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Old 11-29-2005, 02:16 PM
 
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I just saw this thread for the first time and wanted to give Joline a big 2

Your verbal encounters with your teen sound exactly like mine are with my dd. Oh! It is sooo frustrating! The way she exaggerates everything, like I'm the worst parent in the world, and then 10 minutes later she is coming to me all contrite and proposing ways to make amends. And the "you said" thing. Arggghhh!

I like what a pp said (maybe it was you, Joline) that when raising teenagers all bets are off. Throw out everything you've learned about parenting because it's just a crap shoot. You just have to get through it. You're doing fine and the fact that you and your dh communicate and work together as a team puts you that much more ahead of the game. It'll all work out, but it's painful.

Also a word of caution on the cell phone suggestion: I got one for my dd after she got her driver's license and I knew I would no longer be able to keep tabs on her whereabouts. I explained to her that I was giving it to her so that I could reach her to ease my mind that she was safe. Well, guess what she did with it? Oh, she called her friends, and they called her; but while she was out WITH them, she turned the phone off! I could never reach her; sometimes the phone would be turned on but she would see the id that it was me and just not answer. She admitted this. So I ended up paying an extra bill around the house for her to use for her social life and it did nothing but give me frustration time and time again.

Oh, if only things could be so easy.
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Old 11-29-2005, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually dd is getting a cell for christmas. It has been planned for a long time.
But she will lose it if I cant reach her.
Everybody keeps saying (ok well not "everybody" because only my mom and brother know what happenned) "well we know what she is getting for Christmas" (the fine paid)
But part of me is selfish, I want her to have a cell phone just as much as she wants one. And of course I wont let her being in trouble affect the family joy and traditions of Christmas.
I think I am justified in grouding her and planning on keeping closer tabs on her when she is no longer grounded.
But I am tired of people suggesting I be outright mean to her.
Geez. She is vegitarian so for Thanksgiving I made her some stuffing and mashed potatoes that werent made with turkey broth or meat. And my mom said "Oh I wouldnt have done that. She didnt deserve it."
WTF? She doesnt deserve to eat on thanksgiving? Salad and cranberry sauce only for the vegetarians? Maybe a little sweet potato?
I am actually making EXTRA effort to be kind and spend time together and bond (when she is not picking a fight about the gounding etc. . .) There is no reason to treat her with spite on top of being a firmer parent.

Joline
Still tightrope walking! How early can they get emancipated??? (just kidding)
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Old 12-07-2005, 01:02 PM
 
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I got the "be meaner to her attitude" as well...and I agree...you just don't do that. What is wrong with people?

They are like toddlers..they need more love and affection when they are the least lovable. We have to show unconditional love...no matter what they do we still love them...that will eventually show them the difference between us and the friends. The friends will desert them but we won't. As they grow they will see that we are the ones who love them no matter what. Do they deserve it? Absolutely...they deserve respect and love...all humans do. They can only give what they have...if they don't get love and respect how are we ever to expect them to give it back.

(Also it gives them a good old fashioned dose of mama guilt ,..nothing works better (j/k)
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Old 12-12-2005, 11:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by johub
I am actually making EXTRA effort to be kind and spend time together and bond (when she is not picking a fight about the gounding etc. . .) There is no reason to treat her with spite on top of being a firmer parent.

Joline
Still tightrope walking! How early can they get emancipated??? (just kidding)
I for one think you are amazing and not a fraud. That you still care and want to do what is best. Making extra effort to be nice can only be a good thing IMO. Hell, it is what I would want but lets be honest few parents would behave in the way you are doing, preferring punishement and resentemnt as the norm. I wish you all the luck in the world with this .
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:11 PM
 
