do i cave? she has a point....

(42 Posts)
ThatVikRinA22 Thu 28-Mar-13 00:18:32

DD is 15, almost 16. she is (mostly) lovely. does well at school. doesnt go out. keeps her room clean and tidy. gets up at 6am for school every morning, works hard while there, has achieved good grades, she is organised, disciplined and methodical. She has a boyfriend of over a year who is nice, she is nice. mature. sensible.

so its come as a bit of a shock lately that she has been a bit "kevin the teenager" with me.

being disrespectful. back chatting. loves her dad. hates me. the usual teen stuff i guess.

She recently decided to alter course on further education and switch from A level to BTEC.
which is truly fine by me - but she opted for a complete surprise of a course - health and social care.
its a good course - can lead to good things. im happy with that - but if i so much as utter one word about it, (such as asking if she has told college that she is switching course...) she goes off on one with me. I wanted to know what had led her to choose that particular course, but she was defensive and horrible when i asked. She seems to think that im judging her - im not - i think she is sensible and i dont really think she would have coped with A levels - she hates exams and gets really stressed....

she had asked if she could have her navel pierced for passing her maths GCSE - she really struggled with maths and her confidence was terrible. We got her a tutor, and she went, willingly, every week. it paid off and she passed.

i said she could have her navel pierced and booked it for her.
Last night she spoke to me like shite...we argued. she snaps my head off for no reason. i said "carry on" and she said in best kevin the tennager stylee "or what? youll ground me?" (she never goes out) so i said "no - i wont take you for this piercing"
"go on then" she replied.
"fine" i said.

so tonight she is being pleasantly human. I told her i was going riding on Friday....she asks about piercing. I say i told you - its not happening.

She then gets upset, and ends up spilling all this teenage angst on me, sobbing, she tells me that she fell out with her group of friends who then egged my house and car, that she has been outcast at school and hates it, that people are shouting things at her in the street, about her looks, her weight, (she is 5ft 7 and weighs 7st 10.....she is very attractive but disarmingly doesnt know it and is quite insecure, i noticed she had lost weight recently....) she is stressed, she is dyslexic and doesnt cope with exams well, hates for her dyslexia to single her out and gets mad that she gets extra time and a seperate room etc - god forbid anything that makes her different....she (rightly) tells me that all her friends are going out everynight drinking, smoking, that she does none of that, that her brother got away with murder and that she feels that even though she is a model child its not good enough if i punish her for something she felt she couldnt help - she says she doesnt know why she snaps at me, she just does. She says she likes to deal with things on her own and doesnt like to talk to me or for me to interfere which is why she doesnt tell me things,

she clung to me and sobbed her little heart out.

and now i feel awful. She went and had a bath and came back down much calmer, normally she doesnt come anywhere near me for hugs etc but she laid down on the couch with me and had a cuddle....she was exhausted. She said she was sorry. I said i have feelings too, and she said she is just feeling very confused, hates school, feels judged, tries her best and could be doing all manner of terrible things but doesnt, always tells me where she is going if she does go out....feels she has no one, etc etc.

so. the dilemma is do i take her for this flaming piercing now or not?

part of me didnt realise how much adolescent angst she was going through - she seems in genuine turmoil. with school. her friends. her self esteem. This is the first time she has let her guard down and opened up to me in a long time.

part of me feels that if i dont stick to what i said ive lost all credibility. but she just isnt likely to play on it - she really isnt usually a pita at all.

do i just tell her we should both start again and wipe the slate clean but that i wont tolerate being spoken to like rubbish and that if she does it again i will dock her pocket money or something? or should i steadfastly stick to what i said?

could do with opinions please.

MrsVJDay Thu 28-Mar-13 00:26:37

Sounds like starting with a clean slate would be fairest - and she did pass Maths after all. She clearly realises that you meant it and took that seriously enough for the emotional dam to break so I don't think it would be a credibility issue... can see both sides but on this occasion it might help your relationship move forward?

