15 y.o. DD and the lies, lies, lies... - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 6 Old 01-19-2008, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oi! If anyone has some advice, I would be more than happy to listen with an open mind and heart! We are just at our wit's end with our 15 year old daughter. She, no matter what I say/do/explain/empathize continues to be dishonest.

I've sat down with her and just talked and explained to her why we need honesty in our relationship. I give her opportunities to tell the truth and to rebuild trust. I've explained to her that as a Mom of three, I need to have somethings (little things like a cheap lipgloss) that are mine and mine alone and yet, she repeatedly goes in my room and uses my stuff and then lies to my face for a solid 10 minutes until she'll finally give up (she's a pretty bad liar) and admit her indiscretion.

We've listened to her. Rationalized away situations. We've given her relevant punishments (different things, but with the idea being that freedoms are lost when trust is lost, but always with the ability for her to rebuild that trust).

She puts a high value on her things, but has such a disrespect for other people's possessions. We've even tried using her stuff (iPod or whatever) without asking her to let her know how it feels, but she has an amazing ability to just shrug it off when she knows that I'm trying to get a point across.

My sister has been staying with us and our dd has even gone into her stuff to wear/use. Again, and again, and again...

She's such a great kid and we just adore her, but she's driving me crazy. Just today I came home, excited to bring her out for her birthday dinner at a very upscale restaurant, and she greets me at the door with a whack of my make-up on and then the lies begin....

So, I come to you fellow Mamas/Papas hoping that you can help me figure this out.

Thank you.
Tara

41 year old mama to three beautiful girls (19, 16, and 11)

Wildly, passionately, eternally in love with my dear husband.

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#2 of 6 Old 01-19-2008, 06:49 PM
 
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I've noticed that if I "know" some transgression has occured, but I still "ask" it usually leads to defensiveness.
You have learned to expect dishonesty from your DD. What you need to do is erase the slate and start over. First, don't ask her questions that you already know the answer to. If you know she "borrowed" something, just very matter-of-factly say, "Hmm, we'll have to figure out a way for you to get that back to its owner/take it back to so and so's house, etc, etc. She throws a fit? "Honey, when your'e ready to talk about this, I'll be in the kitchen". The more personally you take her behavior, the more power you give it.
Think for a moment how you've given her opportunities to rebuild trust. Is it possible they feel like some kind of test to her? Also, often by his age, teens have formed beliefs about themselves. If she believes she's expected to be dishonest, then these opportunities may be just that, opportunities to show just how "bad" she can be. It doesn't make much sense to adults, but to a teen trying out personalities and behaviors, finding one that makes all the adults in her life start turning handsprings is just too much power for her. Teens often mistake power over adults' emotions for power over their own lives. I love the book Parent Effectiveness Training-teens by Don Dinkmeyer.
Also remember that MOST of us get stuck using the same disciplinary tools that we used to use, but that are no longer appropriate to our teens' developmental stage.
Lastly, please look at your own interactions with her and others' interactions with her. Is there a major thing you or someone else is not being totally honest with her about? I say this not to flame or as a challenge, but because teens often subconsciously "act out" the drama in their families. And it's rarely cut and dried. It can take some careful investigation to figure out what is driving teen behavior.
Also, she almost certainly feels resentful of your sister living in what feels like her house. If so, isn't it understandable? And I'm definitely not suggesting your sis move out, just that you really hear your DD's feelings without judgement "Are you upset that Aunt Julie is staying here?" And get ready for the flood. Then just LISTEN and empathise. This is not the time to justify letting your sister stay or explaining why she must, just an opportunity for your DD to feel HEARD. It's also an opportunity for her to discover that she can handle disappointment, a lesson totally lacking in many kids' lives, IMO.
I hope this helps!!
P.S. Sharing make up is how lots of moms and daughters bond. Consider removing your demand (since this is just a power struggle anyway) and welcome her to share. You may be surprised at her response!
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#3 of 6 Old 01-19-2008, 06:55 PM
 
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Does she have stuff of her own? Can you and her aunt take her to get her own make-up and a makeup bag to keep it in? Maybe she wants her own makeup. Does she have smaller siblings who get into her things?

