I dislike my daughter(138 Posts)
I feel an absolute failure and horrible person for writing this but I don’t like my daughter. She is 14, almost 15 and I really struggle to have that mother daughter relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I love her and wouldn’t want anything to happen to her but I sometimes wish I could put her into care. When she was growing up she was a lovely polite girl with lots of friends and adults couldn’t compliment me enough about her. Now she is a lying deceitful troublemaking child. She is the second child and has 3 brothers who are 16, 12 and 10. Every chance she gets she tries to get them into trouble or bring them into a situation when she is being told off. We are a close and stable family but she chooses to set herself away from the rest of us. We went on a family holiday to Turkey in August 2018 and she made the 2 wks a living hell. Every day she caused arguments between everyone. She said that she is the black sheep of the family and she is abused by me, my husband and 3 boys because we do nothing but pick on her. She said she was going to tell her School about how we treat her. I honestly don’t know what to do. I try in every way to involve her. I thought she might be jealous because I am very close to my 3 boys so have arranged for just me and her to do things together like shopping, going to the hairdressers etc but she acts sullen and barely speaks to me. She has little or no respect for anyone in the family. If I am giving her into trouble she will either walk out or argue back. I am scared to even say good morning to her because I never know what mood she will be in. I only have to ask her a simple question and she will fly off the handle. If we fall out before she goes to school I think of her all day and send her messages asking if she’s ok which she ignores. When she comes in I will tell her that I’ve thought about her all day and want us to talk things through. She usually just shrugs her shoulders and tells me that she hasn’t thought of me at all. I know it could just be her age and maybe we have to try and work through this but it has been going on for about 3 years now. Ever since she started her period. She has no pride in her appearance, doesn’t wear make up or takes care of her hair. She said to me about a year ago she was bisexual, I told her it didn’t matter if she was straight, gay or Bi as long as she was happy. 6 months ago she told me she was gay. Again I said it didn’t matter what she was, as long as she was happy. She has told me in the past that she has a gf. I’ve said to invite her round for dinner so we can meet her and she goes crazy saying I’m poking my nose into her business. I would do the exact same thing if she was dating a boy. She tells the most ridiculous lies too. Lies about things people have said and done. I think the bi/gay thing is probably a lie too for attention. (I would never say that to her though) She was boy crazy just over a year ago. Anyway, I’ve waffled on enough, I just don’t know what to do about her. She already hates me, I feel like giving up.
God I feel for you so much. I was much the same as your daughter between the ages of about 14 and 18.
I wish I had more of a solution for you but I was basically depressed. CBT, some counselling and then, frankly, me leaving home and standing on my own two feet was the only thing that started to solve the problem.
I horribly, HORRIBLY regret how badly I treated my mum. It was inexcusable and I cringe at it now. At the time the world felt like a loaded and unjust place but I was just living in a hormonal teenage bubble.
Not much consolation but I have children of my own now and my mum and I are very close. I tell her all the time how grateful I am for everything she did even though I was a real horror.
Only another 14 years to go OP 😬
I have no teens but feel for you OP. I definitely remember the teenage rage though. The world and my family we're against me etc can you remember feeling that way at all?
Regards to the changing sexuality could be for shock factor or possibly because she is trying to find her way and in this day and age EVERY bloody thing and person has to have a label! You've done your bit by not being phased and telling her you love her.
I would set some hard expectations though. My mouthiness was swiftly nipped in the bud. Tell her what behaviours you expect from her and you won't be disrespected. If I had a pound for Everytime I heard "I would never have spoke to my mother that way".
Maybe ask her what she actually wants/expects herself. If she's not happy with current relations. Ask her what can be done on both sides to improve. Tell her you will not tolerate abusive behaviour and it won't be acknowledged though. It is your home OP. Teens need boundaries too no matter how much their world seems shitty.
You sound lovely and like your really trying. It really is hard being a teen and tbh I'm 29 and would not want to do it again. Time of insecurities and self doubt and trying to fit in somewhere.
I think, given that she was a lovely child and how well you used to get on, that this could all be hormone related.
That's not me being dismissive at all and I kinda know how you feel as DSD has lived with us from being 13 (still does) and we've had some right Dong-Dongs!! DSD is 19 this time and things calmed down massivley when she reached about 17.
Maybe, instead of arranging things you like to do (the hair and shopping) ask her what she might enjoy as she might not be into the whole beauty thing (DSD never was), she might prefer a different type of activity.
At the end of the day, just try and be kind to each other, it's more than likely a hormore fuelled phase that will eventually pass, you just have to try not to kill each other till it does
I think, unfortunately, she's being a teenager. I found it took a while to go from being child to an adult mother-daughter relationship. It was quite fraught at times in my teens. But we worked it out. My mum is one of my best friends (and has been for well over a decade now - i'm mid-30s).
it has been going on for about 3 years now. Ever since she started her period
This stands out a mile. Get her some help for her periods.
