Teenager Disrespectful to Me

Updated on March 18, 2013
M.K. asks from Elkhorn, WI
14 answers

My 14 year old daughter is very disrespectful to me and not understanding why. Don't know if disrespectful is the word I am looking for however she just doesn't want to listen to me and says I am unfair. I know that I am doing to right thing and certainly am not unfair but why do I feel so bad? She got bad grades on report card so I punished her from staying at friends house; standing my ground and not giving in - that makes me unfair? I feel so bad when I see the love with other daughters and their parents. Is anyone else having this same problem with their daughter of the same age?

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R.W.

answers from San Francisco on

For kids of many ages, "unfair" to them means "not giving me what I want".
You are doing the right thing.
The reason you feel bad is that you feel unappreciated.

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R.M.

answers from Topeka on

Oh Honey...welcome to the club of teenage mothers!!! First of all, don't expect your daughter to process things and react to things in a "reasonable adult way"...she is one huge ball of hormones right now and she is so thrown out of "kilter" that she doesn't know which end is up!!! Of course she says you are "unfair" when you put her on restriction because of bad grades!!! Did you really expect her to come to you and say "Thank you SO much Mom for taking away my freedom because of my poor grades, I know that you have my best interest at heart and I will always love you for caring"?
What she needs is the same thing that she has always needed from you, love, caring, concern, and consistency!! Your job is to help her learn to be the most well rounded adult that she can be!!! Does she need extra help with some of her classes? Could that be used as a bonding time for the two of you as you work together on something that is difficult for her in school?
I am now the parent of 3 adult daughters and I can guarantee you that both of you WILL survive this!!! Just keep telling yourself that "this too shall pass" and someday the two of you will be friends again!! RIght now, she doesn't need a friend she needs a loving parent and guide!!

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K.G.

answers from San Francisco on

I don't know why people consider disrespectful behavior from teenagers "normal". It can be handled and controlled. I know a bunch of teenagers who are not disrespectful to their parents.It's a good time for teaching self control.

But, I was wondering, why did she get bad grades? Was is becuase she didn't do the work and slacked off? Or was it because she didn't understand the material? Example, my daughter went downhill in math for a while and we discovered it was because she was not understanding it. She was getting behind and needed a little extra help.

Personally, I think there is too much focus on grades and not enough on the character of the child. Character and doing the right thing shoud be the main focus not a letter grades.

I have one child who likes to pull the "it's not fair" I sat down and explained to her if she really wanted me to be fair, that I would take away all her things so it would be fair to the poor. Or maybe her dad could move out so it would be fair to those with divorced parents. Maybe she would like to only eat once or twice a week so it would be fair to the starving. Her attitude changed A LOT about what is fair. She really doesn't want things to be fair.

I wouldn't take her being angry personally. I usually tell my kids, if you're upset with my punishement than I must be doing something right. If the rules are broken there is a punishment.

God Bless

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D.S.

answers from New York on

Welcome to the world of teenagers!! Trust me they are a different bread. There are days you will look at them and say DID I GIVE BIRTH TO YOU!! LOL!! At this time in their life it is difficult to get them to see you are doing your job as a parent when so many other parents aren't. Most parents today want to be a friend not a parent and at this age it is just not possible. You are a good mom for setting rules, and implementing punishment and following through. Kids need boundaries, and rules it shows them that you love them enough to not let them screw up their lives. My kids are grown and I can tell you that I wouldn't take a million dollars to live through the teenage years. They were good kids but the worry and getting them through unscathed was not easy. One thing I always did was not to discuss things in the heat of the moment. I would always take opportunities to talk when we were in the car. We would take trips to the mall, or for ice cream, go to a movie, lunch, and just talk. Letting them know I know how difficult it is for them and the choices they are facing (drinking, sex, drugs, etc) but it was my job to protect them and keep them on the straight and narrow. To help them to make good decisions. Try not to make your house a battle ground, acknowledge her feelings, but tell her these are the rules and they are there to protect her. When it came to talking about sex and drugs I was very open with my daughter and my son. I would talk to my daughter about having respect for her body and not to give into the pressures. I would also tell her that boys do talk no matter what they tell you and having an older brother helped because he would tell her the same. I would also talk to my son about respecting a girls right to say no and to make sure he is respectful and careful in all of the choices he makes. Drinking, drugs, and sex are a big part of their world and I never put my head in the sand about it I talked and talked until I was blue in the face. I would tell them to use me as an excuse. Tell them my mother and father wait up for me and they check me when I get home so I can't do whatever they are faced with. I knew my kids experimented somewhat with drinking, as we all did but never to the extreme of where I had to intervene. Some kids today are not parented they are just allowed to do whatever they want, and are given everything under the sun. It is like a sense of entitlement. Stick to your guns mom there are days when they are not going to like you to much and you will not like them either LOL!!. I am at a point now with my children 24 and 21 that we can be friends, but I am still their mom. It is so nice to sit back and reap the rewards of all of the hard work that comes with parenting. Hang in there and take advantage of moments when things are calm to talk calmly and most of all try to listen that's all they want is to be heard. Good luck!!

