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!

valiumredhead Tue 02-Jul-13 08:59:38

Urghhhhh ds has been driving me mad over the last few days, grumpy, stroppy and I have had to really up my game to stop him being seriously rude.

Tiredness from nearing the end of term and shed loads of anti hystamines for hay fever don't help his general mood either.

And breathe......

Joiningthegang Mon 01-Jul-13 22:10:59

I remember being that age - I was hideously vile to my mum. I think I took out all the stress I had during the day and saved it up - it had to come out somewhere and my poor mum got it.
She was my receptacle for my stress because I knew she loved me.
It didn't really make any more sense then than it does now but I think we are sometimes worst behaves to those we love most

BastardDog Mon 01-Jul-13 21:49:20

Thank you. Thank you. I'm so pleased to have found this thread. I thought my 12 yo dd and I were the only ones. My dd is lovely to her dad, her teachers, her gran etc. It seems all her hatred and venom is reserved for me. It is very, very hard not to take it personally.

Someone up thread mentioned it was like living with an EA partner. That is EXACTLY what it is like.

I also agree with the sentiments that if dd was dp, we would no longer be together.

Getting tough with my dd wasn't working. She saw it as a challenge and we ended up locked in a battle of wills. Her behaviour was getting more extreme as she tried to get one over on me.

I tried avoiding her, but I found avoiding felt like hiding and hiding from your 12 yo child made me realise how bad things had got.

I'm having more success by ignoring and not reacting to provocation, not engaging with her when she wants to start an arguement (I just leave the room without comment) and being really kind and loving towards her when she behaves normally towards me. It's all easier said than done though. She's been bullying me (that makes me sound such a wimp) for so long, its not easy for either of us to change the way we interact.

Anyway I just wanted to say how nice it was to find I'm not alone with this. I don't know anyone in RL who has has this kind of a relationship with their child.

MrsShoutyPants Mon 01-Jul-13 21:26:22

Definitely worse at some times of the month - but pretty bad all through the month too.

Have tried the loving approach - like everything else it works for a while and then she gets bored and starts taunting for a reaction.

Thing is - she needs to learn how to behave - that said she is very well behaved at school and most other places - although mil has now seen it first hand too. I just don't think it is acceptable for her to call us names and hit us - and she needs to respect the fact that we work hard to keep her in the manner she has become accustomed to. She thinks she rules the roost!

Joiningthegang Mon 01-Jul-13 21:11:17

Is my dd (11) staying with you?
Mine is much worse at certain times of the month - hormones are key.

I have tried tough, then really f***ing tough - just makes her more defiant and rude and difficult.

I think the response is better i you try as braw describes
(Not that I don't get angry - not brilliant role modelling in this house I'm afraid)

Kindness and love is the way to go - take things away and get angry they have nothing to lose and try to prove how tough they are and realistically how far can you really go (although I introduced monthly pocket money and she usually loses most of it through bad behaviour anyway)

Good luck - shot sometimes this parenting malarkey.

On the bright side mine is away with the school for a week - yay!!!!!

MrsShoutyPants Mon 01-Jul-13 19:55:10

Oops sorry - what was I saying? Ah yes - DD is 12.5 and has always been challenging. Recently her behaviour has been utterly appalling - calling us ars****es regularly, trying (and succeeding) in hitting us and being extremely horrible to live with.

She has no interests whatsoever other than arguing and annoying us - it seems like she gets some psychological payback from being told off.

She has constant friend issues - best friends with someone one day and hating them the next.

We've tried to get her interested in things, hobbies, music, dance, sports etc but everything seems like a one day wonder and she gives it up.

Tantrums and crying are an everyday occurrence and her electronic stuff isvpretty much constantly confiscated. She'll beg for them back, be nice for a day and as soon as she gets them back she turns horrible again.

I got a great book called Diva's and Doorslammers a few weeks ago and we started a scheme where she has to earn her pocket money by behaving well - but she won't play - says she has plenty of money - she just doesn't care about anything.

