12yr old DD just horrible most of the time :((21 Posts)
Title says it all really, not sure what advice there is think I just want some reassurance that we're not alone!
DD is 12yr 8months. Lives with me, my DH and our baby DD. I split up from her father when she was 9, she sees him twice a week during the week and stays with him alternate weekends. She is in year 8.
Ever since the end of year 6 her behaviour has begun to change, most of which I accept is normal, just finding it increasingly difficult to deal with lately. Every single thing, and i mean every thing, is a fight. She simply will not do homework, has regular detentions for this. She has to be forced into showering. Her phone is never out of her hand. Her bedroom has always been messy but lately she has reached new lows - used sanitary products left on the floor/bed for example. I have always tried not to sweat too much about her room as it's low down on the list of things to fight about but I can't let that one slide, yet she just shrugs like oh it's just mum nagging etc. She swears, is rude, does nothing around the house and is actually just bloody horrible to be around.
The one person she is pleasant with is her baby sister, I had been anxious about jealousy but she is very good with her and they have a great bond. She is happy at school, although it's very much a social club, her work is not up to scratch according to teachers.
To us though she swings between ignoring us, swearing at us or just grunting. She used to have a key for home so she didn't have to come with us shopping etc but she let friends in and trashed the place while we were out so is no longer trusted to be here alone, ditto at her dads house. Her behaviour with her father sounds pretty much the same as it is here. I've been on mat leave since march and thought me being a sahm for a while might help but has made no difference.
Sorry for such a long and rambling post, just wanted to get it out and really hope we're not alone!
i would come down REALLY hard now because otherwise things are only going to get worse.
i would take her phone away and i would also do something really drastic like remove her bedroom door.
when she swears at you do you have sanctions that you impose?
I should add, we force her to eat meals with us so that we can try to communicate with her properly at least once a day. She refuses to do anything else with us like go out etc unless it is a specific shopping trip to buy her something.
Usually sanctions would be grounding, or removal of Internet, or removal of phone. They are the only things she cares about.
I just wanted to say how lovely it is that she is nice to her sister.
Maybe she would be excited to babysit or be a "mother's helper" (as she's quite young). Perhaps responsibility and earning some money would help her feel more grown up. Do you have a neighbour or friend who would hire her? Could she be trusted to behave responsibly in someone else's house? I'm just thinking this might bring out her good side, which might make her have more self respect.
If I were you I'd praise her for the way she is with her sister. Try and stop there- just praise and d
Don't add, I wish yu were like this with me.
I'd then engineer an opportunity to talk. Ideally a car journey, where you're sitting side by side and tell her that there are some things you really can't tolerate anymore. There's a lot of resistance to it, but can you investigate Oliver James 'love bombing' I can imagine it working really well in this situation.
It is lovely to see her being so good with her sister. We give her an allowance every week, and regularly offer her the chance to top this up by earning money doing simple chores around the house, little things like fetching the bin in after it's been emptied etc and have offered to pay her to keep her room hygienic but she isn't interested. Underneath the attitude she is a lovely girl am just hoping she comes back out of the other side!
Your DD does sound like she is pushing the boundaries. Personally I would clamp down on the swearing and get the homework done first. Next would come the bedroom.
You will have to be firm and consistent with sanctions. However you'll probably only have to carry them out twice before the behaviour starts to change. Teens know when they are beaten and will then get on with it. They will moan like crazy but if you are calm and reasonable they will give way eventually. They know deep down that you are doing it to help them.
Removal of wi fi, removal of phone, removal of laptop are all effective- and you don't need to do it for long to make the point. Remove a phone for three hours and it feels like a week to a teen.
I suggest a big chat with ex DH before speaking to DD so that you are both expecting the same behaviours and issuing the same sanctions.
In my experience it is a long long slog but I am a few years down the line from you and am now starting to reap the benefit. My advice would be- don't give up and keep calm.
Mmmm, are you on good terms with ex DH? If so speak to him about putting some shared strategies in place with regard to sanctions/consequences for her actions. You might want to draw up some house rules and print them off for her to see what is unacceptable like the basic hygiene, swearing and homework and what your expectations of her are.
I know this sounds ridiculous but I get my teen to watch Jeremy Kyle with me to show her what (God forbid) may become of her! I know it is extreme but she gets the message.
I think you need to find some things you can do together even if it is just TV and have some time together just the two of you. She sounds unhappy. Perhaps you could also ask her advice about things for her little sister.
