Advice Wanted-Teen Daughter

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SearchingForRainbows, May 30, 2008.

  1. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    My almost 14 yr old easy child daughter and I were always very close until this year. Things didn't get really bad between us until a few months ago. Until then, I just tried to accept her "attitude", lack of consideration for me, and not wanting to talk to me, as a part of growing up and separating herself from me in order to find herself.

    However, things have gotten much worse. She no longer will do her household chores without me asking. When she does do them, she is visibly angry that she has to do them and usually doesn't complete them satisfactorily. For instance, she is supposed to feed the cat and clean her litter box every morning. Some mornings, she'll just feed the cat and leave the rest. Other mornings, she'll feed the cat, scoop the litter box, but leave litter all over the floor.

    She has always been an honor roll student and is in the Junior Honor Society. Lately, she doesn't do her homework and I've been getting notes from several of her teachers. In our house, it's always been that homework comes before anything else. When she doesn't do her homework, she isn't allowed to use the phone. As soon as she turns in the assignments, she can have the phone back.

    She refuses to do the assignments she hasn't turned in. She angrily yelled at me that she doesn't get credit anyway, so why bother!!! I explained to her that even though she will no longer get credit for them, it is her responsibility to do her homework. I explained to her that I don't have the luxury of deciding whether or not I'm going to do my work. It is part of being a responsible person.

    She has gone without using the phone for a week now. Am I being too hard on her? I'm not trying to damage her social life but I firmly believe she needs to be responsible. She has made it quite clear that she isn't going to do the homework. Do I make her go until the end of the school year without using the phone?

    Her attitude is way over the top. Yesterday when she got home from school she told me that I had to give her a ride to the school at 6:30 p.m. There was a meeting she had to attend for the Junior Honor Society. I asked her how long she knew about this meeting. She told me she was told about it awhile ago but forgot. I explained to her that I needed more notice. I told her that I wasn't going to be able to drop what I had to do just to drive her to school.

    However, I didn't want her to miss the meeting as it really was important that she be there. I told her to call her father and ask him if he would be able to drive her. Well, an hour and a half later she still hadn't called him. I called her downstairs and asked her when she was planning on calling her father about the ride. I explained to her that she should be considerate and give him as much notice as possible. She screamed at me and said that this "is no big deal." I told her it is a "big deal" because he needs to plan the rest of his day and have time to eat dinner.

    Her room is a total disaster area and should be condemned, lol! Her clothes are thrown everywhere and stuffed into balls in draws. I told her that until she takes care of her clothes, I won't buy her anything new. She refuses to clean up the mess. As a result, the only new clothes she has gotten this Spring are things she purchased herself with money she has from watching our neighbors' dogs.

    The last dance of the school year is for eighth graders only. It's called a "prom" even though it is held at the middle school and really isn't much different from a regular dance except it is only for eighth grade students. There is always a theme and the kids dress accordingly.

    To date, she hasn't mentioned what the theme is or the date of the "prom." She'll probably need something special to wear. I want her to be able to go and have a good time. I'll take her to get a new outfit. However, should I make her pay for it out of her dog sitting money? I'm tired of her treating me like garbage and I don't want to be "walked all over" by her.

    I realize she is at a very difficult age. At the moment, I just don't know how I'm going to get through it!!! The only thing that matters to her are her friends, especially her boyfriend (he is another problem entirely - I'll save it for another time.)

    I'm so sad and hurt by her behavior. As I said, she and I were always extremely close. I am having a very difficult time dealing with her totally unacceptable behavior. The only time she talks is when she is asked a question that requires an answer. Even then, she'll usually just nod her head "yes" or "no". She is rude and defiant when she has to talk.

    Please help!!! All advice and suggestions are welcome!!! WFEN
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Sounds to me like you're doing fine. What's that saying? Do to get. If she can't act like the human being she is, she doesn't get the privileges. Doesn't plan ahead? No event. Doesn't treat you with even the minimum of respect? No rides. Doesn't do her homework? No phone.

    I remember being that age and being snotty to my mom. But....I also knew if I pushed too far, I would get a huge shove back. She's got to learn to do what needs to be done in an acceptable manner. I would keep doing what you're doing. The only other thing I can say is to maybe have a talk with her if she ever transforms into anything resembling a decent mood. it anyway. Make a written list of the house rules and expectations and what happens if they aren't followed. Make multiple copies and post it somwhere. At least then, she can't say she didn't know even though they have been in place for ages.
  3. So Tired

    So Tired Member

    WFEN - It's hard for me to say if this is just typical teen behavior or difficult child-ness since my only experience so far has been with my VERY difficult child teen age son. He is 18 now, and looking back, I wish I had taken a firmer approach when he was younger and some of the behaviors started escalating. I always gave him another chance, didn't ask much of him around the house because he was busy with school and band and extracurricular activites. But now he seems to have quite a sense of entitlement. I always thought that just because he was smart and could do well in classes that he would naturally get good grades and go on to college. Well, he barely graduated high school, only passing the classes he needed to graduate and flunked all the rest. He did not go to college this year, but is working 3-5 days a week at Meijer. I am hoping that some type of common sense will kick in soon!

