8 year old daughter with behaviour issues
I’m at my wits end with my 8 year old daughter. I feel like I am failing as a parent. She’s always been a full on child from the day she was born.
Once she started school she got better, there was a definite improvement in her behaviour. She has severe allergies, to wheat eggs and nuts as well as eczema. She’s always feeling left out (never being able to eat the food at parties or at a restaurant, or when kids bring cupcakes to school for their bday etc). I’ve always tried hard to make her things to take where ever we go so that she can eat her version of what everyone else is eating.
She cant be told no to anything without screaming and yelling. She’s impatient, angry, and selfish. I don’t know how to deal with her anymore. I separated from my husband about 12 months ago and initially she wasn’t handling it well but then she turned a corner and was great. I spend as much one on one time with her as I can. I also have a younger daughter who is totally opposite to her. She is often really mean to her sister which breaks my heart.
The school never has any complaints about her, they say she is fantastic at school. Which makes me think it’s not a condition that needs to be diagnosed.
I don’t have any help or support in disciplining her as her father doesn’t spend a lot of time with her and when he does he has no authority and she won’t listen to him at all.
Shes very impulsive in her behavior. Eg she will get a soccer ball and kick it across the car park in front of a car, or grab a grape at the supermarket, throw it on the floor and step on it. She’s draw on the walls in her sisters bedroom. I try and give her as much positive attention as I can and praise her whenever she does good things or helps around the house.
Whenever she gets in trouble or put in her room she says I hate her and only love her sister and that she has no friends and hates her life. I’ve tried taking to her to see if something is bothering her but she says there is nothing. She struggles with friendships a lot. I think because she only wants to play what she wants and won’t compromise with friends.
I’m at a loss. I don’t know what to do about her behavior. But it’s making me so unhappy. I’ve lost friends and feel like she has drained me of any life I have left. I can’t be bothered, or have the energy to do much. It’s so emotionally draining. I love her and just want her to be happy. Anyone have any tips for me to deal with it. I’m so worried about the teenage years.
Thanks so much for starting this thread and being honest in sharing your story. I can see how much you love your daughter and how hard yo have tried to understand her.
I am guessing many parents reading your post will be nodding yes that's my child or my child was like that once.
School can be quite stressful for children so after a day of behaving and obeying rules some children come home and just start relaxing and acting out. If you talk to other parents I am sure you will find you are not alone.
At school there are clear boundaries, clear expectations and clear consequences that are always followed through. Sometimes at home, I know I would find it hard to always be consistent with implementing consequences .My child now and adult, during primary school was very well behaved at school but would be angry at me at home. I found and it was hard that I had to be as patient as I could and if it meant I would go outside and just deep breathe for a while I would,
I understand how tired, upset and unhappy and realise you know your child better than anyone and if this is just her unwinding after school because she can or if it is more than that.
It is reassuring that she is doing well at school so you do know she can behave and follow rules.
I am wondering have you taken her to or would you consider the two of you going to a counsellor . Is there a counsellor at her school or a psych in your community who has expertise in helping parents and children.
I wonder if your daughter has something she likes to do , be it reading, a special game, music, sport , a hobby that you could share with her.
Do you think having her allergies might affect her behaviour because she may be excluded from activities , etc and I know you work hard to supply her with the allergy free food.
Feel free to post here as much as you like .
thanks for your response. It’s hard as the behaviour is not just after school but also weekend and holidays. I recently took the kids on a cruise. She spent the whole time complaing about absolutely everything. Not once did she just stop and appreciate that I had taken her away and were doing lots of fun things.
I have enrolled her in soccer and gymnastics and also take her to a kidsfit class. She likes to keep busy and gets extremely bored at home. She doesn’t know how to entertain herself. She’s extremely demanding and if she’s not getting 100% of my attention she acts out. When I pay any attention to her sister it’s even worse.
Shes definately effected by her allergies and regularly feels left out. I understand how horrible it must be for her. She can’t eat the food out anywhere we go. It has a huge impact and upsets her. I know that has a lot to do with the behaviour. Unfortunately it’s not something I can change. It breaks my heart that she always feels left out. She hates talking about her allergies. Like she’s embarrassed about them. Always asks me why did she have to get eczema and allergies.
Thanks Saz for your reply.
I did assume after school meant weekends and holidays so I can understand how hard it must be for you and your other daughter.
A cousin of mine has children with severe allergies and I know she is a member of an allergy group for parents whose children have allergies and they offer a lot of support an idea. Just a thought it may help to google such a group.
You are working so hard as a single parent and sound so exhausted that it would be good if you could get some practical help and emotional help or talk to a counsellor.
Does your daughter behave at soccer, gymnastics , and keepfit?
Is there something the fun the three of you can do together .?
Thanks again for replying.
Thanks for that, I will google and see what groups I can find. That’s a great idea.
I am totally exhausted, I probably need to talk to someone for myself and that might give me better strategies to deal with her. Yes she’s great at all her activities, teachers always rave about her and tell me how good she is (meanwhile in my head I’m thinking do you have the right child lol). So it’s onviously something I am or aren’t doing. Or simply that she is so confident that I am going to love her no matter what that she takes all her frustrations out on me.
I appreciate you taking the time to reply 🙂