View Full Version : Daughter is pushing everyone away


daffy7474
03-19-14, 10:27 AM
My daughter is in 6th grade and has started experiencing problems with other kids. She's trying very hard to do well in school and so prefers to focus in class and doesn't want to partake in the whispering and chatting that goes on in many of her classes. She gets very frustrated with the kids who are disruptive, and due to her personality and ADHD she expresses this frustration freely and not always diplomatically (i.e. shut up)

The other kids find it amusing to get her frustrated, and try to set her off. They will deliberately ask her incessant inane questions, (i.e. Do you like cookies? Are your jeans blue?) Inevitably she will lash out at them and the teacher will reprimand her for it. She's been referred to the principal a few times because she has on occasion pushed or used mild swearing (damn) at another student. She rarely defends herself to an adult - I finally started bringing this to the attention of the teachers and principal and suggested some seating changes to get her away from the worst offenders.

The biggest problem is that she has stopped trusting any kids (except her close friends). If a student tries to talk to her kindly, she's suspicious and sometimes responds rudely to them even if they're not trying to bug her. The school psychologist is afraid that she's pushing everyone away. I agree, but at the same time I understand why she's defensive. The psychologist is certain that this will be a serious problem in the future and will effect her performance in school academically.

Has anyone gone through anything similar? I've tried to give her advice, but I had similar issues when I was in middle school so I don't know the 'right' way to advise her. Would love some feedback.

Tmoney
03-19-14, 12:28 PM
6th grade, so your daughter is 11 or 12 years old.

If I was bullied I would have a defense mechanism up and I would probably avoid those people too.

However, the pschologist is right. If she is pushing everyone out it could be a problem.
My question is if this psychologist knows whats going to happen in the future, what is she doing to help with the present? Is there counseling going on or coping mechanisms and skills being taught so she can handle the situation better?

She needs alternative methods for dealing with annoying people. Sometimes just giving kids samples of what they could or should say in certain situations is very helpful. Of course the power of ignoring can be very beneficial. If the other kids don't get a response from her, odds are they will eventually leave her alone.

Does she have a good friend?
What if this good friend was a new person walking up to your daughter and your daughter didn't know her, she could have responded harshly to this person and may have never had an opportunity to have her as a friend.
(I would use this sample with your daughter)

We teach kids that all people are different. Just because one boy or one girl is being mean doesn't mean all boys and all girls are mean.
Is she on medication? when I was younger some of the meds I took caused me to have a short temper and mean streak. When it got to the point where my anger got me in trouble they would change my med.

It's my opinion that she needs reassurance and support to know that she has options for handling these bullies other than angry responses when someone is being annoying.
The pschologist or school counselor should already know this and should be working with her.

daffy7474
03-19-14, 12:55 PM
Thank you for the response and the tips. Part of the problem is that she also rejects interactions from adults, which makes things worse. She responds best to me, because I've built the trust with her - she doesn't have that level of trust with the adults at her school.

Here are some things that I/we have tried that she seems more willing to accept:

1) When someone starts in with the stupid questions, instead of immediately saying 'leave me alone' or 'go away', to respond with 'why do you want to know?' Example: yesterday one of the kids who had been bothering her had birthday treats. She came up to my daughter and said, "Do you like cookies?" phrased as she does when she's starting to bug my daughter. Had she approached my daughter by saying, "would you like to have a cookie?" her response may have been different, but given the source and wording, my daughter said 'go away, damn it' and got in trouble. Had my daughter said, "why do you want to know?" she may have been better able to filter between a bothersome annoyance and a true request. I'd love to give her some more comebacks to help her defuse the situation.

2) While she does not want 'counseling' or 'therapy' in the school setting, she does have the option of going to the counselor's office to chill out without having to talk about it. Once she's calmed down she can return to class. She seems open to this idea, but hasn't felt it necessary to institute it yet.

3) she tries to ignore them, but there are multiple kids doing it at the same time and they keep at it until she snaps - she has a low threshold for frustration.

