We've got a beautiful, intelligent, bright daughter who is almost 16. She was a high honor student all year last year, still headed that way this year, which is her sophomore year. She takes all honors classes and college prep classes in school and is also in drivers ed. She is also very involved in sports and plays basketball, soccer and softball. SHe has never been in trouble, she's a good kid....to the point, I've heard from many...they wish their children were like her....but what they don't see, is her defiance toward us and her refusal to respect us.
Our challenge is that she is VERY defiant. She seems to not have any respect what so ever, for us, for our home as a family unit, etc.
Last night we had a meeting to attend for our school, prior to voting next week. We asked when we left that she please just empty the dishwasher for us...that was ALL....she hadn't been home for 2 nights as she was with her best friend, which was fine. We got home 2.5 hours later and she is on the computer (it is almost 9 now) the dishes hadn't been put away, she hadn't doen her home work. I asked her to please do them, it took a few minutes and it all started from there. The worse yelling screaming match in a long, long time. At one point I was standing by the bathroom and went to walk in and she stood in front of me screaming and refused to let me in the bathroom. It got worse from there. Mind you, I'm 120 5'4" and she's about 140 5'8", so the size thing is something she tends to use when she is really upset with me...she's done it before and dad REFUSES to allow that, when it comes to me and treats toward me, he will not stand for it.
I was at a point last night that I didn't want her here. She also has a little brother who is 7, and witnessed the entire arguement...which is not something that I will allow...she didn't grow up with any type of fighting (my husband and I do not fight, ever) and I don't want her brother to be subject to that kind of stress. He has even gotten to a point where he doesnt' want to spend time with her, because of how she acts toward us.
I know I've spoiled her....and last night she said to me "you buy me things, you bring me places, you do things with me, but you don't support me"...this is a kid, who until this year due to my job, had her parents are EVERY practice for sports, EVERY game, weekends away every spring playing basketball, we're ALWAYS there. We are very involved in getting her ready for college and only want the best for her. I try to talk to her, she won't talk to us...I asked her what else I could do for her and she didn't have much to say to me. She said "sitting down for dinner would be nice"....this is the FIRST week without sports and soccer was 6 days a week, 5 nights and one afternoon, for 3 months....she was NEVER home at dinner time due to practice and games...we can't sit down as a family unit during that time.
I don't know what to do...I don't know how to get her to understand the ONE thing I want from her is respect....I'd give up the good grades, the sports everything just to have her be NICE and respect us and not yell and be part of the family.....we even told her that last night because she keeps saying "Nothing I do is good enough"...which is FAR from the truth..she's a great kid....dad told her, you know what....I'd rather you be failing in school, not playing sports, not trying so hard if you were NICE...I'd trade that in a second...if you could just be nice and respect us....
Her thing was "I did the dishes didn't I"...but it wasn't until 3 hours later, after a HUGE arguement...over literally 3 minutes it took her to put them away. We don't ask much of her, she doesn't have chores on a normal basis, as she's too busy with sports and activities at school.
We had her in therapy 3 years ago because of this same type of stuff and I got to a point I couldn't deal with it....yelling, complaining, slamming doors etc.
I took away the computer, internet, her cell phone last night. I've done it before, I know it doesn't matter and doesn't make a difference, but I had to do SOMETHING.
We don't have a ton of money, we're doing okay....but not where there is a ton of disposable income. We've already got a car, which we picked up on Sunday, at the garage getting the go over, which will be hers in a few months. we do everything we possibly can for her, to help her out...now I'm feeling used, and betrayed and like I shouldn't do what I do for her, until she shows us some respect.
What do I do?
Where do we go from here?
It's going to be miserable here for a while.....always is when she doesn't get her way. I told her last night maybe she needs to go somewhere and see what it's like for kids who don't have support from their parents, see where they end up, see how their lives are...but I don't think that will do any good either. I was one of those kids, growing up in a one parent household (my dad died) with an alcoholic mother....was pregnant at 17, etc...but I got my life together, bought a house at 21, etc, have always worked, even put my "career" on hold to be home for a while with the kids, I"ve been home now for over 3 years, and work out of the house...to provide a good life for her....the best I could, I didn't finish my degree, I've put everything aside to try to give her the best I could and feel like I've done something wrong, that I messed up somewhere....I told her a while ago, until we've got her settled with college etc, I'm going to wait to finish myself...she wants to go to Medical school and we're all for it...>I can wait, she can't...I want her to have everything I didn't have.....but she has no respect for us, for anything.....she'll admit it's only us she acts like this around, she hates being here, she's great in school, sports etc...and I asked her why and she can't tell us...she doesn't know...it's like she just hates us and we've never done anything wrong....we've always done for her, maybe that is where we messed up...we've given her too much....but I can't go back....we need a way to move forward....