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How are things going now? Just thinking of you and your dd
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How are things going now? Just thinking of you and your dd
Thank you for asking. It is hard to say. She had 2 weeks of grounding and 1 week of "modified"grounding (she got one chosen privilege back) and Tuesday is her last day of grounding. SO when Wednesday comes and she wants to have all the freedom in the world and it isnt going to happen, all heck might break loose again.
But we have spent a lot of bonding time and a lot of family time. There have been moody days and boy is she stubborn!
Today she had an english paper due, one of the last things of the term. She currently has a 70%. SO this paper can mean the difference between a C and a D. I was torn whether to make her turn everythign off and do it, or to gently remind her. I really feel that if I made her stop doing what she is doing and sit down and do the paper she would resent it so much she would refuse to write a word. So I feel powerless to "make her" do it. So I stick with the reminding. Last night she told me she could complete it this morning before class So I doubt seriously she will have gotten it done.
It makes me absolutely crazy, but school is not even the battle I am fighting right now.
Anyway, we'll see what happens the first time she asks to go somewhere I dont think is OK.
Joline
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Old 12-12-2005, 02:09 PM
 
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Hi Joline,

I have been following this thread...I hope your dd wrote her paper
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Old 12-19-2005, 08:30 PM
 
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I just had to respond, even without having read all of the responses, because I have limited time but want to share my thoughts from the perspective of having been a 13-year-old who got in "trouble" in similar ways to your daughter.

Looking back, there were a lot of things going on that caused my behavior to start to spiral out of control, and certainly many of them my parents had no control over (unless they wanted to move and change my peer group or some other radical solution).

However, I think that a "discipline" technique often mentioned for young toddlers is something to consider with young teens as well...REDIRECTION. When I look back upon my jr. high and high school days, I was the happiest when I had structure and positive activities in my life...similarly to what another poster suggested, you might think of trying to get your DD into some organized activities. She will then tend to meet other kids who are "into" organized activities, and while this doesn't mean they will automatically be great influences, they will probably not be the kids having sex and wandering around the city unchaperoned at age 13. THOSE kids...she doesn't need any opportunity to hang out with them if you can help it.

Keep her busy! This is my BEST advice. My parents alternated between "cracking down" on me and overreacting to my behavior, which only added fuel to my fire and caused me to be sneaky and defiant, and ignoring my behavior, which didn't stop it in the least and allowed me freedom that I wasn't able to deal with. Again, the best parts of my life were the ones that were structured and well-organized and allowed me to develop a skill: piano lessons, acting in community theater, participating in well-nigh ANY organized event. And those things were FUN. I made lots and lots of friends through them.

I really believe teenagers need to be allowed to exercise freedom WITHIN a structured framework. It could be anything: sports, drama, underwater basketweaving, political activism. But something other than "hanging out". If your DD tells you that she and her friends are just going to be "hanging out", this is a huge red blinking neon sign...you would NOT want her to be doing whatever it is that this ambiguous "hanging out" includes. If it were something she could mention, she would be more specific, trust me (i.e. "we are going to be watching a movie"). However if you just demand specifics ("what EXACTLY does "hanging out" entail, DD") she might lie. The important thing is to somehow steer her into other activities. Offer to buy her some dance lessons. Something. Dangle a carrot she will find attractive, and she will bite.

I hope that is helpful. It really seems very clear to me in retrospect.

gotta go
Elizabeth
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Old 12-19-2005, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Along this line,
My dd just got a part in the Chorus of her school's spring musical! I am just as thrilled as she is. Rehearsals will take up a TON of time and she will love it. She will get to dance and sing, two things she is good at, and not just 1 hour a week.
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Old 12-19-2005, 09:17 PM
 
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Great news Joline! Wishing your DD tons of fun and success in her performance
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Old 12-19-2005, 09:49 PM
 
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Joline I wanted to offer you a big hug as well! I don't normally read this forum (my kid's only 2!), but you're such an inspiring parent that I just had to comment.

I went through something very similar when I was 13. I decided that I hated my mother and just wouldn't do anything she said. Oh, the screaming fights we had... it was awful. She lost it and chucked stuff at me more than once.

You are NOT losing your daughter. It's a phase. A crappy, sucky phase, but a phase nonetheless. I think you are taking exactly the right tack with your response: you're letting her know what you expect of her. You are letting her know that stealing will NOT be tolerated. There is nothing wrong with that at all. She is too young to make all the decisions for herself.

