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Struggling after daughter hurt my feelings(33 Posts)
My daughter is coming up 14 and is usually the kindest, most sensitive girl. However the night before last she said something that really hurt me. I could see that she instantly regretted her words but could feel tears welling and beginning to spill so I had to leave the room as we were in a hotel restaurant and was unable to return as I was so upset. I know she was also very upset and has since apologised (albeit briefly due to embarrassment I think) but she has since just tried to carry on like it didn't happen which I'm finding hard to do as I still feel really hurt. I'm aware I'm the adult here though and don't want to make her feel bad by being obviously quiet with her but I'm struggling. Has anyone else had this and how did you deal with it if so?
Please be kind as I'm feeling pretty fragile. TIA.
What did she say? Did she say she hated you? That's pretty normal for a teenager. If she insulted you (you're fat/stupid/my friends think you're wrird) that's not beyond the realms of teenage behaviour either.
Despite teenagers looking pretty grownup their brains are not, and they don't have the control to vet their thoughts. Mind you many adults dont either.
She's apologised and you believe she is sincere. Move on and accept she is her own person and will do things that will appal you from time to time.
I think it depends what was said and what was the intention. Was it deliberate malicious nastiness, or was it something that was a truthful concern that was hurtful?
Depends what she said, but it would have to be unbelievably awful to justify this reaction from you I think?
You know she’s sorry, what more do you need from her?
I'm sorry this happened. I got my first I don't want to live here from my 5 year old yesterday and that stung.
This is just a life lesson that she has to learn. Actions and words hurt. They cause pain and just because you're her mother doesn't mean she gets away with it.
Saying sorry doesn't fix what has happened. You've been hurt and need time to get over it. Don't beat her with it or hold it over her.
But if she were to say Something like that to a friend etc and then just said sorry they could turn around and tell her to piss off and call the friendship off.
I'd calmly sit down and discuss what happened and cover that she needs to be responsible for her words and start considering what she says.
We need to know what she said for you to respond with such an extreme reaction. It must have been pretty bad unless you’re feeling particularly low at the moment.
Thanks for the replies. No it wasn't deliberately malicious at all but it was scornful. She was mocking my ability at something and was disparaging in the way she looked at me and spoke to me, I just felt like an embarrassment I suppose. For what it's worth I have a son a year older so I am used to being an embarrassment and can usually laugh it off with the best of them but she just made me feel really rubbish and sad this time. I think she just hit a raw nerve tbh.
Perhaps you should have called her out on it and asked her to leave the restaurant.
Girls that age can be horrible. Sometimes it's the case it happens when you have had a very close relationship with them. Adolescence makes them need to create some distance from you, but the only way they some of them know how to do it is to be awful. I can recall some exchanges that really shook me.
After some horrible behaviour towards me, I started calmly telling her that I wasn't going to do her certain favours: pick her up very late from distant parties, take her shopping, let her have lots of people to stay, because of the way she had behaved. She really didn't like it. I asked her how she would respond to a friend who had said nasty things to her or refused to help her and then asked for a favour? She seemed amazed that I might want to be treated in the same way as she treated her friends!
At one stage I told her that I thought perhaps she and I would get along better when she was older and we didn't live together and she was again absolutely shocked and asked me why. I told her that this was my home and I wanted everyone to feel loved and supported inside it, and that included me.
As the years went by, it got better. The hormones settled a bit. Going to university gradually made her more appreciative of me. We are close again now and she is very affectionate.
My main tip is not to let them see you cry. Stay calm in front of them. It will pass. It's not really her, it's her brain undergoing rewiring and rebooting.
Yep, at 14 she’d be the one ordered out of the family/public space until she’d had a good hard think.
But I’m good at turning my sadness around into clear assertiveness. I’m never quite sure if it’s my superpower or my Achilles heel!
Teenagers aren’t usually in full control of their feelings and actions so I’d take what she said with a big pinch of salt. I use to say some pretty hurtful things to my dps at that age just to see what the reaction would be and because I was pretty hormonal.