I just want her to be happy
I just want our lives to be happy...
It really sounds to me like she has been spoiled a bit, and really takes her situation for granted. From reading your post, you sound like a really caring mother and it sounds like you've done everything you can in the past to make her life as great as it can be.
However, the flip side of this is that it seems that she has taken it all for granted, and now you're find her difficult to deal with unless she gets her own way. Unfortunately there is such a thing as being *too* nice as parents, which I'm sure is a common problem as everyone only wants the best for their children.
As for what you can do now, I would say that you need to make her earn things such as internet time, mobile phone usage etc. Most kids depend on these things, so making it a simple case of "no internet until the dishes are done" should send a clear message that you won't help her unless she helps you.
Also with regard to buying her a car - I would suggest telling her that she won't be getting to use the car unless she makes a serious effort to contribute to the household tasks first. If you keep 'rewarding' her for doing nothing, she'll keep expecting to get everything she wants at no 'cost' to her (be it her time or money etc).
Your right, and I completely admit to spoiling her a bit.....our philosophy has been that school and sports right now is all she needs to worry about, not working etc, and it seems that it's now being thrown in our faces :-(
We've done the "earn it back" route before, we took her cell phone away for 4 months a while back, after a period of things being okay, without her asking, we gave it back.
We're in a bind as we live 10 miles from her high school, so having a cell phone with sports etc, is almost a must...she's off for a few weeks before basketball starts, so right now it isn't something she HAS to have, thus the reason for getting her a car, the driving back and forth to practices etc is getting tough with both of them in school and playing sports now, so her being able to get herself home from practices etc will be a HUGE help.
We have told her with the car, we got it, it needs a starter, so we'll get that done and buy tires, register it and insure it for now (it'll be in our name anyhow due to insurance rates etc) and that once she has her license, it's going to be her responsibility to pay for gas, her insurance and repairs (she's got money in her savings specifically for this purpose). We've discussed not "cruising" and using the car for necessary trips, for several reasons....cost and my being terrified of her getting in an accident.
I've definitely learned my lesson...both my husband and I didn't have much growing up, and we've always felt we wanted to give our children what we didn't and couldn't have, I guess we've gone a little too far :-(
I've always said being a parent is the hardest job there is, and boy isn't it !!! It's also the most rewarding, but it is so hard to balance being a parent and friend to a child...and I"ve told her, I want to be her friend, but first and foremost my job is as her parent and that will always come first.
I know we're not alone...I've heard some horror stories from other parents, I just want what is best for her....I want her to have the future I didn't have when I was her age, and I want to support her in every way possible, the question is how to balance that with raising her to be respectful......
Remember that this is a phase which will pass, you just need to navigate her through this phase to make sure she lands on her feet at the other end.
Two things spring to mind first when I read about your situation:
Does she earn the treats she gets from you? A sure fire way to have her be respectful of material things and also appreciative is to have HER earn them. My parents helped me get into my first car but I had to come up with half the money for it before they put in the same amount. I was responsible for the running and maintenance of the car after that. If I didn't have money for gas, I couldn't take the car... simple. Basic principle of life is that you don't get something for nothing! The ignorance of this fact can foster disrespect and a sense of entitlement.
Secondly, has she been taught by you the important aspect of contingencies.... if you do this, that will happen (every time). If you don't empty the dishwasher, you will not have the privilege of x. Draw up a contract with her, negotiate and put in writing what you BOTH expect from each other... listen to what she has to say without formulating what you want to say while she is talking. Use the tennis ball approach if you need to and only the person holding the tennis ball may speak. Remember that no-one likes to be shouted at and no one likes to shout so it sounds to me like there is a good mutually agreeable condition to put into your contract to foster mutual respect. Remember to ask what is she learning from me. What have I taught her. Plus, she is a teenager, unless she has had problematic behaviour from as early as 5 years of age, she will move out of this phase once she has the goodies of an adult.
Terry Moffit the psychologist studies a lot about teenagers and delinquency. She has found 2 types of delinquent teens/adolescents. the life course persistent and the adolescent limited. The adolescent limited is the delinquency lasting only a couple of years, whereas the life course persistent lasts from childhood through to adulthood. I think as long as you teach her how to treat you with respect by treating her with respect. As well as being firm and consistent with your boudaries and priviledges you should be ok. Not as easy as it sounds tho.
