This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
13 year old hates her living conditions.(17 Posts)
Hello, first post.
I must add, I'm posting for the benefit of one of my own parents, about my sister.
She's 13, lives with her mum. She's the youngest of 3 to my dad and youngest of 4 for her mum, has no siblings with less than a 9 year age gap. She is rude, badly behaved, her attitude is appalling. My dad never did the teen parenting thing as he wasn't around when I was her age.
She wants for nothing yet is claiming depression, she is currently on report at school for swearing at a nun, but is confiding in one teacher who is in touch with my dad over the phone.
Her sister has recently moved back home with her boyfriend and 3 children so her living conditions are cramped to say the least. The kids go into her room and take her things and break them and recently caused her to burn herself on the cooker which resulted in her swearing and being threatened by sisters bf.
She wants to live with dad but he lives 3 hours ago and I doubt he could cope with her full time. He is going to bring her to him for 3 weeks over the school holidays. She doesn't like sharing dad's attention - if he brings her to my house she is sullen and unresponsive which drives me insane.
Being born in 2003 my dad doesn't have parental responsibility despite being on her birth certificate but seems prepared to go to court to move her in with him.
Advice?! I'm sick of trying to help my dad parent when I only have a weekend bonus child!
Oh god poor her. Can't think of anything worse at 13 than kids breaking into your private space and trashing it! How does that equate to "wanting for nothing"? She wants her own space, not being shunted to the side. She may well be depressed. How is she meant to do well at school with all of that going on?
She needs a lock on her door to keep the others out - knowing every second you are not actively guarding your limited possessions could be a second where they are being taken or destroyed must be incredibly upsetting, no wonder shes depressed!
Wanting for nothing in the sense that she wants a new phone, my dad gets her one. He drives 3 hours up to take her to football training twice a week. He sends her Mam money each month for clothes as well as paying for her school uniform. She complained she never did anything with her parents together - my dad booked a holiday abroad for the 3 of them, after which she then proceeded to complain about her mother being invited out with her and my dad (and my dad and his xp don't always get on well). He sends at least £50 a month via bank transfer for her to go out with her friends.
The depressed remarks came about before the arrival of the extra family back at home - it was just her and her mum prior to that as all her siblings on that side had moved out.
Sorry but saying "her whole life has changed, shes lost her own space and her private time with her mum, she doesnt get private time with her dad either, her sisters bf threatened her, all her stuff gets destroyed, but hey - her mum gets £50 for her and she gets a phone" doesnt make me feel any less sad for her.
Shes 11 and is no-ones priority, and it doesnt even sound like home is somewhere she can feel safe.
I'm not coming across right with this she was acting horribly before the unsettling living arrangements but it just seems whatever is being done to try rectify one problem - like spending time with both parents - is clearly not right. She is extremely rude to her mother and when my dad is contacted to deal with her she takes no notice. When he has her during holidays or weekends she has always resented sharing his time and attention, from being about 8. At my other sisters 18th she made a massive fuss because she wasn't centre of attention. The behaviour has escalated since the move, but it was really bad prior to this. She is extremely aggressive while playing football, has been booked numerous times for fighting on the pitch and lashes out at goalposts/walls etc when not happy with her performance. she can be aggressive towards her mother (displayed prior to this) and has made it clear she's 'not scared' of either parent. But I honestly can't see the benefit of moving her 3 hours away (even if her mother would agree which I highly doubt she would) because she would still have her anger problems and other issues (such as her weight and puberty in general) that my dad would be ill equipped to deal with.
Home life aside - any tips on how they can deal with her attitude, anger and lack of respect?
No, because it still sounds to me like the source of most if not all of her rage, frustration and anger is her home life. You even say you contact her dad "to deal with her" from 3 hours away. She is going through puberty and has "weight issues" which is a rubbish place for her to be even under great circumstances.
What you are saying is "this little girl is acting out because shes desperately unhappy with her home life, how can I make her be miserable in silence and just be quiet?"
I didn't contact her dad - her mother phones our dad to 'deal with her' - in turn my dad then phones me to vent about it and I'm all out of suggestions or anything else to say to him about it. I'm not particularly close to her - I've refused point blank on numerous occasions to talk to her because why would she open up to an older sister she has next to no relationship with. I've offered to have her come stay with me for a bit peace and I live close to some of her friends but she's never taken up on the offer.
