18 answers

My 11 Year Old Is Being Disrespectful and Argumentative

Help!!! My 11 year old daughter has become very direspectful to my husband and I, mostly me. She has the same amount of responsibility as my other children, such as they trade off doing chores like dishes,laundry,and cleaning the bathrooom. My other kids do their chores with minimal complaining and no attitude. When I ask her to do anything such as do her homework or get her share of the chores done she starts by arguing with me, then she tries to tell me its not her turn or "its not fair" and "she has to do everything" and that I don't make anyone else do as much as she has to do. Then when I have made it clear that I am not giving in and she has to finish her chore she goes in to the room the chore is in and does the chore as slowly as she can so she can drag it out until close to bed time and then I get "mom I promise if you let me go to bed I will finish tomorrow". If I refuse to let her do the chore the next day she will stay up all night and she still doesn't finish then she is crabby the next day. If i let her do the chore the next day she has the chore from the night before to do as well as the chore for that day and before you know it she is doing all the chores and my other kids are "getting away without doing anything". Eventually my husband gives in and does some of the chores for her and I get stuck looking like the bad guy. If he asks her to do her chores it is the same fight but,I refuse to give in and help her because she has to learn to be responsible for her actions. How can I can I stop this cycle it is starting to progress into her arguing with me just for the sake of arguing with me.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

First of all I would like to tahnk all of you for your advice. I did talk to my husband about finishing the chores for her and expalined how it made me feel and that it made the sitation worse. He however, let me know (since we were being straight forward) that I have been known to do the same thing with our son. Who knew? Anyway we have come to a workable agreement as a family and the chore problem has subsided. We constructed a family chore chart and everyone has their chores listed on it including Dad and I when the chore is completed we color in the space for that chore and it is considered done. This has worked so well it seems like the house is twice as clean. Each chore has to be checked by a parent and a sibling to make it fair for everyone.

Featured Answers

Hi there-
I have 3 children and recently decided that I was tired of reminding them to do their one daily a.m. chore and to make their beds before school. I decided to charge them $1 for each time it isn't done, then if I have time to do their stuff that day, they get charged an extra $1 for maid service.
They can pay me out of their savings, b-day money, or spending money. They don't receive allowance. This is part of their responsibility they need to do to contribute.
Hope this helps. It's working beautifully so far, and I've only made $2 so far!
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

H.,

I can so relate! When my daughter turned 11 she became a different person. Uncooperative, disrespectful - you name it. She is now 21 and we have a great relationship. I just wanted to let you know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Also, though it was a little late in the game for me - I used the book "Parenting Teens With Love and Logic" by Cline and Faye. I found it really really helpful and even use their Parenting With Love and Logic for my younger ones (there are 2 books). I highly recommend it. It will give you some great strategies to use for tweens who are approaching the teen years.

It is a 'tough love' book - there are consequences and rewards for everything - dependent on the choice of the child - but ultimately, it is the childs choice. If she is disrespectful - follow through with what you have set up to be the consequence - no matter how tough it is for you to do.

Again, I have a great relationship with my daughter now - but she had gotten so bad that we told her follow our rules or move out. She was 17 and moved out. It was the toughest thing I went through - BUT - she has learned far more than any of her cousins whom at 25 still live with mom and dad. She also learned far more than I could have taught her living at my home because she 'learned' from her own choices. She knows how to budget, she appreciates what I've done, she is a great worker and she understands more about life. It worked for her. Though I don't necessarily recommend giving a child that choice - because again, it was horrible to live through and you have to follow through with the consequence.

Also, children learn from their own mistakes. They don't really learn from our advice. Let her make the mistakes now, because it's alot worse to recover from when she is older. If she learns that disrepect takes away freedom now - then she'll learn to be respectul of authority later.

I hope this helps a bit. And though it might be bad now, it does come around.

Best to you!

2 moms found this helpful

Is she your oldest child? she is doing this to get your attention. so you need to sit her down and find out what is making her so unhappy. I know because I did this also! LOL I am the 2nd oldest child out of 10 children. I wanted my mom's attention and everytime she had another baby, I felt that she had less time for me. this could be what she feels. LOL
plan on some Mom and Daughter activities that are just you and her. and use them as a reward system. "Hey Lucy, there is a Scrapbook party at so and so house,If you get your job done, then We can go to it and do some scrapbooking." Find positive ways to reward her that include time with you.
As to the complaining, have family councel meeting to talk about the complaints and get all the family feedback. and ask questions like "Why do you feel that you have more to do then the other kids?"

