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To be at the end of my tether with DD?

(37 Posts)
TooManyButtons Tue 21-Jan-14 19:43:17

Because I really don't think I am!

To set the scene: I separated from ExH last year, all very amicable, and with DD (nearly 16) put first throughout. ExH lives nearby, and DD has her own room in his new house, with clothes, makeup, everything, basically a second home, where she's always welcome, and takes herself off there at weekends when I'm working, over for tea during the week...basically we've made it as stress free for her as it possibly can be.

DD is sitting her main GCSEs this summer, so is understandably stressed about revising and so on. However, she's being a nightmare, and is really hurting me. I've made allowances for her, but I can't cope any more.

She doesn't lift a finger around the house. If I directly ask her to do something, such as empty the dishwasher, out a load of washing on, she will eventually do it, but with incredibly bad grace - sighing, slamming of doors, pushing past me. Instead, she disappears into her room as soon as she gets in from school, allegedly to do her homework. In reality she sits watching tv on the laptop until I get screamed at at 10pm as she's just started her homework and is stuck. She'll come down for tea, chuck her dirty dishes on the side, then flounces back upstairs.

I've just done 3 12 hour shifts in a row at work, I'm a nurse so I'm physically and emotionally exhausted. My day off today has been spent cleaning, meal planning and food shopping, before another 12 hour shift tomorrow, as I've swapped a shift so I'm off for DD's birthday later this week. When she got in from school (stepping over the bags of shopping in the porch, opening her post and throwing the envelope on the side, presumably for me to out in the bin), I asked her if she minded walking the dog, just once, as my back is really hurting. Cue much flouncing, sighing, dirty looks.

I pointed out that I was tired, and am back at work tomorrow - all I get is "well I didn't ask you to go food shopping", and "if you don't care about spending my birthday with me, don't bother, I didn't ask you to change your shift" before stomping out to walk the dog with the parting shot of "hopefully you'll be less of a bitch when I get back!" She's now upstairs refusing to acknowledge my existence.

I know I shouldn't put up with this, but the truth is it hurts me so much when I get the silent treatment from her, that I'm treading on eggshells trying not to upset her. I'm sat downstairs sobbing, and am very close to picking up my car keys and just driving away.

TooManyButtons Tue 21-Jan-14 19:46:08

When I challenged her about her attitude earlier on, she started throwing stuff into a suitcase, saying she's going to live with her dad. I feel like she's backed me into a corner.

creamteas Tue 21-Jan-14 19:50:24

Don't think this has anything to do with the separation (other than she has another house to flounce to). It is crap, but it is not untypical for a 16 year old.

It is crap, but they do get better, honest.

CeliaFate Tue 21-Jan-14 19:50:50

She's playing you off against each other. Perhaps you've made it too easy for her to behave like this? If you're on good terms with her father, tell him what she's doing and get him to back you up.
Tell her you're sorry she feels living with you is so bad, and that your door is always open to her. Then let her go to her dad's. I bet she'll be back by the weekend!

bouncysmiley Tue 21-Jan-14 19:51:46

Will he back you up? If he enforces the same rules at his house then let her go, she'll be back soon.

bouncysmiley Tue 21-Jan-14 19:52:56

X post!

softlysoftly Tue 21-Jan-14 19:54:16

Let her go.

Sorry sounds harsh but I was a proper cow at that age to my parents, there was no reason I was just full of rage and angry at the world. Raised the same as my sisters, nice home, good parents, no drama in life but I was still horrible. It was like a red rage.

But I knew how far I could push them and pushed mum far more than dad just because I knew their snapping point.

I assume you have tried to be loving and talk to her to see if there is a background reason? If there isn't then you need to lay down the law.

She cleans her plates or she doesn't get dinner.

She speaks with a civil tounge or she doesn't get "x" eg phone credit. If she stops off to live at Dads and he is reasonable and will back you up then tell her that you love her and would like her home but won't be threatened so if she wants to go then go. Then call ex and make sure her reception there includes a lecture on how to treat her mother.