Hi, I have a 15 year old girl who sounds quite similar to yours and had our family unit turned upside down over the past few years. The changes came gradually and then escalated to a complete nightmare. Like you describe, everybody loved her and wanted her for a daughter....she was caring, sensitive, a great friend, and did great in school. She wa in honors and involved in theatre and seemed fine. However, suddenly things change to the point we didn't even recognize her as our daughter ~ she was disrespectful and everything became an argument....she yelled, coldn't be asked to do anything without an outburst, she ran away a few times, and constantly said she wanted to be living elsewhere, that she hated our rules which weren't many. Eventually she resorted to self injury, she was quite depressed and took some pills. We didn't know what was happening and looking back I wished I had gotten her the help she needed sooner.
I am not saying that this is happeneing with your daughter but do you have depression, alcoholism, ADHD, or mood disorders on any side of your family history???? The reason I ask is that most recently our daughter was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. It took us a year to finally figure out what was going on with our daughter. It was both devastating and a relief at the same time to have something diagnosed since everything we had done didn't seem to help.
IN adolescents the disorder often presents itself with severe agitation, frustration, irritability, and can reek havoc within a household. It almost seems as if you are always waiting for the next shoe to drop never knowing what is going to trigger such behavior. I often thought how could this be seen in the home but no where else?? The thing is, they are able to somehow hold it together where they need to be seen as normal and then totally let loose with the ones they feel safest with and who will be there for them. Which usuallly ends up being mom and dad!!
Our daughter's change in behavior started around the time she got her period and escalated after two deaths in the family. They say that Bipolar often is triggered by some type of loss or severe change or stress in the person's life. We have alcoholism on both sides of the family, my grandmother also was manic-depressive (another name for Bipolar), and we also have two brother in laws who have been in and out of drug rehabs/jail all of their lives. That was enough to see a genetic predisposition to Bipolar. But there are times that there is no family history in which it is diagnosed.
I am just laying this out there for you to look at and if you have any other questions there are a wonderful group of parents of teenage girls and boys who are going through the same thing over on the Bipolar Board.
The thing I would advise you to do is go for a psychiatric evaluation. It won't hurt but may help you rule out the possibility of your daughter having Bipolar or something else that with a medication could make her life and yours so much better. I won't lie to you....it isn't a quick fix but without treatment it WILL get worse and with treatment it may save your daughter's life.
Please feel free to ask me any more questions you may have.
(((HUGS))) from one mom to another ~ Goody
Last edited by goody2shuz; 11-01-2006 at 08:32 AM.
Don't get into a shouting match with her. Do not shout, stay calm and talk. Whenever she is disrespectful tell her that that is not acceptable behavior. Actually, if you stop yelling at her you will actually show her more respect. I realized this with my own children. When they said something to me with an attitude I stopped and checked what my own attitude was at the time and guess what, most of the time I started the attitude! I swear children learn almost everything from us! Start checking your behavior, you'll be surprized! Is she too busy and just getting tired of all of it? Maybe ask her if she wants cut back on some things and relax a little. Maybe she thinks that you all expect this high level of achievement from her. Have an honest talk with her about her own expectations of herself. I have heard that with teenagers you just have to let them have their own timetable with chore completion. Maybe just tell her that they have to be completed before bed? Don't nag.
I'm with Sannah on this one.
I was just like your daughter at that age and for me it was the fear of not living up to my mothers expectations that made me a crazy. I know now, that she wasn't setting the expections, I was. But I was setting them based on what I thought she wanted.
Another issue I had with my mom that made our situation so volatile was that I thought she preferred my sister, brother and job over me. I just wanted her to pick me, just once, to spend some special time together, alone. Even if you're not getting along great right now, reminding her you love her can never be wrong.
Would it be considered sexual abuse or assault if you spanked her? Maybe if you threatened or did it, she'd be humiliated into behaving herself.
Honestly, I don't know of many teens who are not defiant. I was a spoiled brat until I hit ten or eleven, and I mellowed out a lot. Of course, because my mother is a little psychotic, I'm sort of a doormat, but I digress. It sounds to me like a typical teenage attitude, and if need be, I would suggest revoking some or alal of her privileges. No going out with friends, no computer, no phone, no music, no television, no extra money, no new clothes...whatever. Pretty much leave her with food, the bathroom, school, and her bed. Let her earn stuff back, and if she decides to be a priss again, she gets the item removed again. Teens these days can only last so long without their precious phones and computers, so she may shape up sooner than expected.
But yeah, definitely don't scream more than you have to. I know my mother screamed blue murder at me for trivial things all my life, which is why I was afraid of her to some extent up until I graduated high school. Sometimes you do need to shout to get your point across, but don't overdo it...if you do, it will lose its effect and you'll find your screams falling on deaf ears.
I wouldnt see her disrespect as enough to justify therapy. Every teenager is defiant at some point in their lives. Ill never forget one parent who sent her son to therapy because he took a sip of beer from the refrigerator.
