14/15yr old driving me crazy HELP(66 Posts)
Background - she's my dd1, she is 15 next week, her bio dad left when she was a baby and my dh has been her dad since she was 15mths, we are loving parents, she has a good home life, is doing well at school and has a Saturday job.
The Problem - her attitude, she's vile to us and her little sister (dd2 is 8yrs) she starts arguments at night and wakes her sister most nights. She thinks she can do what she wants when she wants. Especially in the holidays.
Recently she has tried to deceive us to gain entry to her gran's house to have a party while she was away (we caught her out and it didnt go ahead thank god) my mum has backed us up and told her its unacceptable and she needs to be better behaved. Last half term she got drunk on neat vodka, passed out and was sick alot and her brand new iphone5 was smashed. Last night was her first outing after being grounded for the planned party deception and wanted to come home at 930pm we said ok but no later as we had originally asked her to be in at 9pm, she was late and had been drinking wine (slurring, eyes dilated). We said it wasn't on and she would be grounded again (any words of advice about how long to ground her for this time? a couple of days? or longer?) she went mad saying she wasn't being grounded again, we are too strict, we can get bent, do one, that her dad isn't her dad and can't tell her what to do etc then said i'm not her mum (erm yeh ok love lol). In april she also ruined our family holiday by basically acting like we had kidnapped her even though we got her wifi so she could still contact friends, it was a 2 wk all inc hol which we have never done before so we had been really looking forward to it
After the vodka episode I took her to the doctors to get her the morning after pill (as their were lads at the party and she had hazy memories, not full on sex but other stuff going on before she passed out!) I also spoke to the doctor about her being on the pill (she had previously been on it to calm her erratic periods but kept not taking it so didn't solve the issue) she is now taking it (i'm ensuring she is) I also spoke to them about getting her referred to Camhs (her appt is early sept) because I believe she has slight OCD (just re-decorated her bedroom and if something wasn't white enough she wouldn't have it) she is very materialistic and looks after her stuff very well (which is good) she has definate sibling rivalry issues (vile to her sister or ignores her completely, said she wishes she was never born/ was dead etc which is very upsetting for dd2 who is very sensitive) then there is the issue of dd1's bio dad who has never bothered to gain access, he is an unsavory guy, in and out of prison for violent assaults, not a good role model at all so I'm relieved he has left us alone tbh as he stalked me, abused me etc.
My question - How do I handle all of this? How do I trust her to go out? What do I do when I'm working and can't be here? How do I protect my dd2 from her sister? It's her birthday soon and we said we weren't getting her a present as such because we were doing her bedroom up instead. We have been saying for the past 6mths if she could be good for a couple of weeks we would do her room but she couldn't/ didn't manage it so as it needed doing we did it for her birthday instead of presents.
Dd1 is going to her aunts for 6 days next week so at least we can have a break but she just had a weekend at her grandparents and though she was an angel for them she has obviously come back and done this.
It's her birthday soon but she's just got a brand new iPhone 5 which she broke despite you saying she's OCD about her possessions?
I guess you can't take away her allowance if she's got a job?
It got broke by the dad whose house she was at, he apparently thought it was his daughters and threw it (he paid for it after) she was drunk therefore not looking after her stuff. She got the iphone for christmas.
She already doesn't get allowance as we are skint, she gets £100 a mth from her job, we pay her phone bill and term time bus pass plus money towards clothes (we say £20 for jeans if she wants £36 jeans from top shop she tops up the money out of her own pocket).
I just went up to say it's midday and she needs to get up and shower and eat but she's refusing over 20 mins I took her duvet, played pans in her room and wiped her with a flannel to try and get her up. She kicked me then said she's not getting up as she's grounded there is no point getting up.
This more than likely (based on recent experience) means she won't want to go to bed tonight and will argue and wake her sister again which isn't fair as I've been working all day and her dad has been out since 6am today and yesterday and is shattered already, her sister won't lie in so she'll be sleep deprived too.
