do i cave? she has a point....(42 Posts)
DD is 15, almost 16. she is (mostly) lovely. does well at school. doesnt go out. keeps her room clean and tidy. gets up at 6am for school every morning, works hard while there, has achieved good grades, she is organised, disciplined and methodical. She has a boyfriend of over a year who is nice, she is nice. mature. sensible.
so its come as a bit of a shock lately that she has been a bit "kevin the teenager" with me.
being disrespectful. back chatting. loves her dad. hates me. the usual teen stuff i guess.
She recently decided to alter course on further education and switch from A level to BTEC.
which is truly fine by me - but she opted for a complete surprise of a course - health and social care.
its a good course - can lead to good things. im happy with that - but if i so much as utter one word about it, (such as asking if she has told college that she is switching course...) she goes off on one with me. I wanted to know what had led her to choose that particular course, but she was defensive and horrible when i asked. She seems to think that im judging her - im not - i think she is sensible and i dont really think she would have coped with A levels - she hates exams and gets really stressed....
she had asked if she could have her navel pierced for passing her maths GCSE - she really struggled with maths and her confidence was terrible. We got her a tutor, and she went, willingly, every week. it paid off and she passed.
i said she could have her navel pierced and booked it for her.
Last night she spoke to me like shite...we argued. she snaps my head off for no reason. i said "carry on" and she said in best kevin the tennager stylee "or what? youll ground me?" (she never goes out) so i said "no - i wont take you for this piercing"
"go on then" she replied.
"fine" i said.
so tonight she is being pleasantly human. I told her i was going riding on Friday....she asks about piercing. I say i told you - its not happening.
She then gets upset, and ends up spilling all this teenage angst on me, sobbing, she tells me that she fell out with her group of friends who then egged my house and car, that she has been outcast at school and hates it, that people are shouting things at her in the street, about her looks, her weight, (she is 5ft 7 and weighs 7st 10.....she is very attractive but disarmingly doesnt know it and is quite insecure, i noticed she had lost weight recently....) she is stressed, she is dyslexic and doesnt cope with exams well, hates for her dyslexia to single her out and gets mad that she gets extra time and a seperate room etc - god forbid anything that makes her different....she (rightly) tells me that all her friends are going out everynight drinking, smoking, that she does none of that, that her brother got away with murder and that she feels that even though she is a model child its not good enough if i punish her for something she felt she couldnt help - she says she doesnt know why she snaps at me, she just does. She says she likes to deal with things on her own and doesnt like to talk to me or for me to interfere which is why she doesnt tell me things,
she clung to me and sobbed her little heart out.
and now i feel awful. She went and had a bath and came back down much calmer, normally she doesnt come anywhere near me for hugs etc but she laid down on the couch with me and had a cuddle....she was exhausted. She said she was sorry. I said i have feelings too, and she said she is just feeling very confused, hates school, feels judged, tries her best and could be doing all manner of terrible things but doesnt, always tells me where she is going if she does go out....feels she has no one, etc etc.
so. the dilemma is do i take her for this flaming piercing now or not?
part of me didnt realise how much adolescent angst she was going through - she seems in genuine turmoil. with school. her friends. her self esteem. This is the first time she has let her guard down and opened up to me in a long time.
part of me feels that if i dont stick to what i said ive lost all credibility. but she just isnt likely to play on it - she really isnt usually a pita at all.
do i just tell her we should both start again and wipe the slate clean but that i wont tolerate being spoken to like rubbish and that if she does it again i will dock her pocket money or something? or should i steadfastly stick to what i said?
could do with opinions please.
Sounds like starting with a clean slate would be fairest - and she did pass Maths after all. She clearly realises that you meant it and took that seriously enough for the emotional dam to break so I don't think it would be a credibility issue... can see both sides but on this occasion it might help your relationship move forward?
She's trusted you, she's shared her fears and her stressers with you, and she's right. She has been a good girl for years whilst watching you handle your DS.
Tell her you love her, tell her that you won't take being treated like shit for any reason and take her for the piercing.
Next time she cocks up, think of a sanction as a consequence, but this is a bridge building opportunity.
She is likely to find college so much better than school, I know my DS did.
She is lovely, your girl, and she deserves a bit of slack now and then,
i would say that you appreciate that she has told you. but because of the way she had spoken to you before hand you will still not take her for her piercing.
offer her the option of her next exam then you will take her then. but i would say don't back down.
my mum never backed down and it didn't do me any harm. i appreciate it now I've got dd, and i don't back down.
I think you managed to make your point, and have a chat where you both understood each other a bit better. So yes, I would reinstate the piercing.
(Actually I'm really not into piercings, but assuming you are fine with it as such)
whoops i now feel like the baddy...
Vic's DD has had a bit more to put up with than the average teen, so that's one of the reasons that I'd not stick to the letter of the law here.
thanks everyone - issy i appreciate your opinion too - i wanted to just see what others thought.
I dont really like certain piercings, but i had my nose done and i have a tattoo.....
she is very "girly" and has her ears done, she asked for a navel piercing done a couple of years ago but agreed to wait until she was older. She has wanted it done for ages and ive no problem with a navel being done (would be different if she had wanted a facial piercing or tongue doing....but she hates those anyway)
i was inclined to go with the clean slate thing....but make it very clear that a line has been drawn.
my friend was adamant that i shouldnt back down....but her dd walked out at 17 and never went back.
i dont want that kind of relationship with my dd.
nebulous is right.....my DS has autism, and has been an absolute utter pain in the arse at times. She has always faded into the background and let him get on with it. never complained. always the voice of reason where he was concerned if i was losing the plot.
