I have a 14 year old daughter who is becoming ever more argumentative and unpleasant. She refuses to eat what I cook for her and then makes her own meals - usually chicken kievs and pizza. She is causing frequent arguments between my husband and me. She rarely does homework, saying that she has done it at school and just wants to sit in front of the TV or computer playing games eating sweets, crisps and chocolate. When she does speak she swears and nothing is ever good enough for her. If she is nice, it is because she wants something. This has been going on for several years and is just getting worse, not better. We have tried counselling and asking the GP for advice to no avail.
Don't buy crisps, pizza etc would be a start. A diet of junk food certainly won't be helping her moods.
Have you talked to the school?
I don't have much to share with you, but it would be helpful I guess for others to know more details...
do you have any other kids? what age they are? does she get on with them?
if she causes argument between the 2 of you - do you argue in fornt of her?
what is her behaviour like at achool?
yes when she was 11-12 and they didn't feel there was an issue. My husband feels that I should buy junk food and that she'll tire of it. But this hasn't worked.
She is our only child. She has a few friends but sometimes says she hasn't got any friends, no one likes her etc. Then at other times she says that people think she is funny, sociable great to be with etc. She tells me she is being bullied but won't allow me to mention it to the school. At a parents evening I did mention it to her form teacher which just created more turmoil at home and nothing changed at school.
Sorry but I think your husband was wrong with the junk food. It's naive to think teenagers will not eat crap at all, but you don't have to keep supplying it.
I do think it would be worth talking to the school again.
My husband and I don't exactly argue, but he tends to erupt every so often when it gets too much for him. I have tried to speak to him but he thinks I am being too hard or not giving in. I tend to argue with her when I reach my limit.
yes to the not buying sweets and crisps. If she is eating her own cooked tea stop cooking meals for her that get wasted.
Let her take responsibility for homework, if it goes wrong she will get detention ( my dd regularly did it at school, I trusted her that it was done)
The main thing I would come down on is swearing a nd argueing, not acceptable. Tiring though it is, every time you have to say you won't respond until she is civil. Involve her in family finances so she can learn what you have, what you spend and why it is good enough. dd knows as much about our money as we do so she knows the value of things and why we don't have lots of fancy stuff we don't need (if that's what you mean, I'm probably not explaining well)
OP, It's exhausting, isn't it?
There's a lot if different issues here, really. (And sorry if by the time I have posted this I repeat stuff!)
Your DD's attitude - is she like this all the time, or does it vary? She may need some help with mood swings and it may be related to entering adolescence and hormones. My DD got a lot of help from one of our female GPs.
School - think about contact a pastoral tutor or similar at her school and ask to talk things through. My DS's school is very good for letting parents just ... talk.
Food - don't buy crisps, chocolate and biscuits (and fizzy drinks). Have something else in that she can make, like noodles or spaghetti hoops on toast. Or make your own cheese & tomato pizzas so you know what's in them.
And crucially - the united front you and your DH need to present to your DD. If you two can agree on some boundaries, that would be a very, very good start.
And good luck.
also would she watch the teenage mental health program on BBC 3 at the moment with you? . on Mondays, not sure of it's name
we are watching it as dd wants to be child psychologist, but it could be a talking point between the two of you as to why the teenagers are behaving as they are on the program, whether she would find their behavior challenging etc? as the start of a general discussion, not about her.
I dont think the bad food will be helping her in any way.
But you will need to help her get off it gradually. And perhaps you could both cook healthier things together?
The food boards here on MN are great. They would love to help you both out on that .
School and homework. Have you had discussions about what she wants to do, job wise?
She may not realise that certain jobs require quite a lot of qualifications.
Have you talked about her life plans generally?
It may help her to know or think about her life a few years from now.
her mood swings may also be down to the food she eats, if she goes without proper meal and then eats only snacks?
I would not buy pizza other than a nice one once every couple of weeks for the whole family to enjoy
Yes to amiga's idea. Watching programmes about children and young people behaving in challenging ways makes it easier to start talking about 'I wonder why they behave like that?' and 'I wonder how the parents manage to cope?'
If you can do this without a hint of criticism of your DD (that's a key bit) then you may gain some mutual helpful insights.
I think my teenagers are doing this with me now ... 'Look mum, I wonder why that batty woman always has a glass of wine in her hand...?'
DH stormed off and told me to sort it out. He hates spending the weekends with us, he feels he is always trying to make peace. Next weekend he intends to go away.
Regarding the GP when I took her and broached the issue she was cross with me afterwards and played it down when with the GP. Another time I went on my own for another reason and mentioned my daughter, that GP said some teenagers have a difficult time but very little else. I thought that if she gave me tranquilisers it would benefit the family but she didn't.
There are some good recipes on here for pizzas. A lot of the shop-bought ones are so full of sugar and salt. It's also something to do together. (Been through this with DS.)
Also make sure DD is drinking enough water. Just plain water.
Oh dear, Desperado, you need to start to break some cycles here.
If your DH (who doesn't sound especially helpful btw) is away next weekend, could you plan to spend some 'quality time' with your DD?
And see a different GP. We did.
She wants to be an actor. I know that most actors are on the dole or doing other jobs and very few make it big so she needs something to fall back on.
Desperado, She could do drama and performing arts at college when she is 16. Would she be enthused to work towards that?
She would learn start to learn about different aspects of the 'industry'.
That might encourage her to want to pass some GCSEs.
She has chosen drama GCSE and she has been in a drama group and we hope will join another one in September
Do you think she is being serious about wanting to become an actor?
Do you have local am dram places?
I think I would start trying to get her focussed on things that she says she is interested in. And see what happens.
Do you think, and this may be a wild shot or not, that she is "learning" acting by watching the TV?
I don't think you will find anything is going to change - unless your husband stops behaving like a precious teen and you start working together.
At the moment everything you do will be bucked at by her because she will go to her dad and make a fuss until you are undermined. The junk food thing is ridiculous, but he also can't control his temper either so why is it ok to ask it of your dd, when your dh can't even behave?
I would get on track with your dh, however you choose to handle it you must be supportive of each other, no ifs no buts. No undermining.
Also remember that although she is now battling hormones and more pressure at school this behaviour has taken years to get so bad and may take a long time to get on top of.
She sounds insecure and unhappy.
Well she does like America's/UK's/Australia's next top model, The apprentice, Waterloo road etc., so maybe you have a point.
I do sometimes feel that I have two teenagers to cope with but then also feel that I am pathetic because I can't handle this.
Sorry x post as my bloody internet went.
So he won't accept any responsibility for his part in her behaviour now?
I would be making sensible changes at home - give her responsibility for cooking, chores and schoolwork - but I would spend most of my time lovebombing her and not criticizing any small things, trying to get close enough to my dd that she talks to me.
I would be trying to repair that relationship so she doesn't feel so isolated, misunderstood and angry in the house.
I punish and punish hard for certain behaviours but with your DH ditching his responsibilities I'm not surprised she feels unsettled and distant. That's a very lonely place to be.
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.