How to respond to 16 year old DD sudden aggressive outburst(11 Posts)
I'm looking for advice on how to respond to some bad behaviour that just happened. Feel hurt & out of my depth at the moment but would like to get it right. DD is 16 year 11. She's been a bit over reactive over the last week or so. I put it down to last week of half term, periods, realisation of gcse pressure & have taken a low key approach to things like being late in the morning then screaming at everyone else, hitting out briefly at her sister but not really making contact (younger sister can wind her up on purpose & be mean back). Generally they are both well behaved & caring. Tonight she had a go at her sister & then shouted at me, I can't even remember what about now. So I told her to leave the room. She wouldn't & carried on. So I took her phone which was probably the wrong thing to do but she wasn't listening. She got really confrontational asking for it back. I didn't feel able to back down so stuck to you have to stop shouting bullying if you want it back. And then when she went a bit further (face right in mine) I said right you've lost it for half an hour, go and calm down. She hit my forearm & kicked my shins 3 or 4 times with very good heavy clarks shoes which have cut & bruised my skin. To be fair I don't think she will have realised how much that hurt. Somewhere in all that, she left the room amid me saying she's lost the phone for the night. Now I don't know what to do. I'm not very good at conflict and tend to run discipline along the lines of people choosing to do what they're supposed to (which they mostly do). I assume I need to stick to the no phone tonight. I assume if I try to talk to her she'll get angry again. & usually she points out the (rare) times I have lost it and screamed at her so it's hard to keep the high moral ground.
So sorry this is so long, and thank you if you've got this far! Any helpful suggestions/thoughts on how to handle from here appreciated.
Honestly. I'd say to her very very quietly 'I realise you are stressed with GCSEs, and being stroppy comes with the territory, but remember I love you with every ounce of me. However if you ever ever physically assault me again I will be calling the police.'
Then walk away.
Hitting is not ok, no matter how stressed she is or whether she is hormonal, hitting you is not something that can simply be forgotten. Yes you have to keep the phone tonight. Let her calm down and then have a talk with her, point out violence is not acceptable, show her the results, ask for an apology then punish her to demonstrate that there are consequences to such actions. Remember screaming at someone is not nice but actual hitting and kicking is a whole other level. If she is generally well behaved you probably already knows she has overstepped the mark and will accept any punishment.
To be fair I don't think she will have realised how much that hurt
She was kicking you! Do not minimise this. She has to know what she did was wrong and that you have clear boundaries. Letting her off in any way will not help her.
No phone tonight even if she apologises. It really is important she knows she has gone too far.
OP - hitting you is REALLY not ok. Please don't make excuses for her so that you can get out of the hard parenting work of having to discipline her. She decided to hit you and knew she hurt you -- she is 16, not 6. She knew.
If my own DD16 were to lay a hand on me, she'd lose more than one single night of phone privilege! I'd take away her phone and ground her for 2 weeks -- IF I am satisfied that she regrets her behavior. To satisfy me, I'd need to see a sincere apology letter stating that she hit her mother and explaining why she did it and why it is wrong. She may do this as soon as tonight and I may forgive her right away. And I will let her know that I forgave her by kissing and hugging her. I don't believe in "cold wars" with my DCs. But the punishment stands. The punishment ALWAYS stands.
I think you have to anticipate that she'll try and muddy the waters and accuse you of all sorts. You must not rise to this or answer in any way. Do not say a word in response to accusations from her.
State your position with a low, calm voice and then walk away
TBH, I really like what titchy suggests. I think it's like parenting toddlers in a way - there may be many things you might decide to say, but whatever it is (and I do not think mentioning the police is OTT) you have to believe it.
Don't talk to her about this until you're feeling strong in what you want to say, otherwise it will be half-arsed
Tell her she is beautiful and you love her unconditionally BUT you were really upset and hurt by her behaviour. Talk to her about how to manage her frustration and anger when it overwhelms her. Then point out you'll take her phone away for a month if she considers assaulting you again.
Thank you for the thoughts all. It did help me make sure I didn't give in over the phone that night although she was horrible (but didn't hit again). It upsets me to say but she doesn't seem overly bothered though now a few days later (despite massive bruises on my leg) and slapped me on my arm last night (which meant I took the phone off her again, as I had made that the rule, any physicality & she loses the phone for the night). It was an impulsive quick slap but I'm bothered enough that I stuck to it. She's still been quite bullying verbally & in behaviour all week. Complaining over and over that she's bored & has done nothing all week because of revising but doesn't want me to help her arrange anything nice (and she hasn't actually done more than maybe 3 hours of revising, mostly its been complaining about it). All this at top volume & right in my face, and then off slamming doors repeatedly. I took this week off but am looking forward to being back at work. My plan is to stick to the no physicality or phone rule however small the thing, to not react to the loud complaints and to make it clear whether she revises or not is her decision though I will help her if she wants to. I feel sad that she's reacting like this too. Like my daughter is being a bully. Sorry for the long post again. I wouldn't be able to talk to any friends because I'd be too embarassed.
You're doing the right thing in sticking to your guns. But if this is out of. Character then when she is calm I think you need to have a chat with her and find out what is at the root of this. Is she stressed, worried, upset about something?
I was like you daughter when I was 16 I'm sorry to say. I cringe to think about it now. At the time nothing would have made me act better, I was angry at the world and my mum was an easy target.
Is her dad around? Does she have a boyfriend or girlfriend?
I hope it gets better for you. She will come out of it sooner or later.
Join the discussion
Please login first.