Can't handle this behaviour from my tween

(92 Posts)
iHeartTheoJames Sat 22-Jun-13 12:49:17

DD has always been strong minded but as she's got older her behaviour has been harder and harder to handle

I am going to try and bullet point it so it's clearer to read

She is condescending - "what are you getting upset over now?" "What have you lost now?"

Constant put downs, every dinner time she finds something to criticise, little put downs all the time, it's like she tries and make me earn her approval

The meals I cook have got to be her liking

She doesn't approve of my shopping "What did you buy this jam for?"

She steals and lies and then does elaborate theatrics to cover her tracks

Rude "I want you to wear your hair down, you look ugly with your hair up"

Nice as pie when she wants something, couldn't give a F* when she doesn't.

She is vindictive and lies to get me in trouble if I have done something that displeases her. She has almost got me in big trouble in the past with her fairytales

Constantly angry and resentful

An incredibly huge sense of entitlement

Does chores under duress. I ask her to please tidy the lounge for me and she tells me she has to do everything 'round here'. If I ask her to do something she tells me I do nothing and she has to do all the housework, doesn't answer when I pull her up on the inaccuracy of that. Any chores done, or cups of tea made, are remembered so she can then tell me how much she does for me

I find myself feeling so grateful during the short periods when she is sweet and nice. Find myself feeling so grateful when she considers other people apart from herself as it's such a rarity.

Is as sweet as sugar at school and with friends. I constantly get told what an angel she is!

Is this normal tween behaviour and am I just being over sensitive? If not, how on earth do I deal with this? I have tried 213 magic (which has improved things but there's still a long way to go) and also methods I read about in a book about strong willed children, but she's still so rude, lazy and entitled!

grants1000 Sat 22-Jun-13 17:39:35

post this in the Tweens section under Parenting I am sure you will get more responses.

Have you told her this upsets you? When I have cried because DS1 aged 11 has been vile it really gets to him, I would say seeing me hurt from his actions or behavior is worse than a bollocking.

iHeartTheoJames Sat 22-Jun-13 18:29:55

She has seen me cry, she just rolls her eyes and gives one of her 'mummy's being stupid again' looks

It's so bad I can't talk to her anymore, I am either met with anger or she rolls her eyes and ignores me.

Going to ask MN to move this post, thanks

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 22-Jun-13 19:46:57

Hi there

We've moved this to Preteens now. Best of luck to the OP.

HeySoulSister Sat 22-Jun-13 19:53:01

Are you a lone parent op?

iHeartTheoJames Sat 22-Jun-13 19:53:36

yes I am

Thanks Rowan

Notmyidea Sat 22-Jun-13 20:03:12

I won't pretend I have all the answers, (I don't, I regularly come and lament my little horrors in the tweens section,) but what strikes me is that she seems to have no respect for you, (and clearly does know how to behave if she's angelic at school!) I think you need to get tough, set some rules and consequences if they are not followed. E.g she must speak to people respectfully or go to her room, if she doesn't like what's for tea and she can make herself a healthy alternative from what you give her permission to use in the fridge. If she starts to grumble see rule one.
Reward good behaviour with your trust in return.
They all try to seize power in the household, that's normal, but it's important not to let them and to insist on an attitude towards their nearest and dearest that will be tolerated later in life. Good luck!

TeenAndTween Sat 22-Jun-13 21:35:30

I have luckily not really had to deal with this kind of thing, but I agree with Notmyidea. If you don't get this sorted now think what she'll be like as a teen!

What is in your control to stop? pocket money, outside activities, being taken to visit friends? Can you use those as rewards for sustained polite behaviour?

iHeartTheoJames Sun 23-Jun-13 00:31:50

No she has no respect at all for me. I meant to say she also undermines me with her sibling and I am worried about her then repeating the cycle with them because then they will come to not respect me either

I do already send her to her room if she doesn't behave respectfully.

I am going to talk to her tomorrow and write a list of ground rules and expectations. The problem I have found in the past whenever I try and initiate anything is a roll of the eyes, a purse of the lips and this awful attitude of hers that I am some kind of nutter that she is forced to go along with.

Confiscating her itouch and/or kindle fire is usually a good motivator to get her to behave. It hasn't produced long term improvements in the past, so maybe I have been to quick to return it/them.

