9-year-old daughter anger issues

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Separated from husband of 16 years. He has physically,emotionally and verbally abused me through the whole marriage. We have three children who has seen it all. They constantly fight, yell, hit, call names, etc. Do not know how to get along at all. The nine year old,she is the middle child, and has always stated she’s not loved or I don’t like her, low self esteem, she will destroy things, and will go into crying spell if you just tell her to do something that she doesn’t want to do. Since we have separated,her tantrums have increased. She tells me she does not have to do what I say ever, she has also said she wishes we were dead or she was dead. She has also stated she wants to shoot all of us. I have talked to her teachers at school and they reported lack of effort and not paying attention. She also talks about boys alot. What do I do. I’m so afraid that I have damaged her by my staying in hateful, violent marriage for so long.

A: It doesn’t help the situation for you to blame yourself for the current situation. Your children have all been through the same emotional and verbal abuse that you experienced. You’ve all been traumatized. The kids are acting up because they don’t feel safe. They need to know that you have the confidence in yourself and the love for them that is required to get things under control. It’s a tall order when you’ve been through so much yourself. But sometimes adults have to stand up and do what needs to be done in spite of how bad we may feel. There is a Family Crisis Center near you. Please consider giving them a call at 800-848-3206 to explore what services may be available to help you and your kids recover from years of violence. You all deserve the help and support.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Oct 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). 9-year-old daughter anger issues. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 19, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/10/28/nine-year-old-daughter-anger-issues/

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