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Help! How Do You Cope With A Teenager?

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  • Help! How Do You Cope With A Teenager?

    My oh my my life i feel like a soap opera.

    My once sweet little baby girl is 13 in july and she is now a total nightmare.
    I love her to death, but her attitude is disgusting, she shows no respect to me or her dad, she has an im not bothered attitude, tonight has been an event in itself, she is so rough with her little sister and ended up knocking her over - she then fell back over and hit her head hard on the floor and now has an awful lump and all my eldest could say was "yeah well its not my fault" i feel like she just doesnt care about anyone but herself and friends. I feel like pulling my hair out i really do.
    Of course i shouted but she screams louder, i grounded her took her mobile and laptop ,she says shes not bothered, im really worried that control is lost, and im not even a controlling person, i give my kids the world - probably too much. I just dont know what to do. If you could see the way she is honestly its so frustrating. I dont care, And and So are her favourite words, she never appologises, she always says its us.
    All i know is if i had ever spoke to my parents the way she speaks to us id have had a very sore behind and never seen the light of day again. Not once have we ever laid a finger on our girls, but i tell you she pushes me so far.
    I feel like im going crazy!!!!!!!!!!
    * Julie *

    If you clicked the scales to add rep points then thankyou very much


  • #2
    *Hugs* I must admit I don't have children but I do have a 14 year old sister (and yes she used to be a little angel!) and I have been appalled at the way she speaks to my parents sometimes. My mum is the same as you and sometimes when she rings me (I now live 2 and a half hours away ) I can hear her tearing her hair out and the way they shout at each other is awful. It doesn't matter how much I speak to my sister and try to get her to see that the only reason everyone is always 'on at her' is because of her attitude and the way she speaks to people in the first place! I'm rambling now but I do sympathise.

    However, every now and again she does manage to talk nicely to us and the older she gets the more her attitude improves. Also, I have noticed that when she uses up some of her energy on outdoor activities (even just going to the cinema with her friends) she seems to grow up a little and behave. She's just been away with school for a week and we hardly heard from her while she was there and when she came back she was a pleasure to speak to. I guess what I'm saying is that there's hope and I try to look at it from her point of view and think about how she must be interpreting things (i.e. why she might think we're being 'unfair' and why she feels hard done by) and then try to have a reasonable conversation with her and explain how everyone else sees the situation and how she can help herself. I'll admit this is easier for me at the end out the phone as I can be very fair (have been known to have similar conversations with my mum - just call me the mediator!) but it does sometimes fall on deaf ears.

    Wow sorry this has turned into a really long reply! Good luck and persevere - things will improve.

    Lorna x
    Lorna x - I've finally ventured into the world of blogging!


    • #3
      When I was 13 (a long time ago) I was the daughter from hell. I was constantly being told I was a young woman but felt I was being treated as a child. I had arguments every day with my Mum. I was horrible to her because I thought she hated me, I hated myself, growing and changing so fast was very scary.
      My poor Mum was going through the menopause at the same time which I didn't know at the time and my poor Dad in the middle of all those hormones.

      My parents loved me but they never said it. Back then people didn't show affection like they do now.

      Give her reassurance and hugs tell her that you love her, I know this would have made a great difference to me.
      I started off with nothing and I've still got most if left.


      • #4
        No Julie, you're not going crazy. It seems to be more of a girl thing than a boy one. I had a similar problem with my daughter when she turned 13. She's now 17 and is absolutely lovely. As Alice21 said it's because she is changing and growing up very fast.

        All those raging hormones, there has to be an outlet and unfortunately it is always the parents who get the brunt of it. I agree with your actions of grounding her and taking her laptop and mobile off of her. She needs to understand that the sort of behaviour she is displaying is just not socially acceptable.

        Remember to always show her and tell her that she is loved and don't try to favour her little sister. She will change in time, it's just going to be a bit of a rocky ride for a while.

        Teenagers are the most selfish, self obsessed creatures in the world, but every now and then you get a glimmer of what they used to be like. Just hang in there. It will get better, I promise.

        PS. Count yourself lucky you've only got one teen, I have 3
        Ruby xx

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        • #5
          my best advice, having had 2, is not to rise to the bait of the slanging match.

          If she starts on the So thing, turn around and walk off, if she starts with the attitude, try and laugh. She is pushing you and wants the reaction, because at 13 everything is a drama.

          I realise that its going to be really difficult, but try and grade things on how serious they really are. You have to grit your teeth here. Doing the unexpected really works.

          When her little sister got hurt, dont yell or scream, cuddle the little one and say something like, look how much youve hurt her, thats not what a nice sister would do and then just blank off the so's and Ands etc. Practise the "dissapointed" look, my kids still talk about it!

          Lots of luck, im sure it will pass x


          • #6
            As another ex daughter from hell can I ask you to step back a minute? Apart from the raging teenage hormones thing - can you spot a pattern? Could she be suffering from PMT? One third of us women get it so bad the rest of the population can't comprehend what it's like.
            I now realise my teenage temper tantrums, foul moods, tears, unreasonableness and depression was PMT. It was given a name when I was in my 20s and I managed to find ways of ameliorating, but never banishing, it.

            I'll leave it there except for saying my life has been bliss since I went menopausal



            • #7
              I know how you feel, that sounds just like my daughter, difference is she is only 10!!!! she doesnt have a laptop, mobile or go out so I cant ground her.

              I'm on my own and often feel like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall but Gbell's advice is good and I shall be trying that!

              On the up side, sometimes she is an angel!
              Reach for the moon-if you miss-you'll still be amongst stars


              • #8
                actually, I have none!! and you all described one of the reasons why I am glad about it.. lol

                and if you will forgive comment from a childless person..