My siblings and I (five in all) went through similar phases with my parents. My sister C would be gone all weekend and not call. My sister A physically threatened my mother (who threatened to call the cops and scared her half to death). I would leave and not tell them where I was going, scaring them silly. My brother stole food from the school cafeteria when he was 13.

You will be happy to know that we all grew out of it and still have good relationships with our parents. You are going to wake up one day and there will be a beautiful young woman in place of your surly teenager. Keep your eyes on the prize!

I agree with previous posters that this age is very similar to toddlers. I'm happy that your daughter is in the play, that will give her something positive to focus her energy. You are a wonderful mother and you will be good friends to your daughter one day.

Thanks again for all the insight you give to other parents on this board. I hope you can take heart and get a boost from this thread.
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
Along this line,
My dd just got a part in the Chorus of her school's spring musical! I am just as thrilled as she is. Rehearsals will take up a TON of time and she will love it. She will get to dance and sing, two things she is good at, and not just 1 hour a week.

Congratulations!!!

Wow...this is awesome and might be the thing you need to get her through this(and you too)

must run..toddler screaming again

again...congrats!
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Old 12-28-2005, 08:42 PM
 
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I have read all of the postings,but my gut said to reply to your original posting...I really feel for you ,and I am glad you are setting boundries for her,that is what it sounds like she needed. I am happy that she is involved in a school activity too and it is something she enjoys. Keep up the good work
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Old 12-28-2005, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies.
I really needed to read those updates to keep me centered. THis is such a hard road.
She got introuble again this week when she said she was going to a friends house in the nieghborhood and when I checked she wasnt there. I flipped out. Thankfully she called a short while later and when I asked where she REALLY was she confessed to lying so she could go to the mall with a friend. And so I told her to come right home. I confess I was relieved when she called and I found out where she was. She is not allowed to go to retail stores unattended as a result of shoplifting, but better that than hanging out smoking pot or having sex etc. . . .
GRRRR!
So now the new rule is that I ALWAYS have to follow up and I will no longer be "taking her word for it" with anything. Indefinitely. I hate this. But she is proving time and again that to her, regaining my trust is only about having another opportunity to betray it.
This new rule is tiresome, and worse than a grounding. Because she is theoretically allowed to do things, but what it comes down to is, that if I cant drive her and verify exactly what she is doing etc .. . she cant go.
She wanted the very next day to take the city bus to go to her best friends house. Uh no. But I will be happy to drive when dad gets home from work.

Boy teenagers are a LOT of work. Way more work than toddlers.
I should know. I have 2 2 year olds and 1 3 year old also!

Thank you guys for the support.
Just trying to work on loving her unconditionally even while my blood continues to boil intermittently!
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:51 PM
 
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I started reading this thread yesterday.
I just wanted to say that I feel you are far from a fraud. IMO, it speaks volumes that you are actively seeking a solution that will benefit both your daughter and the rest of you the most.
My own mother let me raise myself and learn from my own actions to the point of serious detriment.
I slept around, drank and did drugs, skipped school, etc etc. I really didn't stop until I was in my early 20's and had a very scary experience on drugs. It took me a very very long time to recover from that mess. I found a wonderful spiritual path and changed my own life.
My younger brother is a meth addict at 25.

Our mother is very non-confrontational and honestly had (and still has) no idea how to effectively parent. She never guided us. I never felt safe. I never felt taken care of. I always knew I was running the show and that's a scary prospect to a kid.
It's one thing to have consequences and quite another to have no boundaries or guidance.



I just wanted to say it sounds like you are doing well.

DS 6 DD 8
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Old 12-29-2005, 05:36 PM
 
