14 year old DD makes everyone miserable

(53 Posts)
Spidermama Sat 29-Dec-12 14:39:20

She is completely intolerant and even just the sound of her younger brothers talking quietly makes her fume, shout at them to 'Fuck Off' and if they don't she gets violent with them.

We've had a little break from her abusive behaviour because we've had family around for Christmas but today she seems to be making up for lost time.

She's been SCREAMING. Telling everyone to Fuck Off. I told her she had to go to her room but she simply didn't. I can't man handle her. I tried over and over again but she refused deciding instead to stay downstairs abusing her brothers.

I said, 'I'm NOT putting up with this'. I went up to her room and confiscated her 'phone, ipod and camera and hid them in my sock drawer. I came downstairs and told her they were confiscated and she could have them back one by one when she can show and improvement in her behaviour.'

I carried on with the laundry and before I knew it she'd been in my room, found the stuff and taken it all back. I said give me it back. She wouldn't. Feeling completely powerless and utterly disrespected I flipped and shouted at her through her bedroom door (she was holding it closed so I couldn't come in and talk to her) things like this, 'You are NOT going to be allowed to spoil things anymore. You are being HORRIBLE. I'm NOT having it. You NEVER say sorry. You're really nasty to everyone in the house and you are NEVER sorry. I will not have another year of this.'

I didn't swear but I was shouting in a mad woman sort of way between sobs. Soon afterwards she went out but before doing so launched a chemical attack on my bedroom spraying what smells like it must be an entire can of Impulse into my room.

I don't what to do about her. She's making all our lives a misery.

Here's one idea: She's supposed to be getting a desktop computer in the sales for a late Christmas present as is her brother. I could refuse to buy it. The only problem is that she really needs it for homework and we're hoping it'll make her go and spend more time in her room instead of downstairs shouting at everyone all the time.

LadyKinbote Sat 29-Dec-12 14:46:41

I was a psychopath handful at that age. I think it's a bit like toddler tantrums where you're struggling to contain an excess of emotion. It's not easy but I think you need to keep calm and think of one easily enactable punishment (such as confiscating the phone but find a better hiding place!). As with a toddler, give her a warning before the punishment and always follow it through. And make a fuss of her when she's being good - she's probably quite miserable underneath all that aggression. (Mine aren't teenagers yet so this probably isn't as easy in practice!)

specialsubject Sat 29-Dec-12 14:48:32

she's a vandal and a thief so this needs to be stopped. No presents, no cash, no clothes, no makeup, no stinky sprays (yuk) The phone, ipod and camera go to the pawn shop ASAP, she won't get them back from there.

does she really need a computer for homework? Can't she stay late at school and use one of theirs?

AfterEightMintyy Sat 29-Dec-12 14:50:30

I am sorry you are having to put up with this, sounds dreadful.

3littlefrogs Sat 29-Dec-12 14:52:53

You need to put a lock on your bedroom door.

Who pays for her phone? I would stop paying for it until the behaviour improves. BUT you need to sit down and talk to her and listen to her.

What is going on at school? What is going on with her peergroup/friendships?
Is any of this behaviour hormonal?

Who buys the cans of impulse?

What is the family set up?

Clearly something has gone badly wrong somewhere, and you need to find out what it is before you can begin to fix it.

Then you make a set of rules with sanctions and rewards and stick to it.

3littlefrogs Sat 29-Dec-12 14:54:16

Is her father around?

How does he deal with this behaviour?

insancerre Sat 29-Dec-12 14:56:23

I have a lovely 16 yr old DD but 2 years ago I could have written your post, OP.
It was living hell and I really didn't like her at all most of the times.
I tried grounding her, taking away things and forbidding her to do things. The only thing that seemed to work was stopping her pocket money.
I set the ground rules- what time to come in, what language and behaviour was not acceptable etc
I tried not to argue with her or engage with her when she was 'on one' but told her firmly what the consequences would be.
Like dealing with toddlers, I picked my battles and tried not to have too many rules.
We have come through it and I AM SO PROUD of her, but it was tough.
I wouldn't not buy her the computer, like you say she needs it for school but make sure she replaces the Impulse.

