Dd is really getting me down(8 Posts)
13 year old previously loving kind funny and a pleasure to be around. Since starting high school she has had a personality transplant!
There are issues at school and CAMHS are involved but things seem to be getting worse not better.
She hardly speaks to me and when she does she is just plain rude! She spends all her time in her room on her phone to her friends. Today she has spoken to me 3 times!
She won't let me hug her and will push me away and doesn't want to do anything where it is just me and her. I'm a single mum and dad no longer in picture at all - her decision.
I just want my happy nice child back and this rude bratty person that replaced her to go away
I think you need to distinguish between behaviour that is actually rude and behaviour that is simply a sign that she is growing up.
Rude language, or rude demands isn't something you should put up with- clamp down on that calmly and firmly. Likewise refusal to do as she is told or failing to stick to curfews etc. And any disparaging language in general.
Needing her own space otoh is normal for her age, it's a normal part of gaining independence. For many teens, this does take the shape of skulking up in their rooms (like a butterfly larva in its cocoon as Libby Purves puts it) and wanting to spend more time with friends than parents. It is not bad behaviour, though it may be unfortunate as far as you are concerned.
Again, not wanting hugs isn't really about manners: it's something people shouldn't feel obliged to give unless they really want to. My 16yo might pat me on the shoulder if he feels I am unwell or worried about something, but he hasn't really hugged me, except at New Year, for years. We still have an excellent relationship. (not sure he has spoken to me more than 3 times today though)
This is a time when you really need to make it clear to her that she is not responsible for your future happiness, that it is ok for her to grow up and eventually to leave you, because you have a rich and fulfilling life which does not depend entirely on her. So make sure you do: this is a time to cultivate hobbies and take an interest in the wider world.
Show her that you enjoy her company, but that you also have other sources of enjoyment. And accept that you will never get your happy nice child back- but with a bit of luck you will get a lovely and thoughtful young woman instead.
I agree with pp.
I am also a single parent to one DD. The book linked above explains that at this age they need to push you away and they don't always know how to do it politely. I think if it's just been the two of you you're so much closer and there's further to push.
Also it is so much harder if her pushing you away leaves you totally alone. You don't say if you have other kids but I don't and I've had to go through a bit of a grieving process as DD has stopped being my constant companion.
It's been hard not to let her see that, but I've really tried.
She's 15 now and it is a bit better than it was at 13. I think that was the worst.
What's working for us is finding some common ground. For us it's cake! Most weekends now we'll go out for lunch. She will always chat to me if I'm buying her cake at the time! It might only be an hour of conversation but it's enough to keep up to date with what's going on in her life.
TheDonald is spot on about common ground. For ds and me it has been watching Match of the Day. Particularly good because it doesn't require him to speak if he doesn't want to: we can end up in a companionable silence. And that ime is precisely when teenagers do start telling you things.
Remind her at 13 having a phone is a privilege and you expect manners and respect or her phone will be taken away.
Does she eat at the table as a family?
Phones are banned at our meal times. I have 4x teens and a fab relationship with all of them. But you are the adult and can regain control as you must. .
I have one of these and feel your pain!
I have also read the book which is excellent and spot on, but it is still hard to take when they change so much in such a short space of time.
Cory - I love your advice. I always know when you post that it will be a measured and informative viewpoint. You always make complete sense to me and you sound like such a lovely mum
not sure I am, but we've been through some tough times and in a way that helps you to see the wood: so much of what I thought was important has turned out not important at all, and tiny things that seemed irritating at the time turned out to be enormously precious when I thought I might lose them...
Would also like to echo Donald's experience (again!) about it getting better. I think normal healthy teens who worry a lot about growing up are reassured when they reach an age of more independence and find they can actually do it and it's ok- and then they become a whole lot more pleasant. Certainly happened with ds.
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