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Adoptive Moms Adoptive Moms

Girl we adopted is really not liking me now....

Posted by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM
  • 20 Replies

Hi - I'm new here - looking for ideas. We adopted 3 hispanic girls through foster care.  We'd had them 3 years already, then adopted them in 2007.  So I've had them almost 9 years now. The second girl, who this is all about, has always been the most difficult. She's 10 now.  But for a couple years, things were going really great as far as our bonding and all.  And I've read, and I know, that each stage of development brings new challenges.  Well the last 5-6 months she became daddy's girl, off the chart.  She decided she loves horses more than anything in the world and we have a horse and my husband and her take care of it, so it's natural that they became more bonded and I'm seriously glad because then at least SOMEONE can have some influence with her.  But she's gone so far that she treats me very badly now.  She literally acts like she hates me. She won't look at me or glares at me, she ignores me or she finds fault with literally everything I say.  I sat her down and talked to her, asking her what she wants me to do, etc. She says she just wants me to leave her alone. I told her that's not how families work, that I understand she loves horses and dad, but that love is big and it can cover lots of people and things.  That she still needs to do her jobs around the house, treat me and her other sisters with respect, etc.  My husband keeps trying to pitch in and say, "you need to talk to mom respectfully" etc and he's gotten after her for some of the worst offenses.  I told her she doesn't have to love me, but she does have to be respectful.   Anyway...it's really getting old.  I've tried talking to her several times about it all.  She gets all smug and defiant so I don't want to fuel it more.  Maybe it's just classic in love with her dad and I'm competing?  Even so, do they just grow out of that?  I've also tried to praise the good, ignore the bad.  I've got an appointment with a counselor scheduled for her (and I'm sure it will include us).  Anyway....what else is obvious that I'm missing?  Thanks....

by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM
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raleyfamily
by Carla on Mar. 6, 2013 at 12:53 PM
6 moms liked this

Number one, your husband should be stepping in there to make her be respectful to you, and that might include if she isn't, then she doesn't get to work on the horses that day.

Other than that, you are the mom, she is only 10, and you should not be asking, but DEMANDING respect.  Quit talking to her about it - lay down the law.   I'm sure she needs you for certain priviledges - computer use, going to friends houses, whatever?  Start grounding her for being disrespectful.  If she can't speak decently to you, then you won't be driving her here and there, she will be grounded from after school activities (that one works WONDERS with my newly adotped 16 year old),   If she can't speak decently, then she can spend the day in her room until she can.  If she is disrespectful, then please don't expect pocket money.  Being disrespectful just isn't going to happen and life still go on the way she likes it...

Carla Raley, wife of Bill, mom of 12, foster mom of more than 50
Visit my blogs for stories of the life of an older mom raising a large family, foster/adoption and homeschooling
http://raleyfamilysfarm.blogspot.com/

http://bookreviewsbycarla.blogspot.com/



maggiemom2000
by Bronze Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 10:30 PM

This is a difficult situation. I think on some level it is good that it is happening now, at 10yrs, and not a few years later when she is a teen. This gives you the chance to work with her and help her get to a better place before she enters her teen years.

I think the first thing you can do that may help is to accept that this is where she is right now. She needs to know that she is accepted as she is right now, and that you consider her feelings valid. You need to model respect to her in order to get it back. Clearly you do respect her and her feelings, but her actions and your reactions may be making it hard for her to really see that you do.

Dealing with Misbehavior: One Valuable Word

"No matter if a child is, loud, scaling the furniture, melting down at the store, frustrated, mad, banging doors, crying, pushing, shoving, biting, yelling, talking balk or acting out…ultimately what they really need more than being taught a lesson, more than being sent to time out, more than being lectured or losing a privilege is acceptance. From that moment on…when we accept THEM for who they are and what they are feeling and dealing with in the here and now, we can then move on to validate them and seek to understand."

At the same time, she needs very clear boundries about what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behavior. Have you and DH talked about that? That would be a good place for you to start, for you and DH to talk about her behaviors and how to set limits on what is and is not acceptable. If that line is not clear she will keep pushing it, in an attempt to find it.

silver007
by Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Its gonna get a LOT worse, welcome to adolescence.

Find a therapist NOW to help you ALL get through her teens.

Been there, doing that.

