that she is just like I was. I still have a terrible temper. Just yesterday, I pitched the stupid broken baby gate across the room because..well.. the fracking thing is broken and wouldn't stay up. But no one saw me and I was all better then. I didn't interrupt everyone's day and carry on for HOURS. She was fine by lunch and made light of the whole episode. IDK what to do with this child.

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In a lot of ways, I get her. I was her. My mother will attest to the fact that she is just like I was. I still have a terrible temper. Just yesterday, I pitched the stupid broken baby gate across the room because..well.. the fracking thing is broken and wouldn't stay up. But no one saw me and I was all better then. I didn't interrupt everyone's day and carry on for HOURS. She was fine by lunch and made light of the whole episode. IDK what to do with this child.

 

Key point!!!!! What would YOU have had YOUR Mom do to help you when you got this way? How can you share with her that you understand...?

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You could talk with her. Clearly she has a problem and she doesn't know how to solve it. Go for a walk with her, get an ice cream cone, and talk about what her problem is. Don't disagree with her, don't correct her. Listen, and let her be the expert (because she is - this is her she's talking about). Then tell her you'll think about what she said, you will consider it genuinely (then do). Go on another walk with her in a day or two and tell her your concerns. Then the two of you brainstorm together.

 

This will address two things. One is her problem solving skills. First she needs to identify the problem. Help her identify it, without judgement, without punishment or threat of punishment (even disappointment). Brainstorming together allows her to learn how to solve a problem without creating further problems for her or for others (you). This skill is probably one of the most important any kid will need growing up, and sadly one of the most overlooked. We parents figure we can save time by taking the shortcut straight to Solution, but that doesn't give our kids the experience of the process so they can learn to do it independently.

 

The second thing this will address is her natural autonomy. This is part of human nature. You can fight it, but if you want to maintain a good relationship with your loved ones, you might want to accept this as a variable that simply exists in a greater measure in some (including your daughter). Stomping, whining, throwing backpacks are all behaviors that suggest to me a feeling of being out of control, a feeling of being manipulated. Whether or not that's your intention (I seriously doubt it) doesn't matter. If it's how she perceives it, it has to be addressed. Giving her the opportunity to brainstorm with you new solutions will give her some autonomy. It may result in giving her more responsibility, and/or more freedom. It may result in less. Who knows until you try it.

 

You may want to take this time to re-evaluate why you're educating her in the way you are, and see if it meets her needs, and even if it meets your needs still. There are lots of insightful, experienced homeschoolers here who can help you try new things, things you may not have thought about thus far.

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We went through a year of drama last year when ds was 8/9. I visited the private schools in town and was trying to decide where to head next. I was so done with the drama and daily struggle. Then a veteran homeschooler told me she didn't think we had a homeschool problem. She said it sounded like we had a respect problem. She said that we needed to address the behavior problems (arguing, crying, pouting, stalling and not following instructions without a huge meltdown). She said that if we didn't address the respect issue, we shouldn't expect ds to behave any differently when we tried to help with homework at the end of the day, or do told him to do chores, or he didn't get his way with something etc.

 

It didn't change magically overnight, but now our son knows that being disrespectful will not be tolerated. He knows that he will have some serious loss of privileges for behaving badly. He still whines and stalls sometimes, but the daily struggles and meltdowns are over and we have a much better relationship. I am so glad we didn't give on homeschool. I know hs doesn't work for everyone and you know your daughter best, but working on a family relationship built on mutual respect is a worth while endeavor.

 

Hugs to you and your family.

