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to want my teenager to try and be happy for a change?

(73 Posts)
Sladurche Fri 31-Mar-17 20:45:39

I work full time, so does DH. We have a fairly good standard of living. Two cars, grammar school education, leafy suburbs, etc. We go on holiday twice a year to where we have bought a holiday home.
DD1 is 14. From the moment I walk through the door, every day she is in my face; complaining about literally everything. Teachers, friends, pencil case....literally she could find the crap side to any subject you would care to mention. At the moment she is very upset because we are going on holiday and we always go to the same place, she has to spend a couple of days with her grandparents and she won't get to spend any time with her friends over Easter. I am afraid to say that (after several days of the same shit) I lost it and am now drinking a large glass of wine. Her answer "I thought I could trust you. I've got no-one else to talk to" stalked upstairs and slammed the door. AIBU to want her just to buck her ideas up and stop complaining?

Fairylea Fri 31-Mar-17 20:49:10

Hmm you sound a bit harsh, sorry. I have a daughter of the same age and yes they are a whinge fest a lot of the time but that's teenage times for you, lots of hormones etc and they don't have the foresight or hindsight to see the larger picture all the time. I remember being 14 and it was hell.

LadyMaryofDownt0n Fri 31-Mar-17 20:55:12

Teenagers are not happy, well for the most part they are grumpy. I don't think you sound harsh at all, it's draining listening to that all the time.

This to shall pass... at least that's what I'll be telling myself for the next few years.

Maryhadalittlelambstew Fri 31-Mar-17 20:56:38

Hmmm tricky. Are there any underlying factors? Big changes at school or in friendship circles? Does she not like seeing her grandparents? To be fair at 14 I'd have much rather hung out with my friends than my grandparents. As lovely as they were I was just at that age. Have you and DH been working FT for a long time? Could she be craving attention and the only way to get it is to complain? My mum was very much a if it ain't broke don't fix it type parent...so if I wasn't complaining or was generally happy she would pretty much ignore me. Maybe your DD is needing some time with you or her dad? Also as Fairylea said, hormones are pretty raging at this age and little things like a pencil case or friends falling out can seeme HUGE and world-ending. You could tell her to stop moaning and buck up but I don't think it'll help.

Sorry, not much advice there and you do have my sympathy, My eldest DD is 13 and I cant' do right for doing wrong since she hit the teens. Good luck, enjoy your wine and then maybe give her a hug and a bit of time with you x

Fleurdelise Fri 31-Mar-17 21:00:17

I think you should be happy that she still talks to you even if it is just to moan and opens up to you. I have a 15 yo DS (year 11) and I barely get two words out of him, the grunting drives me nuts. "How was school?" "Alright", how are you friends ... alright...

armpitz Fri 31-Mar-17 21:02:59

To be honest I used to hate my parents whisking me away for the entire holiday and it did impact on my social life.

Might be a good way to try and train her into appropriate responses - 'mum, can we talk about the length of the holidays we have?' as opposed to 'MOTHER I AM SICK OF HOLIDAYS!' grin

sonjadog Fri 31-Mar-17 21:06:19

Teens can be like that. Take a deep breathe and count to ten. This will pass (in a few year´s time).

MommaGee Fri 31-Mar-17 21:09:00

She sounds lonely op.

Can you go and give her a cuddle, reassure her you can be trusted and see what else is going on?

IonaNE Fri 31-Mar-17 21:09:10

YANBU.
(To pps: no, not all teenagers are unhappy and grumpy. I would never have been allowed to behave like what the OP described.)

Sostenueto Fri 31-Mar-17 21:18:54

I think that your dd is wanting attention and what may sound trivial to you is not to her. I have a 15 year old dd who would rather spend time with me than her friends. She is grown up for her age but still throws massive tantrums about what an adult would call trivial. She also says horrible things that are hurtful, though she is really sorry afterwards. But I find there is always an underlying problem which causes little things to blow up. Children don't always want material things, a cuddle even at 14 is sometimes all that is needed, a little time and attention thrown in and an awful lot of patience to try and get to what is really bothering your dd. Hormones are raging at this age and a week before my gdd has her monthly is the time when if my gdd starts having a wobbly I just walk out of the room and sometimes the house for half an hour till all is cooled down. That works for us but everyone is different. One last thing, I know teens like their friendships but maybe there is some peer pressure there underneath. I worry that my gdd would prefer me to her friends but she says she is sick of her mates doing social media, selfies etc and finds all that boring and inane. She is a bit of a geek but has lots of friends. She just doesn't worry about being like her friends. Just have a quiet word with your dd when she is calm and you are calm. She will open up to you. I hope this long post has helped. There is an old saying that is really true.....you only hurt the ones you love. Good luck I am sure you will survive the teen years. Just remember you were one once!

PickAChew Fri 31-Mar-17 21:24:23

You can't buy happiness for her, unfortunately. You can listen and help her to work through the things that bother her, though. A bit of empathy is free.

Emphasise Fri 31-Mar-17 21:24:26

Oh dear, from this very small snap Shotton describe, it does so nd like you expect her to be happy/grateful for all the material things you provide when what she wants is your time.

