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MUM IN TEARS!! advice needed please

(47 Posts)
almostanangel Mon 14-Mar-05 10:48:39

hello i have 3 girls ,my eldest is 16 in june and she had me in tears last night ...i have tried to be a perfect mum but i feel a complete failure,,,she is very intelligent but over the last year she has let her school work slide...i asked her last night how she is doing with her revising,,and she screamed at me ,,that all i care about is her getting good results so i can tell all my friends how cleaver my daughter is...i was stunned ..its true i am proud of her as i am of all my girls...i was never told by my parents they were proud of me ,so i always tell my girls im proud of them ..and how much i love them ,,i am now not talking to my daughter because i am scared of upseting her and i know if i start i wont shut up...please give me in tears now ,,thank you..xx

TracyK Mon 14-Mar-05 10:51:21

poor you. what ages are your other 2?
do they have any idea what's wrong with your eldest. there must be an underlying prob/reason for her flying off the handle. Boyfriend trouble? stress etc?

Katemum Mon 14-Mar-05 10:54:59

I have no experience because mine are still small but I did wonder if this is either just typical teenager hormones with some possible pmt thrown in or if she is getting a bit panicky and worrying that she wont be able to live up to your expectations and therefore disappoint you. Does sound like you need to wait till she is calm and try having a chat to find out what is going on.

almostanangel Mon 14-Mar-05 10:58:26

hi ..thank you for your sympathy
the other two are nearly 15..and nearly 8.
yes she has boyfriend trouble ..and i can understand her getting stessed ,,but i felt she aimed all her anger at me instead of talking to me ,,,i think its harder to look after teenagers than babies yet parenting mags are aimed at new parents..i just knew if i had stayed in the room with her i would have gone insane ,,as she said it with such venom ....hwo do you handle the situation to calm both of us down ..??

swiperfox Mon 14-Mar-05 10:58:43

Hiya - my sister is 15 this year and sounds exactly the same. My mum has just had 2 parents evenings to decide her gcse options and she is just not interested. To be perfectly honest i think the only thing you can do is give her the best advice you can - as much as she will listen to and pray that she can do it on her own. Myself and my mum have said to my sister that its only 2 years - and thats nothing but at that age i guess 2 years is forever. I really do sympathise with you, it is so hard to get them to listen. Thing is even if she doesnt answer you or goes mad at you the fact that you have said you are proud of her will have sunk in and thats important - good on you, and good luck

sweetheart Mon 14-Mar-05 10:59:43

I was a bit like this with my mum when I was 16

I don't have any experience as the parent and looking back on it now I can see I was a real cow to my mum.

Unfortunatly, knowing how your dd probably feels, all I can say is that you have to continue to be supportive to her and just wait for her to grow out of this phase.

Luckily I now relise what a great job my mum did in raising me but I have to admit I used to hate her and nothing she did was right as far as I was concerned. Especially when she would try and talk to me - I saw it as yet another excuse to lecture me!!!

Being a 16 year old she's probably got the weight of the world on her shoulders right now. I know I thought I did!!!!!

I know this isn't much help - hopefully it may give you some insight though!!!!

almostanangel Mon 14-Mar-05 11:02:48

dear katemum..i feel really guilty now
she has had her heart set on going to university wjich had nothing to do with me as i never had that chance,,it was 100% her idea but i have been there giving her every help she asked for..and i suppose i have said to friends proud i am that she wants to go to university...what shoul i say i am proud!!..what do i do when she comes home??

yoyo Mon 14-Mar-05 11:05:22

She might be feeling under a fair bit of pressure at the moment as most of her teachers will be going on at her (and her class) to revise. If she has let things slip she might be realising that she has a fair bit of work to do and might be panicking that she has left it too late. I would choose a moment to talk to her and explain that you don't want to argue and that you want to support her in any way you can. Offer to help her with a revision timetable making sure she gets lots of breaks and build in some treats too. Ask her if she would like you to help her revise - test her on key points, flow charts, revision cards. Anything to make it easier for her really. Of course she might say no but at least she will see that you want to be supportive. Obviously this will be a difficult few months for you but you sound very caring and you will get through it. Try not to take it all personally - she knows how much you care.