    I guess I am saying that you are doing the right thing by laying out logical consequences and following through on them. Even though it is hard to make them suffer those consequences they need to know that they are due to the choices they make. I know if I had the last 4 years back I would worry less about my son feeling bad for a few days and more about him learning important lessons about choices, consequences and responsiblity. I kept thinking if I was "nice" to him he would "get it" and be appreciative and nice back. Big Mistake! I wish I had discoved way earlier that although I can't change the way he is, changing my behavior would enable me to detach from being involved in what are esentially his problems.

    Stay strong and don't feel guilty! You are only asking her to live up to what are her responsiblities. As to feeling hurt, I understand that too. Try not to take it too personally -- they are always the worst to those that love them best because they know our love is a "given" Try keeping your distance and you may be suprised that she then seeks you out! (My son and I can never have a "normal" conversation without arguing, but he will text message me all sorts of things that we would never talk about face to face.)

    Sorry I don't have any more answers than what you already know.... hopefully some others will be able to be more helpful....

  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    This is so typical teen behaivor. As a high school teacher I see a remarkable transformation that takes place after 9th grade. Usually it's about the middle of 10th grade when girls become "human" again. I've seen it over and over and most girls, if guided correctly, outgrow this snotty attitude. Until then, keep doing what you're doing. And good luck.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, that's so sad, when she was so good b4!

    I've been hurt a few times, too, at almost exactly the same age your daughter is. I find that it's best just to walk away because my easy child really needed her independence, and if I got on her case too much I would alienate her. Turned out that was the right thing to do ... several of her friends are not on speaking terms with-their mothers and one doesn't even live with-her any more. It's a hard time. You just have to have faith that her old personality will return.

    We've pd for a few of our easy child's dresses, and she's worn her cousin's dress, and has worn her other dresses a cpl times ea. She goes to a LOT of dances and we told her we would buy only 1 or 2 but not all of them. One of the dances is casual so we had her choose a dress she could wear to dinner and church. She whined a bit but it turned out fine.

    In reg. to last-min. notice for rides, welcome to teen life!!!! That is SO typical. My easy child does it for bake sales, too. Thank d*G I've finally gotten on the PTO email list so the moms give me a heads-up.
    Sometimes, if it's something important, I take her, but I make her "pay me back," either by cleaning or doing something else. Other times, she has had to skip it. And other times she's gotten a ride with-a friend both ways.
    This is only the beginning, I'm afraid. You will have to learn to pick your battles.
    I think the diff between my easy child and yours is that my easy child is Machiavellian enough to know that if she begs sweetly enough, and maybe puts on tears, I may cave in. But if she gets nasty, NO WAY.

    No matter what you do for a living, whether you're a fulltime mom or you're running for president, your kids will never understand that your time is valuable. They won't get it until they are your age.

    Oh, and the bedroom ... I always ask easy child what she plans to do over the weekend. She'll tell me, and I'll say, "That's after you clean your room and do your own laundry, right? Because if it's a mess, I'll send your friends away." I have actually done it, but her friends don't leave--they run up and clean her room for her! LOL.
    Now when I say it, she gets a stunned look on her face and everything is clean within an hr or two. (Yes, I've had her boyfriend folding laundry at the DR table b4 she could go out to dinner.)

    I really, really want that MEANMOM license plate ...

    Good luck!
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    The not planning ahead thing is sooooo typical teen. It's like that part of their brain shuts down from about 13 to about 15. Or so.

    What caught my attention is her missing assignments and her not having the phone for a week. Most teenagers would curl up and die if they couldn't talk on the phone with their friends. That alone would often be enough to get them to do their chores, homework, whatever.

    Depression in teenagers often looks like hostility. If she's withdrawing from friends and activities that she normally enjoys and is doing a lot of things that are really out of character for her (like the school work), I would probably take her to see someone just to make sure everything is ok.
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    And if she is depressed, she may be leaning on the boyfriend too much for support and pulling away from you/family. You are wise to set boundaries and stick firmly to them. It's the only way you'll ride this out with your sanity intact, and it's part of her lessons in growing up. If she doesn't learn them now, she'll learn them the hard way later. I think you are doing fine also, and would ditto the therapist check-in for her.
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Oh, I totally missed the boyfriend part. Sorry. Is he monopolizing her time away from her friends? Is he the reason she's missing some assignments?

