I have a 12 year old daughter who is the most disrespectful, lazy,unapprecitive human I know. And nothing that I do seems to help. I am at my wits end..

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Cecilia - posted on 12/22/2012

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First realize all pre-teens and teens are unappreciative. I don't even think they mean to be, Most people don't know this but from the beginning of puberty until about 20 their brain actually changes. It sheds things and grows in other places. ( to me that is amazing) It's thought that the brain goes through this change for social issues. up until this point we don't actually know how to socialize. the brain has to grow in order to find a partner so to speak.

Now i bring this up because i think their brains are so consumed they just don't notice the things we do. Until this point in their life we gave and never expected much appreciation from them.they don't know why it's any different now.

Lazy is also normal. I don't know why but it is. You're not alone there. What I try to do is explain to my teens i'm not trying to be unfair in asking for chores to be done and explain which chores i've been doing in comparison to theirs. I offer to switch chore lists with them and then they just seem to forget about the feeling of being treated unfair.

Disrespect... well thats a tough one. Although it's seem all the time in teens it's not really acceptable. I guess it depends on the child and what has been tried. Anger doesn't seem to be the way to go to fix it though. Maybe if you stay calm and then point out that you're being calm and respecting them it will help.

Another thing that helps me understand my teens is the fact i was told teens are the 2nd terrible twos. Why does a 2 yr old act out?? they want to explore the world but they want to run right back and hide behind your legs. Basically they want freedom yet know you're still there when things get scary.

Lynn - posted on 12/22/2012

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Lokota, it is easy to blame the parent but if Ronda didn't care or was some bad parent she wouldn't be asking for help. There are so many reasons why kids act out at Mom and Dad, or act our in other ways like cutting themselves or starving themselves, or running away...teen years hit earlier these days and that is a tough age for the kids they can't express their feelings easily, hormones and lack of impulse control, outside social issues, body issues, violet video games, bullying, all that plays a factor. also some kids are just have a more defiant personality then others. i know that drive, that determine, head butting instinct that makes me crazy as a parent will serve him well in life as an adult, it is what makes him a great athlete and a leader. Sometimes families just need to reboot and reconnect, change up the old ruts we get into as parents with our kids, especially if there has been some stressful times or the kids are maturing and their needs are changing. From what understand everyone goes through it, you just have to love them enough to ride it out until they clue in again.

Lakota - posted on 12/04/2012

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Why does your 12 year old daughter have so much anger that she cusses at you and needs counseling to control her anger in the first place? That is usually a learned behavior. I understand that she is a preteen, has hormonal things going on, etc. But, that is way out of control.

Shelly - posted on 11/29/2012

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what I would do is choose your battles sometimes it is best to ignore the little ones and deal with the major ones.. if she shows off when friends are around then she can not have friends around... I know I use to make my son work outside with my like doing the garden volunteer in places like nursing homes have involved in other places like helping out in the soup kitchens and food banks because sometimes seeing others suffer and it opens their eyes to the light that my mom and dad anre impotant to me.. another thing is to take things away as soon as she acts up after taking them away immedately and not giving in at all she get the point after a while... I use to work in a mental health facility and when we had kids like not respecting their mothers and fathers and if they take it out more on mother is because you are their safty net and this is why they treat you this way and they try to test your buttons... keeping them busy in sports does help alot I hope this helps....

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TJ - posted on 01/08/2013

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Rita - very well said, every bit of it.

Let's not forget that there are things that "should" be coming up soon (in the early teen years) that Mom could say she would be happy to teach her or involve her with "when she finally matures..." - DANG, that might piss her off, because she will want to say she IS MATURE... when she's actually behaving like a baby or brat.

Mom could mention such useful/fun things as handling money/balancing a checkbook, making a household budget, driver's education courses, (gourmet?) cooking class, putting together her "Hope Chest" (yes it may sound old-fashioned, like something from The Waltons LOL, but what other girl in her school would be able to honestly claim she and her mom were working together to gather household items - including educational books - for her OWN future apartment or home?), attend women's groups (like The Red Tent - oh, I ALWAYS recommend a Red Tent group!) a trip for just the two of them to a place her daughter really REALLY wants to go... all leaning towards teaching her how to be a loving, responsible adult woman. These would be special things that are not easily "given" -- she would have to earn them by improving her behavior and her life, day to day.

