When do teenagers think about others rather than themselves?

(20 Posts)
mummyneedssupport Sat 26-Nov-16 09:14:38

My dd is 16. I am a single parent...calm, loving and supportive.

I am struggling at the moment to cope with the constant demands made on me. She expects me to run her here, run her there, make this, make that, buy this, buy that at a drop of a hat. If I say 2 friends can stay over, she will invite 5. She is moody and everything that affects her is always traced to it being my fault! She is late for everything other than when it involves her bf, refuses to be parted from her phone and tells me how great her dad is, who she hardly sees as he doesn't make any effort to uphold all the promises he made during our divorce.

I don't like to be confrontational but if I ask her about any of these issues, she will always turn it around and I end up feeling undermined. Her room is a tip and she spends every penny she has on rubbish.

My boyfriend gets frustrated by the way she addresses me and her tone of voice. He picked her up on it once and she used the 'you're not my dad, you can't tell me off' attitude.

I am sure it's a phase of life, but wondered if other mums are having similar problems with their teen dd's out there. I'm just getting very worn down by it.

MrsJayy Sat 26-Nov-16 09:28:01

Oh dear she sounds a complete pain i had 1 like this and it is exhausting she is nearly 24 and quite pleasant to be around, are you consistent with her or do you flounder and let her have her way for a quiet life ? I think you need to be firm pick a few things you wont stand for and stick with those, whether it be attitude bringing a handful of friends over or whatever bothers you most if you stay firm on this then let the other stuff go. The phone as an extra limb the intensity about her boyfriend are sort of usual behaviour, no real words of wisdom it is difficult and they do come out the other end but you need to re set boundries dont feel guilty you have given her a decent life and her dad is the distant hero I think thats her telling herself that because the reality of him not bothering his arse about her would be such a blow that she has made him wonderdad its a coping mechanism for her.

mummyneedssupport Sat 26-Nov-16 10:07:34

I am disappointed that she doesn't think to ask if I need help, maybe make me a cup of tea...be proactive.... That was how I was with my mum. I appreciated her so much and now I don't have her any more, it's upsetting that my dd doesn't seem to feel the same way about me.

I am really patient with her. Maybe to my own detriment now so I will have to think of subtle ways to help her understand that life doesn't revolve around her.

I know it's a hormonal time. Just wish I wasn't wishing that time to hurry up and get to the other side!

Meadows76 Sat 26-Nov-16 10:16:03

That's not a teenager thing, well it is to an extent, if you allow it to happen.

When she asks you to take her here there and everywhere you don't have to do it. When she invites 5 friends and family ou have told her 2 what happens? Do you send them home or let her away with it?

Lots of teenagers think of others, lots of them don't, but then again lots af adults don't either. However it does sound like she is taking the Lisa because you are allowing her

mummyneedssupport Sat 26-Nov-16 10:38:41

There's only me to look after her and her brother. I don't get any family support as they live a distance away, my dad is elderly and my ex's family have never helped. Looks like I will have to grow a pair and in the long term she will respect me more. No pain, no gain.

bluelilies Sat 26-Nov-16 10:52:25

I think it's tough on your own as they don't really get to see other people modelling how to treat you. But you can pull them up on things. Next time she puts the kettle on for herself, say "Would you like a cup of tea mum?...Oh yes please that'd be lovely, thanks DD" ie train her in the basics of being polite. If you have an instinct to avoid confrontation you may need to make a big effort to be assertive with her and not teach her to treat you like a doormat. Maybe see if your BF can offer suggestions if he's aware of when you're letting her be rude - best if she sees it coming from you though rather than him.

And ignore what she says about her dad. Don't try to compete with him to be the nice parent - she needs at least one proper parent in her life, not two mates (otherwise who's she going to blame for everything that goes wrong wink)

mummyneedssupport Sat 26-Nov-16 11:21:21

Thanks for your comments. It just feels like I'm the only one going through this and behind all the other front doors, teenagers are laughing and being amazing human beings, sat at the family table, no phones, engaging in conversations (shock, horror!)....

On the plus side, she is doing well at sixth form....doesn't swear at home....it's not all bad, but I just hoped for more on a day to day basis. Her brother needs loads of support, doesn't like school and hates homework although he tells me he loves me every day. I know I need to make changes or I'll emotionally burn myself out.

MrsJayy Sat 26-Nov-16 11:27:11

My Dd muttered for about 4 years with her hood up there was no bloody laughter but you need to keep ploughing on. If your dd isnt showing consideration teach her like a pp suggested 'oh is that the kettle i would love tea' the lifts well just say dd i need some warning for lifts or encourage her to use the <gasp> bus you dont have to lift and lay her she is 16, also be busy and say no occasionaly

INeedNewShoes Sat 26-Nov-16 11:31:44

You're very much mistaken that behind other front doors are lots of jolly harmonious families! You're definitely not alone in this.

