How to cope with DDs attitude towards me(20 Posts)
Hi. Before I start I must say I suffer from anxiety and depression and am finding life in general very hard at the moment so this is affecting my ability to cope with most things.
Dd is very nearly 13 we have always been so close, listening to the same music, doing each others hair, messing about with make up, watching films/ TV together. I have a very open door policy towards her friends they are always welcome to come round for an hour, tea, sleep over my only condition is that their parents know where they are and I know if they have to be home at a certain time.
Just recently she has changed towards me and says some hurtful things. I am fully aware that puberty will play it's part but it only seems to be aimed at me. She always looks so miserable, uninterested in doing anything but then moans that she hasn't done anything and has had a boring day.
Her friends come here before school as we live nearest and they all leave together, I always ask if they want anything to eat/drink if they have forgotten lunch money/ book for English/ spare PE socks/ £1 for non uniform day or whatever they can just ask and I'll do what I can to help (I don't ask if they need anything other than food/drink do I'm not mithering them they just know tegu can ask) this morning one of her friends had forgotten her money for a school trip they are going on, friend was on the phone to her mum (who was at work) and I just said ' if it's ok with your mum I will give you the money and you can bring it tomorrow' friends mum said that would be great my DD said ' god mum do you have to be so embarrassing'
Last night I gave her a kiss on the top of her head before she went to bed ' eww mum you are so disgusting'
She left her PE kit in a ball on her bedroom floor so I told her to pick it up and fold it ready for PE tomorrow ' you can do it, it's not as if you have got anything better to do' (I had been food shopping, to work, cooked tea, done 3 loads of washing and ironing, looked after her brother and walled the dog)
I bought some new perfume with my birthday money, we had smelt it when we were shopping and both liked it so I said we could share it. ' i don't know why you bothered it's not as if anyone is bothered how you smell, you stink anyway'
That is just a taster of what she says. I know it is trivial and it could be so much worse it is just so out of character I don't know how to deal with it and it is really upsetting me ( not that I let her see that
- ignore put it down to hormones
- tell her how much it upsets me
- stop doing nice things with her just because and only if she deserves it
- something else?
Sorry for the extra long brain dump I just don't know what to do.
Don't take it personally. Did you genuinely never go thru a phase of being horrible to your parents?
They go from adoring you when they're 3yo to needing to see you as warts & all as adults, they couldn't emotionally detach if they couldn't find reasons to be critical. It's the edit button they need work on for a few yrs.
Rebukes when she's rude are fine. Some deflection with humour is brilliant (re stink): "Well at least I'm not rude enough to comment on how YOU smell" etc.
By all means don't take it personally but I certainly wouldn't let disrespect go unchecked.
Let her know it won't be tolerated.
We've just got back from a lovely weekend away and my 14 year old walked around with a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp the whole time, even while we were shopping for clothes for her and generally being fairly free with treats (Starbucks on demand etc etc.) Had this been my first daughter, I would have hit the roof and been searching my soul to work out what I'd done wrong, but this one is the 3rd and we've been here before - I know now that this is a very typical phase. It's not your fault, and it will pass, I promise!
However, that doesn't mean you have to take the rudeness without letting her know she's out of line. I find a comment rather than a conversation is best, so perhaps say to her - mildly, with no aggression, 'By the way, I didn't appreciate being spoken to like that this morning,' or whatever, and leave the room before she can come back with a cutting remark. Like lljkk says, she's trying to distance herself from you which is a fairly painful process, but if you handle it with minimum drama, humour and a few boundaries that can't be crossed you'll have a great relationship again in a few years. (In my experience they come back as lovely, considerate, sweet individuals sometime post GCSE...)
Teenagers, especially very young teens can be difficult as boundaries are being tested, Dd coming to terms with puberty etc, so be kind to her and yourself, things will pass.
However, I would advise that you need to remember she is your daughter foremost and not your 'friend' - iyswim.
Rudeness should not be tolerated but handled firmly with no drama. "That is rude, do not speak to me like that."
