This patient support community is for discussions relating to the challenges of parenting children (age 6-12), including physical development, handling school & classes, emotional development, cognitive development, and games and activities.
Not sure if I should post here or in the preteen forum my step daughter acts 12 already. Anyways this past weekend she came over. On Saturday while at her uncles home she began to scratch her hand. I figured it was just a bite and that is why she was doing it. So I stopped her and kept telling her that would only make it worse. She fought me on it and at first acted as if she wasn't going to listen but finally did and started playing with me.
Then on Sunday, while we were getting ready for church she acted out of it. I just figured she was still tired. But when we got to church she couldn't stop crying. Years were just running down her face and she acted as if she didn't want to be a part of our little family(her dad, me, and her little brother). So when praise and worship was over I took her to the restroom to talk and wash her face. The tears still poured and she wouldn't talk. She finally said that she felt "like he is taking over". I asked her over what and she wouldn't respond. When we went back she started scratching her arm again, I grabbed her hand and held it. Then she dug her nails into the palm of her hand. It was just enough to turn them red. I grabbed that hand too, I told her to pray. She say there crying and leaning on me for a bit. I let her know that I may not be able to have kids and that I love her and her brother as my own. I let her know if she needs anything to call or text me I am there for her. She seemed happy with this. She all of a sudden turned to me and said "he is gonna now". She was talking of the devil.
I believe she was just acting out after thinking about it. That day though she really had me worried and scared. I had told her father, who told his mother, their grandmother. And the grandmother yelled at her and told her she needed to stop before she ends up in a mental home. I cried cause I did t agree with this. The little girl ran to me and cried on my shoulder. My husband and me spoke to her again a bit that day, and then went on with our plans.
I love this little girl like my own. I believe she is just acting out. Her favorite movie right now is possession which she saw with her mother. So I think she got some of the behavior from there. Still I want to know why she is acting out. I feel like I need to talk to her this weekend since she opens up to me but how should I go about it. This where I am struggling. I want to know where she is having problems. She has been picked on in school and her grades were dropping but they seem to be coming back up now. As for kids picking on her she handles it pretty well on her own and we always comfort her. I just feel helpless we only get them every other weekend and her mother would feel like she is being a bad mother and yell at her too.
If anyone has any suggestions I would be grateful.
I just want to say I commend you on taking these children as your own. It is hard but I have been there and I can see you care about her a lot.
It seems as though something has happened. Have you seen the movie possession? I haven't but is it like a satanic/poltergeist (SP?) kind of movie? It could be that she is terrified by this movie and she is scaring herself or she is indeed hearing voices.
I hate when people make comments like you better stop or you will end up in a mental facility, that just makes me so angry and so wrong to say.
Is it possible if you could take her out just you and her and talk to her alone about how she is feeling and about the things she is saying, if she is hearing voices and reassure her that no matter what you are there for her?
She seems to really trust you and you are a female and that helps.
What does her mother say about this?
The scratching of the hands seems to be anxiety. Maybe her mother has scared her some way or the movie has or people at school?
I would dig for answers but get that trust from her and if you can't get anything from her try taking her to a child psychologist. There is nothing wrong with that. I had to take my daughter because she had a fear of death and was and still is clingy to me and I feel it helped answer some questions I had. My husband came into our lives when she was 7 and I was a single mother and I think for a while she became jealous but wouldnt show it but would stop sleeping at other peoples houses maybe to make sure she was with both of us all the time so she wouldnt have fun without out etc.
She is getting better but it takes time. She has anxiety as well as is very sensitive.
I don't have her father to deal with so I know that whatever she is going through or feeling has nothing to do with him or what has happened in his house.
I am curious about her mother. Could you tell me more about her? Is she civil? is she mentally okay?
Just an update and a quick response to the above. My little girl doesn't have mental issues to where she needs a physiatrist talking to her. I know many believes that helps but if its just for attention she is acting this way or due to issues at school those issues need to be dealt with. As for the issues being due to my husband drinking no I know that isn't it cause he stopped drinking and around the kids he wasn't a big big drinker. It was when they weren't around that he drank heavy.
Now the update after talking to her mother we found out age has been getting messed with alot at school. Which is only part of the issue the major issuers that her mom goes up to the school almost every day and our little girl wants to handle it on her own. So the kids are picking on her more and more. Plus we found out through talking to our daughter she also wants time with daddy without her little brother around. My husband is gonna pick her up and take her to lunch and to run some errands Saturday. So I think all will work out.
Oh boy, more worried than ever for this child. Acting out is the way children of that age show that they are distressed. It's not usually an attention issue. Yes, things at school however such as bullying can greatly affect a child. That is when the counselor and teacher needs to get involved but in truth, not all kids are bullied. My son has been bullied and it helped us to identify what HE was doing to be a target. We addressed that and helped him with how to handle it and things are much better.
You've been worried about your husband's alcholism (alcoholism) and that is why I mention what is going on with your husband as an issue for her. Kids aren't dumb. They know a lot more about those things that go on than you think they might. And being a child of an alcoholic has many implications. At some point, talking to her openly about it so that she can be aware of the situation in a healthy way will help. Sadly, she is at risk for alcholism (alcoholism) as well if she has a parent who drinks to numb/deal/cope with life.
I do think it is good for one on one time with her dad.
But, you describe self harm. That is a very big indicator that she could be depressed. Sure, you can ignore that or put a simple band aid on it but down the road, I'd keep your eyes very wide open as habits form and if it is self destructive in nature, it gets more serious in terms of damage as time goes on. I'd be very careful ruling out a psychologist to help her learn to cope with emotion in a healthy way.
My daughter only acted out that one weekend and you are right kids are stupid. I talk open with my daughter often she knows she can come to me. The principal is involved and has spoke to the kids that were bullying her. There was a few issues over the last few weeks that have been dealt with both at home and at school.
I guess I should explain the weekend before the incident I thought I was pregnant and she knew this. Her mom always thought me being pregnant would lead to her getting treated differently. But after I realized my daughter was acting up and I had time to think about it. I talked to her about what me being pregnant would mean and how I never would love her differently nor her brother that they were my miracle babies.
This is when she asked me about her daddy and seemed concerned. She told me how her mom told her that he wasn't ever there for anything important. Long story short I had a long talk with her and so did her dad. We are working on being there for them more and him getting more time with her.
Since this she seems alot better. As I said about my husband he never drank when his kids were over, they believe daddy barely drinks. They tell you he I my drinks when the family bbq. So that wasn't on her mind. She is doing well and just seems to be going through emtional stress of having her time and growing up.
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