I Need Help with My 10 Year Old Daughter!!!!

Updated on May 25, 2012
P.R. asks from Hopewell Junction, NY
17 answers

I am a mother of 2 daugters 11 and 7. They both have very different characters.
I stayed at home for 10 years to be there for them and raise them up the way I wanted, then I went to work at the kids school when the younger one went to school. My younger one is much easier to handle than my elder one.
My kids hardly do any chores at home. We have a daily househelp who cleans and organizes the house. We wake up at 5am and the kids go to sleep at 8pm. They come back from school at home, have lunch and start studies at 3.30pm-7.00pm. Then they shower, then go to sleep. They don’t clear their room, neither do the beds, when they leave in the morning the cothes are thrown everywhere.
I have to say the same thing 5-7 times, then scream till something is done if at all.
My younger daughter copies a lot of the older sisters negatives.

My 10 year old daughter is the one that drives me crazy, probably because we are so alike.

SOCIALLY UNSUCCESSFUL: Since she started school life she has had major difficulty making friends. It has been 6 years now in the same class with the same kids and looking closely at the situation and talking with my daughter first then talking with her teachers continuously, neither me nor the teachers could put our hands on where the problem is. The kids do not hate her at all, on the contrary they know that she helps them when in need, in studies, in fights, in a project and any other times they need help. It is when they have fun that’s when they do not miss her absence and they always forget to tell her or to invite her, even in birthdays she is not among the kids who get invited. But first it hurt terribly, then with our continous support and encouragement she has learnt to cope with the situation and first she used to be bullied and not answer back just ignoring the kids but we taught her a little how to answer back right away and not let people walk all over her and not to accept **** from the kids. She is a very peaceful person and doesn't like fights, so she will not retaliate or start a fight or even shout back at the rude or teasing kids.

ACCADEMICALLY BRILLIANT: She is an A1 student and everyone knows that. The whole house helps her with her studies. My mother lives with us since my father passed away, so she helps her with Arabic, social studies and religion. I help her out in all the German subjects as German, biology and Maths. And my husband gives her all the support and time she needs whenever there is something she needs help with. She does study very much with me and although she doesn’t like it but she does it and ends up with great grades which is the only thing that she has that the other kids don’t have. So she likes it. She has also been in the theater group of the school for 4 years and I help her perfect her role and create beautiful costumes for the role that people go to see the plays because she is there as she always manages to make the play nicer and funnier with her dramatic talent on stage.

LIKED AMONG TEACHERS, they use her as theis asistant: She is very liked among the teaches as she is very responsible and helpful and mature.

She is very kindhearted and sympathetic but also very self centered and greedy. Lately she is eating too much and hiding snacks under her pillow. She is so lazy that it is a battle to put her on the treadmill for a light workout. My husband even made each of them a separate playlist of their favorite songs with lyrics so they can enjoy their workout more.

On a different issue we get the girls anything and everything they would like and we can afford. This is from clothes which they do not value or appreciate to toys which they only die for and treasure for maximum 3 days to school pens to ……….etc. Everything that our eyes fall on and we see they would like or it would look nice on them we get. So in my opinion they have loads of stuff but my elder daughter doesn’t think so at all or appreciate any of her stuff, neither does she treasure it or take care of any clothes, pens, toys, schoolthings…etc. In fact she loses most of the stuff and as long as we only just scream and lecture her, it passes until the next time it happens. She would always comment about things others have that she thinks are very nice or that she wishes she had and that really hurts us. The confidence that her stuff is nice is not there. Lately they were going on a class trip and she said to us if we could buy her a new suitcase that is a cool colour because she doesn’t want to take those boring Delceys or Samsonites that we have. I felt bad and as she had brought good grades, my mother wanted to get both girls a fancy cheap suitcase but my husband totally refused and freaked out and said that we are encouraging them to always look at others. But she did take a whole bunch of clothes and accessories with a list we made together and managed to bring back everything without losing a thing.

