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I really don't enjoy being public enemy No1 (Or WHO HAS KIDNAPPED MY DAUGHTER AND REPLACED HER WITH AN ALIEN?)

(11 Posts)
Quattrocento Fri 07-Aug-09 00:58:04

An example of a recent exchange:

DD: You were bloody rude to me.
Me: Oh, sorry about that. What'd I say?
DD: You said "You lot"
Me: Ah. I see (not seeing at all)
DD: You said "I don't want you lot drinking that stuff in my car." I don't spill drinks. I'm not like XX (her brother)
Me: Well I know you don't normally spill drinks but imagine if Dad had to slam the brakes on ...
DD: His driving is fucking awful
Me: (gasping at the tangent and the language) Well he might have to brake unexpectedly and anyway I really don't think that you should be quite so violent with your language
DD: You don't listen. You never listen. I hate you both and I wish you were dead.

<exit stage left, really it was stage left, but no bears in sight, to sulk in her room and msn her friends who really understand her>

How on earth does anyone cope with this stuff? How on earth am I going to cope with this stuff? It is daily. Literally daily. And don't tell me to read How to talk etc because i have read it and it doesn't begin to equip me to talk to DD.

And when am I going to get my daughter back?

DD is 11. Before you ask.

alardi Fri 07-Aug-09 08:19:29

What if you refuse to answer until she asks the questions without the swear words?

My other gut replies are along the lines of:
"DD: You don't listen. You never listen. I hate you both and I wish you were dead."

Me: Really? Well, that's not very nice. Can we have this conversation later when you're in a better mood?

(and if she persisted):

Me: I don't talk to you like that and I would appreciate it if you didn't say such things to me.

(and if she persisted some more)

Me: Well, you've said your piece. I can't believe that you've decided to hate my guts over something as trivial as being allowed to drink a soda in the back seat of the car.

I think maybe for moral support you should read old Living With Teenagers columns, lol.

slowreadingprogress Fri 07-Aug-09 08:32:19

I would give her a consequence for using that language to me at 11! That conversation is brattish and it is not doing her any favours to allow her to think it's possible to speak to you like that, then just sod off to her room to talk to friends...

It's daily I guess because it's allowed to be.

I think it IS always worth examining how you talk to her. "I don't want you lot drinking in the car" isn't dreadful BUT if it's indicative of how everything is said to her then it does show a lack of respect to her. But only you know if this is on the right track or not, I can't tell from one example! But I do think in general at 11 kids need to be spoken to with respect if you want respectful language back.

I think it's got to be a combination of giving her a consequence to that awful language, and ensuring that thoughtfulness and respect are what are role modelled in the home.

SecretSlattern Fri 07-Aug-09 08:33:57

Don't know what to suggest but just wanted to say that I am in a similar position with my DD (5.7), minus the swearing.

She hates me, I'm not fair, she loves her dad more than me, it's my job to do x, y, z because I'm the mummy and that's my job (unless it is something lovely and in keeping with her escalating demands and then it becomes her job and if I go near it, it is ruined forever and it is the worst day of her life) etc, etc.

When my DD is in one of her moods, and is rude to me, I say to her "are you talking to me?" and give her "the look", then she wanders of muttering to herself but at least it stops her kicking off.

I will watch your thread with interest and hope that you get some (decent - rather than my type) of advice.

teamcullen Fri 07-Aug-09 08:50:37

My DD is 13. She always has to have the last word, although shes not quiet as rude.

Hit her where it hurts, unplug the internet and take her computer out of her room. Tell her respect is a two way thing and if she chooses to disrespect you, she will have to face the consequences.

Try to spend time together as well doing fun things, like have a pamper night, let her do your makeup, paint eachothers nails etc.. It will show her that you dont think of her as a baby anymore but she still has to follow the rules.

ApplesinmyPocket Fri 07-Aug-09 10:06:52

This reminds me of exchanges with one of my DDs and looking back on it, I can see that part of the problem was, I hurt her pride in talking to her as if she were a child when she considered she was too old for that. Obviously 11 isn't anywhere near grown-up in our eyes! but sensitive girls can, I think, find it very hard to take instructions at this age, especially if not handed out 'sensitively'. It's annoying, because at one time we could dish out insructions to our small children and they would accept it as normal, so it comes as a bit of a shock when they suddenly resent it.

