Major Whine/Rant and Call for Help. - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-21-2002, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay. My dd is 12 and the third child. She is the quiet one. The one who always helps. Somehow a little lost between the two older sibs and their "loud" personalities. She is the domestic and the nurturer to youngest dd.

But lately anger and smart mouth erupting. So I thought I would make the effort to spend the extra time with her...she's always wanted to volunteer at the Humane Society but she is too young to do it without an adult. I made the appointment for both of us to go to the volunteer orientation. Right away she starts with an attitude while we are there. Rolling her eyes when I ask a question. Whispering something to me about how she should never have come.

Then at the end, when it comes time to choose an area we'd like to be trained to work in, she says, do I have to do it with YOU? I tell her yes, you knew that. No I didn't, she says. I thought it was just for this meeting.

Stab stab at my heart.

Then we see a mom and her daughter volunteering together in what they call "bunny socialization." I said to my dd, see why can't we do something like that?

So my sweet, dd looks at me and well within vocal range of the mom and her dd answers, "Because I don't like you."

My heart. My stomach. I wanted to cry. I wanted to slap her. Why you ungrateful little......

I stormed out of there, didn't say a word to her on the way home. I was so furious. Feeling like why do I waste my time???? And it's not just her, it's my oldest two. I feel like I have always been there for them -- but apparently not enough -- because they too take advantage of me. Yet I go back and forth with this. I mean, as a mom I feel it is my ROLE to be there for them, to give rides, to do whatever I can to help them achieve what they want to or to try new things, and create opportunities for them to do so.

Yet now there is just this...this snotty mouth and attitude and this taking-for-granted what I do for them...and I know deep within me is a little girl that remembers NOTHING being done for her as a teen. I mean my teen years were...HELL! And there is no WAY that I would have ever CONSIDERED asking my dad for a ride to the CORNER let alone to someone's house or whatever! He was a drunk and gave me NOTHING!!!!!!!! SO...WHOA!!!! I am having all of these feelings erupting now...okay. So I'm 38, have been through psychoanalysis...and I still have these feelings. I just want to say to them -- and I have on occasion -- you don't know what it's like to have NO ONE!! And I grew up without a mother, etc.

I'm sorry. That's it. That's it right there. Because now I'm crying. So I've hit the tip of what this is all about. I'm sorry.

It's just that I also feel like my kids are acting out against me for something I've done as a parent. When they were younger, I was prone to tantrums myself (depression) though I still think I was a pretty good parent under the circumstances. I feel like they "beat me up" because I deserve it and because they beat me up I'm sure I've done them damage. If I had been perfect and wonderful they would respect me and want to spend time with me. (Well, they do..but...)

I'm sad. And overwhelmed with emotion. I'll try to write later. Sorry.
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Old 11-21-2002, 05:59 PM
 
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how simply awfully painful, the unreasonableness and self centredness of teens..... I just don't get it

sorry whisper I have nothing constructive to say but I couldn't not respond to such a painfilled post

(((((((((((((((((whisper))))))))))))))))
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Old 11-21-2002, 06:45 PM
 
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Just remember that no matter how mean they are to you, they always love you . I remember being so mean to my mom and dad, for no reason, I think it has to do with how confusing and frustrated it is to be a teenager,or almost teenager. I think that is so beautiful you do so much for your kids. They are lucky and will realize it someday. And if you were perfect and wonderful they would still find faults in you. I really think part of growing up is rebelling against those you love and respect the most. Hang in there and don't blame yourself...you are a wonderful mom.
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Old 11-21-2002, 07:37 PM
 
