17 answers

Single Mom with Teen Girl :(

My daughter is 15 and dresses trashy has an attitude all the time and is always starting drama. How do i break these bad habits of hers? I have tried talking to her but she just ignores me.I havent bought these clothes for her and have no clue where she gets them from I have raised her better than this and have set a good example for her. I dont go out i dont drink or do drugs i am always home cooking cleaning or doing the laundry and i rarely have company. I have tried telling her that the way she dresses makes the wrong impression.

What can I do next?

More Answers

Hi B.!
Did your daughter suddenly start dressing this way? Aren't you the one buying her clothing? My girl is 16 and sometimes she does "borrow" clothing from friends. And I'm straight with her and tell her she is not allowed to wear it. She might get upset at that very moment, but she gets over it.
You need to put your foot down now and explain to her that a woman projects the type of person she is by what she wears. I tell my girl, "If you dress slutty, that's the type of crowd you will attract and that's the image that boys will see in you...a sleaze." It might be a little harsh and she may not get it right away, but stick to your guns!
You don't have a "little about me" section so I don't know if you have any other children. Assuming she is your only child, you two must be close. It is so hard balancing that "mom" and "friend" thing with our teen girls. Be sure to let her know that she is the light of your life and you love her so much and that is why you care about how she portrays herself. Hope this helps you! Let us know how you do!
AMH :)

2 moms found this helpful

I don't know if this is advice, but I do have a point of view on this subject. My whole life seems to be made up of teenaged boys. I have three sons, ages 16, 17 and 18. I also am an assistant scoutmaster for a boy scout troop, and it always seems like my house is full of boys from the troop or friends of my sons, or both. And to top it all off, I am the youngest of seven children and the only female. So all of my life, I could see how boys (and men) react to females in their lives. My older brothers and cousins were very protective of me, but I overheard many of their conversations about other girls, the way they dressed, etc, and while they were protective of me, they were very rude when it cames to girls they thought were "out there". And whenever I'm camping with the scouts, I listen to the conversations that the boys have about the girls. It's always the same. The boys read the signals that the girls send, and what the girls wear, their behavior, etc., are signals. When you combine that with the inexperience of these children -- and they are children and not yet able to make decisions about the most serious aspects of their lives -- these kids get into all sorts of risk-filled situations.
And then, of course, there's all that turmoil that goes with teenagers wanting to grow up, parents wanting to make sure their kids are safe, and the drama as the two groups try to communicate. I know from my experience with my scouts that they often won't listen to their parents, but it's amazing that they'll listen to me say the same thing their parents are saying. Eh. You know how it goes. You think your parents don't know anything when you're a teenager. My sons' friends tell them they have a cool mom. My sons think I've stepped right out of the middle ages!
Are there any other adults in your daughter's life that she feels close to? Someone that could connect with your daughter? How 'bout someone who can tell your daughter about the REAL attitude that boys have about girls who dress and act "easy", for lack of a better word. It is very true that we will always attract people to us based on how we present ourselves -- not just romantically, but in all aspects of our lives. Self respect attracts respectful people. Of course, your daughter just wants to exert her independence and none of this seems like a big deal to her. Getting her to bridge to a more mature understanding may require input from other adults.

2 moms found this helpful

This sounds like a normal teenager. Do you know her friends, who she is hanging out with? My daughter is 14 and I can not say I have had the dress problem, but the attitude, well that is just normal I guess. With the cloths, she must be getting it from friends. I would check out who she is hanging out with and what they are doing. I tend to snup in my daughters room when she is not home just to make sure there is nothing going on that I should know about. I know this is invading her privacy, but at 14 in the world today, I do what I have to do. I have found some risky things before and found a way to bring it up without her knowing that I was in her room.
Have you tried to sit her down and talk to her about her attitude? Let her know that you will not stand for the disrespect and punish her for it.
I do not want to pry but does she talk to her father at all? What does he say about the situation? How do her brothers feel about their sister dressing the way she does?
Most of the time, when a kid gets into the wrong crowd of people they tend to change for the worse. Best thing I can tell you is to find out who she is hanging around and start being tough on her. Because if you don't do it know, it will only get worse. I pray things get better and I hope I have helped in some way.

1 mom found this helpful

I have the same problem and your daughter is probably getting her clothes from her friends. They exchange clothes at this time. Anyways, I have been working with my daughter on this issue and I think I have made some progress with her. She is babysitting for my brother on a regular basis so she feels likeshe is working because she says it is her job. I treat her like she is an adult when I talk to her so it gives her the impression that she is equal. Of course she is not. But it seems to be helping. Try putting faith in her and explain to her that she is old enough to make most of her decisions but if she makes bad ones she can always come to you for help. It will make her feel important and that always helps because as you probably already guessed girls and moms are always at each other's throats when they are teens.