Has anyone got any idea of how to motivate a tween who just doesn't care about anything?

frissonpink Mon 01-Jul-13 19:53:09

Be tough. Be cruel to be kind. You sound like a lovely person, who's tried very hard to please her daughter - too hard!

Look at the positives - your daughter behaves well at school. So you have taught her well. She knows how to behave. She just chooses not to do it with you!

Why? Because there are no consequences and she senses your weakness.

You need to get firm with this now.

I remember a young boy I taught (would have been about 6). Gorgeous little boy. So polite, well mannered. Imagine our shock at parent's evening when his Mum said he regularly told her to --fuck off--go away and other such niceties!

I asked the boy the following day...along the lines of... So I met your mum last night and she says you can be rude to her at times. Is that true? You're so polite in school, you've never said a rude word to me!

He turned to me and said (no word of a lie)

Yes, because I wouldn't dare say it to you!

And that's from a 6 year old!

This little madam of yours needs showing who's boss ;) (and I say little madam with affection, as she's clearly a bright child, who just needs a little nudge in the right direction!)

Work on your voice. You need to speak and command with authority. If you say you're going to do something, do it. Don't threaten. If she doesn't like what's for tea for eg, tough. That's the option. Eat it, don't eat it. If she chooses not to eat it, let her go hungry. She won't starve!

MrsShoutyPants Mon 01-Jul-13 19:44:33

So pleased to read this thread - was thinking I was the only one suffering. Actually came in to see what kind of professional help I could seek as I am truly at the end of my very long tether.
My DD is 12 a

See, once she realises she is not going to get her way without towing the line she will fall in.

Well done, this will be a distant memory soon.

Keep it up! gringringringringrin

valiumredhead Tue 25-Jun-13 18:10:18

Oh thank goodness, well done you! It's a relief when things are back on an even keel x

iHeartTheoJames Tue 25-Jun-13 17:53:40

I shall not be beat Valium and in preparation rather than her waste another whole bottle of ecover I have bought two huge bottles of Easy for £1 from the poundshop. She can knock herself out redoing the washing up, not meaning to be cruel, but I want her to stop the silly games. She's not going to get out of doing washing up by deliberately doing it wrong, it means she will have to do it again. So hopefully the next time I ask her to do it, she'll do it properly the first time. If it was a genuine mistake I would understand, but it was deliberate, she did it purposefully wrong in the hope I wouldn't ask her to do the washing up again.

I've just got in from the shops, she's happily put the shopping away for me and is now eating a pasty I picked up for her as a snack as I know she likes them. She agreed to put the shopping away before she knew I had bought her a pasty. Things are certainly feeling more harmonious so far

clam Tue 25-Jun-13 17:47:12

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

"Because I like it and I pay for it." End of debate.

valiumredhead Tue 25-Jun-13 12:27:40

Well donesmile the washing up would have been done again properly if ds had tried that on and a refusal would be one more day without phone/x box.

Sounds like you are getting the upper hand though,I almost feel sorry for ddwink grin

Notmyidea Tue 25-Jun-13 10:12:14

well donesmile keep going!

iHeartTheoJames Tue 25-Jun-13 09:09:00

It's going well-ish!

She didn't appreciate being asked to do some washing up so she did a terrible job knowing I probably wouldn't bother asking her again. When I asked why she didn't use washing up liquid, that water alone won't get stuff clean, she pleaded ignorance and was annoyed with me for criticising her.

So she did it, if not very well. She knows to use washing up liquid as the day before she used virtually a whole bottle when all she needed was two squeezes. Maybe she just does very big squeezes grin

I got some horrible attitude from her last night so when she asked me to check her alarm clock I refused which resulted in some backchat but then this morning she has been as sweet as sugar. I hope it's starting to sink in that she can't talk to people like and then they'll still do her bidding. Last night I downright refused whereas before I would have tutted and done what she wanted anyway.

To be fair though, even though I got some attitude before she went to bed and about the washing up for the most part of yesterday she was very polite and lovely.

Thanks for asking thanks

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Tue 25-Jun-13 03:27:29

Op how's it going?

