I am having a lot of problems dealing with my 13 year-old daughter. It's been going on for a couple of years, but is getting worse, and I am not dealing with it very well.
Granted, it could be much worse, she's not doing drugs, cutting school, having sex, sneaking out, or anything like that. But she is extremely moody and volatile, and very hateful and disrespectful to all of us (but so far not at school, just home). She is TOTALLY self-centered and selfish, NEVER shows any concern or consideration for others, and seems to lack the ability to empathize at all, thinks she is above rules about things like videogame use, bedtimes, etc., and generally seems determined to make the rest of us miserable. I realize it's normal for teenagers to be more moody and to be self-centered and lazy, but her attitude and behavior seem to go beyond normal to me. I am certain I was not like this, especially at that young an age, and I would've had good reason to be rebellious as my parents were extremely unreasonable, overbearing, and controlling.
As long as she's getting her way, she's not as bad, although it's like pulling teeth to get her to help at around the house at all, and she delights in tormenting her 6 yo brother (beyond what I think is normal sibling bickering), which is a constant disruption so that I can't get anything done, and I'm always stressed out. BUT, the instant she doesn't get her way about the least little thing, no matter how silly and trivial it is, she becomes totally irrational and throws a fit, lashing out at everyone around her, usually just verbally, but occasionally physically. She gets out of control and seems unable to get a grip and pull herself together. She will go on and on, despite my warning her she's crossing the line and better drop it and go to her room to cool off, until she pushes me to the point of having to do something drastic to get her attention, like ground her, take her phone or videogame away, etc. Then she becomes almost hysterical crying, begging for another chance, and promising to be good. Usually at some point during the ordeal, I lose it and say things I probably shouldn't.
She seems to have a totally unreasonable, irrational sense of entitlement, more than the other kids her age that I know. She doesn't just WANT to get her way all the time, she really seems to think she is SUPPOSED to get her way all the time, and that what SHE wants at the moment, no matter how trivial, is more important than anything or anybody. And when she doesn't get it, she goes off the deep end. She can never see that she is in the wrong, and never accepts any responsibility for the consequences.
I just don't know what happened. When she was little, she was soo good and sweet; never threw a tantrum until she was 12! She has not been spoiled with material things, but my husband has definitely spoiled her discipline-wise. I've always had to be the bad guy. He will not discipline the kids, and almost always give in to their whining, and he often undermines my authority. Part of it is being too lazy to get off his butt and DO something, part of it is just wanting to do whatever it takes to shut them up at the moment, and part of it is his need to be liked, and to be the favorite parent. He is almost pathological in his need to please people and avoid confrontation, and he does whatever makes HIM the most comfortable, rather than doing what is best for the kids, and the whole family, in the long run. He lets the kids boss him around and be disrespectful, and has always put our daughter on a pedestal and treated her like the queen of the household. I have tried to explain how damaging this is for the kids, and our pediatrician even requested he come to her check-up to discuss it, but he refused. I think deep down he knows what he does is wrong, but isn't willing to face up to it or change, because it makes HIM uncomfortable.
But I am tired of the constant stress and strife, and I am truly concerned for what kind of future she will have if she continues to be this unreasonable and irrational. She is very much like my younger brother, who has had many problems in his adult life because of his inability to accept responsibility for his actions and the consequences, and being unreasonable and irrational in his dealings with people at times, coupled with very poor judgement and poor choice of friends. Thankfully my daughter at least has a good group of friends that are all good kids with good parents.
I also had a quiet, sweet, well behaved daughter until she turned 13. We never had to discipline her, because there was just no reason to. All of a sudden she turned into a bratty, whiney stranger. She was sneaking out at night, starting a bad case of insomnia for me, that I never did get over. Her grades went down and she had such a smart mouth and bad attitude that I was just at wits end. I truly was in mourning for the sweet little girl she used to be.