If you know she's used your stuff, there's no need to ask her and give her a chance to lie. Rather than saying "are you wearing my makeup?" You could just say "You are wearing my make up again. I've asked you not to. What can we do so this doesn't happen again? I don't want to keep fighting with you about this, so we need to figure something out. Do you want me to take you to get some make up of your own?"

Try to come from a place of love rather than the frustrated place that you must be at by this point.
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#4 of 6 Old 01-19-2008, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your responses. Some good points in there, especially about expecting the dishonesty.

I don't ask her if she has used my stuff. I try not to present the opportunity for dishonesty. I've just said, "Hey, you're wearing my make-up", but she will deny it. I have also gone out and bought make-up with her, but she will still use mine (or my hair products or whatever I have even when she has the equivalent). I also think it's important that children, especially by this age, start to learn to respect other people's things.

I will definitely look at getting that book. Thank you.

41 year old mama to three beautiful girls (19, 16, and 11)

Wildly, passionately, eternally in love with my dear husband.

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#5 of 6 Old 01-19-2008, 08:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laoxinat View Post
I've noticed that if I "know" some transgression has occured, but I still "ask" it usually leads to defensiveness.
You have learned to expect dishonesty from your DD. What you need to do is erase the slate and start over. First, don't ask her questions that you already know the answer to. If you know she "borrowed" something, just very matter-of-factly say, "Hmm, we'll have to figure out a way for you to get that back to its owner/take it back to so and so's house, etc, etc. She throws a fit? "Honey, when your'e ready to talk about this, I'll be in the kitchen". The more personally you take her behavior, the more power you give it.
Think for a moment how you've given her opportunities to rebuild trust. Is it possible they feel like some kind of test to her? Also, often by his age, teens have formed beliefs about themselves. If she believes she's expected to be dishonest, then these opportunities may be just that, opportunities to show just how "bad" she can be. It doesn't make much sense to adults, but to a teen trying out personalities and behaviors, finding one that makes all the adults in her life start turning handsprings is just too much power for her. Teens often mistake power over adults' emotions for power over their own lives. I love the book Parent Effectiveness Training-teens by Don Dinkmeyer.
Also remember that MOST of us get stuck using the same disciplinary tools that we used to use, but that are no longer appropriate to our teens' developmental stage.
Lastly, please look at your own interactions with her and others' interactions with her. Is there a major thing you or someone else is not being totally honest with her about? I say this not to flame or as a challenge, but because teens often subconsciously "act out" the drama in their families. And it's rarely cut and dried. It can take some careful investigation to figure out what is driving teen behavior.
Also, she almost certainly feels resentful of your sister living in what feels like her house. If so, isn't it understandable? And I'm definitely not suggesting your sis move out, just that you really hear your DD's feelings without judgement "Are you upset that Aunt Julie is staying here?" And get ready for the flood. Then just LISTEN and empathise. This is not the time to justify letting your sister stay or explaining why she must, just an opportunity for your DD to feel HEARD. It's also an opportunity for her to discover that she can handle disappointment, a lesson totally lacking in many kids' lives, IMO.
I hope this helps!!
P.S. Sharing make up is how lots of moms and daughters bond. Consider removing your demand (since this is just a power struggle anyway) and welcome her to share. You may be surprised at her response!
This is truly sage advice.
I am just coming out of this type of experience with my DD. Everything said in this post applied to our situation. As soon as I expected honesty and gave her opportunities to choose she started stepping up. I also share makeup with her. I prefer we both use natural non toxic stuff and it's just too expensive. Fortunately, she doesn't wear it much.
BTW, I received a similarly well thought out response from this poster about other stuff with DD. I followed her advice to the letter and our family really benefited.
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#6 of 6 Old 01-21-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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Thanks, chiromama! I appreciate the appreciation
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