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D.S.

answers from Tulsa on

been there done that and you probably thought your parents were unfair too. Its typical teenager. I went through this with I hate you for along time. my son is now 21 and respects me. Hang in there and don't let her guilt trip get to you. You are doing the right thing she will realize it later in life. but till then shes being a normal teenager.
Shes just trying to guilt trip you into giving her her way. That is also normal teenage behavior. Been there done that too. Now my son is older he tells me I was an easy parent. but back then I was the wicked witch. Don't cave hold your ground.

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M.P.

answers from Portland on

It sounds like you could benefit from learning some parenting skills to deal with teens. I highly recommend the book Love and Logic written by two men, Foster and Kline.

I wonder why getting bad grades isn't a natural consequence (punishment) in it's self. What would make more sense to me is to find out why she got bad grades and help her find ways to overcome those obstacles. If she doesn't do her homework, then provide a consequence such as not allowing her to watch TV or do anything else until the homework is done.
Break down the consequences into daily increments. Not being allowed to stay at friends house at the end of the quarter doesn't make much sense. Tho the two of you could work out a plan that would allow her to earn back that privilege. She has to be able to see a way to do things right and she has to have supervision every day and not just be given a consequence at the end of the quarter.

Perhaps she doesn't know how to manage her time. Perhaps she doesn't see a reason to even do her work. I know it's difficult but it will help if you can break down the big issue into smaller ones.

Not listening is common for teens. However, not listening is not acceptable. You need to set the rules/boundaries for day to day life and give consequence day to day. If possible involve her in making the rules and deciding on the consequences. You may not be able to start this way.

I firmly suggest getting you and her involved in some family counseling so that you can begin to work on a more co-operative relationship. You and she are a long way down the road of disrespect to expect a quick resolution. For most people, once they reach this point, they need professional help.

You can start by praising her as often as possible. They say we must give 6 compliments for every critical remark that we make. That's not only for parents with their children. Boss and workers work best under this plan. We work best when we feel love and approval.

Work at getting out of the you against me pattern. Find ways to spend fun time with her separate from criticism and punishment. Perhaps a girls' night out. Find out what she's into and then learn about that so that you can talk about that with her.

The rules are important but so is the ability to be friendly and respectful with each other. It's a difficult balance.

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L.

answers from Minneapolis on

I highly recommend Markgregston.com as a guide to understanding and helping get through the teenage years. Also it is important to understand why her grades were not up to your expectations, and how to motivate and help her to achieve good grades. We adults know how important good grades are, expecially these days, but most of us didn't always.

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E.I.

answers from Duluth on

man, i just typed out this big answer, but the page refreshed or something! grr!

anyway, what i HIGHLY recommend is going to www.flagpagetest.com. this is PHENOMENAL. ill tell you a little bit about it:

my husband and i took this, it costs about 12-13$ per person, but its WORTH it. i swear you will not regret it. do it! its hard to explain exactly what it does but its a personality test of sorts (only WAY better). ill use me and my husband as examples.
theres many things that it gives you to describe yourself. you choose from a list of adjectives, and you get a top 5 and all of that. for my top 5 i got (in order from TOP to bottom) musical, sensitive, unique, creative and faithful. what this means is that those 5 traits are the ones i like best about myself, or that make me the happiest; they are my top 5 motivations. now if someone is critical of my top 5 motivations, that hurts me more than anything else they could do. for example; when i was a teen, i listened to music that my mom didnt like, and wouldnt let me listen to when she could hear it (in the car, on tv etc). when she was critical of my choice of music, it felt like she was being critical of who i was as a person. even today, my husband likes only country for the most part, but i like lots of different things, and it hurts me when he doesnt want to listen to anything else. at the same time, im not really a big fan of mainstream music, i like music that allows me to express myself in a sensitive way, and that is unique. i also am very sensitive and unique a person. all the traits fit together, but they also describe who i am as a person.
my husband got cheerful, competent, faithful, never a dull momeny and consistent. if someone accuses him of being lazy, stupid, crabby, boring, etc, it hurts him more than if they say his music sucks (to throw back to my traits) do you kinda see what i mean? it can be anything, its really based on what you like about yourself and who you are as a person.

i have heard stories (and mark gungor tells one) of people who took it for their marriage, then had their child take it and they realized that they were breaking their child's top 5 every day. once they stopped doing that, their relationship with their child was dramatically improved. so, like i said, i HIGHLY recommend that you have your daughter do this, and you (and husband/dad) do it too. you will be amazed at who you all are, and its awesome how this test really does describe you. i highly recommend printing the entire thing out when you are done its about 6 pages, but it will be easy to refer back to to remind you later, although your login is good forever. you can also email the quiz directly to another person so they can read about you as well. if you would like to see mine, email me at [email protected]____.com.

anyway, i know this is kinda long, but i really think that it will help your teen daughter to know who she is and what she loves about herself. the biggest thing is dont be bugging her when shes doing the page, she needs to really have the peace and quiet to really choose what is meant for her. its really simple, mark gungor has a little walkon digital thing that will tell you exactly what to do. so be patient while the page is loading, because he will come walking on the screen explaining everything to you. :)

please let me know how it goes. i hope you are able to do this because its awesome.

