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confrontational oppositional 18 year old, help?!!

(20 Posts)
febel Wed 14-Oct-15 08:29:40

Hi all, anyone got some tips for any help/helplines/organisations for our relationship and handling of our aggressive and confrontational (although not ALL the time! ) 18 year old daughter?!
Think it may be her personality judging by what she lets drop from college....she is not one to stand back and will tell the lecturer if she doesn't want see the point of something (I too work in education, sounds like the kids we groan about in class!) but she does it at home too. May be little things, may be big things. Eg of little thing, she came downstairs to have tea( I was out) , siwtched the radio off her dad was listening to and switched the tv on, without asking at all. Her dad asked her to put the remainder of a tuna tin in a pot in fridge, bearing in mind she had opened and used it for herself, and she refused, saying she would put it in the bin, it wasn't worth it and would just go mouldy in the fridge. He asked her again and she told him she would after her dinner. She didn't, he asked her again, she said she didn't she why she should, it was a waste of time, and went upstairs. He ended up doing it. He is not a walkover but I think is tired and fed up of all the confrontational arguements etc.

Now I know this is a little little trivial thing (tuna-gate!) but it is the principal of the matter. She just does not seem to see the point of doing stuff half ther time, and belive me she does very little. About the only "chore" she does is occassionally clear her room. She has just passed her test, I have insured her on our second (older) car , not asked her to pay (mistake I am thinking, but we didn't ask her sisters to either ...5 and 7 years older and not at home now) She can't use it in day as we use it but in evening she could. I pay for all college stuff and anything to do with college (bus etc) She doens't have an allowance, stopped ages ago for behaviour and never reinstated, and works at the weekend, although I would buy her stuff she needs, clothes if I think they are needed and shoes, and all toileteriies etc. I don't trust her much as she abuses it and we have had a rocky teenage time with her, and she still lies st times. She hates hates hates being in the wrong and thinks she is always right and talks over you in an arguement.

I just feel she has ZILCH respect for us and I can't be doing with all the aggression and confronting she indulges in...but can't always walk away as I feel she should perhaps be giving in to our desires/rules whatever you want to call them as living together is a team thing surely? Or am I living in cloud cuckoo land....sorry to go on but we didn't have this situation with our other two , who weren't angels by any means but did respect us.

readyforsunshine Wed 14-Oct-15 08:47:28

Can totally sympathise, I'm going through similar with my 14 yo ds. I try v hard to let the small stuff, like tuna gate! Go & focus on the important stuff no matter how frustrating. We had a terrible time with him last night & im feeling so low this morning. He's clever, loving but so lazy & absolutely incapable of seeing another point of view. He also has no respect for the house & is v careless with belongings, damaging or losing so much. We have been hoping that a lot is to do with immaturity but to be honest I feel he's getting worse.

travailtotravel Wed 14-Oct-15 08:48:10

Tough for you. If honestly stop paying for stuff beyond food. No phone, clothes nothing. It's telling that she hasn't earned other things back though.

customercare Wed 14-Oct-15 08:54:05

Been there. It will pass.

Penfold007 Wed 14-Oct-15 09:03:42

Stop treating her like a child, she's an adult. Sit down and have an adult conversation about what is acceptable and what isn't, listen to her views and come to a mutual agreement. As an adult she needs to accept the responsibility a long with the rights and privileges.

Notgrumpyjustquiet Wed 14-Oct-15 09:05:25

I've got one of these. 19 year old DS, cuts his nose off to spite his face on a daily basis. With us, his girlfriend, the entire world, we're all idiots. I get the 'tuna-gate' thing. It's not the big things, it's the low level stuff day in day out that's so fucking exhausting. I am often left fuming at the lengths he will go to in making a pain in the arse of himself then asking me what my problem is.

Notgrumpyjustquiet Wed 14-Oct-15 09:07:42

Oh god if only it was that easy for my DS to get his head round it Penfold. We have THAT conversation every few weeks...

readyforsunshine Wed 14-Oct-15 09:17:43

Yes grumpy! I've got one that 'responds' to parenting & is a delight, the other one is not capable, despite lots of adult conversations, incentives, actions & consequences etc

Mrsjayy Wed 14-Oct-15 12:02:33

My 17yr old can be a bit like this just with her dad though i swear she will argue the moon is pink if it meant she got the last word he rises to it which isnt the most mature thing to do. Tunagate is just part of that im right you know nothing thing yeah she is an adult but ime their is a trasition between teen and adult im hoping dd2 will get it eventually i will tell her off sometimes like I did when she was younger.

Mrsjayy Wed 14-Oct-15 12:03:47

There is*

Penfold007 Wed 14-Oct-15 16:51:08

NotJust I know what you mean, we ended up pointing out that at 18 they were free to leave and we were free to tell them to leave. Harsh and difficult but it has helped change the dynamics.

febel Wed 14-Oct-15 18:58:19

Penfold007...if only it was so easy, it's finding a time...VERY few and far between when she will actually sit with us and have THAT conversation without her blowing up, and even see our point of view, empathy isn't her strong fact as far as family is concerned I am not sure she has any!
We explain til we are blue in the face but she may or may not agree, or tells us we are being petty etc or get the "Oh for gods sake, stop going ONNNNN about it!"
Have pointed out she is free to leave and she just says aggressively, "No thanks!" or the classic , "Whatever!" She can be nice (!) and was a lovely little girl...not quite sure what has happened beyond the fact she is strong minded and strong willed....BUT then won't do things like use a phone to speak to doctor/dentist etc or go to the doctors to drop a prescription off.

