Help! Nothing I do for my daughter is right or good enough.

Rachel - posted on 10/10/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I have a 13 year old that keeps me at the end of my rope. Short of buying/giving her anything and everything she wants, how do I get her over this? Everything from her clothes and underwear to her hair is wrong. I've tried everything. She ends up in tears and I do too. (Although she never sees mine) She has a closet full of clothes that she picked out, yet never has anything to wear. Nothing is ever right, anything I suggest in not good enough. I know this is a hard age. Friends, body images, and trying to fit in is stressful at any age, but 13 is huge. I'm losing my mind. I teach high school,so I know about teens abd their issues, but don't know where to go with this. Today I asked her to think about what is coming out of her motuh and what she really sounds like. All I get is "Sorry mom" (yelling). "That's why I don;t like myself!" Tehnshe storms off. Everything is so emotional. She yells at me all the time. I know some of this is the typical teenager syndrome, but I have been dealing with this crap her literally since she was four. I make sure she knows how much I love her, how proud we are of her and that I feel so lucky to be her mom. We don;tput any pressure on her about anything, she does enough of that herself. I feel like I am raising a spoiled brat, even though she does hear "no" quite a bit. I'm getting so depressed and frustrated about the situation! It is affecting the whole family. Her little brother just runs to the other room to get away from her tantrum-like behavior. HELP! I need suggestions!

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Janet - posted on 10/11/2009

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I feel for you so much, your daughter sounds very much like mine and she's only 12! I always feel like theres no pleasing her either and shes always pushing the boundaries when i say no. Im working on a solution at the moment. Im trying very hard to be firm but fair and once i've said no i get away from her by going to another room or keeping busy and letting her know im sticking to my guns. Its not easy listening to her whingeing away in the backround but ive stopped blaming myself for all of her bad behaviour which i used to do all the time. I don't know if any of this has been helpful but hopefully it has. Its certainly helped me knowing there is someone else in the same boat. If i think of any other helpful solutions i will let you know!

Jonie - posted on 10/10/2009

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I am wondering if you have talked to her doctor yet? AND has she started her period. Why? I was just like her as a 13 year old lol. the good thing is now as an adult my mother and i are best friends. It is hard for us as parents to remember that this is just a stage, and it will end that is why i told you something so personal. I do know that sometimes it is hormone related and putting a teenage girl on "the pill" although scarey can help with some of the hormone stuff. However, it is very hard being a teenage girl, and to her nothing is good enough. becuse they tell her it isn't. My mother did somethign that really helped me beleive it or not. She set aside one day a month to spend just the two of us. we would go shoppign, and she would encourage me to try on clothes and tell me how pretty i looked. We would go out to eat then to a nice salad place because we wanted good food for us she would say. I stilll remember the time and still to this day we do it. It let me know how much she loved me, and during the time we were out she would praise me so much it helped me to know she was proud of me. just suggestions. Also I will tell you i am now older and have a 13 year old son, and truth be told, i think kids today have the worst self esteems but you know that as a teacher. I have worked hard all my sons life to encourage him to be himself no matter what others think or say and I think that is key to self esteem. She buys a shirt, shes excited right? wears it to school and thinks she looks great then some girl comes us and says what? did you shop at the thrift store? Now she hates it. that is what is most likely happening. And she is as frustrated as you, she can't seem to get it right either. And she does not know what to do. The answer is to do what she likes and forget what those girls say...but unfortunately that does not happen at 13 does it? Try to praise her more, and spend quality time with her and remember she needs your support as hard as it is for you. Don't bow to her fashion needs just to try to get her to the 'right" stage she won't get there for years lol. But i think the support you show her now helps define your relationship later in life. So love her as much as you can and she will remember it later when she has a daughter her age now.

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Marina - posted on 07/05/2010

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counselling might help. She has to be made to understand by a neutral party how her behavior is affecting the family. Could there be a child in school affecting her behavior? a new friend or a boy she likes? a click making her feel inferior? You need to get to the core of the problem so that you can help her.

Michaela - posted on 07/05/2010

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you answered the question yourself she has no respect for anything because she wants nothis just something to act up about and get ur attention ,maybe that is wat she wants u and her to have more time together and by u keep buying her things is the way she gets your attention i am not saying you dont love her but sometimes u can just love them to much in the wrong way

Nicole - posted on 07/05/2010

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Oh dear...this looks familiar to me!!! My almost 13 year old has these moments as well. I'm a middle school teacher, my daughter is at the same stage.

