Let me begin by saying that my daughter does not know her biological father and her adoptive father and I have recently divorced after a short marriage. My daughter and I had to move back home with my parents due to financial issues and she was upset about leaving her friends behind. We have been home for over a year now and I have a 10 year old neice who has moved in. She suffers from severe anger issues and my daughter witnesses her bad behavior daily. Depression and anxiety run on my side of the family. As a child I cried alot but according to my mother, not as much as she is. For the past 6 months or so, she has been getting worse. She cries when I tell her she can't have company or go to a friends house everyday. She cries when other parents don't allow their children to always play. She throws these crying fits in public and won't let it go. If I tell her she can't have a toy at the store, she cries and constantly begs. She just won't quit. Recently she has started crying when I laugh at something she says that is cute or funny. She thinks I'm making fun of her. She has been to counseling since the divorce but the counselor doesn't think there is really anything wrong with her. I know she is suffering from seperation anxiety as well. She refuses to go anywhere other than a friends house, without me going to. Sometimes if I ask her if she wants to go out to eat, she says no she wants us all to stay home. I am lost as what to do for her. I am losing patience with these fits and am worried that she is going to have issues later on in life due to this divorce and the other changes in her life. Her adoptive father has nothing to do with her and I know she has a lack of a constant father figure. Puting her in her room doesn't help and niether does spanking her. I've tried taking things away as punishment and she just sits and cries and screams and sometimes she will even pull her hair. She will sometimes start saying that she is stupid and ugly. I need help.
Most problems of childhood can be managed well through a system of behavior management, perhaps with guidance from a pediatric behavioral health clinician but not really necessitating therapy per se for the child. However, it sounds like your daughter feels very vulnerable and insecure, and I actually do recommend that you pursue therapy for her and parent guidance from the therapist for you. If your daughter was simply difficult when thigs were not 'going her way', as they say, I would focus on the behavior management and discipline end of things. But, more than anything, it is your daughter's emotional state that invites intervention. Due to the family history, she is in an at-risk category for developing a mood disorder and you may well be witnessing the early signs of this.
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