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12 yr old daughter driving me off the deep end!!

We adopted her 3 yrs ago..and have nothing but problems. I raised 2 boys, now 19 and 22, and no serious issues...the normal teenage stuff. We adopted her along with her brother, who is now 15. She is failing 3 or her 6 classes. She wasn't doing homework, so I got with the teachers and they initial her planner everyday with homework due etc. But my wonderful daughter forgets initials most of the time. I have taken everything away from her. She has nothing. She didn't turn in a math homework on Thurs. I saw it in her folder last night and said, do you think you should turn this in? She said I will tomorrow. Well you guessed it...its Fri. and it wasn't turned in today.
At home she is very hateful...with lots of eye rolling. If it were me rolling my eyes at my parents...I probably wouldn't walk for a few days, or bloody mouth. I feel like she is in trouble all the time and doing chores. I don't know what to do!

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Asked by paigeob at 5:05 PM on Feb. 6, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (6)
  • Get her evaluated. If you adopted her as an older child, she may need help. Children who come from those kind of backgrounds often have trouble. (I don't know your situation, so these are guesses) Children who are adopted older often need help.

    Answer by kemclaughlin at 5:06 PM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • Based on your scenario, my experiences and stories from a friend with an adopted teen welcome to the joys of teen parenting. I would also suggest getting the psych eval because if there is an underlying issue you want to address it before it gets out of hand. On the other hand, the things that she is doing is a typical teen female. Before you get frustrated and go off the deep end allow me to please offer this advice (and take it from a parent of a seriously rebellious teen girl of 3 years) STAND YOUR GROUND. You are the parent and what you say goes. When you make a decision, set a rule, say no, take things away...It is final.The best thing to do for yourself is develop a plan to keep your sanity so that you will be mentally strong to deal with any issues.

    Answer by VaDivaMom at 5:22 PM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • my son is 12 and he is the same way and i tried everything i can to get him to turn in school work ect but nothing has worked so far. i know alot of it has to do with just finding his dad and the guy not wanting anything to do with him as he is my birth son i can understand his reasons for the way he's acting but i would take her to the dr.

    Answer by Jamie231724 at 12:50 AM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • I know it is very overwhelming for you, but most adopted kids go through these stages. Understand that no matter how hard she pushes you away, she needs and wants your love. She's probably scared that if she gets attached, she'll be let down, as I'm sure she has been before, so when she acts up, instead of yelling, hug her. She knows what she's done is wrong, and doesn't need constant lectures. Also, she probably hasn't had a whole lot in her life previous to being in your family, so taking everything away from her probably just makes her feel as if she's back in that life, and it's also going to make her rebel harder. Let her know that her behavior is unacceptable in your house, but also let her know that no matter what she does, you're not going anywhere. Respond to every rebelion with love. I know it sounds hard, but it really is what she needs, and when she realizes she's got it good, she'll straighten up.

    Answer by ktrog at 9:12 AM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • Also, maybe you can sit down and talk with her about any extracarricular activities she might be interested in. It may be that she just needs a positive outlet for her aggression, so that she doesn't take it out on you all of the time. This has proven to keep kids out of trouble, and improve attitudes. Good luck!

    Answer by ktrog at 9:14 AM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • Being adopted at nine years old...she must have been through some serious trauma before she came to you. That can't be overlooked, no matter how positive your home may be. Of course you need to set limits and stick to them, and of course you need to let her know you love her and she is your daughter....and the balance is harder to achieve while she is acting out. Many kids have issues with handing in homework and getting initials on their assignments...and it strikes me that there is no payoff for them for doing this. That makes me think that they have a genuine hard time doing it! My son is one of these kids too. It is frustrating. She may feel sort of incompetent when she does it, and then eye-rolls as a defense mechanism and a form of self protection. This may only be one small issue in her life....are you all in counseling to deal with the adoption issues? The adoption doesn't cancel out everything that happened before.

    Answer by BJoan at 2:03 PM on Feb. 8, 2009

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