She earned the Nintendo DS last summer, which she was dying for but now is lying gathering dust in the drawer. As far as mobile is concerned we bought her a very simple one 3 years ago when she went to camp in Austria while we were in germany but when the camp finished she gave it back and only takes it occasionally when she is goes out without us. So it is not really something she is dying for or maybe because the phone it is not a blackberry or an iphone like most of her friends she cant show off with she doesn’t want it.
When u punish them by depriving them of something, they don’t seem to mind at all. They just find something else to do or have fun with.
Lately my elder daughter has been studying very well at home for exams and then going there and losing marks simply because of carelessness. And she doesn't seem to care at all. She would solve all the difficult problems and lose marks on copying a number from one step to the next wrong, or they ask her to make a graph from a table about the cold months of the year and she would make a perfect colourful graph about the hot months of the year!!! All her mistakes are carelessness and I have asked her time and time again to revise before handing in the exam and she confirms she does but then the end result comes out ****ty.
This and her general careless attitude in the house and towards us as a family is making me very angry, I need to implement a system and do punishments that work or take consequential actions but I get very angry and then the next morning I am okay and I feel sorry for her cause she doesn’t have friends and never goes out anyway that I decide not to make llife even more difficult for her.
Thank you.

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answers from Washington DC on

Perry, this may sound a bit tough but I'm leaving it as is. The gist here is that your girls sound very smart, which is great, but very much on the road to total burnout. I respect your academically pushing them (we do the same to an extent) but hope you can back off before it's too late.

As others note - your girls are frankly spoiled, in terms of getting whatever they want. Please stop buying them what they want. This is very likely a strong reason your 10-year-old doesn't have friends; she is probably known at school as someone who is spoiled and possibly brags about what she does have. She may dismiss her possessions in front of you, but she clearly wants to appear like a rich kid around classmates: The fact she would ask for -- demand? -- a new suitcase for a school trip only because the ones you own aren't fashionable enough is a sure sign that she places a high value on the material things that other kids see she possesses.

But I see another huge problem here.

Your 10-year-old (and, assuming her schedule is the same, your 7-year-old) is vastly, utterly overscheduled and under tremendous pressure from incredibly high expectations on your part. Are your expectations really appropriate for her age or stage in life? Do you know what is normal for a 10-year-old, for instance, in terms of attention span, lack of attention to directions, etc.?

Your post makes me think you expect perfection. But when she does normal but annoying 10-year-old things -- not paying full attention to directions on a test, not listening the first time -- you sound as if you rapidly become furious and disappointed and let her know it.

She is being set up for some teenage years of huge rebellion if you don't let her be 10 now.

She attends full-day school but comes home and studies 3:30-7:00. That's an extra three and a half hours of study each day on top of school. From what you write, it sounds as if this study is not necessarily about doing her homework from school but about extra studying for outside exams you have her taking. You also talk about your frustration with her "carelessness" in these outside exams and even refer, your words here, to how "the end result comes out ***ty." Do you see how your words indicate you have astronomical expectations and how you are angry when she isn't perfect every time?

Please, please try tor re-read your own post and think like an outsider. Do you see how your daughter may be feeling huge pressure from you to be academically perfect? You are expecting her, basically, to do two schools a day-- the regular one and your own. You are expecting her to be "switched on" and in perfect study and test mode all day and up to one hour before her bedtime every night. When does she have "down time"? You want her to be socially popular and have friends, yet she has zero time -- not one hour -- to do anything other go to school, come home from school, start studying until 7:00, go to bed at 8:00. That leaves no time at all for her to slow down, have her own space, her own hobbies or thoughts, to have another child over or do any activity that is not part of her schedule.

You place huge emphasis on her being well-liked by teachers and on teachers relying on her. Again: She is the perfect student and perfect child. She is well aware that teachers like her -- and that they expect her to be a little teacher's aide. More pressure from them, even if it's well meant.

You actually have kids of 10 and 7 using a treadmill for exercise at home. If they had even an hour in the day that was free, they would not need a treadmill; they could move around and play.

