March 27, 2018 at 12:41 am #1442
Hello and thank you for taking the time to contemplate my issue. It’s been ongoing for 3 years.
Some background: I have always been a thoughtful, compassionate, patient and kind person. I don’t tend to argue or get upset. I’m pretty chill… or at least I was until I had a daughter.
My daughter was born three months premature. I didn’t have the chance to bond with her in utero. When I was in labour I was told she may not make it (they didn’t have to resuscitate if something went wrong), she was taken from me before I even saw her and placed in an incubator. I didn’t get to hold her until she was 8 days old and then (because I had a son at home to care for) I saw her for an hour a day fort he next 7 weeks. She didn’t breast feed so I didn’t bond that way and then she had coin for the first 8 months at home! It was hard to bond with a screaming creature when I hadn’t slept either. So we didn’t get off to a great start.
As she’s grown (she just turned three), her personality is proving very difficult for me to get along with. She’s very independent, willful and down right defiant at every opportunity. Today for instance, she screamed at me when I tried to change her diaper because she wanted be positioned a different way, she screamed at me when I tried to dress her in jeans and she wanted purple pants, she screamed at me because I asked her what she wanted for breakfast, I made what she requested and she changed her mind and wanted something else then she threw her food on the floor. She peed on the floor right in front of me because I asked her to go in the potty, she continuously kicked me because she wanted to sit where I was sitting, stabbed me with a stick, we went for a walk and I wanted to turn left and she wanted to turn right (into traffic). This goes on and on, day after day (imagine what bedtimes are like!) It’s exhausting and honestly feels like I’m in a terrible relationship.
I have never felt rage before I had her, but I feel it almost daily now towards her. Although I haven’t physically hurt her, I find my language with her getting worse and I certainly fantasize about not having her in my life. It sometimes takes a lot for me not to spank her or let her do the dangerous thing she is fighting against me to do. Part of me thinks “Okay just go ahead and do it. You’ll see I was right when that car hits you). I think I hate her, but I feel terrible about that. I do know I don’t love her the way I want to.
I have a son a year older than her who is amazing, who I love freely and openly. I have infinite patience with him. My love for him keeps me going on a day-to-day basis and honestly keeps me from running away from his sister.
I am not a pushover mom with her. I have tried time outs, rewards, loosing privileges, keeping her separated. She doesn’t seem to care about any of these things. She is so stubborn, nothing matters except for what’s on her mind to achieve, no matter how silly. She will literally push back for hours if she doesn’t get her way. She will pass out from exhaustion rather than give up. I’m at witts end with her and am so scared it’s going to go on for our entire relationship or that I’ll ruin her because I don’t care anymore. I want to do right by her, but I also need to help myself. My feeling towards her and the exhaustive nature of our relationship is affecting my mental health.
I have a supportive husband and friends, fun hobbies and financial stability. I’m just at a loss for how this is going to get better. Please help.March 27, 2018 at 5:24 am #1443
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.
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