TracyK Mon 14-Mar-05 11:05:47

why not take her out for lunch to somewhere nice - or book a nice pampering day on sat. and just try and get her to talk and you just listen. or is there a family friend that she is close to?

almostanangel Mon 14-Mar-05 11:08:03

WOW!! this is my first time on this site and i cant believe how nice you all are ,,i was so woound up this morning ,so i just put teenager in a search engine and this came up ...thank you for all your advice ..and just the fact that im not alone....i do remember being her age ..and i know how difficult it is ,,but i thought i was doing all the things that my mum did not do and not doing the things that she did that made me angry ..i supposew whatever i do would be wrong...ok so do i hug her or will that just wind her up??

Katemum Mon 14-Mar-05 11:08:12

Oh almostanangel I really didnt want to make you feel worse, i am sorry. I was a horrible teenager but I also remember how scared I was at not living up to expectations. Think you need to sit down and try and give her chance to explain what is wrong. If she wont tell you then just keep being supportive and wait for her to snap out of it. Not much use to you really but really feel for you. I really was a horrible teenager and did grow out of it eventually.

Katemum Mon 14-Mar-05 11:09:38

Give her the hug, she might pretend that it winds her up but bet she will really be pleased

swiperfox Mon 14-Mar-05 11:10:07

All you need to do is let her know that you are there anytime she needs you and for whatever reason - then let her come to you when she is ready (I mean short term whilst you are both feeling awkward after her little episode) She'll come round in her own time. I was exactly the same at that age - every little thing feels like the end of the world and it's easy to blow up at the people you care most about because deep down you know that they are always there no matter what

almostanangel Mon 14-Mar-05 11:11:58

Dear yoyo..thanks!! im in tears now!!
thank you so much ..i really think you have hit the nail on the head ..i was looking at it from my point of view,,,and i should walk in her shoes for a while (same size shoes but smelly trainers)!! my husband thinks it is because we are so alike we clash...

almostanangel Mon 14-Mar-05 11:12:50

dear swiperfox ..crying again..xx

anorak Mon 14-Mar-05 11:14:20

Hi angel, I'm sure you're not doing anything wrong. I had no end of trouble with my eldest dd (aged 15) over the last 18 months. You will find it all opn the teenagers threads. She went right off the rails and let her school work slide, she didn't care about anything, refused all support and help from us including allowance, lifts, even stopped coming downstairs for meals.

I was in despair particularly over the way she spoke to us - nothing we ever said was right and she was so rude and hurtful. There were many times I thought the situation was hopeless and that I had tried everything. But I knew I couldn't give up because I think she was testing us to see if we would love her no matter what. If we had given up she would have never got over it. It was really tough, but I had some fabulous support from mumsnetters. We found some ways of giving her more adult freedoms and she gradually changed. As if she had left the human race for a while and then slowly found her way back.

It must be terribly confusing trying to find one's own identity in the world, especially for children like my daughter who unfortunately had had a very high number of bereavements and sadnesses in her life. Her own father treated her appallingly and part of it was the backlash from that. She has had a stable home with myself and her stepfather for seven years now, but so much damage as a little child had to show itself sometime.

She is now still moody and rude sometimes, but not on the same scale as it was. We often have fun together and do things together now, and she is more willing to join in with family activities again. She had to work very hard to catch up with her school work and I think it has taught her a lesson about long-term planning.

I found the school very helpful with this - they wouldn't let her get away with not completing coursework on time and she had countless detentions for catching up. She soon got tired of that.

They do put a lot of pressure on them with the GCSEs looming and perhaps your dd is buckling under it. If she feels the situation is hopeless she might well feel like giving up. They have so much to do nowadays.

Perhaps you can liaise with her head of year. I found my daughter's school staff very helpful and they were glad to be approached to discuss the best way of encouraging her.

