13 answers

Help with 11 Year old...who Thinks She Is Going on 30....

I am a working mom of threee wonderful (most of the time)=) children 11, 9, and 2. The problem has been going on for a while but here lately it has finally gotten to the point that I am about to loose my job over it. Here's the situation:

I know that it must be her age, but my daughter is getting more and more out of control. At this point, I can't trust her to be home alone after school, so she is going to the day care (where I work) before and after school. The past few months, she has been completely out of control! I can't tell her "No" to anything without here loosing her temper and getting completely biligerant with me and anyone else that tells her "No". I have almost lost my job over her attitude several times, but luckily my boss sees how hard I am trying and how much I need my job. I really don't know what to do with her. I don't want to loose my temper with her because I know that is the wrong thing to do, but at the same time she is taking me away from my classroom when she is angry about something. Today, she was upset about her entire class getting time-out for being to loud and she flew off the handle. Throwing things and slamming doors. She tried to say that it was the teacher's fault but I was in the hallway listening to what was going on (without her knowing) and all they asked her to do was sit down and be quiet for a few minutes. This went on for almost an hour, even after the person that acts as director took her out of the room to cool down. She sat in the office of the center, banging her head against the wall and saying she just wanted to leave and never go back there. But at this point, I don't have any other options for her.

This continued until after we got home. She is very disrespectful and if she doesn't get her way, she takes it out on everyone, including her baby sister, brother, me, and my boyfriend none of which deserve to be treated that way.

I know that she is at that age right now, but none of us know what to do when she gets that way. Any Advice would help greatly.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to everyone for your continued support in this. After speaking to some other adults that are involved with my daughter on a daily basis, they have noticed a real pattern to the behavior and we are going to talk to her doctor about PMDD. It seems that her pattern is every 3 weeks which would be consistant with her hormones and her cycle trying to regulate itself. I'll let you all know what happens after I talk to the doctor.

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My brother has 2 children, well, they are grown women now...he took his kids and himself off all sugar...it made a world of difference. Worth a shot. Oh, the only kind of sugar he cooks with is the organic kind, the non white, unprocessed kind....he has found that his and their rages stopped once it was removed from their diet. It's a much happier place to call home that is for certain...and you can ALWAYS tell when someone has sugar in their system. He's 50 and has been off of it for 10 years...he is not even the same person he used to be regarding how he handles every day life and stress. It's wonderful.

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That is not normal behavior for any age. She may have a mood disorder and should talk to her doctor about it. How long have you been divorced? How long have you been with your boyfriend? Maybe she is acting out due to enviromental changes.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Wow, I'm so sorry you're all having to go through this. If you don't mind my asking....how old was your daughter when you and your husband divorced and how long have you been with your boyfriend? Could it be possible that she is still upset about the divorce and/or the new boyfriend coming onto the scene? That's just something to consider, and if you do think that could be the problem, definately talk with her...see if she needs some more one on one time...things like that.
I do believe that PART of it could be her age and hormones....but she is taking it a bit to the extreme. Has she had any other major changes in her life lately? It just seems that something may be making her act like this...If there isn't anything that could be having this influence on her....and you can't get her to open up about what's wrong, you may want to speak to a doctor about it. It's possible that something else could be going on with her body, hormones, etc. I would definately try to find out what is going on before she gets much older though...if she is having that hard of a time with authority at 11, it may get much more out of control when she's 16.
My heart goes out to you...I hope you guys figure everything out soon. The best thing is to just be there for her, talk to her, try to get her to open up. If she needs to, let her talk with another responsible adult that she feels comfortable with. As much as it may hurt, it may be easier for her to talk with someone else, rather than you or someone in the family. Good Luck and I wish you all the best!

1 mom found this helpful

Does/did this child have too much responsibility? I see parents who are dating and they sometimes don't realize that all children need to be children. Is her biological father in the picture? If so and if not, another man WILL not be welcome. You seem to not understand that your child is your first priority, then any dating you do is after your children's needs are met. I really think counseling and NOT the school counselor is your best bet. GOOD LUCK!

Hi T.,

I agree with the other posters on a number of points. It may be hormones. It may be that she resents the "baby" in the house. It also may be that she resents your boyfriend. She could be mad at you because of the divorce. I would also recommend counseling before it gets too far out of control. Kids these days think they are in control of their families and it's getting way out of hand. I have a friend whose 15 year old completely disrespects her and it is really affecting her marriage. I don't believe this wil go away on it's own. Please get her the help she needs.

Good luck!!

Hi T.,

I am a mom that has raised three boys and have had friends that have been in your position.

If this just started...It's NOT a mood disorder. Counseling can help. But what I am reading between the lines here is that you work a lot, your daughters natural father may or may not be in the picture. Whatever this is, it plays a factor. Your length of time with the new boyfriend plays a factor. How involved he is and how he reacts to her, plays a factor.

She is in early puberty, this plays a factor. What she is doing is SCREAMING for attention. If she does not get the attention she needs right now and it has to be constructive, this will only worsen.
She needs to know that no matter what is going on in her life that you are there for her. There has to be time set aside for her and I know this is hard to do raising three and working and trying to have a relationship for yourself. But above all she is the important one here. A reward of good behavior could be just you and her going window shopping, playing a board game that is at her level. She needs that girl time and she needs her mom right now.
The choices she makes are dependent on the choices you make for her. You can not change a childs world and expect them to just accept it. She will eventually influence the younger children in the household. She will eventually reach out for attention in the wrong places.

