42 answers

I Think My 13 Year Old Hates Me. HELP!

I'm positive my 13 year old daughter hates me. I totally go out of my way to make her happy, she has a cell, a laptop, a giant tv in her room. I buy her everything that she asks for but she argues w/me about everything, she won't clean her room or do chores unless I yell at her and even then its only after I've yelled at her like 15 times. She is rude and disrespectful. If I take her phone and/or laptop away or ground her because of her attitude she doesn't care. She has no respect, no fear. I hate yelling at her, I love her so much and I want to have a good relationship w/her but I don't know how to make that happen. Other than the way she treats me she is a good kid. She never gets into trouble in school. Her teachers love her. She has great, wonderful friends that I adore and she's on the honor role in school. She doesn't treat my husband, or anyone else with disrespect, it's just me. We tried therapy but after 2 sessions the therapist said that she didn't think she needed it. And let me also say that she's not like this ALL the time but it's more often than not. I feel stupid for even posting this because I know that it could be a whole lot worse but I don't want it to get any worse. I would really appreciate any advice I can get from other moms who have had issues w/their teenage daughters. How did you make it better??

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shes at the age she is trying to find her independence. remember it takes 2 to argue. QUIT BUYING HER EVERYTHING this is why she acts like a spoiled brat is because she is. make her respect you to get something she wants. you cant buy her love you have to earn her love by telling her no.
she may say she doesn't care if you take this stuff away but trust me she does. also sounds like you 2 may be a little too much alike. (this statement is not meant to be rude) when a parent and a child are too much alike they don't get along. :)

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Hi S.
I completely agree with Marda and could not have put it better myself. Good luck and Hang in there if you work on it things will get better.

2 moms found this helpful

I think you try too hard. Don't worry so much about giving her everything. Let her earn a few privileges. Also, don't worry so much about what she thinks about you. My son is 11 and I know he loves me. It doesn't always mean he's happy about some of the choices I make. He's a great kid, but there's a few choices he's made I'm not crazy about either. He knows I'm his Mom and not his friend. I'm here to do what I feel is best for him and sometimes he's not going to like it. Sometimes he needs an attitude adjustment and I'm more than happy to adjust him if his ego over inflates itself. Once he's over being mad, he loves me all the more. He does not have a cell phone, or a TV in his room, or a laptop or even a gaming system. He gets every book he asks for because he's a straight A student and he NEVER argues about helping me or chores. He knows his behavior and hard work earns it.

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I've only read your first sentence and have 2 comments. It's her job as a 13 yo to hate you. lol And, you are making a big mistake going out of your way to make her happy. You are her mother and your job is to ready her for life as an adult. Her happiness is her responsibility. Your responsibility is to give her a normal life while teaching her that life has requirements and consequences when she doesn't meet those requirements.

Yes, you are concerned for her happiness and it is your responsibility to make it possible for her to be happy but it is definitely detrimental to you, her and your relationship to go out of your way to make her happy. This gives her a sense of entitlement which then does cause her to be unhappy when she doesn't get everything she wants whether is is physical goods or always her own way in doing things.

I suggest that she is a good kid because others do have boundaries with her. She knows where she stands with them. She knows what they expect and knows the consequences of her misbehavior.

I've struggled with boundaries my whole life. It took me at least a year as an adult to even understand what boundaries were. Your daughter is acting out because she needs boundaries. She needs to know that you won't go out of your way to make her happy. She needs to know where she begins and you end. I suggest that you find some counseling to help you develop boundaries for yourself and with her.

In the meantime here are some basic issues. Do not buy her everything she asks for. You decide what is appropriate for her to have and what will fit into your budget. Develop a plan so that she works for some of the things that she wants. This is where some rules will come in handy.

You decide what sort of behavior you are comfortable with. You write down a list of chores that you expect her to complete. Then you talk with her about these and be willing to make some compromises. Let her choose a set number of chores to be completed by a certain time. Depending on how difficult the chores are 3-5 is a good number at this age. Examples are everything from making her bed every morning to doing the dishes, vacuuming, etc.

Also you decide on what values you want her to learn. Values are such things as honesty, respect. Respect is an important one because it includes such things as speaking in a respectful tone of voice. Doing what one's parents asks them to do without talking back. Many of the behaviors with which you're dealing is related to respect.

First you have to respect yourself. Do you put up with her behavior because you suspect you're not worth as much as she is and therefore deserve to be talked back to? This, appears simple on the surface but it is not. Took me years, and I'm still working on it, to realize that I'm a really good person and deserve to always have respect.

