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Dd ruining holiday with moods and strops, please help

(35 Posts)
Dancergirl Sat 13-Aug-16 05:57:33

We are on holiday at the moment but it doesn't feel like it because of 13 year old dd's terrible moods.

She is the youngest of three girls, dd1 more or less sailed through the teenage phase so this is all new to us. Dd2 has always been more emotional anyway but in the past six months she has really changed and has lots of mood swings, crying fits and strops, snaps at me and dh and her sisters, starts arguments and refuses to let things go. I've got the book 'get out of my life etc....' and it's as if she's read it!

She knows she's doing this and can't help it and actually dislikes HERSELF when she's like this.

So we're 5 days into a 2 week holiday. Most days she has been sullen and unpleasant for some of the time. Yesterday we were at a particular attraction and her phone camera wasn't working which resulted in a huge over reaction and tears etc which lasted a couple of hours.

I say to dh and to her sisters that however bad it is for us, it's worse for her so we're trying to be sympathetic. But it's very very hard and I wonder if we should be firmer when she's making an atmosphere. Today she hit her older sister because she got cross with her for laughing. I told her off good and proper for that, there is no excuse for physical violence.

I often get the brunt of it - I 'have a go at her', speak in a patronising way, look at her wrong etc. I'm just so drained with it all, I can't help wishing it's just me and dh on this lovely holiday which cost a lot of money sad

So what's the best way to deal with this and how hard should I be? Is trying to ignore it the best course of action? And offer hugs and sympathy when needed? Or be firmer with her for attitude and nastiness towards others?

Dancergirl Sat 13-Aug-16 05:58:33

Sorry that should be MIDDLE of 3 girls.

3luckystars Sat 13-Aug-16 06:36:06

Gosh that sounds really difficult, you have more patience than a saint
I don't have teenagers yet, but if it was me I would take her off somewhere just the two of you and give her some extra reassurance. If you do something physical together, where the focus isn't on talking, she might open up a bit.

I am sorry I am no help but I hope things improve and the rest of the holiday is lovely.

SkydivingFerret Sat 13-Aug-16 06:56:03

I know it's down to hormones but really I would probably tell her she was ruining the holiday for everyone else and that it's not acceptable. She needs to buck her ideas up and I would tell her that

froubylou Sat 13-Aug-16 07:03:16

My 12 year old sometimes gets like this. I send her to her room or somewhere else for some space and a chance to calm down by herself. I acknowledge that her feelings are real no matter how trivial the problem, tell her that she is a silly sod for getting so upset but that I know she is upset and that I understand why (even if I don't particularly!). I then tell her to go wash her face and chill out for a bit. Leave her 20/30 mins and then call her down as though nothing has happened.

9/10 it works. The 1/10 it doesn't I start on the gin.

Dancergirl Sat 13-Aug-16 07:13:06

Thank you.

luckystars she does talk and open up eventually and then we get the how upset and angry she is with HERSELF for being in a mood and spoiling things. And that I just can't help with. She was really excited about this holiday but even before we left she was already worrying about the mood swings.

frouby what do you do if you can't send her to her room or if you're out etc? Meals out in restaurants seem to be a flash point at the moment. We're all sitting chatting reading the menu and she's sitting there crying and looking grumpy.

elsiemarleysellsthebarley Sat 13-Aug-16 07:15:13

No advice but sounds exactly like me on holiday age 13. I was horrible, knew it but couldn't help it somehow. I retreated into books. How they put up with me I really don't know. I do look back at the holiday fondly strangely. I grew out of it (eventually!). Good luck!

Wallywobbles Sat 13-Aug-16 07:19:56

Vitamins can really help. Try a multi B vit. Ask the chemist they normally have a v cheap generic.

Wallywobbles Sat 13-Aug-16 07:20:32

And the French would prescribe a magnesium cure!

Cashewnutts Sat 13-Aug-16 07:26:37

This could have been my mum writing this when I was 15. I wasn't angry at myself at the time though, but years later massively regretted not making the most of the holidays my parents took me on.