One night when she was 15, we went to a local Christmas program and were waiting in the sanctuary for it to start. There was a girl in the row in front of us and she was acting just like my daughter, whining, pouting, smart mouthing her parents. My daughter watched for a while, and finally said "is that what I look like?" Her behavior immediately started to change.
It didn't get perfect after that, but she did stop the whining and smart mouthing and gradually turned back into a caring young woman.
She is now a loving mother with 2 daughters. While I jokingly say I can't wait until they turn 13 (a year apart), I really hope it goes much easier for her.
Keeping an eye on her friends and knowing their parents helps a lot. Just try to communicate as much as possible and know that it will pass.
Keeping an eye on her friends and knowing their parents helps a lot. Just try to communicate as much as possible and know that it will pass.
Yes, spot on. Also see my post on the duplicate thread.
When I read the subject line I thought I would just respond-"Why should your daughter be any different that ours?" But when I read your post I know you are really hurting and concerned about this. I, of course, have no real answer for this, but I think you may want to change from a pediatrician to a gynocologist. (sorry about the spelling) It sounds like although your husband is a push over, she has come from a really solid and loving family. Some women have overwhelming mood swings that are associated with hormonal problems that need to be addressed. The doctor needs to take this seriously and not just assume you are unwilling to put up with a teenager.
If that is not the issue, maybe she needs to talk to a therapist just to vent to them rather than taking it out on you. Maybe she has had an negative experience or is upset about something she feels she just can not tell a family member. I know a family whose daughter started really acting out and through sending her to talk to someone else, they found out that the girl was being cyber bullied by kids at school. she could not bring herself to tell her parents (even though they were great parents) but she found that she could tell another adult she learned to trust.
Kids don't just go bad, there is something not right just now. Good luck and our thoughts are with both you and your family.
I have to ask, are you absolutely sure about no drugs involved? Even over the counter substitutes for the hard stuff?
Your post described my daughter from years ago. When my daughter was this way she was taking OTC drugs, also managing to get alcohol, was totally irrational. She eventually got into the harder drugs as well, and all our lives were miserable for a long time. She is now 45 YO and doing all right.
Now, history is repeating itself, my years younger DB has a daughter going through all the same actions and reactions. Really spooky how close the two have been, so many years between them.
I hope you can figure it out, get some help and treatment for all your sakes. Good luck.
Personally, I think temper tantrums are temper tantrums, whether the thrower is 2 or 13! I treated my kids the same way, no matter what the age. You can't get upset, because it'll just escalate, and that's exactly what she wants. If you lose it, she wins, plain and simple. When my daughter threw a fit about what time she had to go to bed, for example, I said "bedtime is 10 on school nights, end of story". When she whined, I said "now it's 9:30 for the next 2 weeks". She got angry...."oh, now you want it to be 9 I see?". She kept going until I got to 7, then she realized the only person she was hurting was herself. I never raised my voice and she was in bed a 7 p.m for the next 2 weeks. When she started slamming her door I told her...ONCE...that it wasn't acceptable or allowed. The next time she did it I took her door off the hinges. I have taken away phones, video games and packed up computers. I have taken away the car keys of cars they paid for. There are rules and they are to obey them. If my kids wanted to me respect and listen to them, they had to do the same for me.
Decide what kind of person you want her to be. You are the parent. She's the kid who's pushing your buttons and ruining your life right now. She is terrorizing you because you are ALLOWING IT! Sorry sweetie...this isn't going to be fun but you need to find your backbone. Set your rules, lay out the consequences and then follow through! If your DH won't back you up, then tell him he'd better stay out of the way at least!
I'm sorry, but I'm a little "old school" when it comes to my kids. I have not, EVER, tolerated them being disrepectful to me or any one else for that matter. I started when they were toddlers.