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 28-Mar-13 00:26:41

Hi Vic.
She's trusted you, she's shared her fears and her stressers with you, and she's right. She has been a good girl for years whilst watching you handle your DS.
Tell her you love her, tell her that you won't take being treated like shit for any reason and take her for the piercing.
Next time she cocks up, think of a sanction as a consequence, but this is a bridge building opportunity.
She is likely to find college so much better than school, I know my DS did.
She is lovely, your girl, and she deserves a bit of slack now and then, smile

issypiggle Thu 28-Mar-13 00:31:22

i would say that you appreciate that she has told you. but because of the way she had spoken to you before hand you will still not take her for her piercing.

offer her the option of her next exam then you will take her then. but i would say don't back down.

my mum never backed down and it didn't do me any harm. i appreciate it now I've got dd, and i don't back down.

I think you managed to make your point, and have a chat where you both understood each other a bit better. So yes, I would reinstate the piercing.

(Actually I'm really not into piercings, but assuming you are fine with it as such)

issypiggle Thu 28-Mar-13 00:34:25

whoops i now feel like the baddy... sad

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 28-Mar-13 00:37:33

Vic's DD has had a bit more to put up with than the average teen, so that's one of the reasons that I'd not stick to the letter of the law here.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 28-Mar-13 00:42:48

thanks everyone - issy i appreciate your opinion too - i wanted to just see what others thought.

I dont really like certain piercings, but i had my nose done and i have a tattoo.....
she is very "girly" and has her ears done, she asked for a navel piercing done a couple of years ago but agreed to wait until she was older. She has wanted it done for ages and ive no problem with a navel being done (would be different if she had wanted a facial piercing or tongue doing....but she hates those anyway)

i was inclined to go with the clean slate thing....but make it very clear that a line has been drawn.

my friend was adamant that i shouldnt back down....but her dd walked out at 17 and never went back.

i dont want that kind of relationship with my dd.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 28-Mar-13 00:44:40

nebulous is right.....my DS has autism, and has been an absolute utter pain in the arse at times. She has always faded into the background and let him get on with it. never complained. always the voice of reason where he was concerned if i was losing the plot.

CautionaryWhale Thu 28-Mar-13 00:57:07

Clean slate

ItsallisnowaFeegle Thu 28-Mar-13 00:58:03

Your DD and mine aren't one in the same are they grin

Seriously OP I recognise a LOT of my DD in your post, from not going out much, getting herself up extremely early (my DD gets up at half past 6, not 6), is doing really well at a school to 'having recently turned Kevin' on me.

A few weeks ago my DD asked if she could have the cartilage on her ear pierced after I said no to the navel. I agreed and then we got chatting. We talked about how things are at school etc. how proud of her I am and that I was pleased she'd found a new group of friends who all seemed lovely.

It was then I realised how bloody lucky I am to have her; 'Kevin' strops and all and I told her I give my permission for the navel piercing.

She had it done, as did one of the new friends from the group and that made it a bit of a 'bonding session' for them.

Your DD is a year older than my DD. I say count your blessings, as it seems they are many, and take her for the piercing.

HTH

LineRunner Thu 28-Mar-13 01:06:18

I would be really glad she had opened up and tell her so, and go the clean slate route.

(Although you could also gently ask her to try to understand that it's pretty horrible to be spoken to like shit by someone you really love. Sometimes teenagers just don't really think, and it's ok to remind them of stuff!)

MMMarmite Thu 28-Mar-13 01:06:29

Clean slate too.

Passing maths took a lot of work, it would be such a shame to lose her whole reward due to one outburst when she was stressed and upset. She's apologised and opened up to you. Withdrawing the reward now wouldn't teach her to care more about your feelings; it would teach her that you don't care about hers.

She sounds like a lovely girl beneath the teenage communication methods.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 28-Mar-13 01:11:39

thanks - it does help.

i think i am going to have a chat tomorrow. She kept telling me i dont understand! but thats only because she never bloody talks to me any more....

tonight was a good air clearing opportunity.

im inclined to let her have the piercing but tell her to just stop and think before she goes "kevin" on me in future....because her pocket money will get culled. That feels fairer than going back on what i said she could have for the maths exam....maths was such a biggie for her. Her tutor said she worked so hard for it and deserved to pass - she gave her money and an easter egg with a message piped on it....its a big achievement for her and i should honour it.

but future kevinisms will be charged in ££££££.

