Well After 15 Years It Has Happened

Updated on September 09, 2011
K.D. asks from Troup, TX
47 answers

My 15 year old finally told me she hates me. Not once, not twice but three times! Even though I know she was just mad and probably doesn’t hate me it still hurt my heart. Now, I know how my mom felt when I told her I hated her during those rough teen years.

My question today is about punishment though. My 15 year old started doing her own laundry over the summer. She is on the dance team and a great student but she has an attitude problem with me a lot of the time. I am getting tired of how disrespectful she can be. Last night at midnight she came to me complaining that her dance clothes for today were not washed. I told her she had plenty of time to do that over this past weekend and she should have gotten it done then. Or, even at 6pm last night instead of playing around on facebook and chatting with her friend on the phone.

Of course it is my fault though. I told her she had two choices- wash it then or wear it stinky. She asked about drying the clothes. I told her she would have to get up a few minutes early and throw the clothes in the dryer first thing before she started getting ready for school. I think she wanted me to stay up and wait for the clothes and of course when I did not offer she got even more frustrated. I told her to get her stuff done and get to bed. She has been waiting till the last minute since school started for everything and not going to bed until very late. I know she is not getting enough rest and when she is tired she becomes very bear like.

I was headed to bed and heard her slamming around in her bedroom. I have other children, one of which is a toddler and does not sleep well at all and I did not want her to wake up the rest of the house. I went in her room and asked her to please be quiet that there are other people asleep in the house. She then pushed past me (and I mean physically pushed me out of her with her body) and said for me to leave her alone and get out of her room. This is what she got punished for.

We live in the country and have a variety of farm animals. She does not help with the animals at all so I told her since she was so disrespectful towards me with her actions then this afternoon she would be scooping animal poop for 30 minutes. That is when she told me she hated me. I told her that was fine; eventually she would get over that. That made her even more mad and she told me again. I told her I was going to bed and she needed to be quite. Then she said it the third time and I left her room.

So this afternoon I pick her up from school and on the way home very calmly told her that she needed to change when we got home, get some water and then head out to the stable for her duty. I guess she thought I was not going to follow through because she got very angry again. I told her after scooping poop I was going to help her put her stuff together tomorrow and see what homework she had so she could hopefully go to bed earlier tonight since she has practice at 6:30am tomorrow.

She told me she doesn’t believe in punishment and people should not be punished and how I am just trying to control her. I told her that was not true, that her actions got her in trouble. I also told her she needed to calm down or she would have an hour of scooping. She then called me a big fat bully. So she now has an hour.

I did not tell her this but in my mind I thought, treat me like sh*t and you can scoop sh*t.

She is my first child and as we know they don’t come with handbooks. My husband was right behind me on this and thinks it is appropriate. He also told her to chill her attitude.

Are we doing the right thing? I know other parents that take cell phones, ground kids etc. but those don’t seem to have any impact on her.

She is very smart and always makes me question myself. But I can’t have her being so disrespectful and thinking she is allowed to say whatever she wants to me.

Please give me your feedback.

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L.S.

answers from San Francisco on

You did exactly the right thing!!!!Stay strong. She needs this. She does not know she needs this yet, but in about 10 years, she will.

3 moms found this helpful
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T.F.

answers from San Francisco on

It's not punishment to teach her their are consequences to her actions. Better to learn how to deal with it now than in the real world where she gets fired for her bad attitude or something like that.

2 moms found this helpful

C.B.

answers from Kansas City on

i think you're doing fine. my only other suggestion would be, now that you have laid down the law (it sounds like you have been pretty lax with letting her disrespect you, recently) STICK WITH IT. if she mouths off again, back to the poop scooping. and YAY to you for having her responsible for her own laundry and sticking to that. excellent job. hang in there!

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L.U.

answers from Seattle on

I applaud you mama. I would have said the same thing you were thinking though. I think too often parents don't have the balls to parent their older children and just let them walk all over them. Hard labor, like scooping poop, will probably have a bigger impact on her than the no cell phone or no computer. Good for you for giving her an hour too....she sounds like she deserved it.
You are doing the right thing as hard as it is. (pat on the back)
L.

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S.K.

answers from Dallas on

Absolutely!!! Take a picture of her scooping poop and tell her next time you are going to put it on her facebook page. Hee Hee! (I really would take a picture but I would never really post it!!)

