Please help me understand this - mothers and daughters(74 Posts)
I feel like I'm too close to this situation to see the wood for the trees and would love some insight from anyone that can help or understands what's going on here. I've been struggling for a while now with the relationship with my 9 year old daughter.
When I try to help her or point something out to her she gets so angry and frustrated. It's as though she can't bear to listen to my advice, tries to walk away every 3 seconds while I'm talking to her, shows how frustrated she is while I'm speaking by doing things like kicking the table leg or trying to bore her pencil into something.
It's mostly homework related (Y5). If I try and help, even when she asks for my help, she just gets so short tempered and angry with me. It's not always homework - it's other small insignificant things like if I tell her there's a knot at the back of her plait but I can help her fix it really quickly and easily, she'll look at me like I've deliberately tried to hurt her, rather than just accept my help. Then take out the entire plait and scruff up her hair!
I just feel like she views me as her enemy. If anyone else tries to help her (babysitter, family member, teacher, friend), it's not an issue. If I try and help she gets so defensive.
I don't know how to handle this better, and I don't really understand what she's feeling. Is she angry because she doesn't want me to see her weaknesses? Am I too overbearing?
Really need to find a fix soon as it's damaging our relationship. When she reacts so negatively to my help I feel rejected, and then I either feel very upset or start lecturing her in anger about how rude she is.
Well, she's growing up and wanting more independence. My DD is 10 and sometimes she wants my help and sometimes she doesn't. If she doesn't - and it's no big deal - like knotty hair, I leave it alone.
I always ask if she wants me to help/explain, I can't treat her the same as when she was 5.
Is there someone else who can help with homework? If this is where you mostly clash.
Can’t you just tell her how you feel and ask her why she does it?
I have similar with my daughter. I think it is because you are too alike.
I could have wrote this post! my 8 year old is exactly the same.
No advice but just to say you aren't alone. Also following in case of any good tips!
I think you have to be prepared to shrug your shoulders, smile and cheerily say something like 'fair enough, you don't want my help right now' and go and do something else. I wouldn't put up with rudeness though.
I'd try and so what she thinks
So if she asks for help with her homework get her to tell you what her ideas are or how far she's got, if there is anywhere she can think of to get the answers iyswim
I think we sometimes problem solve too quickly and they can feel useless
With the hw, are you trying to explain the bits she's already understood?
How does she ask for help?
DD(11) can be like this. I tell her if she’s rude she’s in trouble but if she doesn’t want my help then don’t ask for it. I NEVER offer to help with homework if it can be helped. That way madness lies.
Lately I’ve told her not to ask for my help on anything since she can’t be civil when I try to help. That seems to have reverse psychologied her and she’s better. Tbh I think tween girls are just arseholes most of the time
It might be an obvious one but all the things you mention she might be perceiving (wrongly) as criticism?
Do you also point out when she gets things right/her hair looks great/i.e. the opposite of the things you mention in your first post? You sound like a lovely caring mum so quite possibly you do already but sometimes as a parent you can overlook praising unless it's for an obvious or academic/sporting achievement like a spelling test etc. Just pointing out every day things which are complimentary can help.
Sounds like my 10 yr old DD(she’s just turned 10). She knows EVERYTHING and will not accept help from me at all. If I try and explain anything to her, she’ll cut me off with an ‘I know’ in her most sarcastic voice ever. Homework has become such an issue that I’ve spoken to her teacher and he’s now arranged a homework club during school time as he’s had similar conversations with yr 5 parents. Everything you’ve said above I could have written myself. Ive spoken to other parents and it’s not just me
Apparently she’s an angel at school
It's not just daughters, my 2 sons were the same - one still is ... every time I open my mouth everyone huffs, puffs or their eyes glaze over - homework is a touchy subject and always has been. It's difficult when you want to help them, but they just see you as annoying
Do you ever ask her to help you? With a zip that you can't reach or something similar, and personal rather than laying the table etc. Perhaps needing help from you makes her feel like a small child and if you model receiving help then it makes it more normal and adult.
