J.N. asks from Beaverton, OR on April 03, 2007
12 Year Old Loosing Her Mind?!?!?
I have a 12 year old daughter and I'm not kidding you since the day she turned 12 I have had soo many problems with her! She is a natural leader and a sweetheart. Everyone loves her and thinks the world of her! But since she turned 12 she has been disrespectful to me, her father and even her two younger brothers! The problem started with lieing. Then it was lieing about not doing her homework, then it was lieing about everything!!! When it first started we had a lot of talks (my favorite method of partenting) about lieing, about doing your homework and how these things effect the way people think about her. Then when that didn't work one bit, we started by grounding her from t.v., she did it anyway and then would lie about it, so she was grounded to her room, that didn't work she would just sneek out and play in her brother's room or hang out in the hall way, let's see she tried to run away, she spent a week at my friends house because she thought we needed a break, that didn't help, and so on and soforth....I have tried just about everything I know of, I have had some great advice from my myspace friends, but at this point she is now going to day care because she does what ever she wants while at home alone before and after school, and that way I know she can not run away again! She also has nothing in her room but her clothes, blankets and a few books. I check her bag everyday and search her room for anything that she is not supposed to have. Am I just being a freak or what!??! My husband is handling most of it now - which has helped a little but he just has her staying busy with chores...(although I have not had to do laundry in 2 weeks!! :D) I don't like the fact that all she ever does is chores. Although it has helped a little, but now she is out of town for business so it's all on me!!! Yipes! It's like being a single mommy again! That's half the reason I got married!!! Anyway...hope that wasn't too long! Any advice would be great....even if it's just to survive this week! Thanks in advance!
So What Happened?™
WOW I'm soo blessed to be a part of this group! Thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas with me! I feel so loved! :)
To respond to some of the things said. Of course there is more to the story but I didn't want to have to write a small book about it ;)
Jacqueline - I agree that children need activities, I have tried in the past to get her involved and she gets burned out half way through things....doesn't mean I don't make her continue but when the session is over I don't sign her up again. Even girl scouts that she seemed to love, all she had to do was stay after school but she would never remember, even if I reminded her that morning....I mean she way the other girls in her troup thoughout the day as well...so she just did't want to sign up again. We have tried a few other things too but the same thing has happened. She wanted to sign up for a hip hop dance at school which I was totally excited about, but I told her she had one month to show me that she could complete her homework and turn it in on time....which she didn't .....so I have a hard time rewarding her with an activity if she is not holding up her end of the bargin! She could easly be a straight A student if she just turned in her homework on time. She brings home check off sheets every two weeks and the things she turns in she 90% of the time she gets A's, but her class grades are mostly D's because she has so many things turned in late or not at all....which is the same thing I used to do and my mother NEVER made ANY efforts to change that. I however have had several meeting with all of her teachers, her school counslor, we call a homework hot line and I sit down with her to make sure things get done....but I can not go to school with her every day to make her turn it in :( I just don't know what else to do!!
Angela - I'll try to answer your questions. The reason we search her room is because she is was supposed to be taking a lunch to school...her and her brothers choice, but her Step-Dad noticed one day when he was home early enough that he was taking her too school that she didn't have a lunch and asked her if she forgot it she told him that she had not been taking a lunch because she is not hungry most of the time. Now she is already supper skinny, but not sick. And she does not think she is fat she is always talking about how hot she is. Anyway I had a talk with her then about it and asked her if it was just that she was tired of take cold lunch and she said no. A week or so later I noticed that she was still not taking her lunch so I gave her a check for lunch money just in case she wanted to eat lunch and we had another talk about how important it is to keep her energy up and to feed her brain too! Then she never gave the check to the lunch person, this has happened twice. So then when she was lieing for so long and no other consequences were working I got advice from several people to take everything out of her room, so we did, and while doing that we found pudding cups in her garbage can along with all sorts of candy wrappers, gun stuck to things, and a regular coke can under her bed. So she has been sneaking food, which she should have no reason for because I am for the most part a pretty laid back mom and we have plenty of snacks healthy and sweet and they usually get them when ever they want unless they are misbehaiving. Also someone mention to see how she was doing in school. Well she would get A's if she turned everything in, but her teachers say that she is a wild child in school, I am assuming it's because all she ever eats is candy! I know that it's our job as parents to teach and guide our children, not controle thier every move. I do remember what it was like to be 12 so I am tring to be as supportive as I wish my mom would have been. Thank you for your opinions though :)
Marda - Thanks again for reminding me that this is somewhat normal and recommending those books...I'm going to the book store today!