Your DD and mine aren't one in the same are they
Seriously OP I recognise a LOT of my DD in your post, from not going out much, getting herself up extremely early (my DD gets up at half past 6, not 6), is doing really well at a school to 'having recently turned Kevin' on me.
A few weeks ago my DD asked if she could have the cartilage on her ear pierced after I said no to the navel. I agreed and then we got chatting. We talked about how things are at school etc. how proud of her I am and that I was pleased she'd found a new group of friends who all seemed lovely.
It was then I realised how bloody lucky I am to have her; 'Kevin' strops and all and I told her I give my permission for the navel piercing.
She had it done, as did one of the new friends from the group and that made it a bit of a 'bonding session' for them.
Your DD is a year older than my DD. I say count your blessings, as it seems they are many, and take her for the piercing.
I would be really glad she had opened up and tell her so, and go the clean slate route.
(Although you could also gently ask her to try to understand that it's pretty horrible to be spoken to like shit by someone you really love. Sometimes teenagers just don't really think, and it's ok to remind them of stuff!)
Clean slate too.
Passing maths took a lot of work, it would be such a shame to lose her whole reward due to one outburst when she was stressed and upset. She's apologised and opened up to you. Withdrawing the reward now wouldn't teach her to care more about your feelings; it would teach her that you don't care about hers.
She sounds like a lovely girl beneath the teenage communication methods.
thanks - it does help.
i think i am going to have a chat tomorrow. She kept telling me i dont understand! but thats only because she never bloody talks to me any more....
tonight was a good air clearing opportunity.
im inclined to let her have the piercing but tell her to just stop and think before she goes "kevin" on me in future....because her pocket money will get culled. That feels fairer than going back on what i said she could have for the maths exam....maths was such a biggie for her. Her tutor said she worked so hard for it and deserved to pass - she gave her money and an easter egg with a message piped on it....its a big achievement for her and i should honour it.
but future kevinisms will be charged in ££££££.
yep, let her have the piercing, but with the proviso that she pays for future infractions etc.
I don't think you will lose all credibility - she will see you as being able to compromise and see her point of view
well done to her for passing her maths exam btw
Is the piercing going to help with her other worries about friends etc?
Can't she try maybe a theatre group/ choir/ sport of some sort in the evenings so she might form new friends who don't see her getting horror of horrors extra time for exams etc? Just to boost her self esteem.
The kevinisms didn't bother me too much from what I remember. Especially if there is a difficult sibling to put up with. Better a strop than them bottling stuff up.
I wouldn't go back on what I said, though, so no piercing now, maybe in the future.
Also think, being an arsey old cow, that DCs at 15/16 don't know what is best as far as choice of course, future study is concerned and that you as a more wordly-wise adult should try to advise and influence them. Perhaps a chat with someone who works in their field of study to open their eyes a bit.
Let her have the piercing, you promised it as a reward for a specific task that she has completed, and that wasn't easy.
I know you are in the police so imagine you have just passed the sergeant's exam (don't know if you have taken it) and then you messed something up at work, nothing bad, no one hurt just a mess up with paperwork.
Your exam pass would not be taken off you. You may be reprimanded or punished in some other way but what you have earned by your own sweat and toil isn't taken away.
I think teenagers have a strong sense of right and wrong (I don't have one, but I do teach them) and rewards are important to them.
I also think that your daughter sounds wonderful. She isn't on drugs, she isn't drinking, she isn't pregnant.
She may have been putting up with jibes about her mum being a 'bizzy' or whatever term is local to you for years. Lots of kids with parents in the police put up with that.
Absolutely let her have the piercing- it was a specific reward for a specific thing. I don't think you should have withdrawn the reward- although I can see why you did!
Your daughter sounds lovely - she's just finding everything a bit stressy at the moment ( as loads of yr 11's are at this stage) and this is showing in her behaviour. Although totally unacceptable, it is understandable.
I think you are doing the right thing by having a chat and then letting her have the piercing-she did eventually confide in you and also apologised not to mention passing her maths exam. You are also making the boundaries perfectly clear for future 'Kevin' moments.
At 15 she is still a child - too young to make the decision to have a piercing and I think the melt down was because she is actually needing more boundaries from you.
She's growing up too quickly - not long ago she was a carefree child.
She made a good decision about her course but it terrified her. Questioning her decision probably made her doubt herself which is why she lashed out at you.
The 'reward' was a lovely idea but piercing was not [imo) appropriate. It's done at 18 for a reason.
Could another reward be substituted and if she still wants it at 18 she can go ahead?
Clean slate. She's opened up to you, been honest, said sorry. She will know you've not backed down easily, explain, but be proud of her maths result. She sounds like a good girl having a hard time. Treat her, I would!
The agreement was met by her therefore I can't see you can back out just because she had a teenage tantrum at a tricky time. You also run the risk of her feeling like she's being punished for getting upset. I know she handled it badly but she's still learning how to deal with herself.
It's fair to talk about how she manages her feelings and that maybe its better to talk things out sooner with you than let it build up.
I think your doing a great job because although it took time she still came to you in the end and told you everything and then felt like she could still have a cuddle from mum! That shows she trusts you and feels secure. You can't ask for much more.
Well done to both of you.
She sounds like she's desperate for acceptance and love, the treatment she's suffered at the hands of her "friends" has really damaged her and her "Kevin act" is her pushing you to see whether you'll reject her too, in a self-destructive bid to confirm her own view she's unlovable. She's projecting her thoughts onto you - she doesn't think she's good enough, ergo she expects that to be what you think and it's easier to get angry at you for that perceived slight than it is to deal with her feelings of inadequacy. Wish there was a magic wand for boosting self-esteem in teens. Spoil her a bit, it can't hurt.
I'd make her wait - tell her she can have it but tell her why she's being made to wait.
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