Raye - posted on 01/21/2016 ( 3 moms have responded )
Ok ladies, help me out here...
My step daughter had a complete meltdown last night. First, her science project was due today and she hadn't done much work on it and didn't have the project board completed to show her work. We knew she was doing the project, and reminded her often to work on her hypothesis. Sometimes she would do a little work, and sometimes she would say that she had done enough for what was due. Well last night, the whole thing had to be done. Her father is easily frustrated and talks "mean" which he realizes and tries to calm himself, but it's hard when the kids won't listen or answer direct questions (i.e. "How was your day?"... "Kitties!). Instead of laying the elements on the board in a logical way (as her father asked), she pasted them down with large gaps between and the photos weren't next to their corresponding data. He tried to explain that's why you lay it out first, and she just wanted to get it done. One of her main faults is not thinking ahead or realizing a logical progression of events.
During this time, I kept my step son busy so he would be out of the line of fire, and not interfering in their progress.
So, the meltdown... I went in her room to tuck her in for the night, and she was crying (as expected). I tried to comfort her, and she said she was overwhelmed. I asked if it was the science project and she said "everything". I asked if it was her dad being upset, and she said it was "everybody". I asked if it was worse at home or school, and she said "all the time". I don't know how to comfort her in this. She internalizes a lot, and she wants to be grown up, but she acts like a toddler with her tantrums. She doesn't get consistency with her parents, and I know that's part of it, but not something I can change (although my husband has been trying to get better). I know her hormones are going wild (body hair, but no period yet). I know it's a "normal" thing at her age. But that doesn't help me feel better about it.
It's just hard not knowing what to say. I mostly listened, and hugged her and told her we love her. I feel dreadfully inadequate. So, tips from you who have been through it would be appreciated. Is there a way to comfort her? Is there a better way to help her think things out instead of last minute scrambling? Her father is a last minute and disorderly too, and her mother doesn't think much about anything except herself, so I know where she gets it. But knowing that still doesn't help me help her. So, here I am.. lay it on me, folks...