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I can relate. My 10 year old is bright, capable, sweet natured (to almost everyone, even me sometimes LOL).....but boy can she have some ah-mazing meltdowns. I mean 0 to 60 complete with slamming doors, wailing, hysterics, accusations (you don't love me, everyone is laughing at me (well, sometimes yeah because she is being so comically ridiculous, but we try to wait until she leaves the room), my life stinks, you are so unfair, I wish (fill in never born, born to other parents, didn't have siblings, was raised by wolves LOL)...) the whole thing is just exhausting. I asked my mother and she said I was a trying child, but not melodramatic like DD. I think mine honestly enjoys the feeling of getting more and more worked up. The only thing isolating her does is get the behavior out of the room we are in, she still works herself up into a dither. She's always been a little "over the top" and I think this is just more of the same. I love her, I hope she harnesses this passion and uses it for good one day ;) I hope I live to see it, because some days I'm just drained from it. Disengaging is the BEST thing for us - but like I said, it doesn't stop the behavior. It just means she doesn't get any MORE feedback from us (beyond being sent to her room - a clear sign we don't love her *sigh*) and that the rest of us can continue on in semi peace (she can wail like a fire engine, so it's hard to really get silence unless we all just left the house...)

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Only a few weeks into 5th grade, after homeschooling an increasingly difficult dd since the end of 1st grade, enough was enough. I hear you. I had a meeting with the local school and was able to select the best teacher and classroom (the most experienced woman who would stand for no nonsense) for dd and off to school she went. I still had her older brother and younger sister at home (plus the other twin boy in sped.)

 

Each year who went to school and who was in homeschool depended on the needs of the kid and which situation would best meet their needs. In my oldest dd's case, she needed to be in school - we got along and still get along much, MUCH better now that we are not together 24/7 (she is a college freshman now).

 

Your relationship with your dd is as important, or even more important, than her schooling.

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I have seen parents send such a child back to school and the relationship at home improved. I have seen parents send such a child back to school and the relationship did not improve, it got worse. If you use the space school creates to work on the relationship, maybe school will be a help in this situation. She may be hormonal and you are the safest person to act out at when her hormone boil and she needs to vent. That still would not allow you to ignore the behavior because that will teach her that it is okay to vent on her own children and dh someday. Before deciding if school is in order I would suggest finding a way to deal with a 10yo who wails like a fire engine so that she has hijacked the whole family. That is bs in my opinion, and I think you need special books and teaching to deal with an especially strong willed child. She sounds to me like she has a taste for power, and would find some creative ways to take charge of your home again.

 

My oldest really got a lot of power out of disrupting things but never on this scale, so I am no help, but I know there are authors that deal with this sort of strong will.

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This.

My 11 year old has made this year a nightmare. She doesn't tantrum, but she is obviously miserable and it shows. Just this week she's started with the "you're the worst mom EVER" speech... because I told her to do EVERY OTHER problem in her math book. Gah.

From what I understand, it's entirely typical of the age (all of her female age mates - public school and homeschool alike - appear to be going through the EXACT same thing).

On that note, she has expressed more than once a sentiment that Dandelion expressed here - DD wants me to be "mom" again. She wants to spend the day away from me, have the ability to miss me, bake with me, enjoy our time together, etc.

I can't physically stay with her the entire time she's working - I have other children, one of whom is newly mobile and looking for trouble; I simply can't dedicate 5 hours of table time to sit right there with her. There is a very real possibility that she will go back to Catholic school next year... and that's okay. It has to be. I have two other children at home and one of them needs some learning time too (and craves it to boot).

I'm sorry things have been so difficult. :grouphug: DS is often like that too. It's hard.

 

 

 

Since your DD is so sweet and gentle around everyone else, maybe she's just one of those kids that needs to be taught by someone other than mom. I've heard many people on these boards share that one of their DC just needed mom to be mom, and did better when learning from someone else.

 

Is public school the only option? Or could you enroll her in co-ops and homeschool enrichment programs a few days a week? Around here, we have so many co-ops and homeschool enrichment programs that a parent could probably send their child to those types of programs every day of the week. ;) Even if she's just attending something like that 2-3 days a week for a few hours, maybe it would give her (and you!) enough of a break that the rest of your school time would go more smoothly.