She is on a treadmill of another kind -- a treadmill of extremely high, unattainable expectations. Your expectations. I have a smart kid too; we do extra studying for her tests; she goes to an advanced math program in the summers; we do extras like going to lots of museums and doing our own "units" of fun study in summer. She is in a science competition program that requires many extra hours a week outside school, for much of the school year. We expect a great deal of her academically and she knows it, and expects it of herself. But she also has outside activities (Girl Scouts, dance) and must have some down time each day to recharge. You can have high academic expectations without burning a child out, or filling a child's minimal free time with nice possessions.

Do your children have any activities that are not related to school or to studying for these outside tests? It's good that your child is in theatre and not solely in academics at school, but does she have anything outside school that she does that is just because she, not you, is interested in it? That she does because it is for fun or for exercise and not because it has some perceived higher value or will advance her academically? Does she have any hobbies, like to draw (not graphs or charts for school, but for pleasure), like to move around (has she done martial arts, dance, whatever?)? These things build the child's independence and also would help her find some friends with similar interests. But from your post, I would be concerned that if she took up dance you'd expect her to be the very best dancer very quickly, or if she did an art class, you'd expect her to be Picasso within a week. Maybe that sounds like I'm being hard on you -- but again, can you reread your post and see how people would get that impression?

You say you feel sorry for her "because she doesn't have friends and never goes out" but when is there time for it? Do you ever invite other children over? You say you're aware that both girls have too few chores and too many things, but do you ever tell the maid not to do chore X and then assign it to one of the girls, permanently, with no stuff as a reward?

Please consider talking to a family counselor about why you have always found it OK to just hand your children things; why you are giving them this level of academic work; and why your expectations are this high. And definitely please ask a family counselor about why you become so very, very angry at children these ages when they are not absolutely perfect.

Concrete suggestions: I'd suggest dropping the extra studying for a time, while increasing some weekly chores and replacing material objects with family outings -- do things together, rather than give the girls things. Tell them you are going to do a sweep of their possessions -- they will help -- and find things to give to charity. (That may be tough and they suddenly will just adore things they have not touched in months, but don't make it like punishment for them -- tell them it's because you want the WHOLE family to think more of others). Find them some kind of work to do for a charity; even a lemonade stand with all proceeds to a charity would be fine. And find them each one activity that has nothing to do with school and at which you (in your mind, not out loud to them) will say, "I am not going to say one word about how well or how badly my child does at this, but will let her enjoy it and/or fail at it on her own terms."

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

honestly-I think that your dd is probably boring to be around. It sounds like she has not developed any other aspect of herself EXCEPT academic. Theater barely counts-sorry. You are too involved in this with her and it sounds like a part of the well laid plan that you have.
In my wildest dreams I could not imagine any kids that I know who are your daughter's age studying that much (my son is 10). IT just would not, and should not happen. That is entirely too much time. What I have to wonder is -is this driven by you or her. I am guessing that you are foreign and that education is huge for you. I get that. But you can't have it both ways. You can't have her studying like that and THEN expect her to fit in with the other kids. She is way too different from them now for this. I have a neighbor who is Indian. Her son is one of the nicest kids but the rest of the kids don't bother with him-they all like him but never ask him to participate. I can tell you the main reason is that his parents are like you. They have placed such an importance in academic success and overachievment that they have forsaken all else. I have always thought that was such a shame because he would make such a nice playmate for my son.
I suggest you scale it back and help her develop some more age appropriate activities. Instead of spending her summer in enrichment activities find some things that are actually enjoyable to her peers to enroll her in. I bet there are a few things out there that she would just love if you gave her the chance. This doesn't mean you have to abandon all of this achievement. Just temper it with some fun too.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Your 10 year old has to work out on the treadmill? That's odd IMO.

Sign her up for soccer, gymnastics, or basketball or get her a bike if she needs exercise.

I can't imagine having a maid - I'm sure if I knew someone else was going to pick up after me I wouldn't bother either :)

Give them chores. Stop buying them everything. Pay them an allowance and let them buy their own stuff.

Have a giant garage sale (or donate all the extra stuff) and get rid of at least 1/2 of what they have. Sounds to me like they are drowning in things, and missing out on what's important in life.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on


It sounds like you already know what the problems are, and what you need to do about it, so just do it!