I well remember how for months I couldn't talk to her because she would turn everything into an argument. She also used to treat her younger sister horribly. I think she is now realising how nasty she sounded and trying very hard to get out of the habit. I actually find I like her again .

I hope you can find a way of giving her the support I know you want to. It's so hard when they won't let you, isn't it? I found a good way to breach my dd's armour was to find something she really liked doing and do it with her (going out for dinner, for example) and make sure I didn't talk about any problems we were having while we were doing it.

Good luck!

almostanangel Mon 14-Mar-05 11:14:21

dear katemum may have been a horrible teenager ..but look what a sensitive and caring woman you are x

almostanangel Mon 14-Mar-05 11:19:10

Dear anerak ,,wow you are amazing ..i find it really difficult to have any one upset with me so i have probely given her too much freedom she is either with her friends or in her bedroom or online,,how do i try to make us all more of a family...we have had a bad couple of years and i now feel i have been reallly selfish ,,not thinking how it has effected the do i make it up to them.

anorak Mon 14-Mar-05 11:25:31

It isn't all up to you. They have to understand that life deals bad blows and sometimes it isn't anyone's fault. They have to deal with it. As long as they know you are there for them and will always listen and always care, I don't see why you should feel guilty. It wouldn't be very good preparation for real life out in the world if we made everything perfect for our kids.

almostanangel Mon 14-Mar-05 11:28:52

Dear anorak,,i understand what you mean ,,but you know you want your childrens lifes to be as good as you can make them and i just feel like where is the manual for this job!!

almostanangel Mon 14-Mar-05 11:31:07

thank you all for your advice..i feel so much better and so much calmer ...i am going ofline to do some house work but i will be back later to check your messages ..this site is going onto my favourites,,,,,,,,, x x x x x

alibubbles Mon 14-Mar-05 13:01:34

almostanangel. I agree with everything anorak says, and everyone else come to that.

My DS was foul, not as awful as some of those kids on Brat camp, - watch and you might find things aren't too bad!

Ds is wonderful now, but we have been through hell together, we had counselling at school, albeit one session but it worked!

He is now the most charming young man one could wish for now, he has come out of his 'wilderness years' literaly, he came down stairs one morning and said, Good morning everyone, we all fell over, normaslly we got an sagressive grunt. He was under so much stress at school to achieve, especially as his DS is only a year older, (10 A* and 4 A grade A's) he just took it out on us.

Now all that is behind him and he is looking forward, he has just spent 12 weeks away in Canada, aged 17, training to be a ski instructor, it has certainly made him realise what he has at home and to appreciate it more!

One tip, never TELL a teenager to do something, say : I would really appreciate it if you would.................."I found he couldn't refuse me then, and did things with a little more grace.

Take care

fostermum Mon 14-Mar-05 18:16:19

hi almostanangel,have you ever heard that we always hurt the ones we love most?teens do this all the time mostly because your her mum, she can fire off at you and your not gonna walk away,it may sound daft but you can feel pleased that she trusts you anough to be able to do it, she doesnt mean it, just hormones and teen angst against the world, tell her you know that your not perfect but you love her and always will and maybe if she feeling real bad maybe you could get a pizza in and have a chill out time and hopefully she will open up to you calmly

almostanangel Tue 15-Mar-05 14:09:12

hello everyone ..thanks again for being there..well when she came home yesterday we still were not talking so after a couple of hours i went to her room..and just held her hand she burst into tears..we hugged and after a while she told me she was down ,,,boys,bitchy girls and school work the main problem...sitting there i realised we never really talk ,so we made a pact to work harder at our mother daughter relationship...i feel 100% better xxx

anorak Tue 15-Mar-05 14:15:39

Aaah, well done you!

I find that it helps to just hang out together sometimes. I give my children each their own bit of one to one every so often. Take them to dinner, or the cinema, or shopping. That's good. But sometimes by pure chance you get laughing about something or start to mess about together, and it's good to make the most of those times too. They are all too few and far between.

If you talk about things that don't matter you are in the habit when you need to talk about more serious issues.

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