is this teen behavior when they have a difficult child sib, or more?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by crazymama30, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    So I am notsure if easy child is just being a teen who has a brother who is very different, or ifshe is being more. I am going to writeabout a few situations and get your opinions. I just am not sure, and am not very objective about the whole thing.

    So the otherday we went to Applebee’s for dinner. Onthe way we had to go by difficult child’s old school and water the garden. Good thing, as difficult child got himself all worked up,and calmed himself down while watering the garden. easy child was frustrated, but so was I at thispoint. We get to the restaurant, and gfgfixates on a milkshake. No. We got through that one, finally ordered, andthen difficult child was playing words with friends on my phone. He found the words to spell “whore” andannounced that fairly loudly. At thispoint, easy child was mortified and dropped her head on the table and made more of ascene than he did. Of course when Ipointed that out (big mistake) somehow then I was blaming her for hisbehavior???

    One nightabout 9:45 or so, I had just gotten difficult child settled and had crawled into bed. easy child was watching TV (she has been staying up untilI get up in the morning about 4 or 5am). She could not find the remote so she went back and bugged her brother,slammed his door, and then I had to do the whole getting him settled routineagain. I did blow up at her, told her Iwas done with her attitude and it needed to change.

    Lastincident, we went to a park by the river last weekend. The plan was for difficult child to fish,easy child, her bff, andboyfriend were going to float the river. difficult child could not fish that much as they people floating on the riverstarted further upstream than I thought. He ended up playing in the water with easy child and group. It was really nice of them to includehim. He then decided he wanted to floatthe river (he is terrified of water and cannot swim). I told easy child if she kept an eye on him that itwas ok. Apparently he freaked outseveral times because he was scared, and later she told me it really embarrassedher. You know he scared of the water,what did you expect?

    So a fewnights after these incidents (they occurred over the last week) easy child is coppingan attitude, being snarky about everything. She ends up going to her room and slamming thedoor. By this time I can tell thatsomething is really wrong, so I follow her and talk to her. She finally engages me and says that herbrother stresses her out and embarrasses her. She says her friends say they could not live with him. I asked her if she thought he was better thanhe was before he went to Residential Treatment Center (RTC), and she said NO! I completely disagree, as does his therapist and psychiatrist. Then she says something to the effect thatshe does not agree with how I parent him and that really bothers her. I told her that I was sorry, but I am theparent not her and she does not have to like how I do things and it really didnot matter if she agreed with how I parented or not.

    Is thisnormal teen who has a difficult child for a brother stuff, or more? I just really don’t know anymore.
  2. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    To be honest, while not having 15 year-old-girl myself, but knowing well many families who have, I think what you describe is very common and 'age-appropriate' (not nice, but neither is terrible twos) behaviour even with easy child-girl who has two years younger easy child-brother. And when the brother is difficult child and apparently noticeably special needs I think she is in fact doing better than many would. She does engage with him, allows him with her friends and doesn't try to pretend she is an only child and decline going anywhere in public with him.

    Her behaviour is not nice and I understand it doesn't help and it stresses you. But it is still typical teen behaviour. That of course doesn't mean that you can not ask better from her, parent her and if needed discipline her when she is over the line (and you decide where the line is.) But keep in mind that having difficult child brother is stressful also for her. And that in that age kids are very easily embarrassed by anything different. I know several total PCs who wanted their parents to leave them block from destination when giving them a ride because they were embarrassed the car parent drove (either it being 'too old', wrong brand, wrong colour(!!!) or what ever.) It's not nice but it is typical.

    Then again, it is you, who decide what time she is to be at bed, is she allowed to her brothers room after certain time or at all etc. I find all your examples rather typical behaviour. The one with the remote is something you may want to discipline her. Others are things you just have to explain her over and over again. I don't want to come off harsh but do remember she is not adult, she has no adult cognitive abilities, she really can't get it yet. Even many adults have difficulties to really understand psychological and neurological disabilities and that they are often matter of can't and not won't. She also doesn't have an ability to observe and compare her brothers behaviour yet. For her he was irritating before and irritating now, I think she is just too young to understand the big picture and differences and progression your son has made. She is still a child with child's brains and cognitive abilities. Sometimes that is easy to forget with teens, but it never should be forgotten.
  3. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    SuziR, thank you for your honesty. That is what I wanted and I appreciate it. I know that I don't have the ability to be objective in this situation, because quite frankly? I can find easy child's behavior harder to take than difficult child's. At least I know what to expect with him, as for her? You just never know. I think part of the problem (and easy child has said this too) is that difficult child looks "normal". He just acts anything but. He does not act his age at all, which is not a shock to me and I expect it, but she seems to expect it and get upset when he is so immature. I have tried telling her to picture him as 10, or even 8, but she just cannot seem to wrap her head around it.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. I have a sixteen year old daughter. Your description of your daughter made me chuckle because I think she is acting COMPLETELY typical teen. Most teens, especially girls, get embarassed over everything. My daughter, who is a easy child, would have been as mortified as your daughter was if she was in a restaurant and her autistic brother did something like that and it is also normal for her to be embarassed by the behavior of her brother around her friends. I don't see ANYTHING abnormal about that. On top of that, my girls are ALWAYS telling me how I should parent my I mean, you could have been describing MY youngest daughter. My older daughter is 28 and still tells me I let Sonic get away with too much (shrug).

    Also, even nice, good teen girls are prone to having attitude. It's the age. I really don't see anything to worry about with easy child.
  5. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Thanks MM, to me it feels way out of line, but I know that sometimes I don't have the best perspective. I am feeling much better about the whole situation now.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think it is typical teen too. One thing I think you could do to save the remote situation is get a second remote and make her completely responsible for it and to take it with her to her room with her every time she goes out of the living room. That way she cant blame him for losing the remote. I have two remotes for my TV in my room because I tend to lose one and then find it again in a day or two but Im not going without TV for that amount of

    Then you could just apply consequences for that action. I think she has a right to be annoyed but she still has to learn to be tolerant and to treat people with respect. She can be angry all she wants but she cant yell at him or make fun or him. Those things need to be punished.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    MOSTLY typical teen.
    The restaurant example is definitely typical teen - even a typical teen 14yo will set off a typical teen 16yo, both sides being partly to blame.

    The river example... mixed. Was it HER idea to include him? or yours? or difficult child's? If it was her idea, she should have known what she was in for, and been prepared for it, but if it wasn't her idea, then maybe a different approach?

    But the whole TV remote thing? That's frustration with a difficult child sibling. She needs to understand and accept that there are limits to what YOU will tolerate, and when she does this kind of garbage, she is making YOUR life difficult. If my typical teen were to behave this way? She'd be losing the opportunity to stay up all night... Her brother's need for sleep and a proper bedtime routine trumps the issue with the remote. YOUR need for things to go smoothly at the end of the day trumps the issue with the remote. If she wants to be having the liberties you currently allow her, she needs to plan ahead, and deal with these issues well before bedtime. And if difficult child is deliberately hiding the remote, that will also need to be addressed, because HE doesn't like it when she has to go hunting for it and disturb his sleep routine either.
  8. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    It was not my,idea to include him on the river thing, I included him on the outing but did not say for floating. He loves to fish and has fished here before so that is what I figured he would do. Thank you all for the perspective on the remote control thing......and no difficult child did not hide it.