or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Preteens and Teens › How do you handle...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How do you handle...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
The eye rolling, the sighing, the TONE, you know the one...the tone that implies that you, mom are so lame, know nothing, and couldn't possibly ever know anything!?!

DD is 14 and for the most part a really great kid. Gets good grades, doesn't get in trouble, is active in church and serving in the community, etc. It's just that teenage attitude that is really getting to me.

I really want to respond in a way that lets her know that I would like to be treated in a different manner, but that doesn't break down our relationship.

So, have you found any way to respond that encourages better communication? If so please share. Thanks!
post #2 of 20
I just point out that she's rolling her eyes at me. That usually works. *I* have the unconscious habit of rolling my eyes at people. It could actually be something she isn't aware she's doing. In any case, pointing it out to her makes her aware that it isn't acceptable to you, while still respecting her person.
post #3 of 20
Make a joke out of it. Whatever it is she's complaining about turn it on it's ear and make it goofy to appeal to her sense of humor, or use it as an opportunity to crack one of her usual jokes (most kids, IMO have a joke that they throw around alot). That's the only thing that ever worked with my oldest DSD. But yeah, it sure wears on you, doesn't it?
post #4 of 20
This may sound harsh, but in our house we require respect of every person. Adults are respectful of children and children respect the adults, each other and themselves.

Just as I point out the eye rolling, I call them on rude tones and what not. We usually end up talking about things. Sometimes I do turn it into a joke. Other times (if it's ongoing) I ask to talk privately with them to get at the root of the problem). One day when "M" was being especially nasty to me, we had a private talk in which I asked her what she needed from me. She confided that sometimes she just wants my attention. When I let her know that if she wants my attention, she can ask for it, she said, "But that would sound DESPERATE!" I told her that we all have needs and it's okay to want someone's attention, and the attention received will be much more positive when it's solicited in positive ways.
post #5 of 20
I remember that I was the obnoxious one when I was the kid in question and try to stay calm and talk about it. I give them a chance to calm down and try again (unless it's super bad)

My oldest is a lot like I was in temperament. I remember thinking like she does. Of course NOW I get that some stuff was inappropriate and obnoxious, but I do remember thinking it made perfect sense when I was going through it.
post #6 of 20
I exaggerate it. "Oh yes, I'm soooooooooooooooooo boring, just hanging out with me is like watching paint dry." That sort of thing.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
I exaggerate it. "Oh yes, I'm soooooooooooooooooo boring, just hanging out with me is like watching paint dry." That sort of thing.
my mom would do that. It just made me angrier because I felt disrespected and mocked. I felt like she might as well just say I'm stupid for being bothered with something.

I'm young, I remember how I felt during my teen years pretty well (I'm barely out of them) and I can say that the ONE thing my mom failed to do with me that would have helped (and I had even told her that I needed it but she ignored me) was to allow me to feel what I was feeling. If she had taken the time to address that I was annoyed or angry and to talk about WHY and to work together to find more appropriate ways to express it, I think we would have had a much better relationship.

As it was, I was either mocked and teased or I was told to 'drop the attitude.' I wasn't allowed to be angry or annoyed... the mere act of being either (even without the rude eye rolling etc) was enough to be told off. That of course just made me worse. She never helped me through my feelings... she just told me to drop them.

I agree... point it out... and then allow her to feel and help her find better ways of expressing her feelings. She should definitely know that what she is doing is inappropriate and even hurtful, but she also needs a safe place to express herself and figure out her feelings with herself, her family and the world. She needs more tools for handling everything.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post
my mom would do that. It just made me angrier because I felt disrespected and mocked. I felt like she might as well just say I'm stupid for being bothered with something.

I'm young, I remember how I felt during my teen years pretty well (I'm barely out of them) and I can say that the ONE thing my mom failed to do with me that would have helped (and I had even told her that I needed it but she ignored me) was to allow me to feel what I was feeling. If she had taken the time to address that I was annoyed or angry and to talk about WHY and to work together to find more appropriate ways to express it, I think we would have had a much better relationship.