TanteRose Thu 28-Mar-13 01:52:32

yep, let her have the piercing, but with the proviso that she pays for future infractions etc.

I don't think you will lose all credibility - she will see you as being able to compromise and see her point of view

well done to her for passing her maths exam btw smile

JustinBsMum Thu 28-Mar-13 02:20:20

Is the piercing going to help with her other worries about friends etc?

Can't she try maybe a theatre group/ choir/ sport of some sort in the evenings so she might form new friends who don't see her getting horror of horrors extra time for exams etc? Just to boost her self esteem.

The kevinisms didn't bother me too much from what I remember. Especially if there is a difficult sibling to put up with. Better a strop than them bottling stuff up.

I wouldn't go back on what I said, though, so no piercing now, maybe in the future.

JustinBsMum Thu 28-Mar-13 02:24:35

Also think, being an arsey old cow, that DCs at 15/16 don't know what is best as far as choice of course, future study is concerned and that you as a more wordly-wise adult should try to advise and influence them. Perhaps a chat with someone who works in their field of study to open their eyes a bit.

sashh Thu 28-Mar-13 06:30:53

Let her have the piercing, you promised it as a reward for a specific task that she has completed, and that wasn't easy.

I know you are in the police so imagine you have just passed the sergeant's exam (don't know if you have taken it) and then you messed something up at work, nothing bad, no one hurt just a mess up with paperwork.

Your exam pass would not be taken off you. You may be reprimanded or punished in some other way but what you have earned by your own sweat and toil isn't taken away.

I think teenagers have a strong sense of right and wrong (I don't have one, but I do teach them) and rewards are important to them.

I also think that your daughter sounds wonderful. She isn't on drugs, she isn't drinking, she isn't pregnant.

She may have been putting up with jibes about her mum being a 'bizzy' or whatever term is local to you for years. Lots of kids with parents in the police put up with that.

seeker Thu 28-Mar-13 06:45:19

Absolutely let her have the piercing- it was a specific reward for a specific thing. I don't think you should have withdrawn the reward- although I can see why you did!

Fedupnagging Thu 28-Mar-13 06:50:42

Your daughter sounds lovely - she's just finding everything a bit stressy at the moment ( as loads of yr 11's are at this stage) and this is showing in her behaviour. Although totally unacceptable, it is understandable.

I think you are doing the right thing by having a chat and then letting her have the piercing-she did eventually confide in you and also apologised not to mention passing her maths exam. You are also making the boundaries perfectly clear for future 'Kevin' moments.

Finallygotaroundtoit Thu 28-Mar-13 07:02:46

At 15 she is still a child - too young to make the decision to have a piercing and I think the melt down was because she is actually needing more boundaries from you.

She's growing up too quickly - not long ago she was a carefree child.
She made a good decision about her course but it terrified her. Questioning her decision probably made her doubt herself which is why she lashed out at you.

The 'reward' was a lovely idea but piercing was not [imo) appropriate. It's done at 18 for a reason.
Could another reward be substituted and if she still wants it at 18 she can go ahead?

CheeryChickChickChickChicken Thu 28-Mar-13 08:09:32

Clean slate. She's opened up to you, been honest, said sorry. She will know you've not backed down easily, explain, but be proud of her maths result. She sounds like a good girl having a hard time. Treat her, I would!

cupcake78 Thu 28-Mar-13 08:21:36

The agreement was met by her therefore I can't see you can back out just because she had a teenage tantrum at a tricky time. You also run the risk of her feeling like she's being punished for getting upset. I know she handled it badly but she's still learning how to deal with herself.

It's fair to talk about how she manages her feelings and that maybe its better to talk things out sooner with you than let it build up.

I think your doing a great job because although it took time she still came to you in the end and told you everything and then felt like she could still have a cuddle from mum! That shows she trusts you and feels secure. You can't ask for much more.

