Hi, I have a child with behaviour difficulties, she is 12 now and this has been going on for 8 years. I had very very bad postnatal depression and the social work department who I turned to for help thought her behaviour may be down to the bonding issue. My daughter has been on a behaviour card since she started school and has never really responded to it. She does what she likes when she likes and has no care for any rules I set out. She is violent to me and her brother who she feels extremely jealous of as he is so well behaved. She is a compulsive liar to the point I hardly listen to her stories anymore as about 50% are not true. I am at my wits end and so are social work and the school. I have taken her for an ADHD assessment as she is disruptive and very hyper but they feel she does not have this. I’m at my wits end and if it wasn’t for my son I feel I can’t carry on any more. It drains me and I have so much anger towards her.
CG: Dear Pam, I am so sorry to hear of the problems you are having with your daughter. Personally I don’t think you or your daughter has a bonding issue, neither of you would have invested so much time in each other if you hadn’t bonded. I assume you have tried talking to your daughter and telling her she is loved and wanted, and explained about your illness. Even if you have done this it might be worth revisiting that time and explore any feelings she may have of being rejected. Having said that, while it is worth exploring the cause of your daughter’s behaviour, there is NO excuse for bad behaviour, and she needs to start conforming to your boundaries for good behaviour. I appreciate this may seem a huge task and I know what is involved – many of the children I foster arrive with behavioural problems. None has left with them though. I set out my tips and techniques in my book Happy Kids. Can I suggest you read it and then can get back to me? It can be borrowed from the library at no cost. I wrote the book because so many readers, like yourself, were experiencing behavioural issues in their children. There is a whole chapter dedicated to turning around a child with difficult behaviour so they conform to the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. If you would like further advice once you have read it please email again and I’ll get back to you. Very Best wishes. Cathy x

Pause For Thought: Spare the rod and spoil the child?