How do I handle a very difficult 11 year old?

I just recently took in my little sister who is 11. She has been diagnosed with severe depression, anxiety(mainly social) and severe insomnia.

 if I tell her to do something she will ignore me.

 If I threaten to take her phone she hands it to me.

 I tell her to take her meds and she says it’s her body and it’s her choice.

And so on.

We put her in online school bc that’s what she wanted and what we thought was best for health reasons. I got her on an as needed medicine so it won’t mess with her if she doesn’t take it. I’m trying so hard to get her on the right life path but she just refuses and I’m losing my patience.

 I have put my foot down by the way. She just knows how to push my buttons.

She also ignores her Psychiatrist and therapist but they don’t se to care.

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks in advance.

3 Answers

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  • Andy C
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago
    Best answer

    You are the adult. Are you the guardian? Doesn't matter. Your house; your rules. She's still a child despite being corrupted by the internet and severe sleep deprivation.

    I am not referring directly to her insomnia.

    Start with a set of rules about bedtime.

    1. 8-9pm. Every night. Pick a time AND STICK TO IT. Put that foot down.

    2. No screens 1hr b4 bedtime and none In the bedroom. Social media helped make her this way. You can only do what you can, and that is set rules about bedtime.

    3. Lock her in and do not go in unless she's still at it after 15min. Then, open the door and tell her that you are there and everything is alright. Then close the door.

    4. If the first 'reassurance' doesn't work for an additional 15min, go back and repeat.

    5. If second reassurance doesn't work after 15min, let her 'cry it out'. Remove harmful paraphernalia from her room so she cannot hurt herself.

    After 2 weeks of this, her sleep patterns should normalize nd hr demeanor improve.

    Source(s): Once she is sleep trained, she won't be sleep deprived and her prefrontal cortex will work better and do most of her thinking instead of her limbic system. I'm not an expert. Just extrapolating from what we did with our newborn. She's ALWAYS happy when she's slept. The program we used has a version for older children. Not sure if 11yo is too old, but I sleep trained myself at the age of 33. The rules about screens and set bedtimes are absolutely scientifically valid.
    • Shana Amos3 weeks agoReport

      Thank you so much! I will definitely be trying this, starting tonight. 😊

  • 3 weeks ago

    Instead of being a disciplinarian, be her friend, which is what she needs. Spend time getting to know her and doing activities with her, from arts and crafts to shopping. Get to know her so she trusts and relies on you. Then she will open up and become a happier and better person.

  • Luke
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    It seems like your little sister has outsmarted you and will continue to outsmart her. The only to outwit her is for you to become smarter than her.

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