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Please help with my daughter, she is driving me round the bend - Long explanation.

(8 Posts)
Lovemybrood Thu 18-Aug-11 14:00:13

I have two beautiful, bright articulate daughters. I am very proud of them both.


I am finding it increasingly harder to cope with my 12yr old. She is obnoxious, sly and the mouth is unbelievable. She doesn't swear as she knows that will not be tolerated but knows how to push my buttons in other ways. I've written a few things.

Whenever I ask her to help I get sighing, eyerolling and then the temper, storming through to the kitchen to empty the dishwasher etc, when I ask her to do this I get comments such as 'You're the mother, you should be doing things like this' or 'What do you actually do, you are so lazy' (I'm out of the house 5 days a week, 11 hours a day)

She is nasty to her sister, she does it very quietly so Dh and I can't hear her, then her sister comes crying to us (she is 9), DD1 then starts with the how much she hates her sister.

She WILL NOT stop interrupting, it doesn't matter who is talking, or where we are talking, she interrupts and makes silly comments even though we ask her to stop.

When we tell her off, she will not stop answering back and chelping, coming out with comments such as 'You only had me to make my life a misery' etc, then her temper goes, throwing cushions, slamming doors etc.

It's getting to the point now where I seriously do no want to take her anywhere as she is much the same when we go out. When I read back on this it does sound like typical pre-teen behaviour, but, I am struggling to cope with this as well as working full-time, keeping house and dealing with health problems.

Any advice or tips would be grately appreciated.

natwebb79 Thu 18-Aug-11 15:00:36

Oof sounds really difficult! I may be well off here but might some girl time with just you and her help (away from little sister). I'm a high school teacher and 12 seems to be the classic age where girls can't decide whether they want to be treated like a child or an adult. Perhaps a girly lunch/shopping trip where you're all hers for a couple of hours might get her to open up? Good luck! smile x

Lovemybrood Thu 18-Aug-11 15:17:09

Thanks for that. I did have a full day with her not so long ago, we had a lovely lunch etc and walk round, chatted, laughed etc. As soon as we set foot in our house she started with the attitude and mouth again.

I'm at a loss what to do now.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Thu 18-Aug-11 15:37:27

I don't have children this age so no actual experience to pass on, but was wondering if there needs to be good firm consequences for this behaviour.

The time for just the 2 of you is a good idea as long as you do both.

I feel for you anyway.

natwebb79 Thu 18-Aug-11 15:42:48

Well it was worth a shot. What is she like at school? Have you had any complaints? Might be worth giving her form tutor or head of year a call. It can be really valuable to work together in these situations. It reminds me of a girl
In my form who was an angel in year 7 and changed somewhat in year 8. Mum told me she had started to be a nightmare at home (very similar situation to your daughter) so we started communicating and backing each other up with various sanctions etc (no school camping trip if she was rude etc). It took a while but by the end of year 9 she'd fully snapped out of it. Sorry that doesn't help really, just wanted to give you a positive story x

RhYthM137 Thu 18-Aug-11 15:44:35

Hi Mum, sounds like you're working too hard! 11 hours a day 5 days! Can you get a better balance here?
But re your daughter, I know it's really hard when they're coming at you with all the lip and agression, but there's an energy clash at this age between mother and daughter (it's often the same for dads & sons). You're probably very alike and your daughter wants to break away from how crap she thinks you are, but underneath, she respects you greatly and will end up just like you, but she fights against it because she's trying to find 'her own' way, not the ridiculous ways of you horrible old people who know nothing. She doesn't realise this, but she's fighting against herself really, not you.

And there is the clue, keep leading by example - if you push back and show your anger, it will feed the problem and teach her that's how you deal with problems (very hard I know, when your exhausted, worried about stuff she can't even imagine at this age etc) But all children really want to know is that you love and value them - because they really find it hard to value themselves at this age, there's so much outside pressure.

My youngest daughter is now 13 and she's going through exactly the same phase, but the difference for me and how I deal with it more easily this time is that I have seen my older daughter (now 26) come through this and become a beautiful, caring and sucessful adult, she now leads troubled teenagers in her work. We now have great fun together (something I could never imagine 10 years ago) and we respect each other greatly and she can't even remember being obnoxious and those hurtful things she said, but she does now realise how hard it can be as an adult and appreciates what I did. That's one of the hardest things to grasp when you have children, you don't see the results on the spot, your leading style weaves in as they grow up and they don't appear to take anything on board sometimes, so you feel like your beating your head on the wall, but it all comes out in the wash!

Remember the phases your children came through as toddlers? You thought it would never end and they would become disfunctional maniacs (I feared my 2 year old son would be getting his willy out to shock people well into adulthood :-D But 26 years later, luckily he doesn't.. as far as I know... ;-) But before you know it, that particular phase has ebbed away (and another probably started). But it's exactly the same with teenagers - lead by example and be as calm as you can manage. It's also very easy for kids to think you have favourites and they will play you off against each other, being jealous of each other for various reasons - and of course the younger one will be extra 'good' for you when she sees the older one kick off. Try not to make comparisons or you will reinforce the problem. Praise them both equally and have time with them individually so that you can do age appropriate stuff together. This will help your older girl feel special and mature - then her behaviour will follow.

Remember, they don't really hate you, they're just finding their way to adulthood. If you can detach and see the behaviour as it is, then you won't get caught up in responding with the same energy and creating a bigger clash. Imagine you're advising your best friend, it brings you that energy to detach because when it's your own, you're intensly worried about them and scared that you're getting it all wrong.

Breathe well, show her unconditional love and if a moment gets out of hand (it's inevitable sometimes) then always make up, cuddle and laugh about it later when the intense energy has dispersed.

Oops, this was a long one in the end, sorry, but good luck and don't forget to look after yourself also (without guilt) remember the saying, 'In an airplane emergency, you have to put on your own oxygen mask before you can save anyone else!' Mums nearly always forget this. x

Supersunnyday Thu 18-Aug-11 15:47:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NorksAreMessy Thu 18-Aug-11 15:58:18

she is very sad and cross about something, the trouble is, she might not even know what it is, and even if she does, it might not seem important to you.

have you managed to talk to her calmly when she is being calm herself? she must know what triggers her rages, she will try to blame other people, but if you can get to the bottom of exactly WHAT bothers her, it might help

I found 'I know you are cross about something, is there anything I can do to help' attitude put me on the same side as DD, and made her see that we were facing the 'thing' together.

sadly any nastiness or troubles happening in her life has a ready made outlet at home for her to pass it on!

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