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My 13 year old is a rebel who doesn’t listen(6 Posts)
Hi everyone, first time poster as I didn’t know where else to turn to. I’m 25, raising my 13 year old sister alone. It feels really isolating and lonely sometimes, especially when I’m in a situation I don’t know how to handle. So my sister hangs out with 15 year old boys, they seem to light fires, text/Snapchat sexual things (as far as I know nothing has physically happened), hang out from end of school until 10pm and just act like they are entitled and they are doing nothing wrong. I’ve expressed to my sister that she needs to hang out with better people (but get accused of being controlling and don’t want her to have any friends), I’ve asked her to watch what she writes on social media and text (and she becomes violent because I have looked at her phone and am not giving her privacy) I just can’t win. I’m trying to guide her, I don’t get upset, I don’t fight back, I am pretty calm most of the time and I don’t shame her for anything. But if I take her phone away I end up with spit so thick in my hair that I need 2 shampoos. I don’t know how to handle any of this. She’s already in therapy. I’ve tried to get help for myself, unfortunately no doctor is taking me seriously (I’ve seen 3 for a referral). How do I make her see there are consequences for her actions? Thank you all so much.
Firstly this is SO MUCH to be taking on at your age and you're an ANGEL for doing so willingly. So sorry you're having such trouble. You don't need to go into the reasons why you've ended up in this position with your sister but there's no way it can have happened without significant trauma to both of you at a very young age. Teenagers can be absolute demons at the best of times but they'll often come out of the other end basically decent human beings. However some will fall off wayside a bit. I think with everything she's likely to have been through, her age and what you're reporting she's unlikely to respond very effectively discipline that's too authoritative. This doesn't mean you can't set boundaries but you may have to take a slightly different tact with how you enforce them. Sometimes as well you may have to accept that she's becoming a mini adult and she needs to make her own mistakes but needs a safe base (ie; you) when she messes up. Try and make 'natural consequences' rather than illogical ones and make them explicit to her. (Ie; a natural consequence of her hanging around with older guys who send explicit messages and light fires is that you restrict her phone use and her curfews. If she wants more freedom then she needs to make safer or more age-appropriate choices otherwise you have no choice because she IS still a child and you love her and have a parental duty to protect her') Try and give her chance to talk about her behaviour AFTER it's occured as well. If she's in such a rage that she's spitting at you then there's no point in that moment trying to appeal to any other part of her brain but she does need to know that it's unacceptable and try and unpick what drove those feelings and help form strategies for it not to happen again. A book called the whole brained child is excellent and quite a quick, easy read. I'm sure others can also recommend resources that are just as good. It's a tough situation you've both ended up in so go easy on her and also on yourself. There's no quick fix but hopefully with a bit of patience and love you'll make it to the other side xx
@Jannt86 thank you so much 💜 that is so helpful and I truly appreciate it.
I've just had a message from school offering a 'parenting teens' course. Unfortunately it's during work hours, so no good to me, but might it be worth contacting her school for some recommendations and help?
Contact your local Council's "Early Help" team, Speak to your GP. There is help out there you, please seek it out for both of your sakes.
@GreasyFryUp yes I have gone that route already. No help offered. 3 GPs turned me away when I asked for a referral for myself for a psychologist.