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

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#31 of 47 Old 01-15-2011, 03:52 PM
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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.)

 


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#32 of 47 Old 01-15-2011, 04:19 PM
 
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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.
 

 



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 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


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#33 of 47 Old 01-15-2011, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.  
 

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#34 of 47 Old 01-15-2011, 06:15 PM
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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.

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#35 of 47 Old 01-15-2011, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#36 of 47 Old 01-15-2011, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#37 of 47 Old 01-15-2011, 06:35 PM
 
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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.

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#38 of 47 Old 01-15-2011, 06:46 PM
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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...


 
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#39 of 47 Old 01-15-2011, 07:29 PM
 
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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.


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#40 of 47 Old 01-16-2011, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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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#41 of 47 Old 01-16-2011, 08:48 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

 

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").  P


You don't have any control over her behavior, but you have total control over your reaction to it. There's really no reason why anything she's says *must*  hurt your feelings, make you angry, or effect the way you feel at all. Part of the problem is that you are jumping into her unbalanced state with her, giving her control over your emotions.

 

When her lack of self control starts getting to you, find a way for the two of you to be in separate spaces. Rather than demanding something from her (which she isn't capable of right now) disengage. Take a few minutes to yourself (do a little deep breathing, color a mandela, surf the net, etc.) or if you have things you need to do in the main part of the house, nicely say that you guys needs break from each other, but that you will be working in the kitchen, and politely ask her to be in a different part of the house. "We need to NOT be in the same part of the house for a little while" may be the most helpful thing she can hear from you.

 

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 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.   

 

... 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. 

 

"Walking on eggshells in fear" and "letting things go" aren't the same thing. It's really OK if she loses it. That's just where she is right now. She may need more time alone that she used to. She may need some space to be grumpy. Every example that you've given is about how her behavior effected *you* not your other kids, and how much you let this get to you (or not) is totally up to you. 
 

I totally relate to the "much loved, respected, listened to, and treated generously" thing, and I know several other parents on here do too. These are kids who were breastfeed, co-slept, experienced only gentle discipline, etc. Yet they still get hormones!  It really isn't fair. But we did all those things because they were the right thing to do, because they felt right in our hearts. Not because they came with a money back guarantee that our kids would always be pleasant and never go through any icky stages. 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#42 of 47 Old 01-17-2011, 09:54 AM
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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.)

 


 

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 have a 13 year old daughter. 

 


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#43 of 47 Old 01-17-2011, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post



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.)

 


 

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 have a 13 year old daughter. 

 



Not all 13 year olds are the same.

 

Sorry for the snark earlier, though, I am a little raw.

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#44 of 47 Old 01-17-2011, 01:41 PM
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One more book recommendation:  Unconditional Parenting

 

http://www.amazon.com/Unconditional-Parenting-Moving-Rewards-Punishments/dp/0743487486/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295300461&sr=8-1


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#45 of 47 Old 01-17-2011, 03:18 PM
 
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Hey Kathy, I've been thinking about this thread the last couple of days.  DD is 11.5 and has been extremely temperamental since infancy.  Eleven has seen an uptick in the oppositional attitude and a new, rude approach.  I've read so many books, she's seen a counsellor, I've seen a counsellor - you get the picture to some degree.

 

The best strategy I've found is to:

a) look at this as a legitimate developmental stage, just like the "terrible twos";

b) to take a long view - what do I want my child to learn (which includes that she can trust me), and what timeline is reasonable (really, she's pretty much in charge of that - just like at two y.o. - all I can do is facilitate, support, and model);

c) her behaviour today is not her forever behaviour;

d) she's doing the best she can, and she's probably pretty miserable to be behaving so miserably and putting barriers within her relationships;

e) this is the most important one : PREFRONTAL CORTEX.  Kids this age are operating with underdeveloped and faulty-functioning brain chemistry, and decision-making/rational thinking goes down in direct proportion to emotions going up.  When she's being an oppositional goof, she literally has limited capacity to switch gears - she's stuck. 

 

I am now extremely sympathetic to my DD's challenges around emotional control, opposition/rigidity etc.  I'm not always perfect at controlling my reactions (eye rolling and snarky tone trigger me), but I try to get back to taking the long view.  Since I've been taking this approach, the obnoxious attitude is mostly gone, although she still gets stuck sometimes.  She's easier to unstick now, because I don't approach her as if she should know better, I approach her sympathetically that she's overwhelmed by strong emotions.  I find the storm passes quickly and 99% of the time she apologizes for not being more productive in her approach, and can identify what she would rather have done/said.


Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#46 of 47 Old 01-27-2011, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I met with the counsellor yesterday.  She seemed really nice and fairly liberal minded, which was a relief!    I think DD will like her, which is essential if this is going to be helpful.  She asked about our history, what was going, school, etc.  She also asked what I was hoping counselling would accomplish.  DD meets with her in two weeks.  She had originally baled at the idea of going - but seems Ok with it now.  I put it to her as "we do not always get along so well, i need someone to help us figure out how to stop exploding at each other".  I also let her know it is her chance to complain about me - which I am sure she will enjoy, lol

 

We have been doing reasonably well in the last 2 weeks.  I have not been called any names, and there have not been any major blows ups.  I am trying to ignore behaviour.  I am not overly comfortable doing so - but it is better than blowing up with each other.  It is a stop gap measure until we both have better tools to deal with things.

 

Thanks again everyone - there was lots to think about in this post.

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#47 of 47 Old 01-27-2011, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post

 

 

The best strategy I've found is to:

a) look at this as a legitimate developmental stage, just like the "terrible twos";

b) to take a long view - what do I want my child to learn (which includes that she can trust me), and what timeline is reasonable (really, she's pretty much in charge of that - just like at two y.o. - all I can do is facilitate, support, and model);

c) her behaviour today is not her forever behaviour;

d) she's doing the best she can, and she's probably pretty miserable to be behaving so miserably and putting barriers within her relationships;

e) this is the most important one : PREFRONTAL CORTEX.  Kids this age are operating with underdeveloped and faulty-functioning brain chemistry, and decision-making/rational thinking goes down in direct proportion to emotions going up.  When she's being an oppositional goof, she literally has limited capacity to switch gears - she's stuck. 

 

 

 This a great approach.
 

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