Help with My 16-Year Old Daughter Who Is Very Disrespectful to Me

Updated on August 21, 2010
M.C. asks from Thomasville, NC
12 answers

My 16-year old daughter talks so disrespectful to me. She acts like she doesn't care about me at all. I mean, we used to be very close. She used to be a "mama's girl", but, she has changed in the past year. She doesn't have a boyfriend or anything like that. She is not into drugs, thank God, she is very much into sports. I don't know why she is so ugly to me. She talks to me like I am a dog. I try to talk to her nicely. I try to get her what she needs for school and sports. She lives with her Dad and step-mother and has for about 7 years now, but I just cannot get her to give a darn for me. I had a rough time about 7 years ago with drugs and I have been clean ever since and it seems like maybe she hasn't forgiven me or something. She says it has nothing to do with my past. I just don't know anymore. I cannot continue to go through this. I blame myself. What do I do? Do I continue to call her and bug her all the time, begging her to have something to do with me?

What can I do next?

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answers from Tampa on

I am sad to read this as I have 2 young girls. I know the teen years will be here sooner then later. Can you two just talk and be open an honest? Don't judge and let each other finish what they have to say? Or write a letter and see what's really bothering her? This could be a start.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I was evil to my mom, too. For some girls, this is the easiest, most natural way to achieve the separation that they need to achieve during this developmental phase. I have a feeling that that's what's going on.

I don't know how to fix it, but I *did* want to recommend that you find a therapist who can help you deal with your self-blame. Your daughter will come around - but you need to work toward balance and self-love, too.

Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Wheeling on

Do not 'bug' nor 'beg' her. No one appreciates a 'clinging vine'. Why would she respect you if you don't respect yourself? Self-blame carries no benefits. None. Zilch. Nada.

No one person can be everything to another. It sounds as if you're trying to let your daughter be bigger in your life than she even should be.

You must first believe that you are worth being involved with. Do you like yourself? Whatever you're proudest of in your life -- whatever you've ever done that has made you feel satisfied, fulfilled, useful, happy, etc, do more of that same type of thing and put her on the back burner for now. If you leave her alone for a while being prayerful and careful not to act ugly about it, she will probably soon realize that she wants you in her life as badly as you want her in yours.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Gosh, I have little ones myself so not able to offer any particular advice. Hang in there Mama. Do you remember how aweful those years were? I felt I was always right and everyone else was just dumb, wrong or irritating.

A little humor to cheer you up? Someone once told me that God separated the toddler years from the teenage years to give parents a decade to recover. You made it throught the toddler stage- you will make it through the teenage years too! :)

Hang in there?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

This popped onto my facebook page. This is exactly what you are asking about.

Dr. Carl Pickard says, teens start pulling away and acting up so you want them to leave when they turn 18..

Of course you have a little more going on here.

Remember teens this age have a lot going on in their lives. Their friends are their #1 priority then it is themselves.. Parents are in there sprinkled like salt and pepper. It is the nature of the beast.

My father and I had a time from my teens till I was 30 where I kept him at a distance. he was an alcoholic, drug user (casual) and was pretty self centered.
He finally went into therapy and then went to AA and changed his life.

I still did not trust him. Even though he apologized and told me he was never going back to what he had been, I still did not trust him,.. I finally told him to quit apologizing to me and to instead "live the life he said he would". "His actions would speak louder than words" to me.. And Guess what? He did it!

Write her a letter and apologize. Be specific. Ask what else have you done that she wants you to know about. Let he know that if she does not tell you , you will never know. Then let her know you miss her and want to be close to her and that you are going to give her space.

Let her know that you want to work on this relationship and to please not put it off for too long, because you know that soon she will be in college and it will be hard to get together.

I am sending you a hug and peace, and strength.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Maybe you can write her a really heartfelt letter and hand it to her. Is there any way her dad can help with her attitude towards you. She is young and will come around at some point. Daughters always need mom at some point. She maybe upset about your past or not living with you.

You have been clean for a long time and I really congratulate you on this. Keep up the good work. She will eventually see that you want to be a good mom to her.

I would also tell her how much you love her and that she should talk to you with respect. That you understand that she maybe mad about the past, but the past is over and we need to look into the future to be happy. If she continues to be a disrespectful daughter you should not buy her extra things until she does. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

How is your relationship with her dad & stepmom? Maybe you can talk to them and they can talk with her to get some insight. On the flip side, have you had a problem with them and she is "siding" with them? It just might be a phase she's going through. HAng in there, but don't bug her.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Asheville on

I agree that the best thing you can probably do is to give her some space. That might get her to thinking a bit more about her relationship with you and it takes away a reason to snap at you. This isn't always easy to do - stepping back, but it can be powerful!!!! -- I would also encourage you to take care of yourself. Don't let this period of time take away from all luster your life has and all you probably do for others. It's so easy to carry anger, blame, guilt etc, but in the end it helps absolutely no one. With care ---

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

My mom and I went through something similar to this. I was the rebellious teen, she was an alcoholic. It wasn't really HER that I didn't want to be around or talk to, it was my parents (authority) in general. She may be holding a grudge because at one point you DID choose drugs over her. Give her time to heal. I know it's been 7 years, but she was only 9 when it happened and that's hurts a little girl. Things will get better eventually... when she grows up out of this "bratty, teenage, I know more than ANYONE stage. Stay strong. God WILL provide a way. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Knoxville on

M., congratulations on being clean! I would talk to her in a calm non-threatening way and let her know how you feel. Remember that you also have to give respect to get respect. I know a lot of parents feel like they should have automatic respect just because they are the parents. The truth of the matter is that you have to treat others as you want to be treated. If you have a good relationship with your daughters father voice your concerns to him. He may know why she is acting that way. I remember when I was around that age I heard someone say some not so nice things about my parents. My dad is very overweight and mom is on the homely looking side. I did not know what to do, it really made me sad and I was not brave enough at the time to confront the people who said it. I still respected my parents but I was somewhat angry with them because I felt like if they made different choices thier appearance would be different. Could something similar happened with your daughter?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

shes 16 just ignore it and love her when she cant love herself. their is nothing you can do just give her her space.



answers from Nashville on

Do not call her and bug her. Sit her down and tell her that you have noticed that she disrespects you and that you understand how things were years ago. It seems to me that she resents you and for good reason. You need to let her know that you completely understand if she does and that you want to make it better. The two of you should go to counseling together.

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