1 mom found this helpful

attitude comes witht hte teenage territory but you have to set limits
I sought free counseling etc. for my son and myself and that has helped; we still have problems and I have let him know that its my house with my rules:
slam a door - I take it off
Break a dish - you pay for it - if I have to I deny money for something else
I've taken away Tv;music;computer anthing I need to
Chores are manditory and everything is written and posted so there can be no arguements over 'misunderstanding'...
Bring it down to the basics so you can really deal with the real issues at hand with no distractions.
Post rules 'of engagement' or rules for talking with each other - each person gets 5 minutes uninterrupted then switch; talking stick...
With the clothing I will go in and take the clothing that is trashy or help her to find a way to make it not trashy (a shirt or leggings etc. underneath. Make sure you have a mole at school to know whether or not she is switching at school etc.
Just remember - your kids will be parents some day and want the best for their kids too, it may take a few years - but they will understand and they will thank you for helping them learn how to set limits and learn discipline.

1 mom found this helpful

By now, you have received a lot of good advice, but here's my opinion anyway;) I remember being 15, and with the exception of an occassional roll of the eyes and little "white lies", I respected my parents. I especially respected my mom because I feared her...now, hold on to all the mothers that are going to jump down my throat...I'm not saying that you should want your kids to "fear" you. However, it was an effective tactic for my sister and I!! I knew that inappropriate clothes were unaccepted in my house. I had very large boobs at a young age, and my mom put the fear of perverts into my head at a young age, too! This is so important because this world is going down the tubes so fast. 15 year old girls are dressing and acting like women in their 30's. It's really scary, because there are perverts in this world that prey on young, impressionable girls! Someone suggested that you have "appropriate" clothes and "inappropriate" clothes, which are allowed to be worn in the house only, in her closet. Although that may work in her house, I don't think it is a good idea to suggest that those "inappropriate" clothes are acceptable in the house either. It is setting a kind of double standard to assume that behavior (or attire in this situation) is accepted in the home but not in public. I am raising my son to be respectful in the house and in public. I would never allow my child to wear something in the home that was offensive to me, because then I am giving in and teaching my child that offensive clothes are okay. Your daughter really needs to be aware of the dangers in this world. Some mothers are probablly horrified by this advice. However, having said that, my mom made me aware of all the predators in this world and I grew up to be a classy woman that does not need the attention of men to validate who I am as a woman! As far as the rolling of the eyes goes, unfortunately we teach people how to treat us! If you allow your daughter to disrespect you by throwing an attitude in your face, then you are teaching her that her behavior is acceptable. She needs to loose things that mean something to her. No t.v., no phone, no hanging out with friends etc. Like I said, we teach people how to treat us. If you put your foot down, and don't accept anything less than respect...respect is what you will get. Good luck, teens can be tough:)

I totally agree with going through your daughters room. I do it in front of my kids to take the sneakiness out of it and let them know that I wont tolerate the trashy clothes. My mother used to get my daughter whatever she wanted to wear and she would bring it home and I would put it right in the garbage! She now knows that if Grandma gets something too short or sexy that mama will trash it and she actually checks the clothes herself now! She still occassionally tries to sneak in a few pairs of sexy (too sexy) undies but I have to stay on top of it. I truly believe that my girls appreciate me disciplining them so they know their boundaries. You are the boss. It is hard sometimes at their age. I used to be afraid of hurting her feelings or the yelling that would occur when I disciplined her for something and I would actually let a lot of things go that I sholldn't have but once I let her know that this is MY house and she is just borrowing it and that I am the boss and I didnt back down, life got much easier. She still tries me but I don't give in. My daughter is a honor student and is heading to art college in 2008. Hang in there mama and love her through it.

Dear B.,

I am also a single mom of 4. The oldest is my 16 year old daughter so I can understand completely where you're coming from. It's difficult, but you'll just have to get tough with her. There are clothes in my daughters closet that are appropriate and unappropriate. The trashy stuff she can wear around the house and that is it. She was disgusted when this rule was implemented. We were enemies for a while until she realized I'm the boss and if I have to make her life miserable I will. It's not easy, but in the end you will receive the respect you deserve. It may take years. We always have dramatic issues that arise. Stay strong. L.

Hi B.,

I know what you mean about 15yr olds and Drama....My daughter tends to come home with drama every day. Im kind of going through the "breaking the attitude" barrier at the moment. Since I have been here my daughter (she is my step daughter really but I never call her that)hasn't been asked to do much. A couple months ago I told her that she is now to wash the dishes after supper, that initially went down like a lead baloon, but I perseveared and kept on at her..She now does it without asking. I am now at the step where I have introduced more chores (cleaning the bathroom and vaccuming upstairs on the weekend), told her that she is now to be out of bed by 10am on the weekends as sometimes she stays in bed til 2pm..That has peeved her a bit but I know that she will get over it. I expect to be moaned at for a few weeks but I have broad shoulders and will deal with it. I think 15yr old girls are worse than boys when it comes to attitude. They seem to push a little more. Stand your ground as much as you can. The whole clothes thing is a phase, but what I have found is that the more you make it a point the more she will do it. As for where she gets her clothes, the chances are she is swapping with her friends. My daughter did it and it annoyed the living hell out of me, thankfully I nipped this in the butt and she doesn't do it any more.
Be strong in yourself, show her that you mean business, when you talk to her make sure there is eye contact. If she isn't looking at you then tell her to look at you when you speak to her. This affirms that you mean what you say. I know I haven't given very much "pearls of wisdome" advice but its nice to know that you ain't alone. Keep your chin up.. :)

