Is anyone else scared of their teenagers....(45 Posts)
Just that really , I'm quite shamed hence the name change.
DD is 15 and is challenging to say the least. She is on her last chance at school , she sees camhs regularly but recently things have been way worse. She smokes, she drinks, she has sex, I suspect cannibis but nothing I say or do makes any difference. The way she treats me is horrific and this is fairly new, she was always a back chatter and door slammer but now it's real venom and emotional blackmail. The way she speaks to me is shocking calls me a fucking freak or fucking bitch and regularly has such meltdowns, when I say no that they last all night and don't calm no matter what approach I take. Last night she smashed up all her own stuff and spent eight long hours screaming "fuck you, fuck your house and fuck yourself" because I got a bit brave and cancelled something she had planned to be hosted here after 5 days of abuse she threatened to make accusations to the police about me so I lose my job in childcare. I am ashamed to say I think she is out of all parental control and is currently packing her stuff and "running away as she can't live with a bitch like me, fucking hate you".
What the hell can I do? I'm a single mum with no support.
It's hard to know what to say really, I have 15 and 14 year old boys but they are pretty much a breeze compared to what you are dealing with. I do think boys are easier.
Would it be bad to say let her pack and go and see what happens? Where do you think she would go? Sofa surf round her friends? What are her friends like? Can you call Cahms?
Oh and I am not sure that a teenage girl making accusations out of anger to the police would have an effect on your job unless there was any substance to what she was saying (if that makes sense). Do you have any connection with social services?
Camhs say "we don't really know what to suggest but hide sharp objects" . She has the odd week or two when she is ok , never really pleasant or chatty but passive and quiet. Her friends are all the "cool" kids who loiter around smoking and drinking, she never really has a friend for that long more a best friend for a few weeks , then they vanish replaced by another one. I've let her go she's gone now to current best friends.
I'm sure she will be back OP when she realises the grass isn't always greener. .
When she gets in the calmer times is it possible to talk rationally with her or is it like treading on eggshells?
How is she at school? Are they providing any support? I would think that the cannabis and alcohol etc are adding fuel to the fire but until you convince her that all these things are making her cheap and devaluing her I'm not sure what you can do.
DS2 was a bit doorslammy for a while but responds well to being reminded about how lucky he is to have people who love him and do things for him and that won't change no matter how cheeky he decides to be - all it does is make him look like an arsehole and he doesn't like to be thought of like that. I know I'm lucky though when all I have to be bothered about is a bit of laziness (untidy room) and the odd bit of cheek. DS1 is overly compliant and that's a different issue.
I hope she comes to her senses soon OP.
I hope that I would call social services to ask for respite. Which means she'd go into foster care. Then the system takes over & I'd be in no hurry to have her come home. Maybe I'm not as tough as that, but I'd sure like to be.
Watched a friend go thru this but it was more straightforward decision because she had 3 other children at home to protect, plus a husband who couldn't stop arguing with their DD. Something had to give. Her DD invented outrageous lies while in foster care, btw, be braced for that. 5 yrs later they are now on good terms!!
I watched my mother move heaven & earth for my brothers but eventually she had to kick them out. My parents marriage broke down partly because of the conflict between them about Tough Love or not. I made up my mind a long time ago to go for Tough Love if I could.
I have had some fear of my eldest DS at times, btw, but nothing remotely close to what OP has experienced.
How awful for you.
Do you know the mum of the best friend whose house she has gone to? You could do with her as an ally. If she could break through the the hard exterior and talk to the girl lurking inside, you may get some ideas.
Please excuse me asking, but when she has these terrible outbursts have you tried diffusing by just agreeing with her? Like when she calls you a fucking bitch, tell her you can see she is really angry. When she says she fucking hates you, say, I'm sorry you feel that way. When she says the world is a shit place, say you think so too.
I was reading the other day about how our teens behave so differently to their parents. Social pressures, and just a very different world to the one we grew up in. I would hate to be a teen today.
Have you read any of the books always recommended on this board? It helps somewhat to see it written down as to why they behave so horribly, but your poor dd does sound extreme.
you can get through this
I really feel for you . My dd was older than yours when I went through hell because of her drug use. I wasn't scared of her,more scared of what would happen to her. Most of the time she was too stoned to know what was going on around her.
Do you have a social worker? My GP was really helpful to me.
At 15 she's still young enough to get her life back on track. You need to dig deep (not easy) and try tough love with her.
It's really a horrible situation to be in, somedays it was me who to run away. Hope things improve for you soon.
No experience of this but just reading through what you say it seems your'e not afraid of your daughter but for your daughter. IMHO you could take control of the situation by contacting the police and any other child protection folk you have locally and explain that you have concerns your underage DD is in danger of running away (even if they're not in the slightest bit interested....) Then tell your daughter that you felt compelled to do everything you could to keep her safe and as a result you had to report her threats to the 'authorities'. She will of course hate you for it, but may also be secretly thankful that you are in charge, not her.
That's an awful situation to be in.
