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

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#1 of 47 Old 01-13-2011, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Critique the following and be brutal if need be.  DD and I have interaction like this constantly and I need to figure out a new way to deal with her.

 

Dh asked DD to put out the garbages.  He told her to put out 4 bags, as we have a four bag limit.  She did so (rather grudgingly).  While she was out, I reminded DH that our neighbour allows us to use his excess garbage allottment - and that the 2 extra bags can go at the neighbours.  DD comes in, and I say - "please put the other 2 bags at the neighbours".  Well, she rants and raves and says "why did we not say so before?"  and I told her it was an error - Daddy forgot we could place bags at the neighbours.  It took her about 5 minutes to convince her she needed to put the other bags out - and ended with her muttering under her breath about "stupid people".  At this point I would like to point out that everyone in the house had done more chores than her today - and that I had asked her to put out the garbage earlier in the day, but she "forgot".  It was not an unreasonable request.

 

I was quite annoyed by the arguing and calling people stupid, so when she returned I told her she needed to go to her room and she could come down when she was ready to aologize.

 

She argued about going to her room, and said she did not see why she had to and that I saw myself as above her.  I replied that yes, I was queen.  She did not find it funny, and went on a rant about how I saw myself as above her.  The thing ended with her in her room, and she came down a few minutes later.  The apology was totally fake.  I decided to talk to her calmly about things, and made the following points:

 

-everyone had done lots of works, and doing the garbage was not unreasonable at all

-calling people stupid is not acceptable.  This is a rising issues (name calling) and I need to nip it in the bud

-I said the queen thing as a joke; I do not think I am above her as a person.  I am her mom, however, and it is my job to raise her to be respectful and responsible, and therefore it is my job to insist she behaves according (which means calling her on her cr@p, and dealing out consequences when need be)

 

I asked her what she felt her part was in this mess, and all she could do was rant and rave about how I said I was "queen".  I said fine - my part in this is that I should not have made a joke about being "queen".  I asked her again what her part was, and she still ranted about the queen comment.  According to her, she  has no responsibility in this.  Sadly, this is not a one-off.  She almost never takes responsibility for her own part in arguements.  

 

My other 2 children (age 8 and almost 15) do not do this.  It is not simply a parenting issue on my part...although I might need to parent her differently.  I am just not sure how.

 

Fwiw, we have fights similar to this 2-4 times a week.  It is exhausting.  It does have a negative effect on our whole family.  Everyone sees her as difficult - because she is.  I do not know how to fix this.  My other children tire of us fighting.  My oldest will sometimes get involved to shut her up - he starts calling names as well, and she stomps off to her room.  Of course, he gets in trouble as well for name calling and not minding his own business, but he does not care as it ends the ranting and arguing.  He has told me this several times.  I did resolve last night that I will not argue in front of the other kids again - if DD and I get into it, we will be moving it upstairs.

 

We are on a waitlist (we should be up in about 3 weeks - yay!) for counselling - I would like responses other than "go get counselling. Thanks!

 

Kathy

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#2 of 47 Old 01-13-2011, 08:15 AM
 
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I see your 15-year-old is a boy so you've not experienced the joys of a girl this age. What you are experiencing is pretty normal particularly between moms and daughters. Girls this age often see mom as a tyrant. They are trying to differentiate themselves from the key female figure in their life and unfortunately, that's you. They are also hormonal and subject to mood swings. It's a rough time.

 

We've had about 6 months of this with DD. She's close to 14 but she's also later on the physical developmental stage (just started her period last month.) She's moppy and private. She can not seem to acknowledge that she's extremely expressive facially. She would never tell me I'm stupid but her face certainly shows it. I've been trying to give her her space to grow up and figure out who she is. I tell her I'm open for discussion and disagreement but if she becomes disrespectful, well, like you, I pull the "queen" card. I'm trying hard to really listen and to allow her to win once in awhile when she's handling things well. We've also taken to having DH handle the bigger issues like asking her to clean her room for guests and such. She doesn't love having DH tell her what to do but she doesn't instantly jump on the defensive like she does with me.

 

I don't think counselling is warranted yet. It sounds like you are just experiencing the tween/young teen girl. Thankfully, they don't stay that way forever.