You can't change her by force...no one can do that for anyone, no matter how good it is for them! DO remember that YOU are the mom...don't look for her approval or gratitude at this age, because you'll be sorely disappointed! My best advise to you is to remember that she will appreciate things later, when she is a woman...which will be most of her life! :)

In the meantime, at especially contentious moments, try two things: try saying, "Well, hun, I'm your ol' mom, and that's just the way it is." She will of course flare back momentarily or huff off angrily...and let her go as long as she doesn't cross too many major boundaries. BUT... stay firm...and try to resist the urge to "do" for her. This can create a situation where you doing things is an expectation, and of course, in her efforts to establish and identity different from yours, she will target it...probably unknowingly.

SO, next time she crabs, try letting her know (calmly) that the best way to get it done her way is to learn to do it for herself...and that's exactly what you are going to start teaching her to do.

Her statement about not liking herself is worrisome, so empowering her to do things and complimenting her can help boost that self esteem. And hang tough with those emotional outbursts...comes with the territory. Let her know a safe place to vent is her room...it's acceptable, and encouraged, and helps everyone else feel good that she has the control to go. This works with my daughter quite well, and she's gained enough self control to take a deep breath and not go running off at the smallest perceived slight. She rarely goes there anymore, and I ALWAYS wait to address problems issues at "hot" times...when emotions are high. If I feel she needs to vent, I try, "Honey, you look...(frustrated, angry, upset, sad...). Are you ok? Can I help?" I almost always get a "NO!", but then I wait quietly in the silence that follows, it will eventually come out.

Monica - posted on 10/27/2009

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Hi Rachel,

I to have a 16 year old daughter and am in the same boat so I feel for you. It's got to be a teenage thing. We have also spoiled our daughter as well and it is comming back to haunt us. I bet that you too have heard that every problem in her life is somehow all your fault. We are working with our daughter about taking accountability for our own actions and decisions, and trying to keep her positively motivated. WHAT A CHALLENGE.

I can only suggest that you do let her see your tears, let her know how much this is affecting you as well. Try not to take things personally, ( I know how hard that is) Our daughter likes to throw tantrums when she doesn't get her way as well. When things get heated I have recently started to just remove myself from the situation to cool down, stick to my word or decison when a reasonable compromise can not be reached, and have asked her father to reinforce me. It is sometimes really hard because you can get drawn in easily but if you keep constant maybe she will understand that causing drama in the house is not the way to discuss an issue. I have stopped doing as much for our daughter so that she appreciates what we do, do for her. She is slowly comming around. I can only suggest that when you do have to talk to her maybe find a place where the other children are not around. Easier said than done I know.

Anyway I can only hope that you find what works for your family, and I wish you luck. If you find what works pass along the advise everyone can use a helpfull hint when it comes to teenage girls.

Monica

[deleted account]

Have you considered she is possible border line by-polar. I have a 14 year old just like yours, I also teach high school. Finally I took her to a specialist. She was so much more work than her older and younger sisters. and after test and the therapist spoke with her. (it took time because she put on the good girl who's being picked on act) We finally got he diagnosis. she is being treated and dong so well. She even thanked me for helping her be trully happy for the first time she can remember. which broke my heart but we have such joy now. Good luck

Julie - posted on 10/19/2009

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All I can say is I know exactly how you feel my daughter is 19 and is going threw this where I am not good enough.Hang in there it has got to get better thats what I keep telling myself.

Adella - posted on 10/14/2009

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Quoting Rachel:

Help! Nothing I do for my daughter is right or good enough.

I have a 13 year old that keeps me at the end of my rope. Short of buying/giving her anything and everything she wants, how do I get her over this? Everything from her clothes and underwear to her hair is wrong. I've tried everything. She ends up in tears and I do too. (Although she never sees mine) She has a closet full of clothes that she picked out, yet never has anything to wear. Nothing is ever right, anything I suggest in not good enough. I know this is a hard age. Friends, body images, and trying to fit in is stressful at any age, but 13 is huge. I'm losing my mind. I teach high school,so I know about teens abd their issues, but don't know where to go with this. Today I asked her to think about what is coming out of her motuh and what she really sounds like. All I get is "Sorry mom" (yelling). "That's why I don;t like myself!" Tehnshe storms off. Everything is so emotional. She yells at me all the time. I know some of this is the typical teenager syndrome, but I have been dealing with this crap her literally since she was four. I make sure she knows how much I love her, how proud we are of her and that I feel so lucky to be her mom. We don;tput any pressure on her about anything, she does enough of that herself. I feel like I am raising a spoiled brat, even though she does hear "no" quite a bit. I'm getting so depressed and frustrated about the situation! It is affecting the whole family. Her little brother just runs to the other room to get away from her tantrum-like behavior. HELP! I need suggestions!



