AIBU to think that I am not going to survive the teenage years?(22 Posts)
My dd, dss, dsd (15 & 14 &13) have turned from loving, funny kids you can have a chat with to angry, rude and obnoxious pieces of work. Every day is a barrage of snidey comments, dirty looks and arguments. I feel like they absolutely hate my existence and when I try to discuss it, they deny that they have done anything wrong and that it's all my fault. I feel devastated that I'm watching this happen to my family. Dd has barely spoken to me since the weekend. Please help someone. I know everyone will say its just teenagers, I need help on how to deal with them.
No advice but didn't want to leave this unanswered I was a really horrible teen, I love my parents now. Watch "the teen brain" TED talk very good.
Through it now so lm evidence you will survive. Few tips. Pick your battles. I ignored rooms, just shut the doors.Call them on back chat every time but don't get into a big discussion. Actually don't get into a big discussion on most things. Go to the bathroom if you find it hard not to engage. Text them instructions as it's your voice sometimes that gets to them or leave a note. I had zero tolerance for swearing.
Big one. Start every day fresh. Don't hold grudges. Act like they are gorgeous even when obnoxious. Rub their shoulders when going by and tell them you love them eleven if they look horrified. Don't make a big deal. Be friendly to their friends but in a mom way. Let them have friends over and give them snacks as better in your house than not knowing where they are. With my dss l watched sport. Hours of it of all types as we only have one TV but at least we could chat about it.
They are very close in age so try and get bits of individual time.
Build a tough skin as they will think you're boring embarrassing old fashioned the works but mine are now out the other end and that's all gone. Good news for you is they will all come out the other end together so it will be fast and furious for a while.
Keep a sense of humour.. And most importantly keep your own friends and life going. Talk to friends at same stage and be honest as it's like therapy for each other.
Try and enjoy seeing them grow into own people. Hear their opinions and don't overreact. You can do it. Hang on tight.
They leave home eventually
This and gin are the only things keeping me sane - dd1 is 14 and just started her periods - every 4th week is like a new circle of hell
Read about the physical changes to the teenage brain. It helps to know it is out of their control.
To add to Junebirthdaygirl's excellent advice, one thing I found really helpful was to remember to keep telling myself 'It's not personal.' I know they should show love, they should be at the least considerate of someone cloe to them, and it hurts that they can so cruel, but it's not you they're hating - it's just their hormones going beserk. Keep telling yourself 'It's not about me'. It can help. I also found it helped, just once, to cry in front of my son. It's definitely not something to be overused and sometimes it might be unwise - children should not have to feel they are responsible for their parents' happiness - but it did get through to him, and he was never so nasty again. He was saying something about how I didn't care, I never did what he wanted - you know the kind of thing - and I allowed myself to break down and say something along the lines of how I didn't think he understood that he and his brothers were the most important thing in my life. But only you can judge if that would be effective or might lay yourself open to even deeper hurt, which is a possibility.
It's at times like this that I am thankful I only have one child.
It isn't just the teenage hormones, bullying and friendship issues, but the exam stress. With three children you will have 6 years of GCSE/A levels/BTECs or whatever the government decide to change the exams to.
DD is 16 and we survived the first hurdles of GCSEs, the next ones will be A levels, then probably a degree (hopefully I will be distanced from that one)
Agree with everything June said especially to pick your battles.
Remember, what you view as a dirty snidey look, they will view as their "normal" face and any attempt to point this out will be met with resistance and storming up the stairs. (if you haven't already might be worth getting the floorboards reinforced )
Keep encouraging and always have the lines of communication open if they want it. My DD can go from very loving to totally dismissive in an instant. Be prepared that life is always about them. Remind them how caring they are (you will still see tiny glimpses)
And keep telling yourself there WILL be an end to it eventually, when they come out the other side.
In the meantime, search for 'Kevin the teenager' on youtube, and make them watch with you. That usually raises a reluctant grin from mine.
My eldest is 18 and we breezed through with her, she's a poppet. Her brother in almost 13 and he's rapidly becoming the spotty son of Satan! He's going to give us all the trouble his sister didn't. I've got tge added joy of him and has father constantly locking horns like bloody stags. I might end up living in the shed.
One thing I will say people may not agree but when things got really band I withdrew my labour
I wasn't prepared cook, wash and ferry around people who swore or be little me after a week of ds 15 eating noodles and having to walk to town things started on improve I have to say thought this have gotten much better now he's working tail end of 17 so is at collage and has a job though he is still determined to learn the hard way money wise
Brilliant advice already.