2 moms found this helpful

Hi there...My 11 year old boy is the same way..maybe it's the age! We have a "trash-talkin' dirty jobs" basket. It's a small plastic garbage can with a bunch of dirty jobs written on little pieces of paper. If there's any trash-talkin' ie; calling names, arguing, talking back, arguing with siblings etc. , they have to pick a dirty job. There is no playing outside or with friends until these are finished. I have had to turn away many friends at the door after school time because the dirty jobs are not completed. The jobs I chose to put in there are; scrubbing toilets, washing out the trash can(the one in the kitchen and bathrooms and even our dumpster we take out to the street) scrubbing tile grout with a brush, cleaning baseboards, washing screens on the windows, walking around the block and picking up any trash they see. (this is a timed chore of 10 min. I send a watch with them and I have a watch that has the matching time, if they are late, it's another dirty job) pulling weeds, and pretty much anything else I can think of. I'll tell ya, this has worked like a charm and I have gotten alot of cleaning done around this house! Good luck, hope this helps. A.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi H.,

First good job mom recognizing this in your daughter and you have one on the way. You are one busy momma and make sure to give yourself some very due credit! I agree about being on the same page as your hubby. Another idea is you could explain to her that you do not appreciate or expect her to argue with you anymore regarding the chores. If she does then her consequence is she will have to do some of her siblings chores as well. If she chooses (chooses is the key word) b/c then it is her descision how to act you are not telling her. I think it might make her feel alittle more in control and it takes some of the pressure off of you.) If she "chooses" to argue her consequence is more chores if she "chooses" to drag out her chore or chores her consequence is no tv or friends or something else she likes. Try to approach it along the lines of this is what you expect of her and she chooses not to comply these things will happen. Hope this helps and I'm sure when mine are pre-teen I'll be asking the same thing ;0. Good luck and hang in there. If you guys lay down the guidlines now with her it will probably benifit you and her in the future teen years. :)

K.

1 mom found this helpful

I am a 6th grade teacher and this is a common area of frustration for parents. At this age they want to be independent an just like a toddler you have to be the adult. The best way to deal with your daughter is to not back down, same for your husband (he probably is just trying to keep peace in the house.) You may have to use an egg timer and watch her do her chores for three weeks; she will eventually get totally anoyed by you being there and hearing the ticking of the timer, that she will give up and do her chores without complaining.

Just remember you are entering the world of the terrible teans which are quite similar to the terrible twos!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi H.,
I too have an 11 year old daughter, and it sounds like I am not the only one that is going through the "argumentative stage" ! I am sure that part of it is her age, but mine is a daddy's girl so any thing she can do to get on dad's good graces is fun for her! I agree that you should get on the same page as your husband and explain that doing it for her is not helping! And the time limit on chores is very effective but you kind of need incentive and punishment to get the point across. Talking back seems normal at this age but we don't tolerate it in our house. Her dad is very clear on the fact that talking back means losing cell phone, Ipods cds etc. etc. Good luck
K.

1 mom found this helpful

There is a fantastic book that I HIGHLY recommend to EVERYONE written by Kevin Lehman. (Google his name and you will find all kinds of info!) He lives in Tucson and has been on Oprah, Good Morning America, etc... He is well known for his practical parenting advice. He wrote one of the most helpful books I've ever read on parenting called, "Making Your Children Mind Without Losing Yours". It is fantastic. It helps with behavioral problems starting with toddlers, all the way up into the teenage years. I've used his methods for years on my now 9,7 and 4 year old boys. They're not perfect kids, but they sure know what accountablility is and they know that when mom says something that she means it! I bought my book from Borders and keep it in the bathroom to thumb through every couple of months. It's such a great book with sound, simple advice.

Good luck!
A.

1 mom found this helpful

H.,
First of all, you and your husband must be on the same page in everything concerning your teens/preteens. If not, your kids will see right through it and will play you against one another. Also, you need to get a handle on the "respect" issue right away. An EXCELLENT book for teens and preteens is "Boundaries With Teens" by Drs. Cloud and Townsend. I read from it almost everyday because it is very helpful! I hope you and your husband can sit down calmly and discuss this child and how it makes you feel to have him do her chores and usurp your authority with her. Use "I" messages when talking to him--don't blame or say "you always" or "you never" etc.. I hope this helps! Get this book--you'll love it and be able to use it immediately!
K.

1 mom found this helpful

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