You need to stop trying to ingratiate yourself with her, stop asking for friends to come round, don’t text unless she texts first. You are giving her far too much power.
Give her a safe, stable home to come back to, say good morning, say how was your day when she comes in, offer her food etc, otherwise leave her to come to you, eventually she will.
The phrase “I am very close to my three boys” really jumped out at me. A really odd thing to say, at the exclusion of your daughter. Makes it sound like she isn’t even your child. My guess would be that there is some favouritism going on here. (As an aside - there are so many issues. Is she even interested in shopping and hairdressers? You said she doesn’t care about her hair or appearance, so getting her to do something she isn’t interested in is hardly “bonding “ or “close”. I expect she percieved it as a big criticism. Do you know what she actually enjoys!??? IIf you think her being gay is “fake” then I’m sure that’s coming across to her too..)
My advise if you actually want to salvage is the relationship, is talk to some honest family members - her aunts/uncles/grandparents - and ask them, HONESTLY, have you ever perceived any favouritism in the way I treat the children? Then actually listen to their answer without being defensive. Often parents will think they treat all their children the same, but other people if asked would perceive it very differently. And I mean, the fact you’ve openly said you don’t like her is a red flag.
I feel very very sorry for this girl.
If it’s any consolation, 14 is hell. My DD is nearly 16 now and almost human, (though I still avoid her first thing in the morning)
And I don’t agree that you sound like your boys are favourites, you’re trying with your girl. It’s a personality and hormone thing, it will get better
Poor you, I've been there. Daughter has now just turned 20 but she was like this for about 5yrs. Until I turned round to her two years ago and told her she was emotionally abusing me. I had cried and screamed at her and it all stopped after that.
Daughters can be vile,but they are going through so much in this day and age that we just don't understand.
Hang on in there x
Care is not a pleasant or easy option for the child. Please get help for your daughter and yourself.
for you op.
She does not hate you at all.
She is pushing the boundaries as she deals with her hormones and possibly pressures at school.
You will,one day,get your loving daughter back and be as close as anything.I say this from experience.Mine was like that for several years and looking back she cannot believe that person was her.
All you can do is live your family life and accept no bad behaviour that is upsetting your other dc.remove her phone or allowance if she does not respond to what you ask if her so she has to take responsibility for her actions.
Remain firm and friendly but don't bend over backwards to please her or curry favour.that will give her ample opportunity to throw it back in your face.which will hurt you even more.
This will end op,there will be light at the end of the tunnel..
Pick your battles!if she is playing up for attention,don't engage,she will get bored.
As long as she is safe and loved she will be fine.
On occasion there are underlying problems,i.e. Bullying,but if you have established there is nothing else wrong you will just have to wait it out.
Remember she does love you,and need you very much.
Hold on in there Harvey,this isn't forever.
My relationship with my mum when i was a teen was similar and i think most teenage girls have a difficult relationship with their parents! Once i had turned 18 it all calmed down and i had a brilliant relationship with my mum. I also had three brothers who didnt have the extreme hormonal ups and downs that i did so by comparison they got on much better with my parents as teens.
I would echo what a pp said about not making so much effort , just be nice but dont stand for any shit!
I would maybe consider family therapy. She has obviously picked up that she's the difficult child and is playing the role. I think these family dynamics once established can be incredibly hard to break. What does she enjoy? Sounds like it's not close or girly stuff could you try getting involved in her interests? Has she seen a doctor about her hormones if you think that could be the cause?
Sounds like a typical hormonal teen unfortunately. I was a complete arsehole between 14-17.
Hi OP, I remember being very much like this as a teen. I'm so embarrassed now when i think about it
I'm sorry you are going through this it must be really difficult and frustrating. I think you both are coming at the situation from totally different view points. You think you are trying to spend quality time with her and make her feel included, but she probably feels judged and not good enough.
She has no pride in her appearance, doesn’t wear make up or takes care of her hair.
But also that as a way of bonding you:
have arranged for just me and her to do things together like shopping, going to the hairdressers
Have you tried doing things with her that she might actually be interested in? She likely knows that you disapprove of her appearance and so at that age would probably see your taking her to the hairdressers as a comment on this. This may be why "she acts sullen and barely speaks".
I'm sure I'm projecting a bit but when I was growing up my mum was obsessed with my appearance, she decided I didn't blow dry my hair "correctly" and so would try to force me sit there while she did it, she criticised my weigh, my hair, my taste in clothes and I hated it. I hated her for the way she valued the way I looked over who I was. I did well at school, I had really good friends, I joined in various activities, but he was embarrassed to be seen with me because I was fat and had bad hair. I felt constantly picked on. It made me feel shit about myself and fed into my depression and anxiety.