I thought at 18 she would be more grown up! We don't even have uni as a get out as she still has a year to do in college (dropped back a year and did diff course) and says she is living at home and going to our local uni.....! I feel she needs to move out at uni...and not sure we could put up with her and the stress of uni!

febel Wed 14-Oct-15 18:59:43

.and've hit the nail on the's all the low level the point you tend to avoid asking them to do ANYTHING..cos it will cause a disagreement or confrontation...and then they are getting their own way and not doing anything.....

Notgrumpyjustquiet Wed 14-Oct-15 22:27:18

I nearly died giving birth to him and he nearly died being born and I love the bones of him, I want so much for him, he's my only child, I never wanted another and I never got another but he pisses me off because he has no idea of the time he's wasting. It breaks my heart...

SwearyGodmother Thu 15-Oct-15 09:22:57

Did you give her sisters pocket money until they left home? Speaking from a former awkward teen perspective I was truly hacked off when I was a teen that my pocket money was stopped due to my phone usage (had boyfriend who lived across the country) when I had a weekend job whereas my older sister who didn't do anything ever was still given an allowance. I felt that I wasn't being included in family privileges and was being treated differently from my older sister and therefore didn't have to behave in the household in the same way blush I used to rage at the injustice of it all.

I also dropped back a year due to ill health and was most frustrated to see my friends moving on and me being stuck at home, which didn't improve my attitude at all. I cringe at how much of a dick I was now.

Is it worth asking her why she doesn't think she should do stuff, and considering reinstating her pocket money as an agreement that she will do things around the house/toe the family line? It seems that the stick isn't working so maybe the carrot will.

febel Fri 16-Oct-15 08:03:28

No, they didn't have pocket money as such as they had jobs. I would treat them to clothes etc and pay bus fare to college . They could earn money by doing jobs for me ...YD doesn't choose to. If she had pocket money we couldnt afford to insure her on the car..and I know which she would choose! If anything she gets more than her sisters as we are better off now (I work more hours although only 3 days, not full time) and she is the only one left as it were. I would probably spoilt her more if she were more friendly..not just with material stuff though!

I took her into college yesterday cos she was hysterical at the bus running v late and would have been late, but that wouldn't have happened if her sister had missed college bus (she would have got the service bus and been late...and this did happen once or twice) cos I would have had to get the youngest to school. I probably shouldn't have taken her but I am too soft and get the guilt trip...but it probably doesn't teach her to be on time etc Mind you it taught me just how quickly I can dry my hair if time is short! (not a good look though!) I make her a packed lunch on college days (middle sister made her own) , often which doesn't get eaten, so is wasted (control?) I have given up getting at her for it as she says I am being ridiculous getting cross over an uneaten sandwich (not when I have got up on my day off and gone downstairs early early especially to make it when she has said, when asked, she would like one!)

As she is the only one left the only thing I can think of which could make her resentful is the fact I may "get at her more" because she is the only one left. I don't really nag over her room, I do ask her to take her clean ironed washing into her room instead of leaving it outside her door for days (where, at her bequest, I leave it..though I get fed up sometimes and venture into the santum of her room to dump it on her bed) This morning DH couldn't find the car keys on the hook by the door (she 'd been out last night) and eventually found the UNLOCKED car on the drive..where she'd left them. (and yes, our street is a thoroughfare) But we didn't nag or shout, just told her to put them on the hook in future (suppose anyone can make a mistake....)

So no, I have no idea why she is like she is...beyond it being her personality. She can switch from Miss nice to nasty in seconds...

febel Fri 16-Oct-15 08:10:44

Sorry, just realised not answered your question swearygodmother! Did mention this once, she said she didn't need it! Money doens't seem to motivate her, although she likes to have it, or at least not money from us. Did offer at one point to pay her for walking our elderly dog (20 min walk at the most) when I am late in from work but she didn't really take it up. Admittedly I didn't offer a lot (no, I am not in the market for offering £10 a walk!) but it adds up over a few walks. She would rather come in after college and lie on her bed half dressed/in dressing gown on her i pad. Which is what she does a lot, even carrying it around when she comes downstairs if she has breakfast....she is addicted to her screen. Worst thing we ever bought!

SleepyForest Fri 16-Oct-15 08:26:10

She sounds unhappy and uncomfortable. Stop comparing her unfavourably with her sisters. She has a job, she has passed her driving test, she goes to college and is going to get her a levels and go to university. She should have left home this year like all her peers , I bet she feels rubbish about that.

Perhaps she needs to detach from her parents. Could she cook her own meals and iron her own clothes from now on? Can you take a giant step back?

febel Fri 16-Oct-15 08:33:30

I wonder if it's worth offering the allowance thing though and see if it helps. She works around 8 hours on her part time job and gets around basic rate plus a wad of commission (talking possible 3 figures) for commission if she sells. We have said to all of our kids that if job interferes with education they must drop it and we will help out re money but they all seem to want to work (which is a good thing) for their own self esteem etc

I would feel guilty re allowance probably though cos her sisters didn't have an allowance at her age, they fact they were at uni. We paid towards uni and we will do this for YD too if she goes, when time comes. Neither of our elder two (now 22 and 25) seemed to want for stuff, in fact we had to force the elder one to have money off us...she was too proud to ask.

TuTru Tue 20-Oct-15 09:02:05

I've got one of these, a female one.
I just don't understand it at all.
College called me yesterday & basically said she should leave as she never turns up. She's just a nightmare but deliberately. I have no idea where I went wrong or how to put it right I'm afraid. Nothing seems to work.
I've just got to accept that's her personality and treat her like any other adult that acts that way, I think.

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