Well done to both of you.

CheeseStrawWars Thu 28-Mar-13 08:33:07

Clean slate.

She sounds like she's desperate for acceptance and love, the treatment she's suffered at the hands of her "friends" has really damaged her and her "Kevin act" is her pushing you to see whether you'll reject her too, in a self-destructive bid to confirm her own view she's unlovable. She's projecting her thoughts onto you - she doesn't think she's good enough, ergo she expects that to be what you think and it's easier to get angry at you for that perceived slight than it is to deal with her feelings of inadequacy. Wish there was a magic wand for boosting self-esteem in teens. sad Spoil her a bit, it can't hurt.

Horsemad Thu 28-Mar-13 11:37:52

I'd make her wait - tell her she can have it but tell her why she's being made to wait.

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 28-Mar-13 11:43:59

Vic, has it occurred to you that one of the reasons she may find it hard to talk is that for years your beloved, infuriating and lovely DS has given you challenge after challenge? Stressing you out and making you proud.
She loves you, she couldn't do anything to help you in those situations other than not add to the stress, not demand equal time, not guilt you into feeling that DS was more important?
She's been so good for so long, years, it's not really surprising that she's having her own version of a meltdown. Especially when you see what many 15 year olds are like without any of what she's dealt with in her own way.
You are a fantastic parent, and she knows it. Time for her to know that she's a fabulous daughter too.

GetOeuf Thu 28-Mar-13 11:49:13

What seeker said - you agreed she could have it doene if she passed her exam (well done to her, that must have been a great achievement). I can see why you withdrew it but I would just draw a line under the whole thing and let her have it.

Hopefully the chat has done you both the world of good. When you go for your piercing why don't you go for lunch/coffee or something, and say that as she is old enough now you can both agree to treat each other kindly - say you want to be close and there is no point in daft rows, and that you are always there for her, all of that. And then if she kicks off in future just calmly remind her of this - say you understand that she is stressed and unhappy, but to not take it out on you and just TALK about it.

I have had funny moments with dd where, despite being very close, we just spent days snarling at each other. Sometimes it is good to take a step back and just have a chat about treating each other with kindness. DD has pulled me up on snapping as much as I have pulled her up on it - but we try to nip it in the bud before we start sniping at each other.

I hope she is OK - she sounds terribly unhappy. Perhaps the college thing with BTEC will be a new start, new friends who are more mature. It must be stressful for you as well to witness, make sure you both take some time out, she is stressed at school and you have a very stressful job. Understandably when things are really hard you end up snapping at the people who you love the most - perhaps that is why she has been behaving like she has.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Thu 28-Mar-13 11:51:09

Take her. She has explained why she had the outburst and if you refuse to take her now she wont want to talk to you in the future. She sounds like a good girl, be proud of her.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 28-Mar-13 13:12:40

thanks everyone.

i know some think that a piercing at that age isnt appropriate but for me a navel bar isnt a biggie.

more important to me is our relationship. I will take her and take her for a cuppa or something afterwards - we always used to go into town on a saturday for milkshakes - we havent done anything together for ages.

she had started riding with me, and has the opportunity to go on a saturday to the stables and help out, a few other girls of around the same age, but she doesnt want to go. I might just suggest it again. She was much nicer this morning. i left her alone mostly (she isnt great on a morning) but she was pleasant. I think she gets a bit of pmt too....

She has more exams coming up so i will cut her some slack, but also just remind her that she can talk to me.

last night did us both some good, i saw things from her pov, having had no idea that she was so stressed. She understood what i was saying too.

