June 22, 2008,
C.M. asks from Wallingford, CT on June 19, 2008
I Need Help with My 13 Year Old Daughter!!!
My 13 year old has been showing me LOTS of attitude! I know its the age, but I find this to be very upsetting. I've taken away her cell, tv and computer...but nothing is helping...she's still so short tempered with me. I need some new ideas, hopefully positive ones. Thanks!
J.G. answers from New York on June 20, 2008
My daughter is nearing that age. I am hoping you get some good advice so I can also use it.
Good Luck. One day it will all be worth the heart ache.
C.M. answers from Albany on June 20, 2008
Hi C.. Any mom of a teenage daughter knows what you're talking about. Her hormones are going wild. She thinks you are the enemy......
Grin and bear it. I know that's easier said than done. I used to tell my daughter I hoped she had 5 kids just like her, and that I wanted to be freeze dried till she was thirty !!!!!
They do eventually get over the attitude and become nice people again.
My daughter did just fine. She's now a professional event planner, a wife, and the mother of a two yr old.
J.H. answers from Syracuse on June 20, 2008
I don't envy the stage you're in now - I worry about it wiht my 5 year old!
What about total reverse psychology and inviting her to a spa day with you? Facial, mani, pedi...the works, then a nice lunch. No confrontations, no taking away of "the stuff".
That offer just might rock her world...at least I hope it does!!
Best wishes to you, mom!
D.S. answers from New York on June 20, 2008
I well remember 13 year old girls. I have two daughters and a son and my oldest was a very tough one. You need to set your limits and be consistent with them. When my daughter was 13 I went to a parenting group and was told that by taking away things like cell, tv, computer etc that they adjust. They find something else to do. I was told that you need to make the punishment fit the "crime" and not to punish yourself. I often found that taking something away that they wanted to do like go to a party or a movie with friends would seem to help get the message through. I often gave chores out when they were punished. Not tremendous ones but dust, vacuum, empty the dishwasher things like that and not all at once. This was good for them to do and it helped me as well. I did ground her at times but not for a unrealistic rhealm of time. It's so hard when they start to grow up from our little babies and start to see the world on their own with all the peer pressure. Just keep inforcing your rules be consistent make sure she knows how much you love her and be there to help and listen when she needs you. She will always need you even if she doesn't show you that she does. It's all part of growing up. Try to remember when you were her age. One time in the parenting group the woman teaching it said, "Step back while a situation in your home is going on and see the humor in it." I thought it was a dumb thing she said but when you do take the time to see the antics and the reasoning behind the situation you can and will see the humor in it. You will have to walk the extra mile before she will but it will come back to you. Maybe not until she's in her 20's but it does and it makes all the touture of being a mom of a teen worth every moment. Good luck. Let us know how you make out.
No one said it would be easy and if they told us it would be hard we wouldn't have believed them anyway. My second daughter was a dream and my son another story but they are all doing well today and I'm very proud of them. You will get through it.
D.H. answers from Rochester on June 20, 2008
My mother in law has kids ranging from 7yrs.old to 32yrs. old right now(10 kids). And I learn a lot from her. She recently told me about her 15 yr. old and attitude. This girl is very tough, but not bad, just has a hard time controlling her temper sometimes. Anyway, same thing, nothing seemed to work, and my mother in law finally told her, everytime she gives attitude or is in the wrong, she has to clean all the toilets in the house, which is 5 toilets!! And she says it works. Also my mother in law gives NO attitude back, no smart remarks, just a calm voice, and patiences and love. It works! It's hard to have attitude with someone who is being loving and patient all the time. Good luck, hang in there, and it will pay off in the long run, but be consistent.
J.K. answers from New York on June 20, 2008
I'm sorry I can't help you but I have the same problem and need help too. Maybe it feels better to know that we're in the same boat at you. My 13 yr. old daughter is just awful at times. I just had to punish her b/c she "broke in" to our house b/c she forgot her key and I told her never to try to break in. What to do??
