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help me deconstruct this interaction with my 12 yr old....min update, post 45 - Page 2

post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

I think you were really kind about it!  If i'd acted that way at 12 my mother would have put the 6 garbage bags in my bed!  And she wouldn't have been joking about being queen.  She would have told me when i own and run the house i get to have an attitude about what i'm asked to do but that as long as i am housed, fed and clothed by my parents i needed to recognise their position above me in the household.  She *might* have ignored the stupid comment, unless it was really loud, but if it was audible but just barely she would have said, quietly "be careful, i can hear your thoughts and you don't want to hear mine".

 

I don't have teen DD's (mine are 4 and 7months!) and i'm kind of dreading this stage, but i actually think you were very fair and even-handed over this.  You can let her read my post and see how lucky she is!



AP doesn't stop when they quit being cute. Many of us were raised with a very heavy hand. I think that what adolescents are like is shaped a bit by how they were treated when they were small, and I think it may be uglier for kids who know they are unconditionally loved, and have grown up without fearing their parents (because they haven't been spanked, shamed, etc.) 

 

I think that part of what makes it esp. hard for AP moms is that we tend to tuned into wanting our kids to be happy (the whole never leaving them to cry thing). Adolescents go through stages where they really aren't very happy at all and it just doesn't feel right to us. We want to fix it. We aren't sure how to stay centered when we see our kids so off kilter.

 

Yet, there's nothing to dread. It's an amazing, dynamic time. It's different, and they are finding their own voices in new ways. Sometimes it's bumpy, but there are really great things about this time.


LOL, I was never spanked or shamed either!  My mother WAS AP.  She just demanded respect.  And i did respect her.  It wasn't that she didn't want me to be happy, it was that she knew she wasn't responsible for my happiness (i was her 6th, she didn't have such a clear-cut view tih the eldest 4).  Is that un-AP?  She was happy to commiserate with me over not wanting to do chores, she was not willing to be disrespected over it though, she made me see from being very small that chores were a fact of life and that she wasn't making the work, she was just asking us to do our fair share.

 

I think i dread it because i don't know how it will go.  DD1 is already acting like a teen!  And i know from my own upbringing that i responded really well to how my parent raised me, my brother didn't.  I feel sad for my dad seeing his son turn out how he did, and frightened it could happen to me.


How is putting 6 bags of garbage in your child's bed or being serious about being queen, as you said she would have done in this situation, or deciding that someone can't express negative emotions because they aren't the ones running the house AP? Honestly, I would have told either one of my parents to F off if they had to told me I wasn't allowed to express negative emotions until I was running my own household. You don't like how someone reacts to something, it's better to talk later about other ways they can choose to react rather than tell them "you can't do that yet, you don't have the authority."

post #22 of 47

Also, since she took your "queen" comment literally, I'd apologize for that.  Then you can ask her to apologize for saying "stupid people."  Model how to apologize when others' feelings are hurt. 

post #23 of 47
I agree 100% with everything Linda on the Move has said (and with some other pps too). I don't have a 12 year old but I've dealt with explosiveness and there are some similarities such as needing to let a lot go and not escalate things. You work on solutions together instead of giving punishments. I think your duty should be working on your relationship with her first and foremost rather than calling her out everytime she lets off some steam.
post #24 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post

 I think your duty should be working on your relationship with her first and foremost rather than calling her out everytime she lets off some steam.


Yesterday she called me a liar (long story...which I tried to discuss with her, but instead of apologising for lashing out and hurting my feelings, which I told her she did, she hyper focused on the fact that she did not call me a liar but said I was "lying").  People can have negative emotions, they can let off steam (indeed I went for a walk after the liar comment to let off steam) but they should not be disrespectful, belligerent or hurtful.  She is often all 3.

 

Thanks everyone for your insight - I agree with much of it, but not all - and I am appreciative of everyones replies and the food for thought they have given me.