Most 15yr olds I know (and I know a lot, thanks to my job) do their own time keeping especially during the holidays. Why does it matter if she sleeps late and stays up late? To me it's a battle not worth having.
We don't send her to bed stupidly early every night but come 10.30/11pm I think enough is enough. I don't think it's unreasonable that we expect to have half hour on our own during the evening before we go to bed.
Last holidays she was on her phone til 4/5am every night (we realised when we got the bill) and without enough sleep she is mardy too.
I just said she needs to get up, be nice, helpful etc if she wants her stuff back as we haven't yet decided on how long she is grounded for so it wouldn't hurt her to put some effort in, seems to have done the trick for now...........
I know this is going to be a huge learning curve for all of us, she is going from child to adult, there's hormones, boundaries etc both me and dh are at critical points in our careers as is she with her GCSE's.
Just had a chat and she basically thinks there's not problem with her drinking (everyone her age does it apparently)
She should be allowed to get trains to wherever she wants when she wants. (e.g. birmingham shopping or Alton towers for the day etc) I said if she was nice to her dad he would drive her as he has done many times. She has a lack of common sense (e.g. on holiday she touched a milk jug which was on a hot plate with a sign saying caution hot) so trusting her to not get the wrong train is a bit of an issue, she's not very street wise either, we keep trying to loosen the reigns but every time we do she does something silly/ dangerous she doesn't seem to be learning from her mistakes.
Also she just said I might as well be really naughty if I'm going to get grounded anyway, I said no because then you would be grounded for longer. I might as well get pregnant (I was pg at 16 so she knows I want to avoid that happening to her) sigh.............
Is custy still around, I need some you are the parents she needs to stop this shit type chat? I've been busy in RL for a while but come on guys I need help x
Take the phone away. And ground her for a LOT longer than two days. Is that how long you grounded her before, when she was so drunk she didn't even know if she'd been raped or not
Personally I'd let her do the Saturday job, lend her a basic mobile just for when she's at work, and no lifts, phone, wireless etc until she's back at school in September.
No she was grounded for a week that time (so from about the 27th may to 3rd June) then grounded again from 5th July for trying to steal keys to get into my mums, said she was ground for 10days but then she ran off in town and we spent 20mins or so frantically running around trying to find her (she wasn't answering calls to us or her grandma who was waiting to pick her up) so then we extended it to 2 weeks so she was ungrounded on Sunday and chose not to go out as she'd fallen out with her boyfriend then went out yesterday and to forget about him she drank in the park........
I have said when her contract is up I am changing her mobile to £10 a mth giff gaff, I am not continuing to have the piss took. I already don't give her lifts if she is horrible to me, the other week I gave her a lift to school and she was screaming at me in the car so I made her get out and walk. I'm not a soft touch. But I don't think I'm too strict either. I will try and give her a bit of freedom but give an inch she takes a mile. She llies alot about things that don't matter. Has no empathy at all. It's really hard. She will gode you and gode you and you will warn a few times but until you have actually snapped and taken her stuff/ grounded her whatever she won't stop and then she cries/ begs please dont take my stuff ill be good etc so we are having to be harsher than we want to be because she pushes and pushes and once i've taken something/ given a punishment i will not take it back.
On the boyfriend front she'd been seeing him 6 weeks and it wasn't serious and she didn't see him much due to being grounded so much. I dont want to keep grounding her but nothing else is getting through.
I talk to her a lot but it makes no difference to her behaviour really.
She said she feels suicidal so I've booked her a docs appt for tomorrow, tbh i think she says it for attention but ignoring it is not a risk I want to take. (shes always been high maintenance/ drama queen tbh)
I'm sorry I don't have much in the way of positive advice but grounding her isn't working....
What does she do by way of hobbies/leisure activities?
high maintenance/drama queen - avoid feeding her enjoyment of drama by trying to maintain a calm reaction to her poor behaviour.