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#3 of 47 Old 01-13-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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We have the same problem the other way around...DD is 12 and started her cycles a few months ago.  But its DH that bears the brunt of her behaviour.  He can't do anything or say anything without it being taken wrong on some days.  "DD please take out the trash" is interpreted as him yelling at her...um no...he wasn't. They they  both turn to me to resolve the issue..sigh.....

 

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#4 of 47 Old 01-13-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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my 15 yr old DS is like that. argues with everything i say. always sighing and going on about why does he have to do it etc. my 7 yr old DSD is now starting to do it as well. :shrug. it is completely annoying. i need them to do there part but it seems like they try to give me a headache on purpose so i wont ask them. i just repeat what i want and dont give in to their arguing. i do draw a line. no name calling, no yelling, no snide remarks. but i just cant seem to win, ie them doing stuff nicely without giving me a headache. i cant wait to see if anyone else has ideas....

 

DS was diagnosed as ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) but at his last evaluation they said they couldnt label him that way any more bc he is not physically violent. all they diagnosed him as was ADD. he himself says he is just lazy, doeasnt want to do it, and admits to making me miserable so i will quit asking. he also admitted that he realizes it hasnt been working. he is hormonal and in the throws of teenagedom. i just try o be consistan and not let him draw me into an argument.

 

he says "why do i have to do ....?" with the snotty tone. i just repeat me request again in a nice tone. until he does it. if i answer the why question he will come up with an argument about why that is wrong....


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#5 of 47 Old 01-13-2011, 03:24 PM
 
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Okay, this is going to be rambling and disjointed due to me being sick as bleep. I apologize in advance if it's not helpful in any way, shape, or form.LOL.

 

 Quote:

 It was not an unreasonable request.

I don't disagree. But, there are always multiple perspectives to a thing. From her POV, this is an ad on to a thing she already did not want to do. The instinct here is for her to balk. If she is anything like my Dd at that age (and at 17 sometimes, and me at 34 sometimes ha!) there is often difficulty in pausing to absorb how normal and so not a big deal the request or situation is. Her pre garbage activity was now further stalled because of someone else's oversight. And that sucks. So instead of "Really? Why? Ohhh okay. Ughhh.Be right back." we get :"What?! More? Now I have to go all the way back out there with more garbage and they could have told me. They forgot it... why don't they do it and and and... "  hopmad.gif

 

Quote:

She argued about going to her room, and said she did not see why she had to and that I saw myself as above her.

At this point it's possible she's feeling she's being punished for you/Dh forgetting to tell her about all the garbage initially. NOT that I think that's what you were doing or that you weren't clear about why, but in her pre-teen head she's maybe got some wicked tunnel vision happening. In that moment it's not that she's being sent to her room for being disrespectful to others (the "stupid" comment), it's because she was unhappy about having to go back out there with more garbage. She's also pushing back against the idea that you have the power to control her by sending her to her room. Doesn't matter if she was just in there. It isn't her idea or choice to go there now so friction ensues.

 

Quote:

The apology was totally fake.

Enter the problem with forced apologies...

 

 

I think the points you were made with her were fine. I think she is stuck on the "queen" comment because she is really feeling a growing need for independence and to have more of an adult presence. more power. (Of course she is not an adult yet, but the gears are starting to spin up that way, hormonally speaking.) I would have not enjoyed the name calling either, and that would have been my focus I think. "It's unkind to call people names. It hurts feelings, and in my opinion it doesn't really help us sort out this situation or what we all need. I'd prefer it if you'd have said that you were mad about having to go back out with the garbage rather than to call anyone stupid."

 

Some stuff I am thinking:

* I'd ask her what she would have preferred have happened after it was realized more garbage needed to go out.

 

*Would you have been open to helping her with it if that would have diffused the drama a bit?

 

Hang in there. Girls are fun, eh?

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#6 of 47 Old 01-13-2011, 04:14 PM
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I'd suggest reading the chapter about teens and arguing in the book Nurture Shock.

 

 

Also, did you thank your dd for putting out the 4 bags before you asked her to go back out and put out 2 more?  If not, I can see how she felt unappreciated. 

