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

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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
Replies (11-20):
megara68
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 11:37 PM
1 mom liked this

Wow - this is great.  You've all hit on so many things and given me some ideas and new strength.   Of course I was trying to be brief in my description of the problem, but yeah, there's so much more. I took them to visits to see their mother each week for 4 years.  Her older sister remembers more of life with her and was always terrified of visits and she gets mad if this girl even brings up their mother.  So I always tell daughter 2 that she can talk all she wants around me, but please not around this other daughter who gets upset by it.  And yeah, the race thing is an issue, the father thing is an issue - this same girl is the one who used to walk sexy and smile at hispanic men (when she was like 6, 7) and I'd ask her, "What do you want them to do?)  And she'd be like, "I don't know...I just like them."   Scary.....  She did go to counseling for a while and was dxd with PTSD....but she hasn't been for a while but if I can find a counselor I feel good about, I think she could use that.  Anyway, she vascillates between being angry at her mom and wanting to see her.  They're court ordered no contact but I'll talk to the girls about anything (I was adopted too so i know it's nothing personal to want to know stuff.)    And I have three older kids (not adopted)  that I've loved their teen years.   Anyway....I will take heart and recommit and follow these suggestions.  Thanks for taking the time to help. :))

Tresmom10
by on Mar. 10, 2013 at 7:05 PM
2 moms liked this

Ok ladies..here is my 2 cents on this topic.I feel at times we allow a behavior in our AC that we would not in our BC.I would not allow disrespect in any child living in my home.As I say to all 3 of mine"You dont have to like me but you do have to respect me" If they wish to act in such a way I do not allow any fun activities or the fave treat they each like to eat.Yes I have to provide meals but dont think you will get the things you love to eat when you are acting out.When I go to the store I will point out...Oh I would have bought you those ________ you love but since you have been so disrespectful maybe next week.Or ...yes I would have let you go bowling with your friends but Honey you have been so disrespectful as of late maybe next week you will have a better week.Then when the disrespectful one shows any improvment I offer them a date night with me...Where that child is shown a very special time...they can pick one activity and dinner wherever they want.Maybe spending some time alone with your daughter will show her just how special she is to you.In the end each of us has to find the place that works for each family

raleyfamily
by Carla on Mar. 10, 2013 at 7:56 PM


Amen!!  Don't give the kids a pass because they are adopted.  Expect good behaviour, and usually you will get it!  If you don't, then punish, ground, just some way take care of it!!  Be the parent - your kids need it desperately!


Quoting Tresmom10:

Ok ladies..here is my 2 cents on this topic.I feel at times we allow a behavior in our AC that we would not in our BC.I would not allow disrespect in any child living in my home.As I say to all 3 of mine"You dont have to like me but you do have to respect me" If they wish to act in such a way I do not allow any fun activities or the fave treat they each like to eat.Yes I have to provide meals but dont think you will get the things you love to eat when you are acting out.When I go to the store I will point out...Oh I would have bought you those ________ you love but since you have been so disrespectful maybe next week.Or ...yes I would have let you go bowling with your friends but Honey you have been so disrespectful as of late maybe next week you will have a better week.Then when the disrespectful one shows any improvment I offer them a date night with me...Where that child is shown a very special time...they can pick one activity and dinner wherever they want.Maybe spending some time alone with your daughter will show her just how special she is to you.In the end each of us has to find the place that works for each family



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/



Fab74
by on Mar. 10, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Before reading any of your  post, this jumped at me:

Girl we adopted


Quoting SamsMomSays:

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!!!



domesticadopt
by on Mar. 11, 2013 at 10:50 AM

She may have RAD. I would seek a diagnois/have her tested for this by a specialist. Often with RAD kids, they take all their 'hate' of their birth mother out on the adoptive mom and/or bully a younger child that's in the family. This doesn't sound like a phase to me. Do you have any medical history on the birth family and if so, does it include any drug exposure, mental illness or neurological problems? They could also be contributing factors. I'd seek help asap. HTH. - Sandy

megara68
by on Mar. 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Thanks.  that's a good suggestion.

megara68
by on Mar. 11, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Yeah sorry about that -- I have thought about what the other person said, that i didn't call her my daughter, but I am new to this chat stuff and honestly, I was just trying to convey that I'm talking about a girl, as opposed to a boy, and that she's adopted...because that's pertinent.  I am open to considering a deeper freudian thing about it and sure, maybe at the time I wrote it, there was cuz I've been sad and frustrated with the situation.  I have 4 daughters total and it was hard to write the post and differentiate who was who without using names and still trying to be clear.  thanks for the thought.  We are doing better in the past few days even.

lady_author
by on Mar. 11, 2013 at 12:43 PM

 

Quote:

I told her she doesn't have to love me, but she does have to be respectful


I have used words similar with my boys. My oldest son would always shout "I hate you, you are not my parents!" My husband and I would always respond "We are your guardians, and we love you as our son ". My youngest son would always say "You don't love me" and I would wrap my arms around him and tell him that I do love him. Both would be angry at the time because they got caught doing something that was against our rules.

We have our house rules posted in the area where the family is the most. I have made them colorful so they do not blend in with the background. I have requested their friends to read them and have told them "When in my house, I expect you to follow these".