I lived in fear of my father growing up because of his temper and then after their divorce in fear of my mother and her wild mood swings and crazy ideas of discipline, I so wanted DD to have a happy childhood that I think I have been too soft and overcompensated for the guilt I feel about her not having a father and my own issues with my childhood

But this really can not go on, she has no idea of empathy and seems to be completely self obsessed and consumed and this will do her no favours in the future

Tomorrow I get tough...but I will probably come back here often for reassurance and ideas!

SavoyCabbage Sun 23-Jun-13 05:58:03

I'd go tough too. You don't have to be all shouty. She's probably not all that happy now and that's why she's being such a cow, so don't worry too much about making her unhappy.

Perhaps you could schedule a housekeeping meeting every week where you both sit down and plan what to have for meals during the week. Make sure you get some of your favourites in!

I did all our family food shopping from a really young age. My mum worked in a shopping centre and my dad dropped me off an hour before she finished and she met me at the check outs. As soon as I could drive, I was on my own.

The way she is speaking to you is awful. She needs to say "mum, I think your hair looks lovely when it's down. Why don't you do it like that again today". I would flush my dds itouch down the toilet if she was that rude to me. I'm not sure how helpful that would be though.

iHeartTheoJames Sun 23-Jun-13 08:46:06

reading this back the morning after I sound like a complete and utter doormat. I am not! I do pull her up, although I was so shocked when she told me I look ugly with my hair up I said nothing

I have confiscated her phone this morning and told her I am drawing up a list of rules and a contract of chores but so far she is refusing to engage and is sulking and watching peppa pig with her brother

Savoy, she seems so unhappy a lot of the time, she's so negative and pessimistic but says she doesn't know why. She's happy at school and doing well, she's very bright and she makes friends easily.

I had a dream this morning of just throwing her phone in the outside bin, but no, that wouldn't be helpful at all. Tempting though!

Flicktheswitch Sun 23-Jun-13 08:57:51

Hi OP we are seeing twinges of teen behaviour but nothing quite this bad...yet! Have you read 'Get out of my life...but first take me and Alex into town." It really explains this transitional period very well and helps to make sense of why they behave in certain ways..

SavoyCabbage Sun 23-Jun-13 09:07:44

I was thinking of this this afternoon when dd1 told me to take my hat off before we went in the library. It was embarrassing apparently.

Really, it's good that she is happy at school. A bit annoying for you, getting the shitty end of the stick though.

CrabbyBigBottom Sun 23-Jun-13 09:20:50

God it made me furious just reading this, OP. I wouldn't tolerate this kind of behaviour for a millisecond. angry

I don't really think I'm a good person to advise you, because I think most people on MN would think I'm a nasty mean mummy. If my 10yr old DD behaved like this she'd get such a tongue lashing that she'd be sore for days - when she moans about having to do things for me (which she often does, although she's generally a very helpful and loving girl) I point out all the things I do for her.

If she were treating me like your daughter I would confiscate her laptop and kindle and go on strike for a few days - let her know how it feels when you stop doing her meal preparation, cleaning, washing, taxi service, all the other things that she's taking for granted.

I'd suggest that you do a version of that, after which you draw up a contract of behaviour and expectations and come down on her like a ton of bricks when she is rude, disrespectful and insulting to you. Children (well anyone, really) will take you completely for granted if you let them and don't hold your boundaries.

As for the 'you look ugly with your hair up'... shock angry I would ask her straight out whether she would like you to start making negative comments about her appearance and personality? And ask her whether she thinks that that would be an acceptable thing to say to say to a friend? What makes her think that it's ok to speak like that to someone she loves?

You need to get angry, girl! wink

You need more of a backbone.

What do you say to her when she is rude?

I would look her directly I the eye and ask her what on gods earth makes her think it is acceptable to speak to anyone, let alone her mother like that. It would be delivered in a very authoritarian tone too.

Take her electric stuff away and tell her when you feel her attitude has improved enough to get them back and the change is consistent she can have them back. Until then tough.

As for the good stuff, tell her when she earns the money in the house she can buy exactly what she wants, until then shut up and don't be so bloody rude.

You need to reassert yourself and take control in a big way.

