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Dd becoming increasingly aggressive to me - how do I deal?

(15 Posts)
greenberet Fri 04-Aug-17 23:09:13

I have posted before about the ongoing difficulties I am having with twin 16 year olds after going through an extremely acrimonious divorce where the financial outcome means they have had to leave their school and we have to move from the family home the start of next year.

My Dd is extremely strong willed and as a result her behaviour can be particularly challenging when she is required to do something she does not want to do.

I am getting in constant battles with her as she believes as she is now 16 she can do as she likes which means being out with either boyfriend or friends all the time including sleepovers and only coming home when she wants. The only time she will communicate is when she wants something. I have just had her slap me several times and tell me to after I took her phone away. Again not the first time.

her father ignores any email I send him when I am looking for support and if anything antagonises the relationship between her and me by telling me to give her her phone back ( he pays for it) or agreeing that she can stay at his when I have tried to ground her. Their relationship is generally not good -Dd has refused to meet OW and her kids since his affair ( 3 years ago ) even though DS has and this in itself incurs difficulties.

The latest argument is about a holiday. Ds is away with the x and Ow for a week followed by a week at x,s home with them. Dd is now not seeing her father for 3 weeks when the contact time is normally every Tuesday and every other weekend as she refuses to spend time with OW. This is not the first time something like this has happened. Dd did not get to see her father over Christmas as OW and her kids were with him and the same incurred last summer.

This also impacts on me. I have managed to get a last minute holiday cottage and have said she can come with me and my BF - whom she knows- and her BF can come too. I have said she can do as she likes whilst there - I am not expecting her to come around with me all the time. She has refused saying she doesn't want to come but will stay at home on her own instead. I have told her this is not an option either she comes on her own or with her BF or she can go with her father which I know is unfair on her but I do not know what else to do. There is no one else I can ask to "mind" her!

This results in a major tantrum with the I can do what I want I am now 16 and results in the aggressive behaviour to me when I take her phone away.

So how do i deal with this. I either backdown on letting her stay home alone, cancel the holiday (which I could do with) and then have to get the x to agree to have both kids another time so I can go away - he has so far ignored my emails when I said he needs to arrange this Or somehow I "force" her to come away which I can't see how this can happen without escalating more.

I am struggling to know how to deal with this. My MH has not been good I have just had 6 weeks of counselling to try and help me move forward from where I'm at but this has been taken up with parenting issues. I know a lot of the behaviour can be put down to normal teenager or the divorce but I can't let this go oN.

They are both having to deal with huge changes as a result of their father - I am trying to keep it altogether but I am also having to face the possibility of moving completely out of the area in order to secure my financial future - which the courts failed to do! - and the implication of this is that the kids may have to live with their DF full time to go to their choice of college.

I am considering relate family therapy even though it is unlikely the kids will agree to come - but how do I deal with this latest issue - I feel I have to cancel the holiday.

Thanks for any advice

OP’s posts: |
Onlythehorses Fri 04-Aug-17 23:11:40

Poor, poor you.

I woukd back down to be honest. To an extent she is right and she is 16.

Have your holiday. Just don't burn bridges.

Wormulonian Sat 05-Aug-17 13:31:36

I would stop trying to sanction her - taking away her phone etc it is just escalating things and antagonising her. Take big deep breaths and remain calm and measured when discussing the situation - do not be provoked. I know this takes a monumental strength when you are totally depleted but it does usually calm things IME.

I would have a dinner with just her or a walk and praise how she has coped with the situation (in any way she has). Tell her you appreciate how bloody awful the situation has been for her and that you are finding it hard too. Ask her how you can help e.g. - arrange family therapy, tlk to her school/college counsellor. Explain how you would love her to come on holiday with you. If she still won't come then discuss what worries you about leaving her at home - what are your objections - are there ways to compromise? e.g. could she stay at a friend's house, have a friend to stay, could she stay with her BF etc? Make her feel you are listening to her and treating her with respect like an adult. Be calm and most importantly consistent - this worked for me when my teen DD was having a hard time. It was very hard at times.
Put agreed boundaries/rules in place with regard to going out and checking in with you.

Go on your holiday and try to unwind. You and your DC have been through a shitstorm. Your DD just does not know how to cope with her emotions and anger about what has happened. Is your EX not bothered that she won't see him? If so, that must be a huge blow for your DD, Good luck.