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Have you considered that maybe you do too much for them? That you do so much that they don't appreciate it? They take for granted that mom will drive anywhere, pay for anything, etc.? You are their mother and you deserve respect. If they talk to you like that without anything changing, you are implying that it is OK to treat you that way. It is not.
I feel for you that you were not parented with love and attention. But maybe you are going too far the other way? Respect is a two way street. It would be hard for me to be very loving to someone who was disrespectful to me. Basically, they are entitled to their opinions but not all of them should be shared with you. Do they talk that way to their dad? Their teachers? Friends' parents?
Have you read "Parenting with Love and Logic" by Jim Fay and Foster Cline? I have also taken the classes (offered at our local hospital) and I think they would be helpful to you.
Sounds like you are a very loving mom. I am so sorry she hurt you like that. During a neutral time (maybe in a short car ride home?) I would let her know how hurt I was by those comments at the animal shelter. No big lecture, just the fact that it was very hurtful, then let it drop. And the next time she asks for something that is not necessary (can you take me to the mall or whatever), maybe you say that you can't - now isn't a good time. It is the natural consequence of hurting you - you don't feel like doing extra stuff for her right now.
Just my two cents.
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Old 11-22-2002, 02:14 PM
 
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I wish I could reach out and hug you. Please understand that teens sometimes act this way and I don't believe they really mean it in their hearts. They are sometimes as impulisive as little toddlers. Hormones are raging--- it's a cliche, but it is sooo true. They make us snippy and angry and they make our bodies hurt and bloated. A 12 yr old girl has all this and more. Even messy hair, or a throbbing zit on your chin can make you hate the world. But you cant take it out on the world- only on the one who loves you best and would not abandon you, no matter what you said or did. Mom.

That said, I know it's hard. I have a very sweet 13 yr old son, but sometimes he will flip off a comment that hurts. In calm moments, I will tell him why a comment hurt me. Sometimes he has said, "I was just kidding, Mom". And I really do believe he was. It's my job to socialize him and help him to see that words--all words--matter to people.

Kids aren't really supposed to act grateful--I mean *we* know we nursed them when we felt like throwing them out the window, or always made sure to pour the juice into the *red* cup etc. We feel like maybe they should know how much we did for them. But we didn't really do it for them- we did it for us. We had kids because we wanted to, gave them the red cup because it made us hurt when they were hurt etc. They really are not supposed to live their lives in gratitutde to us. That said, a little respect goes a long way and I am always talking to my children about mutal respect. It's ok to tell your child what you are feeling and why.

I think it is ok to ignore some of this, just as you did when she was little. Toddlers can hurt, kick, bite our nipples, rip our earrings off, but they don't fully understand the ramifications of their actions. Teens take their frustrations out on us, but I don't think they really understand how deeply they can cut us. Like small children, they are egocentric. We can protect ourselves (just as we did when they were little) teach boundaries, share our feelings, walk away etc.

We tell our toddlers, "I know you are angry, but I can't let you hurt me" and I think its OK to tell a teen something similar. "It sounds like you are very angry at me right now. It's hard for me to listen when you are saying things that hurt my feelings. I want to talk with you about this . I know this is important to you. Maybe we can talk later together when we are not angry. If there is anything I can seriously do to make you feel better, please tell me. Let's take a break right now." Easier said than done, but I am practicing this very thing.

Peace and good luck to both of us
laurie
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Old 11-22-2002, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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UUMom! Thank you so much for that supportive message!!!
And you know, we had a great day yesterday and I did talk to her about it and she said she was feeling crabby and didn't know why she said what she said and like you with your son, I believed her! I believed she really didn't know. She was all sweet and snuggles and asked if we could volunteer with the bunnies! :

Make up my mind please!!!!

And I know on that particular day my own hormones were raging and I was feeling tired and vulnerable myself.

But what you siad about relating their behavior to toddlers is SOOO true. We look at it much differently with toddlers though don't we? Like when my little dd slaps the book down and runs off, I'm not thinking, "What have I done wrong as a mother?" I'm thinking, "Oh, well. Tired. Determined. Whatever."

Yet we look at our teens in these big bodies and we think they should know better! But they don't. Not always.

And about not doing things for them to have them tell you how much they appreciated it...boy did I need to hear that!!! I think I did realize the problem myself when I was typing the original post and all those resentful old old OLD feelings were popping up. About my own childhood. My neglect as a child is not my children's problem!!!! They will appreciate the things I'm doing when they are older, like I appreciated the things my mother did for me when I had my own kids. And you are right. I shouldn't do things for my children to get accolades. That's not why I had them. Point well taken.

Sigh of relief here! Thank you! Thank you!