I still have no idea why her older sister, the sisters boyfriend and 3 kids have moved in with her and her mum. She has never cared much for her niece and nephew (although she is smitten with the 3rd child). They have been known to expect my dad to babysit the nephew whilst my sister is playing football, which my dad watches her do. As she dislikes the nephew the most, I appreciate why she doesn't like him being in tow (I also find it really cheeky as my dad is never asked to look after him, they just leave him with my sister and go out so his options are take him or leave an 8 year old home alone!)
She complained she never did anything with her parents together - my dad booked a holiday abroad for the 3 of them,
Well none of you sound as if you have much empathy or understanding at all. When she was 'complaining' about not having her parents do anything together (as it normal with separated parents) -she wasn't actually saying 'please let's all do something together' - she was actually just expressing her unhappiness that her parents aren't together, and probably just wanted someone to acknowledge her feelings, not to provide her with an obviously false sense of family.
FFS how can none of you see that?
I can appreciate she's unhappy about it but they've been separated since she was 4, it wasn't a particularly good split and they get on a lot better now they aren't together. She does blame them being separated for a lot of her problems, I just find it difficult to justify her behaviour with that excuse as our dad and my mum split up I was 7 and my behaviour didn't even come close to her's.
So she tried to talk to you, and you turned her down. Wonder why she doesnt want to stay at your house?
The one bit of attention she gets from dad (watching football) is now being taken over by her 8yr old cousin, but you have no idea why she doesnt like him or why she acts out aggressively when shes playing football to try and get some attention back.
Im beginning to hope this is a troll post, that poor girl.
She wants for nothing yet is claiming depression
Er - that's not how depression works. All the money and new phones in the world won't cure this poor child if she's depressed. She sounds as if she's yo-yoing between being given too much in terms of pocket money, phones etc yet being given nowhere NEAR enough safe space, unconditional love, and above all, a secure and stable environment.
I'm sorry your parents split up too but just because you've coped doesn't mean your sister can. All the lashing out, aggression, rudeness etc. sounds like a very very troubled child with no security in her life and boundaries that keep on changing.
She must feel as if NOBODY really wants her or is interested enough to get to the bottom of how she's feeling. She needs stability and boundaries, and she sounds as if she needs counselling. Plus respite from having no space of her own and nowhere that's really hers.
Poor child. Has anyone done any research to find out how she can be referred to counselling?
She didn't want to talk to me - I was asked many times prior to talk to her and tried - she didn't want to and instead of pushing her to keep our dad happy I refused - to him. If she wanted to talk to me at any point she knows she can, but I refuse to force her on a parents behalf.
In regards to counselling the doctor was referring her - but as far as I know she said she wasn't going to talk to them but is still in referral process.
Does she have her own room? The other children should not be allowed in there.
Our house isn't big enough. My teen has to share with her sister. As a compromise the teen has use of my bedroom up until I go to bed. All of her things are stored in my room. Her sister is not allowed in my room.
It means I sometimes end up crouched in a corner out of view of her Facetime cam to get changed, but otherwise it works out fine. I'm not a teenager, I sleep in my room. I don't lounge on my bed screeching into my iphone for six hours a day.
The thought of counselling can be daunting but she needs reassurance that (a) what she says will go no further, (b) she's not wasting anyone's time as the Counsellor is just doing her job and is paid to sit there. All this anger and "attitude" sounds as if it needs an outlet and talking to someone qualified might be just what she needs.
Someone - your Mum, maybe - needs to sit her down somewhere quiet and say "I can see you're angry and very unhappy. I'm really sad that you're feeling so awful and we need to get you some help for these feelings. I am going to try to get you some counselling and you WILL go, even if you don't speak for the entire session, because I don't want you to feel this unhappy and I'm sure deep down, you don't like feeling like this." Firm but kind.
The second thing that needs to happen is that the little children must NOT be allowed to intrude in her room and mess with her things. However your Mum can manage it, this needs to stop. It's hugely unfair and it's bloody infuriating.
You seem to have an awful lot of tolerance for your dad (an adult who chose to have children) backing out of any active parenting and not being able to deal with his own child full time.
But very little tolerance for a young girl who appears sulky when living under disruptive circumstances and quite possibly suffering from depression.