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Joline, I think you have made some wonderful changes. While I don't have a teenager (for a while yet), my family went through something similar with my kid sister. At 12 she generally was out of control and lied/stole/ditched school/smoked, etc. She was in and out of rehab by 15 for drug addiction. My parents had been the more laid back type until then. Then they reined her in. Her choices were certainly influenced by her peer group so my parents told her she could no longer socialize with ANY of her old crew outside of school. That even meant no going over to Sarah's house, even if her mom would be supervizing b/c it wasn't the situations alone, it was the influence of her peers.
My sis had all privileges taken away for an indeterminate amount of time...no X weeks stuff. She only earned freedoms when she showed she could handle them and had earned them through her desire to be an active part of the family and respectful of my parents.
Finally, my mom gave her something to replace what had been taken away... My sis always wanted to learn how to play the guitar. So, she got one for her Birthday (a bit early) and was enrolled in weekly private lessons. Without a computer in her room and no tv or phone privileges, she had nothing to do but practice and play her guitar. She hated it the concept, but then decided she really loved the music and it was no biggie to not have access to those other things. When she finally earned those privileges back, she hardly used them. The next school year, my parents looked into and enrolled her in a public performing arts highschool (which further seperated her from her old friends) not because they wanted to punish her by yanking her out of the old environment, but because sis was so into music by then she was practically beging to go.
Once she had music to focus on, she went from a C/D student to an A/B student. She hit some bumps but got it worked out.

You said your dd is into singing... what about getting her private lessons...or auditioning her for a local children's choir? It would give her something to focus on when she's not at rehersal for the musical and once its over.

Also, you mentioned she had a hard time talking to her and she said it was because you made her feel belittled etc. Then you went on to say something to the effect of "...but she reacts to me saying such innocuous things." Maybe if you tried to have the conversation with her again and asked her to eplain why certain things you say make her feel a certain way you'll get further. I think the reaction you exhibited here on the board suggested that maybe your responses to her in that initial conversation belittled her (just as she feared) when you couldn't understand why "innocuous" things upset her. It may have come off as more of a judgement about her ability to understand things than you intended.

Glad things are on the up and up!
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Old 12-29-2005, 08:44 PM
 
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No experience to offer but want to send you a big
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Old 12-29-2005, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Lisa P
Joline, I think you have made some wonderful changes. While I don't have a teenager (for a while yet), my family went through something similar with my kid sister. At 12 she generally was out of control and lied/stole/ditched school/smoked, etc. She was in and out of rehab by 15 for drug addiction. My parents had been the more laid back type until then. Then they reined her in. Her choices were certainly influenced by her peer group so my parents told her she could no longer socialize with ANY of her old crew outside of school. That even meant no going over to Sarah's house, even if her mom would be supervizing b/c it wasn't the situations alone, it was the influence of her peers.
My sis had all privileges taken away for an indeterminate amount of time...no X weeks stuff. She only earned freedoms when she showed she could handle them and had earned them through her desire to be an active part of the family and respectful of my parents.
Finally, my mom gave her something to replace what had been taken away... My sis always wanted to learn how to play the guitar. So, she got one for her Birthday (a bit early) and was enrolled in weekly private lessons. Without a computer in her room and no tv or phone privileges, she had nothing to do but practice and play her guitar. She hated it the concept, but then decided she really loved the music and it was no biggie to not have access to those other things. When she finally earned those privileges back, she hardly used them. The next school year, my parents looked into and enrolled her in a public performing arts highschool (which further seperated her from her old friends) not because they wanted to punish her by yanking her out of the old environment, but because sis was so into music by then she was practically beging to go.
Once she had music to focus on, she went from a C/D student to an A/B student. She hit some bumps but got it worked out.

You said your dd is into singing... what about getting her private lessons...or auditioning her for a local children's choir? It would give her something to focus on when she's not at rehersal for the musical and once its over.

Also, you mentioned she had a hard time talking to her and she said it was because you made her feel belittled etc. Then you went on to say something to the effect of "...but she reacts to me saying such innocuous things." Maybe if you tried to have the conversation with her again and asked her to eplain why certain things you say make her feel a certain way you'll get further. I think the reaction you exhibited here on the board suggested that maybe your responses to her in that initial conversation belittled her (just as she feared) when you couldn't understand why "innocuous" things upset her. It may have come off as more of a judgement about her ability to understand things than you intended.

