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RealSupport
RealSupport, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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My granddaughter is 9 years old and is in the "gifted" program

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My granddaughter is 9 years old and is in the "gifted" program in 4th grade (very smart). She is so sweet and talented. Starting about a year ago and getting worse she has started getting up every morning and says that she is sick and going to throw up. But also she disagrees with whatever her mother is saying. tell her to brush her teeth and she says she does not know how to do it. She has gotten to the point now that she is hitting and kicking her mother and screaming. they do not spank her. they take away things from her but she does not care. My daughter (the mother) is so tired of it. they put her in therapy and they have her in group and it is not helping at all. the other thing is she loves her mother to death and will cling to her and displays separation anxiety. it is like a roller coaster. any suggestions?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this overwhelming situation

Customer:

what do you think

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You said she has been intentionally vomiting every day for a year?

Customer:

no she says that she is sick, that her stomach hurts, feels like she is going to throw up, but she has not been sick in over a year

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Has she been this violent towards other people besides of her mother, like her father, other children or adults, or is it mostly towards her mother?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then she has not actually been vomiting at all nor trying to throw up, right?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

What about her father, how has he been addressing all these behaviors?

Customer:

her father does not engage her. he just calmly takes things away or lays out her restrictions. she has a younger brother and they do sibling fights. but most of this is directed to her mother - like in the morning when the father has left. she does not try to vomit - there is no eating disorder.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see. Thanks.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

What has the child psychotherapist said about it, has there been any diagnosis and which treatments have been implemented?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Did you mean that when she presents all these behaviors her father does not intervene and that he ends the restrictions imposed by her mother?

Customer:

no diagnosis - they teach her how to breathe when she feels angry. i think they will be stopping that.

Customer:

If the father is there he tells her that her behavior is not acceptable and punishes her, he will also address her behavior when he gets home. the parents are supportive of each other.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry but this is very concerning, it does not show she has a serious disorder impairing her from functioning, since she is actually very smart, talented and sweet as you said, and able to cope with stressors and challenges with most people but around her mother; and it is specially towards her mother that she acts out and has become not only disrespectful but violent, very destructive and mean, which are all unacceptable and very unhealthy behaviors, specially because she does know very well what is right and wrong, and is able to conduct herself very well with other people, but not towards her mother.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

What do they do when she is yelling and hitting her mother?

Customer:

they told the mother to tell her that her behavior is unacceptable and to not engage her. like this morning she asked for a certain sandwich for her lunch and after the mother made it she says that she does not like it and tried to grab it and my daughter ended up having to pack it in her bookbag and lock it in the car.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

A 9 year old does not have the physical strength to abuse an adult but it happens whenever such behaviors are tolerated. After a first incident parents need to immediately set good and solid boundaries and limits, confronting such behaviors and not tolerating them at all, implementing consistent and gradual consequences for the child to know that she would have to afford further consequences if she perpetuates the same behavior.

Customer:

Are you saying to physically hold her down? they have taken away stuffed animals, then pillows, then all toys. she is extremely stubborn and hard to break

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

The first step I would suggest if presented with a situations like this is to set both parents to commit to psychotherapy as a couple and to family therapy, besides of taking a parenting class. This child does not seem to suffer a disorder leaving her unable to cope and function but she is clearly abusively acting out hurting her mother and manipulating as much as possible.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Has she been spoiled before?

Customer:

she is the first born and is loved by her family. she comes every saturday night to her grandparents and plays with her brother and 2 cousins. she is perfect and our house.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think she is using her intellectual intelligence and all her skills in very effective ways, to the point she rules over her own parents. the problem here is that she is only 9 years old, while they are adult parents. I can tell you with certainty that &95 of cases with children problems I have seen, I have worked almost exclusively with parents and not with children, and they got well as soon as parents made necessary changes and improvements, since children depend on them, not only physically by emotionally and psychologically, and it is obvious she has developed a very dysfunctional, abusive and manipulative relationship with her mother.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Does she have responsibilities at home around taking good care of her own things, and helping her little brother and parents with house chores? hasn't be suspended these visits when she has been this violent and abusive for her to understand that her actions are unacceptable and lead to consequences?

Customer:

they kept her from going to a halloween party as punishment last week. it really upset her. her mother and brother went and she stayed home with dad and could not watch tv. I do not want to be a form of punishment.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You should never be a form of punishment for sure, what I meant is for her to really come to terms with the fact that no unacceptable behavior would be tolerated and would always have to afford consequences about things she really likes. I agree with you that your relationship should not be undermined because of it, but that both parents need to work hard on making many adjustments in their parenting and coping skills.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Does it make sense?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It's obvious to me that this child does have a serious and distorted attachment problem with her mother, and this is why I strongly believe that for this child to rehabilitate from this very serious behaviors, her mother and father will have to work hard on themselves and as a team to create and keep these changes.

Customer:

Well counseling for the parents is the only thing they have not tried.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

As I said, psychotherapy more than counseling is the first and most important intervention that I would recommend in a situation like this without hesitation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

The child is just like a emotional thermometer reflecting parents' individual, marital and parental issues, this is why there is no way to effectively support a child without first working with the parents.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I suggest they look for an experienced marriage and family therapist with expertise in parenting and children's behavioral and emotional problems.

Customer:

thank you

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're welcome. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or to follow up, since I am here willing to support you as possible.

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