LOSING THE PLOT! with 2 DDs

(25 Posts)
teapot5 Tue 27-Nov-12 20:06:18

I'm almost competely losing the plot. DD1 (just 18) extremely difficult - she's been a nightmare in every way for the last 3 years. Each year DH and I were hoping that she would get better. NO, she is almost regressing. I'm exhausted both mentally and physically. DH is the same. It's causing us sleepless nights, arguments, resentment etc. Now DD2 (nearly 13) is becoming a nightmare. She is almost following her sisters's footstep in attitude. She hasn't sworn yet, but can make really horrible insulting remarks. Anyway I got so fed up with her over FB, homework, housework, messy room etc. I lost it with her, I shouted at her, followed her to make her listen, and of course it didn't work. Now I feel not only miserable but really depressed. I can't look at DD1 for different reason (she can kick off any time - walking around the eggshell - I know it's not the right attitude), and I know why DD2 is suddenly rebellious. I don't feel fit to be a parent any more....

You are. It's them. DD(15) is a shocker sometimes. Well, often. DS (19) so dopey that I secretly try and think of him as a sort of pet. Like an messy expensive useless friendly dog or something. Then I can put up with him a bit longer. Try not to beat yourself up (I'm a fine one to say that really but it's true.)
I wish there was a place teen mums could meet and just howl a bit and have a cup of tea.

teapot5 Tue 27-Nov-12 21:12:29

Barbariano, thank you. I loved 'I secretly try and think of him as a sort of pet. Like an messy expensive useless friendly dog or something'- you made me laugh! Yes, it's nice that I could laugh! In fact I said to DH this morning in the car 'she (DD1) is like a maltrained dog'. But our conversation was not a funny one, it was depressing.

chocoluvva Tue 27-Nov-12 21:44:43

I had no idea parenting teens was going to be so difficult until DD turned 15 last year. I genuinely thought other parents were just exaggerating!
About a month ago I resolved to pick my battles and things have improved enormously (tempting fate, I know).

I've tried tough love, pick your battles, nag, don't nag, laughing at them, crying at them (gets the Oh now you're turning on the self pity response) going down to their level (You're lucky I'm not pregnant and smoking weed all day, shrieked dd in response to some mild remark of mine. You're lucky I'm not too, I snarled back. She blinked a bit at that one but continued.) All I can say is, it's awful round here quite often, you are not alone. When mine were little darlings my sister's were teens. How awful I thought she was to chuck them out and change the locks. Judgemental bag that I was. Now it seems perfectly sensible (especially since hers have turned out charming).
There's someone about called Maryz who may come across to talk.I hope she does, because she really helped me. Meanwhile be very nice to yourself (somebody has to be).
Choc helps.

teapot5 Tue 27-Nov-12 23:10:34

Yes, thanks. I know Maryz. She's got a support thread. I guess I just want to offload from time to time. There seems to be two (or more) 'me'. One is certainly get stuck in this horrible situation, another (real me perhaps) is whispering 'don't listen to that cxxp. You are valuable - be nice - you deserve it'. OMG I am talking to myself.....

VivaLeBeaver Tue 27-Nov-12 23:14:43

My dd is nearly 12 and a nightmare already. Is verbally nasty to me, calling me all names under the sun. It's not all the time, she can be lovely for days and then just seems to get in a terrible mood.

We've had A big argument this evening, god knows what next door must think as they must have heard the lot. Dd was crying by the end of it. I'm seriously thinking of putting a lock on the inside of my bedroom door so I can lock her out my bedroom!

MrsBodger Tue 27-Nov-12 23:21:27

Sometimes I lock myself in the loo.

Thassorl.

StressedoutMotherofTeens Wed 28-Nov-12 19:08:52

Got to comment. One day dd (15) nice as pie, next day MONSTER! I too lock myself in the bathroom - though she has tried to break the door down!
I agree with barbarian it's definitely them not us. I use this forum as therapy ie. I'm not alone and suddenly can feel better - after the row has subsided and one of us has locked ourselves away!

flow4 Wed 28-Nov-12 21:14:19

It's not you teapot, it's them. smile

Their horribleness is really hard to handle - especially when it's relatively new, I think, and you're dealing with the shock of it, as well as the nastiness itself.

Two insights I have found useful (with apologies to anyone who has heard me say this before)...

A friend with a slightly older teenager once said to me that angry teens are like hurricanes: you can't stop them; you just need to survive. When there is a hurricane warning, you don't think "Oh, what can I do to stop or change that hurricane?" hmm... You batten down the hatches, climb under the table, protect yourself and your loved ones, and wait for it to pass! Similarly, when your teen turns into a monster, you need to protect yourself emotionally and wait for them to grow up re-gain a bit of control... That sounds a bit cynical, but it has certainly been my experience, and I found it reassuring to have it described like this by another parent who had already been through it.

