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How do you handle a stroppy drama queen???

(57 Posts)
cordyroy Thu 16-Jan-14 09:27:53

Hoping for some Mumsnet insight here as I'm at a bit of a loss. My dd 13 can be so dramatic and stroppy at the moment, the usual huffing about tidying room/washing up is all manageable but we've had a few situations now where she is really defiant - this is usually caused by me enforcing restrictions on ipad/computer. We had agreed that she was allowed to use it until 9pm but then had to bring it downstairs, which invariably doesn't happen and I have to go and ask her. She either refuses to hand over the ipad, or if I have picked it up she will refuse to go to bed and goes off on a major rant. I don't want this to result in lots of shouting and arguments that go around in circles but despite talking quietly and calmly to her I get nowhere. How do you deal with this???? I can't physically put her in bed like a toddler (despite her behaving like one!!!)

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 16-Jan-14 09:29:57

If she refuses to bring it down at 9 it disappears for a week.
Each tantrum adds a day to the disappearance.

MrsPnut Thu 16-Jan-14 09:35:48

Don't engage in the arguments that go round and round - make like a broken record and calmly repeat what ever it was that you wanted her to do.
Ignore as much as possible and discuss consequences for non compliance with the rules. If confiscation is agreed in advance for not handing over the ipad then you can provide one warning at 9pm before taking it.

this book is great

sandyballs Thu 16-Jan-14 09:38:12

Def confiscate ipad if rules are not adhered to or if she tantrums. Works with my 13 year old DDs.

sandyballs Thu 16-Jan-14 09:40:56

I've noticed with mine that if they're on electric gadgets too late in the evening they can get stroppy so we've been asking them to switch off by 8pm and do something else for an hour before bed. They sleep better and seem calmer.

cordyroy Thu 16-Jan-14 09:42:49

Thanks so much for your replies, the book looks like a good idea too.

I would find it easier to ignore her strops but last night she was literally storming around the house looking where I had put the ipad and refusing to go to bed! It made for a late night for all of us and stressed DH who was fit to explode from biting his tongue and not yelling at her and putting the ipad in the bin!!

TobyLerone Thu 16-Jan-14 09:52:44

I agree with the others.

DD will be 13 in a few months and she can be the same. I find it best to clearly lay out the possible consequences of her behaviour as a warning, just once and very calmly, and then it's on her.

So I'll say, "[this behaviour] is completely unacceptable. If you don't stop it now and [do whatever I'm asking you to do, [consequence] will happen."

The consequence is usually confiscation of phone/ipad or grounding, depending on what she did in the first place.

Stay calm and reasonable. Give her the options and follow them through. Ignore any amateur dramatics. If she's anything like my DD she'll realise she's being an arse fairly quickly. She's definitely becoming more self-aware and can recognise situations where she's worked herself up into a ridiculous strop over nothing. She'll then apologise and I try not to keel over in shock grin

Starballbunny Thu 16-Jan-14 09:53:32

Why oh why do people try and in force computer restrictions and bedtimes on any DC at secondary school, it always ends badly.

Secondary schools have a billion, stupid, arbitrary rules, if you have them at home too it just causes grief.

By all means remove computers and phones for attitude, defiance, not putting washing to wash, not being home when you say you will etc. but not simply because you think it's bed time.

Starballbunny Thu 16-Jan-14 09:58:52

Oh and DD2 gets giggled at if she's arsy and teenage, but that due to having a big sister who thinks teen antics are a grade A waste of time. DD1 is almost 16 and her only nod at teen-ness is face timing her DF late at night and sleeping in at weekends.

gamerchick Thu 16-Jan-14 09:59:02

Warn her once and tell her the consequences. Then follow through.

I remove gadgets for an unspecified amount of time.. They have to earn things back. It was hell at first but they realise you won't give in eventually. Every strop and slamming of door gets tallied up.....It's been a while since I've had to with my 14yr old. Although his room is due a clean so we'll see.

gamerchick Thu 16-Jan-14 10:01:43

You have to make them switch off at a decent time. The brain takes half an hour after any screen activity to shut down and if they're left to it they can spend most of the night tuned in.

Not forcing it is irresponsible imo.

SauvignonBlanche Thu 16-Jan-14 10:09:19

Sounds just like me DD, her laptop was broken during an argument (with me) ans she's been much nicer without it.

chocoluvva Thu 16-Jan-14 10:13:11


It's a nightmare IME.

You ought to insist (somehow) that all screens go off at a reasonable time. It's not healthy to lose out on sleep as a result of excessive screen time. However, some teenagers will co-operate whereas others (I speak as the mum of two teens) will either make it their mission to find a way round the sanction or co-operate with you on this, but as a matter of principle make a new drama out of something else.