I'm with the clean slate as well. I think sometimes it doesn't hurt to admit to the DC that we know we don't always get it right but we do always try our best.
Ask her if she feels better having opened up and confided in you, I'm sure she will say yes and then tell her you feel better now that you know (partly) why she has been so angry. I think she needs to know though how much her behaviour hurts you, it's not emotional blackmail to point that out to her.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 28-Mar-13 21:40:29

we have been good tonight.

tomorrow she asked if we could go out for lunch, just the two of us. smile
she seems much happier. We havent done anything together in ages and ages so im looking forward to that. Feel like we have reconnected.
I might have even talked her into coming to the stables with me on Sunday....she doesnt really like getting her hands dirty though so will see if she enjoys it....she felt too shy to go saturday with the other girls as she knows no one.

she may change her mind about sunday....she may decide to stay in bed eating chocolate eggs....im fine either way. Just going to enjoy her company tomorrow and see what goes. She got her predicted GCSE grades today - in every single subject she gets a level 1 for effort without exception.

her GCSE targets are C across the board - though she is actually predicted 3 Bs and rest C's - none of this comes easily to her and she works so hard for it. (ds coasted and despite his disabilities he got As and Bs....but never put in the sort of effort DD does)

i feel i have made the right call. She is getting her piercing and then we are going for lunch. smile she actually seems to want to spend some time with me. she gave me a hug tonight. We havent had that sort of closeness for a while.

flow4 Fri 29-Mar-13 01:35:41

Vicar, that sounds good. You've made the right choice. Parents cling onto this idea that they must 'never back down'; but that's a tactic for earlier childhood, and really isn't helpful in the teenage years. We want and need our teenagers themselves to learn to 'back down', and it's really important for us to 'model' that for them sometimes or they never get to see how it's done. smile Now, next time she's inclined to dig her heels in about something, she'll remember it's possible to admit you're human and change your mind if you decide you've been unfair. smile

thornrose Fri 29-Mar-13 01:59:00

Fwiw I think you've made the right choice. It's so frustrating, my 13 yo has started telling me I don't understand but often shuts down when I offer to listen to her.
I totally agree on the "not backing down" crap flow4, very wise words.

ChippingInIsEggceptional Fri 29-Mar-13 02:01:22

Vicar that sounds good smile I'm glad you have sorted it out and that she asked you if you could have lunch together, just the two of you... hugs as well... make the most of it wink

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 06:51:08

smile

WishIdbeenatigermum Fri 29-Mar-13 06:55:44

I'm so glad. Have a lovely day- she's got a super mum!

watchingout Fri 29-Mar-13 09:29:41

I'm in the "clean slate" camp too. Even though I don't like piercings, a navel bar is the easiest one to keep hidden if she doesn't like it in the future.

You went back on your promise for a well-earned reward in the heat of an argument. She will benefit from seeing you apologise for YOUR Kevin behaviour and you can build your bridges. Have a lovely lunch grin

Can you factor in the piercing for the same outing and consolidate on the good vibes?thanks

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 29-Mar-13 17:16:07

thank you everyone - i feel less guilty now for "backing down" - she got the piercing and we had a lovely lunch out together.

she even came into town shopping with me and then with me to visit a friend in their new house.

she is going out to her friends this evening. She is already fussing over the piercing and keeping it scrupulously disinfected.

feels like i have my dd back again. smile

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Fri 29-Mar-13 17:28:35

I think you've done the right thing. Sounds like she had been holding a lot in. She must feel really relieved to have finally let it all out.

Teens are very difficult to manage. Sometimes it's ok to negotiate. I think this was one of those times.

I think you have done the right thing. She opened up to you and managed to articulate why she was feeling so on edge. This was brave and mature of her and you have reinforced that so it will be more likely to happen again.

MrsReacher Sat 30-Mar-13 10:09:11

I think you did the right thing too and I'm glad you had a good day

If it helps my dd is a school year ahead of yours and I remember this time last year as so stressful. She was so short tempered and snappy and that was without the extra stress of friendship issues. She too left school to go to college and is loving it. She has made New friends with similar interests so hopefully you can reasure your dd she has better times to look forward too

SanityClause Sat 30-Mar-13 10:21:32

I, too, think you have done the right thing. And I agree with the idea that "never backing down" is wrong. A relationship isn't a battle of wills! It should be all about compromise, sharing and give and take.

She's had a hard time, and has taken it out on you. And that's obviously not okay. So perhaps you can discuss strategies with her about coping with stress in the future. Who she can talk to, (if not you) or if doing strenuous exercise or something like meditation would help her.

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