ILoveTIFFANY Sat 29-Dec-12 14:59:13

I also have a 16 year old who at that age was similiar ( ok, worse) but who is now a dream

Pick your battles and keep emotion out of all dealings with her

gabyjane Sat 29-Dec-12 15:24:32

I sympathise with you, have no answers im afraid but have exactly the same problem going on. We have a battle going on all the time and the latest thing is she wants to go and live with her step dad. I have said no but because he doesn't back me on stuff hes the good guy with no boundaries so she finds his house very appealing.
I have confiscated things off her but like you she just goes into my room and takes them back. She has taken things of mine anyway and even when i find them in her room she acts oblivious? Very very hard and have just got back from a friends upset not knowing what to do about it all.

Spidermama Sat 29-Dec-12 15:34:36

3littefrogs I pay for her phone. It's a good idea to stop paying but she's on a contract. Also, unusually for a girl her age, she's not too bothered about her phone as she doesn't use it much.
I have talked to her and listened to her for a year or more now. The tyranny continues.
School is very tough for her socially but her work is excellent (almost too excellent as she stresses a great deal about homework etc)

She buys her own Impulse <gag>

Thanks IloveTiffany and Insancerre. I really hope things get better. I've heard this before from other mums. When she's nice she's really lovely but she seems to suddenly go power mad and rages around the house like a dictator crushing everyone in her path. It's horrible for her younger brothers and I really hate that the 7 year old hears the F word so readily.

Her Dad is around though out at work today. He gets it even worse than I do. She goes mental at him and he is quick to shout and swear back which is very unhelpful. He boils over pretty easily. He's a good man though and does try really hard.

I think her trouble socialising at school plays a big role. Both of her close friends are away all Christmas so she's been 'trapped' with her little brothers, annoying parents and cousins (all younger than her). She doesn't seem able to control her temper at all. She literally SCREAMS! I'm worried the neighbours will think it's me and I'm a loony violent mum. It's so stressful.

Spidermama Sat 29-Dec-12 15:36:50

Gabyjane my DD also goes in my room (and everyone else's) and just helps herself to stuff. My hairbrush, phone and ipod chargers etc etc. She just takes them and doesn't return them. When I find them in her room and confront her, she's NEVER sorry. She seems to have no sense of guilt or contrition. She's always the victim.

Spidermama Sat 29-Dec-12 15:38:09

LadyKinbote thanks. It's good to hear from 'the other side'. I do try to remain calm but sometimes its so outrageous I just flip.

bigbuttons Sat 29-Dec-12 15:39:51

she'll use the computer for FB, no homework. she can use the family computer.

juneau Sat 29-Dec-12 15:44:26

I was HORRIBLE at the same age and looking back my own mother probably felt as powerless as you do, but if she'd been super-strict with me I think it might have difference. As it was, I ran rings around her and had no respect for her.

Have a think about the things she really DOES care about. If she doesn't care about her phone taking it away won't make a lot of difference, but if you remove the things she wants/needs/cares about she'll be forced to mend her ways to get them back or suffer without them. Take away her TV, her pocket money, don't buy her a computer and force her to write her homework in long-hand, or whatever harsh punishment you see fit - in short - if she's utterly vile you have to be just as vile back. Be strict and stick to your guns. She's only doing what she's doing because you have no effective weapons currently to force her to behave differently.

juneau Sat 29-Dec-12 15:46:24

Oh yes, and be deathly calm. My own mother ranted and raved like a lunatic and it just made me (in my warped teenage brain), think 'ha ha - I've really got to her'. Seriously, being deathly calm is very empowering - I do it with my DSs.

TheSecondComing Sat 29-Dec-12 15:46:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

insancerre Sat 29-Dec-12 15:49:17

grin at the daytrip for the broadband router
DH used to take it to bed with him

ivykaty44 Sat 29-Dec-12 15:52:34

Re PC in her bedroom - I could refuse to buy it. The only problem is that she really needs it for homework

No she doesn't need this - so don't get it and be so very flippant about it

Oh I couldn't be bothered - then watch her do the guilt trip on you, cos she will tell you she will fail without it and all her friends have one blar blar blar

Take everything out of her room and take to a friends house whilst she is out

when she starts - get your ds and go out - make sure you slam the front foor on your way out and go and have a nice time somewhere

there you go take all or just pick a couple you like the sound of - the last one always worked for me wink it meant me and dd2 had a nice time and left dd1 wondering where we where?

ivykaty44 Sat 29-Dec-12 15:54:33

Oh and if you feel that you want to flip

roll your eyes like a teen and mutter under your breath - here we go again....