I have a daughter that is 14 and she has tried the same thing. I had been a pretty lenient parent because she was always pretty good. However, after becoming a teenager, she kept pushing and pushing...doing things that she knew was unacceptable. Finally, I got tired of it. I decided to stop lecturing. I wrote down my rules and made her copy them. They included no borrowing clothes and no inappropriate clothing with guidelines. If I see her wearing anything (breaking the rules). I just cut up the clothes and throw them away. She knows that borrowing is against the rules, so its not my problem if they aren't hers. She can use her own money to pay her friends back. No talking, just action. At first she couldn't believe it and really pitched a fit, now she knows I'm not backing off the rules so she follows them. Actually, our relationship has improved a lot. I think she secretly wanted the rules enforced.

I think that you are forgetting that at this age, children are trying to find themselves. Combine that with raging hormones from puberty and you get a basket load of defiance. It does not say in your request if you have set any solid boundaries for your daughter or not. I am writing on the assumption that if you have they are currently not working or are not being enforced. I happen to be "Mom" to a lot of young, 14-17, girls in our neighborhood (predominately because my son has more female friends than male and there are a lot of abused children in our neighborhood).
I have stepped in and set the boundaries that these girls parents haven't taken the time to do. Examples of boundaries: 1) Types of clothing that is expectable (I'm not a prude but don't want any of them raped or thought of as "easy")
2) Curfew, and I enforce it, even if it means getting in my car to make sure they are at home when they should be.
3) Knowing their friends, where they are, what they are doing.
There are many more and if you are interested in what I have posted let me know and I will e-mail it to you.
Children want discipline and boundaries. They don't want to be left to run wild (even though they will say that)
One of my "daughters" graduated last year, I received a beautiful Christmas card and gift from her this year thanking me for being so strict with her (she is in College now). She stated that without the rules I laid down for her she would probably be pregnant and on welfare not in college...so it does work.
Your daughter will be ok, just lay down the laws and follow through with the consequences.
Good luck and write if I can be of any further help.

i would really recomment the book positive discipline for teenagers by jane nelson. she has a lot of terrific ideas.

actually, I would do something a little different that most of the suggestions here. you are the boss in your house and I would acutally let her know that you will be going through her clothes on a regular basis and that if you find something that is not appropriate for her age that she has the option of getting it out of the house or you will get it out of the house yourself on a permanent basis lol. I would stand firm in this area and hopefuly she will change what she does. I hope this helps :-)

do you know all her friends and does she have a boy friends and how old is he is she haveing sex teen girl that are having sex like to dresses trashy or sexy

i know this is a crazy idea but u can call Maury and they can send her to bootcamp that chnages the lives of kids

Hi B.,
Sorry it took do long, I don't get online much!!! I can relate to the attitude!!! I don't know your family situation, but my daughter is very bitter and acting out because her dad left and remarried. He also has 2 new children that he is a father to!!! Maybe there is an underlying issue that you are not aware of. School pressure, and teenagers can be so mean!!! I didn't find out until a week ago how upset my daughter was bout her father and things going on at school!!!! I have since put her in counseling. She is unconfortable with talking to me about her dad, so I had to swallow my mommy pride and put her in somone elses hands!!!!

I hope this help a bit. If you ever feel the need to talk you can email me at ____@____.com

Have a great day!!!
K. - Hazleton, PA

I know that I'll be going through tyhe same things someday! The only thing I can really say is that when I was a teen ager, as much as I hated it, my parents had to get pretty strict with me because I was wild. Do you think the problem goes farther than dressing inappropriately? Drugs? Drinking? Sex? How are her grades? Are her friends trouble makers? If not, than it hasn't gone too far. Is her life structured, meaning, does she participate in activities, sports, etc? Those things can often keep their minds focused and keep them out of trouble.
I know it's hard to be strict when you just want to get through to them without having to take away things they really want, but, that would be my advice. If she disrespects you, explain to her that it hurts you, it's inappropriate, and there are consequences, such as, nmo phone, groundation, no computer priviledges...When she does act respectfully, give her rewards. Tell her that she needs to earn your trust, and if she acts right, and earns trust, she'll be able to do the things she wants because you'll know she can be trusted, but that if she insists on being disrespectful, and not listening to you, that just shows you that she's too immature to be treated like a young adult.
Of course, part of it is just the teenage attitude. hormone riddled, angsty, want to be a rebel thing.
Hope this helps!
I'm having trouble with my 21 month old yelling at me and hitting me, really asserting her dominance. Wanna trade? I'f you've got any thought for me, let me know!

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