Glad things are on the up and up!
Thank you for this post. THis is pretty much exactly what is going on.
And things have actually gotten worse. See, I dropped the ball just a little bit. I wouldnt let her take the bus to her friends house so DH dropped her off there after work. I went to pick her up yesterday and she wasnt there, she hadnt even spent the night. She had been there and both girls left saying they were coming here. So i was left finding her the next day. Even though we had personally escorted her to her destiation. She was a smart cookie. Handing me the phone and telling me to go ahead and call her friends dad to verify the plans and that he would be home. I BOUGHT IT and didn't call. Just made sure she didnt go anywhere else when we dropped her off. SO she had basically 24 hours of free time and I found her at a boys house.
GRRR. I am way too laid back and trusting.
And this was only 24 hours after getting in trouble for lying.
So it is no grounding for her either. just like your sister. She is in for a long time of being always supervised.
And surprisingly enough. she got a guitar for Christmas and is oging to be taking lessons too! (what a concidence)
It is almost the exact same story. I had already decided that she would go down to no priviledges/trust indefinitely and that if she wanted to socialize it would be in organized activities. And here I get this post stating the success of just such a plan.
It just seems almost divinely inspired!
And just like your parents, it is also part of my plan to minimize her out of school contact with her friends by eliminating her phone and internet access.
And this is not for a specified time either, but until she grows up and shows initiative and honesty and responsibility.
I just hate this though because I am such an easygoing person by nature. So non confrontational that deep down I resent her for being this way and forcing me to go so against my nature because she refuses to be guided by the gentle guidance I Have offered her for the past 13 years.

Life is supposed to have its challenges though and this is mine. So I take up my arms and do the best job I can.

Thank you ladies for all of your continued support. I need it and will continue to do so.

Joline
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Old 12-29-2005, 11:12 PM
 
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Thank you for this post. THis is pretty much exactly what is going on.
And things have actually gotten worse. See, I dropped the ball just a little bit. I wouldnt let her take the bus to her friends house so DH dropped her off there after work. I went to pick her up yesterday and she wasnt there, she hadnt even spent the night. She had been there and both girls left saying they were coming here. So i was left finding her the next day. Even though we had personally escorted her to her destiation. She was a smart cookie. Handing me the phone and telling me to go ahead and call her friends dad to verify the plans and that he would be home. I BOUGHT IT and didn't call. Just made sure she didnt go anywhere else when we dropped her off. SO she had basically 24 hours of free time and I found her at a boys house.
GRRR. I am way too laid back and trusting.
And this was only 24 hours after getting in trouble for lying.
So it is no grounding for her either. just like your sister. She is in for a long time of being always supervised.
And surprisingly enough. she got a guitar for Christmas and is oging to be taking lessons too! (what a concidence)
It is almost the exact same story. I had already decided that she would go down to no priviledges/trust indefinitely and that if she wanted to socialize it would be in organized activities. And here I get this post stating the success of just such a plan.
It just seems almost divinely inspired!
And just like your parents, it is also part of my plan to minimize her out of school contact with her friends by eliminating her phone and internet access.
And this is not for a specified time either, but until she grows up and shows initiative and honesty and responsibility.
I just hate this though because I am such an easygoing person by nature. So non confrontational that deep down I resent her for being this way and forcing me to go so against my nature because she refuses to be guided by the gentle guidance I Have offered her for the past 13 years.

Life is supposed to have its challenges though and this is mine. So I take up my arms and do the best job I can.

Thank you ladies for all of your continued support. I need it and will continue to do so.

Joline
Joline,
I am going to recommend a book that has really put things on the right track for me,(even though my 16 year old has never given me reason to worry...she never goes anywhere,and her one good friend has a mom who never lets her daughter go anywhere...or she is always checking in person where they are suppose to be) anyhow the book is called "Family First" by Dr. Phil, yes the talk show person,he has some very sound advise and great ideas to get children and teens back in line. I like it cause he has raised children(two boys) and he mentions this quit often,he also mentions his wife Robin too.
You are doing good and stand your ground,I know you aren't confrontational and that is what your daughter is playing on,the fact that you don't like confrontations,and it is also great that your dh is on top of this too.
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Old 12-30-2005, 02:12 PM
 
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Its wonderful how "cooincidences" can come at just the right time, thank God I would suggest getting her a small amp and a set of headphones for the guitar though...that way you won't ahve to listen to it!
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Old 12-30-2005, 05:27 PM
 