Going along with that is the idea that because I deserve the respect I do not need to get angry in order to get respect. Respect is a fact of my life. If my child is not respectful they must leave my presence until they can be. I tell them this in a calm, matter of fact tone of voice. "Go to your room until you can speak respectfully to me."

I think that one reason I used to yell alot is that unconsciously I felt that I had to convince them that they needed to respect me. I don't have to convince them because there is a consequence to them for being disrespectful. The consequence will either convince them or not. If it doesn't they keep getting the consequence. They have a choice. Respect or not. No matter what they do or don't do, I deserve respect. This forms a boundary between the two of us.

Often the fights we have with our kids is about that boundary. We are defending the boundary and taking on the responsibility for the child to acknowledge it. We don't need to defend it. The boundary is there and it's up to the child to learn that the boundary is there and you will not change it.

I suggest that your daughter is constantly testing to find out where your boundaries are. I suspect that you frequently do not know yourself where they are because you are focusing on making your daughter happy instead of helping her to be an independent person, separate from you, who knows what is expected of her and what the consequences will be if she doesn't come close to meeting those expectations.

I empathize with you. I went thru this with my daughter. It's a miserable place in which to be. And it does take some serious work on the part of the parent to dig out of the hole. The work is painful but worth it.

7 moms found this helpful

"..she has a cell, a laptop, a giant tv in her room. I buy her everything that she asks for but she argues w/me about everything, " Sounds like YOU created a spoiled brat...so yes, you will be the one she will argue with.

The good news is, she loves you, the bad news is, you can't change her... you can only change yourself. What ever you did before lead to this behavior. You have to start all over again. Be her mom, not her best friend and not her bank account. And yes it will get worse for a while and you will have to hold your grounds to recreate a good and respectful rapport with your daughter has her mother.

It's doable... not fun, but doable!

4 moms found this helpful

I'm not reading all the other posts and I hope I don't come across as rude, but I think my mom felt the same way when I was 13, she referred to me as the devil child at points.... so, here goes...

You can't buy your daughter's love or respect. There is no reason a 13 year old needs her own laptop or a big screen TV in her BEDROOM. Those are things that she should have to earn and by that I mean BUY HERSELF... or at least have to pay for some, kind of like a car at 16. If you give the brand new car she learns nothing about earning and taking care of what she had to work for. My parents didn't give me HUGE things that I wanted, but they definitely gave me most of the stuff I wanted, clothes, toys, games, money for fun, etc... and I had the same attitude toward them. I would yell I hate you and slam my door when I didn't get things my way. We did family counseling and individual counseling and it didn't work either, I saw 2 different ones too.
Here is my advice from the KIDS perspective.... Invest in her life! spend just you and her time doing something SHE enjoys. Get to know what makes her tick. Talk to her about life AFTER you develop a solid relationship because if you try too early she will think you are just prying in her life and "hate" you more. But most of all, stop buying her everything she wants, those things will only temporarily make her happy but in the end you aren't investing in anything that will last.
Check out the book Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leeman. it's a GREAT book... I've read it for my 6 1/2 year old daughter and it's helped. Good luck and remember to stay connected with a good support group of friends to encourage you and build you up through all of this or you will crumble!

4 moms found this helpful

Yup, half of it is her age. My daughter is 13 and I am convinced she hates me to. She seems grumpy all the time, she has to be reminded 50 times to do her chores . . . . . . . . ahhhhh welcome to the teenage years!!
I would start by taking her out for a soda and sit down with her and have a talk. Tell her how you feel about your relationship with her and where you want it to be. Then, its time to lay down the law! (so , you need to think about this before you go)
Chores - this was our biggest issue. I would yell , she wouldn't do it ...blah, blah blah- the normal. With the biggest goal in mind being to make my relationship better with my daughter, I came to a compromise. I made it plain what her daily chores were, keeping in mind she is in school , I lightened her chore load. I told her that I will no longer get angry when she does not remember to do her chores AS long as she doesn't get angry when I remind her 50 times. Thus, a fight over chores was eliminated. I noticed immediately that some of the tension between is was lightened. She may not do her chores the second I remind her, but for the most part she is doing them. (I realized that some of my demand for her to do them immediately was part of a control issue I have).
CLEANING THE ROOM - When they say to pick and choose your battles, this is one battle I chose to not fight on a daily basis! You want a messy room - that's fine! No food or drinks are allowed out of the kitchen, so the only mess is her clothes. NOW, with that being said, the rule is this: If the room isn't clean and tidy, then don't ask for a sleepover, don't ask for the mall, don't ask for a new pair of shoes . . . . . JUST DONT ASK!