M.M. answers from New York on June 20, 2008
Hi C. -
I was having the same problem - I think most moms of teen girls do. A co-worker told me I should get the book, "How to Kiss a Frog". It sounds like the main idea is, we have to be patient and always show our daughters love - even though they talk back etc. The thing that helps me the most is when I remember that she's just 12 and is still needing me to teach her how to live in the best possible way ie. manners, respect etc.
I'm going to try to find the book in the library when I get a chance.
R.C. answers from New York on June 20, 2008
Maybe spending more special time with her alone. Maybe a walk in the park, a picnic for two, a boat ride, a drive out into the country.... and in the process talk to her but listen more allowing her to express what she thinks and feels.. Ask her opinion about things and ask her how she feels about this or that. More like you would do with a friend. Lean how to communicate with her...and
Don't come down hard on her if you aren't in agreement about something...stay clam, tell her what you think without getting into a power struggle. Recognize the differences and agree on disagreeing on what ever it is when having talks with her....
I tend to think teenages need to feel important and feel part of a family unit where they know that their feelings and thoughts count, get respected and mean something to those around them in order for them to want to follow the values and rules of the unit. If they don't feel it and bond with that at home, they turn to the out side world for it and just see the home and the parents in it as just another drag in life to deal with...which we tend to call an "attitude". And since we the parents provide the roof, the food, the clothes, the toys, the computers, the cell phones, etc.. we get to feel boy how ungrateful is that attitude and in turn we react and the power struggle begins and the communication stops. What kids really need today, money can't buy. We need to learn instead of reacting, to step back and communicate with respect to others if we want others to respect what we are saying. Our teenagers are no different then others we have relationships with. ALL healthy relationships, need love, compromise, communicaton and respect...it's give and take and works both ways no matter what the age difference is..
Anyway, just think about it, take one day at a time and I'm sure you'll find your way with this Teenager...
L.M. answers from New York on June 19, 2008
I can definitely relate. I'm having the exact same situation with my 13 year old. I'm looking forward to reading the responses.
The only help I can give is to let you know your not alone.
Kathy has an excellent suggestion with a reward system. I tried something similiar, but unfortunatly it didn't work.
J.G. answers from New York on June 20, 2008
Hi C....oh boy...been right in your shoes...sometimes still am! My daughter just turned 15 in May and is going to be a Sophmore. I can tell you that her 8th grade year was a nightmare!!! Let me say, I can ALMOST call her normal now!!! We did all of the same things... took away her phone, computer, grounded her...nothing seemed to help...but we hung in there and didn't give up. To this day I think us not giving in to her was key to her turning the corner. I don't know who your daughter is hanging out with but we found that a HUGE influence on our daughter. She started hanging out with some girls that had too much freedom, and because she didn't, it made for a miserable year. But we stayed strong. In the meantime she was giving up her old and dearest friends to hang out with this other crowd. It was heartbreaking. I talked to her constantly. I know she hated it but I didn't care. I told her she was going down a bad path and making bad choices that would end up getting her hurt or in trouble. I never made her give up these friends, (she ultimately did it herself) but I tried to show her the error of her judgement. It was months before she started to change. I guess she finally opened her eyes to what type of girls these were. I don't know what actually made her come back to who she was but I am thrilled she has. Her attitude and behavior was just awful. Now she is my sweet little baby girl again...don't get me wrong, she is still a teenager, and still gets moody and sometimes nasty,and always lazy, but all in all she is quick to apologize now and I haven't had to take her phone in a LONG time!!! i wish you luck with your daughter! Hang tough and she will come around. One thing I haven't asked though which helped me to stay strong. How is her father with her? Do you put up a united front? Because one thing I do know, is that alone, without his support, I don't know if I could have stayed as strong as I did...
Please keep me posted...good luck
B.C. answers from Rochester on June 20, 2008
Hi, C. -- your original post did not indicate if you have help (i.e. her dad). I can only tell you that if my husband wan't around, I would probably be going through the same thing. He is intolerant of disrespect (which he learned from his father and grandfather) and has even said "You will not speak to your mother that way!"
If he is not in the picture, do you have another male authority figure in her life that might be able to help?
It might be worth a try.
Good luck!! B.