I have an 8 year old girl who is very mean and verbally abusive to me, is this normal?

Kristi - posted on 07/13/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )




I blame it on her dad. We are divorced and he hung the moon. He is the fun one, I have rules, he don't. I am consistant and routine, he is not. I have someone else in my life, he doesn't. I have people say to me, it's her age and she's a girl, but really, are all 8 year old girls that mean to their moms?


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Louise - posted on 07/13/2011




I think all children boy or girl can have a mean streak and they tend to lash out on those they love the most. Take no notice of her if you can just continue to love her and she will snap out of it, if it gets too much then have a heart to heart with her. Tell her that you love her very much but that you have feelings that are hurt by what she is doing. You will either get a remorseful child or one that continues to be spiteful. If you get the latter then send her to her room until she can consider other peoples feelings and overly praise her for showing her loving side. She is rebelling against you because of your ex but he is not going to change to help you. Stamp down hard on rude behaviour and let her see that she is emotionally and lovingly rewarded for being polite and caring. Good luck

Rebekah - posted on 07/13/2011




Admittedly, I don't have a daughter of this age, but regardless I'd have to say that it isn't normal or acceptable for children to be abusive to their parents. I know I was pretty crabby to my mom when I was a teenager even without stressful family circumstances...I'd say that was more typical. But "abusive" is too much, for any age.

You've already identified a number of reasons she might be angry... parents are split, you have more rules, inconsistency between mom and dad, you are seeing someone (whom she might view as someone who interferes with the hope of the two of you ever reuniting), and you very well may be the "safe" one upon whom she feels she can vent her anger. However, she needs to know that while her anger is normal and maybe even reasonable, she may not act out on you or anyone else in an abusive way.

If your relationship with your ex is at all workable, communicate with him what is going on and get his support that she may not behave that way or talk about you that way in his presence or with you. If you think he is feeding into her behavior, then that might be a whole other issue altogether. If possible, there needs to be an agreement between you not to trash-talk the other in front of your daughter, or burden her with the bad feelings that may remain between you.

If you haven't already, consider giving her an opportunity try counseling, together with her, or her alone (or even her in a support group for children of divorce) to give her a chance to vent and get direction on how to handle her feelings more constructively.

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