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feel awful after being rude to daughter Please help!(30 Posts)
I feel so terrible - 11 year old daughter(eldest of 3) has been awkward and difficult for much of school hols but it came to a head at weekend .I was taking her to a party and she was worried about being late (had been changing my clothes) and she said something like ' why do you bother,you still look awful' . I said 'why do you have to sound like such a bitch?
She gasped in horror at my choice of words and we continued the journey in silence.Later on,when I collected her, I said it was a shame we had fallen out - but didn't apologise Neither did she
I feel wretched as I don't want to be a horrid angry Mum,I love my children so much but just don't know how to handle rude,disrespectful behaviour. Earlier I sneaked a look in her diary and she has written all about the incident !!
Was what I said totally wrong ? has anyone else said anything they regret to their children?
my daughter is at a tricky age I know (and has just started periods) ,also her younger brother and sister are easy going and pleasant,which seems to make it worse - she is always saying how I love them more ,etc etc I tell her I love all of my children!I do try and have chats with her at bedtime and help her as much as I can with homework etc Sometimes she tells me to leave her alone
someone asked how often I look in daughter's diary - I don't usually - it's just that she had left it out ,open on that page ,on her bed ! I couldn't help but see it....
I really really dislike the word bitch so there is no way I would have said that, but if either of my children had been so rude then they would not have gone to the party. I would have been furious, comments on appearance like that are a big no no in my mind.
I don't get really really mad that often but when I do my children are under no illusions! They are 14 and almost 13 and most of the time pretty lovely, but they certainly have their moments. Mostly ds. We yell, he sulks and then we talk about it later. Normal teen/parent interactions I think.
One day last year, I told DD1 that she was acting like a bitch to her sister. One and only time I've said something like that to her.
She was horrified & devastated, she had only read the word previously - never heard it in use! And couldn't believe I would think that of her.
I was surprised at her reaction. Made me think twice about the language I use. Now I remind the girls not to be 'mean' (if really bad niggling), or to be kind (for lesser niggling).
However, in my head, I still think 'how bitchy' when I hear some of the corrections/comments she gives to DD2 (9). But follow up verbally with 'don't be mean...'.
That's lovely, Misslongstockings. Glad that you had a good chat and that she's been a bit better.
If my DC are rude then I tell them so. Not so much dd but DS is sometimes.
I once used the analogy of the family being a square, and when one person (side of the square) leans to one side, to attack another member of the family, the square falls apart. It helped DS as he's a very logical numbers guy.
We talk a lot about how important the family is, and how we stick together when things are rough, and don't hurt each other.
I think your daughter was far ruder than you!
Oh and I think your daughter was far ruder than you. Does she usually dish up comments on your behaviour like that and expect you to just take it? You told her straight, she sounds like a bitch making nasty comments like that. If I were you I'd have a chat with her and tell her it's very nasty to make negative personal comments like that and if she carries on there will be repercussions.
Dd is ten and very easily corrected so I just say "did you mean to be rude then or did you just forget your good manners?" and that's enough for her to apologise and correct her tone.
My others are older so get the raised eyebrow or "I beg your pardon" but have to say it's never really been a problem here they're pretty good really.
You sneaked a look in her diary? My mother once pulled me up on something personal that I had written in my diary - which was hidden so not as if I left it lying around open.
I never, ever trusted her again and stopped keeping a diary because of it, which is a shame as up till then I'd kept them for years.
But at least my mother told me. How often do you peek in her diary and is she aware of it?
How do you all react when your child is rude? What do you do about it?
I don't think there is anything wrong with teens realising their parents are people who love them unconditionally but they are human too and have feelings and can be hurt or pushed a little too far.
Hopefully she learned something from this.
parenting on paper is so clear cut but in reality it's a constant journey of fun, frustration, exhaustion and self doubt. Nobody gets it right all the time and we're all just doing our best! I suppose it comes down to knowing that we are doing our best and the we keep really good communication with our children.
you're doing great xx
You didn't call her a bitch, you said she'd acted like one, which she had.
Just to let you know that I've had a chat with daughter about behaviour - how it's fine and normal to feel irritated by, or angry towards ,other people , but that it is not ok to be rude to them or call them names . I also said 'I do love you very much,you know' and was taken aback when she gave me a proper heartfelt hug (don't get many of those) & had tears in her eyes!
She has been quite pleasant today . One or two signs of trouble starting with little sister - nasty looks & a bit of needling - normally I would have used a 'cross' voice to tell her off ,she'd have gone off in a huff etc etc then had a go back at me but instead I said 'that's not very kind' there was a silence ,then it stopped.....that was the end of it.....
am going to try my best (through gritted teeth!) to carry on in this way and see what happens!! At least we've had a good day today!
Thank you again for your encouragement and suggestions
I doubt this will go down as your proudest parenting moment, but I am not sure you need apologise any more than you already have by saying you regret the incident.
When I was about 12 and being a brat, my mum said 'I don't like you sometimes'. I can still remember it. But it was true - when I behaved like a brat, she didn't like me. Fair enough really! It did make me think about things, and I hope made me less bratty.
I think we are in agreement, Dancergirl - but expressing ourselves differently. I don't think it is acceptable behaviour either, and would certainly not put up with it if my DD were to speak to me like that.