And can I ask, does the UU stand for Universalist Unitarian? I've visited a local church here several times and really enjoyed it. So I was just wondering.
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Old 11-22-2002, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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emmaline: I feel your hug!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you!
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Old 11-22-2002, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Kirsten: Yes. Sometimes I do think I do too much for my teens. And pre-teen. They do talk to their father this way. They never talk to teachers this way or anyone else. In fact their teachers rave about each of them. They are mature, considerate, wonderful people, students, etc. Other family members feel the same. They have never bullied or been the subject of bullying. They have good friends. They are solid strong kids in many other ways. At home, too. They are loving to their little dd and do most of what I ask. They never go to "parties" or want to. They always call and let me know if they'll be late. We talk openly and honestly about drugs, politics, music, racism, etc.

I know I have "taught" them to talk to me this way by never having any taboos.

I think that having them not fear me is a good thing. But the disrespect...has gone too far.

We have talked about this. I told them how much this hurts. The next day was SOOOOOOOOOOOO much better and allowed this without raging emotions or hormones.
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Old 11-22-2002, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can I ask, is the book you recommend a strictly "Christian" one?
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Old 11-22-2002, 04:36 PM
 
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The book I recommended? :LOL No, it is not religious at all. Parenting with Love and Logic by Jim Fay and Foster Cline is a great book but I do like the classes (assuming you have a good teacher) better. Some (like a good friend of mine) read the book and found it sarcastic, which if done right, it is not at all. It is about acknowledging their comments/feelings without getting drawn into a big discussion that is going nowhere - you know how sometimes they are just not rational and no matter what you say, it will not improve their outlook at the moment? It is also about giving them responsibilities and allowing natural or logical consequences to occur. Sometimes we "save" our kids from the consequences of their choices when those consequences could teach them so much! Of course, sometimes we cannot allow the consequence - in one film in the classes they talk about you do not let a toddler play in the street, offering the choice "do you want to be round or flat?" - you scream for them to get out of the road as you run to get them. But if they leave a toy outside and it gets rained on or they forget their jacket and are cold at recess (little kid examples), they will learn a lot from that.
Sounds like you have good kids who just need to have a clearer boundary of how they can talk to you and their dad. Of course, my kids are only 6 and 2 so come back and ask me how smart I am in ten years!
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Old 11-22-2002, 11:35 PM
 
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Whisper, thank for your thoughtful post. We are all travelors and we do the best we can. Your girl is lucky to have a mother who is so open to exploring her own emotions and motivations. I still have 3 younger children and pray to the stars that i will have the stamina and courage to do right by them. My oldest boy is my practice child. Poor thing. I am grateful he is naturally patient. :-) We shall see what happens with the little sisters and a little brother that come after. I'll eaither be really tired, or an old pro. LOL
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Old 11-22-2002, 11:47 PM
 
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((((whisper)))))

And if you feel strong now, just leave the hugs on the backburner for when you need them.

My dd is only 3, but I learn so much from you ladies here. Can you imagine how our adolescence could have been if our parents had had (and used ) mdc?? Wow. really, I learn things I may need for the future, but also things about my own childhood.

The teen years are still so close... it must be hard to deal with teen kids without applying it to yourself. When you child is a toddler, it's easy ~ who really remembers those years, anyway? But with teens, it must be so easy to say "Be happy with what you have, I didn't have that." Which is to the teen of course the most annoying thing in the world.

How tough. How hard. Again, thanks.
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Old 11-23-2002, 12:14 AM
 
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Whisper- I meant to add, yes, UU means Unitarian Universalist. I have been a member of my current church for over a decade now and all of my chuildren were dedicated in this church. Nothing is perfect and nothing can/should be, as humans are imperfect, but UUism is where my heart is. If you are at all curious, take the plunge. Each church has its own flavor, but the principles of Unitarian Universalism are constant.
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Old 11-23-2002, 02:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again everyone for the .

What a difference a day makes, let me tell you!