I absolutely despised my mum at the time, we were too similar and just rubbed each other up the wrong way. The only person who could bring me out of it was my dad, somehow he just knew what to say.
Could your DH suggest spending a bit of time with her, just them?

froubylou Sat 13-Aug-16 07:44:25

If possible I would just give her 5 mins alone to compose herself. So suggest she goes and washes her face or invent a little errand between courses like nip to the car for a packet of wet wipes or something.

I remember being the same and it's just impossible for me to compose myself in company. And I know dd is a good kid and doesn't want to feel this way. It's just hormones and emotions and being a teen that does it.

It's incredibly difficult not to get frustrated with them I know. And I am not an expert. And it will probably get worse for us as time goes on but at the moment a 'time out' works so I do my best to make sure she gets it.

And when she returns from her time out the reason she was upset Must Not Be Mentioned.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sat 13-Aug-16 07:51:59

I do what froubylou does mostly.

Hitting- I'd have taken her phone from her for 24 hours.

Mostly we just ignore stroppines as feeding into it makes it worse.

Bambamrubblesmum Sat 13-Aug-16 07:53:27

Does she do any exercise? Maybe going for a run or to the gym might burn up some of that pent up rage. Also might release some endorphins which will mellow her a bit. Worth a try?

pinkhorse Sat 13-Aug-16 07:55:55

This is how my holiday is right now except it's my dsd. She is 14. We've been here a week and everyday she won't get up until half ten earliest then spends the day saying how hungry and tired she is. She never wants to come out with us and if she does then she is stropping about whinging and eye rolling the whole time.
She hasn't once made herself a sandwich or drink let alone made anyone else one. We made her wash up yesterday and she reacted like she was getting murdered.
We've also had the selfish behaviour which I REALLY can't stand.
It's even harder when it's not your own child.
She has made this holiday pretty awful tbh.
I feel your pain.

FaithAscending Sat 13-Aug-16 07:58:09

I second magnesium, it's a good stabiliser. I felt like this as a teen. It was awful. I hated being so moody but I also felt like no-one understood me. It did settle down.

Wellywife Sat 13-Aug-16 08:11:05

The problem with holidays is that often everyone is forced together all the time without any breaks.

When DS was going through that phase he really needed space and time alone. When we rented a 2 bed cottage and let him have 1 room while DD was in with me and DH. At the inlaws abroad he found his 'secret' spot and would go there for a while when he needed escape the rest of us.

Not sure what your arrangements are but is there any way she can have some time alone, in a safe way?

mumbathing Sat 13-Aug-16 08:23:41

My mum put me on evening primrose oil when I was a teen as my mood swings were so bad. Maybe try something like that? It must be really hard for all of you. She can't help it, just like we adults can't control our pmt

Icequeen01 Sat 13-Aug-16 09:13:17

We are abroad on holiday with our 16 year old DS at the moment and I sympathise with you as we have had some of what you are experiencing.

My DS doesn't get up before 11am and is sooo miserable if he gets up earlier. Luckily for us we are on a lovely complex which has a couple of pools so my DH and I are happy to leave him to it and we go and sit by the pool reading etc until DS gets himself up and joins us around midday. He's then a lot happier with the world and doesn't start moaning he's tired. We then either go out for the day or just sit by the pool so he can be on his phone chatting to his friends or listening to his music.

Having said that, we went out to visit a beautiful city on Tuesday and my DS moaned constantly and was nearly tripping over his lip the whole time. My husband asked him to show him how to do something on his phone (to be fair DH had had us walking around in circles using the GPS for half an hour in 32c heat!) and my DS was so rude and dismissive to DH that DH just snapped! It was a bit embarrassing as DH did raise his voice and we were in a public area but it was the straw that broke the camel's back. He told DS he was absolutely sick of his behaviour, how ungrateful he was, how spoilt he was, only thought of himself etc. I think it took both my DS and me by surprise but was a wake up call to my DS that he had gone too far. He has been much better since then. I'm not implying that you or your DH has a meltdown in the street but I think the softly softly approach is great but there comes a point where they need to know enough is enough.

We have found our DS is great in the evenings and, in fact, you can't stop him talking if we are out for a meal, but during the day he is plain hard work. To be fair DS has just taken his GCSE's and his results are due out in a couple of weeks so there is some anxiety around that but generally his just a moody teenager. DH did say that perhaps next year he can stay at home (my mum lives next door so would have someone at home for him and he's not into partying) and I was beginning to agree with DH but then later that day DS asked where we are going next year and there is no way I would leave him behind if he wanted to come - moods or no moods smile

I do hope you manage to enjoy the rest of your holiday. Rest assured you are not alone and lots of us are feeling your pain.