She can't use the current situation as a form of blackmail and you let her get away with it due to your guilt.

Catsmamma Tue 21-Jan-14 19:54:17

do it....get the keys and go

and take the router with you.

Go have a drink in a pub, or go to the cinema.

If she wants to live like a lodger then treat her like one....stop doing meals, laundry, withdraw all good will.

formerbabe Tue 21-Jan-14 19:54:37

I can see why you are upset but it sounds like normal teenage behaviour to me....I haven't got teenagers yet but I remember being one (just!)

TooManyButtons Tue 21-Jan-14 19:55:13

Yes he's backing me up, apparently he asked for help cooking at the weekend and she flounced and screamed at him too, so it's not just me! He says if ever she turns up at his house with her bags packed, he'll bring her straight back here to sort things out.

CeliaFate Tue 21-Jan-14 19:56:32

No, he needs to let her live there for a while and make her do the same stuff you're asking her to do. Otherwise, she'll think he's the soft option and you're the baddie who makes her life hell.

TooManyButtons Tue 21-Jan-14 19:57:14

I think the biggest problem is that I'm not coping with the end of my marriage as well as I could be - I get upset at the slightest little thing - it feels like she's kicking me when I'm down.

TooManyButtons Tue 21-Jan-14 20:00:25

I've refused to drive her to her leisure activity tonight, I've god her if she wants people to do things for her she needs to treat them with some respect and be grateful. I've also not made any tea for her, I'm not hungry and don't see why I should cook her a meal when she won't even speak to me. (There's plenty of food in the house, I'm not neglecting her!)

Sparklysilversequins Tue 21-Jan-14 20:02:01

No more cooking, no more washing, router password changed. No nice things bought for her. Pleasant and smiley even in the face of her nastiness just do not lift a finger for her. When she starts whining about it tell her you have no intention of doing anything for someone who treats you that way. No tears, no trying to talk it through, you've already tried that and it's not working. Get Dad to do the same. She will soon sort herself out if home comforts are withdrawn in both locations.

CeliaFate Tue 21-Jan-14 20:03:23

Maybe she blames you (child's skewed logic) and wants things back to how they were when she didn't have to do so much maybe?
I would have a chat with her when you're both calm, explain you're upset and that your marriage has ended and you are every bit as upset and thrown by it as she is. She is thinking "My mum and dad are divorced", perhaps she's not thinking how it's affecting you. Also 16 year olds can be very awkward - not a grown up, not a child. It's a difficult age.

leobear Tue 21-Jan-14 20:03:48

I agree with everyone who says it is normal teenage girl behaviour - I remember the red rage well. However, and I am sorry if this is upsetting, don't assume that it is nothing to do with your separation. I was in a similar situation at that age, and outwardly appeared not to be directly affected. I doubt I realised I was affected. But looking back, a lot of my behaviour was linked to feeling rocked to the core. It's possible she feels the same.

BrownSauceSandwich Tue 21-Jan-14 20:07:17

Ugh, I do feel for you, but she sounds like an absolute stereotype of a 16 year old girl. I think, if it's possible, you need to head her off at the pass by explaining the situation to her dad. If you can both agree on the ground rules (school work, household jobs and basic manners), then a) you can let her trot off to his house and have a day or two of your own space before she comes crawling back, because b) once she finds out the grass is exactly the same colour at her day's house, she'll be back to her acustomed home. If you can't agree, let her trot off there anyway... Give him a week of picking up after her and he'll soon see things your way.