Try to avoid getting into a situation where most of the conversation is telling her off or 'nagging' by complimenting her whenever possible.
I'd be trying to find a physical activity that she would enjoy - sports camp, gym membership, leisure club membership or something like that. It would be good for her mental health. But I know that's easier said than done.
I'd leave her be in her bed even though it's irritating. Sooner or later she'll have to get up early for something and will just have to suffer a day of being exhausted and will be glad of going to her bed at a reasonable time.
Why do you think she is so hostile to her DS?
In my experience the years 15 to 17.5 are the worst. They want to be autonomous but are vulnerable to making poor choices. It's horribly challenging getting the balance of good parenting whilst allowing emerging independence.
I'd let go of some things, like making her wake up or sleep by certain time in the holidays. She needs to learn how to manage herself and needs you to trust her to do this, even if it means her being mardy because she's so tired.
I think having to be in at 9, in the holidays, for 15 year old is probably much earlier than a lot of her friends. My Ds 15 has to be in by 11.30, but then we live in a tiny village so there's not much trouble to be had. Teens seem to be naturally programmed to go to sleep late and wake up late.
Let her get up and go to bed when she wants but ask her to be upstairs from 10.30 so you can have some time together.
Stop laying down the law and start negotiating. She can get the train or the lift or whatever if she does something that's positive for her. This will not be easy but for example you could say you will wipe the entire grounding if she volunteers for one day or takes part in an activity because as chocoluvva says it will make her happier.
Keep clear, hard and fast rules that are non-negotiable. Heard being horrible to or disturbing her brother after Xpm? Loses phone over night. Or wifi password changed for 12 hours. Every time.
Short consequences that are soon wiped clean are better otherwise from her point of view there is nothing to be gained from being good.
Avoid conflict. Don't bother insisting on meals together etc. - those days will come again I'm sure but for now just support each other and try and laugh as much as you can. Most arguments with teenagers escalate ridiculously because they are so selfish and infuriating - yet when you look back it's hard to explain why it mattered so much. Let it go.
Support each other and any other children when she's being vile. This gives a better message to her.
Drink lots of wine
I'm back another bad few days......
so since I wrote this: (as brief as I can)
I took her to the doctors she had a chat and it helped (I waited outside)
Dd1 went to stay with her grandparents for a night (was good, helpful and kind)
went to stay with her aunt from Sunday to Thursday then caught the train back (aunt put her on at one end and dh collected her the other end)
Than it was her 15th birthday weekend......
So she had her friend stay over fri and sat for her birthday (we decided to see what happened if we let her choose when to go to bed on the friday , they went up at 1am)
DH took her and her friend and dd2 to alton towers (i was working) on the sat, we put £50 in her card and she had her bedroom done up as her present (new bed, beeding, shelves, bedside draw etc a whole weekend of sorting her crap and painting etc this was all finished in time for her coming home from her aunts) we were hoping for a fresh start.
When they came home from alton towers I'd put a rose and loads of her favourite sweets/ choc etc in her room
I txt her when she was on her way back and asked if she wanted to have an evening of games/ cards, cocktails (4% carribean twist - I don't mind her having the odd glass at home with us but i object to getting drunk in a park where anything could happen) and dominoes - she said yes to cocktails and dominoes now to spending time with us as she was tired. So she came in and went straight to bed she came down for pizza at about 7pm ate a couple of pieces opened her cards and went back to bed, her aunt rang i mentioned I was hurt that dd1 had chosen not to even spend an hour with us willingly as I hadn't been able to see her all day, dh said I was being oversensitive, I said we'd made a lot of effort to give her a nice birthday including letting her friend stay (I dont normally do sleepovers as I have been a childminder for 9yrs so always had other peoples children in the house so wanted the eves and weekends to be just my 2 plus now I'm doing floristry I have to be up at 4am/ 5am on thursdays and saturdays so like to not have my sleep messed with as its tiring enough as it is) at gone 9pm she graced us with her presence for 15 mins then went in the other room on the computer with her friend (ok was a bit late by then to be getting games out plus me and dh had given up and were watching a film) when i agreed to her friend staying over I asked what time they would be in bed so I could give a decision, dd had said 11.30pm I said ok but as long as it is because I'll have got up at 5am.