6 moms found this helpful
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D.B.

answers from Charlotte on

Added: The answer to Momof3girls' question is that Theresa's response comes from her receiving unsolicited and disrespectful PM's from you. When you PM people ugly stuff, Momof3girls, they remember. This place is not a vacumm. And eventually people will figure out who you are when you continue to be disrespectful and mean to people, no matter what name you use.

My advice below still stands. However, if you talk disrespectfully about people or to people in front of your daughter, she is learning this from you. The best thing you can do is talk and treat people appropriately, like you want her to treat you. Things do come back to bite you in the butt at home if you treat people this way. And a good way to start practicing appropriate behavior is to be kind to people on this site, no matter what name you use.

Original to K./Momof3girls (they are the same lady - I wonder how many more accounts she has?):

When you ask if you are doing the right thing, are you asking if you are being too tough or not tough enough?

Please know that you aren't being too tough. She is a dumb bunny if she REALLY thinks people shouldn't be punished. Most likely she is just saying it to spite you.

Tell you what - get some pictures of criminals and what they have done, and make her look at them. Ask her if they should have been punished for their crimes or if they should be able to go free and commit more crimes and hurt more people.

Find stories of people getting fired for bad behavior and attitudes at work and ask her if she thinks that acting badly at work means someone should still be able to keep a job.

DON'T EVER bail her out on her clothes washing when she has a bad attitude. If she gets nicer, say yes to some LITTLE things to help her out. As soon as the 'tude starts up, do NOTHING for her.

She HAS to learn, and you have to teach her, that getting mean with people just costs her dear. If you don't, you'll have just MORE of this going on. And there is nothing wrong with saying to her "Treat me like sh*t and you can scoop sh*t." Good for you for making her do it.

Stand firm, Mama!

Dawn

6 moms found this helpful
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M.B.

answers from Austin on

Sounds like you did a wonderful job!

Stay calm, and matter of factly just put out the consequences for her disrespect. I think you really need to sit down and talk to her about her previous behavior, and her disrespect for you, and what the consequences will be EACH time she does this... Lay it all out on the table so it doesn't "take her by surprise" and make her think you are "picking on her" (which I really don't think you are.... you are doing the right thing).

She is old enough to talk to you rationally and respectfully, and if she doesn't, she will have consequences for her behavior.

I really think you should tell her the phrase you thought about...

"Treat me like sh*t, and you get to scoop sh*t" .... maybe that will make an impact.

(I just told hubby the gist of the story, and he got a bit more creative... if she doesn't want to do it, you say "Fine... I'll take the shovel... you get to clean it up by hand!" I'm not really suggesting you do that, just wanted to tell you hubby's solution...)

5 moms found this helpful

A.W.

answers from Kalamazoo on

When she says "I hate you"
say
"well I love you and it's my job to make sure that you grow up a decent human being and know that there are consequences for rude and/or bad behavior so you don't end up living on the street because no one will hire you due to your poor attitude and stinky clothes" :)

I think you did good.

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J.B.

answers from Boston on

Your punishment is perfect - and I think you should go right ahead and tell her the "you treat me like sh*t then you can scoop sh*t" line because it's so apt. Makes me wish I had a barnyard full of animals!

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A.L.

answers from Charleston on

I think your punishment is fine - I think you need to work on it being consistent with everything she does wrong - whether is talking disrespectfully or not doing something that is her chore and blaming you. She needs to be explained that as long as she is a minor living under your roof, there are rules that will be followed. When she grows up, moves out and has a job of her own to support herself financially, she won't have to endure punishment or rules.

She is trying to guilt you into not punishing her. Don't let her. The stronger your backbone with her, the better. She will eventually learn from this and make better decisions. It may take awhile, but it will work. Stand strong!

I think I would also talk to her dance coach/teacher privately, and let her know the "attitude" you've been getting lately. Most conscientious "team leaders" don't let this behavior fly under their supervision and don't condone it outside of their groups. The lead their teams to be strong, united and respectful. Your daughter is not staying true to this character at home. Maybe coach could talk to her and possibly warn her that if she hears more of this attitude, she might not be performing. Just a thought. Most teachers/coaches will take the parent's side in these situations when brought to their attention.

Good luck. As my dad always said, and still does, "It's a battle of the wills. Let yours be stronger."

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L.S.

answers from Spokane on

I think you did exactly the right thing. You gave a consequence that will impact her, stayed calm and stuck to your word.

You're not being a bully, you're being a parent. And from the sounds of this, a darn good one.