That's where we're at so far. My husband isn't on board with the idea of outside therapy/counseling, but I'm working on that. It hadn't occurred to me that her medications could be causing a problem. She's been on 54 mg of Concerta for 3 years without problem. Because it's been working well I'm nervous to make a change, but will try it if other things don't work. I have spoken to her about looking at her actions from someone else's perspective, and she says, "I know, I just can't help it" and seems visibly upset at her actions, but in the heat of the moment she can't stop herself from doing the wrong thing.

I very much appreciate the response!!

sarahsweets
03-20-14, 09:12 AM
I believe that antagonizing her is a form of bullying and should not be tolerated. If she can get away with it, meaning no teachers here, she should tell those people something like this:
I'm sorry your home life sucks so much that you cant do anything other than bring your negative **** with you. You should consider talking to a therapist instead of using me as your punching bag. Oh, and go f**k yourself." This approach works better then you would think provided no teachers actually here her, then it would be he said-she-said.

JaysTrees
03-31-14, 05:52 PM
A little late to the party here, but I also experienced this. Not so much to 'set me off', but there were those kids who would ask questions with obvious answers or just 'different' questions to make me reply awkwardly. I was also a very observant child, and I'd notice someone get 'complimented' only to be made fun of for the same 'compliment' they received just seconds earlier. This led me to not trust anybody when they compliment me, and that sucks tbh. Get the daughter the help she may or may not need now so she doesn't have these social problems in the future.

But honestly, you should be proud you have a child that does not stand for nonsense and is not afraid to speak her mind. Maybe work with her to control it a bit more, but, again, being an observant child, I noticed growing up that kids like her are more successful in life than the kids that goofed off irritating everybody

mommytriz
04-03-14, 12:41 PM
Sorry your daughter is surrounded by little sh**s. My daughter had a few back when she attended regular school. It got to the point where I wanted to hear the interactions in the class ( teacher included). I put a small digital recorder ( $35 ) in her backpack. It recorded for hours. I never happened to catch anything noteworthy on the days we did it, but it might be a way for your daughter to get some of this on record and then you can go over it and give her a play by play on how she could have responded. Just set it in a cloth pencil case in her desk. Not exactly "admissible as evidence" lol, but might give you an idea of how appropriate the teacher response is.

Unfortunately girls bully in a pretty sneaky way and it's often the "model" kids doing the worst stuff so teachers don't even look for it.

daffy7474
04-11-14, 08:41 AM
Thank you JaysTrees - it really helps to hear that. The school keeps telling me that she will have no success in life if she doesn't open up to everyone. I agree that she needs to be more open, but not naive to the point of where she tries to befriend kids who are cruel to her.

stef
04-11-14, 12:28 PM
"No success in life if she doesn't open up to everyone" ?
that sounds very extreme...
Reserved people can be successful, too.

sarahsweets
04-11-14, 12:36 PM
2) While she does not want 'counseling' or 'therapy' in the school setting, she does have the option of going to the counselor's office to chill out without having to talk about it. Once she's calmed down she can return to class. She seems open to this idea, but hasn't felt it necessary to institute it yet.

Then its your job to call the guidance counselor and have he or she come to her class, pull her aside and ask her to come talk to her. I cant blame her for not initiating this herself.

3) she tries to ignore them, but there are multiple kids doing it at the same time and they keep at it until she snaps - she has a low threshold for frustration.
Ignoring a bully never works and its often the easy way out advice wise.
You have to complain until your blue in the face. More than one child repeatedly engaging her even if the comments are not specifically bullying or bully-like is bullying in my book.

That's where we're at so far. My husband isn't on board with the idea of outside therapy/counseling, but I'm working on that.
Then your husband isnt interested in supporting her, or helping make her self worth and confidence better. IMO inaction when it comes to kids, is like telling them they deserve the abuse and that its acceptable to the adult involved.
I have spoken to her about looking at her actions from someone else's perspective, and she says, "I know, I just can't help it" and seems visibly upset at her actions, but in the heat of the moment she can't stop herself from doing the wrong thing.

Again why should she be expected to see things from a bully's point of view. Thats similar to telling a rape victim that its her fault because she dressed provocatively. She has to get along, but if getting along means changing everything about her behavior to make the bullies feel better then thats ridiculous.