Rita - posted on 01/06/2013

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For the most part girls' seem to be the first. The story goes that boys are usually 2yrs. behind girls. Meaning a boy of 12 acts' and thinks as 10.
Your daughter sounds like she has been spoiled (no offence to you) we all do it.
First I would check her friends out. Who is she hanging around with? Are they on your side of the track or the wrong side. It wouldnt' hurt for you to speak with her friends parents either, this is your daughter and you have every right to know. She need not be told.
When she is being disrespectful try and ignore her. Yes this can be hard but by getting into an argument with her abt. her behavior, your fueling the fire and she is loving it. If she is lazy especially if her room is a right off, leave it. When she looks for clean clothes and cant' find them that is not your fault, if you are anything like myself you would normally go in and pick up her dirty clothes, wash them and put them away. Stop that RIGHT AWAY!! She is old enough to run the washing machine so let her. If she plays' stupid show her ONCE because she is conning you. When you say unappreciative I am thinking that you did something for her or bought her something. Perhaps you cooked the wrong supper. Either way dont' change to pls. her she lives in your home. Your put a roof over her head, feed her, clothe her, no doubt give her money whenever...your an open bank. Not anymore. If she screams,rants and raves dont' be her sounding board walk away. When she hollars abuse, tell her she is the abuser and you can have her fined! I can just imagine the look and what she has to say. She may say she is running away or something. If she does leave do you honestly think it will be for long? She knows where her bread is buttered! She will also find out that her friends dont' get everything they want, they have chores to do. As well her friends parents would not allow her to stay, maybe overnight. They arent' going to keep feeding and clothing her.
This is going to be hard on you at first, yes you will go somewhere in your home and cry or feel that your being to hard, you are NOT!! Once you/her get over the initial shock of how you are acting slowly you will see change. Its' not going to happen overnight. I know just how easy it is to say "oh here you go" or I'm sorry. You have nothing to be sorry for. Yes you will feel like the worst mom but think of her future. If you have other children younger than her you have to realize that they too, are learning from her. When you give in to her, do you not think she will go out with her friends and who will have the last laugh. She will say I only had to pretend to be crying and I get my own way. If you dont' put a stop to it now she is already walking over you and it will get worse but she will be that much more out of control and smarter. I am not saying this because I know it all nor am I trying to make you feel bad. You are a normal person just as anyone else.
A mom who wants the best for her family and probably working hard to give them the best you can, we all do this. There are many 12yr. olds' that wouldn't do this but I would say many more who do. My own daughter was somewhat the same. When the tables got turned I was the worst mom ever. She even called the Childrens' Aid and said I was abusing her. Of course they came out, thats' their job. Did I feel like I was being raked over the coles, I sure did. I explained to the Worker why she did what she did, they never came back.I was so upset, I thought they were going to take her away. She is now the most wonderful daughter. Very giving, loving and caring. She has a family of her own and I have to say she is a wonderful mother and I am blessed to be a grandmother of 4 who are all adorable. You may only have to play this out for a couple of months' but hold to your game just as she does. I think you will find that there is the most wonderful young lady in that body and she will change. Sometimes' old habits die hard but I honestly dont' think it will take long for your daughter. Still be there for her and love her. Tell her everyday that you love and care about her, you in a short time will find her saying this to you just as my daughter says that to me always. Even my two sons' either at my home or on the phone with them always end the conversation with "Love you mom"
Take care and please dont' feel that you are the "Wicked Mom" I will be thinking of you and I wish you "Good Luck"
Sorry for such a long letter, I'm sure there will be more to come.

Linda - posted on 12/25/2012

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I have a 12-year-old too and I feel your pain. She received a gift from a male friend on the last day of school. He's a very nice respectful kid so hubby and I didn't blow our tops when she brought home the gift. Also, she's not into boys so it wasn't a big deal. He told her she is an awesome person except when she gets angry. She and I spoke about what he had said and now that she is aware of her behavior around him she said she will try to be kinder to him and to others. No one is perfect and this stage is just another part of the growing pains of life. This phase will pass, thank goodness.