When my daughter, who is 14 now, first got her period at the age of 12, she was a nightmare. We got through that first month, and from then on, I was aware of when she had PMS that she would be a little short and snappy. I set the tone immediatly that I also suffered from PMS on occasion and that I would always be better at it than she was. I give her a little space on those days, but she also knows that I will not tolerate an excessive attitude.
Like Jodie said, you are allowing it. If you want to get a handle on it, take away the video games, cell phone, computer, etc. she'll live. She'll hate it, but she'll live.
In short...Drop the hammer, momma, or it won't get better.
My husband is the one with the backbone problem, not me! I refer to him as the only living human invertebrate. My problem is the years of stress (from lots of other things, not so much her until recently) have taken their toll and I now have a very hard time staying calm, and I end up saying things I shouldn't out of total frustration, and I know I'm just going to make things worse if I can't figure out how to handle this better.
"Terrorizing" is definitely over-stating things. She is definitely making life more difficult than it has to be for all of us, which I just can't seem to get her to see. She's not all bad, she's very bright, makes good grades, is athletic, and at times, when it is just me and her, things are fine. She talks to me about a lot of stuff I would NEVER have dreamed of talking about with my mother. She is very open with me most of the time. But the trouble began when she started getting jealous of her little brother taking so much of our time and attention. The jealousy has passed, but now she picks at him out of boredom and she just doesn't get how much stress that causes me.
What really concerns me though is the extreme sense of entitlement she has, lack of ability to accept responsibility for her actions and consequences, and the irrational outbursts. They aren't frequent, but it is just so bizarre the stupid things she will throw a fit about, and I just don't handle them well. She will usually admit a day or two later that she feels ridiculous for it, but says that at the time she can't see it or control her emotions or her mouth. I would like to think it's just a phase, but she is so much like my brother, and I've seen all the problems he's brought on himself.
I just wish I could get thru to my husband how his refusal to be a strong parent and discpline the kids, or at least not undermine me when I do, is going to hurt the kids in the long run. But this is an issue we have had since she was born. He acts more like a grandfather than a father, and baby's the kids, lets them get away with all kids of crap, does things for them they should do themselves, buys them candy all the time, etc. He make me so mad because we will discuss and issue with the kids, come to an agreement on how to handle it (or so I think), and then he'll turn around and not follow thru with it. He thinks I'm too harsh. I'm not; I'm strict, but reasonable. They get to have occasional treats, get to do lots of activities, I'm involved in her activities and encourage her to do things with her friends, but I expect them to contribute to the household, and follow the rules. I tell him it's his fault they get into so much trouble with me, because he has trained them to think that "No" just means "whine and argue about it enough and I'll give in", and when they pull that crap with me I come down hard because I cannot stand when they whine, argue, or talk back. If he would just be a parent then they would know that "No" mean "No", and a lot of the conflict would stop....
It would def. help if your Dh was on board w/you. But you've got to do what you need to to stay in control.
I say it sounds like hormones. Her hormones are flucuating. She probably doesn't know why she's doing what she's doing.
I got my DD a journal. It's hers to write what she wants when she's mad/upset/etc.. If she wants, she can share it w/me.
Your daughter actually sounds a bit like my 12 yr old son !! He hates being told no & chucks massive tantrums over the stupidest little things..ignores me, either stomps off to his room - slamming the door or disappears on his bike....being a single mum makes it harder (particularly because I am a softie !! ) His dad says it's just puberty,he'll grow out of it - he only sees him ( & his brothers ) once a month tho'..so obviously,he doesn't really care !! I do take his stuff away from him but he usually just shrugs his shoulders " Fine, I don't care "
I'm sorry I have no advice for you, just commiserating !!
It sounds like you have my daughter's twin! Seriously, my youngest is 15 and very moody. One minute she is the sweetest child and the next it's all about her.
We went thru the same thing with our older kids but I think it's a little worse now because she's the youngest and the only child still at home.
The only advise I can give is to let your daughter know you won't tolerate anything disrespectful but pick your battles.