At 11.45pm we said come on up you go now (discreetly) she was reluctant but by 12am they had gone up.
Next morning we chatted about how it would have been nice if she had kept to her word, how we didn't want to go to bed and leave her as we were having a family tea and didnt want her playing the "im too tired to see anyone" game again. Plus by letting her choose on the Friday she had proved she wasn't mature enough to decide on a decent time to go to bed considering she was getting up at 6.30am for alton towers. She screamed at shouted at us. We ignored her, she went upstairs.
After a while when she was calm we tried to talk to her again while we sat down for a fry up she seemed to understand and we were ok so we decided it would be nice to sit as a family and watch her baby/young child dvd so maybe it would stir up her memories so she could realise we aren't all bad......it seemed to work we laughed and chatted afterwards she gave us hugs and said sorry for being a pain and that she would change her behaviour etc ....... great hopefully a breakthrough maybe.....
Then we asked her to help tidy the house a bit and make some food before the family came round.....that's when she started screaming and shouting and stormed off to her room, we said if she didnt help I would cancel them coming and there would be no presents or cards so she did reluctantly help then went to have a shower etc. Her family came she made them all wait about an hour for her to come down to see them. She refused to eat any of the party food apart from 1 slice of her cake and just had a piece of toast when everyone had gone. She went to bed at 10pm without argument as I think she was shattered by then.
Yesterday I felt empty, drained, like the fight had gone in me. sad that the baby I love is being so hurtful. I feel like I'm done with being so nice just to have it thrown back in our faces. I went out with the other kids for the day and dfil came over and took dd1 out to try and talk to her she then seemed ok we had a chat and a hug, her maths tutor came round and she sat playing sims for the rest of the evening. All fine until 10.15 when we said it's time to think about washign your make up off and putting your stuff on charge, she then created a huge fuss arguing about not wanting to go to bed because she wants to play her game, I said if you want to play your game get up and play it tomorrow, when we had our chat earlier she had agreed to get up at 11am and that me and her dad need a break at the end of our working days. She did go to bed about 10.45 in the end. I said to her if she had just asked if she could watch tv in bed or read for a bit in her room I'd have been fine with that as long as she turned lights off at 11 but want her to wind down a bit before bed.
Today I went in at 11.15am and gently said (she was awake listening to music in bed) and said it would be a good idea to have breakfast and a shower and plan something to do for the day/ few hours with her friends. Half an hour later I went back up, said it's almost 12 i think you really need to get up else you won't want to go to bed later and it's another day of your holiday wasted, i tried to talk calmly to her and asked her why she said she would get up at 11am if she wasn't going to stick to it she ignored me and put her head under the duvet so I confiscated her phone and said she could have it when she got up. She screamed at me and called me pathetic so I said that isnt how you speak to me so I confiscated her ipad and said she could have it back when she apologised. Another half an hour went by I went back up with dh on the phone on loud speaker we both said she needed to get up and eat and apologise so she can get her stuff back and we can move on and make up she kicked off again so we said you are now grounded for the day for the way you have behaved and no straighteners until you have eaten. she then said she wanted to kill herself (she says that most times when we ground her she also screams she is not grounded)
Then she came down and ate 3 celebrations (I said thats not enough food for breakfast and dinner, have some toast or cereal) she then got paracetamol our of the cupboard and went to take them upstairs i said no you take them down here where i can be with you. she deliberatly turned away so I couldn't see her then 5 mins later said i took 4 maybe 5 and you didn't notice and laughed at me and smirked, i said well I don't think you have but if you have thats very silly of you as you can cause damage.