As it was, I was either mocked and teased or I was told to 'drop the attitude.' I wasn't allowed to be angry or annoyed... the mere act of being either (even without the rude eye rolling etc) was enough to be told off. That of course just made me worse. She never helped me through my feelings... she just told me to drop them.

I agree... point it out... and then allow her to feel and help her find better ways of expressing her feelings. She should definitely know that what she is doing is inappropriate and even hurtful, but she also needs a safe place to express herself and figure out her feelings with herself, her family and the world. She needs more tools for handling everything.
This post was helpful to me.
post #9 of 20
This post was helpful to me too! I do sometimes mock my 13 yr old dd like that and never even thought of it as mocking. hmmm.
I will try to ask if there is anything wrong now before I just assume she is being sassy.
Thanks!
post #10 of 20
I was actually poking around here tonight b/c of this exact frustration. treeoflife3, thank you very much for that insight.
post #11 of 20
I point out to my daughter that I do NOT talk to/treat her that way and don't appreciate her thinking it's okay for her to talk to/treat me disrespectfully. When she's ready to be civil, I'm here. Until then? Don't expect me to put up with it.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post
I can say that the ONE thing my mom failed to do with me that would have helped (and I had even told her that I needed it but she ignored me) was to allow me to feel what I was feeling. If she had taken the time to address that I was annoyed or angry and to talk about WHY and to work together to find more appropriate ways to express it, I think we would have had a much better relationship.
One thing I've explained to my DD is that there is a HUGE difference between feelings and behavior. Slouching, sighing and eyerolling aren't feelings. They are behaviors.

I think that part of the problem with young teens is that they often don't really understand what they feel or why they feel it, so they just act out.

We talk about how she feels and try to work together. I find the book "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen" helpful.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
One thing I've explained to my DD is that there is a HUGE difference between feelings and behavior. Slouching, sighing and eyerolling aren't feelings. They are behaviors.

I think that part of the problem with young teens is that they often don't really understand what they feel or why they feel it, so they just act out.

We talk about how she feels and try to work together. I find the book "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen" helpful.
I agree with this. We spend a lot of time talking with the girls about how they feel and why. That helps them to grow emotionally.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Treeoflife3 your post is very helpful. I too was raised in a family where I wasn't allowed to express any strong emotions, and that is a big part of what prompted my OP. I remember vividly how frustrated and invalidated I felt when my parents would just shut me down whenever I expressed any anger or frustration. I don't want to do that to DD.

I want to validate DD's feelings AND help her to communicate in an effective and respectful way. The times I have felt the best about our interactions have been the times I have been able to be mindful enough to say "you seem to be having really stong feelings about this, is there something else going on that is bothering you?" Often she will then be able to talk about whatever is underlying the attitude. Too often, though I get frustrated with her and am impatient or angry in my response back to her.

This is a really good reminder that patience and reflection are much better tools for relationship building and my end goal is always to have a better relationship with her. When I can keep my cool and stay calm and focused our conversations always go much better and she is more likely to drop the "attitude" and be real with me.

Lindaonthemove I think you make a really good point about teens not always having a firm grasp on what they are feeling and often working it out in their behaviors. It's another good reason for more reflection and less jumping on DD for her attitude.

This is really helping me to reframe my thinking from a need to correct the behaviors to focusing on the underlying feelings that are being expressed by them. Thanks to you all for the thoughtful responses!
post #15 of 20
I ignore it as long as they do what they are asked to do.
post #16 of 20
I have a 12 year old that was behaving similar....I started taking her for some one-on-one time. Now we go every Thursday night to Starbucks or somewhere fun and I help her study for her weekly Social Studies test then we talk about the week. It has really helped my daughter to open up!
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHalverson View Post
I have a 12 year old that was behaving similar....I started taking her for some one-on-one time. Now we go every Thursday night to Starbucks or somewhere fun and I help her study for her weekly Social Studies test then we talk about the week. It has really helped my daughter to open up!
I find that one on one time works really well, too.
post #18 of 20
Another one for ignore it. Unless it's really really in my face (which she rarely is) we overlook it and continue to keep our tone light, but firm. I'm not going to make a mountain out of a molehill, and asking a 16 year old to never ever have an attitude is, imho, really unreasonable. That doesn't mean I put up with disrespect, but it does mean that I'm not going to keep her in trouble all the time.
If she's really bad about it we gently point it out, "Hey, you don't need to talk like that ; I'm not threatening you, we're just talking. Can you try that again?". We also have a rule that if she doesn't like the way we've said something she can ask, "Can you rephrase that?" and are working on the difference between, "that MAKES me mad" and, "I FEEL mad when you say that" (e.g. taking responsibility for your own emotions, and understanding that no one but you controls that). So far this approach has worked really really well with her really severe anger problems. After two years has turned into just a relatively normal attitude.