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K.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

well i went thru it twice...my daughter was much harder than my son..you just have to stay at it-hormone changes in girls are much worse than boys-have her checked by family dr.she may have pmdd-i know it seems like an endless battle ground-dont argue back or feed into teenage insanity-your the parent hold your ground.it gets worse before it gets better,sorry to say.my daughter will be 29 this spring and we have a great relationship-im not to crazy about some of her choices-but shes a big girl now.good luck-if you need to chat and i can help-just email me-K.

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J.H.

answers from Springfield on

Sit down with your daughter during a non-confrontational moment and make a list of what she considers to be privileges. (sports, clubs, vacations, movies, sleepovers, TV, computer etc.) Then you make a list of the rules and expectations you have. I agree with some of the responses that placing too much emphasis on grades instead of effort can damage your relationships because school is an every changing dynamic and children's strengths and weaknesses change throughout, so be careful with how you write that one.
Then decide together which privileges she is going lose if those expectations are not met. For example...If my son is late in the morning, he gets no TV before bed. If he doesn't eat dinner, he gets no evening snack..etc. It isn't that difficult to make sense of the consequences and what makes this approach work is that they are invested in it. They have also decided that the consequence is acceptable and when it comes time to impose such consequence, they don't blame you because it is what you decided together. I recommend adjusting it as your daughter changes to make certain she is getting the freedom and independence she needs to become a responsible adult. After all, that is the ultimate goal. Check out "duct tape parenting" for more on this.

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M.M.

answers from New York on

This may be a really late response but I hear you. I am in exactly the same boat. Only difference is that my husband and I differ on consistency. He almost always backs down, so I almost always come across as the hard *ss.
We are great parents are very loving and open with our girl. We make time for family (not that it's always pleasant, as she makes it abundantly clear she'd rather be with friends, etc), and talk with her. Her disrespect is unbearable. I am a sensitive person and hate confrontation and her withdrawl of affection of all kinds (no hugs, or "I love you"). It is so disheartening. I'm not sure what to do other than be more consistent.

C.B.

answers from Las Vegas on

You are the parent She is The Child. I have a 13 year old if her grads start to slip. We find out why and correct it. "Find out Why she got a Bad grade" and help her fix the problem. And You are not being Unfair. And You Should never Feel bad "Why would you'... You are her mother NOT her friend... :)

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S.G.

answers from Rapid City on

This doesn't make you unfair at all. It is teaching her there is conscequences for her behavior. I will also tell you a secret about that love between other daughters and their parents... they are probably going through the same kind of things with their kids too. We don't see what happens behind closed doors. I use to think that my children friends had mothers that they loved and respected so much more then mine did me but when they are all grown up they start letting us know more about their hidden lives with friends. Each child acted out in their own way and the ones I thought never had any trouble with their teens turned out to have cried just as often as I did with mine. I also found that some of those who my kids wanted to stay at all the time had parents who allowed or even joined them with drinking and having parties. That really upset me since all knew my stance on underage drinking.

Your daughter has found a way to make you feel guilty for doing the right thing so stop it. When she says "that isn't fair" tell her life isn't fair, if it was fair you would have a child who wouldn't backtalk or be disrespectful. Make sure she is reminded that she chose the grounding when she chose to be disrespectful to you. She may get mad and she might pout or seem angry but she will understand when she is older. My daughter told me once that even 3rd graders got to stay out later then her. I said "I feel sorry for them then, their mothers don't care enough to make them be in at a decent time or care what happens to them" I knew that she was using something to try to make me feel bad to let her have her own way but it doesn't work like that. First we are parents and our jobs are to raise them into responsible well adjusted adults... we can be friends when they are grown. My daughter is grown and on her own and we are pretty close. I still don't like a lot of her decisions and I still speak my mind about them but we talk often and are really close.

Remember this too shall pass and this is something almost every parent goes through.

L.G.

answers from La Crosse on

I have worked in youth ministry for almost 15 years, and I have been through the teen years with my own children as well. No matter what kids may say, they want (and need) boundaries. My question in this situation would be, what was the reason she got bad grades? Does she need tutoring or is it a matter of being lazy? Also, did she know what the punishment would be if she got bad grades? If not, that may be the reason why feels it is unfair. Set clear expectations ahead of time, make the consequences known, and then stick to your guns. I also strongly suggest the book "Mom, I Hate My Life" by Sharon Hersh. Best book I've seen yet that helps moms and teenage daughters connect.

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