Stay strong mama and don't let your daughter make you second-guess yourself :o)

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K.K.

answers from Austin on

Hi,

I am in the same position you are with my teen daughter. Mine is about to be 16 though. We had a rough year last year but it is much better so far this year. The biggest thing I had to learn was when I gave a consequence for an action I had to stick with it. There were so many times I let her off. When I did that her behavior just got worse. Just stick with it and keep telling yourself you are raising an adult. BTW my Uncle owns a pig farm and when his kids acted up they had to clean out pig stalls. My cousin said she use to think long and hard before she acted up because she knew if she was called out on it then she would be cleaning up after pigs and she wanted to make sure it was worth it. We use to have donkeys and I thought about the same punishment as you are doing but never did go through with it. I should have though.

Oh and Theresa- I don't know where your rude response came from but people can have similiar situations and not be the same person. Where do you think wise advice comes from? Typically from people that have been in that situation before.

3 moms found this helpful

L.A.

answers from Austin on

You handled it fine. You are not saving her. Keep in mind just as you told her.. SHE had plenty of time to take care of this stuff.

She is now a victim of her bad habits (doing everything last minute) and will have to learn to take responsibility for it.

Just continue to stay calm and in control. Speak in a calm an confident voice. Do not let her bully or guilt you. You have expectations for her that she can achieve. She just needs to be reminded you care too much about her to allow her to behave this way.

We told our daughter if she wanted to be treated as an adult, she needed to act as an adult. Adults do not pout, they follow the rules and they take responsibility for their own choices and behaviors.

To me your daughter sounds like a 12 year old. Just because she is smart and talented, she still needs to work on the maturity part of her personality.

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D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Well it seems, Lisa, I mean Kate L, or K. D. or MAYBE Momof3girls or whoever you may be..(Sybil perhaps?) that you have answered your own question!

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T.P.

answers from Indianapolis on

Teenagers. My one fear in raising my daughter. First when she said you were trying to control her I would have told her you have the control as she is a teenager and your responsiblity. Your punishment is wonderful. It's not harmful and good exercise. The next step for me would be to tell her that if things don't change she will be off the dance team. Tell her that you can take her off the team because you are her mother and in control. Good for you.

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A.W.

answers from Chicago on

YES! You are doing the right thing. She is old enough to be responsible for her dance clothes and tough cookies if she didn't get them washed and they stink. A few times of having to get up early to take of them or having to wear stinky clothes I bet they start to become a priority! If I had pushed past my mom like that and called her a name I would have been scooping poop for a week! Like another mom said physical labor will have a bigger impact on her then another punishment. And if she doesn't believe in punishment she is more then welcome to pursue that when she is an adult and on her own. Love to see how that works when she has her own kids! LOL Like the other mamas said- stay calm and stick to your guns. Good luck!
Theresa N.- wait, what are you talking about? I'm confused! :)

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S.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K.,

You are a great mom and some day your daughter will thank you.

Just because she's smart doesn't mean you should question yourself. She's probably mad because you are taking control and demanding respect. I would show her lots of love when she's being respectful, and react just as you did when she's not.

Also it might help to set a firm lights out time for when she has 6:30 practice the next day...I even take my daughter's phone and computer at 9:30 (she's 12) so she's no longer "connected" and can start relaxing before bed.

It is hard to find that balance between childhood and maturity--hard for us and especially hard for them! I think you sound like a wonderful person...hang in there!!!

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V.M.

answers from Cleveland on

yup your are doing great.
I would have threatened to pull her from dance or what ever the activity is.

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L.E.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I am in awe. You set a boundary and stuck to it, despite the whining and accusations. You go girl!

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D.K.

answers from Sioux City on

I am doing the happy dance for you and I am so envious of your sh*t! LOL! If I had poop and she were my daughter I would have hit the hour mark when she proclaimed how much she disliked me. Stand your ground and don't let that little 15 year old bully you or make you second guess yourself.

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...

answers from Phoenix on

My daughter is the same age and exactly the same way. Great girl, great student, great everything but that attitude can make me crazy sometimes!! Discipline her for her attitude. Scooping poop is great! You can also take away her Facebook and phone for a day or two also. I feel that even though my kids are teens and are more independent, they're obviously still very immature if I'm dealing with attitude problems. A mature adult would learn discipline and being polite and respectful. If that is missing, time to treat them like a child by grounding. They're kind of in between children and adults at this age. She's learning and will mature more and more. Stay on top of it. My 17 year old son is almost 18 and we finally stopped having to discipline him because he acts like a mature adult 99.9% of the time now. My 16-year old is close but not quite just yet. Good luck! You're doing great!