Thanks all, some good replies here. I wouldn't have told her to leave personally, I didn't want to leave myself - for one thing I was starving and enjoying my food However I couldn't stop the tears so had to go as I didn't want to draw attention to myself (small restaurant with everyone very close by). Perhaps I was feeling a bit low too though. Some food for thought here though - thanks again.
Teenage girls can cut their mothers to the wick. I think as mothers we sometimes expect more solidarity from our daughters than sons especially on the emotional front.
I remember dd1 saying something to me that hurt me so much I had to leave the room and cried about it upstairs. I think sometimes they don’t realise what they say or they know the exact spot to hit for maximum result.
I did however start snapping back if she’d gone too far. As in ‘that was actually really rude and hurtful - don’t speak to me like that again’ I know the rule of thumb is to ignore ignore ignore but we’re allowed to have feelings and not allow people to speak to us this way.
You can either broach the subject again and tell her that it upset you or if she dies it again pull her to task about it.
I had dd1 by myself for a long time so I think I let her get away with a bit too much. It definitely had an impact on when she was 17 -19 she spoke to me like shit sometimes. Which would result in an argument as it was like a grown woman in the house talking to me like trash.
Nip it in the bud if you can
Once when we were out for a meal we were all having g a lovely time laughing and joking ( I thought) and my generally lovely then 13 year old suddenly said in a voice dripping with venom
“ you think you are cool And funny but you aren’t, you are just embarrassing “
To get fair she looked as shocked as me once it was out of her mouth, along with a general air of oh shit I’m in so much trouble.
I said very calmly but firmly that she was extremely rude. We got through the rest of the meal but I cried when we got home.
She’s never done anything similar since and she was pretty mortified it slipped out to be fair
My then 6 year old also once said in a very casual but matter of fact way apropos of nothing “ my friends think you are fat”
Thanks Bag yes I think you're maybe right re girls, though she's normally very thoughtful and considerate, that's why it particularly stung I think, but it was actually my 15 year old son who said to her 'Actually that was pretty rude' and he's usually the more laid back and often selfish one if you see what I mean - kids eh?
I was reminiscing earlier about my teen years- the years I thought my mum was clueless about most things. I miss her so much now, and I cringe when I remember what a selfish bitch I was, but once I grew up, we got on so well. I apologised to her many times for my teenage behaviour, and she used to laugh and tell me that my kids would probably be just as awful at some point.
She was right! Chin up- she’ll be really embarrassed to have upset you.
They kill you off! What. I had dd1 at 16 and had a lot of support of both families as I was essentially a child when I had her. She spent lots of time with her grandparents while I went to college and worked. She told me one night when we were sniping at each other that I ‘wasn’t really much of a mum to her anyway’ I was blown over by it and really hurt.
I got over it. We are actually very close She’s 24 now and is doing amazing career wise and I’m super proud of her!
Hopping yes that's just it, we were also having a lovely time with jokey conversation but then she just said something really scathing and I was taken aback. She also looked instantly regretful and kept looking at me across the table and trying to talk about inane stuff immediately after, to diffuse it I think, but I just couldn't help how rubbish it'd made me feel. Normally she tells me she loves me all the time and I always say it back but I'm finding it hard at the min - although I do absolutely love her of course.
The poster up-thread who suggested saying It try to create a home where everyone feels loved and cared for- and that includes me,' was quite wise, I think.
I'm at this stage with my dd at the moment.
I'm looking at it this way: it's an opportunity for me to move from being 'mother' (as in, 'the weather') to becoming a more 3D figure in my daughter's psychology: a person with rights, responsibilities and feelings and needs.
So, when she's rude, I see her as inviting me to flesh out that 3D space - and I accept the invitation & respond to her the way I would to an adult/someone trying to work out roles for the both of us.
Doesn't always work. I mean, she's flip-flopping between child and adult about ten times an hour some days.
Some days, I go to bed exhausted.
But she's generally great - and it's a well-trodden path, with most people reporting a sunny place at the end of it.