 

The only BTDT advice I have is to just calmly stick to the program, don't give in to the yelling and tantruming, make your child's motivators (e.g. screen time, etc.) available only after all work is done, and just do the best you can. Easier said than done. :grouphug:

 

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She said that if we didn't address the respect issue, we shouldn't expect ds to behave any differently when we tried to help with homework at the end of the day, or do told him to do chores, or he didn't get his way with something etc.

 

 

 

 

I can verify this. My dd had these same tantrums over homework, projects, etc while in ps.. Even extra curricular (oh my word - the piano practices that went down in flames). She doesn't like to "correct" herself, she wants it right the first time, she wants to know it all without being told. She isn't interested in LEARNING to be something - she just wants to be it. It's a difficult personality.

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How are you disciplining the inappropriate behavior?

 

Sending her to school will not make her behavior better when you tell her to do something after school.

 

 

I tried just about every 'strong child' parenting technique. We were even in counseling. My other 2 daughters were well adjusted and have gone through a similar 'grumbling stage' around puberty but were NEVER oppositional like this.

 

It is not necessarily a 'discipline' issue-- sometimes it is just a conflict of personalities or a problemed child.

 

Yes, my dd was not perfect when she came home from school-- BUT she was better able to ask for my help on homework if she needed it, and more importantly, I was more relaxed and was emotionally stronger and thus better able to cope with her issues, offering her guidance instead of constant tension.

 

My sister once thought my dd's attitude was just 'poor parenting' (that I needed to read more books...). THEN she had her youngest son. 'Nough said!!

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I tried just about every 'strong child' parenting technique. We were even in counseling. My other 2 daughters were well adjusted and have gone through a similar 'grumbling stage' around puberty but were NEVER oppositional like this.

 

It is not necessarily a 'discipline' issue-- sometimes it is just a conflict of personalities or a problemed child.

 

Yes, my dd was not perfect when she came home from school-- BUT she was better able to ask for my help on homework if she needed it, and more importantly, I was more relaxed and was emotionally stronger and thus better able to cope with her issues, offering her guidance instead of constant tension.

 

My sister once thought my dd's attitude was just 'poor parenting' (that I needed to read more books...). THEN she had her youngest son. 'Nough said!!

 

Okay, fair enough. I get that. I'm not an idiot.

 

But the OP didn't mention how she handled it when her dd behaves inappropriately so I thought I'd ask. No crime in that. I don't think it deserves a lecture.

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You ladies are scaring me...

 

 

I'm sorry, Susan, I didn't mean to. My dd is going to high school next year not because of attitude but because she's extremely out-going and from attending part-time this year she's made some good friends and has teachers befriending her in the school library and saying they can't wait to teach her! So, for US, this is the right decision at the right time.

 

She's in marching band, concert band, choir, speech and debate, and CSI lab (some are a semester each), and next year she's hoping to add French Honor Society, drama, and Model U.N. to the list. She's a highly motivated girl. :D

 

So no worries....the 10yo attitude may very well pass quickly!

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I used to act like this myself. Terrible anger outbursts, and one of the first things that my mother told my husband the first time she met him when we started dating was, "she has anger issues!"

 

Thanks Mom.

 

You know, I was angry. I was angry because I usually didn't get genuine attention, and the majority of the time, my feelings didn't matter. I learned the behavior from her. I acted like this because I was hurting, and I didn't know how to express my feelings, other than with anger.

 

I'm sorry, but I don't buy it for a single second that some children are just "problem children" or have "conflicting personalities." There is a reason behind people's behaviors, whether it be children, adults, etc. God gives children, and if they become sassy or ill-behaved, it's likely not because they have "problems." Looking back, I realize I did have problems, but I can see where they stemmed from! Of course I had my own free will, but at a young age, children don't have the ability to rationalize (heck, many adults have that problem), they don't have the ability to solve their own problems, or may not feel comfortable sharing their true feelings with their parents, especially if that relationship has not been built between parent/child, a foundation of trust.