She is the oldest. I was the oldest with out my father. It's an abandonment issue as well.

You also have to be firm and consistent with it. Consequences are consequences and rewards are rewards. And lots of love has to be put into it. Do not give a huge amount of attention when possible to the bad behavior. Make it quick and firm. Then make the time to talk. Find what interests her and utilize that to find ways to talk to her while she is distracted. Also Give her some power in her own life. Let her pick something to have a say so over. Your job as a mom of a future woman is to empower her with pride, self fullfilment, AND self love.

If you do not have it for yourself she is going to read right through it. Allow her to let those real feelings out when it is apropriate. Make that time happen for her, discuss the frustration she is feeling. Let her tell you like it is with out taking it personally.

Then say OK...From now on we will do this every...so and so time at this place and you will not show the behavior at school or work. This is direspectful... And what can I do to show you more respect. You will see a real difference in how she handles things.

Let me know how it works out,
T. D

Wow! You have your hands full! I saw what other posters advised & I agree. Your daughter needs someone to talk with be it a school counselor, (don't recommend her teacher since that relationship sounds confrontational), neighbor, ... someone she trusts. My parents & a set of friends intentionally swapped roles, so to speak, w/ my sis when she was 14. Their children turned to my mom for advice & my sis did the same w/ their parents. Worked out beautifully for all-- parents just had to make sure not to give any indication that info was shared between the adults to help guide the children. Maybe that's what is meant by the expression, "It takes a village to raise a child."
There is definitely something not right about her behaviour & needs to be addressed before something else occurs. As someone who is around other children (daycare), you can see how others behave and what is normal or not normal. If I had a child acting like yours in my class, I would be talking with the guidance counselor to intervene on the child's behalf. I suspect she's lonely, scared, feels like everything is out of control, and her opinion doesn't count for a whole lot. Not that any of this is may be true-- it's her perception of the world she's living in.
What does this mean to you? You have a fine kettle of fish to deal with and help is needed.
Sweetie I wish you lots of luck.

Maybe you should set up a "date" with her...just the two of you even if she resists and her behavior isn't deserving of it. It sounds to me she is crying out. Something may be upsetting her and she doesn't know how to handle it. I maybe also would consider therapy, but not without the two of you really talking. I do have to say, I seriously doubt it is a mood disorder. My oldest is going on 11, and we deal with the attitude, and mouthing off at times...but it has yet to get her in "real" trouble. Some of it is definitely just the age, but I feel more so she is troubled and needs a secure ear. Good luck sweetie and keep us posted.

My brother has 2 children, well, they are grown women now...he took his kids and himself off all sugar...it made a world of difference. Worth a shot. Oh, the only kind of sugar he cooks with is the organic kind, the non white, unprocessed kind....he has found that his and their rages stopped once it was removed from their diet. It's a much happier place to call home that is for certain...and you can ALWAYS tell when someone has sugar in their system. He's 50 and has been off of it for 10 years...he is not even the same person he used to be regarding how he handles every day life and stress. It's wonderful.

My little sister would act like that and she was around the same age as your daughter. My sister had alot of built up anger and counseling seemed to help her alot. Maybe having your daughter see a counseler wpould identify why she acts this way and the counsler can give her alternative ways to deal with her problems besides getting so upset.I hope you find something that will help your daughter.

counseling might help. talking to an innocent bystander sometimes opens their eyes. it cant hurt. good luck

Hi T.,

I'm a step-mom to two boys ages 15 and 12. When I met my husband his eldest son was 11 and was acting out just as your daughter. Everything was everyone else's fault, the world was unfair to him, etc. etc. It drove me crazy! He was in counseling for years, but he would have melt downs in public(stores, school), at family functions (our wedding, my son's christening) and at home. He would also physically lash out at my nephew and his brother, father, and mother. I was really at a loss at the way they were handling the situation. Being a step-parent is hard, and it wasn't easy for me to keep my opinion to myself. It wasn't that his parent's weren't doing anything to help him, he just wasn't chemically balanced. He was on a variety of medications and they kept getting changed up. What he needed was structure, which was hard in a divorced family with joint custody, and security. My husband and his ex are on great terms, and she and I get along well, so it wasn't that there was constant fighting, it was just that he wanted things a certain way, and if it wasn't the way it was supposed to be (at least in his mind), then he would have a melt down. He just turned 15 and he has been released from counseling, but is still on anti-depressants. I suggest getting your daughter someone to talk to (the drugs are up to you), and to make sure she knows that you care, but that you are the one to make the decisions and not her. You're the parent. Good luck.

Wow. I don't know any 11 year old that has gone through a phase like that. If I were in your situation, I'd get her some type of therapy and maybe anger management.

Good luck!

T., i have a 9 year old and trust me its not the age or something they go thru. my daughter tried to start that and i put her strait real quick. take every last thing out of her room expect the bed and let her earn them back. hitting her won't slove it. you may need to get away just you and her this may be a cry out for you. being the middle child isn't easy. make a saturday just you and her and talk to her. get on her level, it sounds odd but when my second daughter came along she was jealous and all she wanted was me. now we have weekends where its just me and her, we go do our nails or walk around the mall. you'd be amazed what a little time alone can get. hope all goes well.

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