I think I just got the terrible mother of the day award...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ksm, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I lost it this morning. I know I was yelling louder than difficult child was. It was like I had lost every shred of composure and was having the meltdown of all meltdowns. OK -got to back up and give a little history in what led to this disgraceful moment...

    About two months ago, husband and I moved in to the tiny guestroom on the main floor and let each girl have their own room upstairs. There is a full bath in between both bedrooms. These are LARGE bedrooms. At least 2 to 3 times the square footage of the bedroom husband and I now occupy and they each had a walk in closet. difficult child and easy child said if they had their own rooms, the arguments would stop, that they would take care of their own rooms and their own belongings IF they had their own rooms. You guessed it. Didn't happen. easy child had done quite a bit better on the room situation than difficult child. This morning I had it with their bickering and yelling. Now it seems they can't share a bathroom, either. Both wait until the last 5 minutes to finish getting ready and difficult child seems to think she has to brush her teeth in private... I know there are times that privacy is needed and expected... but they have about 45 to 60 minutes to get ready and that does not involve showering or eating. difficult child gets bent out of shape because easy child doesn't do everything as soon as she demands it. But, when she is ready to go, no matter how long she has kept me waiting, she has no patience for waiting for easy child. Then, in the car, she demands that I hurry and take her to school... That was the last straw. I pulled over and put it in park until she was able to come up with some type of apology. I know it wasn't sincere, but after listening to 20 minutes of bickering and her bossing easy child around, I wasn't going to let her do that to me too.

    I have felt physically sick since her/mine/easy child's outburst. Well, her and my outburst... poor easy child just cried. I told them that all this arguing and fighting just sucks every drop of joy and energy from my life, like leaches draining any chance for peace and happiness. I feel like my one goal in life was for them to enjoy life... and I can't even make that work. I would gladly give up anything if it meant a better life for them... but nothing makes difficult child happy. Well, getting her own way for everything definitely makes her easier to live with.

    Earlier this week she asked me if we would give her a purity ring... as some other girls at school has one. I think it is a nice idea... but she would have to start dressing modestly if I wanted to think she was serious. Why is it 14 year old girls think they should dress like a stripper? I went shopping with her for winter shoes/boots, and she wanted 5 inch heels! I am just so angry and I can't let it go. I know it is making me sick and keeping me from making things better... but I really don't know how to make it better. She lies to me, and has really gotten quite good at it. She is only pleasant to me if she wants something. I know some things are typical teen but I am so tired of feeling used. I can't even fix a meal without her getting upset because "this isn't what I am hungry for" or other such nonsense. Last night, she wouldn't eat a tossed salad because there was chopped boiled egg. Now she doesn't eat eggs. A salad should consist of iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing. The only extras she will eat is bacon and croutons. She won't eat a vegetable or a fruit item. Just sweets, starches and meats.

    She doesn't take care of her belongings, her clothes, her electronics, her homework, or even keep putting on the acne medicine I buy. She wants stylish things... but doesn't want easy child to receive any. "Because I am older and I should have more/nicer things than she does". It makes it even worse, as they can wear the same tops, but she doesn't want to share. If I buy new socks or underwear, she takes all the new stuff and hides it - making sure that easy child gets the old stuff. It makes we want to do less and less for her. She is so needy. easy child is a good kid - but she is resenting her sister big time.

    Even though she is 2 years older than easy child - easy child is embarassed by her actions around other kids. She always wants to give everyone hugs... even though some people don't like it. And she clings to people... easy child has told me that some kids can't stand her because she acts so over the top. I have tried therapy, but insurance limits us... and difficult child doesn't open up to the therapists. It is 10 times worse at home than difficult child would admit to.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. I am at my wits end. KSM
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, KSM, unless you're a saint, losing it with a teenage difficult child girl would be simply a sign of your humanness. I can so empathize with you since I am raising a easy child 16 year old granddaughter and there are times I want to scream at the top of my lungs too. Sometimes the pressure cooker has to blow, and today was your day. Give yourself a break and don't add beating yourself up over it along with all the other stuff you have to deal with. But I do understand that you likely stepped over your own line which is why you feel sick. I think living with someone who lies all the time, makes you sick. You're in a really tough spot.