Being a teenager is hard and feeling like you're missing out on time because you've been forced to fo to your second home is a legitimate gripe, even though it will probably turn out many of her friends are away too.

DeadGood Fri 31-Mar-17 21:29:03

"no, not all teenagers are unhappy and grumpy. I would never have been allowed to behave like what the OP described."

Hang on ionaNE. You describe both an emotional state ("not all teens are grumpy") then go on to validate that statement by saying you you would not have been "allowed" to behave in a certain way.

Which is it? The first sentence suggests you were a naturally happy teen. The second, merely that you had strict parents who didn't sound particularly interested in your internal life.

897654321abcvrufhfgg Fri 31-Mar-17 21:29:45

I rarely see my daughter and she utters about 50 words a week to me. Spends most of her time in her room listening to music and snap chatting. If u try and engage her she either grunts or crys. I would feel very lucky if I were you......

AnathemaPulsifer Fri 31-Mar-17 21:34:03

Could you consider taking her feelings into account, maybe letting her invite a friend on the next holiday?

skerrywind Fri 31-Mar-17 21:39:19

Are you taking her on holiday?

Why does she have to stay at her grans?

Sorry nothing like my teens either, we have great days out, and had a brilliant holiday abroad with teen daughter last year- we had a ball.

My teens are pretty happy go lucky and respectful towards me, But I am always respectful of their needs and feelings too.

AlecTrevelyan006 Fri 31-Mar-17 21:49:44

Most 14 year olds don't really want to spend loads of time with their parents and/or grandparents

Emphasise Fri 31-Mar-17 21:49:56

My teens aren't how you describe either, sometimes they just have to as theyretold (like dinner with Gps weekly) but they also have their opinions listened to. We dont book a holiday without proper discussion and as many family activities are their choice as they are ours.

They are prone to a grunt but snap out of it when told and are generally happy and pleasant to be around.

Sladurche Fri 31-Mar-17 21:52:58

I have listened, cuddled, consoled, gone down to the school to speak to teachers, offered to arrange days out with her friends, taken her out for one-on-one......it never stops and I feel worn out. She us moaning because we are going on holiday to the same place, not somewhere more exciting like her friends do. She is staying with her gran for a day before we go on holiday because I need to go to work and there is no other childcare. GP are taking her and her sister to cinema, lunch and a shopping trip for their holidays. Our holiday home is where my husband comes from. His father is all alone - DH is an only child and his mum died a while back. We go to the beach, go hiking, play board games, go out with friends....apparantly this isn't exotic enough. I have offered her to arrange time with her friends before we go, but no. I have come home tired; I haven't had a break since Christmas. I can't deal with it tonight.

skerrywind Fri 31-Mar-17 21:56:03

It's not her choice of holiday.

Your OH could go on his own surely?

skerrywind Fri 31-Mar-17 21:58:25

THing is, you can't force her to enjoy the holiday if it isn't her bag. And your FIL won't want a sulky teenager around. He may actually prefer to spend time just with his son. Leaving you and DD to do something you both enjoy.

MeadowHay Fri 31-Mar-17 22:04:47

I think you are being really unfair. It's not your fault if you're feeling stressed out etc by it all because that's a normal reaction if someone is being very negative, draining etc all the time. But she is your daughter and if you keep snapping at her then you will regret it long term as she will stop talking to you and when people internalise their emotional upset it can be catastrophic and lead to serious mental illness. I'm not trying to catastrophise but at 14 I had severe depression and was self-harming. I couldn't talk to my parents, they didn't want to know, and they didn't want to get help for me. I'm sure that if I had a more supportive environment at home (I was being bullied at school) and access to appropriate medical therapy (counselling etc) then at 23 I wouldn't still be battling depression and anxiety. I remember being 14 very very well and I was very very unwell and my parents said the same things as you. "Cheer up", "miserable cow", "why are you always unhappy?", "nothing is good enough for you", "miserable sod" etc etc and I will never forget all of that.

thatverynightinmaxsroom Fri 31-Mar-17 22:05:55

I feel for both of you. I can imagine how wearing this is (mine haven't reached that age yet so no personal experience...) but I also remember being 14 and being deeply unhappy. I complained about all these sorts of things too but it was really because I was miserable underneath. I had some difficult things going on though which it doesn't sound like your DD does, unless there's something she's hiding?!

MeadowHay Fri 31-Mar-17 22:06:45

And just to add that my parents had the same attitude as you in terms of thinking I had no reason to be unhappy because we had a decent income, quite a nice house, a car, I went to a 'good school', my parents were married, we went on holiday at least once a year (abroad to the country where my dad is from to visit his relatives, often for e.g. the entire 6 week holiday so I saw nobody but my dismissive family for weeks on end). It was a really miserable and difficult time in my life.

Emphasise Fri 31-Mar-17 22:06:49

Is there a boy? I remember being foul on a week in Bournemouth at 14 because I'd had to leave him behind - even though he had no idea of my crush grin

Fwiw I think visits grandad us one if those things she just has to do and I'd have sanctions for spoiling everyone else's holiday, but offer her a fair degree of control over how she spends her time once there

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