How to handle a 10 year old girl that lies, steals, cheats on tests at school, and is a very good manipulator?

Lisa - posted on 05/08/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2009, I had my second child in 2008, she was 6 1/2 years old. Since being diagnosed we have dealt with issues with her coping with the disease. Then the lying began, even with proof right in front of her face, she'd stare you right in the face and still lie to you. Then came the stealing, she stole tape from her teachers desk and a very expensive calculator, when confronted by the teacher she blantily lied again. Then came the cheating, a girl sitting next to my daughter, her pencil fell on the floor, my daughter bent over to pick it up and said I'll give it back to you when you give me the answers to the test, and then proceeded to look at her answers and copy them to her test. This was her third strike at school and was suspended today for 2 days. I have tried everything from taking things away, to a rewards system, to getting privileges taken, to grounding, to timeouts, counceling was a no go as she is very manipulative and knows how to play people as she has played me against her teachers making me look like a fool. I'm at my wits end, and don't know what else to do. My husband is visiting his sick mother and has been away since Friday. I give her attention, I give her things that she wants, I praise her for doing good, I don't condone this behavior and I am asking for any suggestions please and thank you.

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Vli - posted on 07/31/2013

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Lisa: I am so sorry that you are having this experience - been there with a grandson. But I am a therapist - still took him to another and to a psychiatrist for an evaluation, as well as had his school psychologist do testing there for emotional disturbance (ED).
Please consider asking your family physician for a referral to a child psychiatrist or developmental pediatrician. Ask them to test for
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Conduct disorder, Antisocial personality disorder,Attention deficit disorder,Reactive attachment disorder and oppositional defiant disorder - to see which may apply based on the symptoms for your daughter look them up on the web at a reputable sight such as Mayoclinic.com and each of these disorders has non profit organizations for parents and kids with the disorder. When you see the symptoms that most fit your daughter - you are probably on the right track. SOme of these are scary to hear and read about but be very honest in your assessment and in talking to your doctor(s). The younger intervention begins the more likely it is to make a difference in the long run. Also know that just as it takes time to get to know someone, therapy is not like a pill; you don't go onc or twice and see a difference. It tales time to change a mindset and even brief therapy is 6-12 sessions. Most of these disorders require both meds and therapy to make a significant change in an older child's behavior. I hope this helps!

Medic - posted on 05/08/2012

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Hmmm I will get back to you on that. Give me some time to do some research.

Lisa - posted on 05/08/2012

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@ Medic Mommy, that is so funny as I was thinking the same thing, but not sure how it will work with her being a type 1 diabetic and not being stable enough to care for her diabetes needs on her own. We live in Pennsylvania and I was thinking of boot camp or military school. Any suggestions?

Medic - posted on 05/08/2012

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See's we agree on a lot. I honestly do not know what to tell you. I would tell her your right I do not have to be nice, I am your parent not your friend.

Maybe there is some stricter behavioral therapy that might help. Or you could always go to my backup...boot camp. What state are you in?

Lisa - posted on 05/08/2012

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@ Medic Mommy, I have taken everything out of her room the only thing remains is her necessary pjs and clothes for the next day, her bed and empty dressers. We've had her in counseling outside of the school and she used that as an opportunity to get out of school and use to her advantage, she would go there and make bracelets and draw pictures, to me that is not therapy and wasn't helping her, so I pulled her out, why continue to pay for something that clearly wasn't doing any good and just benefiting her desire to miss school everything Thursday? She wrote me a note just now that says "I am not nice that I hate her, that I broke her heart, that I only care for 1 kid and not both of my kids, that I let my 3 year old son get a way with everything and she gets in trouble for everything, that I have hurt her and she is never going to forgive me." Because I take her belongings from her and make her write (3) 300 word essays on why she lies, steals and cheats and an apology letter to the teacher and principal and myself and her father that I'm not nice? Really, I'm not nice because its called tough love and I'm not here to be her friend I'm here to direct her and discipline her and help her develop into a wonderful young woman. Its frustrating, and I feel like I'm pulling at teeth to get to the bottom of what's really going on which she always blames on her younger brother which she uses as her clutch whenever she needs an excuse to blame someone other than owning up to the mistakes she's made and attempt to fix them.

Medic - posted on 05/08/2012

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Talk to the school councelors, maybe a therapist and get to the bottom of it. I know for sure my kids would not get shit and would have everything taken away except for their bed and some clothes.

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