 

 

 

post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
 People can have negative emotions, they can let off steam (indeed I went for a walk after the liar comment to let off steam) but they should not be disrespectful, belligerent or hurtful.  She is often all 3.

 


I'm sorry that you are going through this, and I think it's great that you've made an appointment for counseling for her. My older DD spent some time in counseling and it was VERY helpful to her and to me as a parent. I think things are going as well as they are now because when they really were out of control, my DH and I were honest with ourselves about it and sought outside help.

 

I think it's really hard to tell what is *normal* at this age and what means that something is really wrong. If I remember right, this is your DD's first year in school after homeschooling, and that could be bringing stuff up to, or she may be acting out stress, or something. A good counselor can help sort all that out and help figure out a path forward that is positive.

 

Good luck! I hope things get better.

post #26 of 47

I love your example of putting yourself in the child's shoes. If we (parents) want a positive and loving relationship w/ our kids, we have to treat them how we would want to be treated. Also, it instills prerequisites for their future mates. They won't accept people treating them poorly. Nice post! : )
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

but part of it is about YOUR attitude. For example, I cook dinner every night. My DH works long hours and I work part time. I'm also the better cook. Me cooking dinner every night is part of our "deal," and I see it as part of my job. My DH always genuinely thanks me for making dinner. He really appreciates it. Because he truly appreciates it, it feels different to me. If his attitude was

"She lives here and it takes a certain amount of work to keep a household running.  Everyone needs to contribute. "  it would feel like a chore and be a pain.

 

If you don't feel grateful for what she does to help, it makes total sense to me that she has an attitude about it.

 

If, once she had taken all the trash out, you had ignored her comment and instead focused on what she had accomplished and genuinely thanked her for her help, the evening would have been different for every member of your family and she would have learned far more about how to treat others.  It's a matter of what you focus on. In her mind, "she did as told and still got in trouble." You could have pivoted that to "she did as told, and you really appreciated it."  Besides, it sounds like you were a little annoyed with her before the whole trash thing happened anyway because she didn't volunteer for the refrigerator job.

 

They don't learn much from our lectures. They learn a lot from our actions.

 

(I hope this doesn't sound like I'm attacking you, because I'm really not. I think your reactions are very reasonable, but they are only part of this that you control. Being told that you are being reasonable doesn't help you get to a different interaction with your DD)

post #27 of 47

I think Unschoolnma, GoBecGo and HappySmiley all have great points that actually mesh really well together for me.  I think Unschoolnma and Happysmiley have really good ideas about what's going on inside and GoBecGo is making a good point about parental boundaries and demanding respect and responsibility from someone who is not wanting to display either.  I also read GoBecGo's description as containing humor and not cruelty.  

 

I do expect my children to contribute to the care and running of our household and when they are doing their regular chores they are not doing me a favor any more than I am doing them a favor when I stock the kitchen with food or pay the rent or provide any of the other things we have grown accustomed to having.  There are times when they do me favors and when I do them favors and there is gratitude shown for favors as well as normal daily stuff but it is different.  I also understand a certain amount of resistance and irritation at duty and I let it roll off unless is gets overly selfish and starts causing misery in the household.    My 13dd certainly causes more than her fair share of household misery and my goal (sometimes I get so enraged by her behavior I blow up and we both behave like hormonal crazy people) is to keep my boundaries firm and allow her to feel what she is feeling and if her feelings are too much for everyone to tolerate than she can go to her private area of the house and explode in there.  I don't demand apologies for myself (sometimes I request she apologize to her brother or stepdad) and she will sometimes offer them much later on or not...not a big deal to me.  She can be so in the moment that a big discussion session of the issue is pointless and silly.  I save those for serious usually safety issues.  Some of the more "textbook" AP suggestions be appropriate for my 11ds but would be ridiculous with dd.  As far as wanting to be heard, and feel you've been heard, by your preteen dd I would suggest you give that up for a while.  You are expecting something from her that she probably does not have to give at this time.  If she does understand your point she may very well never admit it right now.  I suspect this from how she hung on to the Queen thing  she is just not at a point where she will honestly admit to being wrong.  Keep your boundaries and say what you need to say but don't expect any instant gratification from it.  She will grow and mature and be different at some point.  Hang in there and try not to take it too personally.

post #28 of 47

This thread was on my mind last night, and I asked my 12 y/o dd what felt most important to her to have from us (her parents) right now.  Her answer was immediate-"Respect". 

post #29 of 47

Hey!


