I knew when I decided to have a child that it would not be easy, but I think I was thinking more the physical demands, not the emotional and the juggling and trying to keep everyone happy.
Emily was an easy baby and always a pleasant child. Over time her behaviour has become more challenging and each day is a battle. She has many tantrums, is very strong willed and is rude and bossy. I keep thinking if she was not my child I would not like her! (not a nice thing to think).
I am really running out of ideas, discipline does not seem to work, I am fed up of shouting which of course makes things worse. I am of the view that things happen for a reason so there has to be a reason that she behaves in such a way, but its hard at the time to be rational. I have tried talking to her, we have some strange conversations at times, but nothing concrete seems to emerge.
This morning I tried to ask her why she won't go to bed, this is the big thing at the moment, she refuses to go to bed or comes downstairs every few minutes with some excuse or other usually that she needs something, or that she feels ill or to see how long it will be until I go to bed. She usually settles once I go to bed. this means that Rob and I get no time together at all and tempers become frayed as we are trying to sort things out in odd minutes that we get. I can't remember the last time we had an evening out, we have had odd times together when Rob has taken time off work, usually to sort something out or for a family emergency. Yesterday I found a weekend break that we could do if Emily stayed with family, but am now wondering if it will just make things worse.
My chat with Emily did not achieve anything as she was more interested in teasing the cat or laughing at me for telling her that it was not acceptable behaviour to play up at bedtime. She often comes down saying she wants me or she has not seen me, which is not true I am here all the time, she is just busy doing other things; watching TV, playing with children next door or ignoring me. I asked her if it would help if we planned a special time together each day and she said no as she might be doing something else. Later on I asked her what she wants to do when she gets home from her Willows session today. She asked to go to the park, I have no car and the weather is not good, then she said the pay centre, again no car and she wants me to take her to the one which is too far for me to drive anyway and then I can't walk from car into centre and can't get scooter in and out of car. I sad that we could walk (me scooter) along to a local play area if the weather is ok and maybe call in at garden centre for a new plant for outside front door. She said what is wrong with the one that is there? I said it is dead, she said I don't like change I don't want to change it it messes things up. Next she said I don't like dead things I don't want to see it. In the end we did not make any plans and now she has gone to Willows. I am sure that she will be unsettled about this as she has not been before, only had one to one at home with her key worker. Today she has gone to an arts and crafts session where she won't know anyone and was picked up by someone she has never met. I wouldn't want to do that and would have been unsettled last night if it was me, but what can I do if she does not tell me, I don't want to put words in her mouth or make her even more worried about going and in the end she makes so many excuses and behaves so badly she gets into trouble.
A very strange conversation the other week, which I thought was creepy, but again I don't know how to tackle. We were having a drink in a supermarket cafe and out of the blue she said to me, you want to die don't you? Trying not be shocked I said no, but we never know when we might die. There have been two deaths in the family recently. Not satisfied with this she said will you just hurry up and die and then daddy can get on with looking after me. I said won't you miss me, she said yes but it would be ok. She then went on to something else and I didn't want to push the subject, but something is obviously getting to her.
Emily is more unsettled away from home and we have spent a lot of time away from home recently with family problems and holiday. On holiday she refused to sleep in her own bed and spent the whole week in with me again refusing to go to bed until I did. Most of the activities we did she moaned all the way round, or sulked or had tantrums, then would later say she had enjoyed it!! One place we went she moaned all the way round and kept asking to leave and as soon as we got out she asked to go back in, as it was a paid thing we couldn't go back in. there was a kids activity sheet to do on the way round which she had no interest in, but later blamed me for it not being filled in. It's difficult when we are out as I use my wheelchair so Rob has to push me, Emily often wants to help, sometimes this is ok, but in some places she can't manage or she messes about so isn't allowed to and more arguments break out and I feel like its all my fault for being so useless.
I am really struggling to know what to do and the daily fights and tantrums drain my energy so there is no time for nice things.
I get very distressed I am a trained playworker, but can't deal with my own child.
She has tantrums on a daily basis, often at the slightest little thing, at her worst she lashes out and throws things at me. She is always saying no one cares and no one likes her. The tantrums are always worse when we have been with other people or when friends come to play and she does not always get her own way. As a family we seem unable to relax and have fun and its always a ticking time bomb. Rob and I do not agree on discipline or even what is bad behaviour. Rob wants to be very authoritarian and seems to think children should be seen and not heard and always do exactly what parents want. Yet when he is with other people he larks about and makes loads of noise. When we play things, Rob is impatient and won't let Emily work things out or be creative, so she messes about or loses interest in anything we try to do. Rob and Emily fight to be top dog and wind each other up and try to get each other into trouble and I am caught in the middle and whatever I say or do will upset someone, I don't want to take sides and usually end up making things worse not better.
Because I need to have rest periods during the day I am often trying to do other things when Emily is around, but if I have time she is not interested in doing anything and watches TV. She is usually not interested in anything when she gets in from school or other activity, but picks up later when we are trying to prepare tea or when I am really tired again. She likes watching TV, but what she watches is too young for her and she watches the same things over and over again. I have tried getting her to watch different things, but she just says no without even trying. At the moment all she will watch is Cbeebies, Tiny Pop and You've been framed.
Her general behaviour is very rude and bossy, refusing to listen, being bad mannered, stomping around, slamming doors and being deliberately naughty. I know if she is with other people she is a little angel. I don't expect her to be an angel all the time, but can't understand why she has become so naughty.
She gets very upset at being an only one, but she fights and falls out with friends. She is good with much younger children and loves playing with them and caring for them, but I am sure if there was another child she would not be like that as she would get much less attention. My post Get the facts right explains why we can't have another child.
I have sought advice and tried different techniques, some of which work for a while, but then don't.
I have so many books to look at, but get overwhelmed and when I read I want it to be for pleasure not trying to sort out problems all the time. I have spent most of the morning typing this which means I have not rested and not relaxed and not done the stitched card I need to get finished.
Books I have are, some I have read, some I have read part of and others not;
Mom they're teasing me
parenting your Defiant Child
how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk
opposite of worry
secret of happy children
parenting doesn't have to be a job
teaching kids to be good people
stress free organization for your child
free to learn
easy to love difficult to discipline
I need to finish now I am so tired and need to rest and eat before Emily returns.