Chottie Sat 29-Dec-12 15:55:50

Just to say hang on in there, you will get through this. Stick to your guns, you are the adult. <thumbs up emotive>

Chottie Sat 29-Dec-12 15:56:20

p.s. take the router with you when you go out grin

TheSecondComing Sat 29-Dec-12 15:56:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Spidermama Sat 29-Dec-12 15:57:05

Juneau I would worry that being as vile to her as she is to me would just make things worse. She'd finally feel vindicated and would have all the proof that she's the big victim who's being treated badly in all of this.

I will do 'deathly calm'. I agree its way more effective than losing it. I don't often lose it but I did today, sobbing like a loon, my sons coming one by one to say, 'Aw mum do you want a cup of tea?' etc.

When I talk calmly to her about anything she deems controversial (most things) she sings over me or just says, 'Whatever' or 'Lol' over and over and over again. She literally won't listen.

BalloonSlayer Sat 29-Dec-12 15:59:15

Bloody hell, DON'T buy the computer. And get something that locks and at the first opportunity get her stuff back and make the confiscation WORK.

I don't want to kick you when you are down but you sound incredibly wet. I can't cut and paste on this PC but there is a lot of "I'd cancel her phone but it's on a contract." "I'd not get the computer but she needs it for homework" "I confiscate her stuff but she just takes it back."

Those "buts" are your problem. They are what is making her treat you with contempt. She knows that you are too soft to see anything through. You are behaving helplessly.

If you can't buy something that locks, take her stuff to one of your friend's house.

Spidermama Sat 29-Dec-12 15:59:57

Good advice TheSecondComing and Chottie - Thanks. smile

insancerre Sat 29-Dec-12 16:00:16

She will come back to you. It might take 2 years, but she will do
I totally agree with this. I remember DD telling me that i was driving her away and i would regret it blah blah blah.
I stuck to my guns, was always calm, and now she is lovely. We are even friends on facebook again, after she blocked me because I dared to comment on her profile

whistlestopcafe Sat 29-Dec-12 16:02:11

Can you write her a letter?

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sat 29-Dec-12 16:07:30

Take tsc's advice

There a time the bb router used to be locked in the boot of my car when myself or Dh were not using it smile

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sat 29-Dec-12 16:08:07


Spidermama Sat 29-Dec-12 16:08:14

I know what you're saying balloonslayer but I just don't do revenge and I really believe that it's best to treat kids respectfully as I would like to be treated.
I've never been a fan of punishments for this reason. I'd much rather make sure I am always doing what I deem to be the right thing for them and providing a phone and a computer is the right thing to do. I don't think it should be conditional.

Also I think teenagers view confiscating their stuff as spiteful. Any change in beahviour is designed to get their stuff back and doesn't come from a proper place of learning about respecting others.

Not that my way seems to be working very well but there you go.

I could have written that about dd(16) , even to the singing which drives me nuts. I lose it too; it has been a tough teenage Christmas here. I don't have any answers (when I removed phone she unscrewed the locks of my door). Things are slowly getting better here though. Things I have found that help:
1. Having a small Sat job.
2. Not keeping awful behaviour as a private family secret (dd charming at school).
3. Going away. Right away. Out of the house.
Good luck!

flow4 Sat 29-Dec-12 16:09:42

Have you read this book, spider? I found it very interesting, reassuring and useful.

Your DD's behaviour is very common, though still of course utterly horrible. You need to 'model' the kind of behaviour you want from her - especially being calm, polite and respectful. Some people will suggest removing all privileges and cracking down hard, but IME this tactic only works with teenagers who already behave calmly, politely and respectfully hmm - i.e. it's a tactic that almost never works. Generally, it simply 'raises the stakes' and creates a horrific cycle of conflict, where they do something awful, you do something to punish them, they do something in revenge, you punish further, and so on... sad

These are really difficult years. They are 'breaking free' of you emotionally, and many of them seem to need to do it by being really horrible! Also, parents feel like they are 'losing control', and the reality is that you are! hmm sad Lots of parents panic a bit at this point, and try tactics like taking away everything their DCs own, grounding them forever and stopping money until they're 21! hmm grin All very understandable but not very effective!

You need to find new ways of dealing with them IMO, that involve much more negotiation and reward/incentive, and much less punishment. insancerre's advice sounds good to me.