                Kids like most folk rile against boundaries as a means of testing what is acceptable and what is not.. - for example, My aunt lived in Spain, she had a boy and a girl, and the boy wanted to go to boarding school in the UK rahter than the Spanish School. They agreed, and came back to scout out schools.. at the end of the last day, the girl pipes up "I want to go to Boarding school" so they looked in to finances, and agreed that if that was desireable, they would make the sacrifices to pay for both.. now she says "you dont love me, you never loved me, I was 13 and you couldnt wait to pack me off to school in England to get rid of me"...

                Hard as it is, I think you have to set your limits on acceptable behaviour, sit your kids down and explain it to them, and the reasons why, and enforce it (yeah, hell on wheels.. sorry, didnt say it was easy)..

                I think you have to (struggle!) keep calm, reiterate the acceptable, and point out the unnaceptable in a strong but quiet way, and resist the desire to rage and shout (you may like to walk on water and cure the sick in your spare time too!). Shouting is losing, and kids sense that keenly.

                If you set punishment, apply it fairly and consistently, and when the rules are breached, sit the offender down, discuss what is unacceptable (again!) explean why they get the punishment, and do it..

                At the end of the day kids especially at that age can be a war of attrition, you just have to be consistent and fair, and plug away.

                Alternatively, my mum threatened me with boarding school whenever I was naughty.. sure as hell worked for me!


                • #9
                  I think this is quite common when girls hit thier teens. Although I don't have kids I have 3 nieces and the eldest was an absolute nightmare when she hit 13. Now (4 years on) she's the sweetest girl to everyone except her mum and sister who she constantly clashes with.
                  When I think back to my teenage years I really feel sorry for my mum, my dad was constantly trying to sort out the arguements between us!!
                  Just be strong and hang on in there I'm sure this is just a phase that will pass.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by girlyracer View Post
                    All those raging hormones, there has to be an outlet and unfortunately it is always the parents who get the brunt of it.
                    Speaking as someone who was awful to my mum when I was 13/14 years old I'd have to agree that it's the hormones coupled with starting to be grown up but still being a child...completely natural for her to be pushing boundries as it's a really confusing time.

                    I recently found my old diary and it was soooo funny reading it back - I'd write how depressed I was cos the boy I fancied snogged another girl and changed my mind weekly about which boy I the time it was the most serious and important thing in the world to me and I didn't appreciate my mum nagging me when I had far more important things going on in my life. Also found an entry about how mean my mum was that she wouldn't let me go to an all night party at some boys house who's parents were away - I ask you how unreasonable of her!!!

                    I think your daughter's just kicking off and finding her niche in the world, I loved being a teenager but do remember everything being such a drama (probably why I loved it so much).

                    Not much help to you I know but hopefully it'll reassure you it's a phase that will pass.

                    Originally posted by gbell View Post
                    If she starts on the So thing, turn Practise the "dissapointed" look, my kids still talk about it!
                    Yes the disappointed look - my parents soon learnt not to shout but to tell me how disappointed they were in my worked!
                    Visit Natty Netty for a huge selection of Iris Folding supplies


                    • #11
                      My daughter is just coming up on 14, and although there have been 'madam' moments, she's not been too bad on the whole.

                      My son on the other hand, will be very lucky if he lives long enough to see his 12th birthday at the end of this month. I don't actually recall any 'doings' with the devil but he sure as heck is the child from hell.

                      when he is in good mode, he can be an absolute delight to be around, but once that switch is flicked, it's awful, his biggest thing is lying, and he will lie till the cows come home rather than admit to it (espcially if he has been somewhat light fingered). We have tried everything, and nothing at all works with him, he just shrugs it all off, we have even had a big burly and scary police man try and that worked for about a week.

                      It's not even as if I asking him to discover a cure for cancer or anything like that, just to keep his room tidy, his fingers to himself and not to back chat.


                      • #12

                        I am always telling my daughter i lover her, we dont favour either child as we had that done to us and its not nice.
                        My eldest is just ..... just.
                        I understand that she is suffering with PMT, growing up and all the rest of it, but surely she shouldnt be like this?
                        She got up this morning as if she ruled the place, attitude already, she says shes going out, obviously i said no your not aj your grounded - followed by another bought of verbal.
                        Everyone has given some wonderful advice and i will be trying it all, just think i might need super nanny!
                        and to think i will go through it all again with my youngest - oh god no, i wont be having any more thats for sure..
                        * Julie *

                        If you clicked the scales to add rep points then thankyou very much




                        • #13
                          One thing we did with my son the other week during his last spawn of the devil episode was to let him get on with it.

                          He wanted to go out after breakfast and not come home till bedtime, fine we let him get on and do it, the fact that all he was allowed was 2 pieces of toast before bedtime started to have an effect, so did the night we (myself, partner and daughter) went to Pizza Hut and left him to it. As was pointed out, we didn't know where he was or what time he was coming home, and we refuse to stop life to fit in around him. I also refused to cook for him, if he wasn't home at meal time, then he didn't get fed.

                          After missing the pizza and then a trip to Blackpool (I actually stayed home that day... he wasn't abandoned!) it soon began to dawn on him that if he wanted to be part of the family, then he had to act like part of the family.


                          • #14
                            I think i was very lucky with my kids, never had a major problem, and i still cant get rid of them at 20 & 21! I still do the dissapointed look, look sad, shoulders down and wander off muttering oh well...

                            I honestly think if you chill then they chill, dont say no for the sake of it, you be reasonable and you'll get it back, but set boundaries, discuss them though, dont impose them.

                            If all else fails send them to Brat camp


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gbell View Post

                              If all else fails send them to Brat camp
                              Is secretly moving with no forwarding address a viable option??