12 year old dd is making us all miserable(12 Posts)
Hi, desperately looking for advice here. Im struggling with my 12 yr old dd who seems to be having a tough time with managing her emotions. I was worried about her having anxiety or feeling low a few months ago but recently she’s expressing herself thru anger at all of us. She flies off the handle if asked to do anything and is permanently rude and aggressive to her younger siblings if they do something which annoys her. Feels like we’re all walking on egg shells. We’re due to go to Wales on holiday in a couple of weeks and we’re seroouly considering cancelling as there is so much bad feeling in the house.
Think we’re not great at enforcing boundaries and feel like we’ve lost all control of the situation.
I have no real advice but I wanted to say we are going through similar with dd who is 13, nearly 14 and I can especially relate to the anger side!! I think most of it is to do with hormones and she has started to take evening primrose oil to help balance her out a bit. She has also started doing boxing once a week and that has also helped a bit. Good luck!!
Stop reacting to her tantrums
If she has a strop then calmly ignore her and carry on as you were.
Once she sees it’s not getting a reaction she will soon stop with the amateur dramatics!!
If she carries on, start removing privileges- phone/internet access/treats etc
She needs to realise that she isn’t in charge and doesn’t dictate what happens in the house
Thanks for your messages. Hadn’t thought of evening primrose- might give that a try. It definitely feels like hormones are a big part of it. One of my problems is that I start catastrophising and think that every episode is an indicator of mental health problems.
I’m not sure how much of a reaction she gets tbh, but we’ve never been consistent in terms of removing privileges so could def get better at that. One of the reasons we don’t take her phone away is to avoid the hysteria if we did (which I know is completely the wrong way for us to do it).
I’m not gonna lie we take internet, phones etc away and after the first initial outrage it did usually get easier. We have learnt to be consistent and also matter of fact about it- you broke the rules, you knew what the ph signing would be.. kind of thing.
Love the wilderifthewests advice of not reacting and letting her dictate. Think this definitely happens in our house, I need to try and take that in board!! Especially after the massive fall out we had last week! Two days after said fallout dd came on her period so there is a definite link there.
You're walking on eggshells around her? (!!) this is where you're going wrong - she needs sitting down and telling that emotional outbursts and damn right temper tantrums are way below her age, she's negatively affecting her younger siblings (don't say you!) and that you won't have it. Give her realistic goals and ways to cope eg ask to talk to me alone when you start to feel angry/upset, no outbursts in a week and you get extra screen time or half hour later to bed. She has to become responsible for her emotions and controlling them. And you walking on egg shells and pacifying her is only reinforcing that it's fine to act like that - as an adult does that attitude get you anything in life? No. So stop encouraging it now. Step up.
I was like this at this age. I was very unhappy and after each outburst, very ashamed of myself. I couldn't control it. I honestly think I would have benefited from some kind of counselling to help manage my emotions. I'm not saying that this is necessarily your dds problem though.
I've just had all this with Dd12.
I tried to reason with her, no joy. So I gave her a very stern talking to and a written list of rules just for her. She has responded really well to this and has been on the whole excellent since.
I too was at my wits end but I spoke to friends and they were all the same with similar age girls. We agreed that they are trying to fit in the adult world but still feel like children and are very conflicted.
They need clear boundaries, almost like they are toddlers again, with freedoms earned through acceptable behaviour. I think DD feels safer for the rules and less like a wild leaf blowing in the wind.
If you were previously worried about her feelong low then maybe she needs to see a doctor. Try and help her find another outlet to unleash her anger, like exercise or take her for a pedicure at the weekend. Being forced to sit still and have her feet rubbed might make her feel more relaxed or that you still care about her even though she is more mature and is expected to be more independant (if she likes that kind of thing). but make sure you tell her off for being mean to the younger siblings and that its unnacceptable.
Something my parents did with me when I was a mardy teenager was the opposite of what you want to, spend time alone with them. Take them out on their own and make a effort to build a relationship. Then while your out and alone talk to them, not about school, emotions or serious stuff but pointless crap like stuff they watch on tv or their fav band. Making an effort to build a relationship with this new person(because they are new, their not a kid any more) will help when you need to get serious. Then explain in a calm manor how they are making the rest of the family feel. Im a secondary school teacher and trust me this behaviour is totally normal, it will begin to pass when they finish their GCSE's. In past experience, going down the negative route and telling them all the bad things they are doing will just make them feel worse about themselves when they are already questioning their identity and being hormonal. Also one other tip, when they have a mardy moment just send them to their room and tell them to come back when they want to be nice. Then don't let it get to you, think of it as getting a bit of quiet time when they have a sulk in their room. The worst thing to do is rise to their mardy bate, stay calm and ignore them. Hope this helps, good luck xx
‘Wild leaf blowing in the wind’ is a great phrase, sums it up perfectly. Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it.
I dragged mine along to the gp after she got agressive and kicked her father about that age. I also removed her phone. She started her periods days later, so hormones definately a big part of it. She calmed down a lot afterwards. Going to the GP was a great way of communicating “I love you and I’m very worried but we do not put up with this,” and the lady we saw was superb at making her talk about the problem calmly, whereas if I’d tried she’d have flown into another rage.
She’s a lovely young lady I’m really proud of now!
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