Karen - She is my flash and blood, however my husband is her Step-Dad. I'm soo sorry that you are going through this too! I really don't like to be mad, or have to yell or punish my chidlren. For the most part I have always gotten away with talking with then and teaching them why what they did was not ok and figuring out how we can all work to make sure it doesn't happen again. Don't get me wrong they have gotten things taken away, grounded and other safe ways of punishments but it just hasn't been as big of a deal until now. I start with small and work my way up...which hopefully I don't have to go that far. But this is the furthest I have ever had to go. I feel guilty and bad when I have to take things from her to not see her all day because she is grounded to her room, but everytime I try to easy her back into the normal world she just freaks out! She has a borhter that is 8 and she has started to be abusive to him. She tried to choke him, she beat him with the vacuume attachment and then just the other day shoved him to the floor and sat on him with a pillow over his head!!! Now I know the first thing that people would think is that she thinks we love him more then her, but we actually have for some time now spent more time with her, alone time with just me and alone time with just her Step-Dad...which she loves and adores.
Anyway.... I'm just going to keep on truck'n and keep tring things until I find something that works!!! If I do I'll let you know ;) I do really appreciate all of your advice and opinions! Thank you sooooo much! And I hope that I may be as helpful to you all in the future. God Bless :)
Y.C. answers from Seattle on April 04, 2007
Hi, I am a stay at home Mom of 5 kids. I have seen fases come and go but the teen years are what I dred the most. We have a 10 yr old boy who has just started with the lieing about homework and things. I can't say that I have a mirical cure or even great advice but I can tell you that you sound like a loving Mother. I don't know about you, but I can remember going through a real difficult stage around those pre-teen and teen years. I know that I'm in for alot for what I put my parents through! I do know that I can't remember what we fought about or even why we did. I cant remember why I did half the things I did. What I do remember is that no matter what, My Dad never gave up on me and no matter what I did he was always there.(sometimes with a frown and a harsh word or two) You and your family will make it through this difficult time and later down the road she will call you,(maybe after she grows up and has her own kids) and tell you how much she thanks you for continueing to try and never giving up. I wish you the best through this time. Good Luck!
2 moms found this helpful
J.S. answers from Seattle on April 04, 2007
This is the age where that wedge between Mother and Daughter begins. From what I was reading to me what I heard is that she is needing something that shes not getting. When you are having your 'talks' does she get to speak? And do you REALLY listen to what she's saying? Has anything drastic changed in her life? Did you move? Did a friend move? Is she getting bullied at school? I do not agree with using the tactic of defining who she is by what others think of her. That to me is a dangerous game. You don't want her to internalized those things. She needs to be comfortable with who she is no matter what others think of her. She is angry about something and if you can't get through to her maybe she would talk to a therepist. Or an aunt...someone. I hope this helps. Good luck to you!