Give your children regular chores. I agree that the maid should stop cleaning up the girls' rooms. Make that their responsibility. Implement clear rewards/consequences for this and follow through.

Stop buying them everything you see. Kids don't need every newest toy. Save those for birthdays or special holidays only. Or, have them earn things by doing their chores.

If she's starting to resist all of the long study hours, institute a reward for getting her work done. Carve out time for fun. Tell her that you'll play a game with her, or watch a show with her once her studying is done for the day. If there is no time for that during the week, plan something fun for Saturdays. Kids need to have downtime, and enjoy their childhoods. They're only young once.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Where is her motivation to succeed or please you?
It seems that she gets everything without the appreciation for the work involved in paying for that item. You are buying her love.
Why do you feel bad that she doesn't have tons of friends? Does she want them? or do you want her to have them?
Does she want to exercise? Or are you putting pressure on her because you think she is getting fat? Nothing kills motivation to exercise more than being told you have to do it. I'd sneak food too. Take a walk after dinner or a bikeride with the family.
Do you do anything with her besides schoolwork, anything fun?
Do you ever compliment her instead of criticizing her?
Why isn't she doing her own schoolwork and why aren't you allowing her to fail?
It seems you are teaching her to live up to the "Joneses". You are also teaching her that she can't do anything without disappointing you.
This whole thread is about how YOU feel because your daughter gets good grades and has better things. Really? What about her?

Try inviting one girl over for a playdate. Let her decide, maybe there is one girl she can connect with.
Instead of balling her out for her mistakes ask her if she understood why she made them, then say no more. Natural consequences for not doing A work is getting a B, let her get it.
Read with her at night.
Play Scrabble instead of drilling her on her schoolwork.
Let her help with the cooking, she is definitely old enough.
If you keep up this pressure to lose weight, get A's but not do your best, then she will grow up to resent you and always feel like a failure.

I'm sorry this is harsh, but I live over a thousand miles away from my own mother. They bought every thing I wanted, I was only complimented when I looked skinny, not when I gained a couple pounds, I was then called pudgy, I was punished for bringing home a B+ in English. Everything I did was criticized. I learned to be sneaky and lie. By 13 I was a hellion. Don't do that to your daughter.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Great advice from the mom's before me, I'm not going to duplicate. You say you want a system and punishments that work; it begins with the word NO. No, you may not have a new suitcase, we have suitcases that will work fine. No, you may not have an iphone, you don't need one, etc etc. Then set expectations and consequences. You single out their rooms as a source of frustration. Tell them their clothes must be picked up before they leave for school in the morning. Anything left on the floor or not put away will be donated to charity. Then DO IT. Go to their rooms after they leave with a big bag and bag up everything on the floor to donate. Repeat this daily till they start picking up their stuff. Whatever you do DON'T replace the items! If they want to replace the items they will have to do chores around the house to earn money to buy them themselves.

Your best bet at this point is logical consequences: if you are disrespectful in asking for something (demanding an item) the answer is no, if you don't take care of your belongings you lose them, if you don't study you fail, etc etc. You indicate she takes pride in her academic success. Right now that success is highly dependent on your whole family helping her do her homework. Stop helping her! If she chooses not to do it her grades will be affected, since she cares about her grades that will make an impact on her. Make HER responsible. She's 11, she does not need the whole family to hold her hand and walk her through her assignments, she should be capable of doing them herself.

My 10 yo plays select soccer, it's what he lives for. He knows if his grades drop below a B he can't play, we won't let him. If his attitude is disrespectful, he doesn't play either. It's been painful for me to watch him miss practices for not turning in assignments, but it's taught him a lesson. He had a bad attitude at school a few weeks ago and got in trouble. He had a big tournament that weekend, an important one. The coach found out and benched him for the first game. His teammates were furious with him, and they lost the game. Made a HUGE impression on my son and his attitude has been much much better since. He knows we're serious and he's not willing to sacrifice soccer so he does his school work. Of course he pushes the boundaries a lot, but that's normal for a 10 year old. As long as we are consistent it works.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

Here are some simple ideas, some mentioned before but I think you really need to hear them.