I've had meltdowns with DS1 and DS2, but not quite to that extent. However, I have had DS1 threatening to leave and tbh I'd lost the will to do anything about it. I let him go, drove around town later in the evening looking for him and found him. He laughed at the fact I was driving around in tears and walked away. Fortunately the mum of the friend he was staying with turned up on my doorstep to tell me she'd have him for a couple of days, but then he'd have to make tracks. He came home unapologetic. Our relationship has often been unbalanced since then and we're a few years on. There's not a lot you can do except try to stand your ground and not allow yourself to be walked over. I've had to take pretty drastic steps on occasion to achieve this, but it's been worth it. It's horrendous at the time though. As pp say, tough love is the only way, for your own sanity in the long term.
OP I have complete empathy for your situation. My DS1 15 has put me trough the mill over the last year. I'm also on my own and no support. I have two younger children as well.
I would just like to share that I've been through the tough love bit (I've called the police, contacted social work, school and GP). However my tough love was putting my son at a higher risk than he was with a more relaxed approach, as he completely and utterly rebelled and stopped caring about anything and anyone. What he really wanted/needed was more responsibility/freedom and the opportunity to manage risks himself - measure his strength so to speak.
It is still scary and at times I really worry for him and what he is doing, but now he phones me and lets me know where he is, he answers to my messages when out, if he wants to stay over at a friends he'll phone and ask me, he talks to me about things and shares some worries. This might not sound like much, but from where we were a few months back, this is a miracle. His room was completely smashed up, he was aggressive and violent, and he would swear and call me horrible things. Now we hardly argue, his room is nice and tidy (I don't even have to ask him to tidy it), he is pleasant and polite (well most of the time).
I constantly question myself if I'm doing the right thing, but it has definitely helped our relationship. But it is still tough when he is out with friends at weekends, as it is impossible to know that they are safe. However he was very much more at risk when he was angry, reactive and feeling hurt. I'm the only adult in his life (family) and he needed me to he on his side.
I was an utter bitch to my mum at 15.
I smoked, drank and had sex - I ran away when I was 15 'to London' (from Scotland) - God knows what I was going to do when I got there though, luckily the police found me on the train when it stopped in Newcastle.
I'm 41 now - had a great career, have 2 boys of my own and a great relationship with my mum.
I just suddenly grew up at about 17 to be honest.
I think what made me act out worse was feeling like I wasn't being listened to, frustrated that everybody was 'picking on me' (they weren't) - in fact all the usual teenage angst; I was scared, angry, cocky and unsure of myself and where I fitted in, all at once.
My eldest boy is 14 next month and has started turning into a bit of a shit at times, but I try really hard to deal with him differently to how my parents were with me.
I manage him rather than try to control - I ignore a lot of the tantrums whilst they're happening, let them play out then talk to him when he's calmed down.
I let him have the freedom that I didn't get to go out and just hang around with his friends.
I've said to him I know the drinking, smoking & sex will likely kick in over the next year or two but I want him to not be stupid (for eg, I know he's going to get drunk but don't get into competitive drinking) and I want him to be sensible enough to steer clear of drugs.
I've told him all about friends of mine who've lost their lives to drugs & have watched some pretty hard hitting stuff with him too; I've also talked to him about what I was like/felt like as a teenager.
Teenagers are generally not rational beings - they're a raging mass of hormones & are basically scared kids trapped inside increasingly adult bodies who are petrified about growing up and all that that entails.
I was that horrible teenager. Sometimes you and they just need a bit of space.
My dad utterly deflated by teenaged screaming announcement that I was leaving by saying "fine. Pack up your things first though please, we'll probably rent out your room. Oh and leave your keys - if you swan out, you don't get to stroll back in whenever you like."
Thank you for all your replies , yesterday was not the best day. She has remained out and sent me about 1000 messages yesterday full of abuse and even sent one saying "You could make this all go away if you just in now and give me my own way". I have asked all my neighbours who despair ,but are sympathetic ,to call the police next time she's up all night screaming. I am very worried that she's quite unwell , her behaviour is so extreme and repetitive and it's not just me its aimed at she never has a friend for long and is nearly as challenging at school. School is a sore topic she is failing due to LDs and is predicted 0 GCSE's however she always coped previously as she tried and was on good track to do well but completely disengaged a couple of years ago, school say she is either passive and just sits blankly doing nothing and not communicating or she is hyper, defiant and very verbally abusive.
I am just so anxious when I think about how bad things have become and feel it's become so awful I'm not even sure how I'll change everything. The issue with support agencies is the child needs to engage, she has been offered various support via camhs and school- CBT, counselling, medication, anger management but just point blank refuses to engage. Therefore those kids that need it the most get no support and I'm just told "You do so well keep strong, hide sharp objects and stay strong" when I reach out for support.
I am scared of ds' s temper and it sickens me. Latest event was plate smashing and threatening to throw them at me - preferably at my face.
OP I really wish there was a straight forward answer to this situation for you but unfortunately life (and teens) can be an utter bitch.
