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When teenagers think they are adults

 
 
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2008 03:22 pm
Hi
I am a mom of three and my oldest is 13 and she seems to think she makes the rules around the house. She swears at me and tell me to shut up and there is no respect shown towards me at all. Her father isn't in the picture except to make empty promises. I feel like I need to nip this now before it gets any worse if that is even possible. It has been hard because she lived with her dad from the age of 4 to 11 so alot of the morals he installed and I wasn't allowed to be in the picture cause with the help of the family courts they gave him the right to say yes or no and he said no so he could hurt me more . I wanted to put her in counseling but because of the stupid laws in Ontario they have to have consent from the any kid over 12 before proceeding so they tell to call the cops or sign her into the hospital when she acts up cause that really is going to help ...NOT please help
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contrex
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2008 04:36 pm
All teenagers of 13 are mouthy and won't be told things. I was, my sister was, and my two children both were. Don't make the mistake of punishing your daughter for what her father did.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2008 04:44 pm
I don't think every kid acts that way and I don't think it's permissible. She's undermining your parenting and authority and the other kids are watching this, so you think you have problems now??

Have you considered parenting classes? I think they'll really help you. If she won't go to counselling, she won't go to counselling. Nothing you can really do about that but you might want to know the underlying cause of her anger (because she IS angry). Parenting classes will help you speak to her in a way that can help the both of you.

I think your instincts are right and she needs some help. Obviously you are going to be the one to do it.

Keep the faith, take some classes, and keep loving the little brat. Smile I know it's hard, but you're her mom, her advocate, and her help.

Stay strong, mom.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2008 04:44 pm
Well, there is mouthy and there is mouthy. If my daughter - who will be
13 this year, and also defiant and mouthy at times - would ever swear at me,
we'd have a huge show-down at our house.

Even at 13, kids need boundaries, they need discipline and they need to
understand that puberty is not an excuse for ill behavior.

My daughter gets privileges removed if things get out of hands. Works
like a charm for us. Mommy3, you only have to find out where it hurts
the most - for my daughter it's removal of all electronic devices (iPod,
computer, cell phone).
0 Replies
 
princesspupule
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jan, 2008 02:31 am
I'd probably work on my relationship with the girl. Be a friend to her, but also make if perfectly clear YOU are the disciplinarian. In the meantime, lots of 2 of you together stuff, dinner, movies, windowshopping trips, it doesn't have to be expensive 1:1 time, but you have to TALK about stuff important ton a 13 year old: school, boys, etc. You'll feel when it's right to move beyond to a more parental position. My guess is she doesn't feel connected to you. Of course, that is jmo, fwiw.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jan, 2008 07:46 am
I disagree with pp on being her friend. You are not her friend -- they are the ones who encourage her to be mouthy -- you are her mother.

All 13 year old girls test limits. By 14 she'll have the trademark permanent sneer (I can also spot a 14 year old walking down the street). It's part of growing up but that doesn't mean that you have to roll over and be a doormat. I used to tell my girls that they could say anything they wanted to say to me in any tone of voice on Tuesdays at 11:00. The fact that they are in school on Tuesdays and I'm not there is part of the plan.

Let her know that you remember what it was like to be 13 (assuming you do). Also let her know that she will be respectful to any and all people who have done her no harm.

One of the best books I ever read on parenting adolescents is Anthony Wolf's, Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager, Revised and Updated
amazon
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jan, 2008 07:51 am
(great title!)
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jan, 2008 07:59 am
Thirteen is a very difficult age. On the one hand, the hormones are beginning to rage. On the other, the thirteen year old girl is still emotionally, a child. So what you have is that push-pull of wanting to be independent, but not having the skills to accomplish that goal. This is also the age that peer pressure becomes paramount, and parents become pariahs, as far as the young girl is concerned.

