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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.
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please help. I have two children aged 10 and four and a half

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please help. I have two children aged 10 and four and a half and am nearing 30 myself. my oldest child a girl i was a single mother to until she was four, when i met the father of my son. They never go along. In the past six weeks we have split up, after 6 years, and he's moved out. My daughter says she's relieved as this is what she always wanted anyway. There was agression and some violence in our relationship, which is why it ended. My girl has always been demanding, and prone to agressive outbursts but over the past week it has been awful. Asking/telling her to do anything leads to a row and her storming off. Trying to get her to go out with me the other day led to a row in the street where she kept calling me a f***ing b***h at the top of her voice encouraging my son to do the same, she bit me and hit me 'round the head and face with a shoe. Then and today she wants to "end it all" and i have to watch her attempt to take knives to herself in front of me. what do i do now?

Good Evening,


Behavior is usually purposeful. children would act out even to get negative attention.


It may be possible that now that her step dad is no longer present, she is trying to test her limits with you. Another possibility for her acting out is that she may be fearing that now you will give more attention to her brother instead of her. Therefore, she is acting out in a negative way that seems to be pushing you away where in fact she may be wanting some attention because she loves you and is afraid that she can lose your affection and attention.


You may want to try a different approach with her. Try to engage her in some bonding activities, allocate some responsibilities to her, find out if there are some things that she would like to do just with you and compliment her and praise positive behaviors (even the smallest things)


If you feel that the situation needs professional intervention, family counseling with her may be something to look into.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you.

She is extraordinarily jealous of her brother, and he of her, and they do fight for my attention. I myself have been feeling really low these past few weeks and so have probably not been giving either of them the time and attention they want.

My fear arises from being an ex self harmer, who attempted suicide myself at 18. She did cut herself lightly with a razor blade the other day. The fact that she does it in front of me makes me think that what you're saying is the most likely, a call for attention rather than a serious depression.

It's so hard to be sympathetic to her when she is pushing me away. My real fear is she seems to be slightly paranoid. She had taken to sleeping in my bed with me and I told her that I don't think that's a great idea every night. She then starts accusing me of not loving her, of hating her of not wanting her.. She is convinced that she is being bullied, but the behaviour of her peers - speaking to her one day and not the next, spreading rumours etc - seems to me perfectly normal childhood behaviour. She becomes hysterical at the idea of two of her friends being together without her, convinced that they're spending the entire time bitching about her.

She doesnt want to go to family counselling because she's convinced that people will find out and she'll get teased. How can I convince her that people aren't talking about her all the time?

Her behavior seems clingy. She may not be paranoid but rather anxious and that comes out as self doubt further seeking attention from you.


You may let her see that since you and her do not consume your time taking about others all of the time, it is most likely others are doing just the same.

Remind her that people may say what they wish and that she can try to earn good comments (which depends on her actions)


You said it is hard to give her what she needs when she's pushing you away (that may be one of her ways trying to get your attention and more time for herself. Try to spend some mother daughter quality time)

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