I have a stricter rule with the way she treats the little ones in the house, though... sometimes she can carry a tone over to them or speak in unfair ways, and we're quick to call her on that (subtly, so not to needlessly embarrass her). If you consider it as not something they do on purpose, but more of something they may not realize they're doing (I realize this isn't the case all the time, but stay with me) it makes it easier to approach the behavior in a respectful way without adding fuel to a fire. If you think about it like your teenager is being malicious and awful to you 24/7 it'll just make it that much harder for you to talk... and I do realize how hard it is NOT to take it personally.

Respectful conversation is REALLY important in the house and to be honest I think the best thing we've done to improve her communication is to model it. When my husband and I fight we try to resolve it quietly and openly, keep our voices low (though sometimes too firm! No one's perfect!), call each other on sarcasm, model walking away to cool off, and are sure to show those around us that we've made up and were able to work it out. I don't believe that running and hiding to finish a disagreement helps anyone... and M has told us before that seeing us have an argument and make up may be slightly uncomfortable (is it ever awesome to watch someone fight?), but she's admitted to eavesdropping many a time to see how we talk it out... and then using the words we've used to try and work out arguments with her boyfriend.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleteapot View Post
Another one for ignore it. Unless it's really really in my face (which she rarely is) we overlook it and continue to keep our tone light, but firm. I'm not going to make a mountain out of a molehill, and asking a 16 year old to never ever have an attitude is, imho, really unreasonable. That doesn't mean I put up with disrespect, but it does mean that I'm not going to keep her in trouble all the time.
If she's really bad about it we gently point it out, "Hey, you don't need to talk like that ; I'm not threatening you, we're just talking. Can you try that again?". We also have a rule that if she doesn't like the way we've said something she can ask, "Can you rephrase that?" and are working on the difference between, "that MAKES me mad" and, "I FEEL mad when you say that" (e.g. taking responsibility for your own emotions, and understanding that no one but you controls that). So far this approach has worked really really well with her really severe anger problems. After two years has turned into just a relatively normal attitude.

I have a stricter rule with the way she treats the little ones in the house, though... sometimes she can carry a tone over to them or speak in unfair ways, and we're quick to call her on that (subtly, so not to needlessly embarrass her). If you consider it as not something they do on purpose, but more of something they may not realize they're doing (I realize this isn't the case all the time, but stay with me) it makes it easier to approach the behavior in a respectful way without adding fuel to a fire. If you think about it like your teenager is being malicious and awful to you 24/7 it'll just make it that much harder for you to talk... and I do realize how hard it is NOT to take it personally.

Respectful conversation is REALLY important in the house and to be honest I think the best thing we've done to improve her communication is to model it. When my husband and I fight we try to resolve it quietly and openly, keep our voices low (though sometimes too firm! No one's perfect!), call each other on sarcasm, model walking away to cool off, and are sure to show those around us that we've made up and were able to work it out. I don't believe that running and hiding to finish a disagreement helps anyone... and M has told us before that seeing us have an argument and make up may be slightly uncomfortable (is it ever awesome to watch someone fight?), but she's admitted to eavesdropping many a time to see how we talk it out... and then using the words we've used to try and work out arguments with her boyfriend.
Thanks for your post. This was very helpful.
post #20 of 20
I am really thankful for this thread. At this moment I'm taking a breather because our pleasant night has devolved into a bit of a struggle. Needless to say, all of the above advice couldn't be more timely! I'm off to try and get things back on track........
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Preteens and Teens
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Preteens and Teens › How do you handle...