It all depends on the individual.

However as a general rule if you can encourage as healthy a lifestyle as possible your DD's moods will be helped (a bit, at least) and if you can listen to her opinions without always telling her yours you'll help to keep good communication going.

Try not to react too noticeably to her strops - easier said than done.

And perhaps go on some social networking sites and read through the pages of other young teens to get a feel for them so you know what's now 'normal' behaviour.

slug Thu 16-Jan-14 11:53:04

Unplugging the router at 9pm can work. Once internet connection is lost it can be easier to extract electronic items without fuss.

PeterParkerSays Thu 16-Jan-14 12:04:37

Wasn't there a woman on here from New Zealand who, when her DS was on an internet game with a friend, and said "that bitch can't tell me what to do [meaning his mum]" found his game box travelling at speed through the open window?

It's always an option, or dunking the bloody thing in the bath, if she won't see reason.

chocoluvva Thu 16-Jan-14 13:18:02

Electronic communication devices really are the work of the devil; addictive, a huge part od the lives of teenagers - their main method of communicating, useful, fun, addictive, massively time-consuming....

cordyroy Thu 16-Jan-14 14:17:47

Thank you, some good ideas and advice.

The idea of hurling all things techy out the window has repeatedly passed my mind but so far have restrained myself!

I have resorted to turning off the router in the past but but I'm probably being idealistic and would like to agree an arrangement and for her to stick to it rather than pulling the plug!

I shall continue the rollercoaster of teenage mood swings and try to keep calm and spirit intact :-)

MrsBright Thu 16-Jan-14 22:49:03

We went through this a few months back and I got lots of good advice here about not arguing back and not heating up the row.

Keep very calm. Talk quietly. State your case clearly. 'You do this, or xxx happens'. Walk away. If 'it' doesnt happen, then follow the consequences.

Don't loose your cool. Don't join in the shouting.

It has helped enormously. She is now far less argumentative, and the atmosphere at home is heaps better.

cordyroy Thu 16-Jan-14 23:12:58

Thank you MrsBright, they are certainly the tactics I plan to use (may involve a degree of deep breaths and counting to ten!)

On the upside when I picked her up from school she apologised off her own bat and we've had a good talk this eve and agreed the ground rules.....fingers crossed

MrsBright Fri 17-Jan-14 09:52:07

We try to chat about the 'drama' hours afterwards to allow for 'cool down' by all parties. Try to stick to the original problem not the slanging match, but do point out that just bellowing isn't a solution to anything.

This morning DD couldn't print homework because the laptop was having a crisis of its own. Major drama and tears. I took over, ignored her wailing and eventually got laptop to co-operate. Tonight we will have discussion about how shouting at a laptop is pointless and calmly looking for a solution/help is a better tactic ....

TheDoctorsNewKidneys Sat 18-Jan-14 17:18:32

I agree with Star. Sooner or later, teenagers need to learn good sleep habits. On their own. Without their parents breathing down their necks and making them turn their computers off at stupidly early times in the evening (8pm is ridiculously early, btw).

You can't enforce a bedtime on someone who isn't tired. It won't happen, computer or not. Even now, as an adult, if I'm not tired, I won't sleep, regardless of whether I'm on here, reading, staring at the ceiling or listening to music. If someone's not tired or ready to sleep, they won't. If they're tired and ready to sleep at 8pm, that's what they'll do.

And if they're tired for a few days, so what? They'll learn that staying up until 2am is bad. Make them get up for school anyway, and just repeatedly say "well, if you're tired, you need to go to bed earlier" and leave it. They won't learn unless they experience the horrific tiredness for a few days first.

Dancergirl Sun 19-Jan-14 09:59:14

doctors I see your point but it depends on the age of the teen. Yes we should bringing our dc up to be independent and to make sensible choices but it's a gradual process. 13 is still a v young teen and should be treated differently from say a 16/17 year old, ie nearly an adult. Giving carte Blanche to do completely what they like at bedtime is bewildering IMO. Teens still need some boundaries, some negotiated but some not.

Chottie Tue 21-Jan-14 07:13:12

I agree with Dancergirl, young teens need boundaries and bedtimes.

OP - I hope the calm continues, you sound like you handled the situation really well.

craggyhollow Tue 21-Jan-14 09:10:13

I take phone at 9pm

She goes to bed then

I couldn't imagine not enforcing bedtime

We expect a lot from her, from school to sport

The least we can do is make her life easier by making sure she gets enough sleep.

craggyhollow Tue 21-Jan-14 09:11:13

All the stroppy drama queens sound tired IMO!

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