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

Sounds Like my 9 year old daughter....when u figure out how to take control of it, let me know
T.

1 mom found this helpful

Wow! Talk about timing. Right after I received your question on the Mamasource email I got this email from Love and Logic. Maybe it will help. I copied and pasted it directly...

The single most important thing we can do to help our kids develop these skills [good "employee skills] is to expect them to complete chores without reminders and without pay. In our CD, "Didn’t I Tell You to Take Out the Trash?!", we teach the following steps for making this happen:

Instead of saying, "Take out the trash, now!" try giving your child a deadline, "Just have the trash taken out by six o’clock."

This deadline gives you plenty of time to think about what you will do if your child forgets or refuses to do the chore.

Resist the urge to nag and remind.

If your child forgets or refuses to do the chore, do it for them.

With great empathy, provide a consequence. "This is so sad. I did your chores. How are you planning to pay me?"

Your child can pay by doing extra chores, staying home instead of being driven somewhere they want to go, giving you a toy, etc.

Thanks for reading.

Dr. Charles Fay

My 7-yr.-old (oldest) child acts the same way--I was laughing because the exact words you quoted come from his mouth all the time. I am going to have to try this technique also. He'll soon learn about doing his jobs AND money management (I hope!).

1 mom found this helpful

When I was having problems with my son not respecting me. I tried everything and then he showed an interest in Tae Kwon Do. I enrolled him into West Coast Martial Arts and about 4 weeks later he was showing more respect at home and behaving better at school as well. It really helped a lot. The studio is on the corner of Golf Links and Wilmot in the Safeway parking lot there. It faces Wilmot and Jason Cole is the Teacher. He will be testing for his 5th degree black belt at the end of May. The phone number there is ###-###-#### and he always has deals going for 1st time students. If you go in, tell them the referral is from Bryan Palmer. I tell you this studio is good and I have never seen my son more respectful then he is now. He is now a Purple Belt and has been in for almost a year.

1 mom found this helpful

I homeschooled my oldest daughter when she was in fifth grade, if I let her, she took all day to do the work I gave her. Finally, I had to start setting the timer on her. If she didn't get things done within a reasonable time then there were consequences, you'll have to pick something that is important to her to get her attention (like not getting on the computer, watching tv, telephone time w/ her friends or missing an event w/ friends or family). Sounds like she knows how to play on you and your husband, you both need to get on the same page when it comes to any issue dealing w/ the kids, there is strength in numbers (esp. when it's mom and dad backing each other). Hope this info helps. I've got twin eleven year olds right now and a thirteen year old, some days are just a joy! You'll get thru this.

1 mom found this helpful

Stick to your guns! Even if she stays up half the night she'll soon learn delaying her chore is not worth it. And your husband has to back you up. It shound like she's the oldest and feels picked on--the oldest seems to think this way, at least mine did. It takes many gears to make something run smoothly and she is one gear in the family machine. She'll thank you in 15 years!

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with both! :-) I really liked the idea of having a family meeting to discuss it. Let the other kids be a part and maybe it will help her to hear what they have to say. Maybe they feel they do more or they feel since they do their chores like they know their are supposed to and she doesn't that they should get something special (you know, since you don't have to go through the same thing with them).

My sister's daughter started this at 11 and they really didn't say or do much. It has gotten way out of control! The arguing turned into screaming at the top of her lungs! One time her dad asked her to make his sandwich for work the next day. She didn't want to do it, tried arguing and was told she had to do it anyway. She did but mixed in with the meat and cheese she put a piece of the TV Guide so when he bit down into the sandwich he would paper also!

Whatever you do, I also agree that you and your husband have to be on the same page with the kids. If there is the slightest way kids will play the two of you - just like my niece does. It is very hard on a marriage, at least in my sisters situation.

Good luck!!! I don't envy you at all! My daughter is 3 so I have a ways to go before dealing with that - I hope! LOL

1 mom found this helpful

I have some suggestions, but don't feel obligated to try them. I know you are trying to do your best. I would try a few things, depending on how they work: I would put a time limit on her doing her chores. If they are not done by a certain time, she has to pay someone else to do them. If she, herself, does extra chores, she gets paid (but not for her regular chores). Or, if the money thing is not an option, she gets to do something she wants to (go out to dinner, see a movie, etc.) at the end of the week if her chores are done daily and on time. Otherwise, for each day that she doesn't get them done or doesn't get them done on time, she loses a day out with you. Keep a chart on the frig or something. Refuse to argue with her. Sit down and explain the rules and then stick to them. Whatever she says to you about her chores in a complaining manner, just respond, "That's your choice" and leave the room. She should get attention from you when she is doing something positive, not when she is doing something negative. Be quick to notice and praise her for good things - anything you can find. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

first of all sit down with your husband alone and tell him how you feel and how I am sure the other children feel about daddy rescuing her from all that horrible work she thinks she is doing. ask him if he has aother way of helping cope with this. short of doing it for her. or just to let you deal with it because you certainly do not need the bad guy face here.

another thing might be a family discussion and have everyone sit down and tell of the list of things they do. maybe on paper the chores she does is long but it is the same if spoken and if she hears the other kids somewht complaining about what they do maybe she will reaslise hers is not so bad. make it a 'new rule" each day's chores has to be done before fun thing done.

I had this said the other day and totally loved it--- a mother of teenagers came into my work and the kids were complaining that something was not fair and the mother replied without batting an eye that "the fair comes but once a year" and OMG the kids stopped complaining--- I am sure mom says this often. could be worth trying.

I tried the ssit down idea because my teenagers were mad that I punished the kids different --- I took the phone away from the one that I swear the phone was part of her ear and dolls away from daughter that loved her dollse still but not vice versa--- I would have not have gotten the same results if I took the dolls away from the phone lover.

eventually my kids realized I was making the punishments even

1 mom found this helpful

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

Relax, Relate, & Release. Do a reward chart and chore chart for all the children. Rotate the chores and have a family meeting once a week to discuss how everyone is feeling about the new change. Make sure you make it clear that you and your husbands are in charge of the rules, the house, and the consequences. Opinions will be heard by the children but the parents will make the final rule of the house. Once per month go out together as a family to have family fun out and try to have dinner at the table at least three times a week including weekends for a busy schedule. If this does not help seek counseling and you and your husband should discuss adult issues in private never argue/show differences in front of the children.

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