We have both grown up and changed, I realise now that she was vey insecure and her focus on appearance and what people might be thinking was a part of this. She has learnt to hold her tongue and now manages to not say anything, or even give me a pointed look, if I look like shit because I have been ill or just got in from working a 12 hour day.
I have also matured and got better, I am less ruled by my hormones but I have also had to spend a lot of time and money on therapy to undo the damage and to build up my self esteem. It took a while and we had a really bad relationship for a lot of my teens and early twenty's because of it.
I know you want the best for your daughter but do you think it is worth examining what sort of conversations you have with her? Could you maybe try to relax about things that aren't important on the grand scheme of things. Perhaps try to do something fun that isn't shopping, make up or hair related.
Discovering that I loved my daughters but didn't always like them came as a devastating shock OP.
Teenagers are not easy to parent or live with - I remember watching a TV show a few years ago about the teenage brain and the effects of hormones on their bodies and I really wished I'd seen it at the time mine were that age.
It does get better I promise, I'm so close to all 3 of my DDs now but there were several times I threatened my eldest with care and meant it . I coped with letting the small things go, don't get drawn in arguments as they will argue black is white until their last breath, and walking away if they started to talk with attitude. You need to develop a teflon shield around yourself to protect your own sanity.
I really clash with my DD16. Sometimes she’s ok and then will suddenly turn on me. She can be mean and cruel. She is jealous of DD14 who I argue a lot less with. I just naturally do not argue much with DD14, but DD16 sees this as proof that I have a favourite child. Then a lot of my time and effort goes into DD16 because she makes these kind of statements.
I honestly don’t have the answers. I did a thread the other day about how unhelpful they are in the house but DD16 seems to go out of her way to make it much worse than it needs to be! Today she screamed at me because I wouldn’t immediately come and read the cooking label on the back of a packet she was holding, then when I did come and put the item on the stove as demanded she flounced off slamming a door and wouldn’t come back to finish making it wtf then this puts a bad vibe on the whole day
A lot of teeth gritting is involved
Girls don’t have an easy time growing up I know a lot of my DD16’s issues are insecurity and lack of self confidence and she takes the rage out on me. It’s not easier in care - but this won’t last forever. It just feels like it does!
It's interesting that you say this awful behaviour started when she first got her period. That suggests that it's hormonal. Have you talked to the GP about this at all OP? That might be a good place to start. Family therapy is also a good idea, if you can get her to agree to attend (which might be a challenge, from what you've written above). Some teens are just horrible, I think and most outgrow it, but it must be utter hell to live with someone who is so unpleasant all the time
Not matter how much you dislike her, no matter how much of a little shit she is, never tell her that you don't like her!
My mum told me she loved me but didn't like me many times when I was growing up and I'm only just realising, at 32, what a massive impact it has had on my life, on my self-esteem and my ability (or lack thereof) to make and keep friendships.
Sounds incredibly similar to the relationship I had with my mother, which was not helped by her being a lot closer to my older brother and younger sister (they had lots of shared interests). I often felt criticised as I didn’t fit the ‘norm’ for our family. My mum was adamant that she didn’t play favourites, but looking back she now acknowledges that I probably was made to feel like the black sheep, even if it wasn’t intentional.
Like your daughter, I also found out I was bi.Sometimes being ‘boy crazy’ is a way to try and force yourself to be ‘normal’- or at least appear straight. Wonder if you could do something like Pride together (if you have a parade near you?) or maybe buy her a book or badge or something LGBT linked?
I do feel for her, being a hormonal teenager surrounded by all the social media pressure must be awful. It doesn’t excuse her behaviour, but I can understand why she might be acting as she is. Give her space and time, make sure she knows that you’re there for her to come to if needed but don’t try to push too much.
Thankyou everyone for your words and advice. Reading what you guys have to say has made me realise maybe I am being too namby pamby with her and making all the effort. I know I need to stick to consequences for rudeness and bad behaviour. She has just been grounded until she can speak to me and her Dad with respect. I always tell her I love her and that she can talk to me about anything. She knows that’s so maybe I should take a step back and try and let her be. I totally understand that she is a teenager and they do go through these phases. We have done other things together that she enjoys, it just seems she throws her toys out of the pram when things aren’t going her way. Back last year we went to see her favourite singer in concert twice and we had an amazing time, she was so happy that’s why we went a second time. The next day though she was back to her usual self trying to pick arguments. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad every day. Sometimes she can be lovely, but the bad tend to outweigh the good. I’m feeling more positive now, maybe it’s just something she needs to work out on her own, I’m here for her, she knows that and that’s the main thing.
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