 


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#7 of 47 Old 01-13-2011, 04:33 PM
 
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Well, she's a 12 year old girl and you are her mother. It's bumpy. My older DD was much easier to live with starting when she was about 13 1/2, and at 14 1/2, I can honestly say I enjoy her company.

 

But 12 was a bad year.

 

Some simple suggestions are:

 

1. Make a chore list and stick with it. Don't add things. Let her know what is expected of her and then just keep expecting the same things every week. She might not like it, but you will have less drama around it.

 

2. No joking. She's just not in that place right now.

 

3. Remind yourself that this is just a very temporary stage and she'll outgrow it soon. Keep seeing her as the wonderful person she truly is rather than seeing her as being where her behavior currently is.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
 It is exhausting.  It does have a negative effect on our whole family.  Everyone sees her as difficult - because she is.

 


Every one is difficult at times, but we all have a choice how we deal with others when they are difficult. You really do have a choice about how you respond to her and how personally you take all this. Sure, it would be easier for you if she were more agreeable, but you can still find your center and stay there, even though she hasn't a clue where her's is. Her negative mood doesn't HAVE to effect you the way it does. Your emotions really aren't linked to hers. You don't need her to be happy for you to be OK.

 

Pick your battles (because pretty much any thing can be a battle between a 12 year old girl and her mother) and just let some stuff slide.

 

<<<I was quite annoyed by the arguing and calling people stupid, so when she returned I told her she needed to go to her room and she could come down when she was ready to aologize.>>

 

This is the point where I think you *could* have chosen to drop the whole thing. She took out the trash TWICE. And then you punished her and wanted her to feel sorry. You have a choice about exactly how annoyed you get. (I totally get why you were annoyed, and I would have been to, but we both still have a choice about how much to jump into our kids hormonal swings. We can choose to de-escalate.)

 

I read a book called something like "Get out of my life, but first can you take me to the mall" which talked about about kids this age and made me feel better!

 

 

 

Good luck!!!!

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#8 of 47 Old 01-13-2011, 04:45 PM
 
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Kathy, I have been having similar interactions w/my 12 y/o dd.  While intellectually I understand not to take it personally, I do mourn the easy going, loving child who never argued!  As a pp said, this type of separating and individuating is the work of adolescence, if you will.  I think for some it is stormier than for others.  If I can gain the distance, sometimes I have to laugh.  The view of this age is incredibly one sided-my dd can be very expressive facially as well, muttering under her breath at the same time.  She genuinely seems surprised when I call her on something, as if I wasn't standing there watching it all.

 

What I end up balancing is whether every interaction, all day, feels like this, and for our family, it doesn't.  I feel like this is textbook hormonal, preteen stuff-becoming more inward, private, moody, yet exhilarated and animated when with friends.  Not all the time, but it's there.  I'm in a place of needing to be clear about my boundaries-disrespect and rudeness are just out.  But most interactions aren't outright full of this--it's sort of little bits that creep in, and I don't know if dd always realizes she's doing it.  

 

I am definitely finding that time is helpful in communicating about issues like this.  My dd is really better at talking about things after she's had some space.  I find I need to be open to hearing what she's saying, and open to being there when she actually wants to talk about it!  We're finding that being in the car together, driving, provides some of the most neutral, and intimate times for talking things out.

 

Oh, I could go on.  This is new territory for us, and I'm feeling like I'm fumbling around.  Good luck.

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#9 of 47 Old 01-13-2011, 05:42 PM
 
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Quote:

*disclaimer* I have not even had my first baby yet, and I realize when I get to this stage with my kids I may laugh heartily at my own words.  I have worked with 0-high schoolers over the past 6 years and am my mom's sounding board/person to vent to with regards to raising my 3 teenage sisters. So just in case my thoughts are at all helpful, here goes.  **

 

You engaged in the argument.  She was frustrating and disrespectful, but since you can't forcefully change her behavior I am going to skip pointing those parts out.  

 

*You aren't explicit in you OP about how you phrased it, but I agree it is important that she is first thanked and it is acknowledged that it is an inconvenience for her to go back out.  This doesn't need to be showering her with praise for finally doing her chore, just recognizing her positive actions and her feelings in the request.

