I lost my wife 2 years back due to brain hemorrhage. In the last 8 months, my d'ter of 12 years has turned violent / disobedient / poor academics. Whenever I sit with her for studies, on some pretext or other, she tells she wants her mom somehow or the either. I can neither scold / shout at her and have to leave her alone to do whatever she wants. At times she says she wants to go where her mom has gone. I feel she is emotionally black mailing me. If I do not dance to her whims and fancies, she creates ruckus and throws in lot of tantrums. Through the counceller I came to know that she feels I am responsible for her Mom's death as I had taken to a wrong hospital ( Fortis Vashi ). I have tried to explain her all about brain hemorrhage and the death rate, but in vain We are only two of us and she does not want to stay here as she feels very lonely. She wants to stay in her Grand ma's place, so that she can get freedom from studies and can go out on her own w/o any restrictions. She prepares lovely timetable but never implements. She tells she has studied everything , but when take the orals, she eludes me. If I become bit strict with her, she will say she does not want to stay with me. I have taken her to Maya Kriplani ( Counceller ) in Jaslok and now she does not want to go their again. The school has now started counselling her , but I am not seeing any change in her Kindly advise as I feel things are going out of my hand

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Updated on Aug 02, 2019

child-psychology Corner

Answer:
I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It is extremely difficult for both of you. Unfortunately she is almost a teenager hence her behaviour would change and be erratic. Now it looks that she is also taking advantage of your emotions. I know it is tough but you have to ignore the tantrums. Be at home and supervise from a distance. She is doing it on purpose to seek your attention. She knows it can trigger you and upset you. It is because she is suffering and she thinks you arent. Hence do not try to prove your point. Do not distance yourself from her. She will realise later ; not now. She doesn’t know to handle her grief. So she externalise. It is very painful growing up without mom. Now her body will be going through raging hormones. Hence she will be going through storm and stress. So she will externalise her emotions. By now you know her triggers so stay away. Be around and supervise from a distance. At this phase she will not want advice. She may falter but extend support silently. Talk other stuff. Chat casually. Hang out by going on some trek or a drive. Casually and gradually open up. Maybe when you express your emotions , your pain , your loss and loneliness she will begin to accept. It will take time. Females express vividly than males. So she will think that you don’t care and going about your routine. Grief has several stages: denial, anger, bargaining and acceptance. Each person grieves in their own way. There is no fixed time. It is a personal process. So let go. Just walk along on this journey. Do not distance yourself. She may tell many things that she wants to go away. When she calms express how upset you would be and how lonely. Firstly allow her to express and his listen. Do not talk or advice. Get into her world. Understand from her perspective. When she is very rude also tell that you understand. You may need to inculcate a lot more patience. It is tough to be a mom and dad. But it would be worth it. All the best. Please reach out when ever you need help. Most importantly do not expect change immediately.

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