Overwhelmed-Frustrated and going to loose it...PLEASE HELP!

Maria - posted on 12/03/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Hello-
This is my first time writing in for myself! Everyone seems SO helpful, I figured it was about time!
I am a 43 year old mother of 2 with a husband who drinks too much. We have a 14 year old boy in 9th grade and an 11 year old daughter in 6th grade. About 8 weeks ago for the 2nd time in our 15 year marriage, we started seeing a family therapist together.
The biggest problem I need help with is my daughter! She and I have always butted heads to a point, but in the past 4 weeks it has been terrible! ( I NEVER thought my relationship with my daugher would be SO trying!!) She is sassy, snotty, bratty....the list goes on...I know, part of this is my fault for letting her get away with things for too long...BUT, we talk and talk and she seems to get it but them it is the same thing over and over again! She yells at me, doesn't listen, doesn't respond to groundings or things taken away from her...Is this just the beginning of having a teenage daughter????
My son is a dream come true! Yes, we have our problems but he is 95% of the time polite, kind hearted and tries to help whenever he can!
I HATE arguing with my daughter every day! I hate the yelling, the "Drama Queen" aspect and I have talked about it in from of her with the Therapist and we both always say we are going to work on it...I can only controle my helling back to a point! Please help if you can! I would love all constructive criticism! I do know that I need more patients and am part of the problem, but I can not be walked on by my 11 year old child! She NEVER does this to her father! He does not hurt her, but there is an amount of "fear" there that obviously I do not have!
I feel like so many of you do I am sure, I do EVERYTHING for my children, and hate that they have more respect for their father than for me!
Thanks for listening and for any help you can offer!
Truly-Overwhelmed

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Christy - posted on 12/03/2010

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Wow. You have a lot going on. What stood out most to me in this post is that our husband drinks too much, and you say he does not hurt her. Let me tell you he IS hurting her with his drinking. She is hurting and taking it out on you. You have got to come together as an ENTIRE family in therapy. I know someone VERY close to me that went through this as a teen. Found out her mom was an alcoholic around age 12, and treated her father like crap all the time. Now as an adult she admits that at that time she felt her Dad did nothing to help her mom and took out her frustrations on her dad, yelling at him, disrespecting him, etc. She said the issue of her mom drinking was like the white elephant in the room, everyone SAW it but never talked about it. I am not sure how to handle this as I think I need more info about your husband. Good luck, hon.

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Maria - posted on 12/03/2010

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Thank you Catherine and Amanda! I appreciate the feedback! Hope you both have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Amanda - posted on 12/03/2010

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Stop arguing with your daughter. Tell her the new rules, if she can not be polite and speak normal to everyone in the family, she will go to her room. There is no set time she has to stay in her room just until shes ready to become a part of the family with no tude. She can stay there for 2 minutes or 2 days its up to her.

I know it sounds to simple, I also thought so when the school shrink gave me this suggestion for my 12 year old daughter who also doesnt respond to groundings, having things removed from her. It took a week or 2 and shes totally got the hang of it. 3 months later I no longer yell, or fight with her, if she isnt listening or pulling a tude, I just say frimly go to your room.

Catherine - posted on 12/03/2010

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I'm so sorry that you're having such a rough time. I definitely agree with Christy that your husband's drinking may have a lot to do with her behavior, but that is a huge problem to get under control, and it sounds like you need some help now.

I teach high school and I've worked with a lot of girls your daughter's age through Girl Scouts.

When I think about girls that age, I try to remember that they're actually not that much different than toddlers going through the terrible two's -- they're trying to push boundaries, be independent, etc. I think the most important thing that I found is to pick your battles and to find ways to let them think they have some control. I know I sometimes would find myself holding firm on a due date for a paper just for the sake of proving that "I was in charge," but that isn't really what's important. Sometimes I found a good technique was to make the due date a day earlier than I really wanted it, the kids would beg for more time, and then I would oh so kindly give them one more day. In the end, they think they won, but the paper ended up being due the day I wanted it to be. You might be able to use the same technique for curfews or allowance or something. If your daughter feels like she's winning in the negotiation process, that might go a long way. Teens seem to define you listening to them as you agreeing with them, they don't seem to get the "agreeing to disagree" concept, so maybe if you can find ways to agree with her, she'll be happier.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Maria - posted on 12/03/2010

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Thanks Christy! Iknow he is hurting all of us with his drinking! I meant he is not physical with any of us. His drinking is the reason we started back with the Therapist! He do talk about it, and it is funny, if he mentions what he had to drink and left something out our daughter is the first one to say, "no, you had 2 glasses of bourbon too dad..." She says it like it is in that environment! I didn't think about the aspect of her taking it out on me...THAT HELPS! I am trying to do everything to keep our family together...Maybe in her eyes, subconsiously, it is not enough!
Thanks again, GOD bless you!

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