I don't think this is necessarily a 'girl' issue.  I think it is more of a personality problem.  My oldest son is like this.  He is very confident child who sees things in black and white terms.


Here's what I do to stop things from escalating.....

 

I give him notice when I need something.  Just like a toddler.   'DS, we are doing chores in about 5 minutes'

I write down what I need from him.   He doesn't like to hear me.

I give short, exact sentences of my expectations and then shut it...."DS, if you repeat/talk back/call names again, you will lose your phone for 24 hours.

 

I would suggest that at some point when you guys aren't arguing - you lay down the 'rules'.   Disrespect, namecalling etc.....

I don't take anything or punish him for more than 24 hours.   Grounding for extended periods of time makes teenagers feel like there is no point.

 

The main thing with ds is to spell out AHEAD of time what my expectations are.  In your instance, with the 2 extra bags that couldn't be given advanced warning for, I would then pull in the short exact command (yes, I said command) with the caveat that phone takage would be occuring with any bad mouthing.  You call her out a couple of times, and things will change.

 

I do agree that it sounds like she wants more space.  The counseling will give you parameters and boundaries to help her feel more heard.   But the bottom line is that you don't want the disrespect and I think you are right on about that.  Your dd sounds like my son.  And you sound like me in that you really want to explain to her and make sure she understands the whys.  But at some point all they hear is blah blah blah......That was hard for me because I never felt heard as a child and wanted to do that differently.... 

 

post #30 of 47

It's definitely not a clear cut boy vs girl thing but IME both as a teen girl and the mother of one there are often differences.  Like...the way LAB handles the issues with her son would hardly raise more than an eyebrow with my dd.  She would never give me the satisfaction of being so easy to manipulate/discipline.  If she's willing to do something even if she doesn't want to just repeating my request is enough but if she is going to fight it she will take it much much farther than a short loss of privileges will fix.  I also try to be honest and real life logical about what I do to maintain order in the house and enforce my personal boundaries.  She has a phone that I provide that has all the bells and whistles a phone can provide but if she isn't willing to contribute her share in a mostly civil manner I see no reason why I should be providing those extras.  She's not denied access to a phone but she doesn't get to carry it around and play with it all day.  If she is acting in an unsafe way she can't be out and about unsupervised for her own safety (my dd has some issues that make this important that I'm sure many kids her age don't have) and if she is being very unpleasant and creating misery in the household and refusing to contribute I'm sure I will be way to tired and cranky to ferry her around or have her friends over.  None of those are fixes though and she will give up a lot to avoid cooperating with me.  It's just repetition and perseverence until the day she grows into herself.  

post #31 of 47

Within 5--10 years, she'll be an adult and (most likely) out of your house.  What kind of relationship do you want with her then?  That's the kind of relationship YOU need to cultivate now.  (And not blame it on "she's belligerent," etc., because she will change if you do.  It may not be immediate, but it will happen.)

 

post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

It costs me nothing to make her feel like she's doing me a favor. But it makes her feel good. And appreciation and thank you's? Cost nothing. But generate a ton of good will.

 

I agree on the please and thank you. I did say please and should have thanked her.  

I disagree on the favour part though...she is not doing me a favour by putting out the garbages.  She lives here and it takes a certain amount of work to keep a household running.  Everyone needs to contribute.  


