Number of kids: 1
Ages of kids: 10 years old
Problem: My 10 year old daughter has recently told me she hated me. She has quit listening to anything I tell her to do. I am at my wit's end. She has become sullen and temperamental with everyone at home. I talked to her teacher to find out if anything was wrong. She gave a glowing report on her. I thought because she has gained a lot of weight recently someone may have teased her. When I asked her, she said no, but she has had the brains, now she wants the beauty. She says she knows that brains are the most important.
I don't want to push her about her weight for fear of her going to the other extreme. She is an only child and grandchild and says we treat her like a baby. She says it is her life and we shouldn't tell her what to do. She is around other children at Scouts and 4-H and she is in chorus and is an honors student. I am tired of all the yelling and arguments. My mom says it is just a phase. I'm at my wits end! What can I do? It breaks my heart when she says she hates me.
Solution submitted by another "Mama" from Higginsville, MO: You can stop arguing with her. It takes two people to argue. Refuse to enter into it with her. You are letting her control your household. She can't argue if you won't argue back. This is very difficult but it works. My 10 year old and I argued back and forth for years. He was my "tough" one. I read a parenting column that said I was the problem. I got angry and came up with excuses (arguments) why it was the child's fault. "He always has to have the last word," or "He just stays on me!" But the article insisted that I was the adult and in control.
I tried implementing the advice. It took awhile, but hostilities are few and far between now. I just walk away a lot. My child doesn't need me to explain every decision I make. He knows that I will if I feel it is necessary. Try it.
As for the weight gain--leave it alone. Lots of kids grow this way. Provide low fat alternatives but don't push them.
Another solution submitted by KathyT from Zanesville, OH: I know this is heart-breaking to hear this, but I think it is normal. She doesn't mean it. When she is in a calm mood, let you know that when she says it, you know she doesn't mean it, and that you still love her. I think this is the same thing we go through in the "terrible two's" when all they say is "no." Partly it's her discovering she has her own identity and the sky won't fall if she displeases you. I don't know for sure if I read this, but it seems that the intelligent kids can be the strong willed ones. It's no bed of roses at my house, but I always remember some important advice I was given in Lamaze class almost 15 years ago. "There will be some stages of parenting that will be harder for you than others." It seems that what happens is I learn to deal with, or at least put up with one problem, and suddenly it's not a problem anymore. There's a new one. Or I pick up a magazine and find good information after my kids have passed through that stage.
I recently had a child psychologist explain to me that kids are their worst at home, because that's where they feel safe. She knows you will love her no matter what. You should pat yourself on the back because it really means you are doing something right. She can explode and still know she's loved. Kind of like any mature adult relationship. Pray for patience and a good friend to share with.
Please submit any more solutions.