 

This can be a touchy topic. It's not saying anyone is a bad parent! My oldest is only 7, but I'm now picking up the pieces to living my entire life one way, and trying to parent in another way. I fail, often. It is something I have to remind myself of, what I don't want to be.

 

I KNOW my Mom thought I had "issues" she wanted to send me away. I wasn't homeschooled, but there were times that I would yell/scream at her, and she would make comments about sending me away. It was extremely hurtful, and solidified all of my thoughts and feelings.

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Strong-Willed Child or Dreamer? http://www.amazon.co...hild or dreamer

 

Best investment I have ever made for my relationship with my DD.

 

 

:iagree: I bought this book based on the recommendation of someone on this board. All of these stories sound so much like my dd9 before I bought, read, and applied this book. It has made things so much better between us. I always felt like we were speaking different languages to each other. After reading this book I realized that we were! She was interpreting things that I said through her "dreamer" filter which had nothing to do with what I actually said or did. This book taught me how to communicate with her in a way that she would understand.

 

A lot of these stories sound like dreamer traits that parents see as being stubborn/strong-willed. I recommend the book as well.

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Key point!!!!! What would YOU have had YOUR Mom do to help you when you got this way? How can you share with her that you understand...?

 

 

What an excellent way to think about the situation!

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I was a difficult, overly dramatic child. I was also a child who always wished I had not behaved that way but felt unable to back down because my parents had drawn a line in the sand. It was a horrible cycle. Then, I realized my oldest dd was also one of those kids. :eek:

 

We had a long talk about letting our emotions get the better of us and how we sometimes might wish for a do-over. When she would cop her crazy attitude, I would point out she would probably like a chance to do that over. She would (usually) go to her room and come out better. If she did, we moved on. There was no punishment. This started at about 10 and now at 13 she rarely needs to do this. She feels safer and has much better control of her emotions. I don't know if this would work with others, but I remember so desperately being that kid and wishing I could just start things over. So, I gave dd the chance I never had and it's worked out well. We're close now and she's actually a joy to be around at thirteen.

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Have you asked her, in a calm moment, how she feels about all this? Does she want the tantrums to stop? Does she wish life were more pleasant and calm? Most kids don't want to behave horribly.

 

Maybe you can have a heart to heart -- with you trying hard to bite your tongue (very difficult, for me anyway)-- where she can share her perspective. Then, maybe the two of you could talk about how you could help her. i.e. What is one thing she wishes you would do differently? What is one main thing you'd like to begin helping her with? Ask her what she thinks would help and then (within reason) set up a plan to help her. Offer your own suggestions for a plan. Then plan a time when you can check in with her about how each of you are doing.

 

If you're a praying family, ask her if she'd like you to pray about the plan. Write on the calendar when your check-in times will be. Remind her that as her mom, you are the one to help her with her big problems, and that you want to.

 

This kind of thing has made such a difference when my kids' behavior is way out of line. I don't have girls, but maybe this will help.

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I used to act like this myself. Terrible anger outbursts, and one of the first things that my mother told my husband the first time she met him when we started dating was, "she has anger issues!"

 

Thanks Mom.

 

You know, I was angry. I was angry because I usually didn't get genuine attention, and the majority of the time, my feelings didn't matter. I learned the behavior from her. I acted like this because I was hurting, and I didn't know how to express my feelings, other than with anger.

 

I'm sorry, but I don't buy it for a single second that some children are just "problem children" or have "conflicting personalities." There is a reason behind people's behaviors, whether it be children, adults, etc. God gives children, and if they become sassy or ill-behaved, it's likely not because they have "problems." Looking back, I realize I did have problems, but I can see where they stemmed from! Of course I had my own free will, but at a young age, children don't have the ability to rationalize (heck, many adults have that problem), they don't have the ability to solve their own problems, or may not feel comfortable sharing their true feelings with their parents, especially if that relationship has not been built between parent/child, a foundation of trust.

