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My 12 year old stepdaughter has had many issues over the…

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Hi there! My 12 year...
Hi there! My 12 year old stepdaughter has had many issues over the years so I'll try to sum it up to the extreme problems. She has had a problem with lying since I met her when she was just two years old, we thought she'd grow out of it and tried to teach her the difference between lying and having an imagination or story telling she is still lying ten years later. A few years ago we caught her stealing and she said that she has been doing it since second grade and that her mom has never caught her and she does it because it makes her feel good. We tried to get her mom to help us work on these issues and she prefers to ignore everything, that seems to be her way of dealing with everything . Last year (5th grade) my stepdaughter attacked a boy in her locker area at school, kicking, punching and they proceeded to take a small screw driver from her back pack and asked the boy where he would like her to stab him. Her mother never told us about this incident along with many other things her mother didn't think we needed to know. We only found out about the boy she attacked because we heard a commercial on the radio about bullying and asked my stepdaughter a few random questions about bullying (never dreaming that this is what she'd tell us). My stepdaughter is obviously screaming for help or attention (both) and we do not know what to do, we've tried having her see a therapist and her mother will not follow through with continuing visits. Now 12 years old she seems to be shutting everybody out and ignoring everything as her mother has taught her that is the best way to deal with problems, feelings etc. my husband and I are scared for her as she is entering puberty and seems to be so lost. What can we do to help her?
Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Mental Health
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Answered in 2 hours by:
11/14/2017
Mental Health Professional: John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC) replied 5 months ago
John-Michaels
John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC)
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 951
Experience: 25+ years helping people find solutions...
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I am so sorry to hear this. I don’t know if you are familiar with RAD, but it seems fit your stepchilds behaviour. RAD affects children who have not developed normal attachments in the first few years of life. This usually happens to children which had a major disruption in their relationship with their mother the first 3-4 years of life. This may be due to sickness, abuse, or neglect. The aptitude for attachment is developed during this time. A disruption during this time sets the tone for life. Of course I am not in a position to diagnose from her. It is characterized by a difficulty developing attachments. They are disrespectful of authority. They value things more than people. They are manipulative and will always lie rather reap consequences. Does that sound like your stepdaughter?
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Mental Health Professional: John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC) replied 5 months ago
A good link to learn more: https://psychcentral.com/disorders/reactive-attachment-disorder-symptoms/
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Mental Health Professional: John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC) replied 5 months ago
The sad part is it is said the the development of attachment is limited to that window of time before 4-5 years of age. I am a firm believer in never say never though. These children need unconditional tough love. She needs to know beyond a doubt you will always love her regardless. Tough love will:1. CLEAR COMMUNICATION - If you say what you mean and mean what you say, there is never reason to be mean with how you say it. Remain calm. Actions speak louder than words.2. CONSISTENT RESULTS - The same behavior yields the same results every time regardless.3. NATURAL CONSEQUENCES - As much as is possible, allow them to suffer the natural consequences of their behavior. They don’t put their toys up, they lose them.
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Mental Health Professional: John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC) replied 5 months ago
Consistency is of utmost importance. I know this is hard with an uncooperative parent. All you can control is what you can do. If mom does support you, she will have to live with the consequences.
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Mental Health Professional: John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC) replied 5 months ago
Did all that make sense?
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Mental Health Professional: John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC) replied 5 months ago
Will you do me a favor and give me a five star rating for my answer so I can be paid for it. If you have any comments or questions please post them here. I want to help you.Thank you!
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