I know this is supposed to be normal developmental stuff, but our 11 year old girl has turned into a hostile, rude, screaming monster with awful attitude.
Everything we say -- she will fight and argue. I get that she is seeking independence but she clearly does not have the skills to be independent. I'm trying to teach her and show her tools to be independent and she blows me off. I feel like a huge failure as a parent. She does not know how to wash her face properly. She doesn't even wash her face or brush teeth unless reminded. I'm trying to show her because she's starting to get pimples. She screams at me.
I'm trying to show her how to wash and brush her hair, because her hair is like a rat's nest and she growls at me but also asks me to do it for her. She says she's hungry and I'm trying to show her how to make simple things like toasts, sandwiches, eggs, and she says sweetly, "it tastes better when you do it." or screams that she is afraid of using fire or knife or whatever excuse is handy. At the same time, she screams I hate you, and that I'm mean and tells her friends that she hates her life, hates her parents, and then she says sweetly, could you please give me a glass of water? i love you... She clearly has low self-esteem (again, I feel that I failed her for not helping her be independent a bit earlier in life) and thinks she is not good at anything. On the contrary, she's very smart and is a quick learner. She simply doesn't have the grit and patience to give anything enough time to get really good at it.
I feel like I live with a psycho demon possessed tween child who screams I hate you and hugs I love you all within a span of an hour.
We recently started therapy for her and I hope it'll be helpful. I'm also wondering if we need a family therapy. Our family communication has become a minefield. We are grieving the loss of our sweet child and are dumbfounded at how fast puberty has come... she JUST turned 11.
I try to remain calm and tell her that her words are hurtful but I still love her and will always love her. I come back when she's more calm to discuss the issue that caused her to scream. I don't know what to do but I want her to know that words have consequences. We can't take back what we say in the heat of the moment.
Are all children supposed to go through a phase where they hate their parents intensely and become horribly unpleasant? There's so much I feel I need to teach her before she enters teen years and she seems to reject everything I say at the moment. I'm sad and would appreciate words of wisdom / tips.