I'm glad I revisited this thread, I'm so excited about all of the responses.
I was feeling all alone for a couple days there. Its so funny all of the looks I get when ppl ask me about my kids and I say "oh, I have a 14yo too!"
Originally Posted by Mom to E and A
she wants no parts of being with them and is convinced the new baby is only going to make her life worse in that we won't want to take her places or whatever when she is born.
DD is very much into keeping to herself...in her room, door shut, most of the time. Only comes out to eat or use the computer. She is also beginning to "act out" a bit. I don't know what to do to "make" her be more a part of the family. Her only real chore is to empty the dishwasher and that is a daily battle. I am at my witts end with it all, so thanks for such a timely post and reading my rant!
My DD14 was the same way when she found out about DD2. She was SO UPSET. She made sure to remind me often that I chose the worst possible time to have another baby because it was the summer before she started high school and she was already dealing with so much. I think she honestly felt like I was ruining her life. She felt she was going to miss out on so much because of DS and DD2. I was so emotional that I would just cry and cry thinking I had really ruined her life and questioning the decisions I had made for our lives . . . I feel much better about things now (DD2 is 5mo).
Some days I am amazed (and frustrated) that she is so self-absorbed.
I constantly remind myself that she is still a child (even though she is taller than me
) and that her brain is growing and changing rapidly. AND, I remind myself that she really IS going through A LOT! I try my best to focus on the positives and encourage her without nagging. I make a concerted effort to reconnect with her if we've been separated for any amount of time - physically and verbally - by asking for specific details about how her day was and making eye contact, touching her on the arm, scratching her back, flipping her hair. I will not accept "fine" for an answer, I just keep asking and asking until I have some more broad idea of how her day went - usually she will just give up and spill the beans. Some days she acts annoyed, but others she tells me how good it makes her feel.
I listen to her rants and try my best to respond instead of react to some of the harsh things she says. I try and reword what she has said, so that she knows that I hear her and she feels validated. If she is having a particularly bad day, I don't force her to do anything but I make sure she knows that we WANT her to spend time with us - but that its her choice.
I do not ask her to help with the babies unless I am in desperate. However, a lot of the time, she will volunteer. Occasionally, I will give her choices - do you want to play with DS so I can clean the kitchen or do you want to clean the kitchen? 9 times out of 10 she will play with DS - and I can clean the kitchen while they laugh. If she spends time with the LOs, I want it to be her choice. :-D
I'm comforted by the fact that she loves her siblings as much as I do. She has told me and DH that if anything were to ever happen to us, that she will raise the babies, that she will NOT leave them. She loves to show them off to her friends and I hear her talk about them often.
So, I don't try and "make" her be a part of the family - I just remind her constantly that she is. I try my best to stay involved - I go to her school for events, I know most of her friends and allow her to invite them over often (I'd rather them be here so I can keep an eye on them), and I try fit small bits of time for one-on-one conversations. The only "chores" she is responsible for consistently are things directly related to her - her laundry, her bathroom, her bedroom, etc. She does them all without question (she is naturally tidy). Its a hassle getting her to help with other things and I often resort to bribery. [Where is that lil smiley with the bag on its head?]
Hang in there . . . try your best to stay connected to her, it will get better.