IMO, the parents have the difficult task of balancing the desire to allow the girl to become more independent, realizing that the girl does not have the emotional maturity to accomplish that goal. It is often a long, arduous process, fraught with anger and frustration on both the child's and the parents'.

One of the most important things that the young girl need to know is that her folks are still in charge, and are setting limits, but are cognizant that the girl is growing up, and needs to wander away from the nest a bit, so to speak. As someone else has said, parents are not friends, they are guides and mentors.

Too many parents make the mistake of thinking that being a "pal" will endear the teenager to them. Quite the opposite. The youngster needs a rock, a steady influence when all around her is totally confusing. The time when a parent appropriately becomes a friend is when the daughter reaches adulthood, and has much in common with the parent, especially the mother.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jan, 2008 11:57 am
CalamityJane wrote:
Well, there is mouthy and there is mouthy. If my daughter - who will be
13 this year, and also defiant and mouthy at times - would ever swear at me,
we'd have a huge show-down at our house.

Even at 13, kids need boundaries, they need discipline and they need to
understand that puberty is not an excuse for ill behavior.

My daughter gets privileges removed if things get out of hands. Works
like a charm for us. Mommy3, you only have to find out where it hurts
the most - for my daughter it's removal of all electronic devices (iPod,
computer, cell phone).


I agree - you are her mom not her friend. Let her know that if she swears at you she cannot watch TV for a week (or whatever is appropriate) and then follow through. She is pushing her boundaries and you need to set them for her.
0 Replies
 
princesspupule
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jan, 2008 07:34 pm
JPB wrote:
I disagree with pp on being her friend. You are not her friend -- they are the ones who encourage her to be mouthy -- you are her mother.

All 13 year old girls test limits. By 14 she'll have the trademark permanent sneer (I can also spot a 14 year old walking down the street). It's part of growing up but that doesn't mean that you have to roll over and be a doormat.


Hm, we don't know if this 13 year old girl is testing limits b/c she is 13 or because she was separated from her mother for the better part of her life. This is what the opening post said,
leomommy3 wrote:
Hi
I am a mom of three and my oldest is 13 and she seems to think she makes the rules around the house. She swears at me and tell me to shut up and there is no respect shown towards me at all. Her father isn't in the picture except to make empty promises. I feel like I need to nip this now before it gets any worse if that is even possible. It has been hard because she lived with her dad from the age of 4 to 11 so alot of the morals he installed and I wasn't allowed to be in the picture cause with the help of the family courts they gave him the right to say yes or no and he said no so he could hurt me more . I wanted to put her in counseling but because of the stupid laws in Ontario they have to have consent from the any kid over 12 before proceeding so they tell to call the cops or sign her into the hospital when she acts up cause that really is going to help ...NOT please help
This is jmo, of course, but this mother doesn't have respect from the daughter because of a lack of connection from the years separated. Rule could be established as an authoritarian, "I am the mother and I rule," position if she has a big enough stick to pound until the child listens and respects its sound, but a little understanding and using the same stick (I'm using stick figuratively, btw) to gently guide along the right path, and if the child trusts the mother, there will be less resistance on her part. I'm wondering if swearing and telling others to "shut up," is part of the environment, whether it has been tolerated for the 2 years since the girl left her father's house to live at her mother's, whether this is a new behavior. Setting rules, I'd make sure she knew *I* was the one setting the rules, not her, but I'd want her to explain WHY she wanted a rule to be such instead of such-and-such, a little give, a little take, a whole lot more respect going both ways.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jan, 2008 09:03 pm
What JBP objected to was being a friend to her daughter, as you had
suggested, ppurple. A child can have tons of friends but only one mother
and she should act as such: be a mother and show it!