Back off from her school friends in the morning. They are old enough to be taking responsibility for what they need at school, and previous experience of your kindness will make them know they can ask you if there IS something they have forgotten. Just say Hi and let them and your Dd get on to school.
You do not have to justify to add what you do during the day e.g.laundry etc.
Pick your arguments wisely, e.g if her games kit is not available for school because she throws it on the floor then that's her problem, and she will have to face the consequences. A reminder is enough, if she chooses to ignore it then be it on her own head.
When you can ie. not in the middle of a strop, ask her if she is unhappy about anything,not in a critical manner, just say you think she appears unhappy and would talking about it help? Remind her that you were 13 once and, although that was 100 years ago, you do remember how difficult life could seem.
Continue to kiss her head and tell her you love her and respond to her "euch!" with a smile and "I'm your mum, loving you is my job, whether you like it or not!"
Set a few rules about her responsibilities, like keeping her room (reasonably) tidy, cleaning up after herself, helping with a few household chores, but don't crowd her.
Sorry about your anxiety, it makes like very difficult, but and this is gently meant, try not to make it her problem.
13 is about beginning to grow up, whilst still being very young, it will pass.
Thank you for your replies, I'm on my phone so will try to answer everything but apologies if I miss any thing. absinthe that's exactly what she is like I took her shopping on Saturday, just the two of us and treated her to some new clothes, lunch and some bits of stationary she liked and she spent 80% of the day with a face on her.
I really don't fuss over her friends, they usually arrive as I am making Ds' toast and a brew for me and Dd so I just ask if they fancy one but the rest goes unsaid. I said at the beginning of the year that if there was anything they needed they only needed to ask, they have all been best friends since they were 3/4 so they know me well I'm not some crazy lady trying to give them things
I was a pain as a teenager but it was never personal, my room was a tip, I was late home, was grumpy but I would never insult my mum and upset her ( Dd doesn't see me upset very often, despite my anxiety and depression they always see the cheerful, fun, easy going mum. It is just when I am alone that I fall apart)
I very nearly said something relating to her smelling too to her but instead I said 'I might be smelly (I'm not) but at least my attitude doesn't stink' I worry about insulting her 1, because it doesn't seem right to be upset about her doing it to me and then doing it back. 2 because I remember the insecurity of being a teen and feeling self conscious about spots, smells, weight...
Think it's just such a shock because she has always been so lovely and even though she knows I am the parent we have been very close.
Teenagers really are just like toddlers - testing and pushing boundaries, and are completely self-obsessed, so you have to pick your battles and let quite a few things slide slightly, otherwise you will be at each other's throats all the time. Hormones play a massive part in moodiness as you will see quite clearly when her menstrual cycle becomes regular and it is quite normal, albeit very unpleasant for the teen concerned, to feel just plain miserable sometimes.
However, in those scenarios you describe above, I would absolutely not let that comment "you stink anyway" go and I would have shouted extremely loudly at that and thought of some suitable punishment (maybe taking her favourite new item back to the shops). You have to unclench a bit but still at the same time not let them ride all over you, when they are teenagers.
Have you read the book 'Get out of my life, but first take me and Alex into town'??
If not, do it ASAP!!
It is highly recommended on MN and has been an eye opener to me. It will really help you take a step back from all she is doing and realise she has to do it, to separate from you. It also suggests that the closer you are to your young, primary age children (and it sounds like you were very close) the further they have to go to separate from you, so they can in fact be even more nasty than expected!
PE kit in a ball on the bedroom floor is not a big deal. In fact, I would say, it is no deal at all. It does not need to be 'folded' to be ready for the morning, it will probably be scrunched up in a PE kit bag anyway. Let her sort her own kit out, and absolutely make no reference to your day and how hard it has been, in relation to her PE kit. She genuinely won't see that connection at all!
It must be so hard for you if you suffer with anxiety. But please, you are not alone, read that book and try not to take it personally
All normal teenager stuff. Don't take the moving away from you personally. But I would't put up with disrespectful comments or hurtful comments.
Definitely read that book recommended by pasanda - it changed the way I looked at teens.