Sometimes they just push that little bit too far, and they shock themselves as much as they shock us.
Didn't you roll your eyes behind your parents' backs when you were a teen?
Yes of course I did and I'm sure my dds will, but there is a BIG difference between doing this and speaking so rudely. Developing independence and growing away from your parents - yes totally normal. Rude and nasty comments - not acceptable.
I wouldn't be happy about my dd speaking this way to anyone. It's your job as a parent to teach them what's ok and what isn't.
I wouldn't make a big thing out of it. She was being a bitch. Hopefully you'll have shocked her into respecting you more.
Don't expect any respect if she finds out you violate her by reading her diary.
I've rounded on DD2 and called her a bitch when she was 9-10.
I'm afraid I don't feel in the least guilty, she was being unspeakably uncooperative.
I can't remember exactly why, except we were trying to get out the house.. The world wasn't revolving around her and she couldn't have her own way about something.
I'd just had enough of whinging, moaning and feet dragging.
Like the OPs DD, sometimes preteens do need reminding that other family members have feelings too. Mum's, Dad's and long suffering big sisters, are only able to put up with so much.
She removers me calling her it, she didn't like it, but at 12 she's beginning to understand that her need to be in control, which is her way of feeling safe and secure, is not always easy for the rest of us.
9-11 is a frustrating age, they have outgrown toys, but aren't quite old enough to go into town with their friends.
Comments that might have been a bit cheeky when children are smaller are downright rude when said by a 11y who should know mum's, dad's and DSIS have feelings too.
Sometimes preteens need to know, sorry that is enough.
It is totally normal for preteens and teens to distance themselves from their parents, and part of this is rejecting what your parents say or do as being 'so uncool' or 'boring'. It is a part of growing up, cutting the apron strings, and evolving into an individual with their own opinions and thoughts.
Didn't you roll your eyes behind your parents' backs when you were a teen?
I am not a fan of the 'how dare you speak to me like that' kind of response, because it is not the fact that she is speaking to ME (mother) in such a way, but that she thinks that this kind of response to anyone is acceptable, and it is not.
It is not letting kids get away with murder to understand why they are behaving badly, as long as the behaviour is challenged.
I think it is important not to give parents the feeling that they have done something wrong in the past. Some kids go through a very rebellious stage, some less so.
Did you manage to have a chat? How did she react?
I think it is totally normal behaviour for preteens to be a bit rude to their parents, it is all part of growing up and distancing yourself from them
No it's not normal and is absolutely unacceptable. My dd is 12 and whilst I get a bit if attitude occasionally, there is NO WAY she would have spoken to me like this. If she did she would have got a good telling off.
I think we've becoming far too accepting of teen behaviour. Saying that this is normal or that's normal lets them get away with murder.
OP, I know it's done now bit I wouldn't have reacted as you did after she made the comment. I would have said something like 'how dare you speak to me like that' and maybe consider not taking her to the party or a bit late etc. You need to set her an example of how to behave, speak etc but also that you have authority. Having said that, don't beat yourself up, I know how easy it is to let things slip out.
Yes teens DO test the boundaries but they also need very firm boundaries in place so they know what's acceptable and what's not.
Nothing wrong with any of us looking nice, but one thing you don't need consider your appearance for your children. Everyone else you know likes you for who you are. I'd say as long as you and your clothes are generally clean that's fine. I'm in jeans, t-shirt and cardi all day due to the fact that suits my work and I only wear make-up when I go out.
Obviously you've had time to reflect now and perhaps can consider how you would react next time.
Thanks for you replies! It is comforting to know that I'm not alone !
I think the whole attitude thing is so shocking because I wasn't like that with my own mum (probably repressed,but that's a different story....)
Maybe she is right some of the time - her siblings probably do get away with more than she did at their age
Also maybe I do need to consider my appearance! My 5 year old said recently,in all innocence ,about her friend's mum 'looking all fancy with nice earrings and make up,but you're just...just...'(couldn't think of word for her un-fancy old mum!)
Will have chat with daughter later,also have a think about how I'm going to respond to future outbursts !!!!
I think she should apologise for calling her a bitch and stop reading her diary.
You were right to pull her up on her rudeness though.But we all say things in anger,so don't feel too bad.
I think it is totally normal behaviour for preteens to be a bit rude to their parents, it is all part of growing up and distancing yourself from them.
At the same time, you can pull her up on her behaviour, and do it without calling her names. 'That is an unkind thing to say', is just as cutting, without making you feel bad about saying it.
I'd sit down with her and tell her that you are sorry you called her that name, but that you were upset with her remark. Tell her that everyone says thing at times that they later regret, but the mark of a kind and respectful adult is that they are able to apologise.
And stop reading her diary, that is an intrusion and if she finds out you have been reading it, she will be very upset. I understand you wanting to know what she is thinking, and protect her from harm, but you have to give her some privacy.
I'm glad it's not just me who has these experiences with her dd. Mine's 13 and it feels like a war-zone around here sometimes. I came to the conclusion yesterday it's partly because her default setting for speaking to me is monosyllabic and rude (think barking orders/complaints). I now make a point of saying it's not what she says to me but the way it's said that I don't like.
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