I agree with Mtiger on this one. My husband and I both live in our house and contribute to the creation oof gargage and other messes. Maybe "favour" is the wrong word but I think you can still be appreciative of someone doing a task even if it is an assigned chore. DH and I frequently thank each other for taking the rubbish out, washing dishes etc. It certainly helps me to feel  good about things which I don't necessarily enjoy doing.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post

 I think your duty should be working on your relationship with her first and foremost rather than calling her out everytime she lets off some steam.


Yesterday she called me a liar (long story...which I tried to discuss with her, but instead of apologising for lashing out and hurting my feelings, which I told her she did, she hyper focused on the fact that she did not call me a liar but said I was "lying").   

 

 



Did she call you a liar or did she say she thought you were lying? Has she heard a lot (or even a little bit) about how you should label the behaviour and not the person? Because maybe she thought that's what she was doing and that she actually did a good thing by not just saying "You're a liar!" but instead labeling a behaviour which she didn't like (I'm not saying you did lie to her BTW). Which may be why she got hung up on that. She perceived that she was being criticised for doing something which she'd previously been told was a better way to handle a situation.

 

Feel free to completely disregard the above if she did, in fact, use the word "liar" and has never been told to label the behaviour not the person.  smile.gif

post #33 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

 

 



Did she call you a liar or did she say she thought you were lying? Has she heard a lot (or even a little bit) about how you should label the behaviour and not the person? Because maybe she thought that's what she was doing and that she actually did a good thing by not just saying "You're a liar!" but instead labeling a behaviour which she didn't like (I'm not saying you did lie to her BTW). Which may be why she got hung up on that. She perceived that she was being criticised for doing something which she'd previously been told was a better way to handle a situation.

 

Feel free to completely disregard the above if she did, in fact, use the word "liar" and has never been told to label the behaviour not the person.  smile.gif

 

There is some debate as to whether she said liar or lying - and yes, she has been told to label the behaviour not the person.

 

Even if she said:  "You are lying" she was completely incorrect, jumped to conclusions and spoke without thinking of the consequences and the accusation hurt.  
 

post #34 of 47

When a person is going through hormonal or cognitive changes the people around them shouldn't take their emotional behavior personally. There are different periods in a persons life when they just aren't in control of their reactions. My youngest DD was had many moments during her toddler and preschool years when she just couldn't handle her big emotions. It's so much easier to deal with outbursts if I and DH stay calm and don't take it personally. My older DD had a very rough 13th and 14th year. I was  stupider back then and things wouldn't have been better if I had stayed calm and not taken any of it personally. And then my DH had to deal with me when I was pregnant. I was really demanding and got upset easily. I think making exceptions for each other and not taking it personally when loved ones are going through stuff that makes them emotional or moody is part of being a family.

post #35 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

Within 5--10 years, she'll be an adult and (most likely) out of your house.  What kind of relationship do you want with her then?  That's the kind of relationship YOU need to cultivate now.  (And not blame it on "she's belligerent," etc., because she will change if you do.  It may not be immediate, but it will happen.)

 

 

 

I have tried letting things go, tried repairing the relationship an bonding with her, but she still acts belligerent, touchy, selfish, etc.  It is very frustrating to try and make changes and let things go and not have someone meet you part way.     The result of "letting things go" was I ignored her attitude issues, which is hardly fair to my other children, and everyone walked on eggshells for fear of setting her off.   

 

Calling her on her crap is exhausting and causes arguments but I least I am not letting her walk all over everyone in this family.  It is important to model boundaries.

 

I am not sure how to change.  As I said, letting things go did not work and left me feeling like a doormat and like I was not living up to my responsability as her parent.

 

It is a very easy thing to say one needs to repair a relationship; it is a very difficult thing to do when the other person is not trying/ thinks everything you say is useless and is explosive/belligerent.  Really, you try it.