I have also experienced a disrespectful daughter. We adopted her when she was 13 and from the day after the adoption until she was sent to a rehab center by the juvenile courts I was the target of her verbal, emotional, and physical attacks. When she was being physical, I never laid a hand on her. I know that she loved her birth father and that a lot of her anger was because she missed him. Both her birth-parents are deceased and she never was given the opportunity to grieve.

I had a counselor tell me one time "You need to accept her as your daughter in order for her to accept you as her mother." That is a hard thing to do when all you get back is hostility.

If you wrap her in your arms when she is being difficult (she will try to pull away) and tell her that you love her and that you are never going to let her go, she will eventually respond in kind.

As others mentioned having clear consequences for inappropriate AND appropriate behaviors need to be consistently enforced. My boys know that if I hold up one finger, two fingers and they can see me getting ready to hold up the third then they do as I asked. They like to play baseball so we use the three strikes rule. The same consequences for one applies to all, NOT if one is in trouble they all are, but if they both break the rules (at different times) they will receive the same consequences. The same goes for rewarding appropriate behavior.

My children are not the same race as my husband and myself, but that does not matter to us and we have told them just that. About a year ago my boys were talking about something that happened in school and my youngest asked "Who is this person named Racist." I told my youngest that racist is not a person and then explained to both boys what the word ment. This then led into my telling them about their birth family. Before I knew it my youngest started crying and I held him while he grieved for a family he never knew (he came to us straight from the hospital at 2 weeks of age). Since then he has not asked about them.

If you and your husband have not done so, you might talk to all girls about their adoption and how they feel. If you know anything about the birth family let them know they can come to you and ask questions. We also celebrate our family being Completed on the anniversary of their adoption. This helps them to remember that we love them and CHOSE to have them in our family.

Sorry this is long but these are some of the things we have done. We also have a counselor for them, and I have one.

Children are still a work in progress. If you can help her while she is young (pre-tween issues?) then when she gets older she will come to you for the important stuff in her life.

 

Charis angel miniResting in the Lord's Hands

Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1TH 5:17 - 18
)

Mom to DS1. 12 yrs old - Adopted at 16 months- Silent Asthma; ADHD and ODD; Concerta 54mg; Risperdal 1.5mg; Zyrtec 10mg; Flovent 110/10; Albuterol
Mom to DS2. 11 yrs old - Adopted at 1 year (had since 2 weeks) - ADHD, Bi-Polar; Issues - ODD, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder; Concerta 54mg, Seroquel 25mg, Claudine 0.2 mg, Fexofenadine 25mg
Mom to DD.  23 yrs old, Grandmother to GD 3 yrs old, GS 2 yr old

MommyMookie2
by on Mar. 12, 2013 at 12:04 PM

I feel very saddened for you and YOUR daughters. Having a disrespectful child, who is disturbing the harmony can be so difficult. I have to say though, I agree with a lot of what has been said. You need to demand respect. It is not an option, is not an "if you are at home" it is all times or there are consequences. Someone responded with the thought about treating AC different than you would a BC because of whatever internal turmoil you have within yourself. Here is how I see it, they are YOUR children, they are YOUR responsibility forever. not just for now, not just till the are 18. Regardless of how they feel about you, which a birth child can easily hate their parents just as much as an adopted child. You love them, you remind them that you love them. I disagree with the comment that was said "you don't have to love me but you have to respect me" The truth is yes they do have to love you, because love is family, love is also honesty, respect and kindness, those things are not ingrained in our DNA, we are taught those things. If for one moment she feels an indifference or segregation from you, then no she won't learn the ability to love, in which she's being taught a lifetime of the same cycle. The truth is she doesn't have to LIKE you, no child has to LIKE their parent, but respect and love, yes they do. Now by no means am I saying to instill the "if you don't love me then you are punished" just don't use the statement You don't have to love me. I want my childrens love, I want their respect, I do not have to be their friend. I HAVE to be their mother. I have to teach them how to be a mother, how to love unconditionally, how to be respectful to all human kind. This is the role of a foster mother. To teach, to embrace, to hold fast to their hearts, and give them more than shelter. You give them a lifetime of knowing what kindness and love really is. I have a 6 year old who butts heads with her father so bad, pushes his buttons, tells him he is mean that she hates him, has told him he should die. In those moments, we sit down and he tells her, I understand that right now you feel those things, that right now I have made you angry, but never forget no matter how or what you feel about me I will ALWAYS love you. I will always be your parent, I will Always be here no matter what. I am not saying this is the answer completely to your specific situation. We can only base our opinion and advice on the information that you share with us. That's my two cents on this.

Dani- Mom to Christopher 7, Alannah 6, Piper 3, Phoebe 19 months,

Foster mom to D-man 1yrs.

First Biochild due in August!

hdtaylor36
by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 2:52 PM

My daughter and I have gone through this off and on. One thing I try to remember is she is just like any other kid in any other family when it comes to pushing boundaries. Stay strong and be the wall she hits everytime. It's exhausting. I know.  But it will pay off eventually. Our kids just have extra spice sprinkled on the normal growing pains. We must be sensitive to that for their sake. I just figured she was testing me and my commitment to her and when she hit the wall, she saw how much I love her. Or at least, eventually she would. And it is paying off. In spades :)

Good luck and stay strong,

Heather

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