Therapy among everything else won't help my step-daughter

Bobbi - posted on 02/13/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi all! I am a mother of 5, with one of them being my 5 year old step-daughter. She has and continues to create tension among us all. She is constantly whining, arguing with siblings, getting into everyone's stuff, sneaking things, and is beyond defiant. We have had her in therapy for a few months, and she refuses to talk during the sessions. The therapist just gave a diagnosis of ODD, and this makes perfect sense. She has always seemed like she tries to act like a parent or teenager and this has really gotten on my nerves since she is only 5. I am at my wits end with trying to get her to talk about her feelings and trying to not take what she says and does personally, but last night I finally broke down emotionally. I don't know how much more of her attitude I can take. I want to love her like a mother should love their daughter, but her mood swings and how she manipulates every situation makes me want to keep her i her room all day. Help!

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Sarah - posted on 02/13/2015

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Do you have help from the school? If you live in the US and she needs help in the classroom, you can get services put in place for her.

Bobbi - posted on 02/13/2015

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She has been seeing a child therapist that does play therapy and just started seeing an EMDR child therapist who gave the diagnosis of ODD. I have been scouring the internet trying to learn of how not to trigger her and handle her behaviors, but have not found much for help. My husband and I have met with each therapist and there's not much advice they gave us that has helped. Encouragement and telling her we are here and love her are the only things they have suggested, and we do that anyway. We just started the paperwork to get her a social worker and should be starting home therapy for the entire family shortly. I guess I'm at my wits end. Our oldest child has been diagnosed with depression due to her behavior and the chaos it causes, and none of our other children even want to have anything to do with her cause she always starts fights.

Sarah - posted on 02/13/2015

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What type of therapist is she seeing? A general child psychologist may help give a diagnosis. A behavioral or play therapist can help the whole family learn how to say things to get a desired result, model behaviors and improve communication techniques through role play. Sometimes even more helpful you can learn how NOT to speak to a child with ODD. Certain phrases or styles of giving direction can trigger the oppositional mood more than others.

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