14yr old DD driving me insane and causing ALOT of stress(11 Posts)
I've been reading the threads on here with interest over the past month or so, I think they really help us mums of teens feel slightly more normal ;)
However im taking the leap and seeing if ou can help me. I'm in a bit of horrible and hurtful situation with my 14 yr old DD, just started year 10. Wonder if any of you can help...A bit of history...
Was a single mum until she was 9, when I met met a brilliant single dad with 2 girls. I'd not introduced her to anyone before that, was quite careful about meeting 'boyfriends', not that there was many...Now, we're all living together, settled and have been doing so for past 4 years. Generally very happy. Partners 2 DDs are older 17 and 21, eldest now at uni. Behaved ver well as teenagers which makes my DD look look worse!
My problem is that my DD is like many others on here, disgusting bedroom...but does manage a shower every day. A bit of a slob tbh. this last year we've started having almighty rows about small issues and her not listening to me or having respect for me. Can be just the way she looks at me, huffs at me, or tuts and it will send me over the edge. Everyone says this will get better but I can't see how. She was a really lovey little girl and I'm now wondering where she is now, as the DD I have at the moment is horrible...
She spends alot of time in her bedroom on the internet, being sloblike. I'm concerned abut this, and wonder if I should restrict. Seems a bit obvious I suppose. She does very well at school, bright and liked by most teachers. Which reassures...She is generally 'ok' but I feel like we're treading on eggshells around her..she flips out when she doesn't get her way, can just be a simple no to a packet of crisps for eg. Very manipulative, speaks nicely when she wants something.
She doesn't have a fantastic relationship with SSs, they are extremely close and my DD sometimes feels a bit 'alone'. I've spoken to her about this a lot, gave suggestions as t ow to build u friendship/relationship, but she can have attitude with them too which puts them off. They see what she's like. Similar with SD.
Had massive row this morning which left me n tears for rest of day. I suppose i already know what mighthelp...some boundaries? Any tips, this proem overlaps a bit, bth teenage and step family issue.
Sorry this is so long, would appreciate any insights. X
I will give you my standard advice (apologies to people who have read it umpteen times, I know I know, I'm boring).
First of all - ignore the attitude, look at the action. So if she huffs and puffs but behaves well, ignore the huffing (it's better than smiling sweetly and ignoring).
Secondly, try to be dispassionate in the way that you deal with her - don't take what she does personally. Take a step back and deal with her behaviour and NOT how you feel about it.
Thirdly make a list of the things that bother you (her room doesn't matter, her tantrums do). And work on one thing at a time.
Fourthly, keep a diary and make sure you include the good things she does as well as the bad - you may well find that you only have a row every few days and in between she is nice, but you have stopped noticing the nice bits and only see the negatives.
There are a lot of us who have been there. Be nice to yourself, sit it out, and she will grow up.
Look at it from her point of view.
She was an only child, then you moved in two older girls who seem perfect.
You have not mentioned whether SDs see their mother, for all you know they may be vile to their own mother and nice to you.
She sounds like a typical teenager. She is doing well at school is not on drugs, hanging out with joyriders or any of the 100 other things you could be dealing with.
And what maryz said.
Red, you present such a mixed picture, it's hard to know how to respond. Obviously you are worried or you wouldn't be here... On the one hand, you say your DD is:
- "Is generally ok"
- Does well at school and is liked
- Asks for things nicely
But she's also:
- Stays in her room a lot
To be honest, it sounds like she's pretty normal - not too bad at all. But it sounds like you compare her with her SSes, and find fault by comparison. I wonder if she is aware you don't think she's as good as her SSes? She may feel inadequate and rejected.
It sounds as if you don't actually like her very much, which is pretty normal and understandable - it's hard being a mother of teens, and they're often not very nice. But your daughter needs to know and feel you love her. Do you do nice things together? Do you tell her how much you care? Do you praise her for the good stuff?
I notice one particular sentence: "Can be just the way she looks at me, huffs at me, or tuts at me, and it sends me over the edge" ... This makes me wonder if there are other things going on in your life or in your head, that are leading you to over-react to little things? Are you doing nice things for yourself? Are you generally happy? I have definitely found my teen much easier to cope with when I have been looking after myself If you are stressed, it is very hard to deal with teens!
My daughter was horrid at 13 and 14...it HAS got a lot better over the past year(she was 15 in July) She has two elder sisters also, now 20 and 22 and they weren't like she has been at 14 AT aLL. I didn't like my daughter much at that time in our lives, it's understandable I feel, although I still loved her I hated her behaviour, and I lost count of the number of times she wound me up or upset me so much I went out of the house to cry in the car :-(
Re the relationship with sisters, my daughters relatinship with her sisters was damaged a bit by her behaviour cos she could be foul, and also helped herslef to their stuff without asking (rucktions there! Would advise locks!)