There is hope! And Kirsten that book sounds interesting. I'm going to check if my library has it. I know, I've always heard with discipline, "make the punishment fit the crime" kind of thing...but what kind of "punishment" (not that I'm into punishment) fffits the crime of back-talk? Like I said we did talk about it and I felt good about it. But...if it happens again, I mean, do I refuse to take them places or ignore them or...???? What would get the point across? :

UUMom: The last time I attended the local UU church was shortly after September 11, 2001. A woman who was speaking asked all the moms who had babies to kindly take them into the hall because they were disturbing everyone. Well this really set me off. First of all, the only baby "noises" I heard were cooing, quiet chatterings, etc. No baby was howling, which might warrant a walk in the hall. Several people came up to me afterward -- I had my baby dd in tow -- and said that the woman did not speak for them OR the congregation. I contacted the minister and let him know how offending it was to me. He apologized, said she did not mean anything etc. I said I would come back. But I never have. I'd like to return. What do you think? And could you tell me about the children's education part? Like what would they do with my little dd? Should I even take her? I know at this point she'd just want to run around and she probably would be disruptive. but I go back and forth with wanting to have her with me, like I was forced to attend church as a kid, and having her stay home or try the day-care. Any thoughts? Experiences? (We'll probably get booted to the spirituality thread with this!!)

simonee? I am keeping those hugs!!! You bet!!! Thanks you sweetie!!!
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Old 11-23-2002, 03:42 AM
 
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Another plug for love and logic. Their website: http://www.loveandlogic.com/
I remember being a teenager and lashing out at my mother, who I have always loved dearly. Telling her her new shirt was ugly, trying out my new words. It didn't mean I didn't love her, it just meant I was angry and wanted to lash out. My mother would still love me no matter what, so she was very safe to hurt. If you yell at your 13 year-old friend, she won't eat with you tomarrow.
If you weren't safe and dependable, she probably wouldn't yell at you. I'd take it as a backward compliment. (Don't tell her that, though.)
With Hugs for the weekend...

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Old 11-23-2002, 04:37 PM
 
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The second half of the book I mentioned is set up in short chapters of type of misbehavior (hitting, refusing to go to bed, back talk, etc.) so you could look in that chapter for ideas of logical consequences (natural ones just happen - logical ones you have to come up with when there is no natural consequence) for back talk. But from the classes I took I would think a calm, one sentence reply acknowledging that they spoke but pointing out your boundaries - something like "I would be happy to discuss that with you when your voice is as respectful as mine." Then ignore anything after that that is not respectful. I would walk away if she goes on. You have acknowledged her and told her when/how you will discuss it. Refusing to be talked to that way shows her you respect yourself without disrespecting her. IMO. I really do like love and logic - there may be parts you don't like, but ignore what doesn't work for you.
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Old 11-23-2002, 05:47 PM
 
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whisper I'm glad things improved rapidly and you could have a good talk with dd

what a bunch of great responses too! I'm going to print them off - my ds is nearly 12 and as sweet as pie but i'm waiting for the Dark Side to emerge...
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Old 11-30-2002, 01:24 AM
 
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Whisper,

I cried when I read your original post because I've been there. My dd is now 16, and there are days when I feel like a used-up, disgarded package of the mom I used to be. How could the same child who used to make "I love you, Mommy" cards say such hurtful things now?

Probably we do too much for them, but would you want to be a mom who did too little?

Let's face it, we just aren't quite as cool as their friends are right now, and the harder we try, the more foolish we appear.

When I look back, though, there were times when I hurt my mom too. She was so annoying in the old days. Why is she so much like me now? (Ha Ha) If I had the answers, I'd give 'em to you, but I don't.

Please keep posting.
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Old 12-18-2002, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I remember being extremely embarressed of my mom! She wasn't *cool* like my frend's mom was. I know it hurt her feelings.

But I'm happy to say (knock wood) things are continuing to do well with us. I don't know *what* that was about...but I'm trying to remember that when my kids are acting ugly, it's really not THEM...just like when I'm defensive or rude or whatever. I'm not acting from my true self, but from some other place, you know?

The Course in Miracles teaches that that is the job of the Miracle Worker...to act lovingly to those who aren't acting lovingly and most often it will *bring them back to themselves*.

Why is it though that we often tolerate more from strangers or guests than our own kids? Or, rather, we don't react as strongly because our emotions aren't all tied in.
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