 

This can be a touchy topic. It's not saying anyone is a bad parent! My oldest is only 7, but I'm now picking up the pieces to living my entire life one way, and trying to parent in another way. I fail, often. It is something I have to remind myself of, what I don't want to be.

 

I KNOW my Mom thought I had "issues" she wanted to send me away. I wasn't homeschooled, but there were times that I would yell/scream at her, and she would make comments about sending me away. It was extremely hurtful, and solidified all of my thoughts and feelings.

 

 

Regarding the bolded, that may not be the correct, PC term, but I absolutely believe some children are more difficult than others. Of my 6, I have 2 that are this way. They have been this way from their earliest ages. My other children all come from the same mother and the same father (me and my dh) but they are unbelievably different, and easier, and happier, children. I have raised them all the same. I have been there for each of them since birth- extended breastfed, ran to them when they needed me, co-slept, gave them all loads of attention and time, but the fact is that my strong-willed children are going to do things their way and that. is. that. If they don't get to do things THEIR way, they will fight tooth and nail. And being the irrational CHILDREN they are, their way, of course, is not always best. I'm sure this strong will of theirs will make them excellent, strong adults someday, but they sure can be difficult to raise. :)

 

I felt a lot like you described until a couple years ago. I blamed my parents for everything. They labeled me constantly. They did send me away- for 2 years. I was 14 and they couldn't stand me anymore so they sent me to a disciplinary boarding school. I have major rejection and insecurity issues related to that. I thrived being away from them. We did have a very toxic home environment but the more time has gone by and the more I am able to take responsibility for my own actions, I am able to realize just how much responsibility I did have in the situation. I did not have to act and react the way I did. I made life very difficult on them, and more difficult than necessary on myself. To be fair, they never taught me coping mechanisms, but in the OP's case, if a parent is homeschooling and concerned about their child's behavioral outbursts, it's fair to assume they are a caring, involved parent. My mom could have never homeschooled me. She just wasn't invested enough to inconvenience herself like that for me.

 

So yes, I do think some children are much more difficult, and I don't think that because they have outbursts that necessarily means they are somehow neglected or terribly emotionally wounded. Sometimes human nature is just...selfish. And rude. And wrong.

 

A PP mentioned her daughter going to school and being involved in a ton of activities. The opposite actually has worked the best for my strong-willed daughter. For some reason she craves social time and lots of going and excitement, but I have notice a marked decrease in her threshold for stress and her ability to be decent when she is too busy or too involved socially. For a time, we have cut her out of ALL outside activities and it's like she can finally breathe. And she was only in swim team! But even that was too much for her. We took away her social computer time, swim team, and the chance of getting together with all but one friend because of her attitude. It was WAY less devastating for her than I thought it was going to be. She is doing so much better now. She is happy, she is able to entertain herself here at home, she is much more pleasant with me and her brothers, she is more motivated with her schoolwork. If I had her in school that wouldn't help anything. Lots of activities would just increase the problems we have here at home because she'd be so strung out and exhausted. She also needs a lot of sleep.

 

That's just our story, but wanted to give another viewpoint.

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I was a difficult, overly dramatic child. I was also a child who always wished I had not behaved that way but felt unable to back down because my parents had drawn a line in the sand. It was a horrible cycle. Then, I realized my oldest dd was also one of those kids. :eek:

 

We had a long talk about letting our emotions get the better of us and how we sometimes might wish for a do-over. When she would cop her crazy attitude, I would point out she would probably like a chance to do that over. She would (usually) go to her room and come out better. If she did, we moved on. There was no punishment. This started at about 10 and now at 13 she rarely needs to do this. She feels safer and has much better control of her emotions. I don't know if this would work with others, but I remember so desperately being that kid and wishing I could just start things over. So, I gave dd the chance I never had and it's worked out well. We're close now and she's actually a joy to be around at thirteen.