1. Stop buying them things, buy them only what they truly need, not what they want in order to "keep up" with other students. Every time you buy something just because another kid has it or your kid WANTS it you are reinforcing the idea that material items are more important than character. You are teaching her that she needs that stuff to be complete and without it she's not good enough.

2. Start them both on a chore list; it doesn't matter if you can afford to have someone else clean up your house your children need to learn how to be responsible. Chores teach them responsibility and accountability it's not just about cleaning.

3. Sign her up for a sport, dance, swimming something active. She will be getting exercise, socializing with a different set of kids than school and learning a sport. No more treadmill workouts unless the child wants to.

4. Stop "helping" her so much on her schoolwork. It's far better she get a slightly lower grade on her own then you hover over her to achieve perfect grades. The day is coming VERY soon where you will not be able to help her at all with school work. You're setting her up for failure when that day comes and sending her the message she can't do it on her own. She needs to do the work herself as well as manage her own study time.

5. The way you Say "Socially Unsuccessful" smacks of negativity and an awful label. How many times has she reached out to other kids outside of school? How many play dates have you hosted? How many parties have you thrown? Stop saying she doesn't have friends and help her to form some friendships outside of school.

6. Finally STOP FEELING GUILTY. It sounds like your daughter is a typical 10 year old that has a challenge in making close friends. Help her to overcome that challenge as if it were any other issue a person might be dealing with. If she had poor grades you would help her to raise them. If she needed to learn lines for a play you would practice with her. She needs your support and advice not your guilt. It sounds like you are giving both your kids a great life. Every time you feel guilty your daughter senses it and feeds off it. She is unconsciously taking in your guilt as a cue that there is something wrong with her. Everyone has challenges, no one escapes life's pain. Save your pity for the children who struggle in EVERY aspect of their lives and be thankful everyday your daughter has so much going for her.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You've already gotten some great advice.

I just wanted to say that a lot of parents think that love is shown by giving their kids all the things they couldn't have or afford when growing up. Yes, it's wonderful to see their eyes light up when they receive something they wanted! But if you do this too often, then children start to get spoiled IF they don't do anything in exchange.

The exchange is that they are a productive member of the family. They help out, they take care of their possessions, etc. If you have one without the other (the opposite being lots of helping, no reward) then you'll have rebellion or a spoiled brat.

Society will teach the lessons you fail to teach at home, and society is much harsher! Already it's happening, your daughter doesn't have many friends. Who would want to be friends with someone who is greedy and self-centered? What parent would encourage their child to be friends with another child that is spoiled and doesn't care for their things?

The friends will come IF you help her change her character. Don't feel sorry for her, help her to have a better character. Stop spoiling her and teach her some responsibility. In society, there are consequences for your actions. As an adult she will have to face all the consequences of her actions. So as a parent it's your JOB to teach her about this on a much smaller scale.

The only thing you cannot give too much of is love. Which it looks like you have in abundance. Your daughters are lucky to have such loving parents!

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Sounds like you give the kids whatever they want, they have no chores because you have a maid and they have no responsibilities...is this correct?

Sounds like she's behaving perfectly for what you expect from her. If I were you, I would have the "househelp" stop cleaning the kids rooms. If they want a toy or clothing item that they don't need, they have to earn it. They need to keep their room clean, beds made, and preferably help with the dishes, etc. You've allowed her to have a careless attitude for so long that she expects this attitude is ok. Now suddenly you want her to care about school and be responsible...but she's never had to have responsibilities, so she's not sure what that means.

Like I said, give the girls chores. Make them do them every day. If they don't, then things get taken away. If you have to, remove everything but the bed and dresser (and clothes) from their rooms. When they behave properly and do their chores, they get one thing back. If they misbehave, you take everything out again. If they don't do a chore, everything's gone.

then you'll see how quickly the girls start taking responsibility for their actions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Welcome to Mamapedia.

Well from this post it sounds like you have given your children anything they want, when they want it. They don't have to work for things (well, you did say that she earned the DS). And there is no consistency. They know if they wait a day you'll "feel sorry for her"and let her off punishment. It's time to completely change your strategy.