    I have trouble tolerating the teenage girl attitude way more then I did when I was much younger and raising my own daughter. I don't want to put up with the attitude, it makes me mad. I know it's typical teen behavior, I get that, but does that mean, as the grandmother, I have to put up with it? I don't feel like it sometimes, in fact, most of the time. I'm here, like you, and it is what it is and there is a certain degree of acceptance I have to maintain about it............however, how I keep myself healthy and sane is to do LOTS of nurturing things for me. I have group therapy tonight where I can vent/talk/listen/ get heard. I get massages, go to acupuncture which is a wonderful help with stress, I walk everyday, watch my diet, get lots of sleep, meditate...........I need a lot of support to deal with my detachment from my difficult child and to raise my granddaughter, so I make sure I am a priority. You may already get lots of support, and if so, good for you.

    I just created a "sanctuary" a small room where I can go and get away from the world, and have peace and quiet. It's a HUGE help. When my granddaughter begins her litany of judgments, criticisms, teenage angst, pointing out all my flaws, you know, the usual..........when it gets to be too much, I excuse myself and retreat to my sanctuary. It really really works well.

    Since they didn't keep their word regarding keeping the rooms up, can you take a room back? Perhaps you need your own space back, it doesn't sound like they are holding up their side of the bargain. I think I recall you saying you couldn't put difficult child downstairs because you can't trust her. I've heard of parents putting alarms on bedroom doors and windows of their difficult child's rooms and also putting locks on and locking them in. Could you move difficult child downstairs into the little room and come up with some creative idea to contain her so you would feel safe? I have gotten to the point where I just don't think kids should continue to be rewarded for really bad behavior. Life has consequences, she didn't keep her word, your bedroom is so small, why not make her deal with it?

    My heart goes out to you, I so know how you feel. And, I have a easy child and you have two and one is a difficult child. Good Lord. You poor kid!!! Sending you lots of big hugs and empathy and compassion and the hopes that you are feeling better now.......................
  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Greetings KSM. Sounds like you had a no good very bad terrible awful day. Don't beat yourself up. We take enough of a beating dealing with our difficult children. No need for you to pile on as well. Sometimes I think that losing it has value, if it's an infrequent thing. Lets the whippersnappers know that we're human too, and have limits just as they do. As long as it's only occasionally. If you yell all the time, then they quickly learn to tune you out, so you're just damaging your vocal cords for no good reason.

    Now, as to the problem at hand, a phrase that we used to see quite a bit on the board was "Do to Get". In other words, if you want to get something from me, you have to do something to earn it. Teenagers in general, and difficult children in particular, are masters of entitlement. They feel like the world owes them everything. And if you just give them things that they haven't earned, you play into the sense of entitlement.

    You are required to provide your children with basic necessities. Food, clothing, shelter. You are not required to provide them with new or fashionable clothes, or even clothes they like. Just things that cover them decently and protect them from the elements. Thrift store or unsightly clothes do the job just as well as the nice things. Food doesn't have to be a favourite, or even palatable. It just has to meet the basic nutrition requirements. Same with shelter. A room that keeps them safe from the weather, and a sleeping bag.

    So, now you have a list of basics. Everything beyond that must be earned.

    Maybe you and your husband need to move back upstairs into the full-sized bedroom. difficult child can move into the tiny guest room, since it seems that she abused the privilege of having a nice room to herself. I'm suggesting this rather than having your girls go back to sharing a room, as there's no sense punishing your easy child for your difficult child's bad behaviour.

    With regard to clothes, perhaps easy child can have the nice new things and difficult child can make do with the old ones. If necessary, get a lock for your easy child's bedroom door, so that difficult child can't sneak in and take things.

    Re: food. If it's edible and there are no allergies or sensory issues to deal with, then difficult child should be able to eat what she's served (or pick around the bits she doesn't like, at least). If she's not happy with what you serve for dinner, then she can wait until breakfast to fill up. No child who's actually hungry will pass up a good meal, unless there's something deeper than just preferences going on.

    With a lot of difficult child (and even typical teen) children, you have to show them you're serious. It's hard work and a serious PITA, but it will pay off in the long run. Expect it to get worse before it gets better, but if you go down this path you have to stick to your guns.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Don't be too hard on yourself - we all lose it once in a while. (You wouldn't be human if you didn't!)