I learned with the older kids that I could live with the messy bedroom (just shut the door!) but I wouldn't tolerate grades slipping or them not letting me know where they were going to be or missing curfew.
We've always made it a point to make the kid's friends fill welcome at our house. Knowing what kind of friends your kids have is so important as a change in the type of friends can sometimes be an indicator of other issues.
Amazingly, our older kids somehow turned into these great young adults when they hit 16-17 and have kept getting better. I just remember to hang in there for a couple more years whenever the youngest drives me crazy!
I couldn't help but giggle at the relief I felt to learn that I am not alone!!!! My 13 ds acts like this a lot of the time. I am fairly certain it is the hormones.
I can't remember who wrote it, but try reading Love and Logic for teens. It is AMAZING the difference that your wording can make.
My son was a door slammer until one day I TOLD him to. I figured if he didn't to spite me, cool.. My house didn't get a beating... but if he DID, I could just laugh because (as I pointed out to him) HE MINDED ME!!! WOO HOOO!!! (it was the last time he slammed a door)
If other people say what a great kid you have, take a deep breath and try to see the humor. If not, think about family counseling to learn how to communicate in the forgein language that is teenagers!
Thanks for all the replies... She has been doing better lately, but we'll see how long it lasts One night she got in trouble for sneaking and staying up late reading (I know, not the worst thing in the world, but there are enough nights that she can't get to bed on time because of excess homework or swim practice and she's been run down lately), so I took her phone away. She jumped up at started the whining, arguing, demanding, trying to take it back and I warned her she was getting out of control and about to get into a whole lot more trouble, and this time she actually got a hold of herself and stopped. When she said the next day it wasn't fair that she still got punished when she managed to not lose control, I told her that's why she was only losing the phone for 1 day, not a week.
She started her period for the first time the other day, so now we are dealing with the stress and tears of trying to figure out how to use tampons. She's of course had some questions and one of the was "I've heard that when you start your period you can get real moody and have mood swings. What's that like?" Ummm, duh "The way you've been acting for the last two years."
That's great! Sounds like she's going to learn who's boss!
I do think the hormone thing is a big factor. My daughter recently had her first period too, and she seems to be a little better since then. It's almost like she had a pre-menstrual year!
I posted this on this threads duplicate - it's really worth a watch, just to be reminded that teenagers the world over can be horrible.
this may sound totally retarded but bharbor made a good point about her daughter seeing first hand how ridiculous a temper tamptrum looks... since your husband doesn't seem too concerned with discipline, why don't you hand him the camera or tell him to video tape some of her outbursts when you two are trying to converse. once she's calm, sit her down and talk to her about it. let her see exactly what you see by going through the pictures or tape together. she might try harder to not be so irrational then. One other thing too, do you give her an allowance? maybe try offering her a small allowance for doing certain chores around the house, then when she wants something, she has to buy it herself so she really learns the value of things like her video games and phone. maybe make her take the garbage out regularly to "pay" for her phone usage each month, something like that.
I actually have thought about it, even threatened to do it, but the camera is never handy, needs to be charged, etc.
Several months ago she had the most ridiculous tantrum because I would not show her how to get on youtube. (Computer time is strictly limited to what is necessary for school-work, plus we still have dial-up , so we can't even watch stuff on youtube anyway). She got totally irrational, angry, crying, totally acting like a two-year old. She even did the breath-holding thing! ALthough I think by that point she was starting to realize how stupid she was being and was carrying it to the ridiculous extreme to be silly. Anyway, the next day she admitted that she had been totally ridiculous and felt stupid for acting like that. I told her next time I was going to videotape her tantrum and POST IT ON YOUTUBE for all her friends to see Unfortunately, I have an old-fashioned, non-digital videocamera. Yes, I know, we are terribly behind the times technologically.
