Why Do You Have To Be So Mean?
The title of this article is our theme song in our household. My daughter who is 8 yo lost her dad around 2 years ago.
At first she thought her dad would walk through the door at any given time, but a year later she has so much anger that I don't know if we will make it through. She screams, throws things, and hits her sister and myself.
She has been in counseling for close to a year and has had a psych evaluation to check for mental illness, and it stated she is diagnosed with separation anxiety.
She thinks everyone is mean to her, but she is the one that is constantly verbally abusive to her sister and me. I believe that she is so hurt inside that she wants everyone else to be just as miserable.
I know life is very hard, but I just want some peace in my house. I don't know what to do because discipline just seems to make things worse, but in order to survive there has to be something that works. Please help this single mom and her kids,
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Misty, and thanks for telling your story here. It sounds to me like there is definitely some unresolved grief in your daughter--and I assume her father was your husband, or ex husband? If you experienced the loss as well, it's important that you do your own grieving if you want to help her do hers.
I suggest that you have low-key, friendly conversations with her about her dad. She needs to be able to work through her feelings about the loss, in order to let go. I'm not saying that is the only reason for her anger, but you just need to cover that base as part of your solution. This page on grieving might help. You may also want to do a search on children's grieving exercises to better help her.
I also strongly encourage you to check out the audio program below. You can listen to free previews right away, and get your copy through download or buying the CD.
You also may want to get into family counseling, instead of just focusing on individual counseling for her as if the problem was all hers. When children have emotional problems, the family always needs to be part of the solution.
Your daughter is not bad, or mentally ill. Assume there is good reason for her anger, because there is.
Believe in her, and believe in yourself as her mom. You can do this.
My very best to you,