Regarding watching tv on the computer, I'm sure you can get software that blocks Internet access for specified periods. If I were you, I'd take her computer and disable Internet access (or just unplug the router while she's meant to be working). When she says she needs Internet for her work, say that's fine, but she'll need to do her work at the kitchen table where you can see what she's up to.

desertmum Tue 21-Jan-14 20:10:14

teenagers are foul aren't they ? Hang in there, it will, eventually, get better. I can remember thinking it would never end, but it did. I think it is nature's way of preparing us for them leaving home for Uni/marriage/job etc - they are so foul we are glad to see them go! My son started packing his bags a few months ago until his sister (who is now beyond this stage thankfully) pointed out who paid for all the stuff he was packing . . . Go out, even if you drive round the corner and sit in your car eating chocolate! She will feign indifference but it will actually make her think a bit.
Sorry you are feeling low, but this isn't about you as such, it's about her and her hormones and she knows she can behave like this and you will still love her. Sending a hug (although I get the feeling hugs aren't PC on here ?)

following Tue 21-Jan-14 20:11:12

good for you op , sounds like you have had enough , stick to your guns and hopefully she will see how spoilt she is acting , one of mine says sorry straight away , but the other one will take a day or two to come round , so be patient .

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Tue 21-Jan-14 20:15:18

Good for you!

Now, practice the raised eyebrow and saying "that's nice dear" in tones of slight amusement.

"AARGGHH! WHERE'S MY FUCKING CLOTHES?" "Full moon? That's nice dear".

"I hate you!" "That's nice dear".

"I didn't ask to be born!" "Life is full of surprises, none of them very nice dear".

Just one serious thing: "If you shove me again, I will have you removed by the police. They will put you in short term foster care, and you will be taught manners by people with misspelled tattoos".

The verbals continued, but there was no more physical stuff.

HoneyandRum Tue 21-Jan-14 20:20:12

You sound exhausted, can you book yourself a massage or just have some time with a good friend? Sounds like you need more stress relief than you have at the moment.

Nanny0gg Tue 21-Jan-14 20:21:34

No more cooking, no more washing, router password changed. No nice things bought for her. Pleasant and smiley even in the face of her nastiness just do not lift a finger for her. When she starts whining about it tell her you have no intention of doing anything for someone who treats you that way. No tears, no trying to talk it through, you've already tried that and it's not working. Get Dad to do the same. She will soon sort herself out if home comforts are withdrawn in both locations.


It is normal teenage behaviour taken to a high level.
Every time she co-operates, give something back. If she starts again, take it back.
And no lifts and no money for treats/shopping.

When she behaves like a pleasant human being she will be treated like one.

TooManyButtons Tue 21-Jan-14 20:26:46

Thank you for all your advice. Sometimes it's hard not to take 'normal' teenage behaviour as a personal attack. And yes, I am exhausted. I've got this weekend off, and fully intend to spend some time doing what I want to do, rather than run round cleaning and tidying.

mineofuselessinformation Tue 21-Jan-14 20:41:40

Bloody hell TMB! Doing things you want to this weekend? Noooo, take to your bed and rest. Films on the telly, treat yourself (of course go out if you want to but it sounds like you're knackered and need a break). You'll feel much better equipped to deal with 'the teenage grunt', the sulks and screeching if you have the energy. And DETACH!
Good luck. smile

DoJo Tue 21-Jan-14 20:46:02

What you're describing sounds a lot like this semi-fictionalised account of living with a teenage girl-you can preview the first few pages which might make you feel a lot better about it as it pretty much describes what you are going through:

Honestly though, I remember feeling like she clearly is when I was a teenager - I was angry at life for making some things too difficult, at my parents for having lives and opinions of their own, at school for being a great place to hang out with my friends but full of people wanting me to do things, at myself for not having a boyfriend/having the wrong boyfriend/having a lovely boyfriend but sometimes snapping at him etc etc.

The only thing I can suggest is that you wait until a quiet moment and actually explain to her how you feel. Tell her that you wish she was happier and that you will undertake all reasonable efforts to achieve that, but also let her know that you are finding things difficult at the moment as well, that you don't want your home to be a battle field and wish that the two of you could have a more adult relationship now where you are kind and considerate toward one another and make the best of the difficult situation that you both find yourself in rather than making it worse for one another. She might just realise that you aren't the armour plated parent that she might think and appreciate how her behaviour affects you. Good luck...

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