1 mom found this helpful
J.E. answers from Seattle on April 04, 2007
I've mentioned this before on this site, and I think it's appropriate for your situation. Get her involved in activities. A local theater production, a church youth group, a soccer group, flute lessons, piano anything, anything, anything. There are free things for kids to do, but investing in a $20 piano or voice lesson, is showing her that you care about her and feel she has worth. You didn't mention if she has any outside activities, so I'm assuming she doesn't. I have a 16 year old and 14 year old and never had a days grief over them mostly because they are very involved in many things. They've learned respect because they have many adults that they have too respect, i.e. their flute and violin teachers, and directors etc. Don't assume just because she turned a certain age that she is going bad, people like to say the "terrible two's" or "teenagae terror" and label kids, which I personally hate. I rather believe that the kid is crying out for something or someone in his or her life, and most likely that's you. Why don't the two of you take a belly dance lesson together? I took a hip hop class with my daughter for a while, it was a blast and I lost some weight too. I could go on, but hopefully you get my point. Good luck
1 mom found this helpful
J.F. answers from Portland on April 05, 2007
I know exactly what you are talking about. When My now 13 year old turned 12 she did the same thing. The lying about having homework done, chores being done, feeding the pets and etc. I sort of felt that she did it just for the attention. Still do at times! I found out that the only thing that helped was taking away the things that meant the most to her. I figured out that it is the use of the phone that she treasures the most. GONE! I have limited her activities to homework club @ school and soccer practices/games. On the days that she does as she is asked I give a limited time on the phone as a reward. On the days when I don't even have to ask for things to be done I reward her even more. I seems to be working. Atleast fo the time being. I have noticed that she has even been more open to me about the things that are going on in her life. School stuff, boy and her friends. The school e-mails me every Monday regarding her missing work and attendance. She is rewarded accordingly. I think all kids say they don't want chores and fight us on it but, the facts are that kids thrive on having them. Mine does. Someone once told me that the word "YOU MAY...(fill in with what you wish to say" works. YOU MAY clean your room. YOU MAY do the dishes. Believe me they work. Especially on my 9 year old boy. I hope this will help you in some small way. I know that it isn't over by far for me and my daughter but, I know it can only get better.
1 mom found this helpful
K.K. answers from Portland on April 04, 2007
Is this your bio or step daughter? It sounds a lot like my daughter. She has always had a lying streak in her, but in the 6 months or so it has gotten a lot worse. I am sure for my daughter, part of it was starting junior high. I know this because a lot of major lies are about homework, school work, how things work at school (rules), etc. There are other little lies at home...stupid things like "Ya, I swept the bathroom floor." when I can see cat litter all over it! Or telling me the clothes in the dryer aren't dry yet... knowing I'm going to go check them to make sure before I pay more electricity to dry already dry clothes!!!
You mentioned your daughter doing chores all the time and as long as she stays busy, she stays out of trouble. My daughter has now been grounded for 2 months. The first month, she was grounded to her room and could only come out to use the bathroom, which she had to ask for first (not that we told her no, but if she doesn't ask she will be there every 3 min. becasue it's a way out of the bedroom "without us noticing"), to get a drink, to eat dinner, or to go to school. On the weekends, she got to go to church and do as many chores as she wanted to so she could come out of her room... chores was the only thing that she got to come out for that lasted any length of time. If she slipped up while she was doing a chore... lied, back talked, etc... she was back to her room. While she was in her room, she could do nothing but sit in the middle of it and read her book. Sadly enough, my house has never been as peaceful as that point!!!
My point is this... I believe it's kind of a phase that a lot of kids will go through at this age. There are a lot of changes going on for any girl that age. All you can do is try to curb it the best way you can so it doesn't happen... you can't make her see at this point, why she can't do it. There is no teaching her a lesson, she has to learn it on her own.
M.P. answers from Portland on April 03, 2007
She sounds like a normal 12 yo. She's trying to learn how to be independent. This is an essential step in her development and it is difficult for everyone especially when relationships get started in a negative direction. I strongly recommend counseling.
I also recommend books by Foster Kline. His organization has a web site www://loveandlogic.com I think his first book is even entitled Parenting with Love and Logic. I found it to be very helpful along with counseling for my daughter and myself. I was a single parent who adopted an older child.
There are also books with the words Parent Effectiveness Training in the title which helped me to understand why my daughter was acting in her way. Kids act in various ways to get needs met. The book helps to figure out what the need is and then gives suggestions on how to discipline in a manner that also helps both the child and the parent get their needs met.
I love candles. Can't burn them because of a housemates allergies and I miss that. Good luck with the party. And with your daughter too. She will grow up. My daughter is now 26, the single mother of 2 children and has a responsible job. We now get along. When she was 12 I wondered if either of us would survive. :)