Peebles1 Sat 13-Aug-16 09:54:46

Yep, been there with DD. Could ruin an entire holiday or day trip out to some wonderful city. To be fair, walking round 'wonderful cities' in the searing heat is incredibly boring for teenagers. The constant moan from our three was 'do we have to walk far?' So we were kind of upfront and acknowledged their pain before we went: we really want to go see this famous city. It will be hot. There will be walking. It'll be a bit boring. But we think you'll enjoy (the ice cream shop .... The castle dungeons ... The nice restaurant ..... Whatever you can find for them to get something out of it). And tomorrow we'll just chill etc. So we kind of pre-empted the moaning and moods which helped a bit. We also made sure we only did two or three 'city visit' days, as they were really for us, not them.

DD was the worst at your DD's age. So we did the above, plus didn't make huge demands - if she wanted to spend the whole time at the restaurant with her face in her phone, fine. If she wanted nothing but 'fries', fine. Her holiday too. One hol she spent a lot of time in her room on her phone. Fine, so what, she's happy, we're happy, who cares that she doesn't go out in the sun much? When out (like your restaurant scenario) I prob did the same as you - bollocked her when really necessary, ignored her if she was driving me mad, remained jolly with the rest of the family, tried to engage her after 5 mins or so of 'leaving her be'

Also spent a day just me and her - they worked very well.

Good luck - the good news is they improve eventually smile

User545454 Sat 13-Aug-16 10:50:03

DD is the same the only thing that seems to bring her any joy or enthusiasm is being taken shopping!

Mittensonastring Sat 13-Aug-16 10:59:25

DS is luckily getting through teen years okayish but we always let him have his own space. So one night we went to the pub near the hotel and left him chatting to his mates on Skype, he is 15. I need my own space as does DH so we have always acknowledged this.

I went down for breakfast half an hour before everyone else and just drank tea and read the paper while I waited. I think chucking family together 24/7 is a recipe for disaster.

Fuckingmoles Sat 13-Aug-16 11:02:58

Also been here - DD was a moody nightmare between the ages of 11-15. She ruined many days out and holidays with sulking, moaning and tantrums. Removing privileges and possessions made absolutely no difference, shouting and being exasperated made no difference, I eventually learnt to minimise my engagement in her sulks - "It's boring" "That's a shame" turn away and continue with DS (thankfully a much easier going child) and repeat ad nauseum.

Hold on to the fact that it does pass. She is now delightful (20' years) and we have been on several city breaks together enjoying many of the things she declared "boring".

Dancergirl Sat 13-Aug-16 19:00:34

Thank you all so much, so good to hear I'm not alone.

I feel guilty for not liking her at the moment and I need a bit of space. We're staying in various hotels, the girls are all in one room which is adding to the tension I suppose.

Last night after she'd calmed down from the latest moody bout, she came into me and dh's room. Feel bad that I didn't really engage with her but I was so drained by that point I just wanted to sit with dh in silence. She skulked off eventually. Do I need to be available to her just when she wants it??

Fuckingmoles Sat 13-Aug-16 19:42:23

Do I need to be available to her just when she wants it??

I think you need to do whatever it takes to stay sane and I don't think it will do any harm for her to know that you have been upset by her behaviour.

DD and I were talking about her teenage years recently and she doesn't think I could've done anything different. She just remembers being really angry/unhappy a lot of the time - there was no one thing and no particular reason. She really was incredibly difficult to live with and made life very trying - it sounds as if your DD is the same.


JinkxMonsoon Sat 13-Aug-16 19:48:45

Disclaimer: my kids are not teens, but I really don't think there's any harm in letting her know that you're sick of her behaviour and how it's ruining an expensive family holiday. It sounds like, generally, you're very sympathetic and permissive when it comes to her mood swings (and I'm not criticising you for that!) but maybe it's worth letting her know when she's crossed A Line?

Crying at the table in a restaurant sounds very extreme by the way. What triggers the tears? Do you think moodiness is turning into a mental health issue?

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