My mother used to say very hurtful things to me but if I ever said anything vaguely critical, i was given the silent treatment for weeks. It felt to me that she was emotionally manipulative.
If someone says sorry, accept it and move on.
Imagine being a teacher with a class of hormonal teenagers. You cannot imagine how nasty some of them can be. But, they are still children and we are the adults. It is always best to forgive and move on as quickly as possible. Don't let resentment grow. It is bad for healthy relationships.
Gosh the teen years involve a lot of hurtful, unkind and inconsiderate words and actions. You need to toughen up and get used to it. A Mum needs a very thick skin. Sure let them know when they hurt you and expect consideration but know that the teenager needs to work out how to be independent and to separate and sometimes that involves dismissing or being hurtful to the parent who they can most trust to love them come what may. Sometimes they will feel the need to push against and reject the child like adoration of their parent to feel like they are them. And sometimes its just a joke gone wrong.
So how you respond matters too - even if it's hard and hurtful. But we have to learn how to ride with the blows, with humour or grace or simply ignore them. I guarantee with teenagers at some point you will say or do things you regret and you will also need to say sorry and ask to be forgiven.
If she said sorry that's enough. Forgive. It's great she instantly felt sorry and has apologised. But don't harbour grudges there will be many more harsh moments to come.
You know, I'm not sure about the 'just toughen up' advice.
Yes, you need a sense of perspective - but you also don't have to just masochistically take it all.
You're a human - not a sponge.
The thing about being a parent is that it's always a high-wire balancing act: you're life becomes some kind of high-wire act; walking across a tight-rope between the past and the future, whilst juggling plates.
The plates are your needs and your children's; their feelings and yours; all the different competing demands and yours.
And that analogy doesn't even capture it. Because the tightrope you're walking is also their self-development and yours : their needs and desires and fears as they grow into their future selves, and your own continuing development as a person.
Your journey of self-hood doesn't stop when you become a mother.
It sometimes feels as though the whole world wants to turn you into a marshmallow when you're a mother - a blob that is no longer a developing person, finding her way - in unfolding time - through her changing self.
It feels as though the world wants you to be a soft, unchanging blob that absorbs all the feelings of others, with no boundaries of its own, no original thoughts, no creativity, no autonomy.
A blob with all the answers, too (which is ironic), rather than a person, who is unfinished and still developing.
And all this comes to the fore in those teenage years, when many teenagers put on a spurt towards independence.
When I say I try to interpret it all as an invitation to re-negotiate roles, what I mean is that I will often try and highlight my own individuality and self-hood.
In a nice way; whilst reflecting back how much I like my children as individuals and the adult's they're becoming.
But it really is OK to have boundaries.
Oh - and I now keep a journal, we'll-hidden, where I scribble away about how pissed-off I sometimes feel and what that tells me about myself and the goals I now have.
(Which is quite a 'teenage' thing to do, I guess. So I suppose I'm rediscovering my own Spring-becoming at the same time ...)
My beautiful wonderful dd at the age of 12 thought she wanted to go and live with her dad. That was 15 years ago and she's still here.
They don't mean it. They're reaching out and testing boundaries
I always carry on as normal the next day after an argument no point in carrying it on.
You will be that one that looses out if you do.
Thanks again all, some good advice, glad to know I'm not alone and well done Bag for bringing up a lovely, successful daughter from such a young age 😊
I do agree with a lot of what Cat says though, of course we suck a lot of this stuff up, it goes with the territory, but we're still people with feelings at the end of the day and can still be hurt no matter how old, and of course it hurts more when it comes from someone you love. Sometimes I just get a bit sick of being taken for granted then it's all 'will you take me here and pick me up from there?' without a second thought. I also have an almost 9 year old though who is still very sweet natured so he helps off set it a bit - for now anyway!
FWIW we've just been to get our dog from the kennels as we just got home from holiday last night, so had a bit of a bonding session there as she was so pleased to see us 😊
Thanks again, all.