Your children are not taking care of their things. They are not listening. They are not appreciative. And when they ask for "more" you give in?? Growing up when we didn't take care of things, my mother took those things, and often they didn't come back. When my son was 5 he lied about cleaning up a mess in his room. I picked up every item and put it in a box in the garage, He had to earn every item back. Whether it's a ipod or McDonald's toy, kids need to care for their items. It's wonderful that you have the means to do spoil your children, but obviously that strategy is backfiring. You say taking away something never works, they move on to something else...have you ever taken away everything??

You wonder why your child doesn't make friends easily. Well you said yourself that she is greedy and self centered. And it sounds like she is always in a "Keeping up with the Jonses" battle. No one wants to be around that. It's hard to see all the good in your daughter, when that is being shoved down another 10yo throat. It's off putting.

And please stop forcing workouts with your 10 year old. That is just setting her up for so many issues down the line. If she is stealing unhealthy food, stop buying it and bringing it in the house. If that's not an option, lock the pantry. Leave out healthy snacking options. At 10 it's great to set up regular exercise, but it needs to be a fun part of her day. Take her bike riding, go swimming, sign up for dance class, karate or gymnastics.

The carelessness at school is common. The natural consequence of this will be lower grades.

It's not your children that need to change. It's your parenting style. There need to be rules and consequences. You need to be firm, loving and consistent. Stop giving in to their every whim. Stop feeling sorry for them. You'll see attitude changes immediately.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Hello Perry, I see that we are neighbors, sort of.

I'm sorry to say but what it sounds like is that you've spoiled your daughters and are now acting surprised that they are behaving like spoiled kids! If you've raised them this way for 11 and 7 years, it's going to be a little difficult to change things now. It won't happen suddenly and the girls won't do it on their own. You and hubby, as the parents, need to take the lead and make the changes.

It doesn't matter if you can afford a housekeeper. Kids need to be responsible for their own messes. Mine made their own beds and put their clothes in the hamper at preschool age. Kids should see their parents caring for the home and taking part in that as part of a family.

If your daughter is academically brilliant, why does she need help with every subject? Why isn't she doing her own math, science and social studies homework?

Why is she on the treadmill? Most kids play a sport for exercise - softball, volleyball, basketball, swim team, gymnastics. This also serves as socialization.

As for the not being invited to parties and outings, you don't mention any socialization at all. Did you have playdates for her over the years? That's what most kids do, even when they have working parents. Kids get together to play or go on outings together, that's what they do with friends. If you don't see other kids socially, you don't get invited. Has she ever invited kids over or had parties?

Continuing to spoil your daughter by feeling guilty and not making her responsible for her actions is a terrible mistake. Our real job as mothers/
parents is not to ensure that our children have a fun childhood. It is to make sure that they are prepared for their adult lives, and you are not doing this. For your daughter to turn out differently than she is, it is you who needs to change your parenting. Be less indulgent and let her lead a kid oriented life, with friends, sports, music lessons and doing her own homework and room tidying. Good luck.



answers from Binghamton on

It sounds to me like the values you want to instill your kids with (which are good ones: appreciation, responsibility, patience etc.) are not the ones being "lived" in your home. It is fantastic that you are financially secure, but I think you and your husband need to sit down together and set some very clear limits, then enforce them.

Some ideas: Give the girls an allowance for clothes etc. and when that is gone, it is gone. Period. Ask your cleaning lady to only do their rooms if they are picked up, otherwise she should simply close the door again and leave it. Clothes that do not make it into the hamper do not get washed, no exceptions. Let your eldest daughter make mistakes in school. As long as you are there, looking over her shoulder, she won't care about her own mistakes because you are doing that work for her.

Be prepared for a lot of backlash and anger. Eventually though, your girls will thank you for helping them understand how actions have consequences and we are all responsible for ourselves. This new attitude is likely to help your youngest make friends too.



answers from San Francisco on

Your guilt is her downfall!

You need to stop getting them everything they see. No wonder they don't appreciate anything - they've never been without. It's hard to appreciate when you are constantly being given anything and everything you want.