SamsMomSays
by on Mar. 7, 2013 at 8:16 AM
3 moms liked this
The first thing that jumped out at me is that you never refer to her as your daughter. If she's 10, and been with you for 9 years, I'm assuming you love her and she IS your daughter. But, here, you come across as distant and angry. Maye she is sensing that and it's adding fuel to the fire.
Also, the reference to "Hispanic girls"... I'm assuming you are not Hispanic. Again, from this post, one might infer that it's a factor for you. I hope it's not. Perhaps she's sensing the "otherness". Maybe talking to others who have interracial adoptions would be helpful.
Lastly, you mentioned that she has always been the most difficult. Perhaps she senses this perspective from you and is acting out.
I'm not at all trying to bash you. It must be hard to have several teens and pre-teens. Just suggesting you do some self-reflection to see if you are feeding into the problems.
Good luck!!!
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raleyfamily
by Carla on Mar. 7, 2013 at 8:33 AM
4 moms liked this



Quoting silver007:

Its gonna get a LOT worse, welcome to adolescence.

Find a therapist NOW to help you ALL get through her teens.

Been there, doing that.

Really, ladies, it doesn not HAVE to get worse.  I have two teenagers in my house right now, a biological daughter and an adopted daughter, both of whom are 16 years old.  They are a delight, both of them.  The key is to handle children gently.  To smile when they walk in the room.  To say nice things "behind their backs" so they eventually hear someone tell them "Your mom sure thinks you hung the moon."  To say nice things in front of them...

The world has taught us to complain about our kids.  In Sunday School recently, the teacher made a comment about how kids are sweet unless they are yours.  I said, "Mine are sweet."  He looked completely shocked and asked me to say it again.  So I said again, "Mine are sweet.  I have great kids."  He made some comment about that being good, and went on.  When Sunday School was over, and one of my 16 year olds walked out, he said to her, "Be sure your mother tells you what she said about you kids this morning."  My daughter grinned, rolled her eyes and said, "Oh, no!"  But she was smiling, she knew her mother would NEVER had said a negative thing about her!


Carla Raley, wife of Bill, mom of 12, foster mom of more than 50
Visit my blogs for stories of the life of an older mom raising a large family, foster/adoption and homeschooling
http://raleyfamilysfarm.blogspot.com/

http://bookreviewsbycarla.blogspot.com/



erikadi
by Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 9:37 AM

It probably is just a phase, but sometimes and I know this can hurt, but kids sometimes are closer to one parent than the other. I am closer to my mom than my dad.

SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Mar. 7, 2013 at 9:59 AM
1 mom liked this
I agree with Carla that you and your husband have to decide together that you will not tolerate disrespect. I think her advice is excellent, and that's basically how we handle issues with our son.

It does hurt when a child blatantly prefers one parent. My son has always been more drawn to men, ever since he came to us at 2yo. He will almost always choose to do something with my husband over me. And I'm thankful that my husband is a great dad and a good role model for him... But it still feels like rejection sometimes.

What I try to do is identify some "special" things that he and I can do or share together. We have our own time and our own activities, and I cherish that. He enjoys it too, and it strengthens or relationship. Could you do this with your daughter?

In addition, I know that some of this has to do with my son's feelings towards his birth parents. His bmom was emotionally unavailable, and he never formed an attachment to her. That has really shaped his attitude towards women and mother figures. Is it possible that this is playing into your daughter's attitudes as well? If they were in care with you for three years, that makes me think that perhaps there were visits or other interactions with bparents during that time, and maybe some hurt remains from the failed reunification?
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AllAboutKeeley
by on Mar. 7, 2013 at 1:05 PM

I think you and your husband both need to sit down together and figure out exactly what rules you want you girls to obey.  Things like not aruging, showing respect, doing certain chores, etc.  And come up with what punishments will be handed out to those that break the rules...either same for each child or different if there is a big enough gap between ages.  Then sit down with all three girls so that you aren't singling out the 10 year old and go over the rules together as a family...perhaps even having the father talk about needing to show respect to everyone else in the house.  And if/when 10 year old breaks the "respect" rule, YOU be the one handing out the punishment while FATHER is standing there showing support for you.

silver007
by Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 7:28 AM

 My son is a delight, my loving clingy little daughter started getting distant at age 11 and our relationship got a lot worse but now thanks to therapy and her medication for depression that was finally diagnosed when she was 13 - is stablized

Her mental health issues may have a biological basis, adolescense is definitely a risk factor when adoption and other emo-psych issues surface

I stand by my advice to OP to get professional counseling now before things get worse

My loving nurturing cousin adopted a child at birth and tried to be the world's best Mom, her DD  exhibited extreme bipolar behavior by age 16 and was finally institutionalized. Turned out her BM gave her up because BM was...bipolar.