Maybe shes under alot of stress from school and sports? Maybe you should allow her to get lower grades or have her drop one of her sports.
I became this way at this age... I LOVED MY MOTHER more than anything... but it is all about being way tooo spoiled! i was spoiled rotten! And as soon as my brother was born (differ circumstance) and I didn't get the attention I was used to all the time before I just changed. But I got over it and I respect them once again. I swear I don't even remember sometimes doing some of the things that my mom told me I did but she said i was a terror! I believe that this is just a phase! All kids at this age go through it. It scares me a bit because I have a 10 month old angel and I just want us to be best friends/mother/daughter ever! Just like my mom and I are now but She will probably go through that time as well unfortunately. I just thought I'd give you my imput on this because it sounded just like myself when i was her age! It will pass I am sure of it! Just keep loving her and telling her you love her and that is what will stick with them the most!
[QUOTE=Dark Stranger]Would it be considered sexual abuse or assault if you spanked her? [QUOTE]
I believe at her age she is a bit old for spanking. Like she said she is 120 lbs and 5'4 over her daughter who is 140 lbs and 5'8. But generally you wouldn't spank someone that age in my eyes. If someone would have said that to me when I was almost 16 I would have laughed. It sounds like with the attitude she has she wouuld do the same
Let's take this situation from a 19 year old's point of view.
What kind of tone are you using with your daughter? Sometimes the tone in your voice is everything to kids. When I was living at home, if my mom asked me to unload the dishwasher politely, I was much more apt to do it rather than
"we need you to unload the dishwasher BEFORE we get home. Now."
It makes a WORLD of difference, believe me. And believe it or not, a lot of parents are completely oblivious to the fact that they are verbally downgrading their children by using such harsh tones. I'm not going to get into splitting hairs here, but it definitely matters. It seems like a no-brainer to us as teenagers, but it's something that adults often overlook because they "demand respect" and speak in a very "demanding and respectful" tone. And if your daughter is anything like me, she won't say anything for awhile, and eventually it builds up and bubbles over. I've had many screaming/yelling matches with my mom and dad because of the way I felt I was being treated. Believe it or not, we want respect as well. And as a parent you deserve respect. But as a teenager we're growing and we're between childhood and adulthood. We want respect and we won't dish it out until we're given it. That's the main issue that everything usually stems from, because parents feel the same way.
I think it's much more effective to talk to your teenagers in a way that is person-to-person, rather than parent-to-child. It sounds crazy, but it works.
I would just sit down with your daughter and ask her if the way you're talking to her is not bothering her.
physical support is one thing (going to games, etc) but emotional and psychological support is much more important, IMO.
Last edited by thecameraeye; 01-13-2007 at 03:23 PM.
Got to love those teen years. I had problems with my oldest, who is 21 now at that exact age. And also my youngest, who is 16. Sometimes the best thing is to just walk away. The more you tell the more heated it gets and then you are fighting about things that were not the problem. Think back to when you were that age. Didn't you pretty much pretend you were hatched from an egg, no real parents to speak of. Because parents were just a pain , and embarresing. And always wanting to tell you what to do.
Personaly I know things that seem like no big deal to a parent can mean the world to a 15 year old, (16,17 etc) And vice versa.
I really disagree with people wanting to find some kind of problem and rush their kids to a therapist, or MD when the teen years start. Too many people want there to be the medical issue, so they can excuse the behavior. Not that I am saying there are not many teens out there with issues. But I think too many parents give kids these excuses. And then the teen turns around and simply say this is why I am disrepctful. And you just have to deal with it.
I think girls have so many harmones going threw them each month that just like adult woman there are times they can simply be a witch. And there is no other reason then that. (Please don't jump on me for that comment. It is true and woman know that.)
Personaly I would not buy her a car. I would tell her I would match money for one. I think things that are handed to kids are not as appreciated. And become expected. I also told my girls that they did not have to work during their school years. I wanted them to enjoy being kids. But once they wanted a car then they needed to get some kind of job.
And also got them to understand there are many things that I do not want to do, but they need to be done and that is all there is to it. In the work world and adut world you can not tell the boss gee I will get to that later I just dont' want to do it right now. That really helped them understand where I was comeing from.
I agree with the poster about attitude. If someone comes to me with attitude, I'm more than likely gonna give it right back to them. It doesn't help the situation at all. I wanted to comment about the car. Once she gets her license and a car she will be mobile on her own. You won't have control over where she goes or who she is with. If she is rebellious and defiant now I don't see it improving once she has a vehicle. I'm sure she realizes that by getting a car it will be easier on you. She probably doesn't think you would take this from her. It might do her a world of good by not allowing her to have the car under these circumstances. You might be better off driving her around for awhile longer, even if it is inconvenient.