 

*After it is clear what and why she needs to do it, don't continue the conversation.  Let her know you are happy to clarify if she is confused, but have no interest in arguing, and resume some other activity.

 

*When she makes her "stupid people" comment, let her know it isn't acceptable and if you deem it necessary send her to her room.  Bringing up how much work was done by others, and that you asked her to take out the garbage earlier, is completely irrelevant to her being disrespectful.  In fact it can come across as you countering her insult with your own, except yours is based upon your authority as a parent which likely insighted more resentment.

 

*When she asked why you "see yourself as above her" I would let her know if the wording was hurtful to me and ask for her to explain why she feels that way.  In this part of the conversation I would probably point out the necessity of having a delegator in order to keep the house running and clean, and let her know that doesn't mean I have any desire to be a dictator.  You might learn certain phrases you use that trigger her attitude or make her feel disrespected.  Not that the phrases are inherently rude - but how she is hearing them

(preteens have some oddly wired ears ;).  Sarcasm at this point is pretty much guaranteed to escalate the argument.  She expressed something she was feeling and you shot it down.  The fact that the notion seems absurd to you (b/c it probably is) only reinforces this warped view in her mind and she acted out defensively when you essentially told her what she felt was wrong.

 

*If I were to send a child to their room, I would simply set an amount of time for it.  Requiring an apology only encourages "fake" ones.

 

*If these arguments are regularly about chores, sit down with her and DH for a brainstorming session.  Make sure it is separate from any conflict and punishment ,and treat her either as the problem solver or an equal partner with you and DH in figuring out a solution.  

 

*Once again, any time a conversation turns into ranting and arguing, disengage.  Let her know what is expected and that you are willing to listen to questions or calm differences of opinion, but not whining, name calling or the same point over and over.  If she continues, walk away and check up later on whatever she was suppose to do (or wait in the car if it about leaving... etc)  If there isn't follow-through on her part, give consequences, but not in the middle of a fight.

 

 

This is a hard age, I hope this is just phase that passes quickly!  Good luck.


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#10 of 47 Old 01-13-2011, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow!  Thanks so much to everyone for the great insight.  It is helpful.  

 

Or my own part I need to work on disengaging (which is hard because I also feel somewhat duty bound to call her on her behaviour).  It is a balancing act, and one I find tricky...how to get the message you want to get across, without cycling down into arguing.

 

 Minor vent:  if she would just acknowledge hearing what I was saying, I could stop with whatever message I was trying to get across...but she won't.  She hyper focuses on something I have done (ex: the queen thing), and will not give me the response I need to know she has heard my concerns.  I have tried talking to her in non-argument times and telling her I need to feel heard to let a point go, but she does not hear me or follow through.  Heck, she will even start an argument if I try to talk to her about anything concerning her behaviour. 

 

To answer a few questions....I am not sure if I thanked her.  Probably not.  I probably thank her less than I should...she gives me such attitude before doing things that I am not usually in an appreciative mood.  I can work on this, though - separating her attitude from her actions.

 

It probably would have diffused the situation if i helped with the second batch of garbages (or she might well have turned around and said "if you are going outside, why don't you do them all?").  In any event, offering would not have hurt.  Once again, she had given me such a hard time about doing the garbages and being unforgiving of her father small error that I was not feeling that charitable.

 

I am not sure how I feel about offering to help DD with the garbages.   On one hand, offering to help might have diffused the situation, but on the other hand, learning that if you treat people like crap they are not going to want to help might be a valuable lesson.

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#11 of 47 Old 01-14-2011, 01:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

 

I am not sure how I feel about offering to help DD with the garbages.   On one hand, offering to help might have diffused the situation, but on the other hand, learning that if you treat people like crap they are not going to want to help might be a valuable lesson.


But learning that if you make a mistake, it's good to try and rectify it someway is a good lesson. One that she would see in action if you or DH had offered to help with the last two bags of garbage since she wasn't the one that realized after the fact the other two bags could go out too.


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#12 of 47 Old 01-14-2011, 02:07 AM
 
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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!