Yeah, my son gets an allowance....then we take out "taxes" (cost of living) and then he has to put 10% in savings and 10% in tithing, after that he has to pay bills. (like he has to pay part of his cell phone bill.. etc)
If he doesn't do his work, he doesn't get paid. Hello...would your job fire you if you just showed up and rolled your eyes? It has really worked well for him (he's 13). Plus it has the added benefit of me being able to not argue with him. ("I understand that you are frustrated that your check wasn't as big as you had planned. I wonder what you could do next week to make up the difference? You must be dissappointed that you can't afford to go to the movie with your friends because you are broke. Would you like a loan? What would you like to use as collateral until you can pay me back? Your ipod? okay)
This is LIFE. Plus it puts all the "consequences" on him, not me being the bad guy. Today for example, he wanted to sign up for an online game club, so I ask him how he is planning to pay for it and he says he will think about it, and what are some ideas that he can earn the $5 a month? I tell him it is more than that because there is interest on a credit card, and late fees if he doesn't pay it. He needs to decide how long he wants the membership, and pay in advance (on a prepaid card). So he left for school with the wheels turning.
I haven't done this (yet), but I recall a while ago reading about someone who advised 'paying' teens the amount of $ that they 'cost' and then teaching them to budget.
So they need $xx for clothes, $xx for books, $xx for bus money, lunches, entertainment, sports, phone etc etc. Total is $xx per month, and that is what they get 'paid'. So if they choose to spend all of it (as my 16 yo nephew recently did) on a pair of jeans that come with an instruction manual (not kidding), that's up to him, but he'll be walking to school, hungry until next 'pay day'.
This seems like a good way to learn how to manage money. I wish someone had taught me this way - I'm 41 and still not very good at budgeting.
2508s42: You are a genius!!!!!
next time I was going to videotape her tantrum and POST IT ON YOUTUBE for all her friends to see
That's a pretty good idea!
In addition to the hormone thing, make sure she's getting enough sleep, getting good ole sunshine and fresh air from outside, and eating right. 3 things that are lacking in teenagers today. Limit not only computer time but ipod, video games, TV time and replace those w/outside activities, reading, journaling, baking, etc. Would ignoring her also help? Sometimes when my kids are throwing a fit, I ignore them and walk away. That way I don't get worked up and many times it was just to get attention away. So I diffused the bomb before things got out of hand.
What really concerns me though is the extreme sense of entitlement she has, lack of ability to accept responsibility for her actions and consequences, and the irrational outbursts.
I brought the entitlement thing up in another thread the other day and was blasted for it. I see this behavior in young teens/adults so much more today than I did 20 yrs ago. My DD is almost 21, was raised the same way as my son who is 17 months younger, and they are like night and day. She has a huge sense of entitlement and I hate it. My son is meek and humble, saves his money, and is happy with whatever anybody gives him. Why are they so different? Is it a female thing?
What has worked for me is, when your DD starts to throw a tantrum, walk away. They hate this because they want an audience. It will save you from saying something you'll later regret and will also save your sanity. When she dumps something on you like asking for a later curfew etc., don't answer her immediately. Tell her you need a little time to think about it and that you don't want to argue with her. That really has saved us from arguing about every little thing.
I wish I could tell you it gets easier, but so far it hasn't with our DD. Although she is living away at college now, so it's a lot more peaceful around here when she's gone.
Someday hopefully they'll wake up and see how "ugly" their behavior was. Like you mentioned, I don't ever remember acting like that when I was young, my mother would have back handed me if I spoke to her disrespectfully anyway.
Just know you're not alone, and CC is a great stress reliever. We're all just a click away.
my mother would have back handed me if I spoke to her disrespectfully anyway.