 

Oh my gosh, YES! I was a stubborn, proud kid. Even at a very young age, I remember being embarrassed about being bossed around and corrected. Now, obviously a parent is the boss and kids sometimes require correction. But my parents kind of...shamed me (for lack of a better word). They figured out that my worst punishment was standing in the corner because it was just beyond humiliating to me. (I had to actually put my nose in the corner!) The more I resisted being bossed, the more authoritarian and punitive they became. Seems a natural enough reaction, except that the more they dug their heels in, the more I dug mine in. I dug my heels in AND built a wall. A big, insurmountable wall. And I was too proud to ever scale that wall either, so that was that. I felt that they wanted to break me, but I refused to be broken. I wanted them to care, hear me, listen, know me. I truly felt like they just wanted me to mind. Now, as an adult and parent myself, I know that they were doing the best they could with a freakishly headstrong daughter, but the effects of an adversarial relationship remain to this day. We "get along" but we are not close.

 

My DD is a dreamer, and I think I was a dreamer too. She is definitely a mini-me. I know she often wishes she could take back words but that if I scold her too harshly, or too soon, or if I shame her, she will be mortaring her own bricks before I know it. So I let her save face. I talk. I am gentle, even when she is not. Sometimes I have to bite my tongue (literally!) and sometimes we both need to cool off before talking, but if I stay calm and try to listen more than I talk, she always comes around. The big things I am always sure to do are to apologize for my own misbehavior first (gets her argument out of the way and sets an example) and tell her about times in my childhood when I made the same mistakes she is in trouble for at the time. I try to make myself her ally.

 

All that said, because I know someone is thinking this... She does not get away with stuff. She still faces consequences and gets in all kinds of trouble :tongue_smilie:, but there is always a dialogue and she always knows that mistakes and their consequences are a natural part of growing up. I used to joke that I had Perfect Child Syndrome. I didn't think my kids were perfect. I was just apparently delusional, thinking that they ought to be. I mean, if you would have asked me if my kids were or ought to be perfect, I would have laughed. But how else could you explain how we would all be having a perfectly lovely day and then one of the kids would misbehave and I would be...surprised? Upset? Angry? LOL Why? Turns out, kids misbehave! :tongue_smilie: And that's to be expected. That's when I put 2 and 2 together to realize that the real problem we were having was my extremely puppet-like reaction to my kids' misbehavior.

 

So, for the kids... You lack self-control? Let me help you with that. It's a natural part of growing up. You lied? Let me help you grow past that. I lied when I was a kid too. It's a natural part of growing up. You are in trouble for being sassy? Let me help you with that. Discerning when being sassy is fun/joking/appropriate and when it's not is a natural part of growing up. You are angry? Let me help you talk through that...when you feel ready to talk. It is OK to tell me you are mad at me. Learning how without having a temper tantrum is a natural part of growing up.

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:iagree: I bought this book based on the recommendation of someone on this board. All of these stories sound so much like my dd9 before I bought, read, and applied this book. It has made things so much better between us. I always felt like we were speaking different languages to each other. After reading this book I realized that we were! She was interpreting things that I said through her "dreamer" filter which had nothing to do with what I actually said or did. This book taught me how to communicate with her in a way that she would understand.

 

A lot of these stories sound like dreamer traits that parents see as being stubborn/strong-willed. I recommend the book as well.