And it's no wonder they don't care when you "deprive" them of something; they have way too much anyway.

You need to gather all of that stuff up and put it away. Then they need to earn it back. If they don't, then take them with you when you donate it. I KNOW there are many children in homeless shelters who would REALLY appreciate anything given to them and who would take care of it and treasure it the way your own children will not.

Bottom line is that you've completely spoiled them because of your guilt. And what do you have to feel guilty about? It's not your fault that your daughter is not invited to parties, etc.

You have a lot of work to do and you need to start today!


answers from New York on

IMO going to school all day then coming home and doing studying from 3:30 to 7 pm and then going to sleep, is INSANE.
I wouldn't like it.
No wonder she is socially awkward. You are not giving her time to have a social life!!
Get her outside and playing. Some fresh air will do her far more good then 12 hours a day indoors studying.
Let her enjoy life.
You start enjoying life too.



answers from New York on

1. Ask your daughters to round up the things they no longer use and have a yard sale and/or donate them (in my town, the Salvation Army is VERY appreciative of gently used toys, and even my 4 year old understood at Christmas that if he wanted new things, we had to give away some toys that he no longer plays with to children who don't have any toys). Clutter and overabundance can cause quite a bit of stress (they do for me).
2. Why are your children waking up at 5:00 am? Allow them to get up one hour before they have to leave for school. A 10 (or 11) year old can stay up later than 8. Give her time to get together with a friend, take an art class. etc.
3. Children that age should not have 3-4 hours of homework. For the 7 year old, half an hour, tops. For the 10/11 year old, MAYBE 15 minutes per academic subject at her school, but she probably doesn't get homework assigned in every class each day.
4. Sounds like the family can use some family counseling, especially since you are so angry. You know the saying, "if Mom's not happy, nobody's happy!"
Good luck!



answers from New York on

This is kind of confusing, because you are saying you want help with your 10 year old daughter, but say you only have 2 children...a 7 year old and an 11 year old. I'm assuming you are seeking advice with the 11 year old, since you said the older one is the problem. I kind of see this from a slightly different point of view; although, the ideas of inviting friends over, an allowance, and not do everything for them are great ideas. Also, you might want to make them wait for special occations/holidays to buy things. You mentioned your daughter isn't very social, but is academically exceptional...That is a key in the puzzle, because most gifted children cannot identify with their peers which makes them look shy/not very social. If it's possible and she feels she could handle it, try to have her skipped a grade. You also might want to enroll her in activities with kids a little older than she is. Kung Fu classes are usually a really nice mixture of ages, so you can see what age she actually identifies with. As for doing chores and cleaning up...Look at the schedule you've set up. They get up at 5:00AM, which is very early for children to be waking up. Then they do their homework from 3:30PM-7:00PM after they've eaten dinner and go to bed at 8:00AM. That means in 1 hour they have to be able to play, watch TV, and get ready for bed. When are they to do their chores? There's no time for chores and bearly any time to play, so that's why their toys spend a lot of time getting dusty. They would no sooner take them out to play and have to put them back. The DS game are notorious for taking a lot of time to play, because some of the games will not save until you reach a certain level or point in the game. Pokemon games are notorious for this, so it's very difficult to play them in 1/2 hour. What kind of games did you get for the DS? That has a lot to do with it also. Some games are too babish for preteens. You really need to set up a loose plan as to when things get done and do the chores with your children. My mom used to clean the nick nacks while I dusted the shelves. It's a lot more fun that way and you're setting an example for your children to emulate. Keep things possitive and don't be too critical, or they will shut you out.



answers from Chicago on

Hi! How about making a list of household rules. Have being kind and helpful to each other as one of the rules. Also, I would start trying to build her social support system. Can you set up weekly playdates with peers? Or maybe have her join some kind of fun activity (a sport, dance, art class) where she can meet friends and build up her self esteem. I would stop buying her everything and have her earn things through chores and allowance. Also, I would volunteer somewhere with her(homeless shelter, hospital, nursing home). This will help her develop more compassion for others.

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