Mine has just turned so grumpy too. But I think she isnt getting enough sleep as I focussed really hard on her actually going to sleep at bedtime for a few days (we had let it slip as she is getting older and she had started prancing around in her room in the evening rather than being in bed) and she is now back to her sunny self. Im not kidding myself that the sunniness is back permanently, but I will take a few days of it!
Being too alike is a bitch! I suffer from it with both my parents. Do you get plenty of quality time with her? It might not be the magic solution to her attitude but it should help counteract the long term effect of it.
I think BlackAmericano's suggestion is brilliant. She probably does perceive it as criticism - mine did at that age. It took a while for the penny to drop and for me to tell him what he needs to do rather than me just do it for him.
It's really not personal though - well, it is inasmuch as it's a stage children go through with their carers. But it has nothing to do with her being a daughter or you personally.
It's probably pre puberty stuff and she might be feeling you're encroaching on her personal space/independence?
I keep having to catch myself because I think my 9yo DS needs help with things and he gets all annoyed and wants to do it on his own!
Yes, my dds can be like this too... I’m really hoping it’s something they grow out of.
I might be completely wrong and OT with this, but I was thinking about this the other day when looking at Cindy Crawford and her daughter’s Instagram pages. CC has very slightly more followers, Kaia is evidently catching up fast.
Now Kaia is basically famous due to CC, and CC has attracted more interest since Kaia started to become prominent, so I would expect them to promote each other a little bit, occasionally tag each other in posts etc. But they don’t seem to. Kaia shared a pic of her first (French) vogue cover and her mum didn’t share it. I don’t know, I just get the impression that they are competitive towards each other.
I never felt competitive towards my own mother at all, but have seen this in friends relationships with older daughters and it’s so depressing.
So it troubles me when my dd’s (both under 11) behave as you describe.
I don’t think this is a daughter thing. I have a ds and a dd, and my ds (10) is EXACTLY like this.
It’s not easy. But I don’t think it’s an inescapable mother/daughter pitfall, iyswim. More of a standard phase.
My daughter acts like this sometimes and I have to let her get on with it alone and give her space.
Additionally, we irritate each other. We are together pretty much constantly (when not at work/school) and so we are bound to clash at times, especially as we have similar personalities.
She's the most difficult with me (and no one else) because, I assume, she can be. She knows that I will love her regardless of the strops, tantrums, and meltdowns, so she is free to have these with me. I'm the closest person to her so she can show me her anger and upset without fear of losing me.
Let your daughter do her own thing re homework, hair etc. Just tell her you're around if she needs help.
This could be a description of my relationship with DD almost 16. Dad can help with anything but I can't even ask a question. I'm sure it's just a personality clash. We love each other dearly and have just had a great weekend in London together but ask her about revision today and she nearly took my head off my shoulders!
she reacts so negatively to my help I feel rejected
Having raised 2 DDs, I strongly recommend that you not let your DDs actions or attitudes affect you. With the hormonal storms on the horizon, if you continue to let her affect you the only thing that will happen is that you will feel awful, thinking she is the cause, and it won't effect her a bit.
Instead, find your own center and stay there. Take up yoga or something.
They don't want to need us. They want to grow up. And help from mummy isn't like help from anyone else because it is too much like being a baby.
Ask her to go to the cinema with you. Or for dinner or shopping for some clothes. Let her pick an outfit or the film or restaurant and compliment her choices no matter how hideous. Focus on forgetting the negative stuff and finding positives to laugh and giggle about.
On a day to day basis, ignore the secondary behaviours. For example, when she huffs at you, resist the urge to say 'don't get huffy and try and respond positively. If you are looking at homework, compliment her handwriting etc. Try and ensure that your positive interactions out weigh the negative ones.
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