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my pre-teen dd says she's so unhappy here she wants to live with her dad

(27 Posts)
maximummummy Sun 15-Jul-07 00:08:36

my dd (12) says she's so unhappy living with me and dp that she'd rather go and live @ her dad's
i feel so upset about it BUT in a way i don't blame her . We have always clashed but since her hormones have kicked in i've found it really hard to like her OBVIOUSLY i still love her but i often don't want to be around her. She is an amazingly GOOD girl compared to myself @ her age and people always comment on how lovely/well behaved she is BUT @ home she's really awful.

nappyaddict Sun 15-Jul-07 02:15:38

i would let her go, she might soon change her mind. my sister did when she realised dad did a lot less for her than mum did and she missed mum loads.

one of my friends was the opposite. she went to live with her dad cos she constantly rowed with her mum. she went to see her mum every other weekend. it was good for their relationship cos they had both missed one another and didn't want to waste the weekend rowing. instead of being together all the time rowing and feeling awful they saw eachother less but had good quality time when they did. its quality not quantity remember.

mollysmummy77 Sun 15-Jul-07 02:30:32

As hard as it sounds, I agree with nappyaddict. My best friend had a wonderful relationship with her mum until she was about 12, then they just argued like cat and dog. She went to stay with her dad and now her and her mum are closer than ever because they've been able to become friends. You never know, but living at her dad's she's going to need you for female advice about things she might not be comfortable talking to him about, then you can start to enjoy each others company again.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 15-Jul-07 08:58:49

Not suggesting she should not go but there are issues here that need addressing.

Why is she so unhappy, what are the root causes of her unhappiness at home?. Does she dislike your partner intensely for instance?. Does your new partner make a real effort with her, is he overtly strict?. She may at heart feel that he has taken you her Mum away from her.

Does she feel she will perhaps be more listened to, given more leaway in terms of discipline, paid more attention to by her Dad?.

What exactly are the attractions for her?. Going between two houses can be disrupting for her in her own right and after all she is only 12.

Sorry for all the questions but you need to talk openly and find answers.

Marne Sun 15-Jul-07 09:03:04

I would let her go,
My dss always says this to his mother, after a few days of staying with us he soon changes his mind and goes back to his mum.

Paddlechick666 Sun 15-Jul-07 09:21:28

is it feasible for her to live with her dad? what about schools etc? perhaps she could go for the summer holidays and see how it goes?

don't do what my mum did when i announced i wanted to live with my dad when i was about 14, she kindly told me he didn't want me!

she didn't mean it the way i took it of course but it's still in my mind and i'm 41 now.........

bubblerock Sun 15-Jul-07 09:40:03

My DSD aged 12 came to live with us last year after getting into trouble at home, we found her a place in a school, did her bedroom up etc... but when it came down to it she decided to go back to Mum after 4 weeks. I would let your DD go, maybe she will be perfectly happy or maybe she will realise that the grass isn't always greener and appreciate you more, either way it's no good for you both the way things are right now.

eyesfront Sun 15-Jul-07 09:53:12

as long as she knows that you do love her and would really rather she lives with you, and that your door is always open to her, and as long as you really know it's just standard teenage stuff and not something more specific like Attila says, then I would let her go.

mylittlefreya Sun 15-Jul-07 11:00:20

My sister did this. It was hell. She has a very strong sense of loyalty to our dad, and she stayed there despite it being far from ideal.

Now, my mum is dying, my dad has remarried an idiot, my sister and I have children of our own, and my sister's relationship is much better with my mum than my dad. So I guess what I am trying to say is, that it does all work out in the end but sometimes it takes much longer and much more tragedy than you expect.

Is there anyone trusted your dd can talk to?? An aunt or family friend? I think my sister lacked that. And it may have made a difference.

Hugs to you - I know how it damaged my mother.

maximummummy Sun 15-Jul-07 23:51:13

well reading my replies has me nearly in tears tbh

me & her dad split when i was pregnant with her and he's been with his partner for nearly 13 years.Me & my partner have been together for 8 years(since dd was 4) we've lived together for 4 yrs.

Her dad lives nearby and she's seen him a couple times a week for the last few years - he was pretty useless before that to be honest but he's grown up and seems to be a good dad - he was always a fun dad and i tried to never bad mouth him.

she wouldn't have to change schools or anything complicated she could just pack a bag and walk over to her dad's

when i told her that if she was THAT unhappy living with us i wouldn't stand in her way and that maybe she should go - she burst into tears and said that just proved to her that i didn't care about her at all - I CAN'T WIN - i said that wasn't true and that i just want her to be happy and she obviously isn't living with me.

Anyhow after more discussion she says she's willing to give me another chance and that she'll stay - i suggested that she does start to stay at her dad's twice a week and see how it goes - since he's lived locally (2.9 yrs) she's only stayed a handfull of times as their spare room is full of junk.