 

I sound very angry and I am (and then I feel very guilty for being so angry with my child).  This is a child who has been much loved, respected, listenned to and treated generously since birth, and in the last 6 months/year has turned into someone who is extremely difficult to live with and is borderline toxic in this house.  I have tried to fix this and I can't.bawling.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #36 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post

When a person is going through hormonal or cognitive changes the people around them shouldn't take their emotional behavior personally. There are different periods in a persons life when they just aren't in control of their reactions. My youngest DD was had many moments during her toddler and preschool years when she just couldn't handle her big emotions. It's so much easier to deal with outbursts if I and DH stay calm and don't take it personally. My older DD had a very rough 13th and 14th year. I was  stupider back then and things wouldn't have been better if I had stayed calm and not taken any of it personally. And then my DH had to deal with me when I was pregnant. I was really demanding and got upset easily. I think making exceptions for each other and not taking it personally when loved ones are going through stuff that makes them emotional or moody is part of being a family.



Yeah...maybe.

 

At least pregnancy has an end date...I have no idea if this is normal puberty angst or something more, and when it is going to end.  That is hard.

post #37 of 47

A lot of the ways you describe your daughter (everyone has to walk on eggshells around her, touchy, selfish, disrespectful, quick to anger etc) sound a LOT like I was at 13.  I could certainly be reading too much into it as a lot of this definitely comes with typical young teenagers and I know nothing of her history however I was very depressed at that age.  In fact, suicidal between the ages of 13 and 14.  how I managed to get past being suicidal with no one even knowing that was the case or getting any help for it and also no attempts is beyond me but I do still suffer from chronic depression and I am still some of those things (especially touchy)

 

I could be way off base here, but since you are on the waitlist for counseling, perhaps something like that might come up.  Not suicide, that was just my own experience, but this could be something more than being a typical young teenager.

 

for what it is worth though, it is definitely true that making jokes at this point is not a good idea.  Things can be taken SO wrong and a harmless joke can be made out to be a personal attack.  I also agree that a specified chore list rather than asking to do things randomly will be good.  I HATED having one as a teenager and felt like I was being treated like a little child, but ultimately, it worked a lot better for me than randomly asking me to do things.  I needed to know ahead of time what I would need to do so I could make sure I did it by the time line, both giving me the ability to put it off out of defiance while also still making sure I get it done in time for my mom's sake.  It was a psychological thing for me hehe.

post #38 of 47

Just joining the choir here, but... yes, it's completely normal for a 12 year old girl to act just like this, and yes, it drove me up a wall and was a fairly awful time for both of us, and yes, she did outgrow it and by 14 was just a much more centered and happy person. The only thing that really helped at all was to try to choose battles carefully and not take it personally, and to think of her as having some sort of illness that made her less able to regulate her emotions. 

 

If it helps, it's not because you did something wrong and it's not something she's doing intentionally, and it will end... oh, and yes, jokes totally backfired at that age. They made Rain feel like I was laughing at her and not taking her seriously. Before 11 and after 13, jokes were fine and dandy...

post #39 of 47

i just wanted to send some hugs your way... i was the awful dd you are describing, i often remember my mom saying i had everyone walking on eggshells bag.gif

 

my mom and i have a good relationship now but we still have very different love languages. living together just wasn't easy at all.

 

oh and for me personally i think i had serotonin issues on top of the hormones. no matter how horrid i was, i knew deep down i loved my family but it was so hard for me to break down the walls.

 

i could go on and on so feel free to pm me.

post #40 of 47
Thread Starter 

Thanks again.

 

Despite the fact I have been venting here, I have compiled a list of things to do.  They include:

 

-saying thank you - even when she has been witchy about the task

-assigned chores. Indeed we are going to discuss this one in about 10 minutes.  

-no joking

 

 

I will try and disengage early in any altercation and let DH handle it.  Maybe he can handle it better - he does not seem to take things as personally as I, and is a little slower to react.

 

That is about all i can handle at the moment in terms of change.  I do not know if it will bring about change in her - but they may lessen the number altercations.

 

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