12yr old DD don't know how to deal with this(20 Posts)
Hi, so coming to end of a 10 day holiday. Saved for two years for it. 12 yr DD spent whole time glued to her phone, bickering with her sister, bored and just so negative. I have cried, I've stayed calm I've shouted. I didn't see how negative she has been coming. She does have social issues and struggles to make friends. She has also been found today to be putting comments on a social media platform about how awful her holiday is, swearing and giving away personal information about herself. I just don't know what to do to support her anymore. Her dad and I are divorced. She has had a good 1st year in secondary school, which I was very worried about due to her social issues. She refuses to discuss periods, bras or anything related to growing up. Yet we need to be discussing these things. I'm devastated to find her seemingly so unhappy and so negative about our holiday. Every day has contained a drama or other centred around her. Please help.
Didn't want to read and run but unfortunately this is teenagers for you butt follow your gut and if you think there's something more to this then contact your GP
I have found this book quite helpful
Divas and Doorslammers
Can you take away her phone or make sure she has a phone without access to the internet? Honestly, phones are a nightmare for kids that age. I have a neice that age and she is not interested in her phone or social media but all her friends spend their lives glued to their phones. It means they don't interact , just stare at screens. Your daughter may be feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of bodily changes and puberty and not know how to deal with it. There is so much going on at that age. Getting to grips with secondary school, trying to make new friends, all these pressures. It isn't surprising she is moody and difficult as also has hormones whizzing around her body. Do you have friends with girls the same age you can talk to? Comparing experiences might help. Most of all, you need to try to stay calm and stable for her. At this time, girls this age need stability, calmness and support at home. You aren't her friend, you are her mother, and she needs to know you will set boundaries and be consistent , keeping your own emotions under control. Hard though that may be.
Thanks for replies. I will look at links. I am embarrassed as in a teacher at secondary school so feel I should know what I'm doing. I knew the teenage years would be a challenger. I took her phone off her tonight as she was told not to go back on the social media site but she did anyway! Just not like her. She is not street wise at all. And usually a good girl
I reckon m, as have seen this before that she's missing her friends and is downplaying her holiday as being rubbish so not to cause any jealousy back home. Also probably feels she is missing out on what ever she imagines is going on without her. Bet she's back to normal on departure day!
I tend to have rules with regards to phone usage. My son is 11, he has to put his phone away at 8 and it stays down stairs, he is not allowed to join any group chats that involve unkind comments about another person, he was added to one recently and didn't leave the group after being added, so I removed his phone. I didn't realise how unkind some children can be about other children, it's just awful. Maybe give her a cut of time when she has to put her phone down?
I would take away the phone too - possibly for the rest of the holiday - although I know there is not long to go.
My dd went through a very testing two years aged 12/13. She really was very trying (glad to report that things are hugely better now she is 14 yrs and open to reasonable discussion and seems to have her sense of humour back!). I found it an incredibly difficult time. Most of the time when I took her phone off her, she was a child transformed! (And I have continued to have strict time limits for it now as well.)
I am sure you are not doing anything wrong at all, especially as she has adjusted well to secondary school, so try not to take it personally. As others have said, it's the combination of teenage hormones, social pressures, uncertainty and lack of confidence that cause all the angst I think. I think teens respond with "flight or fight" when they feel defensive or unsure. (Fight = all the arguing, negativity and back-chat and flight = losing themselves in their phones and music etc and ignoring eveyrone else!) Looking back, I wish I had removed myself from the negative cycle of arguing a bit more, as I can see that I got drawn in to it too much at the time which didn't help. You, being the "safe" person at home become the lightening rod for all their insecurities and worries (which are usually expressed in anger and negative ways).
The thing I found helpful was reading a book - whose title I forget - which (a) explained why teens were going through all of this and basically why they couldn't help a lot of it, owing to brain chemicals and changes etc and (b) why teens, in their fragile state, see most interactions or even mild criticisms as an attack. (If I can remember the title, I will come back and post it here.)
Presumably you have had a one-to-one calm discussion with her about the effect her behaviour is having on others?
As for the refusing to talk about puberty thing ... no worries ... just make sure she has lots of books on the subject and make clear you are willing and able to talk about it at any time (as you have already done). My dd was very clear about not wanting to talk about it all until she was ready... and then she was ifyswim.... .
Good luck op 12/13 yrs can be a really difficult time and you have my sympathy!
I don't know how much more disrespect, sarccy comments and cruel taunts I can take from my 12 year old daughter.☹ She won't do as she's asked, no matter how nicely, she has an answer ( always a cocky one) to every question and just tonite, driving home I was trying to listen to a short radio discussion and she deliberately talked over it, told me it was giving her a headache and I was putting the radio before her health. I finally snapped and said " will you shut up" . She rang her dad now to tell him I shouted at her and I was spiteful. He won't do anything, likes to be good cop!! This behaviour is daily from her and I just don't what to do to deal with it. Any advice, anyone, pleeeeese!!!!!