I JUST WANT HER TO BE HAPPY

sugarmatches Mon 16-Jul-07 00:06:36

I am new to MN and I don't want to feel like I am pushing my opinion...but...
My eleven year old moved with with dad for similar reasons. She was always miserable at home and she had the "grass is greener" mentalty because my eh likes Harry Potter (he is basically still like a big kid).
Long story short, it was a fiasco. My dd was begging to come home after a month, which was strangley enough towards the end of the the summer hols, in which time she lost a really good place at her school.
I think there is a bit of a danger in a child thinking there is too much choice involved. She will always feel like she would rather be where she is not...if you know what I mean. In her mind her dad watches scary films, eats popcorn in bed and stays up until midnight every night, because he might do that on his weekends.
As children, my sister and I did the yo-yoing with our parents and I always felt a bit unstable as a result.
Have you asked about probs at school? Sometimes they can be at the centre of these issues.
You need to do what is best for everyone involved, I just suggest you try it out over the summer before you tell the school she wont be returning.

sugarmatches Mon 16-Jul-07 00:09:41

I obviously spent too much time typing this, because you answered the school issue in the meantime

floo Mon 16-Jul-07 00:13:50

good point sugarmatches

maximummummy Mon 16-Jul-07 00:35:32

She did have some probs at school but we managed to get them all resolved

she has been seeing a counsellor for a while and i think it has been good for her to have someone to discuss her feelings with on the otherhand it has also perhaps given her the oppertunity to wallow in her pre-teen angst

i agree it's a case of the grass being greener BUT and this will sound really awful but this would be a happier household without her as we are constantly bickering and if i disagree with her she gets a right sulk on which makes the whole families life horrible - i dont want her brother growing up with this conflict day and night - it's so draining and i feel like i'm torn trying to make everyone happy

maximummummy Mon 16-Jul-07 00:42:37

my daughter can be really lovely and absolutely adores her little brother who adores her right back - how the hell i'd explain her leaving to him i really don't know.

My parents split when i was young and i remember thinking that i wanted to go and live with my dad & sm - don't think they would've had me - so i know it's fairly normal but that just isn't helping me right now - my dp says he doesn't know why i'm stressed out about it and that she'll get over it and i hope he's right

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 16-Jul-07 07:47:28

Hi Maximummummy,

This situation of yours is very sad:-
"i agree it's a case of the grass being greener BUT and this will sound really awful but this would be a happier household without her as we are constantly bickering and if i disagree with her she gets a right sulk on which makes the whole families life horrible".

I am wondering if your daughter is unhappy becaue she feels pushed out by the rest of you. Perhaps she feels that more attention is paid by you both to her younger brother and "none" is given to her. She is crying out for you to pay her attention and to really listen to her.

What time do you spend alone with your dauughter, what things do you two do together?. You are mother and daughter.

Why do you say it would be a happier household without her in it - I really hope you do not mean that. You certainly would not be any happier and she could end up further emotionally damaged.

You are the adult her, cut through the bickering crap and get to the heart of the problems. Perhaps you should consider family therapy and I do not mean that as a slight on you at all.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 16-Jul-07 07:52:35

I also come back to my original response:-

Why is she so unhappy, what are the root causes of her unhappiness at home?. Does she dislike your partner intensely for instance?. Does your new partner make a real effort with her, is he overtly strict?. She may at heart feel that he has taken you her Mum away from her.

Does she feel she will perhaps be more listened to, given more leaway in terms of discipline, paid more attention to by her Dad?.

What exactly are the attractions for her?. Going between two houses can be disrupting for her in her own right and after all she is only 12.

Sorry for all the questions but you need to talk openly and find answers.

peanutbear Mon 16-Jul-07 07:54:20

It sounds like attention seeking a bit

My oldest is great at it he tells me he is going to live with his dad once a week

I have stopped it now though because his dad (with discussion with me ) told him no that he worked odd shifts and wouldnt be there to look after him. DS HAd never mentioned it again because he knows its not an option

sugarmatches Mon 16-Jul-07 09:04:21

As far as it being a happier household if she were to go...
Welcome to the world of raising a teenager!! It will get better, once she leaves for uni!
Seriously, teenagers can be buggers!! Some are very sweet and helpful and never give their parents a moments trouble. But again, most are buggers. I have noticed that girls can be worse because they know how to work mum better. Some days my oldest dd seems to know exactly what to say to press every single one of my buttons.
Today is her 19th birthday and we still have good days/bad days. Raising her has been a joy, but it has been hell at the same time. Do you know what I mean?
What I am saying is try to stick it out. I personally would tell her "too bad, your staying here to be miserable with the rest of us!"
I love that Harry Enfield sketch where the little boy turns into a nightmare the second he turns 13...true true true!!

nappyaddict Mon 16-Jul-07 22:15:00

does her dad have other children? if not could it be she feels like she would get more attention there?

maximummummy Tue 17-Jul-07 22:04:06

no her dad has no more kids and i don't really think there will be any now

attila - no my partner is not strict and we try and involve her with everything we do but she mainly declines we did have a day out at the weekend which was good but other (extended) familly members joined us too - i do try to spend time one to one but she doesn't wanna do what i do and vice versa i do try - we are all making a real effort and it feels a bit strained and false to be honest - things do seem to have improved though

wondered if evening primrose might mellow us both out ?

nappyaddict Wed 18-Jul-07 15:09:38

if she doesn't wanna do things you do maybe you need to do things she wants to do so you can spend time with her on a one to one basis?

maximummummy Thu 19-Jul-07 22:42:53

arrrgh - she's having a huffy day again today -i'm trying really hard not to rise to it BUT (screaming/ripping out hair emoticon)

she went for her usual visit to dads yesterday and when she got home i asked what he'd said about her staying there a couple nights a week but she said what r u on about i don't wanna stay there he's gonna try and make a weekend available during summer break !?* she says she doesnt wanna stay there as the beds too uncomfortable

maximummummy Thu 19-Jul-07 22:45:27

nappyaddict - she can never think of anything she wants to do only things she doesn't last summer we all drew up a list and tried to make sure we did something from everyones ie beach park zoo cinema

nappyaddict Sat 21-Jul-07 02:03:01

seems like it was just said in the heat of the moment then.

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