 

I always love to hear about other people who read and benefitted from this book! I will add that the book was absolutely the biggest AHA about my DD, but it also helped me improve communication with all of my kids. DD is 75/25 Dreamer/Diplomat. DS10 is 75/25 Diplomat/Dreamer. DS7 is 95/5 Driver/Dreamer. That kid is a handful. :lol:

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I was a difficult, overly dramatic child. I was also a child who always wished I had not behaved that way but felt unable to back down because my parents had drawn a line in the sand. It was a horrible cycle. Then, I realized my oldest dd was also one of those kids. :eek:

 

We had a long talk about letting our emotions get the better of us and how we sometimes might wish for a do-over. When she would cop her crazy attitude, I would point out she would probably like a chance to do that over. She would (usually) go to her room and come out better. If she did, we moved on. There was no punishment. This started at about 10 and now at 13 she rarely needs to do this. She feels safer and has much better control of her emotions. I don't know if this would work with others, but I remember so desperately being that kid and wishing I could just start things over. So, I gave dd the chance I never had and it's worked out well. We're close now and she's actually a joy to be around at thirteen.

 

 

This works really well for us here too. Sometimes she will go to her room without a fight, but often she won't. :) Either way, it helps every time once she is able to go there and take a breather.

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I used to act like this myself. Terrible anger outbursts, and one of the first things that my mother told my husband the first time she met him when we started dating was, "she has anger issues!"

 

Thanks Mom.

 

You know, I was angry. I was angry because I usually didn't get genuine attention, and the majority of the time, my feelings didn't matter. I learned the behavior from her. I acted like this because I was hurting, and I didn't know how to express my feelings, other than with anger.

 

My mother used to hiss at me, "You need to FIX your ATTITUDE problem!" Super effective! LOL

 

DH and I met away at college. The first time my mom met him was when he came to visit me at my parents' house over the summer. One day, when I was in my room, I heard her stop him in the hall. She said, and I will never forget it, "Kristina is a much nicer person with you around!" :lol: I continue to be a much nicer person with DH around. :)

 

Regarding the bolded, that may not be the correct, PC term, but I absolutely believe some children are more difficult than others.

 

I could be wrong, but I read it as meaning that kids who appear to be difficult may just have different personalities, maybe needing to be parented differently. DD could have been called difficult (to put it mildly!), but when I adjusted the way I discipline her, her behavior problems improved significantly. DS7, although very different from DD, is also a challenge. But same thing, when I tweak my parenting, his behavior improves. DS10 is pretty "standard" from a parenting standpoint. LOL

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I could be wrong, but I read it as meaning that kids who appear to be difficult may just have different personalities, maybe needing to be parented differently. DD could have been called difficult (to put it mildly!), but when I adjusted the way I discipline her, her behavior problems improved significantly. DS7, although very different from DD, is also a challenge. But same thing, when I tweak my parenting, his behavior improves. DS10 is pretty "standard" from a parenting standpoint. LOL

 

 

I agree. I don't think we should necessarily adjust our expectations of them (to be respectful, civil, kind- at least as the end result goal) but each child needs different kinds of love, attention, discipline, etc.

 

My mom used to hiss at me "LITTLE MISSY" whenever she was really PO'd. I don't blame her...she didn't really have the coping skills to help me, anyway. But I really try to separate my anger and frustration from dd even though her behavior tends to bring that up in me. I know it doesn't help just to vent on her or hiss at her, lol.

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I agree. I don't think we should necessarily adjust our expectations of them (to be respectful, civil, kind- at least as the end result goal) but each child needs different kinds of love, attention, discipline, etc.

 

My mom used to hiss at me "LITTLE MISSY" whenever she was really PO'd. I don't blame her...she didn't really have the coping skills to help me, anyway. But I really try to separate my anger and frustration from dd even though her behavior tends to bring that up in me. I know it doesn't help just to vent on her or hiss at her, lol.

 

Well, I am seriously LOL now. Guess what I did today? When the kids ticked me off, I hissed. Literally. I hissed with cat fang face. And they kept on, so I hissed a bit louder and clawed the air. And added a few feral RAAAWWWRRs. Then they stopped being evil trolls and did what I had asked. We are a cat family though. My mom never hissed the fun way. :tongue_smilie:

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