Does anyone have a few Practical ideas about this? 

All three of my daughters are adopted and were adopted as older children.  My middle daughter exhibits many of the "typical middle child" attitudes about things...such as "everybody likes her better than than like me" (referring both to her older And younger sisters) - or- "why does She get to do that and I can't?" on an everyday basis.  Her added emotional challenges (besides simply being a 14 year old middle child) is that her birth mother does not even know for certain the biological father of the child.  She was accepted as the child of her sisters' father, but for her it is not good enough.  She does not feel wanted or liked no matter how much attention is devoted to her.

She tries to fill this emptiness with food or wanting Things, but she is never satisfied. There has to be some balance on how lenient or how strict I am with her.  When she is not the only one in the house receiving attention, she becomes "weepy" or angry at the world.  She becomes the most irate when her little sister is rewarding for doing something good.  My 9 year old learned quickly that if she did as requested or did her basic chores on her own, she receives benefits for doing so.  The older two think they should be given whatever they want when they want without any sort of expectation.

She is a compassionate and loving child most of the time (90%), but at the times she chooses to be selfish she acts out in remarkably extreme ways.  How do I go about proving to my daughter she is loved and it does not matter who her biological father is?  She has a new family now who Chose her and she was not an accident or mistake.  Since I am a single woman who never married or had children, it was a lot of work to convince anyone I could take care of these girls.  If I had not made this effort, however, they would have been stuck in a group home (where they were living in separate houses) until they graduated high school.

Where is the balance between spoiling her rotten and being too stern? 



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Feb. 9, 2008 at 11:46 PM Wow, I think every mom has this concern. I feel the same way with my girls. I want them to be happy and fit in with their peers, but I don't want them to turn in to spoiled brats that can't do anything for themselves. I don't think there is an easy answer for this one, if someone figures it out they could make a killing selling the book

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Feb. 11, 2008 at 12:34 AM

When talking to my mom a few years ago about this very thing (with one of my sons) she told me... It is not my job as a mother to make my children happy.  It is my job to love them unconditionally, provide their needs, and make sure they are safe.  I still struggle with this because we, as mothers, want our children to be happy.  But when we love, provide and keep them safe the result will be happiness, over all happiness.  Maybe not an emotion of happiness all the time but happy in their heart because they are loved, provided for and safe. 

The hardest part for me is that when I do feel that overwhelming responsibility to make my children happy I tend to be inconsistant with them about discipline, chores...which affects every aspect of how our house runs.  I really have seen that when I am consistant with love, provision of needs and safety our house runs very smoothly with little conflict.  Children do tend to push buttons where they know that they can cause a guilt response, in hopes they will end up getting what they want.  Your daughter may realize that you would do almost anything to make her happy and she is taking advantage of that alittle.  I really don't have any specific advice but maybe this will help.  God Bless.  Kelly

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Mar. 2, 2008 at 11:37 PM

It sounds to me like you are doing your best to make her feel the love you have for her.

She probably is trying to see how much she can get away with, and testing the boundaries that you have set for her.  I think by you being firm with her, it only shows her more love, shows her you care, kids so want those boundaries. They really do. 

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Mar. 2, 2008 at 11:59 PM

This one does enjoy testing boundaries, but she does seem to be learning how to get what she wants.  She did all of her chores as requested on Saturday because she wanted her friend to come over for the night.  She did a Fantastic job on all of it, too.  They had a great time together and then spent all day today in each other's company.

Being tough with my girls is So Hard for me...what I really Want to do is spoil them like crazy, BUT I know that is ultimately more harmful so I do not do that.  Someone had posted in one of my groups about there being a specific age in which daughters forge that special bond with their mothers. If I recall correctly it was between the ages of 10-12.  At 14, my daughter is developmentally delayed due to her pre-adoption life so I have been taking that younger age attachment-bonding into consideration.  She and I have been spending more time just "hanging out" with each other and doing just normal Boring stuff.  She does Appear to be thriving on this. 

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Mar. 19, 2008 at 7:24 PM The one-on-one time you are spending with her is very important.  Also, I think it is important to always tell her you love her after you have to discipline her. If she'll let you, hug her, also.  I also read to look at a child when they walk into the room like they are the most wonderful thing you have ever seen. Good luck with your daughters and thank you for adopting them.

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