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11 year old not listening

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm really at a loss here.. again. My husband and I (my daughter's stepdad) absolutely cannot get my daughter to listen. I've told her about ten times NOT to have food and/or drink in her room. She just does not listen and keeps doing it anyway! We've both totally had it with this and I'm not sure what to do about it. Any ideas? We're both really angry but out of ideas..
post #2 of 10
What have you tried? Does she lose a priviledge (tv, phone, something that means something to her) for breaking rules? I have an 11 year old ds, and while he is good most of the time, he does need to be reminded occassionally that all of the fun things he enjoys are priviledges, not rights, and can be taken away if he refuses to follow our rules. Works well for us!
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
We've tried taking privileges away but it doesn't seem to work. It's like she just doesn't care what we say, & that is ultra frustrating!
post #4 of 10
have you asked her why she doesn't listen? Preferably at a moment that's positive and quiet, i.e. not right when this kind of stuff happens?
post #5 of 10
My 10 1/2 year old ds doesn't really respond to losing to privelages either. He has gone for weeks without TV, computer, friends, anything that means anything to him. He just goes about his day like it's not a big deal. I'm finding this age to be very difficult. He'll be so great and helpful one day and the next it's like he's 5 again. I find that if I spend an extra hour or so a few times a week playing a game or something with just him it makes a difference.
post #6 of 10
How about trying to work with your daughter, rather than getting into a power struggle? Why do you have a "no food or drinks in the bedroom" rule? Do you run short of dishes? Do you get ants? Does she share a room with a sibling who gets upset? We get ants, so we both try not to eat in bedrooms. Water bottles are okay, though, and so are sealed bags of things. I'm not into rules, but my daughter knows that if she eats in her bedroom, it's important to clean everything up as soon as possible so the ants don't invade. Because she understands the reason, she's pretty good about keeping dirty dishes and food remains picked up.

Sometimes she forgets, gets busy or whatever. If I happen to see a dish as I'm coming through or kissing her goodnight, I'll pick it up or ask if she can grab it on her way out. She does the same for me (I love a bowl of cheerios, walnuts, and chocolate chips when I read in bed). We're on the same side...

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've been giving this a lot of thought, and it really is a combination of a power struggle & good reasons why we don't eat or drink in the bedrooms.

We just bought a house. The apartment where we lived before we moved here had to have the carpets replaced because so much stuff was spilled in the bedroom -- the were stains everywhere and my daughter would also leave food remains all over her room so that the stuff would become moldy! It would stink.. etc.. my daughter isn't very clean.

It definitely turns into a power stuggle between us, because the bigger issue is that she just does not listen to what I ask. I start off very kind, asking nicely and explaining why and stuff, but she completely disregards what I say -- there's just no respect. I feel like I'm failing miserably at raising her!

I feel like our attachment is suffering because of the adolescent stages that she's going through. Right now I'm reading a book called "Get Out of My Life -- But first can you take me and Cheryl to the Mall?" So far it's pretty good. The thing I like is that it's explaining why adolescents act the way that they do, instead of telling you what to do about it. I figure if I can gain some perspective, I can choose my battles accordingly.

Thanks for the replies!! They really made me think.
post #8 of 10
Its already started with my almost 10 y/o son. He is the same way. Although he is pretty good at home, most of our problems are at school.

The things he's doing now are safety issues. ie: throwing things in the house (we have a one year old, so this is a big teaching spot for her and he seems to suddenly think it is ok to do) and doing cartwheels in public. I know this is a big deal for him that he CAN do them... he is proud of himself (as he should be) but doing a cartwheel in the middle of Wal*Mart .... it is not the time or place (and he KNOWS this).

The problems in school are more on the social level. We are seeking counselling for that.

We have tried taking things away... tv, video games, phone, allowance... and none of it seems to matter to him, either.

He has told me that he feels that he gets more attention when he misbehaves. It breaks my heart, but he is probably right. With a baby, it is so hard. Even though he is old enough to understand that she needs more attention right now. We were doing a 'guys night out' where he would go do something with just dh, and he really enjoyed that... but that has been taken away recently due to some behavior in school. I just am at a loss, too.

why is parenting so hard??
post #9 of 10
Have you read "The Indigo Child". Your daughter sounds very much like two of my four. After finding the book a few years back, I was able to understand my two "indigo children" better.

"The Indigo Child" isn't for everyone. It is a matter of personal choice.

They do have a website:


Take care and remember, this too shall pass!!

post #10 of 10
My daughter is 16. She prefers to eat in her room, alone, or while talking to friends on the phone and listening to HER music. We also have ants, but she's fairly good about cleaning up after herself. I feel like the real issue here is a need to be away from and separate from the family. It hurts me and angers my husband and her younger brother, but that's the way it is these days.

She'll either be doing homework, working on the computer, talking on the phone, or watching TV when she's home. By being "busy and unavailable," she avoids interaction with family members.

Could our kids just be creating a little space of their own in a frightening world... a place with their own (or no) rules?

I'm going to check out The Indigo Child, and "Get out of My Life.." I need something to soothe the hurt that comes from being discarded by the child I spent the last 16 plus years of my life attending to at the expense of my own self worth. I wish I could offer some suggestions, but an accepting attitude is the best thing I can think of now, especially when it comes to minor details of life.
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