TwitterQueen1 Sat 05-Aug-17 13:41:18

We can all see that you're doing your very best OP, under very difficult circumstances. I agree with ^PP; at 16 I don't believe you should be taking her phone away or grounding her. She wants to be an adult - you need to pave the way. It will actually make things easier for you.

greenberet Sat 05-Aug-17 17:05:24

Thanks for the replies ladies - right now I haven't got the energy to deal with this - I have tried to talk to DD she just refused - I wrote it all down instead and asked her to read it - she also refused. She phoned the X to ask if she could stay at his whilst he was away -he said no - no surprise there!

I tell her often I am sorry we are in this situation and that everything I have done so far has been about trying to get the best for her & her bro. Ultimately I think they think I wasted my insurance money going to court. I should have just given in. The X is very good at hoodwinking them- he now tells them he can't afford school fees as he is having to get two mortgages for two houses - one here where they are and one in Sheffield where OW and her kids are! He tells them I am better off as i got cash to buy a house - he forgets to tell them he also got cash to clear the debt he mounted up purely to spite the amount I got.

I believe I am paving the way for them to be adults - I have allowed them both to go to festivals this year, I have given them extra money so they would have a good time - they both stay at friends homes and have friends here - this is not the first time my Dd has refused to come on holiday or for a weekend and previously she has stayed at friends/ Bf. She seems quite happy to go away with friends/BF parents.

The X is not bothered about not seeing her - he did this last summer and at Christmas put OW above her - yes I agree huge blow to Dd - but it is his way of punishing her when she does not do what he wants. He then just waits for it all to kick off with me and Dd goes back to him.
I witnessed this exact pattern of behaviour with his DSis who would play one parent off against the other using the grandchildren as emotional blackmail.

I do not want to ground DD I take away her phone as a last resort after she has screamed and sworn at me - I do not know what else to do. When everything goes her way it is calm as soon as I say no to something I get the torrent of abuse. I am trying to teach her to stand up for herself I do not want her to be in an abusive marriage as I was but there is no compromise with her - I am concerned she is developing patterns of behaviour just like her father who has not admitted any fault in the breakdown of the marriage - instead my mental health has been used - I am the one who is unreasonable and unhinged - I suffer with depression - a recognised symptom of an abusive relationship.
I am writing all this down as I have all the way through this - if coercive control ever becomes far more recognised this is my story - if my kids go on to suffer from MH issues too this is their backup. I doubt I will be going on holiday next week - I haven't got the energy to get out of bed now - I am so sick and tired of having to deal with this shit. I should be free of him. I am divorced- the kids are 16 but somehow he still manages to exert control over me by refusing to pay what he should for child maintenance and so I am facing a battle with CMS.

I need to get far away from him- I need to teach the kids the difference between a controlling and abusive relationship and a healthy respectful one but it would be far easier to say you know what I don't care anymore - you do what you want - I'll do what I want - but what sort of example is this - in the meantime it's killing me - if my breast cancer comes back it may well succeed!

OP’s posts: |
greenberet Sat 05-Aug-17 17:16:34

I meant to say my kids are good kids -they have had to deal with far too much - I know they are extremely angry and dealing with huge pain - I get all this. They showed great resolve in dealing with their GCSEs and I hope they get the grades they deserve. I feel like I have been battered and bruised - I am trying to take the "punches" so they don't have to but they also need to know the truth. They want to be treated like adults but they have not yet got the emotional maturity of an adult as they do not want to discuss anything they do not like.

It is not the situation/ issues that are causing the problem it is the refusal to discuss anything with me. Just like the X who thinks things are best dealt with by sweeping them under the carpet. I am trying to include them in the big decisions but really they don't want to know. This is why I will not let my Dd stay home alone - despite her protests that she is old enough - if anything unexpected happened I am not convinced she will be able to deal with it!

OP’s posts: |
Gooseberrycrumble4 Sat 05-Aug-17 17:26:40

The first thing you need to do is bond with your DD and let her know all the things she's doing right. Try and spend some time together watching a film or doing an activity together. Build up a strong positive appreciative rapport before chatting about unsettling stuff. Be empathic to her, be kind but don't tolerate slapping. Warm her that if it happens again you'll need to ask the police/school to talk to her.

Gooseberrycrumble4 Sat 05-Aug-17 17:28:15

Also do your children have any responsibilities? Cooking, cleaning, part time work.

