thank you, Jackie, for your kind and encouraging post. I also have a 5 year old daughter :) I am glad you are here to post. You are very open and honest, which I appreciate. We sound similar in our frustration and approaches with our 12 year old daughters.
I am trying to figure out if her "stuff" is coming from being adopted at a later age (7) vs. being biological or being adopted at a younger age, (like her sister who was 8 months). I hate to say this, but there is definitely a different type of bond between my two girls. My youngest still thinks I gave birth to her. I am all she has ever known. I have tried to introduce the adoption concept, but she doesn't get it...so the proper time will come.
With my older daughter I feel like all I do is fight with her. I feel that she has respect for everyone in the world but me. I realize that 12 is a tough age. i get that. I try really, really hard to cut her slack for being 12.
What I can't handle is the blatant disrespect she will give me and then turn around and get notes and certificates from school for being a good citizen, or student of the month.
I am sure there are a lot of attachment issues going on too. She has a hard time showing affection.
She can walk right by me when I am crying and keep walking. She never takes responsiblity when she is wrong or has hurt me. She also likes to argue and have the last word. Always. She doesn't overthink things. That is all I do. I tend to overtalk and overexplain things with her when we have fights. I think she tunes me out within 2 sentences.
I joke with her because she is a lot like a man. "just the facts,mom". She can't stand my verbal diarrhea. She calls me Dr. Phil and Oprah. sigh. so we talked yesterday after 3 days of silence. I told her basically that I am the mom and there will be respect in the home, but that I realize we are different types of people and I will try to listen better.
Of course it took me 15 minutes to say all that, so I am not sure how much she heard. ;) I told her that it hurts me when she doesn't come to me when she has hurt me. I want to continue to explore this lack of empathy, perhaps with a counselor for the two of us.
I am sure I have many more challenges to come. I deeply love my children, which is why it hurts so much when we are going through difficulties.
I just wanted to share a little of my struggles as you did with us. Motherhood is not easy, but there are many good times as well. Both of my kids are very smart and very talented in different ways.
I am working with my therapist on how to continue to navigate single parenthood. (oh, forgot to mention my 5 year old has aspbergers and adhd...sooooooo, yeah...)
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