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I just wanted to say that I've appreciated your posts on Positive Parenting and I'm glad that you're able to be forthright about the troubles you and your daughter are facing right now, because this is how we all learn from each other. One thing to keep in mind is that your daughter's life underwent a huge, seismic shift when she suddenly went from being an only child to having three young siblings in the house. Even if she loves the babies, is great with them, displays no overt jealousy, etc., it would be hard for ANYONE to make that adjustment. I honestly think that much of her acting out is her really saying (and I think that it is unconscious) "Do you love me Mom? Do you love me as much as the babies, whom I see being breastfed, carried in slings, etc.? What if I lie and steal? Do you still love me? What if I run around with a bad crowd? Maybe these new friends love me more than my Mom? Do you love me enough to keep me from hurting myself?"

She's shown you by her actions that she isn't safe to be left unsupervised, even if you think you know where she is. So the natural consequence (albeit painful) is to supervise her constantly, or make sure that she is in adult-supervised activities like music. This IS positive parenting, IMO.

Good Luck!!
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Old 12-30-2005, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I actually have read "Family First" and loved it. WEll I loved the first half and hated the second because all of the things he said about how to know if your kid is running the show was stuff that was going on in my house but it was at a time when I really didnt see a problem. I thought we were all in harmony so I discounted his advice back then.
Despite all the bad press the man gets for not being in favor of cosleeping, I really like the man and I DO think he has excellent ideas on parenting.
Now who did I loan that book to!! I hope I still have it because you are right. it is time to go back.
Thank you all for your tremendous support.

As for dd having a hard time with new siblings. Sure that could be part of it. We have been working on it but her cup seems to always be half empty. She is the only child I have who even gets any alone 1 on 1 time with me on a regular basis. There gets to be a point where I just have to stop feeling guilty and expect that she get used to it. If it werent new siblings it woudl be something else like moving, or changing schools or puberty. There are a million and a half changes which have happenned in the past couple of years.
It is my job to help her transition through all of them. But it is her choice how she handles it, and I dont think it helps her much to keep enabling her by explaining her actions as being caused by outside forces.
And when it comes down to it, before they were born I worked outside the home and wasnt there for her nearly as much as I am now.
For the past 3 1/2 years she has come home to me every day. So having new siblings has had just as many benefits with how much of ME she gets as drawbacks.
Joline
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Old 12-31-2005, 03:40 PM
 
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Joline, you are a wonderfully loving mother who is doing her best at the moment. That is all that the universe can ask of us. I want to offer you help or advice, but I can't because I have not btdt. But I can offer you this article which came via email today. Who knows, it might be helpful and it might not. The title speaks of detachment, but the article is not speaking of detachment in the sense that we normally speak of it on MDC (at least, I didn't perceive it that way). This is written by a Non Violent Communication trainer and psychologist, and in it he does talk a bit about struggling with his own teenage daughter's destructive behavior. ETA that you will have to scroll down to get to this article.

How Detachment Can Be Loving for All
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Old 12-31-2005, 04:12 PM
 
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This is just a thought(from a woman who was a CRAZY teen!) could you get her a "big brother/big sister" type of mentor? Sometimes all it takes is a somewhat older person to show the teen what she is doing isnt really "cool" at all!! Maybe someone who is also into music, ect? Many times older teens (16,17,18) like to volunteer for this type of thing, it helps them have things to put on college apps. I am sure if you called the highschool they would know of some program like this. Maybe your DD would feel "cool" because she is hanging out with someone older, whom she can relate too?
Or have her go to a counseler or someone she can "vent" to, that will give her positive ways to deal with things?
Young teens often just need to feel like there are some adults that arent the "enemy", and more times than not it WONT be their parents, or even a family member.

Big hugs to you!! It will get better day by day.

Oh, and from my POV, it seems like many kids go though this when they are hitting puberty, and their hormones are out of control. My mom said living with me was like living with a pregnant person for 4 years!! A few years after I started my period I was a whole new person, I hope this is what happens with your DD!!
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:33 PM
 
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