Gooseberrycrumble4 Sat 05-Aug-17 17:28:56

Have you considered going away just you and her? Doing something she would like to do?

greenberet Sat 05-Aug-17 18:42:39

Hi goose thanks for reply - yes they do have household jobs to do - these have been in place for about a year now but exams took over and along with everything else going on I was picking up the slack. Since holidays I have tried to enforce these more but it's hit and miss and to be honest I've noticed they only do them when they need or want something from me. The hassle of trying to get them to just do them without having to be reminded is more effort than me doing the jobs,

Right now I don't particularly like my Dd and I don't think she likes me either - she just wants to be out all the time with friends. I thought this holiday would be a good opportunity - but she point blank refuses. I seem to be getting the blame for messing up her life just as I messed up the X,s.

The rudeness to me has been witnessed - it makes me feel like a complete failure when all I want is the best for my kids. My depression is kicking in again - I have just finished 6 weeks of counselling that kept me afloat. The only way I could see any bonding is if I let the DD do exactly as she wants and I stump up the money for it all too. I thought the holidays may have been a bit more relaxed with the pressure of exams of but I am constantly lurching from one episode to another.

I am drained _ I haven't got the energy to care for myself right now never mind what is needed to show my Dd some kindness

OP’s posts: |
BigSandyBalls2015 Sun 06-Aug-17 11:30:06

Sounds very difficult. I can understand the moods and the verbal, and the wanting to be out with friends all the time but the slapping is a whole new level. 16 is a shitty age (I also have 16 year old twins).
They want to be treated as adults but they're actually quite immature, I find myself wishing the next couple of years away, wanting them to grow up a bit.

greenberet Sun 06-Aug-17 12:27:23

it gets worse - ive been sitting at the laptop and the printer started working - DD is printing off photos - think shes doing some scrapbook for BF - there are pics of him smoking weed - and there are photos with sexual comments - I've tried asking her several times without embarrassing her whether they are sexually active - she says no - even though they have lots of sleepovers together - i've just told her ive seen the photos and the weed and she just laughed. - i've told her i'm not cross with her - i just want her to talk to me - i want her to be safe - i'm not naive i know what 16 year olds do - the last thing i want is the relationship I had with my mother where i could not discuss anything. she's just asked me am i making her go on holiday with me - ive told her i do not want to have to make her - she said she can spend the week at various friends houses instead - i really dont know what to do here - i need a break without her - the atmosphere is hell - but i also don't want her thinking i've given in. I'm trying to find the thread where the boy was stealing money from his mum - she sounds like she is facing similar issues to me. the question is do i tell the X this latest part - he may well still be reading my posts on here anyway as did this all the way through the divorce process and then used them against me

OP’s posts: |
Wormulonian Mon 07-Aug-17 16:24:06

greenberet how awful for you. You really deserve a break. It sounds like you are doing all the right things. Do you know the parents of your DD's friends? Could you verify that they would let her stay with them and check in with you if she goes Awol? Could you put rules in place - she has to Skype you every evening between 9-11pm to verify where she is etc - something like that? It wouldn't be backing down as she would have responsibilities to you?

Blanketdog Tue 08-Aug-17 09:22:39

Greenberet you need to take a breath! Your thinking is very busy!

I do not want to ground DD I take away her phone as a last resort after she has screamed and sworn at me - I do not know what else to do. You need to ignore and walk away. DO NOT respond!
Your dd is an angry teen, desperate to grow up, in need of stability, in need of love, in need of independence - she a big ball of confused hormones. You sound like you are still hurting from the divorce too...but your dd needs you to take the fire out of your relationship - change your 50%, stop punishing her, start listening to her needs, she's trying to become an adult but she's still a child and she still needs you to be there for her.
I wouldn't force her to go on holiday with you, I think you should have discussed holiday options with her before making the booking.

PinkCrystal Sat 12-Aug-17 12:17:27

I disagree that you shouldn't take her phone. If you don't teach her consequences who Will? I know how bad it can be as my DD was like this but maybe a bit worse. She moved out at 18. Is there a friend she can stay with for a week? Or relative? Some kids seem to take their anger out on us. But we shouldn't have to put up with violence or abuse. Having a hard time is not a justification. Phones etc are a priveledge not a right.

I have had 3 teens since and all easier luckily. Hope things get easier soon.

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