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difficult 11 yr old

re : difficult 11 yr old           reply
30/03/2009 12:11 - Ask Mother Hen
I really feel for you , i have an idea what your going through,my younger sister went through the same (she lives with me) she is now 19. girls at this age is very b?????. Ask one of her close friends if something is going on at school first( if she not talk about it). I found the best way to deal was to take her mobile phone till the following day after school til she learned how to speak politely without biting my head off. This unfortunately seems to be what most teenage girls go through. So best of Luck

difficult 11 yr old           reply
20/03/2009 10:29 - Ask Mother Hen (Locality: Tipperary)
hi, my daughter has gotten more and more difficult in past 8 mths - moody, tearful, lots of attitude, stroppy, constant sulks the list goes on.
she thinks the whole world is against her, if she doesn´t like whats for supper, she´s in a puss, if she cant´ stay up late she´s in a puss, if i dont let her have sweets etc she in a puss...... on and on it goes.
she very good in school but is now lazy and not interested at all. she picks up quickly but can never find her books, is always 2 steps behind, always forgets some books, does homework in wrong copies then cant find the work. her teacher is brilliant and is always encouraging her and praising her (she´s mad about the teacher too) so we´re at a loss what to do.
she is going to a party today, didnt get a present (i had to remind her to get it) she went off this morn without wrapping it, had no card for her, her hair was greasy) she was sulking cause her tracksuit was still on the line - she hadn´t said she wanted it, i´m supposed to be a mindreader. then she wanted to wear it anyway even tho it was damp! i could kill her sometimes. what do i do with her? we´ve tried praising her, reminding her constantly, punishing her, ignoring her, nothing seems to work. its not fair on her younger bro and sis (she hates her 6yr old sis also!) pls advise me on how to deal with her

re : difficult 11 yr old           reply
24/03/2009 18:46 - Ask Mother Hen

I am sorry to hear that you are having these problems. From what you say, this change in your daughter is recent (8 months) – has there been a significant change in her life to trigger this? I would first begin by checking if something is going on at school or with her friends to cause this. Is she being bullied? Sometimes bullying can cause a child to become angry and take it out on the wrong people. Can you try to talk to her to see if this is an issue. Be patient – it make take a few chats to uncover what is going on! Make sure you don’t push her too hard for information.

If you feel that there is no particular problem that is causing this behaviour then you need to tackle the bad behaviour. At 11 years of age, she may be quite hormonal and that could be causing the mood swings and so forth. However, while you can sympathise and be patient with her, you must still insist on respect from her when she speaks to you and do not tolerate bad behaviour. Remember also that she is growing up and you may have to step back and let her take responsibility for her actions. For example, if she forgets to get her friend a birthday present then that is her problem as she has to face her friend – you need to step back and let her take the consequences.
You refer to her being ‘in a puss’ when she doesn’t like what is going on. Can you just ignore this? By being in a puss she is getting more attention so ignoring it will help.
If you want her to behave better, then you need to plan what you will do to stop the bad behaviour. I find consequences a very useful tool in this situation. Try to plan what the consequence(s) will be for bad behaviour so that when you encounter it, you can remain calm and stick to your plan. For example, if she shouts then you could say that each time she shouts you will deduct 50c from her pocket money. When she shouts, it is important that you remain calm and simply say that she has lost 50c. You can repeat this ‘fine’ each time she shouts but you must make sure you follow through. When it comes to pocket money day, don’t be tempted to let the ‘fine’ go even if she has behaved exceptionally well in the meantime. You MUST still stick with the consequence! You can say politely that you are sorry that she has lost some pocket money but you must still impose the fine.
These ideas are based on some basic parenting skills that we teach at our courses - I hope they help!

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