When you start seeing changes then you can sit down and have a chat about her maybe getting involved in helping plan meals and maybe come shopping and choose things she likes but until then you do have to get mercenary and stomp on this behaviour.

valiumredhead Sun 23-Jun-13 09:47:58

Personally I would confiscate her iPad and tell her it's up to her to earn it back with polite, considerate behaviour but it can be taken away at any given time if things go down hill again.

I think thus kind of back chat can become a habit really quickly and needs to be stopped asap.

I did the above with ds who is 12,I took his x box away and told him I would decide when he could have it back. That was bit of a shocker for him as he'd only ever had fixed term punishments before.

They really push their luck and it's up to us to redress the balance.

Wrt to the ugly hair comment-fucking hell,I would have come down on her like a ton of bricks, that is appalling. At the very least I would have grounded ds for being so nasty.

Any way, good luck, it's really hard, harder than when they were toddlers imosmile

valiumredhead Sun 23-Jun-13 09:49:29

Basically what madam posted!grin

Ooooh I like those kind of posts Valium!! wink

clam Sun 23-Jun-13 10:00:50

Who's the adult here? Who's in charge?

You need to take your power back, and I'm afraid my advice is to get mean and nasty. I KNOW that goes against your instincts and how you would like to be, but look where the nicey-nicey approach has got you.

First rule of asserting authority: don't get into debates. You do not have to give reasons for your decisions, as then they get argued against. Just say, "it's not up for discussion, just get on with it." If she answers back, "don't you DARE speak to me like that. Go to your room." Tell her you will not respond to any talk from her that is rude or disrespectful and there will be consequences. Do not tell her what those are as you won't have thought of them yet! that gives her the opportunity to weigh up whether it's worth calling your bluff. However, you MUST MUST MUST carry them out.
Balance this by being sweet and lovely when she is, but pull out the guns as SOON as her tone slips or those eyes start to roll. "I don't know which adults in your life think that eye-rolling is acceptable but you will NOT do it to me, is that clear?" If she asks why you're "being so horrid" tell her that her behaviour has been crossing a line recently and we need to get back to the lovely dd we used to know.

BrawToken Sun 23-Jun-13 10:00:57

I am sure you and she will get along better in a year or two. I think 10-14 are the worst years, my almost 16 year old has turned a massive corner in the last year and is a wee darling now most of the time. She was really difficult in all the ways you describe and seemed to want to push me to breaking point (also a single parent). I think they do this partly as a test (subconsciously maybe) to make sure you won't abandon them and they are reacting to all sorts of external stuff like school, relationship with their Dad, friendships, wanting stuff they can't have/afford, the media. Also hormones play a HUGE part in this. I favour the kill it with kindness and ignore the attitude approach which is not to say I haven't lost my rag sometimes! And BTW, my DD1 can still be a right wee bitch but there is light at the end of the tunnel now. No advice apart from count to 10, imagine you are watching your fights from a different perspective, count to 10, count to 10.... Remember your DD didn't ask for her life and probably compares it to her friends' and thinks hers is shite smile Hang in there x

sonlypuppyfat Sun 23-Jun-13 10:01:29

You have just described my DD shes 12 when she was at nursery I told her teacher that what ever I do is never good enough and she said and it never will be! She is as good as gold for the five minutes that you are buying her something. Nothing I do is right, she wants an i phone which will never happen but she's gone on about it for days. she always talks to me like shit but she's an angel for everyone else

BrawToken Sun 23-Jun-13 10:01:44

Clam and I are very different in our approaches smile

BrawToken Sun 23-Jun-13 10:04:17

Gosh I am actually swimming totally against the tide, worked for me though smile

clam Sun 23-Jun-13 10:11:32

Toughening up doesn't mean that you don't also understand their pre-teen angst, or that you don't also cuddle them and have fun and giggles along the way when they're on form.
But I have too much self-respect EVER to allow anyone to speak to me like that, particularly a child. And it's not good for her either. They want boundaries set, and this little girl sounds as though she's pushing and pushing until her mum finally sets some.
My dcs are mid-teens now (nearly 17 and nearly 15) and I can tell you I can't remember a time when either one has been rude. The thing about setting out your shop early on with regards to where your line is, means that you rarely have to use it afterwards. Nowadays the furthest I have to go is a raised eyebrow.
Works in the classroom too, where 11 year olds are my speciality. And I promise you they like me too!! wink

BrawToken Sun 23-Jun-13 10:19:42

Clam you sound great and so do your kids.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now