A friend of mine set up a punching bag in her basement. Every time anyone feels angry, they go downstairs and spend time with "Rick".

Lynn - posted on 12/22/2012

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Ronda did you talk to your family doctor before going to the counsellor, maybe the doctor can check for something you are not thinking of? run blood work etc, talk about sleeping patterns, food allergies and look at family history, body image. also did you go for counselling with her? maybe the whole household needs to go? we found out my son needed more physical affection, more hugs and kisses and cuddles from Mommy (which i was glad to give) but he was too embarrassed to ask for it and he was jealous his younger brother was getting it (was blown away by this, it was such a simple fix). Talk to her teachers to see if she is doing the same behaviours at school, ask how she is functioning socially, perhaps she can't control her outbursts perhaps she does behave at school but not at home? that can also be very telling and an indicator of if it is involuntary or not or if she is getting bullied at school? Turns out our son was just being a spoiled brat, we had an in issue with our oldest son who was showing very bad behaviour and making our house a war zone over video game time. We pulled all the outside help we could get, even my parents, when all the adults came together and created a united caring front that was laying down the same law and communicating about it, it worked. for a about 2 weeks it got way worse...but then when he saw that he couldn't get away with any BS, it got better, but it took a month and in the end, with some negotiation and rewarded time, rather than punishing time he got excited about earning back the things he had lost, also giving him more positive attention and more physical affection, we got our wonderful, kind hearted, fun to be around, super kid back. i think had we not nipped it in the bud we would have been going through worse hell in a few years when he hit 14, he is so strong and smart he would have ruled our entire household or run away, either way i think we really turned a corner but it took everything we had to fix it and thankfully we weren't in it alone. you aren’t alone either so ask for help from the professionals around you and take their advice and drag her to every conversation with you, to let her know you love her enough to go to all of this trouble and you will continue to dig your heals in until she learns she is not in charge, you are, you are in charge, you are the parent and she will test until she accepts it. I kept telling my son, however hard you come at us, we will not back down, i love you too much to give up. Action = consequence, it can be good or it can be bad the choice is yours, it’s your choice. Our child behaves very well for my parents, they are very controlling and doting plus they live in the country and don’t have video games, so he went there for a few days, we all needed a break from the fighting, he was happy to come home after a 4 days and missed his room and stuff, even his brother and us, we got the break we needed to regroup and calm down. For rewards for good behaviour he wanted things like more game nights, choosing his favourite meals, baking cookies with me. I hope some of this helps you Ronda because I feel your pain and something we did worked for us. Also when it comes to friends; sometimes finding the right friend to have over helps too, I know my son behaves better with some friends then others. I really encourage the friends that are good, and always try to invite the kids to our house where I can keep an eye on them, and I cut out sugar, yellow food die and red food die where I could, all of this helps too.

Ronda - posted on 11/29/2012

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We had her in counseling for about 9 months to learn to control her anger when she does not get her way. She is unbelieveavle. The counselor said the same thing strip her room down to bed ,curtains. We tried that more than once, as soon as we statred giving things back she would just revert back to the same ways. The counselor said she did the same thing there , that shewould take 2 steps forward and 10 back, We can tell her to do something like go get your bath and she will just holler no, we can try to make her pick up after her self and she will continuously leave thing all over the house and when we follow her around and make her pick it up she says , your going take me somewhere for doing this for you. And I TRY TO EXPLAIN to her that she is only cleaning her on space, certainly not doing anything to help out with anything else that goes on. She cusses at us like a sailor and when she does have a friend over she she 10 times worse. I have had to take her friends home on more than one occasion because of her behavior. Any ideas let me know. My sister says I have more patience than god would with her but rest assured I have lost it more than once. And I hate that it makes me feel Like I can.t control the smallest aspect of this situation.

Shelly - posted on 11/28/2012

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I understand the feeling I had a teenager that was about 12 when it started and all i can say is be patient and they do eventally get through it and grow up being respectful... I use to take alot of things away from my son tv radio ps3 computer what ever it took I did and did seem to help after they knew I was not going give in... trust me it was not easy it was the toughest thing I had to do and the hardest thing I had to do but I do understand If y ou like to chat email me and I can talk I am a good listener..

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