I can only add develop a good Fuck Off dance to do after they have left the room.
Some absolutely excellent advice here. Fantastic June, thank you and I even found myself laughing at some of these. First time in a while. Thank you. I will watch the videos on teenagers.
Not so, I'm working on the dance now!!!!
Stillwishihadabs do you have a link to that video?
I feel like I'm waking up every day now dreading the day ahead so something has got to change. Also got dd aged 8, dd aged 11 and dss aged 10 to deal with daily on top of the teen brats.
No advice but lots of encouragement, to just drive through it. My dd was utterly angelic until she hit 12 yo. She isn't/wasn't the worst but the transformation was startling.
She's 16 now and seems to be slowly recovering. She's fun to be with and doesn't blow up at any opportunity.
If they were lovely prior, they will return to this state of grace.
I was a horrid teen. From 14-17 o basically thought I was God's gift and my parents were so embarrassing. They weren't. I had a privileged upbringing but still moaned!
They will come through. Just don't take anything too seriously what they say, it's like toddler hood but they are tall!
I genuinely remember absolutely detesting my parents at 14/15 but especially my Mum as my Dad let her lay down the law and then played good cop behind her back! It was completely hormonal as my mum is the loveliest person ever and we are best of friends but it was rocky for a couple of years. Just do your best for them and at some point I think you just have to let them go, when I hit 16 my mum gave up arguing about me wanting to go out and started to let me go to clubs etc and things improved from there. I just wanted freedom!
Oh yes the dirty looks..
It is painful because you are used to being open and giving to younger kids I think. I had to harden myself , rather !Ike with difficult work colleagues. I also read that the teens report being OK with the conflict and parents more upset by it. So if wasn't getting to them ( beyond the moment as it were) I had to look after myself and ride it out rather than getting over emotional.
It does get better.
thefishwife my girls are actually pretty good, but I am the same -I'm not prepared to do extras like ferry around, give money for clothes, going out and so forth for people who are downright rude or dismissive. I'm happy to stop contributing if I'm treated like shit and so far, this line in the sand has held. I don't fuss over a bit of sighing, the odd door slam etc, but things like being directly rude to my face aren't ok, and I expect an apology before moving on to have it not happen again (too soon!)
You do have to move on quickly though and not bear a grudge or take it personally, their huffing and puffing and criticism is often then directed at themselves (I'm so fat/ugly/not good at school) as much as at others.
I try to do one on one things, sometimes it works, sometimes they don't look like they are enjoying it much! Watching the same TV show curled up on the sofa is a good one, and one reason I don't like everyone being on separate screens. We usually watch a few shows/films on the weekend together and talk about them- usually their choices. Ditto being in the car, going out for lunch.
If everyone is rude and not helping, then I might sit them down and re-set the boundaries as I can see three is a gang and they may be tag teaming being little shits. If so, remember you have the money, the internet password, the car and the will to help them and make their lives fun and interesting, so the least you need in return is reasonable politeness most of the time, excusing the odd lapse.
I don't really agree with some of the teen brain stuff as it's too dramatic, some teens are off the rails, but clearly they can behave in school and to relatives, why should they get to take their nastiness/shit out on you? I cringe when I hear how some of friends let their children talk to them and don't even attempt to challenge it, but just shrug their shoulders when called a bitch or whatever.
They will be hormonal and horrid, but that's no excuse for disrespect and bad manners.
If they don't ask in a civil manner they don't get. They can be civil to their teachers so they can be civil at home. They can also remember the use of the words Please and Thank You. And it's hard, but you have to be civil and polite also.
I wouldn't do too much discussing about it though. Pick your battles. And yes, if it's really bad, withdraw labour, lifts and wifi.
And when it's good, don't comment, just be thankful!
I got through it so I'm sure you will too.
13 was the worst age for us, they were HORRIBLE.
I think my best advice and what got us through it was to pick your battles, if I reacted to everything they said/did/didn't do that annoyed me the house would have been a war zone so I focused on the things that were unacceptable to us as a family (coming home very late, rudeness, dishonesty etc)
We continued to do lots together as a family, even when I couldn't stand the sight of them, suppers together, coffee and cake in a cafe after long walks etc and because of this when they were ready to start behaving like normal human beings again we still had a relationship with them.
They're 23 and 19 now and I'm pleased to say they are both lovely, kind and funny people.
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