She has now gone back to bed and said she is staying there all day.
She's driving me crazy. Do I take her to hospital even though shes not dressed and I don't actually believe her I think she just said it for attention?
DH on his way to take her to A&E as I've spoken to my mum who is a nurse and has said we need to get her bloods taken.
I asked dd1 do you honestly swear you have taken more than 2, she said yes I took 4, I said why? she said because I want to die I hate my life.
I know it's difficult and it's a horrible few years ahead...but I learnt the hard way.
My dd wanted freedom and independence and I didn't give her the freedom her friends had which used to make is argue and cause problems just like your dd my dd used to argue and it would get to the point where I would think why are we arguing? It's easy for things with teens to escalate..
My dd has come out of that stage (it does end) as I let her have more freedom but with strict rules in place and consequences for if those rules were broken and it's all about building up trust between you and her slowly but surely she'll come round and you'll have a bit of trust. At this age they don't want to be round family and mealtimes they'd rather be stuck to their iPads and phones upstairs. This is of course fine with guidelines in place
I think you have to lay down some strict rules...like chocluva said allow her to go places on the train and thins but have a reasonable time to be back in place. Depending on where you live it's difficult to say on times as some places are more dangerous then others so they need to be in earlier. Say she has to be in for 9pm? And leave her to sleep when she wants to sleep it is the holidays? She's had a stressful year at school of teachers telling her what to do and what times etc..the least you could do is give her a break and let her sleep/eat/wake up when she wants to..it's hard to do it but the more you restrict her the more you'll push her away and it'll be harder to build up the trust when all is gone..I know it's annoying right now having a teen sleep late and wake up late but they won't be like that forever..I promise you! My dd is 16 next month and she's come out of this funny stage (thank god) I hated watching her go through it and she drove me nuts but I had to give her some independence otherwise when they leave home they won't have the tools to cope with life..
If she breaks rules ground her and remove all phones/tablets/iPads for 12 hours or so depending on the severity of her behaviour! This works and she will build up respect for you..
It's hard I know but just breath and be calm! As long as your there to support her and be there for when it all tumbles down then you'll be fine...
You'll get your mother-dd time back soon maybe not now but soon!
Sending big hugs to you
Dreamgirls would you mind telling me what your rules are/ were when she was 15?
DD1 is home now, she had to stay in hospital for 24hrs and it was so worrying waiting to find out if she had done any lasting damage, thank god she hasn't, she is so lucky and I think this has really scared her and made her realise she needs us more than she thought and isn't as grown up as she thought plus she has a big loving family who are all gutted that she did this but we need to focus on the positives and that is that she hasn't done any damage, cahms have now seen her (we were having to wait until september) and we feel we are going to get the help and support we have been asking for, we requested counselling for her ages ago but there are such long waiting lists so we are relieved in a way that at least now we are hopefully going to get to the bottom of what is causing her to behave in such a hostile way.
I think it has also made her realise her options are more limited than she thought as she can't keep saying she wants to go and live with other members of the family or threatening to kill herself every time we ground her, she has said she is sorry and will never do this again, she hates needles and she had to have a canular (sp?) to get vitamin K into her and loads of blood tests. It was a very long night waiting to see if she was ok as one of her blood results wasnt right so we had to wait from when she took the paracetamol until 9am yesterday (so about 19hrs of worry!) to get the results all back to normal.
Fingers crosses this is the turning point and things will improve from now on as we all fight to have a better life together.
We have told her she needs to earn our trust, the hospital told her we aren't trying to control her we are trying to keep her safe because we love her.
I honestly don't believe she meant to cause herself any harm I think she did it to try and get attention/ cry for help without any clue it could actually have damaged her. Now she realises it was a very silly thing to do.
Any words of advice on how to move forward from this would be good.