Also not a bad idea. It may take her completely off guard if you provided a lil pop on her mouth when she gives a some sass or swat to the behind when throwing a fit. One time is all it'll take for her to know that you're serious about not putting up w/that type of behavior. I don't believe in teaching my kids w/physical discipline. I use it as a last resort. Maybe todays kids are like they are b/c parents are too afraid to discipline (this statement IS NOT directed towards the OP). A swat on the behind or pop on the mouth is considered child abuse these days. But I am old fashion in many ways. I talk first, time-out second, punishment/loss of priviledges thirdly, and the finale will be a spanking which it rarely comes to. My kids know the order. I rarely get to the third step before they regroup themselves.
If my kids are fighting w/ea. other, I'll put them in time-out to have some think time then they have to say something nice about ea. other afterwards to reconcile, hug, and apologize.
I have seen a teenager call child services. Be careful with the mouth popping. When it is inflated by an teen, it will look a lot like a punch in the face. Guess who the cops will believe? (not you)
Cannot agree with this. Physical violence will never solve a problem, especially with a teenager.
I don't have a problem with spanking per se, though I think alternatives are always preferable. But with a teenager?? It's totally ineffective at best, and can easily escalate into an all out physical brawl. When you have someone who is physically mature, yet emotionally immature, hormonal, and volatile, taking it to a physical level is not a good idea. My daughter is 5'4", 105 pounds of pure muscle. She has been an athlete her whole life, and has amazing upper body strength thanks to swimming. She could certainly kick my butt if she was angry enough. Not that I'm afraid of her, but you don't start a fight you can't win. Not that I haven't ever lost my temper and smacked her when she was particularly cruel or disrespectful, but it certainly didn't do anything to improve the situation. Believe me, taking away her cell phone is 100 times more effective, and spanking her would be a joke.
Cannot agree with this. Physical violence will never solve a problem, especially with a teenager.
That's great. You don't have to live with me, raise kids w/me, or agree w/me. So it works out well for both of us.
I don't have a problem with spanking per se, though I think alternatives are always preferable.
Most certainly couldn't agree more. That's pretty much what I said in my PP. A lot of ppl today do have issues w/it though. I'm sure I'll get blasted for being child abuser of year for mentioning such a horrific thing.
Believe me, taking away her cell phone is 100 times more effective, and spanking her would be a joke.
Def. agree 100 % here too. I wasn't talking about spanking a teenager. My kids are little. Just to clarify.
I have the overindulgent dad in our house, too. I kinda understand why ... he was over 40 when our youngest was born and he just babies her. Matter of fact, he still refers to her as "Where's the baby?" (I tell him "the baby" is at our daughter's house and when he gets the idea that he wants to visit with gramma and grampa, then his parents will bring him over! )
Anyway .... youngest is 16 and is a good kid, but will do the Please? please? please? oh come on! thing. I will tell her ... right in front of her dad, "That crap works on your dad ... it does NOT work on me! So unless you really want to pi$$ me off, you might just shut it up, right now!"
Hubby then tries to look innocent about the whole thing! But ever since I started saying this in front of him, he's cut down a bit on being the big pushover.
Something that really helped me was to realize that having the last word had nothing to do with "winning" in the situation. I was still the parent and if I insisted on having the last word, I was only going to escalate the situation. I learned several tactics that helped me to stop escalating these situations with my daughter...it seems the dynamics were completely different with my son.
Speak quietly, unemotionally, but firmly.
If possible and appropriate, be pleasant.
Say what I need to say then make a quick exit.
When questioned and there was nothing useful in answering these questions, I would either calmly and unemotionally repeat what I said before or simply state that there was nothing more to say...and then go about my business.
Usually, it takes two to make a scene. If a teenager (or a toddler ) finds you aren't going to participate in this drama, after looking ridiculous for a while, eventually they may stop. Or slow down.
But I still say the best advice is having no need for the last word. Remember you are the parent and you don't need it.
[quote="krysoco] Def. agree 100 % here too. I wasn't talking about spanking a teenager. My kids are little. [quote]
So, just to clarify, it's ok to hit a little child, just not a teenager, who might be big enough to fight back?