What does she do when she is "triggered" by shopping?
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Thanks for getting back to me! It is her birthday in a few weeks and we are planning a shopping trip to the city so she can spend her birthday money. It will be a good opportunity to improve things...
When we go shopping anywhere for anything she finds it almost painful to leave a shop without buying at least 1 thing, even if it is a shop that is wholly inappropriate (a DIY store for example). She will lie about needing something for a school project, she needs it for home, her dad asked her to buy one. In the past my mother (who used to look after her) who just give in because she felt sorry for her, it was only cheap, or genuinely believed what she was saying.
I am a lot stricter in saying 'no' so although she loves me and wants to be part of her family shopping creates a lot of conflict and what are normally relaxing family days out becomes a battle of wills.
She turned up unexpectedly the night before a family trip. The trip involved art gallery for my daughter, history museum for me and a bit of shopping to finish the day off. I said she was welcome to come with us but we will be going to galleries and a museum (she finds these boring). She agreed and was enthusiastic. Bless her she turned up in the morning looking pristine, really excited as she had never been to this particular city. Good as gold traveling - lots of fun.
When we got there the first drama was over lunch. We don't eat in fast food restaurants and we had already told her where we were eating and that she will have to find something to eat there. She agreed. However, once we were there she refused to choose anything, she wouldn't even look at the menu. We took her to a grocery store and told her she could anything there. She just wandered around shrugging her shoulders and pouting. We were there probably about an hour trying to find something she would eat (in the whole store!).
We eventually left and she sulked quite badly complaining that she was hungry because she hadn't eaten breakfast, my daughter was losing patience with her. My husband gave in and found a burger king because he couldn't bare the thought of her being hungry and was worried about it ruining my daughters day out. A big chunk of the day was taken just by feeding her.
We then went to the art gallery and museum. She found a chair and pouted and sulked, she refused to talk to us - she wouldn't even walk round with us. Complaining (rather loudly) that this was boring! (She knew we would be doing this beforehand). Because she was bored her attention seeking behaviour kicked in. A lady accidentally caught her on her ankle with a pushchair. She apologised but my niece became aggressive and angry with the lady and I had to remove her from the building.
We then did the shopping. The first thing my niece wanted to do was find a makeup shop, she spent ALL her money in one go here. I did warn her not to spend it all but she was adamant that she needed everything she bought. She then asked if she could go into Victoria;s Secret. She wanted to show me a sweater that she liked. Then the manipulation tactics started; ALL her friends have this jumper, they bully her because she doesn't have anything from VS, her mum never buys her new clothes, her dad won't go shopping with her, her dad will pay me back, she will do chores to pay me back - so on and so forth. Every time I said 'no' she would pout, circle around the shop and then go back to the sweater. In the end she flounced out of the shop in temper.
My daughter had taken her own birthday money to spend and was looking at clothes. This was triggering jealousy in my niece because she didn't have any money left. I explained that it was birthday money that had been given by her family. My niece then started with 'I don't have family that will give me money - it's not fair!'. So my daughter wouldn't spend her own money because she didn't want to trigger jealousy in her cousin. But later my daughter was annoyed that she didn't get to spend her money like we planned (she loves her but sometimes resents her behaviour).
I bought myself a pot of face cream, so then my niece was accusing me of spending all my money on myself "just like my mum"
. When we got to the train station I said they could chose a snack for the journey home - she chose the biggest most expensive box of sweets in the store (like something you would buy as a gift). I think was her way of compensating herself for not getting the sweater. At this point I was so weary I agreed as long as she shared (to be fair she did share it in the end).
I know there are many things we could of done better but she grinds us down to the point of the whole day being ruined for everyone.