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Kids making me so miserable!

(10 Posts)
littlegreenlight1 Mon 17-Mar-14 08:04:31

How awful does that sound?
My teens are driving me insane. I know that is par for the course but its a really recent development and none of seem able to snap out of it.
I took my DS away for the last couple of days, we go to my Aunts in London but there isnt room for more than one kid at a time so we alternate (it works lol, this isnt really the point).
DD is 16 and works p/t in a hotel for 8 hours over the whole weekend. I have just asked her how much studying she did this weekend.... in hours "well I havent done hours"... not even one!!!!
She stayed with my sister, who works at the hotel too, and had from Friday after school until last night to put some hours in but just chose not to. Obvioulsy had I been here I would have supervised but she knew what the score was and promised to study at my sisters, otherwise I would have sent her to her dad's.
This would be less infuriating if she wasnt the typical brilliant student predicted straight As that has just like her mother, fallen off track at the last hurdle :'( I cant get her to do anything and this all comes after last week spending 2 evenings in school with her teachers, her making all the right sounds and nodding and coming out inspired telling me how she really felt she knew what to do now etc... and now well.... Im not explaining it well at all.
We have all told her that it will be worth it when she gets her results etc, but she wont put in the work. If she doesnt get 6 Cs and above, she wont get into the sixth form she wants to and christ knows how she will manage the A levels she's picked anyway if she cant be bothered now.

She looks rough, that worries me, she is always tired, her skin is suffering and she is the definition of hormones on legs. She criticises me no end, is selfish, lazy and moody and smokes like a chimney. Our once close relationship is basically gone, I dont even like her sometimes.
When she left for school this morning I was relieved, and then just burst into tears.

Ive tried being cool, Ive tried being tough - neither of these approaches work.

Does anyone have any advice? And lastly there is this kind of community event at a school tonight which we both want to go to. I dont really want to take DS (8) so asked her to babysit for an hour. She wont as she wants to go. Should she even be allowed to go (irrelevant of me wanting to go etc)? She didnt bother to do any revision or homework all weekend, she should stay in and do it tonight????

Right got to try and dry my eyes for work, think Ill keep bursting into tears today though sad

adeucalione Mon 17-Mar-14 08:38:50

I'm sorry you're having a hard time with DD but I think you've been too hard on her this weekend.

At that age, if my DM and DB were away doing something lovely, I would've felt like I needed a treat too and opted for a lazy weekend. At least she was honest about it, when many her age would've just told you what you wanted to hear.

You also mentioned that she has a part time job, which says something about her character.

I can understand that you want her to do well in her exams but if she looks rough and is displaying anxious behaviour, she may well have needed a weekend off. And you may serve her better by helping her to calm down, rather than talking about how she is following in your footsteps be failing at the last hurdle, may not get the grades for A levels etc.

I suppose what I am saying is that it sounds like you have an anxious household at the moment, which is understandable, and this weekend I would tell her to take a break from revision (even if she hasn't done any!) and take her somewhere lovely, reconnect, discuss how she feels and just let her know that your concern is coming from the right place.

adeucalione Mon 17-Mar-14 08:41:26

And I think it's a bit mean to ask her to babysit so you can attend an event that she also wants to attend - why can't you get another babysitter and go together?

littlegreenlight1 Mon 17-Mar-14 08:42:05

I hadn't thought about it that way, but it was only a few weeks ago that we were in London together doing something lovely.
I am hard on her, I know I am.
We are supposed to be going to Chelmsford prom dress shopping next Sunday, I'm guessing I shouldn't tell her we are not going as punishment!?
teenagers are so so hard.

littlegreenlight1 Mon 17-Mar-14 08:43:10

and yes I've already decided that she can go tonight, I didn't know until this morning she wanted to so took me by surprise. that's not really a problem.

adeucalione Mon 17-Mar-14 10:03:40

They are hard, I've got four and sometimes you have to try hard to see the positives. You sound lovely so I'm sure she'll come good in the end!

I would focus on the fact that she was honest with you, is holding down a part time job and is still willing to be seen in public with yougrin

Enjoy your evening tonight, have a lovely day shopping for prom dresses, and spend lots of time talking. My bet is that she's scared to death of her exams, and is sticking her head in the sand as an avoidance technique; could you help her with a 'little and often' revision timetable? Tell her that you won't nag if she sticks to it, or personally I wouldn't be above offering rewards if she needs further motivation.

siren45 Mon 17-Mar-14 10:17:36

She sounds so like my DD at the age of 16. But she pulled through in the end with her school work and we got our relationship pretty well back on track (she's now 19) although I would never have believed it if someone had told me it would turn out OK then. It wasn't at all easy though.

You say you've tried being cool and tough and nothing works. This is basically because she's got to sort herself out - you can't really help her. Be supportive if she lets you in, let her know you're always there for her especially with health matters because this is where I think they most need their mothers at this age. You say she looks tired and rough. I think we sometimes forget how much pressure our kids are under - perhaps she just needs someone to say 'I understand how you're feeling'? Ask her if she'd like to go for a general health check. That can be reassuring for both of you.

Also it's very natural not to like her, especially when she's being stroppy. So don't let the guilt get hold of you. You're obviously a concerned, loving mother - whatever you may think sometimes.

And start looking after yourself!!! If you're a wreck, you're going to be no good to anyone. Find something you like doing and do it. If it gets you out of the house, so much the better. Be patient. It WILL pass.

littlegreenlight1 Mon 17-Mar-14 10:50:52

thanks, this is reassuring!
I do try and look after myself, I swim a few times a week, take long walks.
I gave up my degree recently as I could no way cope with that anymore on top of being a single, ft working mother.
practically I get support from their father, ie, eow they are there, but financially things are so strained, it adds to all the other stress. I'm constantly worried about where I am going to find money and she has prom ticket coming up, dress, limo now ( her and seven others chipping in, Inc her boyfriend, how can I say nosad sad ) I am sick with worry how to pay for that. her dad is now a father of 6 so any money I get from him is minimum, doesn't go anywhere.
our house is not very happy at the moment, I know I need to do something fun and different but I feel at a loss right now.

I'll try and lay off her and have faith she will manage. she refuses any help with revision but does occasionally ask me to read stuff. she is deep down a great girl, I was very upset this morning. I do of course love her to pieces and just want her to be happy.

siren45 Mon 17-Mar-14 22:31:33

My house was totally miserable for pretty well her whole teenage years. I'm not a single mum but I swear sometimes I wished I was because my husband was completely out of his depth and not much use at all really.

But I look back on it now as just a big black period in my life. It wasn't supposed to be like that but it was. And you'll come through it too. Shell-shocked and a bit battle-scarred but what the hell...and you'll get your relationship with your daughter back to what it was as well. As you say, have faith!

RareDayCasting Tue 25-Mar-14 18:26:07

Hi everyone,
There's a new post in the Media requests thread looking for people with troublesome teens - can you take a look and get in touch if this is relevant to you?
Thank you!

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