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Ok. Not bad.
If it's an escalating problem, you are going to have to go further.
Privileges such as Facebook, recreational computer use, cell phone, tv, etc should be constantly earned by good and respectful behavior.
They are not rights.
If she's having time management problems - pull her privileges until she gets her act together.
If she REALLY wants her freedom - her fastest way to become independent is to get a good education so she can get a job to support herself in her own apartment.
She'll be 18 in three short years.
It's not too soon for her to be working on her exit plan.

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J.B.

answers from Houston on

Yeah I'll just join the chorus's of how great you are doing. Don't know why she is being so snotty at the moment, but you are so right not to let it go unchecked. I mean she is obviously going through something to pour out all this anger, so after the punishment, maybe take just her to dinner and just chit chat. My mom used to take me to the movies sometimes, to the little crazy stuff I wanted to see. She did what she could to stay connected to me even in my really bad times. She will thank you one day for not being a push over ;) Good luck mama!

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H.M.

answers from Phoenix on

You did the right thing....give yourself a pat on the back =)

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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

You are right on the money!
You go, Momma!!
LBC

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T.L.

answers from Detroit on

I don't think you owe her an explanation, though. You did the right thing. It's tough raising teens, actually, kids altogether:) You are raising a person to be a responsible adult, you are not her friend, you are her mother. It's great that your hubby stands behind you--he should. I know it's tough, but don't take her comments to heart. When a child says they hate you---you are an awesome parent:)

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S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Sounds like you are a great mom.

Every action has a consequence. Ask her what she thinks a consequence would be for an adult who pushed you? You probably would have physically defended yourself by hitting the thug or called the police or kicked the person out of your home. Would she prefer one of those reactions?

She is probably a little embarrassed in addition to being frustrated with not getting her way. Tell her you love her, you know she loves you, and you forgive her. But she must deal with her consequence.

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K.J.

answers from New Orleans on

I think you doing the right thing. My mom didn't play with us at that age. At 15,I was at home and had no job at that time. So of course I had chores to do.If we wanted stuff we had to work for it. We didn't give anything handed to us. I got mad at her and said the same hate-ful things. Now I look back and I know I probably made her sad also. I know if my own kids told me that,I would of been also. Lucky mine 3 is young still.lol.. But I know i'm going to have my hands full during the teenager years b/c i have 2 girls who are 14 months apart.(yay me!) But at 16 i had a job,had gotta my drivers license,my mom brought me a phone(since i was driving), I took over one of their cars and had to pay my own gas and pay a car note every two weeks til it was paid off. So of course,I didn't have much chores to do around the house b/c I was still going to school and working after school. But I did my own laundry. I guess at that age I was more independent of myself. Its the wonderful teenager years. I know my mom was hard but I know she loved me and she was doing the right thing.

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B.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

You are on the right path.

I had a son that yelled, "I hate you" to me when he didn't get his way. I was ready for it though. In a very calm and quite voice I told him, "I love you. I'm your dad and I will always be here for you. Its not uncommon for you to say you hate me. But I love you and always will. I'm your dad."

I think part of what startled him was that I went from yelling to a cool calm, quiet voice. Things had been getting out of hand with him for a while and I had heard of other kids yelling, "I hate you" at their parents. I had had time to think it over and decide what I would say and do if it happened to me. When he said that I was ready with a responce.

Personally, I would have her taking care of part of the chores for taking care of animals even when she behaves. My kids shared in all the chores. But that's just a suggestion. I think you shoud tell her that because her manners toward you are crappy, she should become more familiar with crappy situations, hence shoveling out the stalls. I'd also have her carry it or transport it to a garden where the crappy attitude can do some good.

BTW, my son that yelled "I hate you" later came back and apologized. It was after he left home and started his family, but he overcame his bad attitude and hate. We are now friends.

Keep trying. You'll get there. Good luck to you and yours.