Mine are 16 and 13 and I completely sympathise.
16 year old is now coming out the other side thank goodness.
Easier said than done but don't take anything personally but don't take their crap either.
I find a calm measured" No - you don't speak to me like that" is the best way to go.
If you can help it never shout as it takes 2 to argue. Just disengage until they can be civilised.
Rosieposie sorry to hear you are having the same issues. I try so hard to stay calm. My dad has now taken to saying sorry every time I speak to her about anything basically. And she is internalising all of that as me making her life hard and being unreasonable. I’m literally scared to say anything to her. I’ve started to use a headspace app for myself in the morning and that is helping me feel calmer so I can not get as wound up when she starts to be so defensive
Thank you both for your advice. I know we've all been there and if my memory serves me, I was a cheeky mare to my mum in my teens. They say teenage daughters is natures revenge!!! They got that right! I should have given some background- I left my husband last Dec- he was verbally and emotionally abusive to both me and my daughters, and I had a breakdown, it was a terrible time and to this day my ' step family' have blackballed us.We've had to move home twice in 11 months and I filed for divorce 2months ago.I couldn't go back to him and his family and the way they had treated their step-family.My daughters were so supportive and without them I wouldn't b here now.I now find myself living with 2 strangers.My 12 year old now blames me for everything. As I said she is so rude and cruel to me. If I cry she says " here she goes again, looking for sympathy" . I struggle to pay for after school activities and all I get is " so, not my problem". Her sister is 15 and has for years had anxiety and social phobias , which I do my best to help her but it's hard as I never know how she will b day to day. Their dad told them ( very helpful...not) that I had left him for my current ( estranged) husband and this gives my D a constant source of blame aimed at me.She just threatens to go and live with him wen we argue.Im struggling to go on and just want the constant animosity to stop.
Thank you both for your advice. I know we've all been there and if my memory serves me, I was a cheeky mare to my mum in my teens. They say teenage daughters is natures revenge!!! They got that right! I should have given some background- I left my husband last Dec- he was verbally and emotionally abusive to both me and my daughters, and I had a breakdown, it was a terrible time and to this day my ' step family' have blackballed us.We've had to move home twice in 11 months and I filed for divorce 2months ago.I couldn't go back to him and his family and the way they had treated their step-family.My daughters were so supportive and without them I wouldn't b here now.I now find myself living with 2 strangers.My 12 year old now blames me for everything. As I said she is so rude and cruel to me. If I cry she says " here she goes again, looking for sympathy" . I struggle to pay for after school activities and all I get is " so, not my problem". Her sister is 15 and has for years had anxiety and social phobias , which I do my best to help her but it's hard as I never know how she will b day to day. Their dad told them ( very helpful...not) that I had left him for my current ( estranged) husband and this gives my D a constant source of blame aimed at me.She just threatens to go and live with him wen we argue.Im struggling to go on and just want the constant animosity to stop.I sound so depressed about the situation but with so many other worries at the mo I can't c a solution. She refused to hand over her phone wen told to and just smirks at me.
I really hope after all you've been through that things get easier.
Teenagers can be a nightmare and maybe they are taking all their anger and upset over everything out on you.
Remember you are not their friend though and you don't have to make them happy all the time.
If you can't pay for out of school activities stop them. Don't apologise for it just explain that's how it has to be for now.
The only thing you need to do is tell them they are loved and that you will always be there for them.
You may want to see a conselor together? This isn't going to get better on its own.
Thanks for your replies and advice. Yes, they certainly are taking their anger and feelings of resentment out on me and TBH I don't blame them. I thought I was doing a good thing 8 years ago only to find out I'd been given false hope by my husband.It was too late once I realised that I had been lied to and deceived by him. Turned out he's what would be classed as a Psychopath/Sociopath. With no conscience, whatsoever or respect for his wife or her children. Everything was 'our' fault even the breakdown of our marriage according to him.!!! Im taking the various advice from you all and trying to stay calm, not raise my voice, tell them I love them and although we're going through a very uncertain and unstabling time, Im here and a constant in their lives. Im trying to be stricter and reinforce that I wont take the disrespect. If I felt better im sure I'd cope with it all but it's just been a horrendous few years. One day at a time now for me and hopefully things will improve and mine and my daughter's relationship will too. Thank you and hope you all have happiness in your lives x
Can you get family mediation or counselling? Sounds really tough for you all. I did a great course about teens and they do lose their empathy for a while as there is so much brain development going on. They also take more risks. It makes me feel better on the tough days!
I agree clear boundaries will help, although it can be exhausting. I think it makes them feel safer as they know where they stand. Hard for you as your ex doesn't reinforce what you are trying to do. All the best OP.
Well I’m having a bad day with my daughter. She won’t drink out of the glasses as they are gritty!? They are just scratched from the dishwasher. Sometimes they get gritty from food being thrown up but she won’t wash them up again! Now she has had a full on meltdown. I find this so hard
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.