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#13 of 47 Old 01-14-2011, 03:06 AM
 
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This is more than normal behavior for a twelve-year-old girl. I have a seventeen-year-old dd and went through similar situations for about four years. I learned quite a bit about what to do and what not to do, and ended up with a teen that loves me and hugs me daily while telling me she loves me. 

 

 

My advice-

 

Hug her twice a day, and tell her you love her in the morning and when saying goodnight. I'm sure you already do it, but just thought I would say it. : )

 

Always put yourself in her shoes. I usually think in ways of it if my husband said something to me or did it to me. Example- If you told your husband that he thought he was above you, and he said, "Yes, I am king." Well, depending on your mood, you may not find it funny. I would refrain from joking around in the middle of trying to give consequences. Joking around doesn't go over as a joke in a tense situation; it usually is seen a sarcastic comment and degrading. I think her view of it was right on. 

 

Telling her how you feel instead of telling her what to do/say is key. I'm thinking that she was calling you or your husband stupid. If that is the case, I think and immediate meeting between you, your husband, and dd would have been needed. I would have told her how her name calling was hurtful, and how it hurt your feelings. At that point, she probably would have apologized on her own. It is better at this age to get an apology without asking. 

 

Picking your battles is a must. If she hates taking out the garbage (and that is currently one of her chores), switch it to something she thinks is less horrible. Was taking out the garbage a punishment for not helping as much as everyone else? If so, a negative attitude was destined to occur. I would have a routine set of chores for each child. She may need to sweep and do the dishes instead. 

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#14 of 47 Old 01-14-2011, 06:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
Or my own part I need to work on disengaging (which is hard because I also feel somewhat duty bound to call her on her behaviour).  It is a balancing act, and one I find tricky...how to get the message you want to get across, without cycling down into arguing.

 

 Minor vent:  if she would just acknowledge hearing what I was saying, I could stop with whatever message I was trying to get across...but she won't.  She hyper focuses on something I have done (ex: the queen thing), and will not give me the response I need to know she has heard my concerns.  I have tried talking to her in non-argument times and telling her I need to feel heard to let a point go, but she does not hear me or follow through.  Heck, she will even start an argument if I try to talk to her about anything concerning her behaviour. 


You are NOT duty bound to call her on her on every.single.behavior. That's where picking your battles comes in. Focus on the big things. Focus on what she really needs to know to now screw up her life and let LOTS of stuff go. You are starting to form the kind of relationship you will have with her as an adult. Your relationship is in a transitional period.  

 

One thing I remember about "Get out of my life, but first can you take me to the mall" is that sometimes the subtext for whatever our adolescent is saying is "will you argue with me?" and that pretty much anything we say will be heard as "Yes, I will argue with you." She's already heard you, let go of the need for her to PROVE that she's heard you.

 

What I found with my DD is that it takes two people to have an argument. She was super argumentative for awhile. However, when I dropped things and let go of the need to have the least word, arguments had no fuel.

 

She didn't stay stuck there. Earlier this week she told me that I was cool and that the other kids at school like me (I volunteer at her school twice a week).

 

The other piece of advice I have is to find something that the two of you enjoying doing together. Go out for a starbucks together, or go see a movie just the two of you. Find a way to enjoy spending time with her.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#15 of 47 Old 01-14-2011, 06:09 AM
 
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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.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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 We are on a waitlist (we should be up in about 3 weeks - yay!) for counselling - I would like responses other than "go get counselling. Thanks!

 Actually, if the counselling is just for exchanges like this, I would say cancel the appointment, it's not necessary.  If there are other things going on, by all means go, but if it's just exchanges similar to this, I am going to say that going to councelling could be making a big deal out of somthing that isn't.  And making mountains out of molehills can make things worse instead of better.

 


 

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Critique the following and be brutal if need be.  DD and I have interaction like this constantly and I need to figure out a new way to deal with her.