Of course your DD doesn't hate you (I know you know that)- she is just boiling with resentment at being treated like a child when she considers she is practically grown-up. It means walking on eggshells for a while, but one has to figure out the difficult job of still getting the (very reasonable) message across, that you are worried about drinks being spilt in the car and would prefer they are not drunk there, withOUT sounding like a bossy mother who thinks her DD is small enough to order around (I am sure you are not a bossy mother, but just picturing this from the way DD probably sees it.)

How would you tell grown-up friends you didn't want them taking spillable drinks in the car? If it were very GOOD friends, you could joke 'I don't want you lot taking drinks in my car!' - but if it were a prickly friend who takes offence easily (which is most or all DDs at this age) you would put it differently wouldn't you? Swallow your pride and be careful to rephrase things that growing-up DD might find "patronising" and one day hopefully she will be like the other type of friend, who is so secure in your friendship and respect and in her own self that you can say anything and it won't be taken wrong.

Difficult age I know, because they do still need lots of guidance but don't like taking any! I am reminded of that wonderful humorist Betty Macdonald who begged 'Please, please take Imogen until she is 40' once her previously lovely little girls hit the teen years. And that was in the 1940s, in the US - nothing changes!

screamingabdab Fri 07-Aug-09 14:02:29

I am finding this really interesting. DS1 is nearly 9

Sorry, no advice.

Apple, you make some good points. I have the horrible feeling I need to swallow my pride and reassess how I talk to my sons.

However, I do also remember reading the Living With Teenagers columns and thinking there were never any consequences for swearing. It seemed entirely understandable why the children were so very rude, as they were able to get away with it.


Quattrocento Fri 07-Aug-09 18:35:48

Thanks all - sorry for late responses - I'll try. We do remove phones/computers for offences but she would be permanently computerless if we removed it for every exchange of this nature.

slowreadingprogress Fri 07-Aug-09 19:37:54

Agree with apples - it is true that older children need us to totally re-examine the way we deal with them.

I guess the trouble is, by the time they're 11 or so, we have totally settled in to being a mum, we know what kind of mum we are, we have developed strategies; then of course the children get to a stage (and alot quicker than we're ready for) when they do not want to be spoken to like a child any more.

That doesn't mean you treat them completely as an adult, of course not, but it is clearly time to treat her as apples so rightly says, as you would a friend.

That's on a day to day basis of course - terrible behaviour like that awful conversation you mentioned in the OP still needs a consequence.

I think it's a good point that because she's been talking this way alot that you might be ending up stripping her room of goods if you apply that sort of consequence every time. I think you have to be thoughtful and creative about consequences but I really don't think it's good to carry on a conversation where she's swearing at you! I think it's going to be a case of putting in place a new more grown up way of talking to her alongside consequences for language and rudeness. Sometimes a consequence can be a hard look, or walking away from her, her losing your positive attention basically

But alot of dealing with this WON'T depend on endless punitive removals of her stuff but on positive attention and positive new ways of dealing with her.

slowreadingprogress Fri 07-Aug-09 19:42:56

reading your op again, i think it's interesting - her language sort of muddies the issue but actually she IS clearly telling you what she doesn't want you to do, and because you didn't grasp the nub of this issue, she then tells you that you don't listen. Which is totally logical.

However it's not your fault! Not hers either really - she's not yet able to say "mum, I feel a bit humiliated when you lump me in with the others as 'you lot' as if I'm going to spill my drink like a toddler and I wish you would treat me like the sensible and clever 11 year old that I am".............but imo that's what she means with that little exchange. But understandably you didn't really hear what she meant so weren't able to take on her point.

GrendelsMum Mon 10-Aug-09 11:25:37

Mm - first reading it over, I was shocked by her language. But reading slowreading's post, I felt she was right. Might she be swearing as a (really hopeless) attempt to sound grown-up? That she can't yet say "mum, it upsets me that you don't make a distinction between me, a mature 11 year old, and my younger brother", and so it has to come up as screaming,sobbing and swearing?

Could you work with her to try to get her to explain her feelings in language that others can understand? That saying "you said 'you lot'" doesn't really help you understand.

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