Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Who Are You? And What Have You Done With My Sweet Baby?

I feel like I'm sliding down a very slippery slope and quickly losing grip of my sweet baby.  Slou has ALWAYS had a strong personality.  She's often abrasive and loud, but she's also got this sweet side and a funny one too.  But lately...lately she's not been that sweet or funny child.  I don't recognize her sometimes...or well I take that back.  I recognize the behavior/personality traits.  They are very familiar to me, but not coming from my sweet Slou.  I'm noticing more and more similarities between her and her dad.  

I don't mean to make this a trash dumb-dumb segment.  Let me explain.  When he and I would fight, he would shut me out and yell as loud as he could for as long as it would take until I just dropped it, because I'd always realize he wasn't hearing me anyway.  She is sooooo much like him...the good parts too.  I could be madder than hell at him and he could crack a joke just like that and I couldn't help but laugh and then he'd think everything was fine again....and because I just wanted peace & harmony, I'd sweep it under the rug until next time.  Eventually that wasn't enough and I gave up and left him.  I can't give up and leave my baby though.

Monday morning I asked to see her agenda so I could sign it from Friday.  You would think that I'd learn to check the damn thing on FRIDAY!!  But I don't...and then it affects my Monday.  She had 4 agenda marks from Friday!!!  FOUR!!!! I saw RED!!!!!  She hadn't turned any of her homework in on Friday and that's not the kicker.  The kicker is that I'd asked her every day if she had language studies homework or math or geo challenge.  She blatantly lied to me.  She told me that they weren't doing language studies last week because they were working on their writing assessments and that they were doing their geo challenges in class.  I believed her.  You see, up until recently....she's always been a straight A student.  She was my kid that got off the bus, fixed a snack and immediately sat down at the table and knocked out her homework.  Where did that angel go?

Now she lies like it comes naturally.  She watches entirely too much TV....and when she gets in trouble she accuses me of hating her and tells me that she'll make everyone's lives easier and just kill herself.  For a little while, I reacted to those statements.  Telling her "you know I love you and that it hurts me when you say those things.  You have to take responsibility for your actions that got you in this mess to begin with."  Then I realized she was manipulating me to make me feel sorry for her and lighten her punishment.  Now I just tell her I love her and send her to her room.  I'm at my wits end.

She's lost TV entirely this week, but she's lost it during the week indefinitely!  Unfortunately, I don't think any amount of punishment or reward matters to her.  I'm looking into counseling.  I just truly want to get to the bottom of this before she's moved on to middle school next year.   

In the car yesterday, Slou tells me that her dad gave her some advice.  "Oh yeah?  What's that?"  She said "He told me that maybe if I have a better attitude about school when I get there in the mornings, maybe I'll have a better day."  Oh wise words...that I've been saying to her for 11 years!!  But maybe it just took her hearing it from him, rather than her nagging mom, for it to actually click.

We had a heart to heart last night...ya know since there's no TV anyway.  We talked about her grades and how I knew she was fully capable of straight A's.  That she just had to put forth some effort.  I asked her how she would feel if she failed the 5th grade.  She told me "Thanks mom.  That really helps my self-confidence."  "Well honey, if you don't start turning this around...that's EXACTLY what might happen."  

We talked about trust and honesty.  I explained to her that right now, I don't trust her.  That it's like the boy crying wolf.  She's going to have to earn back my trust...and that means that I'm going to check her homework every single night.  It means that I'm no longer going to be able to just take her word for it.  We talked about how she feels when people let her down.  We discussed unconditional love, that even though I'm very disappointed in her...I still love her VERY much.  I'm praying that she's finally seeing the big picture here.

There!!  I finally finished one of my posts that's been sitting in my drafts for a couple of days.  I'm ready for my life to go back to being filled with rainbows and butterflies....wait, oh yeah, that was when I was 10.

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  1. When they sent us home with our baby girls, they should have provided a book on how to handle a Tween girl.... they are hell. I feel for you. I honestly don't think it gets better for years. Stay strong, she will appreciate it down the road.

  2. Sounds *exactly* like my daily conversations with Hunter, every detail (except the dad). Annnnnd he's only 6 so just imagine my life in a few years....

  3. Hey, thanks for linking up with us today! I just read your post and it made my heart break for you and your daughter... Being a teacher I have heard that story several times... unfortunately I know it has got to be harder when its your own child-- I dread those days as my sweet one is only 11 months old. Just wanted to say, what you are going through it somewhat "normal" if that even makes since :) Hope things start to look up!!! :)

  4. Mine go through the same emotional roller coster ride and confuses me all the time. I think no matter what you really have to be constantly prepared for unexpected and unpredictable reactions. The good thing is it does not last that long and the sweetness always returns.
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  7. I can relate to what you are going through with your daughter. I have been having the same struggles with my son and at times it leaves me feeling drained and heartbroken. Although things have been a lot better, it was a hell of a ride getting to where we are now. You and your daughter will get through this and everything else that come along. It is not easy and will not be for quite a few years. But, no matter what, always let her know that you love her unconditionally and you will always have her back and be there for her. They need love, trust and understanding more than anything..

    Have a beautiful weekend..

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  9. oh dear. yep I recognise this pattern. it sounds like she's just getting to the stage where she just wants to see how far she can get. i went through it. unfortunately my parents didn't push back and I ended up going too far and getting kicked out of school. i'm no expert but you could maybe give her incentives, like taking her on a day trip with her best friends if she has no red marks or a month or something. you could maybe also try talking to her teachers... good luck!
    I am hosting a blog hop today over at my blog :-)