My other favourite reassuring and useful idea came from this book (The only useful book about parenting teens, IMO!) They suggest that teenagers need to be horrible as part of growing up and separating emotionally from you. If everything stayed lovely at home, they'd never be able to leave... So they instinctively make things unpleasant and 'sabotage', so that they can bring themselves to leave! Makes a lot of sense to me... hmm grin

musicposy Thu 29-Nov-12 10:10:39

barbarian I loved your repsonse about being pregnant and smoking weed! Made me laugh so much grin.

DD1 also does the "you should be lucky I'm not" thing in response to any criticism of her behaviour.

Well, I'm not exactly terrible parent either! I must remind her that I could be stoned out of my mind all day, sleeping with a whole ton of people who aren't her father, and spending all the money that currently feeds her costa and subway habit (she needs a job but is only making very tentative efforts hmm ) on fast cars and loose men, should I have a mind to grin

teapot5 Thu 29-Nov-12 10:11:56

Choco, Mrs, Stressed, viva,barbariano and flow, thank you for your posts.

Flow, I have that book and read and forgot. It's good to keep reading from time to time. It was particularly encouraging that it says they can be horrible because you as parents have given them unconditional love when they were small.

It's hard because she (DD2) was always easy-going lovely girl with a smile! But according to the above mentioned book and other parents, it's only normal step for a teen (well, DD1 has gone too far, but she is a kind of a 'useless annoying pet who can be lovely occasionally). I need to be emotionally detached to keep my sanity.

musicposy Thu 29-Nov-12 10:15:12

And, yes, I think they do have to create conflict so they can break away. I remember being horrible, absolutely awful to my mum at 18 for no real reason at all. blush Except that looking back I was off to uni and I think I had to convince myself that I really needed to be 150 miles from home because home was so awful - otherwise I'd never have been brave enough to go. I now get on brilliantly with my mum and am very close, so I have hope when my DDs go through these moments (and with one of 13 and one of nearly 17, there are plenty of moments!)

DameEnidsOrange Thu 29-Nov-12 10:16:30

YY to it's them not you.

We are only in the early stages - DS is 14 and DD is following up the rear at 8, so I just as he comes out of his teen years, DD will start.

I like the hurricane analogy. And I find alcohol and chocolate help.

psychomum5 Thu 29-Nov-12 11:40:43

Much much sympathy.

I have three teenage daughters, and they can be nasty and horrid and judgmental and evil and vile, and just plain rude.

They have days where they reduce me to tears and make me feel like a piece of shit on their shoe.

And then, they have days where they are wonderful, and kind, and funny, and caring, and polite, and sweet, and loving.

I swear they have alien clones!!

I am lucky that DH sticks up for me, even when he thinks I am just as nasty back at them.....I sometimes find I am reduced to their level to actually get the point across, and then feel, god, I am the adult here, and I am behaving like a teenager blush.

It is particularly unpleasant at 'that' time of the month. We are all horrid, and my poor DH and two younger sons....they must wish us all away.

I look back on their toddlers years and so wish I could go back there, with my current knowledge, and cherish them more. I found it so hard, physically, at that time that I rushed through it aiming for them to hit teens and be 'easy' What a mistake.

But, my mantra then was given to me by the fabulous Mars, 'it is only a phase'

Teenage years are sadly a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG drawn out phase, and one which sees me reaching for wine all too frequently, but I have hope (in those flashes of niceness from them), they they are still the gorgeous small folk that I used to have, and will again.

givenup37 Thu 29-Nov-12 12:04:52

Them, not you, every time. Even when they drive you to behave unreasonably. Love the pet analogy too. My DD recently accused me of caring about the cat more than I do about her. Well, the cat's easier to get on with.

Thanks to flow4 for book recommendation. Picked it up after reading an earlier thread. Made me feel guilty about being divorced, but, hey-ho.

teapot5 Thu 29-Nov-12 13:52:57

I was beginning to feel a bit better. We are not the only ones who are made to feel shit by our teens and a place like this certainly helps to pick me up and carry on. But I'm sorry to be so negative, but just remembered that a friend of mine mentioned something similar for teens (i.e. 'it's not your fault - it's them (= us! parents)...........There must be people (like drug dealers?) who want to take an advantage of incredibly naive unhappy teens.

Myliferocks Thu 29-Nov-12 14:01:31

Can I join in ladies?
3 girls followed by 2 boys here ranging from 16 down to 8.
Our house can be hell at times and all of the hormones and anger is usually directed at me!
It's hard sometimes to be the adult and respond as an adult.
I was recommended that book and have read it halfway through.
I must read it again!

Yes, I'm sure you are right. But they also take advantage of bumptious know it all teens, and too cool to pull their jeans up teens, and too much money in their pocket jeans, and all the other sorts too. Including the ones from truly loving supportive homes. I know this first hand.