    As far as handling these two in the future...I'm with Trinity. Your difficult child has too much power and control and should not be calling the shots the way she is. Who the heck put her in charge of distributing clothes and deciding the family meal, anyway?

    If I were you (and I was, at one point, with a easy child and a difficult child constantly fighting over a shared bathroom), I would divvy up the "bathroom time". easy child gets the bathroom from X to XX and difficult child gets the bathroom from XX to XXX. Also - it may help if each girl has her own 'makeup mirror' with the little lights on it that she can use in her own bedroom. That leaves the bathroom for face-washing, toilet, and teeth - everything else can happen in the bedroom.

    If she doesn't have it already, let easy child have a lock for her bedroom door to ensure that "her stuff" remains "her stuff" and will not be taken, used, borrowed, etc by difficult child. FWIW - I really think it is too much to expect siblings to share clothing. One will invariably take advantage of the other...JMHO.

    And yes - "do to get". Make some requirements for keeping those big bedrooms. If they cannot adhere to a certain standard (YOUR standard - whatever you decide it should be) either one of them is subject to losing the priviledge of the big bedroom.

    And don't forget to do something nice for you! (((Hugs)))
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    And for a different perspective...

    I lose it. I don't have a choice... (ya, I'm part difficult child myself).
    But I learned something quite a few years back:
    If I yell or scream, the kids escalate.
    So I have learned a new melt-down technique that drives them crazy.
    I sing. Make up words for whatever I want to "scream", but instead of screaming it, I sing at the top of my lungs, to some stupid tune that they hate (like radio advertising jingles).
    Singing makes your voice really carry, the words are easier to understand, and... they HATE it.

    Part 2: Compromise on those heels: I restrict my (depending on the day, easy child/typical teen/difficult child) daughter to 2 inches of "heel-lift" for school shoes, a bit more for non-school dress-up. BUT... she IS allowed to add platform to that. So... 2" platform + 2" heel-lift = 4" taller teenaged girl. But I wouldn't compromise on needing to DRESS more modestly.
  6. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Quote: Maybe you and your husband need to move back upstairs into the full-sized bedroom. difficult child can move into the tiny guest room, since it seems that she abused the privilege of having a nice room to herself. I'm suggesting this rather than having your girls go back to sharing a room, as there's no sense punishing your easy child for your difficult child's bad behaviour. QUOTE

    We took the downstairs as we didn't trust difficult child to have a room where it would be easy to sneak out, or get on line, or generallymake it hard to keep track of. And SHE wanted the downstairs bedroom away from everyone. To her it was the "prize" - we wanted to give it to easy child as we trust her - but she is a little timid at night by herself... and we knew what a terrible time it would be for everyone involved, esp easy child, if easy child "won the prize" and not difficult child.

    I know we base our decisions on keeping things on as even a keel as possible with difficult child... because it is so hard on everyone when she is out of control. But I am fed up with it. Even the meal situation - we have a "eat what is served" and no seconds if you don't try a bite of everything. Otherwise, she would eat 50% of the meat items and leave the rest of us without a portion. We have tried to make it - eat what is served - or have a PB sandwich... but she will simply raid the refrigerator and make nachos. I am just so tired of it. Most children would be happy with our meals... in fact, their friends rave about homemade food and no take outs here... but if she sees a veggie in a casserole she "can't eat it". She won't even push the offending vegetable aside - it is like the whole dish is now "polluted". I know it is a control issue - as she didn't used to be this way. We have tried to not make a scene over it - but even when I do fix her favorite... she will make a remark "I hoped we could go out to eat". Eating out is out of our budget for the most part.

    So frustrated. KSM
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Oh honey... this is how it is here almost every time I mention the words shower or bath to Kiddo. She's so resistant it makes me crazy. Many days I give up, but others it's just too much, the child has GOT to get in there and get clean (at least she's basically hygienic insofar as keeping clean, I'm the only person that thinks she smells funny, and that's mostly her hair/scalp). Not to mention the fights to get her out of bed every morning. Lately I've had some respite in that arena, as she doesn't throw tantrums at my boyfriend and he's greatly patient with her and can get her up nicely, but before that and the days he's not here we go 'round in the mornings. I know the neighbors don't enjoy it any more than I do.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Oh, hon - I am so sorry. been there done that. These kids really do need "guerilla parenting" sometimes.

