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Vacay from Cray Cray

Dogmom1321's picture

Some of y'all might have seen my last post about SD10 ruining her g-parents beach trip she was invited on. Well, here is round 2 with DH...

DH went along on this one and of course there was more drama from SD. DH and her went out on a boat ride. DH told me everything before during and after was an arguement. Asked to put suncreen on "I'm fine." Asked to put bathing suit on "Who washed my bathing suit and shrunk it? It's too tiiiight!" Asked to put her life jacket on and STARTED CRYING that she was "sweating" and it was "too tight." DH told her it was the law to wear the life jacket and to stop. SD continues with "So you don't care that your OWN 10 year old daughter can't breathe with this thing on!?"

DH had a WTF face. I mean, it is so obvious she is a total brat. No deating there. (IMO she needs a spanking). But the older she gets the more I see boderline personality traits like her mother in her. Obviously mental issues going on. The accusing/paranoia, defiance, and emotional manipulation at such a young age is SCARY. Anyone on here see signs of mental illness in their SKs? Opinions welcome! Am I overracting and jumping to conclusions? This has sadly become the NORM for her... which DOESN'T seem normal at all...

Catmom23's picture

I think there's quite a few people on here dealing with mental illness in skids and bioparents.  Unfortunately some diagnoses won't be given to people under the age of 18.  

Survivingstephell's picture

Did he confront it or ignore it?  At her age a bit of truth followed with a knock it off should have fished out. It's a parents job to call his kid in her a$$hol€ behaviors. Kids can and do learn where the limits are in school home and with each adult in their lives.  If she's still acting up in high school you might get a diagnosis.  Does she sleep well?  She should have a regular bedtime and at least 8-10 hours every night.   She sounds exhausting and a regular bedtime is also for the adults, so they can recover from her.  

Dogmom1321's picture

She had a bedtime but gets up in the middle of the night. She will "go to bed" but then gets up from midnight to five in the morning and will sleep until 2pm. She doesn't have a regular sleeping schedule at all.

tog redux's picture

She isn't borderline, she needs DH to parent her. You don't ask kids to put sunscreen and life jackets on, you insist and you end the boat ride if they refuse to do so.  And you give consequences for smart-ass remarks.

She feels entitled to behave that way because she's allowed to.  As someone in the child mental health field, if she ended up in my clinic, we wouldn't be saying she's mentally ill, we'd be saying it's behavioral and the parents need to parent more effectively.

Not until she's older and started self-harm, mood dysregulation and suicidal thoughts/attempts would anyone diagnose her as Borderline.


Dogmom1321's picture

She is completely skewed view of her body. She is skinny as a bean pole but obsessed with weight. Calls herself fat and says she wants "skinny thighs". Asks how much other ppl weigh to compare. Says "no one likes her" because she is fat. I haven't seen any signs of an eating disorder, but definitely body dysmorhoa maybe?

tog redux's picture

Maybe, but that doesn't make her mentally ill either - lots of girls and women have body image issues. And girls left alone with no real parenting around this stuff will go on the Internet and develop bad thinking habits from reading what other girls write. And she may be learning behaviors from BM  (she may be working her way towards a personality disorder, but right now it mostly seems behavioral).

Gimlet's picture

Agreed.  I think one of the dangers of throwing diagnoses around is that the parenting/behavioral part isn't fully recognized and there is a sense of "well, let's treat this issue" instead of "well, let's get it together with the parenting and change this behavior".

tog redux's picture

And there is probably room for her to get some therapy, but it should include improving her parents' parenting skills, not just pathologizing the child.

holly5692's picture

It does sound like these issues are more behavioral than mental. She hasn't been taught boundaries or how to understand social expectations. If she's with her mom most often, then I'd assume that the bad behavior must be encouraged, or at the very least allowed to go on with little to no real consquences. Kids need to be taught boundaries--that's why we give consequences for certain actions--so they learn cause and effect, moral compass, the difference between right and wrong. 

Even if she does spend more time with her mom, it is possible that she could come to understand that there is just a different expectation when she is with you guys. But it will take a lot of hard work on your husband's part. A lot of consistency and probably even wanting to give up at times. He needs to tell, not ask. Nothing is a request. And when she doesn't oblige, it's gonna mean taking her by the hand and walking her out of wherever they happen to be and sitting her in a good old fashioned time out (think--little kids who misbehave in the store and so the parent removes them from the store). Every time she starts acting up, it will need to be addressed immediately. And while he does this work with her, it might just be best to stick around home if she can't be trusted to behave in social situations. It's tough love.

I do think it can work, as long as one is diligent. My husband and I were just discussing his 13yo daughter the other night and how much she's chilled with her behavior lately. And I had to commend him because he really stepped up in a big way. He does.not.put.up.with any bullshit from her whatsoever. We only give attention and/or praise to the positive things. When she starts with the silly attention seeking behavior, acting snotty, and so on, we look at her like she's nuts and start talking over her, or just shrug noncommittally. When she's being cool again, then we will engage with her. And I think before I came along he was probably kind of a weekend dad and he didn't want to be the bad guy. But perhaps he's realizing the damage that's been done by their mom and that he isn't doing them any favors by being complacent to the behaviors they've picked up along the way. They have to learn better from somewhere. 

tog redux's picture

The trouble is, as in our situation, once they are old enough (14 or 15), they start refusing to come over to the home where they are expected to behave like human beings), and it's very hard to force them.  Most kids, given a choice of a home with no rules, and one with rules, will choose the one that has none.

Dogmom1321's picture

Good knowing since you have older SK. I'm hoping it doesn't get worse and DH doesn't give in just to keep up his "relationship" with his daughter.

Rags's picture

"Umm, sweety, no one dried your bathing suit and shrunk it.  You are growing.  And... the same thing applies to your life jacket.  Or.... you are getting pudgy. Either way, stop your complaining or next time we will put you in a drop in day care when we go boating and you can stay with the little kids."