Teenagers ...need Help! (Long)

Lounge By CakesByJen2 Updated 7 Jan 2009 , 12:10am by -Tubbs

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CakesByJen2 Posted 6 Jan 2009 , 9:28pm
post #1 of 2

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.

1 reply
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-Tubbs Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 12:10am
post #2 of 2

I also have a 13 year old daughter, and can totally relate to what you're saying. To me it sounds completely normal, but I do understand how stressful it can be when you feel like you're walking on eggshells.

We refuse to pander to teenage hysteria. If our daughter starts to have a wobble, we walk away and let her scream or cry herself out, then later we'll have a talk about it. Some days we feel like we're in the Room for an Argument (see below). I do really feel bad if she pushes me to the point where I lose my temper too, since I'm the adult and should be more in control of my emotions.

If you're really concerned, you could talk to a counsellor. IMO there is more of a problem if her father won't get involved in any discipline required, because that turns you into the bad guy all the time, which is unfair. That is an issue that needs to be dealt with now, because you can be sure this behaviour won't be going away any time soon.

For a little humour, try this: an ancient but very funny Monty Python sketch:

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