To answer the title question, I know a 35 year old 'teenager' who still rarely thinks about others before herself, but that's very unusual and most teenagers, especially once they go to uni/leave home, become more aware of everything their parent(s) have done for them and tend to become more helpful, thoughtful and grateful.

mummyneedssupport Sat 26-Nov-16 11:54:27

I don't have any regrets in how I am bringing them up, but I know that I have to make some changes now in order to continue without regret!

I hardly get any time off as their dad has broken his promises in how often he takes responsibility for them. It's a bit intense but they are my priority and I'll take strength from your comments and keep the faith that all be work out.

mummyneedssupport Sat 26-Nov-16 11:55:24

* will work out....

dietstartsmonday Sat 26-Nov-16 11:59:12

My DS is nearly 17 and has just turned into a hu man again. He has an apprenticeship and I think working has made him appriciate me alot more.
DD 15 is another matter. The lifts thing drives me mad. She always asks as I am in bed or the bath or out. No forward planning. I have refused a few times saying she needs to give me notice. She is getting better, slightly.
Also have DS 18 who was fab and has regressed. It's a tough haul the teenage years

mummyneedssupport Sat 26-Nov-16 17:42:08

It sure is...the teen years chapter wasn't in my mummy guide book when they first popped out!

chocolateworshipper Sat 26-Nov-16 19:29:13

Oh you are absolutely not alone. I was just about to start a thread of my own on pretty much the same thing when I saw yours! My 16 yo DD is driving me utterly insane at the moment. Expects to be picked up and dropped off whenever are wherever is convenient to her, with utterly no thought to me. She asked me to buy her a pair of jeans a few weeks ago and when they arrived she told me how comfortable and generally great they were. When the same place had a 50% sale, I ordered her another pair THE SAME. Today she tells her Dad that she needs a new pair of jeans because I bought her a pair that were cheap and rubbish angry
Part of the problem is that I struggle to be firm with her because of her past self-harming, but I now that I need to start getting firmer because it is actually ripping this family apart. Best of luck to both of us OP !

MrsJayy Sat 26-Nov-16 19:36:17

My youngest Dd was a dream as a younger teenager but she is 19 soon and seems to be hitting the selfish wall she is driving me to distraction atm sullen huffy and snippy then is fine for a while then off she goes again im riding it out and hopefully a blip

mummyneedssupport Sun 27-Nov-16 16:44:51

It just feels that all my friends' dd's are sociable to friends and family, always seem smiley and appreciative, buy their mums flowers, make meals.....maybe they are all fibs! Fingers crossed they are 😯

diymania Sun 27-Nov-16 16:51:05

I think for me it was when I went to university and lived on my own, and it struck me that no, my mum probably really didn't enjoy cooking, cleaning, etc. It was just what you had to do. I've made up for it since I hope.

gillybeanz Sun 27-Nov-16 16:52:21

I think it starts from being a toddler tbh.
You get them to help put things away and as they grow they realise that the world doesn't revolve around them.
not doing everything they ask helps too.
Let them do things for themselves as soon as they are old enough.
laundry is quite ok for an 11 year old, including ironing their school uniform.
You get them on board joining in with chores that need 2 or more of you to complete, encouraging teamwork.
Teach them that one good turn deserves another, a lift for some housework, pocket money for small jobs.
Mine have always pulled their weight and been appreciative of what they have.

I think it must be hard on your own and it sounds like you are doing a great job, maybe get them to help out more, give them responsibility for certain age appropriate tasks.

As for how she speaks to you I'd pull her up everytime and make some consequences like loss of phone, money or lifts for a while.

WestCoastGirl Sun 27-Nov-16 19:56:44

Good question OP. Dd17 thinks about nothing but herself and her boyfriend. I too seem to be surrounded by teens who are pleasant, helpful and who enjoy spending a bit of time with their parents and yet mine wants very little to do with us and does absolutely nothing around the house. I've given up on trying to change her as I can't bear to live in the atmosphere that ensues but hope that she will just grow up and realise. Maybe when she leaves home. Older ds is totally different and I've brought them up just the same.

Ledkr Sun 27-Nov-16 20:08:42

I dint give lifts, money etc unless dd can speak to me a civilised manner.
After 3 lads I was flabbergasted at dds hideousness as she became a teenager!
I decided there and then that I would pick her up on it every time (not make a big deal but just say, "please don't speak to me like that?"
I carried it on and had refused to do stuff if she cannot be polite and grateful.
It's worked ok and she's actually very sweet most of the time (15) she's fecking bone idol though which I'm working on grin

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