 

Dh asked DD to put out the garbages.  He told her to put out 4 bags, as we have a four bag limit.  She did so (rather grudgingly).  While she was out, I reminded DH that our neighbour allows us to use his excess garbage allottment - and that the 2 extra bags can go at the neighbours.  DD comes in, and I say - "please put the other 2 bags at the neighbours".  Well, she rants and raves and says "why did we not say so before?"  and I told her it was an error - Daddy forgot we could place bags at the neighbours.  It took her about 5 minutes to convince her she needed to put the other bags out - and ended with her muttering under her breath about "stupid people".  At this point I would like to point out that everyone in the house had done more chores than her today - and that I had asked her to put out the garbage earlier in the day, but she "forgot".  It was not an unreasonable request.

 

I was quite annoyed by the arguing and calling people stupid, so when she returned I told her she needed to go to her room and she could come down when she was ready to aologize.

 

She argued about going to her room, and said she did not see why she had to and that I saw myself as above her.  I replied that yes, I was queen.  She did not find it funny, and went on a rant about how I saw myself as above her.  The thing ended with her in her room, and she came down a few minutes later.  The apology was totally fake.  I decided to talk to her calmly about things, and made the following points:

 

-everyone had done lots of works, and doing the garbage was not unreasonable at all

-calling people stupid is not acceptable.  This is a rising issues (name calling) and I need to nip it in the bud

-I said the queen thing as a joke; I do not think I am above her as a person.  I am her mom, however, and it is my job to raise her to be respectful and responsible, and therefore it is my job to insist she behaves according (which means calling her on her cr@p, and dealing out consequences when need be)

 

I asked her what she felt her part was in this mess, and all she could do was rant and rave about how I said I was "queen".  I said fine - my part in this is that I should not have made a joke about being "queen".  I asked her again what her part was, and she still ranted about the queen comment.  According to her, she  has no responsibility in this.  Sadly, this is not a one-off.  She almost never takes responsibility for her own part in arguements.  

 

My other 2 children (age 8 and almost 15) do not do this.  It is not simply a parenting issue on my part...although I might need to parent her differently.  I am just not sure how.

 

Fwiw, we have fights similar to this 2-4 times a week.  It is exhausting.  It does have a negative effect on our whole family.  Everyone sees her as difficult - because she is.  I do not know how to fix this.  My other children tire of us fighting.  My oldest will sometimes get involved to shut her up - he starts calling names as well, and she stomps off to her room.  Of course, he gets in trouble as well for name calling and not minding his own business, but he does not care as it ends the ranting and arguing.  He has told me this several times.  I did resolve last night that I will not argue in front of the other kids again - if DD and I get into it, we will be moving it upstairs.

 

 

 

Kathy



 I have a 15 year old girl.  Welcome to parenting a teen girl.  (I realize your dd is 12 and not quite a teen yet, but this is typical teen girl behavior.)  I don't think you need to deconstruct anything because I don't think there's anything to deconstruct.  I think she didn't want to do what she was told and reacted, then you played right into her reaction.  You mentioned in a later post that you need to work on disengaging and that is key.  Don't get me wrong, it's about 6million times easier said than done.  That part about you saying you were the queen and her ranting and raving-totally just for arguement.  She knew it was a joke, it was just a way to get you to argue with her.  That doesn't mean she even realized that was what it was, but that was what it was.  She was irked off, wanted to pick a fight and latched onto what she knew would create that fight.

 

 

Quote:

<<<I was quite annoyed by the arguing and calling people stupid, so when she returned I told her she needed to go to her room and she could come down when she was ready to aologize.>>

 

This is the point where I think you *could* have chosen to drop the whole thing. She took out the trash TWICE. And then you punished her and wanted her to feel sorry. You have a choice about exactly how annoyed you get. (I totally get why you were annoyed, and I would have been to, but we both still have a choice about how much to jump into our kids hormonal swings. We can choose to de-escalate.)

 I totally agree with this.

 

 

Typical chore exchanges with my dd go something like this

 

Caiti, please take the trash out.

Do I have to?

Yes

Why?

Because I need a clean trash can and trash day is tomorrow and you aren't going to remember to do it before school in the morning.

But it's cold out and I am tired and I was going to go to bed (no, she wasn't, but irrelevant.)

Too Bad, go.