    We had to lock our kitchen to stop the food sneaking and put locks/alarms on the bedroom windows to stop the sneaking out.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Arggh. I hear you! We've all been there done that.
    I'd buy locks for the food or the kitchen doors, if you have a kitchen that can be locked. (Two sides of our kitchen don't have doors. Stylish but not practical for difficult child.)

    I'm sending hugs.
  10. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    OK, we have both calmed down some since we left the house this morning. I had to drop easy child off at the orthodontist, then back to the high school for difficult child, so we had a little time to talk on the way home. I told her I lost it this morning, and I was sorry, but I feel like I have been pushed to the edge and have no recourse on how to respond. I explained that things had to change, that I was tired of tip toeing around her, and that she was going to have to learn to adjust to the rest of the family and not the rest of the family adjust to her. That when things are going her way, she is wonderful to be around, but if things aren't how she likes them we all suffer. And that we were doing her no favors to think that the rest of the world was going to cater to her once she was out on her own.

    I'll give it til the weekend before she loses it again. I'll give me a week. LOL KSM
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sweetie, you want to know the secret to knowing you are not a good mom, but a totally great amazingly awesome Warrior Mom?

    It is because you lose it and then you feel awful and want to figure out a way to help everyone cope better next time. When I say that we ALL do this, I don't just mean parents raising difficult children. I mean parents. PERIOD.

    Apologizing for your part is a good thing. Now to figure out how to prevent it, which is the super-tough part! You and your husband gave up your BEDROOM so that your kids would stop bickering. Clearly that did not work. the last step in EVERY plan is to asses the results and figure out if another change needs to occur. We often skip this or undervalue it, but it is crucial. In this case, did you really expect a difficult child who couldn't keep a small room in good shape to keep a larger amt of area in good condition? What can you now do to help her wth this and organization issues? And esp the fighting?

    You could put her in the smallest bedroom, but it won't help ehr keep any room clean. I would reclaim my room and send her to the small room if at all possible. Simply because it is a better arrangement for the two people who must go out into the world to earn income and find/arrange medical and other care the kids need. It serves NO ONE for the breadwinner(s) to be unable to have a good night's rest in comfortable surroundings.

    I would explain having easy child upstairs as putting more space between them so they don;t fight. Other than this statement, I would not listen to difficult child. She hasn't EARNED the right to a bigger, nicer space to call her room.

    I would also strip most of her possessions until she can treat her family with the basics of polite behavior. I would concentrate on the fighting as the first part of those basics. Being a strong warrior mom, I am not sure if I would throw the items away, keep them and have her earn them back from you, or sell them at a pawn shop or even on ebay or a yard sale.

    Esp given the food issues, have you had her evaluated for sensory issues. A LOT of your difficult child's behavior could be caused/worsened by sensory issues. Buy or borrow a copy of The Out of Sync Child and read it. Then get Kranowitz' other book, The Out of Sync Child Has Fun and see how you could adapt those things for difficult child. Even if you can't afford therapy for this, you can at least figure out how to provide the sensory input she needs to self soothe. That alone can be HUGE. I would push you to read these books and then to hink about how help with this might help difficult child.

    most people gravitate toward the activities that feel good in a sensory way. So think about what she likes and how to help her find it and use it to self sooth when she is upset. There is a brushing therapy but it is not somethng to do unless you are trained. but it is very helpful, in my opinion.

    I hope things get better soon.
  12. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Don't beat yourself up, I know I have been in your shoes on more than one occasion. Sometimes our difficult child's can be so frustrating, and they seem to know better than most exactly which buttons to push to get us really peeved. At least you let her know where you were coming from, and maybe you will get a few days of compliance out of it. (I would say a few weeks, but I know with my difficult child, it is usually just a couple of days.) I would most definitely move difficult child to the tiny bedroom, and put locks on the food if that is a concern. Or, is she one that will try to sneak out? That brings up a whole other set of issues. Hugs. Hope tomorrow is better.
  13. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    KSM, I REALLY understand you... yours is an adolescent, mine is coming up to 6 years old... and still I get aggravated beyond self control, find myself doing things I don't want to do... I don't want to hijack your thread so I'll write a separate post after this morning's happy events but I just wanted to say that this is what it is to be in difficult child-land. Parenting any child is hard, parenting these children is sometimes a superhuman feat. And we are not superhuman, just human. So please pick yourself up and start again!
  14. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    been there done that way too many times to count!! No one, I don't even think Superwoman, could handle our difficult children day in and day out, 24/7, without losing it every now and then. Be gentle with yourself.