It sounds as though you are locked in a power battle with your DD. I was with my DS and it took us to hell. The difficult thing is you have to put your foot down as you don't want to give in to abuse, but also when you have a Warrior child, who is rendered senseless by hormones and teenage brain syndrome, the conflict can bring out the worst in them.
Can a compromise be made? I know there are no easy answers and I'm sorry you are going through this. you are not alone
So sorry to hear about your situation, OP . Your last post really does sound as if it is about more than ordinary teen hormones, and that there is a MH issue here. Eight hours screaming is simply not normal behaviour; it must be absolutely exhausting for her as well as you. And the repetitiveness you mention also points that way.
Also, it must be very difficult to grow up with LDs in today's competitive world, with the constant messages from school and media about how you must succeed in your exams, you must succeed, you must succeed. But whatever lies behind it, it is a horrible place to be in for both of you.
Not impressed by CAHMS here: "don't really know what to suggest" sounds horribly wishy-washy.
The difficulty with CBT is that it is literally about engaging: if you don't engage nothing happens. And you have to work quite hard at it. It's like an exercise routine: if you don't do the movements you won't build the muscles or lose the weight.
Would it be possible to think again about medication? Could you find anyone to "sell" it to her, to explain that it isn't about turning her into a zombie, that most modern ADs don't work like that and that if it did they would change the medication, that it is about making her feel more comfortable?
Jinksy I really feel your pain, it's utter shit isn't it when you do everything for them and they turn o you, DD looks at me like she wants me dead.
I'm always willing to compromise but said activity is not happening- was a party here but she has told me even if I don't provide it they'll all be drinking and smoking cannibis, I'm not taking that risk and her behaviour this week has been abusive it would be a disaster! DD won't compromise or say sorry or act sorry. I'm just hoping the entire Easter isn't wiped out with all this! She still has nearly 2 weeks off eeekkkk
I suppose to some extent you're not going to be able to stop them drinking and smoking somewhere, but it doesn't mean it's going to be in your house. I imagine her friends' parents are equally concerned about their behaviour. Perhaps it needs a neighbour to call the police on them when they get out of hand, wherever they are. That might make her think twice, possibly?
not so sure
Other than hanging out with friends, alcohol and cannabis, is there anything in life she is interested in? What does she want to do with her life? I appreciate her options may not match her wants given the LD, but could she be engaged in some type of work that would give her an outlet? There must still be places that don't need her to have a pristine set of exam results to have her help out. It's many moons ago, but my sister got a job washing dishes in a hotel and ended up running hotels - she enjoyed the busyness, the camaraderie and when she was 18 she went to work in hotels with staff accommodation and loved it. Not saying that's the answer and it really sounds like she has MH issues which the cannabis will be making worse, but anything that she could find that would give her a bit of hope and maybe some different friends would maybe allow her a bit of space and encourage her to engage more with MH services.
I so wish she'd consider that I have tried and set things up but she refuses flatly. She used to do a lot of exercise and now does none but has no interest in any, just wants to be with the "cool" kids 24/7. Some of these kids have had really difficult upbringings and it pisses me off that she attempts to act hard done by!
Hmm that's a tough one. Mine have no interest in being cool or the cool kids. DS2 deems the ones at his school "wasters", these wouldn't be your traditionally hard done by kids given the area, but I guess you don't know what goes on behind closed doors. DH and I had the poor upbringing and DSs both went to a primary with some genuinely poor kids with behaviour issues so he thinks the rich kid playing at being bad is really "sad".
I guess I wonder if she'd like to still be hanging around street corners in a few years or sitting in some crappy bedsit with a baby in tow. I'm guessing probably not but her behaviour would lead you to suggest that she is okay with that. Or would she like to be working with some cash in her pocket, getting ready for some weekend nights out with her friends and finding a decent boyfriend? It sounds really tough OP but if there was a way to get her to open up about where she sees herself without being judgemental it may help.
I keep saying to mine that not everybody in the world needs to be clever and being born clever is lucky rather than anything to do with them. It's hard work that is important and that there are loads of jobs that people they would think are not "clever" do that we would be lost without. So it's good that not everyone wants to be scientists and politicians and lawyers and teachers and that some people want to do practical jobs or caring jobs or manual jobs and that people can take pride in a job well done no matter what it is. My DH has 2 degrees and does a driving/caring job - he loves it and wouldn't swap it for the world. Does it need 2 degrees to do? Nope. Was he happy doing an academic type job? Nope. Looking back the job he enjoyed best was a manual one but he talked into doing better for himself
Scared of where our family is heading after this evening. Son pulled out of a family commitment made in agreement with him weeks ago, dh got angry, culminating in him telling ds he will never come to anything, ds went for him violently, I pulled him off, dh apologised, both too stubborn to talk to each other now. And guess who will have to mediate?
Wishing this were not my life right now.
Oh no I know that feeling well , they never own their behaviour or are willing to discuss. DD is currently pretending the last few days haven't happened, I'm pleased of the peace but the things she has done and said should be talked about but bring it up and I'm starting an argument apparently and we are back to square 1. How violent was it? Maybe police scare tactic?
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