Moooooooooom

Go

Moooooooooom

 

Moooooooooom

 

Moooooooooom

 

FINE!  *insert about 5 dramatic sighs and eye rolling followed by much under the breath grumbling and complaining that I try to pretend I don't hear.*

 

 

 

Another example of a different type of exchange yesterday.  She walked in the door from school, obviously in a bad mood.  I asked her what was wrong, she rolled her eyes and said nothing, she was tired.  I asked if she had homework, she rolled her eyes again and said she COULDN'T have homework because it was the last day of the semester.  I responded that that wouldn't matter, teachers could still assign something.  Uh NO! no one knows who they will have in class next semester, duh!  I again told her she seemed like she was in a totally awful mood did something happen at school or something.  Again with the eyerolling and dramatic sighs, NO, she's just tired, can't she go take a nap now? 

 

So, I just let her take her nap. 

 

Parenting babies and toddlers is NOTHING compared to parenting teens.  I totally recommend against anyone being pg in the same house as a teen girl.  It's bad. 

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 Minor vent:  if she would just acknowledge hearing what I was saying,


Do you acknowledge hearing what SHE is saying?

 

I have a 16yo girl and a 19yo boy (no longer at home FT). And I've found that it makes a huge difference when I approach things as us being a team. We all have stuff to do outside of the house, and then there's all the stuff needing doing inside the house. I do tend to shoulder more of the weight as the adult, but I always presented stuff to the kids as "if we work as a team, we all have more time for the stuff we'd rather be doing."

 

In the situation described, I can see how the kiddo felt like she got the short end of the stick. She did as she was told. Then had something added on to it. And when she protested? She was punished. I'd have said something like "Oh ****... I forgot that the neighbors said we could throw a couple of bags on to their trash - could you do me a favor and take two over there for me? When you come in, I'll be done with dinner and we can sit down and eat. I'd REALLY appreciate it! Thanks!"

 

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.

 

 

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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.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

 

 Minor vent:  if she would just acknowledge hearing what I was saying,


Do you acknowledge hearing what SHE is saying?

 

Somewhat.  The thing is she goes right into rant and attitude mode and my defences go up. I acknowledged she did not appreciate the queen comment (and agreed with her that it was probably not wise to say it), but did not acknowledge anything else.  I was too busy responding to the belligerent tone, eyeball rolling, foot stomping and " you are stupid" comments.  I will try to work on it - it is hard though, with the strong emotion involved.  I just need to find a way to centre myself when she reacts.  

 

 

 

 

 

In the situation described, I can see how the kiddo felt like she got the short end of the stick. She did as she was told. Then had something added on to it. And when she protested? She was punished. I'd have said something like "Oh ****... I forgot that the neighbors said we could throw a couple of bags on to their trash - could you do me a favor and take two over there for me? When you come in, I'll be done with dinner and we can sit down and eat. I'd REALLY appreciate it! Thanks!"

 

Actually, she was punished for arguing incessantly (we are talking 15 minutes or so)  over a small chore and calling her parents stupid.  I did ask nicely at first - I am pretty sure my niceness went down as her attitude went up, though.

 

I do acknowledge that she might have felt put out that she had to bring bags out twice.  If she had not skyrocketted straight to anger, though, in her response to asking us to do a bit more, I might have reacted differently.  

 

FWIW, the chores we had been doing earlier that she did not do included defrosting and moving a fridge.  A large, hour long chore and her siblings helped.  I was not particularly in the mood to deal with someone refusing to bring out garbages.  Ah, well - life with a young teen!

 

 

 

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.  

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#20 of 47 Old 01-14-2011, 02:50 PM
 
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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)

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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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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."


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#22 of 47 Old 01-14-2011, 04:08 PM
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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. 


"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#23 of 47 Old 01-15-2011, 02:56 AM
 
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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.
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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").  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.

 

 

 

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#25 of 47 Old 01-15-2011, 07:58 AM
 
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 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.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#26 of 47 Old 01-15-2011, 08:09 AM
 
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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! : )
 

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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)



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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.

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#28 of 47 Old 01-15-2011, 01:27 PM
 
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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". 

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#29 of 47 Old 01-15-2011, 02:01 PM
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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.... 

 


Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
ds20, dd18, ds17
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#30 of 47 Old 01-15-2011, 03:31 PM
 
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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.  

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