Over on this thread, some of us who have been living with very difficult/troubled teenagers have developed a kind of mantra: detach, be nice to yourself, protect yourself, find someone to talk to... It doesn't sound like you need 'protect yourself' (though you'd be amazed at the number of parents who do experience violence from their teens), but the other 'rules' may help smile

Spidermama Sat 29-Dec-12 16:11:56

Whistlestop I have written letters before. She writes longer ones back saying no-one understands her and everyone gangs up on her and is it any wonder she's so horrible when she has to live with a family of freaks etc.

I'm going out in the car to look for her now as its getting dark. I don't know where she is and I'm worried. sad

Spidermama Sat 29-Dec-12 16:12:57

Flow4 I LOVE that book. I will re-read it. I also found it incredibly useful.

Off out searching now. Thanks for all the help. I'll catch up with this thread when I get back.

insancerre Sat 29-Dec-12 16:20:53

You need to 'model' the kind of behaviour you want from her - especially being calm, polite and respectful
yyy, and yes again. How can we expect our tenagers to behave like adults when their parents behave worse than they do?
Good luck spidermama, you will come through this and you will be proud of your daughter too.

judefawley Sat 29-Dec-12 16:23:34

14 year olds - who'd have 'em?

I have fallen out with mine today because he was being surly with me.

We were on our way to the gym (something he's mad about) and I got cross with his grunted replies to everything I said, so I turned the car around and drove him home and went on my own.

If he ever swore at me, or any member of the family!! Unthinkable.

I have ZERO tolerance with any sort of disrespectful behaviour. He has free reign to take himself off to his room if he's feeling annoyed with the world, but I won't have him taking it out on the rest of us.

He's nice 85% of the time, I reckon. But he can be vile. I think girls are harder at this age.

He's got a friend here now, but I'll be expecting an apology once he goes.

flow4 Sat 29-Dec-12 16:30:50

Oops, it took me so long to write that post there are lots of other posts I missed in the meantime! blush

Spider, sorry if this is a rude question, but why are you worried about where your DD is at 4:15 on a Saturday afternoon? She's 14 - I don't think you need to know exactly where she is in the middle of a weekend afternoon... I wonder if she's kicking off partly because she needs you to back off a bit more...?

TheSecondComing Sat 29-Dec-12 16:36:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Spidermama Sat 29-Dec-12 16:57:46

Flow4 I'm back now. She got back before me. You're right there's no need to worry about a 14 year old out at 4.15 it's just that she went out without her phone (which I have successfully managed to confiscate) and after I flipped so I felt very uneasy. You're absolutely right though. No need.

I don't think I need to back off. If anything I am a little too hands off as my mum always was. We had too much freedom.

I'm totally with you and Insancerre in terms of modelling the kind of behaviour I expect from her. Who knows, one of these fine days it might even work! wink

Spidermama Sat 29-Dec-12 16:59:15

And SecondComing I agree I can be a bit of a mug sometimes. I'll make it one of my new year's resolutions to stop being as much of a mug.

insancerre Sat 29-Dec-12 17:03:56

No, you're not a mug. You are just being a good parent and trying to do your best for your child.
Remember, no child is perfect and no parent is either. You don't need to be. You just need to be 'good enough'.

juneau Sat 29-Dec-12 17:44:20

There's some really good advice on here - a lot of it better than mine and I take your point about behaviour escalating if you get into a pissing contest. However, I think rudeness, swearing and generally being horrible should lead to some kind of consequences as no one out there in the real world would put up with it - teachers, for instance, and later employers. I really don't think a 14-year-old is suddenly going to improve his/her behaviour if you don't have some way of censuring them for it.

flow4 Sat 29-Dec-12 18:12:10

Phone tip: grin
Don't confiscate, block!
You said she's on contract, yes? And since she is under 18, this must be a contract in your name... So call up the provider, and say "Hello, I'd like a temporary block on outgoing calls and texts on 07xxxxxxxxx". grin
This means you can call and text her but she can't make any calls or send any texts, until you call up and remove the block.
I did this often to my DS at the same age. It was my regular sanction if he (a) didn't tell me where he was going at night, (b) didn't come home at agreed times, or (c) didn't communicate with me/respond to texts etc. as necessary. I would then text and say "Your phone is blocked until X" and X could be a specific day or time, or could be "until you answer my calls".
It worked for me! grin

MaryChristmaZEverybody Sat 29-Dec-12 22:08:06

My life improved immensely the day I put a lock on my bedroom door. In fact I put two locks - one to keep them out, the other to lock myself in.

