Help

(35 Posts)
Desperadomum123 Sun 30-Jun-13 14:19:59

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.

LineRunner Sun 30-Jun-13 18:46:42

Your DH would be most welcome here.

Parenting a teenager is tough, we all know that. That's why we are all on this board.

cory Sun 30-Jun-13 18:30:02

Agree with others that getting her to focus on what she wants to do (rather than what you don't want her to do) is the way forward.

Am dram might be really helpful: it will get her in touch with other youngsters who share the same dream and who may be able to tell her a few things about the kind of discipline and long term working-towards-a-goal attitude required. The good thing about this is that it will be in a positive spirit, rather than a parent grumbling at her.

And the whole am dram atmosphere is a mood lifter anyway, what with the preparations for shows and the elation afterwards.

It may also be worth pointing out that if she is going to act or even cope with stage school, she will need physical stamina, so a healthy diet should be high on her list of priorities. Stage school is very much about physical theatre, at least in the first year.

Apart from the usual youth theatres, there are often summer programmes for young teens: some of these are very prestigious and count on your CV if you apply for theatre work later. They do cost, but it could be a possible bribe to hold out for next year (they do tend to be by audition though).

TotallyBursar Sun 30-Jun-13 17:14:04

Yes, there is Dadsnet (and Gransnet) here but Mumsnet has quite a few male posters anyway, it's not a separate forum and lots of answers on there are from all members not just men.
I think that's a good thing (I appreciate all the pov in one place) but if you were looking for men only idk.
The boards I've had experience of through dh got invaded a lot by mra types and it drowned out helpful advice really sad.

Viking1 Sun 30-Jun-13 16:11:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

amigababy Sun 30-Jun-13 15:53:23

do the drama groups act as agents? this is my area of work (including Waterloo road smile).
If you can find a performing arts school with an agency, she will have a Cv. and head shots done, will do her classes and if lucky may get castings arranged for her. It is hard work and requires luck but it can happen. It will need your support, including financial, though a local school / agent should not be exorbitant, no more than other child activities.
This could be the leverage for her behavior too as if you're taking her to class and paying, you need to see reciprocal good attitude in return.

Desperadomum123 Sun 30-Jun-13 15:37:20

OK, so I'll stop buying junk food and see if I can get her to watch the mental health programme with me tomorrow night. Also will have a chat regarding doing something nice next weekend whilst husband away. Is there a male version of mumsnet I could suggest to my husband/
Thanks

yamsareyammy Sun 30-Jun-13 15:36:43

filmtvcareers.about.com/od/gettingthejob/a/HT_Actor.htm

I should show her this.
Help her to realise a whole heap of things.

TotallyBursar Sun 30-Jun-13 15:20:51

For both of you though, it sounds.

You are not pathetic and shouldn't have to carry that.
You are doing the best you can being pulled in two directions - that's not a walk in the park.
She has two parents - but you aren't getting any backup. You need support as much as she does.

Ugh - your 'dp' isn't helping at all, is he? Storming off and running away for the weekend will just teach her that storming off and hiding from one's problems is an adult thing to do.

Agree that trying to get a bit of quality time together is a good idea. My dd2 is being quite hard to be around lately, but she will consent to going for a coffee and cake every now and then. Even if she doesn't actually speak much when out, I do feel that it's important to take her anyway!

Desperadomum123 Sun 30-Jun-13 15:16:30

too true

TotallyBursar Sun 30-Jun-13 15:14:53

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.

Desperadomum123 Sun 30-Jun-13 15:12:03

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.

Desperadomum123 Sun 30-Jun-13 15:10:23

Well she does like America's/UK's/Australia's next top model, The apprentice, Waterloo road etc., so maybe you have a point.

TotallyBursar Sun 30-Jun-13 15:08:28

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.

yamsareyammy Sun 30-Jun-13 15:05:20

x post!
Do you think, and this may be a wild shot or not, that she is "learning" acting by watching the TV?

yamsareyammy Sun 30-Jun-13 15:03:36

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.

Desperadomum123 Sun 30-Jun-13 15:03:15

She has chosen drama GCSE and she has been in a drama group and we hope will join another one in September

LineRunner Sun 30-Jun-13 15:01:22

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.

Desperadomum123 Sun 30-Jun-13 14:57:37

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.

LineRunner Sun 30-Jun-13 14:57:00

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.

LineRunner Sun 30-Jun-13 14:54:53

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.

Desperadomum123 Sun 30-Jun-13 14:54:36

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.

LineRunner Sun 30-Jun-13 14:51:09

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...?' grin

antimatter Sun 30-Jun-13 14:48:49

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

yamsareyammy Sun 30-Jun-13 14:47:17

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.

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