Reply To: Hate-Filled Mom

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You and your daughter both need some help. Your daughter should have a full assessment from a child psychologist – it sounds like she has traits of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), however, this can only be evaluated by a professional. Please consider working with a child behavior therapist, who can help your daughter develop emotion regulation skills and social skills. She needs to learn how to manage her emotions. A therapist  should also give you some parent management training – the strategies that you are using are not helping, in fact you may be enabling her behavior; again this can be assessed by a behavior therapist. Also, there may be dietary changes that can be made (such as eliminating food colors and sugar), which may be affecting her mood.

Do you get any “me time”? Make sure you schedule this a couple of times a week, and do an activity that brings you pleasure. I understand that you have 2 young children, but remember that short breaks from mothering can make you a better mother. Try to change your thinking regarding your daughter. Tell yourself that you are getting professional help, which will work, and this relationship will improve – it’ll get easier for you. But you need to actually get the help. A hopeful attitude, together with practical solution-focused steps, can change how you feel about this.