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N.H.

answers from Peoria on

Sounds like you're doing right...by setting limits & consequences you're teaching her responsibility. I wished more parents were like that these days. I hate to admit but I was like that...I didn't even want to learn to pump gas or do clothes b/c I didn't want to get my hands dirty til my mom told me that no one was going to do it for me & I could just stand there waiting for it to pump itself...if I had a car in college, who was going to be there to pump gas or do things for me? No one so I had no choice but to get off my high horse & do it myself. I think she'll grow out of it. Just keep your ground & don't give in, she'll get over it I'm sure. If she still complains after she gets the punishment overwith, just remind her that "well, next time perhaps you'll get your laundry done before you need it" or same with mucking out stalls, "well perhaps next time you'll be more respectful & appreciative of all we do actually do for you". Sometimes reminding her may help. I wasn't allowed to be on cheer or dance so maybe reminding her that not everyone gets to be on dance team & you gave her permission to try out & can have her removed if she doesn't straighten up. Hope this helps! Good luck!

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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

Oh those teen years - they will turn your hair white!

I like the punishment you gave your daughter. However her attitude towards you and pushing past you moving you where you stand does not sit with me well. Since this is your home you have rules and she could lose the door to her room for what she said. She does need to apologize to you and pushing you about. A boss is not going to let that fly in the office because something does not go the way she wants it she will be hitting the bricks faster than she knows. So please work on the respect/honor our parents before she leaves your home.

Don't ever second guess yourself with her.

The other S.

PS If I had ever done this at home I would be getting up out of a corner somewhere wondering how I got there because my mom or my aunt would have put me down for pushing them. Respect is earned by both sides. Good luck.

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G.R.

answers from San Diego on

You know why our generation didn't talk to our parents like this? We would of gotten popped in the mouth. Your not being to harsh if anything your husband needs to pull her aside and tell her "you talk to my wife like that again and you'll be sleeping in the barn"! Most children have more fear of their fathers, he needs to get in her butt.

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A.H.

answers from Omaha on

I think you did good too! Everything Amanda W. said was spot on. I don't have teens yet, but I have dealt with them in the classroom. To hear such abrasive words cuts to the core, even when it isn't your own kid, so I can imagine how it must have made you feel. Having said that, kids know how much those words hurt and use them to their advantage sometimes. Stick to your guns and when she has calmed down, let her know how much she hurt your feelings. Hugs to you! I had a rough day too.
A.

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K.C.

answers from Austin on

Hi there,
I am the parent of a 21 year old who struggled so much with me when she was little that I became a parent educator. I am sorry that you got hurt, and that your relationship with her is so difficult right now. Believe it or not she loves you deeply and really needs you in her life....at the same time, developmentally she deeply needs to separate and be her own person....ahhh the twos and the teens.....

Unfortunately, people hurt us when they are hurt. Does not mean that you are the one who hurt her, but hurt people hurt people. So, while she does need limits and boundaries of course, more than anything she needs to know she is ok and she is deeply loved. When a child does something hurtful (yell, call names) and we hurt back (punish) as you can see it can just keep escalating. So the trick is to have clear limits and boundaries up front....the washer is available from 7 am to 10 pm for example....then it has already been discussed when you and she are not tired and all there is to do is for you to remind her of the limits. Also, great to stop reminding and nagging. If she forgets to do her laundry by the end time of your pre-agreed upon limits then the consequence of having dirty clothes or needing to get up early will teach her far more than the nagging about being responsible.... Also, she needs guidance in how to communicate effectively when she is hurt rather than lashing out....trust me....most adults need to learn that skill as well...

Here are some great articles written by Kathryn Kvols, author of the book and parenting course 'Redirecting Children's Behavior' that I think will help:
http://incaf.com/articles/10_Keys_to_Successful_Parenting...
http://incaf.com/articles/Avoiding_Power_Struggles.pdf
http://incaf.com/articles/Setting_Limits.pdf
I would also highly recommend the RCB book.

Feel free to contact me directly if you want more resources....I have more but do not want to overwhelm you.
Blessings to you and your family.
K.
Kimberly Smith Cavins, OTR, CPE, EFT-Cert
"From the Heart" Family Healing

Helping people with:
~Parenting or Family Struggles
~Unhealed Emotional Issues, Trauma, or Illness
Who need Peace, Love, and Connection

Remedy Center for Healing Arts; 4910 Burnet Rd Austin, Tx 78756;
[email protected]____.com

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J.K.

answers from Kansas City on

I think that in an awesome punishment!! Keep it up, it is so hard!! My youngest son told me on MOTHERS DAY "mom, I just want you to know, that I HATE YOU!!!!" I cried. It does hurt, but I told him too that I loved him anyway. We just have to be consistent all the time, and that is hard too. You did the right thing!!