Aside from that, no one appreciates being sworn at and being shown
ill mannerism. Every child has to learn this and every adult needs to
practice it - being polite and considerate to and of others. The sooner
they learn the better for them.
0 Replies
 
princesspupule
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 05:17 am
I'm not convinced that you can't be a friend at the same time you guide a child. I am convinced that trying to guide a child who doesn't trust you to be the guide won't go well. Imnsho this child is evidencing distrust of her parent. Telling the mother to insist on setting the rules may solve the problem, but a softer approach will also solve the problem, and possibly with less angst. This is jmo, fwiw.
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aidan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 05:35 am
I agree Princesspupule

My daughter is my best and most valued friend and she's told me that I am hers. And that in no way diminishes our respect for each other - it makes us love and respect all aspects of each other more.

I think you're totally on point here. This girl needs to be given the chance to learn who her mother is, and to love her mother and treat her with respect because she cares for her- not because her mother is the person who can wield the power and take her things away and cause her life to be less pleasant for weeks at a time.

There are ways in which this relationship is very different than most typical mother/daughter relationships. So learning to live within it will be different for both the mother and the daughter.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 11:44 am
You know princesspurple, it's remarkable that someone whose own
life is such a mess (like yours) can give advice to others pertaining
to life situations.

Aiden, if your teenage daughter's best friend is her mother and vice versa
then there is something very wrong in that you're creating a co-dependency instead of allowing your daughter to be independent and form friendships
with her own peers, which in my opinion is much healthier and emotional supportive. Especially teenage girls need a "BFF" who is their own
age.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 11:51 am
princesspupule wrote:
Rule could be established as an authoritarian, "I am the mother and I rule," position if she has a big enough stick to pound until the child listens and respects its sound, but a little understanding and using the same stick (I'm using stick figuratively, btw) to gently guide along the right path, and if the child trusts the mother, there will be less resistance on her part. I'm wondering if swearing and telling others to "shut up," is part of the environment, whether it has been tolerated for the 2 years since the girl left her father's house to live at her mother's, whether this is a new behavior. Setting rules, I'd make sure she knew *I* was the one setting the rules, not her, but I'd want her to explain WHY she wanted a rule to be such instead of such-and-such, a little give, a little take, a whole lot more respect going both ways.


You can set rules without being an authoritarian. You can be loving and caring and understanding without being a friend. I would never suggest acting as an outright authoritan, but you need to have rules and consequences as a result. You can be understanding and loving and still have rules.

I love you and care about you, that is why I set up these rules. I want you to grow up to be a respectful caring person, caring people do not swear and say "shut up" so we do not tolerate that behavior here and this is what happens when we do these things.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 12:01 pm
I am in no way dependent on my daughter. When I say she's my best friend, I mean that she's the person (female) whom I most enjoy spending time with, and who I would most miss if she were not in my life for some reason.
I have alot of friends my own age-I've just shared pretty much all of my time with Olivia, she's been there through thick and thin with me - she knows me and I trust her to love me no matter what. I think she feels the same about me.
And I feel the same way about my own mother. I just call people I love friends- I don't have to be dependent on them for anything.

Of course, Olivia is dependent on me...I'm her mother...she's dependent on me for alot of things and that's as it should be. And she has her own friends, sure...but she told me that she trusts and values our relationship as much if not more as she does with those she has with Hannah, and Charlotte, and Rhiannon and etc., etc.

I think part of it is we've always been companions- we've loved to do the same stuff and do it together since she could walk and talk. We like the same movies- books- we go ice-skating, bike riding, out to lunch- we like and talk about the same music....etc. We play violin and piano duets together, we play cards and games...maybe part of it is that neither one of us are plugged into cell phones or i-pods or computer games or the tv. I can't take those things away from her cause she doesn't have them. She's never wanted them.
We just like being together...I don't see one thing wrong with it.

In terms of this girl and her mother - they need to get to know each other. Instead of punishing her daughter, when the daughter curses at her and hurts her in that way, I'd say, "Why would you say that to me?" What's going on in your head that you think that's appropriate?" and then I'd tell her how it made me feel- not angry so much as hurt.
This girl needs to learn that her mom has feelings and she needs to learn how to love her enough to care about them.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 01:48 pm
I think this may be semantics in the way people are defining a friend. Everything you describe your relationship with your daughter aidan I have with mine, but I still don't consider her my friend. I guess because I feel that my first importance is being her mother and raising her - the "friendship" is secondary. You need to be a parent first and then a "friend".