    I'd definitely stick with the boundaries and consider a therapist check in.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, I missed that, too.
    I ditto the Q, Is he the reason she's missing some assignments? Is there something else going on?
  10. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Honestly, you're kinder than I am. I wouldn't even remotely be worrying about the "prom," let alone worrying about what she's going to wear. She needs to get all homework caught up, her room clean and chores done properly for at least a full week before the prom would even be a remote consideration. An attitude adjustment would be nice but she is at THAT age, so that may be asking for too much.

    I gather she still has use of the house phone to call friends, etc. That may be why losing the cell isn't quite that big of a deal (or she's bought a use by the minute one and maybe boyfriend is helping her pay for it?).

    Since the cell phone loss isn't working, it may be time to up the stakes. The prom would definitely be part of it. All phone and computer access could be another. Basically, grounding her until the homework is caught up.

    Sorry you're going through this. I really hated the early teen years. I think every mother of a girl does -- they're just not very nice people at that age.

  11. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Oh my...I'm thinking the age. Sounds like we have quite a bit in common when it comes to this. I happen to be a softy with easy child because he brings home the grades, is active in sports & I hear so many compliments of what a wonderful young man he is. I always step back & want to give him easier on him. Why? Because I'm not convinced I will ever experience anything close with difficult child. It sounds as if you are doing a wonderful job. I suppose I need to grow the *you know whats* & follow along. It just breaks my heart knowing what has been put on his plate from the time I was pg with difficult child (I had heart problems & he would would check on me constantly) up until now. He puts up with so much, I don't hammer him like I should. So, I'm in the same boat. But, I will say...the biggest weapon! When I mean business, that's the first thing I say "hand over the phone"...."sorry you already paid for the month, it's mine now". Hmmmm....the boy becomes my best friend ;) I will say, with my parents, I remember being quite awful around this age. I had to stand up to their expectations. But, I also remember my parents were the way they were because they love me. Start taking away the important "stuff" ;) Communicate. It will all work out.
  12. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    How old is the boyfriend? I think 14 yrs old is too young to have a boyfriend but I know many parents think it is o.k. so no judging on this one. If boyfriend is older, that would mean that he is having some privledges that your daughter is not ready for (later curfews, more freedoms, ect.). She is rebelling over natural "I am old enough to do what I want" as well as "I should be able to do whatever boyfriend wants me to do. If he wants me out late then I should be able to stay out late" sort of things.

    How does boyfriend do in school? If it is not important to him, he is leading her into her disrepectful attitude toward school.

    14 is toward the beginning of the years that kids really think they can take care of themselves 100%. It is natural for them to start pulling away from (or should I say pushing back) parents, however, since your daughter's seperation seems faster and deeper than you feel is normal, I would look at the influence of boyfriend and other friends.
  13. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The typical teen stuff is:
    not doing the chores (or not doing them to YOUR standards)
    messy room
    snotty attitude
    pulling away from mom (sorry - it is natural, a way for humans to start to get some independence).

    The dealing without the phone could be that she is just that stubborn to make her point and thinks you will give in.
    The homework could also be just to anger you - she needs to know your life is not affected by her school performance, only hers is.

    One thing you HAVE to do now - stop taking it personally. Do not let this hurt your feelings. Start hardening your feelings now - it is the hormone changes, not that your daughter does not love you anymore. You will get to enjoy your lovely daughter again, so don't waste time getting hurt feelings about her attitude. It is hard, but it is truly not worth the energy you put into hurt feelings.

    Also, be sure to take care of yourself. Having someone you love treat you this way is tough on the soul, even if you do not take it personally. Start getting your nails done or getting massages.
  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I have no easy child, just Miss KT, so I really don't know what's typical teen. However, for the most part, I let school deal with school consequences. My standard response is that I already did my time in (blank) grade, now it's her responsibility. If things don't get turned in, oh well, but if any grade was lower than a C, she was grounded until it was back where it should be.
  15. ourlilrayofhope08