I got my 13 year old a fridge magnet at christmas which said "She was determined to find a cure for embarrassing mom syndrome"
What I find funny is my own 2 teen girls can be critical of the way some of their friends talk to their mothers - and are especially critical if the mums let them get away with it.
All of it sounds normal apart from the comment, "You stink anyway." which was out and out insulting.
I have ordered that book thank you for the suggestion.
I think I just need to accept that she is growing up and finding herself. We had a girly night last night watching all the soaps and having a chat.
Thank you for all your responses.
I so feel your pain, OP, and my dd is only 11 (well, 12 next month).
My lovely dd has become a flippin' nightmare. I stormed off out of the house with the dog yesterday (a mum strop!) because I was just sick of the constant rudeness. I caught her rolling her eyes when I was singing along to an act on Glastonbury. It was the last straw: she looks repulsed by me the whole time. She used to be so cuddly, but now dodges out of my way if I go in for a hug. She looks like the world has ended the whole time (except when she is with her friends).
It is so difficult as one wants to be this calm, friendly mother but I veer between sounding robotically falsely upbeat in the face of surliness, and getting cross and telling her not to be so rude and grumpy.
It just seems every day is spoiled by her behaviour.
Brenda - you really have to pick your battles and ignore all the eye rolling or you'll be in for a rocky road. Try laughing at her rather than getting cross,but takes the wind out of their sails I would've laughed at my mum singing to Glastonbury too and I'm 45
If there's one thing I've learnt it's to completely ignore the tutting, huffing and eye rolling and concentrate on the task in hand or you'll drive yourself mad. Most kids start to be horrified by anything their parents do, try watching Kevin and Perry on YouTube for confirmation of that
The other thing that's helped me is to accept that you will rarely have a full good day, you will get small bursts here and there and try so enjoy them and if you have a lovely half an hour that's great. The following half an hour might be challenging but try not to focus on it and most importantly don't take it personally.
I shall try. I feel really down today because of dd. Was discussing it with dh and feel that a united front isn't always the best way as then dd will probably think we're ganging up and the world is against her etc etc. Dh is absolutely sick to the back teeth of the eye rolling, and particularly fed up with the fact that she can have a nice treat/trip out etc and then 30 seconds later we've somehow transgressed and she's giving us the silent treatment and glaring.
I wonder if having a parent who they see as dependent on them, their DC, for much of their, the DP's life/happiness/ interests puts a pressure on them to provide this for what they are now seeing as their 'loser' of a parent.
Not meaning to be critical of you OP. Just trying to explain how DCs might see it. But I think teenage DCs want their DP to be happy and busy with their own life (although there in an emergency or for a lift etc) and not wanting or needing your DC to be their pal.
I was home alone a lot with my youngest (DS) and he seemed to always be annoyed or impatient with me. I think he just wanted me to get a life! Not that I hadn't but I'd let my career slide and didn't get out much, having got out of the way of it bringing up three DCs.
I'm slightly in agreement with this. It never crossed my mind with ds, who is a bit like the dog in that he greets me like a long-lost friend when he comes back in or gets up in the morning, but I feel sort of awkward when dd comes in from school, and make sure I'm a long way from the front door at 3.15 or she'll think I'm waiting for her.
I would speak to her and tell her that you find it upsetting when she talks to you in this way, and that if she wants you will back off from her and her friends to be more independent. My DD is the same age and at parents eve she told me not to stand anywhere near her int he lobby when we were waiting to go in as she was with her friends. This is probably just this on a larger scale to be honest.
I think the odd 'you're so annoying' comment when they're upset with you is fine and I would let that slide. I normally say 'OK, if you say so', then half an hour later all is fine again, but your DD Is being a bit more disrespectful than that, esp if it's not in jest. DD and I do joke around with each other a lot about our foibles, but it's all done in a jokey way. If I knew that she meant it horribly, I wouldn't be as tolerant.
They really go through a stage of hating you taking to their friends . You have to be the invisible woman. But l would be very strong when she is rude. Don't go into a big thing just say one sentence but let her know it's not on. Something like l don't like the way you're speaking. Then leave it. Don't be drawn into a big drama. But you need too prepare yourself she is changing.
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