Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Confidence taking a beating again tonight!

"You're the stupidest mum in the whole wide world."

Welcome to my saga of the unreachable daughter. Of course, being told by a 7 year old that I'm the stupidest mum in the whole wide world isn't going to shake my confidence in my intelligence, I may have low self esteem - but I'm not insane!

What does shake my confidence is that I can't find a way to get through to her. She is really a very sweet natured girl, she is perfect at school and on her best behaviour when staying with friends, and she can be adorable at home - when she wants to be.

She has a lot to deal with for her age, becoming disillusioned with her dad, the separation, her dad suddenly becoming nice again on their 'Daddy' Days, and on top of that her brother has moderate autism which is stressful for her on many levels.

She can be extremely rude, naughty and enjoys triggering her brother's autistic behaviour. When I try to get through to her, she ends up talking back, having a screaming fit, completely ignoring me or bursting into tears saying everyone is mean to her.

So I'm left feeling exausted, wrung out, frustrated, and guilty that I've made her sad - even when I've been very lenient in her punishment (eg. taking her radio away for the night).

I can't even get the quiet enjoyment I used to get when we had snuggle time because she has become extremely clingy and her hugs just get too much. I know that is a strange thing to say for hugs, especially as I love hugging my kids, but it is not as enjoyable when they cling so hard and so long that you can't get things done because they won't let go.

I know a lot of her behaviour is a delayed reaction to the separation between her dad and me. Before when she remembered her dad ignoring her and pushing her to one side, she wasn't upset about him leaving, but now that he is a great once a fortnight dad, she wants him back here with us. I've had to confirm a few times now that we won't be getting back together when she has asked. I feel horrible everytime I've had to do it, but I can't let her hold on to false hope either.

She is going to the school chaplain once a week to chat about her worries and I'm trying to keep to a routine here at home. I've been told she will get past this, we just have to ride it out till she does.

Meanwhile I'll still be looking around for new ideas on how to help her, because I just can't bear to see her so unhappy. I'll also make it a point to blog about when she is happy or has been particularly good, it is all too easy to focus on the bad behavior and forget to encourage the good. If I have her good behavior recorded I can remind her (with examples) of why I am proud of her when she starts to act out.

Ahhh.... all is quiet from her room, cross your fingers everyone that it stays that way till morning!

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