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H.N.

answers from Sacramento on

Good Job! Stand your ground. I grew up in the country and my punishment was always manual labor, either scoping poop, painting sheds or hoeing around trees. My parents would rather have me outside doing work than ground me. I remember have huge, I mean huge fights with my parents and telling them how much I hated them. Unfortunately, I was disrespectful to my parent from the age of 14-18. It sucked being a teen. Good luck! My mom and I now have a great relationship. We just had a 4 year rough patch.

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D.B.

answers from Dallas on

Wish I had that option for a consequence with my kids when they get older! Right on mama!

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M.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I was your daughter at one point and you did exactly what I would have hated (as a teenager) but would have very much needed. Good job!

P.M.

answers from Tampa on

I feel that is an appropriate punishment for her actions... in the future, I'd tell her no computer for a week if she doesn't get her stuff done in a timely fashion.

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H.M.

answers from Phoenix on

The first time I hear "I hate you" from one of my daughters for not keeping up with their laundry there will be consequences. Although your consequences for her sound well-deserved, I'm not sure if they're getting at the root of the problem which sounds like ingratitude and selfishness. I went on a trip to India when I was about 13 and watching toddlers begging for food or kids slaving for a meal taught me to value what I had. It's hard to show teenagers that sometimes. If you can't afford a drastic trip to a third-world country, maybe you could find some charitable work for her here. There are also movies on youtube showing what many children the world over have to deal with. I actually saw a movie (can't remember the name) of a woman with a spoilt daughter who went with her to work at an orphanage in India for the summer. She returned a changed person.

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

you did exactly the right thing. stick to your guns. I would suggest though that you exchange the word punishment for consequence. the consequence of her bahavior is "..." she is being a pain she will have to deal with the consequence. if its any consolation my 16 year old son waited until bedtime to say mom I am out of shorts for school. he chose to put them in to wash and then get up early the next morning to dry. went to school with only semi dry shorts lol. but has since then done not only his laundry but some of the rest of it as well.

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W.W.

answers from Austin on

I screwed up big time when I was 16 and I had to shovel horse poop for an entire summer. I'm now 42 and remember it like it was yesterday. You are absolutely doing the right thing!

L.M.

answers from New York on

100% yes and BTW I read this to my hubby who wholeheartedly agreed. So much better than screaming and yelling and empty threats. You stayed calm, you were consistent.

B.F.

answers from Toledo on

Wait you had 15 years before she told you..man I got ripped my DD told me when she was 3....

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C.B.

answers from Austin on

You go girl! You're handling this very well. You're being the parent, calm and consistant. You're making her take responsibility for here own actions and giving her consequences for her bad behavior. I know it isn't easy, but it will pay off in the end. I haven't read the other answers, but I bet you got some telling you other things to do. If you like some of them, fine. But your instincts about how to handle this particular child in your family in your own way sound very good to me! I'm glad you and your husband are presenting a united front.
Keep up the good parenting!

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M.L.

answers from Philadelphia on

This may be somewhat contrary to what you have heard. I have had 4 teenagers so far -- 3 girls, one boy, and still have two younger than that -- fun to come. My feeling is that in order to develop normally, teenage girls need to separate from their mothers. To develop into functioning adults. The studies support this as hard as it is for the mothers (like they are supposed to "hate" their mothers to make their transition to adulthood). I NEVER allowed disrespect though --- my children had to speak with respect, present their ideas. Sometimes their ideas were accepted sometimes not, and that was part of the process. But you should allow some rebellion. Choose your "lines" --- maybe there is punishment for not doing laundry, maybe not. And the punishment needs to fit -- make it something that really matters. But choose your lines and stick to them. Three of my teenagers are finally out of that phase (yea!) and we have very good relationships. It is a hard time. Good luck and you will get through it -- hopefully with an intact relationship on the other side.

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H.L.

answers from Houston on

I love the way you handled it. You even sound calm. Teens are by definition CRAZY AND STUPID--you know, "kid-stupid". It sounds like you got that right from the "love and logic" handbook. You were consistent and calm and firm. That gives them the perfect padded room to bounce all over. Kids test like that only in places where they feel secure, where they know you have their backs. Think about it--Would you jump from a bridge without your bungee cord? Even as babies, they hold on to our hands while they step outside the boundaries. As they get older, they still hold on. You are doing great.

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