Help re teenage years....(27 Posts)
I would welcome any advice. My daughter who is nearly 14 has tantrums every single weekend (it could be both days). She screams as loudly as she possibly can, shouts, pushes me around, hits at me, kicks out. She has two younger sisters who are scared when it starts and often cry that she is ruining their lives. We have tried all sorts of punishments to no avail. She will never go to her room. If we confiscate anything she just shrugs and says she doesn't care. When she's lashing out I have tried to restrain her (holding her arms down when she's hitting me) and she screams at the top of her lungs that I'm hurting her. This wouldn't be so bad and I would ignore it except we live in a flat. I am always mortified meeting the neighbours. I'm actually surprised that no one has called the police. Yesterday it went on for hours, I tried to ignore her screaming at me. She baracaded me into the kitchen and wouldn't let me out. She was shouting that she wanted me to listen to her. When i tried to listen I was doing it wrong. I wasn't allowed to speak, I wasn't allowed to stay silent, I wasn't allowed too say that as she said it made her more angry. It usually starts with nothing, I might ask her to empty the dishwasher/do homework/get dressed etc She's a supper good student, very well behaved in class. The teachers love her and are always saying what a great student she is. She has lovely friends. At home she shouts at her little sisters and tells me to shut up or she hates me everyday. She even tries to physically push her dad around. She's very tall and strong and can do a lot of damage. The plaster from around her door is falling off as she slams it all the time.I am at a loss as I really do not know what to do anymore. She has always had tantrums. I don't know if it's normal teenage behaviour. I am really struggling to like her at the moment and that is devastating to me. I feel like an utter failure. Even as a younger child she would never go to her room sit in time out etc whereas her sisters do and thats the end of it we just get on as normal afterwards.. My daughter will even not let me to take a time out in my bedroom as she will follow me around relentlessly screaming at the top of her voice. She always has to get the final say. We are also unable to control the amount of time she is online. We have to thread on egg shells to avoid a massive tantrum. Is it too late to get respect?
As someone told me recently - no condition is permanent! Teenagers are awful - best ignored imo - then amazingly - they turn out ok!
This is absolutely not normal behaviour - she needs help. You all do. I would start by heading to the GP.
This isn't normal. Some kids can hold it together at school though and then explode at home.
I would avoid restraining her. You may end up getting hurt. Have you spoken to the school? Can they offer insight or support?
I had the same as you with DC2 - only he wasn’t loved by the teachers and got expelled from school (reason I joined mumsnet as was at my wits end!). Still remember hanging on to being told by one mumsnetter that their child was lovely by 20 - and it has proved true for us!
I read a lot of stuff - one book I recall ‘lost at school’ was good for us - but there are others. What is normal? Don’t beat yourself up and ignore the self-righteous!
One thing you could do is change the password so internet is in your control - she CAN behave better if she is good at school
The consequences of not being allowed to go online might be a start
Can you spend time on your own with her, she is becoming the panto villain in your family, she needs a way out of that
Baracading you in your kitchen is not normal.
It sounds like you are trying the right thing. Ie. Consequences due to bad behaviour, but they are not working.
Do you think something is happening at school, and she is releasing her emotions at home? Bullying? Is she depressed or anxious, and again, her emotions are coming out?
Teenage tantrums are perfectly normal, but her levelof behaviour sounds extreme. No one should live in fear.
Incidentally, regarding the online situation, can’t you just turn off the WiFi?
Thank you for all your responses. I really don't think there is an issue at school. DD has always been strong willed and that's just worse now because of her size.She barricaded me into the kitchen by not locking the door but rather by sheer physical force of pushing me back. We have thought about talking with the GP but dd says that she'll doctor how mean we are to her and that they won't believe us.Dh is afraid of this too or that they;ll want to give her medication Talking to school is a no as dd has threatened not go anymore if we do tell as it's the only place she enjoys to be. DD has passcodes for her phone and laptop which we cannot access. I have at least now taken her phone but it's awkward as I need to be able to contact her during the day. Sometimes when we confiscate the phone we then give it back to her for school until she's home again, but when she's behaving well we just let her continue having the phone as to take it again could start another tantrum. I will definitely consider turning off the wifi in the evening, I never thought of that. I am also going to change the passcode to Netflix. I really think the idea of spending time with her is really important. I struggle with all of them looking for constant attention. At the moment I find it hard to want to spend time alone with dd1 as she is an absolute joy when we do something together but the next day she could throw it all in my face and say the nastiest things to me because of something she's not happy with. I hope and pray this condition will indeed not last and hope with every fibre of my being that my two other children's teens won't be quite as bad.
It really won’t last! Your other DC will have teenage issues I expect - but these too will pass! Tough at the time though.
She is the child and you are the adult. You don’t have to live like this.
She has some serious anger issues. Next time she uses physical force against you, you call the police. You go to the GP regardless of her absurd threats. You needn’t be afraid of her.
You are NOT a failure.
