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I can’t stand my 8 year old, am I a horrible person?

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I can’t stand my 8 year old, am I a horrible person?

Casual scribe

I can’t stand my 8 year old, am I a horrible person?

I love my daughter, but she really isn’t nice to be around.

She only cares about herself, she has really narcissistic tendencies and it really triggers me!

I’ve tried being gentle, I’ve tried being firm, I’ve tried emotion, I’ve tried facts. Nothing we do gets through to her.

I’ve recently told her I am pregnant with our 3rd (she is the youngest at the moment) and she has said really horrible things like “what if that baby dies on your tummy” and laughs at my body changes when I get out of the shower when she barges into my room uninvited.

I’ve warned her, I’ve disciplined her, I’ve asked her to be more mindful but she has no filter & no concern for anyones feelings.

The other day she was playing with a ball inside with the dog and she threw the ball right into the lit fireplace we had to yell because it was so shocking and we would hate for our puppy to be hurt.

I don’t know how to get it through to her.

I love her as my child but I don’t like her at all right now.
Super contributor

Re: I can’t stand my 8 year old, am I a horrible person?

Hi @Names,

Thanks for sharing. I can hear that you have tried a whole lot of different strategies. It must be frustrating to feel as though nothing is working. Your daughter has made some horrible comments towards you and potentially put your puppy in a dangerous situation, so it is understandable that you are feeling a dislike towards her. Those things must have been aboslutely heartbreaking to experience. You mentioned that you still love her, but she isn't nice to be around. I don't think that makes you a horrible parent and from all the actions you have described, it is obvious that you care very deeply.

I am wondering if you have thought of attending counselling either for yourself or with your daughter too? This situation sounds really tough and I can only imagine that it must get exhausting. You might benefit from being able to chat to a professional about ways to cope when things are at their worst and other ways of managing your daughter's behaviour. You deserve support too, even if it is a place to vent your inner thoughts Heart

Re: I can’t stand my 8 year old, am I a horrible person?

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Hey, @Names I hope it's okay that I chime in on your post. 


Thank you for being so honest about how you're feeling at the moment. As I read your post, it struck me how stressful it must be for you to feel triggered by your daughter and being pregnant. 


It sounds like you could use some support to help you respond to your daughter's questions and behaviour. I'm conscious that our content and resources might not be as helpful as other services as some others due to our age bracket (12-18 years).


So, I thought I'd share some services and content that might suit you better: 


  • Family Services Australia offers a range of support options to parents. They might have some ways of supporting you through the situation with your eight-year-old. 
  • Parent Line is a telephone support service run by counsellors. This might be a good option if you need to chat with someone about a particular situation for advice/further support. 
  • Another option could be to chat about your concerns with a family GP who can put together a mental health care plan for sessions with a psychologist. 
  • Raising Children's Network has extensive content on everything "parenting", and their resources are organised by the age. I've provided the link to the "school-age" section of the website.

Let us know how you go and if you have any questions at all! 

Casual scribe

Re: I can’t stand my 8 year old, am I a horrible person?

Thanks for the reply’s!

I have taken her to get a mental healthcare plan and I have requested for her to see the school psychologist although her teacher has said she is a perfect student who she can’t imagine would need to see the school psychologist (I’m sure she is a different kid at school surrounded by her friends)

I’m very proactive with my mental health as I have had depression/ptsd in the past so I see my psychologist once a month.

We had a long chat last night & I just expressed how concerning her behaviour was, we had an opportunity to talk about the baby coming and how she will get to be a big sister!

She is adamant she wants to remain the baby of the family so I’m going to go get some books about having a younger sibling etc.

She triggers me because she has a lot of characteristics as her father (my ex husband and father of my eldest daughter) our marriage ended due to DV, so I’m also probably hyper aware and sensitive to apathy & lack of emotion in my daughter.

She has a very good relationship with her father & sees him often but never wants to stay more than 2 nights. I’m very open if the girls don’t want to go they don’t have to, and though it’s been trying at times we (her father and I) have worked hard at keeping the communication open between us to discuss the kids.

She wrote me a little apology note and slipped it under my door while I was asleep.

I really hope we see some improvement and I am going to make it my mission to make sure both girls get some one on one mummy time even though I’m working full time & feel like I don’t have a spare minute in the day.

Thanks again for everyone comments Smiley Happy

Re: I can’t stand my 8 year old, am I a horrible person?

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Hi @Names, it's so good to hear you had a long chat last night, and it sounds like you had an impact. The apology letter is sweet and testimony to what an open conversation can achieve. I hope the two of you continue to have good chats like this! 


I'm sorry to hear that you went through DV with your daughter's father. I can understand why you'd be hyper-aware of your daughter's characteristics after an experience like that. DV is a terrible thing for a family to go through, so it's great to hear that you have regular support from a psychologist. Do you find chatting about your daughter and triggers helpful? 


You might be aware of some of these services, but I thought I'd share them with you just in case: 


  • 1800RESPECT is a 24-hour counselling service for people affected by domestic and family violence. This helpline could be good to call in those moments when you're feeling triggered by your daughter. 
  • Life Supports Counselling helps people find trauma-specific counselling and can be contacted via phone for guidance. 

I hope that helps and please let us know if there's anything we can do to support you right now!