Pick your battles.

Sit down and decide what really matters and have direct and instant consequences for those things. Let some of the other stuff (tidiness for example) go for the moment.

flow4 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:40:31

I'm another one with a lock on my bedroom door. I lock my room whenever I'm not in it, and often when I am. I carry the key around in my pocket. hmm I resisted doing it for a very long time (it felt like an admission of failure, I think) but it made such a difference I wish I'd done it much sooner.

jellybeans Sat 29-Dec-12 23:55:44

I would get much stricter. Worked with my DD. She has always been very headstrong and very very challenging at one point. Agressive with sibs, rude to us etc, tantrums that took doors off hinges etc.

We managed to cope through it and she is much better now (16). We neve gave in or allowed disrespect. I wouldn't have let her get her stuff back, I would have sat on it if I had to! Take the phone, contract or not. Or let her use the contract sim in a rubbish phone not a blackberry etc. That is what I did. My DD is on a contract Sim now where I can cancel anytime. My DD knows if she does't respect me she gets only the basics and I don't do any special meals she likes etc or go out of my way for her. I also ground her if need be. She has to learn that you don't get things if you treat people like dirt. If she did it to friends, school or employers she would ge in trouble. I would definately not buy the computer. My 16 year old shares our family one and is fine with homework etc and predicted top grades. They don't need their own. I would make her earn priveledges. It will get worse before it gets better but you need to be te boss no matter how hard it gets, good luck.

niceguy2 Sun 30-Dec-12 06:55:20

Spidermamma. Punishments are not about revenge. They are about teaching them that actions have consequences.

If she's not used to being punished at home then it's little surprise that she feels she can tell her brothers to F off and hit them.

The key (which I admit I don't always get 100%) is to punish them calmly. Then stick to it, come hell or high water.

Only you will know if not buying a computer is an appropriate punishment.

A friend of mine suggests the best thing to do is hit them where it really hurts. The pocket. If they don't have any money/credit, they can't do anything.

My DD is skating on very thin ice at the moment and if not careful, she'll find I will stop her allowance and phone credit. Then I'll block the wifi so she can't message her BF 30,000 a day!

lilycigar Sun 30-Dec-12 08:17:21

Hi. I'm new to mums net and the 14yr old sounds just like my 16 (nearly 17) yr old. She is just vile at times and alienates all the family with her surly behaviour and attitude, and then wonders why no one has time for her. I can honestly say at this point I don't like my daughter at all (although I still love her) but she is such hard work. Its been good to read that I am not the only one going through behaviour like her, especially as she has an older brother and sister and they were never this hard going.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sun 30-Dec-12 10:33:39

Can you block just outgoing msgs/calls from an i-phone?? I like the sound of that.

HollaAtMeSanta Sun 30-Dec-12 11:03:41

You are far too soft! I hope you reconfiscated the phone etc, and the Impulse, when she left the house. Don't go running after her when she storms out, and don't buy her the computer. Many children can't afford home computers and they get through school OK. There will be an IT suite at her school that she can use, and your local library will have computers and free internet.

flow4 Sun 30-Dec-12 11:40:11

Dunno AnyFucker... I do it with my DS's Vodafone contract phone...

HermioneHatesHoovering Wed 02-Jan-13 07:14:51

Yes you are definitely far too soft. Your dd knows that you don't mean what you say, basically.

Totally agree to hit her where it hurts. She does not NEED her own computer, she does not NEED a phone, previous generations of teens survived without.

I would take away all and anything she values and give it back incrementally as behaviour improves. She NEEDS to learn that her actions have consequences and she cannot get away with behaving the way she currently does. It is your job as her parent to teach her these things.

Listmaker Wed 02-Jan-13 14:05:33

My 14 year old DD drives me to distraction too - perhaps not as extreme as yours but pretty much constantly angry and rude etc.

I too have the book Flow suggested and re-read bits of often. The bit I go back to when things are bad is this:

What is it to be the parent of a teenager? It is to do what you think best - when really you have no idea what is best. It is to ride out the storms and be back again the next day. It is to continue to give love to a child who does not seem to want it, to a child who, five minutes earlier, seemed to deserve a slap more than anything else.

Stick in there, try and stay calm and keep telling yourself it will pass!

Good luck!

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