As long as you still lay down the rules, you can still have fun with your children - playing, sharing feelings and thoughts, etc. Also, these dynamics I would imagine change over time as a child ages. Being 2 is much different than 12, than 18 and 28. And the needs change from there. I love playing with my children and doing things with them, but when push comes to shove and they are being disrespectful or similar, I lay down law (in a sense).

I think it is fine to question they misbehavior and ask why and stuff, but I feel you still need to set up consequences. What happens if the teenager (like many) says because I feel like it or I like to swear or none of your business? You can set up consequences, explain why the behavior is wrong and ask why. You can still show love even though you set up consequences for inappropriate behaviors.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 06:18 pm
Well, I just asked her...she said, "I wouldn't want a mother who didn't think I was her friend... so I'm glad you're mine - mother and friend."
And God knows - I'm SO glad she's mine. Laughing

I know what a parent is supposed to be and do- and I do it- I just do it my way. And I know my daughter is a good kind person, so if she were ever to call me names or yell curses at me (which she has never done), my first instinct would not be to punish- because it would be so out of character for her, instead of getting mad - I'd be confused and really, really worried that something was wrong. So I'd ask her, and then I'd try to listen. That doesn't mean I'd tell her that yelling curses at adults is an alright thing to do - believe me - I'd set her straight on that account.

But this girl has had upheavals in her relationship with her mother that make her situation different. It calls for a little relationship building and patience from the mother (as she's the adult). Maybe it's not fair, and maybe it won't be fun- and god knows she'll probably lose patience for all of it - but that's what being a mother is about- sticking with it through thick and thin.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 06:33 pm
I forgot to say - this type of behavior from kids who have had upheaval in their lives is often a test. It's a way for them to determine just exactly how far they can go before they will be kicked out or abandoned again- because once that has happened one time - they're always subconciously thinking it WILL happen again. So they almost try to MAKE it happen on their terms and in their time frame by behaving like this. They don't want to wait to have it sprung on them again.

Often the people they treat this way are those they love and trust the most. That's why I think it's important for the mother to keep showing love and understanding instead of anger.

Maybe she should even say - "Look, no matter what you do or say to me - I'm not giving up on you." There's nothing wrong with putting the truth out there.

She could also say to her, "If you continue to act like this - the consequence will be that we won't be able to develop the type of mother/daughter relationship I'd like us to have- and that means more to me than anything else in the world..."

If this girl feels that the mother is not understanding or trying to understand her - that just gives her fuel for her fire that she doesn't belong there or she's not loved.

I guess if it were me and this girl was yelling and screaming curses at me - I'd be past the point of taking her Ipod- I might send her to her room - but I'd go with her and do something with her - I wouldn't leave her alone to stew in her sadness and anger any longer- she's already done that for all the years her mother wasn't with her....and look where it's gotten them.
0 Replies
 
princesspupule
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jan, 2008 07:25 pm
I think Linkat is right, it a matter of semantics. I suppose I could also have written more about being authoritative while still building a deeper (caring, supportive, friendly) relationship. My own children and I have great relationships. I'm working at building one with my step son who is 10, but that is rougher because even though he reacts in a manner I can predict now, his dad is there intervening and dictating the rules for relationship. The OP wrote about yelling and swearing and bossing, and if you all excuse that as normal because of 13, rather than normal for a child who has been separated first one one parent, then from the one she depended on, well, I think you are not reading the situation very well. CJ, I always thought you were all right, but I see now that you read posts wrong. Proof in your response, snarking at me, implying superiority in your advice to mine. Hey, you can't even get my name right. Rolling Eyes
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