Something I've see. Mentioned before is getting them to come up with punishments,

CrabbyBigBottom Tue 25-Jun-13 00:22:58

MadLizzy I'm not sure anyone's ever said that before. Thanks! grin

cory Mon 24-Jun-13 09:07:16

Ds went through a phase round age 11 where he displayed some similar tendencies. This is what we tried:

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

Very annoying this one- and ds hasn't quite grown out of it. The only thing, I find, is not to rise to it but calmly say "I am angry because you are not doing as you are told, the way to stop it is to go and do as I tell you now". But calmly. Or ignore his comments altogether but just keep insisting that he does as he's told.

*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*

I did (still do) a compromise of cooking a couple of meals a week that I know ds likes: the rest of the time I just ignore him. Maybe a firm "That will do" accompanied by a Paddintong Bear stare at unpleasant comments, but otherwise I didn't let myself be drawn into arguments. He wasn't going to starve, I had no reason to feel guilty, he could eat or not as he pleased, and if he didn't there would be more for me. Fortunately I'm a greedy pig so I can comfort myself with the thought that any well cooked meal is going to go where it's appreciated grin

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

I might say "well you can always make suggestions before I go shopping and we can take it in turns to have our preference". But then I would stop discussing it as chances are she is only using the jam as a pretext to take out her bad feelings on you.

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

Very difficult and not sure I have an answer to this one.

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

In ds' case it was my coat that wasn't up to his finicky standards. And he was embarrassed if I spoke English in public as that meant people could understand what I was saying. hmm

I either ignored or used it to my advantage: "Oh you want me to walk down with you to such and such a place- well, it's a chilly day so I'll just grab my warm coat". And in no time at all ds would have shot out of the door with a hurried "It's all right, mum, I can get it myself" and I would be putting my feet up with a nice cup of coffee. grin

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*

Thankfully haven't had this one. Sounds very difficult. But if there is a big incident I would perhaps try to work on their sense of dignity and fear of loss of face and gently point out that people who tell silly tales don't do themselves any social favours. Don't overdo it though: fear of face loss is a big reason why they behave in this way; confident people are generally more pleasant.

Constantly angry and resentful

Tick. It seemed to get better when he started Yr 8 and got a better social life/started feeling a bit more confident.

An incredibly huge sense of entitlement

I find only time and patience works for this one. If you keep on not letting yourself feel guilty, not letting yourself be pushed into anything, but not letting yourself get riled either, she should gradually work out that being nasty and entitled doesn't get her anywhere.

"Does chores under duress."

Afraid that goes for most teens and pre-teens. Just keep applying the duress. wink

"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."

Don't. When you feel grateful, you are also focusing on her bad side and the resentment you feel, perpetuating the idea that being nasty is Who She Really Is. Try to stay a bit more neutral, taking any pleasant moment as something natural and normal. Then maybe in time she will come to think that being pleasant is natural and normal for her.

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

I think this is a case of counting your blessings. You don't want to be constantly called into school because your dd is the school bully, the child who assaults teachers and cheeks the Ofsted inspector and is on the verge of exclusion. You really don't.

Madlizzy Sun 23-Jun-13 23:14:13

I'm with crabby smile

kerala Sun 23-Jun-13 21:22:38

Read a book called queen bees and wannabes. Chapter on types of parenting is interesting sounds like you need to move from "best friend" parent to "loving hard ass"
(American book but worth a read)

MrsTomHardy Sun 23-Jun-13 20:28:25

I'm a shouter too....I stay quiet for so long them I erupt...plus I have to shout to get my voice heard sad

Floggingmolly Sun 23-Jun-13 13:53:25

Sorry, I haven't actually read the thread, but - who does she get you in trouble with???? shock. You're giving her way too much power over you...

BriansBrain Sun 23-Jun-13 13:47:52

Ah a preteen section, I never knew!

DD is the most annoying creature known to man and also the loveliest person ever.

I'm a shouter and I hate it and it's not getting us very far

iHeartTheoJames Sun 23-Jun-13 12:12:01

heehee it's feeling goooooood!! grin

Feel power girl!!! grin

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