Sounds like you are having a tough time - funnily enough I recently joined mums net as I too am struggling with my DD who is 14! I also have an older son who is almost 18 but is fortunately fine!
This may not apply to you at all and ignore if it does't, but, I have noticed with some of DS's friends who also have younger siblings that often the older ones are expected to function within the family group following the 'lowest common denominator' . I.e family plans are arranged around what will entertain youngest, where youngest will fit in best etc. having a younger one I know that this is easily done, but we must remember that the older one is older and therefore needs his/her time being treated and repected as an older child. With DS we did this by Making a point of occasionally spending 'him' time with him on his own either us parents together or separately. As he's a boy he would do 'boys things' with dad, including going to a pub as he got older, and I would make sure I spent time encouraging 'us' time too - great way of getting them to open up and talk to you!
If ur DD is 12 try leaving her younger sister home with dad occasionally and do something together, a nail bar and treat her to her toe nails being painted ( you can have the full pedicure!), Starbucks for a coffee and a frapuccino, movies, department store for a mini make over etc
if you haven't done this try it - it will also build up a close relationship and you will have opportunities to discuss what is happening to make her feel like behaving the way she is.
If it is any consolation I am having different issues but also have terrible teen syndrome at home! It does make it a little easier seeing that our children, although unique, are not the only ones playing up!
Mums - keep strong and we'll get through it!!
Interestingly my DD (14 next month) is lovely and DS (nearly 18) is a lazy pain in the butt!
How does she get on with your DH?
Are you living in the family home, or have you moved?
What is happening at school? Have you spoken to her teacher?
Thanks for the responses, some helpful advice here
3littlefrogs - she has always got on really well with my DH, until fairly recently, now he bears the brunt of the rudeness and attitude. We don't live in the old family home no, we bought the house together 3 years ago. Yes we've been to school, they say she views school purely as a social activity and puts little effort in to actual work. My relationship with exH is civil, we have similar boundaries in force, he is perhaps slightly stricter than us.
It's an inset day today, DH is working from home and is going to stay here with our baby while me and DD go shopping together, see if we can build some bridges.
Can the school put your daughter into a different teaching group so that she isn't having lessons with her friends?
DD has some girls like this in her class and they seem to treat school as a meeting place to socialise and not a place to be educated. DD is no angel but she finds the constant chatter very distracting when she is trying to listen to the teacher.
Great to hear you and ex DH are 'civil' as so many times children are sanctioned by one parent but not the other. Def agree with him about the rules.
Above all tell ber you love her, take and interest etc etc.
Just got back to this.
I was just trying to see if anything rang any bells op.
With my dd I found that spending time just the two of us gave her an opportunity to confide things that were worrying her. Maybe your dd is suffering with her hormones - is there a cyclical pattern to her behaviour/moods?
My dd has never been any bother, but my teenage sons were hard work. I had to set out a contract of house rules and acceptable behaviour with rewards and sanctions for ds1. We had a signed copy each and any breaches were taken very seriously. It helped us through the most challenging times.
Interestingly, my dd - also 12 and 9 months! - just came in and I showed your post, OP. She said you should def. do what ilovechips says and ban the internet and take her phone, and forget the love bombing. Her best friend is somewhat like this, and she said her friend would just take lovebombing as a license to do more.
She also decided to clean her own room last week; it's tidy, and she did it all herself, and she loves it. But it was DISGRACEFUL before.
Years ago I read a poem by Celia Kitzinger about her mother Sheila Kitzinger. Celia complained that her mother was so liberal and self-possessed and nice that she - Celia - felt no rebellion or mess on her part ever made any difference. The line I remember is 'Mother, I am screaming/Let me be.' I think sometimes boundaries can be a stronger sign of love than lovebombing.
Hi, I also have a 12 year old daughter who can be very difficult, rude etc. Last year I went away with her, just the two of us for a night, we stayed in a b and b by the seaside, did things like ate fish and chips on the beach, walked along the pier. That seemed to help. I regularly ban her from tv and her computer. I'm not sure if that helps, but I feel like I have to try it. I say to her constantly: 'don't speak to me like that'. I think it helps even though I say it so often. She has good days and bad days. Some days she is fine. I try to chat with her at bedtime before she goes to sleep, that definitely helps, that is the only time she is receptive to talking. She likes to hear stories about when she was younger, and about me, from my childhood.
I hope things improve for you, good luck.
Tonight my DD sat and watched Miranda with us and thought it was hilarious, do you think you could persuade your DD to do similar with you?
Marking my place as off to bed now but will post again tomorrow. My DD was 13 two days ago.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.