Myliferocks Thu 29-Nov-12 14:04:06

pyschomum I couldn't agree more with all of your post. I had to check I hasn't already posted on this thread as you posted exactly what I could have posted.

(that's a lot of posted's blush!)

psychomum5 Thu 29-Nov-12 14:35:10

MyLifeRocks....I think you are me, two years behind. grin

Three girls then two boys, ages 18 down to 10!!

teaPot5...drgus hit any teens from any walk of life. I don;t think it happens to just angry teens, it can happen to tho who are explorers too, and those just wanting to try something new to satisfy their curiosity.

My mother was a drug addict, as was my father (I was taken from them at 6 mths briefly, premently at 18mths), and they could not have come from better backgrounds.

It was the early 70's tho, and so they were the generation that really had no idea of the impact drugs can have. For my mother, it ruined her life and she has been in mental hospitals since I was 2 on and off, solidly since I was 10. She was one of the unlucky ones who has the genetics that react with drugs and end up with schizophrenia. My one and only silver lining from that is that my own children have met her and see that, should they try them, they are 95% guaranteed to be the same, as their genetics are likely to be the same.

I sometimes wonder tho that the more feisty the teenager, the more they know their own mind, and so hopefully won;t need the mind altering reaction drugs give.

well, I hope.

HermioneHatesHoovering Mon 03-Dec-12 07:57:02

I'm coming to the end of raising teens. I can only add, just keep putting in and sticking to those boundaries, also call them on the rude behaviour, don't let them walk all over you even when it seems easier to do that for a quiet(er) life.
Good luck!

flow4 Mon 03-Dec-12 08:43:53

psycho > "I sometimes wonder tho that the more feisty the teenager, the more they know their own mind, and so hopefully won;t need the mind altering reaction drugs give."

Nope, I'm afraid that one isn't true either, perhaps especially if the mind they have and know isn't the one society wants and values sad My DS1 is certainly feisty and his own mind - and mouth - kept getting him into trouble, especially at school... I'm pretty sure one of the reasons he started smoking dope was to 'self-medicate', sedate himself slightly to keep out of trouble, and deal with being bored. sad

Luckily he now seems to have found a college course he loves, so he's re-engaged again. smile

Touches wood and carries a small sapling around so wood is always touchable!

I agree with Hermione about always calling them on rude behaviour... But it takes a while to realise and accept that 'calling them' on it does not mean stopping it, or even controlling it. (If I had a quid for every time I've said "Please don't talk to me like that...") I started out by challenging rudeness, sanctioning it, expecting it to stop, and being surprised, angry and disappointed when it didn't. Eventually I realised that you keep on giving the 'moral messages', and even if it feels like you no longer have any control, the messages get through, because you still have influence. smile

chocoluvva Mon 03-Dec-12 11:38:12

Completely agree with Flow4.

I take heart from the fact that my mumbling, grumbling, complaining DS (13) does say sorry when I 'call him' on his muttering rudeness. I'm hopeful that it bodes well for his future relationships.

IMO 'Get out of my life, but first...' is very useful. BUT one size doesn't fit all when it comes to teens. Some need firm boundaries, some need reassurance and confidence-boosting, some need consistent punishments/rewards....
My two are quiet, shy, not feisty, indie, politically aware but you can tell them nothing. It's very frustrating. But if you're doing your best most of the time, it'll probably be okay. Hopefully.

I felt terrible about my DD for the best part of a year. She had a not-great boyfriend whose mum was undermining me and she let things slide/didn't seem to care about anything much except this boy, despite us living in a nice suburb, going to a very good (state) school,having lovely friends from lovely families, being gifted at her hobby and quite bright and attractive. I felt I must have made a poor job of bringing her up as she was so influenced by this (negative, unpopular) boy and his (not-particularly-desirable) family, kept thinking I was making the 'wrong' decision, even worried what my friends would think of me letting her spend a lot of time with him UNTIL...... a chance conversation with the mum of a girl who's now at cambridge uni - a studious, attractive, talented, sensible, go-getting girl - who had been in a very similar situation to my DD when she was the same age. This mum - who appears, calm, intelligent, thoughtful, - downright calm, I tell you had been very worried about her DD too. After that, I felt so much better about the way I'd dealt with my DD during that time.

I've had times when I've felt that I'm not capable of coping with teens and times when I've been so furious with them I can't decide whether to turf them out on to the street or run away myself and see how they manage without me then eh, eh!

Oh no - it's definitely not just you!

Teenagers weren't even invented until the 1950s anyway.

Goes off muttering to self

Damp towels on the floor.....

Hope you have a good day OP and the other posters. We deserve it.

chocoluvva Mon 03-Dec-12 11:39:35

Not indie, not politically aware ....
See - they've driven me to not being able to type properly
Sorry.

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