I wish my cousin and I and every other parent in the world who adopts the child of an addict or mentally ill person or a child who has been abused neglected or otherwise suffers PTSD, RAD, anxiety disorder etc...had a dollar for everyone who blamed the child's behavior on our lack of parenting skills

 

 

Quoting raleyfamily:

 

 

Quoting silver007:

Its gonna get a LOT worse, welcome to adolescence.

Find a therapist NOW to help you ALL get through her teens.

Been there, doing that.

Really, ladies, it doesn not HAVE to get worse.  I have two teenagers in my house right now, a biological daughter and an adopted daughter, both of whom are 16 years old.  They are a delight, both of them.  The key is to handle children gently.  To smile when they walk in the room.  To say nice things "behind their backs" so they eventually hear someone tell them "Your mom sure thinks you hung the moon."  To say nice things in front of them...

The world has taught us to complain about our kids.  In Sunday School recently, the teacher made a comment about how kids are sweet unless they are yours.  I said, "Mine are sweet."  He looked completely shocked and asked me to say it again.  So I said again, "Mine are sweet.  I have great kids."  He made some comment about that being good, and went on.  When Sunday School was over, and one of my 16 year olds walked out, he said to her, "Be sure your mother tells you what she said about you kids this morning."  My daughter grinned, rolled her eyes and said, "Oh, no!"  But she was smiling, she knew her mother would NEVER had said a negative thing about her!

 

 

 

raleyfamily
by Carla on Mar. 8, 2013 at 9:13 AM



Quoting silver007:

 My son is a delight, my loving clingy little daughter started getting distant at age 11 and our relationship got a lot worse but now thanks to therapy and her medication for depression that was finally diagnosed when she was 13 - is stablized

Her mental health issues may have a biological basis, adolescense is definitely a risk factor when adoption and other emo-psych issues surface

I stand by my advice to OP to get professional counseling now before things get worse

My loving nurturing cousin adopted a child at birth and tried to be the world's best Mom, her DD  exhibited extreme bipolar behavior by age 16 and was finally institutionalized. Turned out her BM gave her up because BM was...bipolar.

I wish my cousin and I and every other parent in the world who adopts the child of an addict or mentally ill person or a child who has been abused neglected or otherwise suffers PTSD, RAD, anxiety disorder etc...had a dollar for everyone who blamed the child's behavior on our lack of parenting skills


I've adopted two heroin addicted children, now ages 9 and 5.  The mother of these two has bipolar, depression disorders, PTSD and all kinds of diagnoses.  I greatly suspect the five year old has some fetal alcohol problems, we had to work with him quite a bit at a younger age, and still do now, although it's not so intense as it was, thanks to several things we put in place.  I had him at the Child Study Center, but by the time his appointment finally rolled around, we had most of his problems under control with diet and intense parenting. 

The 16 year old I mentioned in my post, who I adopted in January, and has lived with me full time since August, but off and on for about a year and a half, has been diagnosed with PTSD, depression, and all kinds of disorders, I'd have to get the case study back out to give you the whole list, but there were six or seven things she was diagnosed with, but certainly those two.  Among the things my adopted children also experienced were sexual and physical abuse, not being fed for days and never bathed.

So yes, I have adopted several children with at least one or more of most of the things you have listed above...I am fairly experienced with all those things.  I also stand by the advice I gave.  I would never rule out counseling, although I haven't, in my experience found it to be worth much.  We haven't done medication either, although I don't fault those who do.  The Bible says love can cover a multitude of sins, I think often, that includes healing the sins that have been inflicted on our children.


Carla Raley, wife of Bill, mom of 12, foster mom of more than 50
Visit my blogs for stories of the life of an older mom raising a large family, foster/adoption and homeschooling
http://raleyfamilysfarm.blogspot.com/

http://bookreviewsbycarla.blogspot.com/



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