This is going to be harsh and to the point.



She is a spoiled brat and you've catered to her every whim and fancy.  Now that you have created a monster, you need to bring her down a few pegs and make her realize the world does not revolve around her.



Her clothes are not good enough? Make her get a babysitting job and work for them herself. Her hair is not right. Make her pay for it herself. Anything & everything she wants. Make her work for it, earn it on her own.



Take her to volunteer in a women's/children's shelter, show her the real world, it's called a reality check. Let her know not everyone has things handed to them on a silver platter. Some kids are lucky if they can get used hand-me-downs.



I too am guilty of doing the same thing w/my daughter. After I showed her that there is more to life than being self-centered, she has made a change for the better. And she used to see me cry. I let her know I have feelings and that she could hurt them. Don't hide your feelings. You are not protecting her by doing so.



Good luck. :)



 

Brenda - posted on 10/13/2009

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You are not alone, my adorable daughter, drives me crazy. You know that sign "teenagers move out get a job while you still know everything", I believe this person had a teenage daughter. I know everything I do is wrong, on her good days things are great, but on her bad days OH MY GOSH you better run. Well I can honestly say I am not perfect on my responses, but the one thing I have done is quit taking it personally. It seems if I take something personally she just gets more upset. So my goal (not that I am always successful) is to remember that she is a child and I must breathe and not feel bad when I suggest something and it seems to her to be stupid. Not sure that this helps but did want you to know you are not alone.

Marie - posted on 10/12/2009

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I would try doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. Don't do anything for her. Make her do everything herself. Don't answer her questions, don't help her with homework, don't do her laundry, don't wash her dishes, don't buy her anything, even shampoo. She obviously doesn't appreciate anything that you do do for her. When she gets nothing, it may help her appreciate what she does get and make her miss it. She has to understand how she's making others feel around her. And as long as she is disrespectful, she gets nothing. If that don't work, try a refrigerated spray bottle of water, a shot in the neck or face when she yells at you. If she wants to act like a toddler, treat her like one.

Jen - posted on 10/12/2009

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I think sometimes a mission trip with a church or some type of activity to volunteer to show how some live is the best way to help. It is also a great way for the family to feel better about themselves. check you local area

Patti - posted on 10/11/2009

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I sympathize with you... my daughter (15) was just like that. We had a long talk one week and I had to be completely honest with her about everything. I started it by telling her that I love her and that as long as I am alive will always love her, but that I didn't like her because of her attitude. I explained that this is our family and we have certain guidelines that we live by. I told her that second to following God is respect. Respect for herself, respect for me, respect for our family and that her attitude towards me and herself isn't showing respect. When it got to the point that she was so angry that she wasn't listening, I told her we were taking a break. After both of us had calmed down (it was very emotional for me) I went to her room - she wasn't happy but she let me in - I asked her if she wanted to say anything, most of the time she didn't just kept rolling her eyes. So I continued on. The key I think was keeping my cool when she was so angry. It went on like that for a few days and when it was finished I wrote her a letter and told her that my love for her hasn't changed, but that there were somethings that would. We would respect one another and if she really hated herself, then I would do what I needed to do to get her some therapy, but that in this household, respect would be used. Then I told her that she had til the end of the month (3 weeks) to decide if she wanted therapy or to talk to someone and if she chose not to, then she needed to make some necessary changes. I also told her some changes I would make and I kept - still keep - those changes in place. Afterwards, I talked to her youth pastor just to let him know and get his buy in, he didn't necessarily agree with my tactics, but then again, his kids aren't as old as mine is.



I'd like to tell you that we have a perfect relationship, but we don't. We still bump heads from time to time. We still argue about "normal" teenaged things, but it is better. We have a much better relationship. Part of it might be her age, part of it might be that talk, part of it might be that I now ask her opinion of things more. I don't know, but it is better.



Hang in there... it is tough, but if you give up now, then you might as well turn your back on her and never look back. Hang tough, keep the faith, you are her mom and she will one day need you to be there for her - boys, rumors, self confidence, something - and she needs to know you will... with respect.



Just my opinion.

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