Sorry but it is not being self-righteous to tell the OP that it is not normal teenage behaviour to be violent to your parents and siblings and tantrum and control the household as the OP described. It might happen in a lot of houses but that doesn't make it normal for a teenager.
Yeah, the kid might be lovely at 20 - but her siblings might not if they have to live like that for 6 years.
This isn't normal, OP. Don't blame yourself or feel a failure - she is obviously a terribly strong-willed person. teenage years are a rollercoaster for many - but you need to deal with this. Would she talk to someone - a counsellor or therapist about how to manage her anger?
I think punishments and deprivations can have a counter-effect with teens tbh. I realise many will disagree but would you consider not punishing her any more but instead taking her out of the house, sitting down and discussing this seriously - not in a "i love you and wish you were nicer" way but "I love you and I am alarmed and concerned at your anger and violence at home. You know this cannot continue or it will affect your life terribly badly. There will come a moment when someone in our house will actually call the police"? Could you get an older person whom she admires (uncle or aunt??) involved to talk to her.
And ignore her threats about the GP - just go and share your concerns. They've seen it all and worse.
Go to gp without her. Tell gp what you said here.
Go talk to school without her there. Ask them for advice on where to access support.
There may be local classes or groups on dealing with teens you can go to for strategies.
Just remembered this charity which a friend has benefitted from.
I think teens like anyone sense when we are fearful of them and this makes them feel even more afraid as they feel totally rudderless! That doesn't mean that we have to show our control by giving out lots of punishments (although some consequences can be helpful) but that we need to help them feel that we are confident that we are their parents and that we will help them get through whatever they're going through! I think that also means not giving in to threats such as the bot going to the gp!! Please seek help whatever she is theeatening!! She needs you to take some control of the situation!! Also trying to spend positive time with her -although it can backfire quickly, is still worth it cos it helps you to retain some kind of relationship!! Good luck with it all
And take faith in that this too shall pass!!
I would go to the GP without her and ask for a referral to CAMHS. Your dd can't hold you to ransom by threatening to tell them about you. Your dd will be listened to, but so will you and dh and professionals working with young people are used to the different perceptions that present in situations like yours.
You sound like you've tried really hard to manage this. Be honest with the GP about her behaviour, which sounds extreme and frightening for everyone.
Look up emotional dysregulation.
I would also go and approach the neighbours and explain your dd is struggling right now and you're going for help.
Regarding medication: please keep an open mind about it. My SIL was dead set against medication till my nephew took out his anger on his little siblings. Now with a psychiatrist and medication he is a delight and he also tells us he feels so much better in control and happier. Unfortunately they waited too long and one of his siblings is now seeing a psychologist because of all the abuse that she saw and went through. Medicine is not evil, it really can help.
Teenagers can be selfish, insensitive and strop about but it sounds like your dd is maybe going a step too far, she should not be allowed to get away with this behaviour.
She has shown she can behave whilst at school so she is obviously just pushing the boundaries at home and it's up to you to show her this is not acceptable. I would contact the school regardless of her threats.
Hope you get it all sorted out op
What is driving this behaviour ? It's a form of communication so is something wrong? I agree punishmemts often do not WORK. We talk about choice and consequence. We had terrible issues with our son. Getting better now but when he was violent we called the police 3 times. Third time had his arrested. It showed him his behaviour was untenable. Communication is open in our house. We are still learning but making progress
Although I’m pretty sure my DC2 was worse - though believe me not a competition I want to win! - what struck a cord for me with your OP was the reference to us not listening! I did read a lot of books and quite a few emphasised the need for parents to moderate the way they spoke. I remember the first time I used one phrase - it was like a miracle happened - and helped a lot. This is not to say it didn’t continue to be a trying time - but one small step!
GP was a waste of everyone’s time - including the GP’s!
I also got a referral to CAMHS - again waste of everyone’s time.
Thank you all for your messages and suggestions. I have tried to spend a bit more time with dd over the last few days and she seems to be responding well. The weekends are usually the worst times so we'll see what happens then. I have arranged to do something with dd on our own next Saturday and she seemed pleased at the idea. I will read more about communicating with teenagers. Thats probably the key. When she is having a tantrum, I feel that there's no point in discussing the issue until she has calmed down, just like one would behave with a toddler, however that's when dd insists on continuing and I suppose both our tempers flare and causes more problems. We all need to take a step back but dd does not allow that..... My dd can also be very affectionate.
Might be worth reading "the explosive child" may offer some suggestions you are right not to try and engage when she is angry. She won't be able to focus on what you are saying. Best to let her calm down and then something along the lines of "you were really angry earlier. What's up?" From experience key thing is to keep communication open x
Thank you iluv80s I will to get a copy, it sounds like something I should definitely read.
Oh yes - I read ‘the explosive child’ and it was one of the books I found helpful and @iluv80s is right - helpful lines to use! Still works now when need DC2 to do something to say ‘I’d really appreciate it if you could ...... (whatever) - and he will just happily do it - but if you just demand or tell him to do something - you can see him feeling aggrieved!
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