Respect - When my daughter and I are in a conversation and she starts to get out of line with her mouth, I simply hold up a finger like to say "one minute" and I remind her to watch her tone of voice. I tell her she can express herself in a respectful manner. Since I am not yelling at her, she usually responds by trying a different was of expressing herself.

There is no getting around the teenage years. I have one more bit of advice and that is you may want to stop trying to "buy" your way into a better relationship with your daughter. This is not going to help in anyway!

Be firm with her, demand respect, and stick to your guns. There should always be consequences for bad decisions. But remember the most important thing is to communicate and try to help her find ways of expressing herself to you appropriately.

Good luck

4 moms found this helpful

shes at the age she is trying to find her independence. remember it takes 2 to argue. QUIT BUYING HER EVERYTHING this is why she acts like a spoiled brat is because she is. make her respect you to get something she wants. you cant buy her love you have to earn her love by telling her no.
she may say she doesn't care if you take this stuff away but trust me she does. also sounds like you 2 may be a little too much alike. (this statement is not meant to be rude) when a parent and a child are too much alike they don't get along. :)

4 moms found this helpful

I am certainly no expert :) However, I have successfully raised 2 girls (now 21 and 20) and currently have a 13 yr old girl. First, she doesn't hate you! In fact, she loves you more than anyone else in your life - she is so certain of your unconditional love that she knows she can do just about anything and you will still love her. That being said, stop trying to "win" her love :)

Second, no more yelling - under any circumstances. That is tough, I know, I am a yeller myself. Some kids just do not respond to yelling - they can tune it out completely!

Third, take away the cell, the laptop and the TV (or disconnect the feed to it). She should be earning those things - not having them given to her because of some perceived sense of entitlement. She does care when you take them away - but by acting like she doesn't, you just give them back sooner or stop taking them away altogether thinking it isn't going to help anyways. She is no dummy :)

Fourth, make sure that you are not blurring the line between friend and mom. I know that you want to have a good relationship with her - just make sure that you are correctly defining it.

As far as a plan of action, I would start with taking all the "goodies" away. Then calmly tell her how she can win them back - write it down if you need to. She is going to yell and scream - ignore it and send her to her room. She can come out when she is ready to discuss this like a rational person. Create a chart of how long it will take her to earn the items back and what constitutes "being good." There is nothing wrong with her disagreeing and even getting upset about something with you, but I'll bet you know the difference between being disrespectful and having a disagreement. Keep the chart in a visible place and if she screws up, move the peg back 3 days. She WILL get it if you are consistent, I promise.

She is going to make the argument that she needs the cell for safety reasons and the laptop for homework. She is an honor roll student - I'll bet that she knows where the local library is to do her homework and I'll bet that since her priviliges are going to be reduced until this is over, she can come up with a way to get ahold of you until she earns it back.

Teenage years are tough but don't fall for the "well, she's just being a teenager" thing - respect and good communication are things that are earned and learned, teaching her the skills now is a great idea :)

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful

"I buy her everything that she asks for but she argues w/me about everything"
sounds like she argues because that is how she gets things.

But...that is just how it sounds. I don't know what else goes on.
Was the therapist just for her alone, or for the two of you together? It should be the latter.

I am certain that she loves you, it is only that you trigger each other's emotions.
Change the rules. Don't repeat yourself. Tell her that you love her very much and you also love yourself, so you are not going to allow yourself to be treated this way any longer. Tell her these are the new rules: you are going to tell her things ONCE, and no more, and she needs to act or there will be consequences. Maybe even print it and post it on the wall. Choose your expectations carefully according to their importance, make sure they are specific and reasonable, not just pet peeves of yours, but things any parent would expect (like chores, room clean). Then if she doesn't act, follow through with a big consequence that will matter to her. Do it for everything. If she tries to yell or negotiate, walk away. Don't negotiate, or yell back , or repeat yourself, just shrug your shoulders and say, "New Rules". She'll catch on that you are serious, and that her old tricks are not going to work any longer.

4 moms found this helpful

Take the luxuries away and make her work for what she does get. She can do lots of chores and maybe she will realize her lifestyle is something to appreciate. My teenage daughter is now in college but she always had to work for everything she got. It puts a lot of things into perspective. Sometimes life can be the best teacher and all you need to do is let her experience some real life.

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