    ourlilrayofhope08 New Member

    it sounds like it might be time for you to" fight fire with fire", so to speak. every child has a "price", and i mean all children. you just have to find out what her price is and go from there. just keep in mind that things will probably get worse before they get better. but i promise u if u stick to ur guns and follow thru with your "threats" or "consequences" then u will come thru this whole thing feeling like there is hope and that there is something out there that works. you just have to really,really stick to your word. think things thru before you hand down punishments and pick your battles. but on things that there is no 2ways about it, you need to figure out what you want from her and what you're willing to do to achieve it. anything is possible, believe me. you can get them (our children) to do anything we really want or need them to. as far as the chores are concerned, if she cant complete her chores as "her"part of keeping up the household, then you need to be able to not feel the need to do anything "extra" for her. whatever u do dont do them for her. in my house my hubby and i have figured out what our firls prices are , not that they dont change all the time, but for the most part we know, and if they are not wantong to do their part to maintain the household then they dont get to do things they want to do. there is no outside influences allowed, i.e... no friends, no phone calls, no going anywhere, straight home from school, no tv or music or anything until their homework and chores are done. they will miss those things before those things miss them. if u have to strip her environment down to the bare minimum. her bedroom only really requires a bed and sheets/blankets/pillows and school supplies to complete homework. other that that thay dont have to have all the other things that we as parents give them in their rooms. start out with whatever is her price. if she cant live without the phone then that goes first, if its the cd's or cd player, then that needs to go too. and until you get what u are wanting or needing from her, then she will not get what she is wanting or thinking she is needing either. be aware, she is probably gonna raise the stakes at some point, and if and when she does then you have to raise them too. once she figures she cannot bully u anymore then she will do what is expected of her. just be strong and know u are not alone.:wink-very:
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First of all, if the rule is no phone if behind on homework, then yes, she should go with-o a phone however long it takes her to get caught up.

    How is she in Jr honor society if she is so behind and doesn't get credit even if he turns stuff in?? Are you SURE this is what she wanted a ride to??

    If you told her nothing new until/unless she takes care of the clothes in her room, then buying a "prom" dress will tell her you don't mean what you say and she can get away with what she wants.

    My personal view is that proms are for jr/sr year, the rest are dances (unless your date is a jr/sr). How is a prom to be special if there is one every year?? How will she value the expensive prom dress and accessories if she doesn't even ahve to do the BASICS to get them?? IF you let her go, then she should buy the dress out of her own money, in my opinion.

    I realize kids go through BIG changes around this time, part of growing up and getting ready to move out on your own (or so one doctor told us), but I would still wonder about drugs. Somewhere we had a checklist of things that might mean drug use. Unfortunately, at her age she is a major target for drug dealers and for peers pushing drugs and alcohol.

    I know it is hard to think about, but you really should think about it. If for no other reason than to be able to try to get her into help at an early age.

    I know you are very sad and hurt. I am sure that it must stink. But you must stick to what you say or it will ONLY get worse, AND she will grow up with-o the tools she needs to be an independent adult.

    Hugs, and you have my support no matter what you do!!


    ps. What is the consequence for not caring for the cat??
  17. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I feel your pain. My easy child is going through so much of this right now. It is so hard to see our girls change like this. It's hard for me to say if it's typical teen or more. I know with my daughter I'm thinking it's more but I really don't know. I like the advice about not taking it personally, I wish I could get better at that but it's something I haven't been able to master.

    We have a lot of the same things in place. When hw isn't done, no phone, no computer, etc... until it is. So far it isn't helping but with her I'm not sure what will. Maybe just perseverance.

    I'm hoping for both of our girls it's just typical teen and we will see them emerge as wonderful, strong women (and please let it happen quickly)!

  18. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    My daughter went through a tough time at that age also. She was not very nnice to me for no reason. I had to ground her for sneaking out of the house, talking back and lying. She has since turned around. She is married and calls me to do things with her. She asks me my opinions about things and has been very sweet. Sometimes I think aliens take over. It will get better. I didnt think it ever would. hang in.
  19. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Such a hard one... Mommy heart.
    You know I have Bipolar Disorder, but regardless, when I was her age yes I had lots of issues, but i always knew, no-one was going to bail me out.
    As I read more and more, that seems to the common theme. That the person realized they had to do something on their own. They only had support, to an extent.
    I knew my Dad was not going to help me if I messed up. I am not saying it was the best, I got into LOTS of trouble... but it made me smart and real responsible very fast... I made it to my job, to school, made the honor role, did my own laundry, was out on my own at 17... (I knew how to always stay one step ahead of everyone) was it good? eventually I learned to get it all together.
    I agree with the others, even though it is easier said than done... I know what I want for my kids, can I always do it??? I hope.
    Good luck.
  20. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    First of all, junior high is the pits.......wouldn't do that over for a million $$$$! I think you have reached the time where parents make a your kid's friend or be your kid's parent......It's not an easy choice because you want your child to come to you and tell you everything, but the child is being torn by friends telling them that the parents are trying to "control" them......tough choices for kids and parents.

    So do you want to be your kid's friend or parent? Sometimes if you choose parent now you get to be their friend when they are adults and making adult choices.....Good luck with your kids and this time will pass. One caution I would add is that this is a time of friend influence and trying different drugs. It doesn't mean your child is addicted, maybe just experimenting, but know right now that her friends may have more influence than you, so just be prepared to hold a line. Where you put that line is up to you. Your job is not necessarily to be liked by your child, but to guide your child to the best of your ability. I'm getting off the soapbox now......