    Hoping today is a better day... Hugs... SFR
  15. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I think we can all say that we've been there and done that. We've all completely lost it with our kids and that's because we, just like our difficult children, are human and not perfect. Don't beat yourself up over it. IT happened. You apologized to her. Now it's time to move on.

    I have a question the meal situation. You said that you've told her that she can make a PB&J sandwich if she is unhappy with the meal that you've made, but that she would wind up making herself nachos. I kow it's not the best thing for her, but is that really so bad? In our house the rule is that I make one dinner. Eat it. Don't eat it. I don't care. If you don't want it and you want to make yourself something else, that's fine as long as you clean up your mess afterwards. Luckily, it's not a problem that we've encountered too many times because difficult child is a human vacuum when it comes to food and he'll usually eat what I make, but we have had a few times where he had a fit about it.

    As far as the girls sharing clothes, I think that's too much to ask of teenaged girls in general. If you buy new sock/underwear/shirts for easy child, put them in easy child's room and do not give difficult child the chance to get to them, but also make sure that difficult child has new things when she needs them, too. I don't have the clothes issue as mine are boys and 5 years apart, but I am a firm believer that they each need to have their own stuff. I have a twin sister and even though we shared a room, we had our own dressers with our own clothes. And if they have desks in their rooms, or something along those lines, a makeup mirror in each of their rooms is a great idea. It will keep the out of each other's way when they are primping.

    Today will be a better day. Have faith in yourself.
  16. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    KSM -

    In my area, there are a lot of home groups through the churches - and that's where the purity rings come in. A group of young women will discuss sex and sexuality in their youth group and make a pledge to remain pure before marriage. In addition to the purity rings, they also meet regularly in their church groups and support one another through the difficulties of dating and trying to remain pure in an ultra-sexualized society.

    If your difficult child was interested in joinging a church group, interacting with positive peers and taking the purity pledge seriously - I would definitely support that.

    But - if she just wants a new ring...forget about it! (JMHO, of course...)
  17. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I guess because that is the solution the therapist suggested. And difficult child is way more likely to select junk food than anything halfway healthy. KSM
  18. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    While our church does push for proper behavior, they don't have a class or a club specifically for it - and now "ceremony" with rings. I am not someone who expects a young adult to stay pure until marriage, yes it would be nice, but if they can postpone their sexual life until they are out of high school, I will be happy! Of course, I haven't told her that specifically, just that having sex while a teen puts a lot of stress on a young couple, but the girls usually bears the brunt of it if there is a pregnancy. We also saw a movie last month, where a dad took his daughter out for a "date" and then gave her the ring and expressed his hopes for her. A nice touch, and maybe we can incorporate something similar...

    The school doesn't have much of a dress code, and I don't like it when she dresses in camisoles for the only top... The other day, I made her change. Because it was 32 degrees out! I know, natural consequences... but to me, to dress scantily when it is terribly hot is one thing, but to wear a skimpy top when everyone is wearing sweats just does not send out the right message. SHe doesn't get that what she is "sending out" is going to cause problems in the future. She is petite and small... so it isn't that she has a "lot" to show off at this age. I am just afraid she is going to get a reputation before she even starts dating!

  19. Naw, you didn't get the Terrible Mother of the Day Award, because you give a S*#t about your kids.
    The Terrible Mother of the Day Award goes to a woman I saw today who sat with her two kids in a stroller for an hour while waiting for an appointment..AND DIDN'T SAY ONE WORD TO THOSE BEAUTIFUL LITTLE KIDS....because she was on her smart phone the whole time.

    Yes, you may need to tweak some strategies, but you are doing okay. Be good to yourself. Hugs.....
  20. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    Just chiming in to say that I too know how hard it is... Teenage girl difficult children can be AWFUL!!!! I know mine can be almost unbearable at times.