I don't know if her behaviour would have improved on its own or not, teenage years are horrible for some kids, their brains seem to re-wire more than others and emotions are all over the place. I have tried to be patient with her, to praise her, to give her a bit of freedom(not too much!) and she has got involved with the odd sports club etc I try to hold my tongue and so does she (I think!) Her elder sister told her to try and just agree when I'm going on about something instead of arguing and trying to have the last word always...it works for both of us! As I explained to her, I don't enjoy "nagging" but some things need to be done and if she did them I wouldn't need to tell her to again and again. Our communication has never broken down but at one point I felt at times she had been taken over by another horrible person. I work with teenagers and a lot of them slob around and don't do much..and trouble is these days they dont need to cos they can communicate with their mates from their own bed now! They don't always notice mess, and if you nag it could become a power game between you and her. I ignore bedrooms until they are absolutely horrible (then we have to have a quick clear cos after all it is my home).. it's THEIR space and when they can't find stuff it's their fault for living in a tip and having a floordrobe. If she chooses not to shower every day...she soon will when her mates comment!
Good ideas from maryz..and I followed these. Looking for the good points rather than the negative etc
I don't know you, or your circumstances but for me I found getting a bit more of my own life with other people helped (I do work but didn't socialise a lot on my own) even if just for a cinema trip or something. It helped my daughter to see me as a person in my own right. I have also been away for a weekend with a girlfriend and left her with her dad..which again did her good..a bit of space etc We have also done stuff together, not just shopping, me and her, like horse riding, climbing lesson, the odd walk etc.
I agree with flow4...your daughter like mine is ok, does well at school, and is generally well liked...you should be very proud of you and her that in general she is such a nice person and will grow up into a fabulous adult. As the saying goes, keep calm and carry on!
Just came in to hold your hand and nod
It's sooooooo hard
I've got one just the same (15 nearly 16). Cries, swears, tantrums and spends money very easily. Bedroom is a vile tip.
Sometimes though, I get a glimpse of the girl she used to be and think, 'well she's still there'.
Internet goes off a bit after 10pm here- otherwise she would be on all night.
This is just to say good luck. I'm a bit tired of blaming hormones myself. Mine seems well able to control their effect when she's not with me. We had a major tantrum last night- can't remember the exact cause but Jack Wills knickers were there almost from the start....
My DD made our lives miserable from the age of 12 until the beginning of this year (she is now 17), her behaviour dictated our lives and made us all miserable. Even her younger brother suffered and would hide when she kicked off. Friends and teachers would tell us how lovely she was, good at her work, so polite...we used to wonder who they spoke about. When I look back I cannot remember my daughter laughing during this time and she had always had such a brilliant sense of humour from an early age. We did all walk on eggshells, it was not relaxing to be at home, we looked forward to going to work!
Now at 17 she is really good fun to be with and what is more is an individual who doesn't follow the crowd. I am not saying that we don't have our rows, but now I feel she behaves as a "normal teenager".
When I ask her now what the problem was she says that we were horrible to her..there seems to be no underlying reason. I assume that she had a hard time growing up and I do refer to hormones. When I see photos of her from then she is very pale with dark rings under her eyes, she is not now.
People told me it would get better, when you are in the midst of this you cannot believe it, but it does. Also, I never found another mother whose daughter behaved in this extreme way - we seemed to be very alone or maybe very honest.
Thanks everyone, that has helped me feel a lot better. Like you say, maybe I need to step back and focus on behaviour both good and bad, and don't worry about less important things.
Sashh - girls see their mum regularly as she lives local but they live with us FT. They haven't been 'perfect' but they have respect for parents and don't talk to any of us parent types the way my DD speaks to me. Usual gripes with them but nothing to really moan about.
I might try doing 'nice' things with her...I have tried in the past & school hols but she's sometimes not keen. Especially if it's something boring like going for a walk with the dog. She used to like swimming but now wont go...self conscious. I suppose I sometimes feel like why should I bother when she babies like that. But yes maybe if I put more effort in I might get more respect.
I'll let you know how I get on and good luck to other mums of girls...
Sorry about words and typos btw, bloody spell check keeps changing words!
I'm in the same boat - 14 year old DD and three older SDs (22,20 and 17) who were mainly angels. The middle one had her moments and they have had real problems with their Mum but have always been polite to me which makes my DD's behaviour seem worse and has an effect on her too I think.
Can I recommend a book I bought after reading about it on here - Get out of my Life......but first take me and Alex into town. It helped me to distance a bit and see why she's behaving how she is but it's still so hard to live with day in, day out. I feel like there is very little pleasure in being a parent at the moment and I so loved it when they were small....
I cling to the fact that it will get better in a couple of years and try to take one day at a time and stay calm! My Mum and DH sometimes get on at me though saying why am I allowing her to speak to me like that or do something (she's been going to a local park a lot in the evenings lately and drinking has been involved etc plus I'm worried about what she might be getting up to with the bf) - this makes me feel like a completely rubbish parent!
I try to keep showing her affection even though her standard response is 'don't touch me'! And tell her I love her all the time - even though I often don't like her. She is doing well at school and is lovely with everyone else (except my other DD who is 12) so I am grateful for that at least.
She has no contact with her Dad who left when she was 2 and has had no contact at all with them since she was 3 and she gets angry about that I think. My DH tries his best but isn't close to them at all despite being a lovely dad to his DDs. They treat him like a visiting uncle most of the time and we always have been so close - I think that's why she has to be horrid sometimes - she has to prove she doesn't need me so much anymore and so rejects my way of living (I am quite tidy and her room is a TIP for example).
Good luck OP and keep us posted!