Our ideas are for her to:
keep a diary to help her see the overall picture and so she doesn't forget to talk to the counsellor about things that have bothered her and also as a way of letting her emotions out.
join an amateur dramatics society so she can get the drama queen part of her out without it causing family problems and also to give her a new circle of friends outside of school and work and somewhere she can go to get out of the house where she can have fun in a safe environment.
Write herself a routine to give her a sense of purpose during holidays as she has said she has 3 books to read and some school work to do before she goes back to school and she's done nothing for the past few weeks.
try to spend 1 evening a week with her, she likes watching the bake off so even if we just watch that together it might help us be in the same room without getting at each other.
I want to take her for a girlie day just us two to strengthen our bond (she is keen on this)
more talking and less shouting and less ignoring us when we are talking to her as its rude and atagonises us.
Her ideas so far are:
go kick boxing as she feels she wants an outlet for her frustration and anger plus its exercise which releases feel good endorphins which i think will really help.
get more of a balanced life in terms of activity (so no more just laying in bed as it isnt helping her mood or her motivation)
Eat more healthily as the constant junk food isn't helping her mood.
Right I'm off to the flower market now so I have to go, I'll be back later on
Stop trying to micro manage her.
Kids pull away at this age and will eventually come back to you.
If she is awake in bed who cares if she gets up or not. Just enforce what time she is to be in her room at night and leave it at that.
If she only wants to eat celebrations let her.
As for the pans in room and flannel is say you were the one behaving like a child not her.
Maybe I'm not the perfect parent, who said I was? I had her at 17 and have had it far from easy, I have just had a massive shock and am heartbroken it has come to this after trying to get help for so long.
I feel you are being a bit harsh tbh.
I agree. The micromanaging is not helping.
Sorry you are having such a tough time. Have you tried sitting down and letting her come up with a list similar to yours? Sometimes how you get to an end point is as important as the end point. From the outside, it does sound like there is a battle for control going on and unless you let her help with the decision making, then it is going to be difficult to get her to do the things on your list.
I am helping her help with decision making, she has a white board in her room and in the middle I wrote how can we all help make life better? (like a brainstorming thing) I said not now but over the next few days it might be good if she can write things on there.
We've had a couple of chats too.
How am I micromanaging? How can I stop? (I wasn't aware this was happening, all we are doing is trying to do our best for her, I don't think we do micromanage as we don't really have the time to tbh as we both work full time, I run 2 businesses)
I don't think the poster was harsh. You do seem to micro manage. Most teenagers love their bed. My 16year old dd def does. I do leave her to get up herself. At night I send her to bed around 11. She is fine once she is quiet in her room. Usually she will go to bed with her laptop and headphones. I don't really get why the bedtime times are so big an issue. If she is quiet in her bedroom at night what is the problem? If you have to get up early for work can you not just do that and let anyone in the house who doesn't have to get up sleep on? That's what works for us when I have to be in work for 7 am.
When we did find she was on facebook in the early hours of the morning we turned the wifi off at night. It hasn't been turned off at night in a couple of months now.
I wouldn't have done the pans and face flannel either. I would hate it done to me. What sort of response did you expect from that but a row? If she did that on someone you would find it unacceptable. Just as unacceptable, and yes, childish from you. However, I do sympathise as you were obviously frustrated.
You must have gotten a shock from the paracatemol taking and hopefully
she did too. On medical advice, I routinely take 3 paractemol for a migraine and have done for years with no problem so I doubt she did any damage but maybe the hospital treatment will have given her a fright and made her realise that her family care about her a lot.
I find the best advice I got was to pick your battles with a teenager. If I were you I would fight over the drinking but not over bedtimes. The other advice is not to rise to a row. If she starts shouting you don't shout back. You talk quietly but firmly. The quieter you are the more likely she is to stop shouting. Teenagers are a lot like toddlers. So when a toddler has a tantrum you talk very quietly to them. They tend to quieten down themselves when you do this. Sometimes works with teenagers too.
Hopefully something in this ramble will help!
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