Teenage daughter's bad attitude

Lisa - posted on 01/18/2013 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I can't believe how mean my daughter can be at times (mostly to me)!! How could I have given birth to such a person??? I can't imagine EVER saying the awful things to my mother that she says to me. She is 18, defiant, and has made my life a living HELL for many years. I am a very easygoing person, kind, and really don't have a mean bone in my body. She is my polar opposite! I have been depressed about this for so long. We almost lost her 3 months ago in a bad car accident, now dealing with new struggles. Her attitude has changed a bit, but not enough . Is there ANYONE out there with similar issues? She has been defiant, headstrong, disrespectful, and verbally abusive since the age of 14. We have provided her with nothing but the best. Love, a beautiful home, etc. My husband and I don't know anyone who has the problems we have! Comments and advice please????????

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Cecilia - posted on 01/25/2013

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It is a good book. I read many when my son turned 14 and just changed on me. It was like some demon took over his body and i wanted to find some answers. That one, by far explained so much to me.

Cecilia - posted on 01/25/2013

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Right now is her rock bottom use it to redirect her in the right direction. That's why i suggested take her golden heart and put it in a place that helps others without hurting her.

I think she is lashing out on you because she feels you are getting in the way of her "missions." Plus, don't we yell at the ones we know we can get away with it? I know i didn't yell at my hubby like i do when he was my boyfriend. That was when he could walk away. She knows mommy won't walk away. So she can pour out all those frustrations on you. It isn't fair. I just think that's why it happens.

I always tell myself when my kids slam doors and yell they hate me, it means i did the right thing. I'm mommy first friend second. As a parent, you're going to make them mad.

None of us like being told we're wrong and were not doing the right thing. In our heart we think we're right. For example if someone came into here and told you you were wrong and you need to change everything you've done and you're a bad parent- it would be hard to hear and you might be mad at them for a bit, right? Why? because you're trying to do the right thing.

Lisa - posted on 01/25/2013

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Yes, thank you for the advice. I realize teenagers thinks they are invincible. I have so many emotions in my head, it is hard at times to stay grounded! I do tell her I love her every day. The one good thing that has come from the accident is that we are all closer as a family. (I have a 15 yr old daughter as well). Marissa's father and sister had given up on her before the accident, however I did not. It must be a mother thing! I believe she never realized how much we love her, but now she does. The house has been in turmoil for almost 4 years. It is just sad that it took her being in a back brace, and unable to function on her own to have control over her, To this day, I remain the one to have faith in her. Her dad and sister still think she will return to the behavior once she is able to. I find myself slipping to these beliefs and fears as well, but continue to support her and stick up for her! It is exhausting.
Yes, her therapist as well tells me she has a heart of gold. She really would do anything for others, It is difficult to see this at times, when she has said so many hurtful threatening things to me. I am over sensitive to a fault at times, and have tried not to take things so personal. (although this is very difficult at times!). I will continue to steer her in the right direction, and find other ways to channel her need to help others....

Cecilia - posted on 01/25/2013

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Ok that helped me get the over all picture. First i want you to know that the teenaged brain sees itself as invincible. Until we're about 22 we have this state of mind. It really isn't fully her fault for being involved with dangerous activities. Mind you not all teens take it the way your daughter has, and many take it further ( since she passed a drug test).

Now here's the way i read it, your angry because you want your daughter to be safe and make better choices. Fair and understandable. Also what i read is your daughter thinks she is doing the right thing. She wants to save people you wouldn't bother with. This to me says she has a heart of gold and wants to do something good. Why would someone be around people doing drugs and not do them? She thinks she can change them like you said. Very important lesson in life is we can't change other, only how we react. She will learn this lesson eventually.

Now as far as what can you do? You can put her heart to work in the right place. Get her involved in community service. It can be anything from a childrens hospital, a soup kitchen, or even a rehab center. Let her pick if you want. She needs to feel like you support her need to help. This way you can.

Also sometimes we get so involved with telling them what to do we forget they are on a track and it's hard to derail it sometimes. The best we can do sometimes is love them. This seems to be your case. Let her know even when she messes up bad that you're there. It's a hard spot to be in but sometimes all you can do is give a hug and let the rest be.

Lisa - posted on 01/25/2013

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Yes, I was angry when I wrote the original post, so I will elaborate...
All her life, Marissa has been very headstrong and wanted her way. However, I always thought she would accomplish something great because of this. I never had to worry about her doing her homework, cleaning her room, or going to school. She was my pride and joy! But the teenage years brought a whole new level of defiance and wanting her way. When she turned 14, she met a 17 year old boy and maintained a relationship for 2 years with him. We tried everything to stop this, forbid her from seeing him, then finally accepted him after that approach backfired. He was a senior when she was a freshman. He dropped out of school, didnt have a job, and ended up in rehab that summer. She was always fighting with him because I think she wanted to help him change! Then she started doing things I wouldnt expect. (Getting in cars with older boys, experimenting with drinking, hanging out with a much older crowd, lying to sleep out at random places, etc.) All this time, however, she maintained her grades and her job and remained motivated. We had rules, but she never wanted to follow them. She would do what she wanted regardless of the consequences. She would get punished, be good for a few weeks, but repeat the same behaviour. Looking back, Im not good with tough love and should have been better. I always gave her the benefit of the doubt! For example, when she turned 16 I allowed her to get her license so that she would have a way to travel to and from work. My husband disagreed, but finally gave in. Well this ended up being too much power for her to handle! She ended up being caught in many lies, and provided transportation to many kids in town who were less fortunate and not exactly "motivated". She was at this point involved with a different boy (friend of the original), and that is when things got really bad! Apparently he was addicted to crack, and she was giving him all her money. She was with him for a year and a half. She drove him everywhere, gave him everything, and she was rarely home. During this time, rather than fight with him she seemed to "join" the behaviour of the older crowd. She was smoking, drinking at times, etc. I was afraid she was doing drugs but did a test which came back negative (thank god). It all came to a head in the fall of 2011. Since that previous summer, she had a drastic change in behaviour. Lying, not going to school, didnt care how she looked, etc. We found things missing in the house (jewelry and electronics), and started to suspect she was stealing. Well our biggest fears were confirmed and we caught her and her new boyfriend using my credit card on camera, We took the car away permanently, she worked to pay back every cent, but we chose not to have her arrested. She broke up with the boyfriend, who now lives in a different state. The police were pushing us to arrest her so that she would learn her lesson, but after getting advice from an attorney, we didnt want to do this. I cant tell you how heartbroken we were! The value of many things taken was very high, not to mention sentimental. Things were even missing from her grandparents house. Even writing this I am very sad even though it happened in 2011. My entire family has shed many tears over this. Come to find out, she was being abused both physically and verbally by her boyfriend. She told us after he left our state. There were no signs of physical abuse, however I did ask her randomly in that past year if her boyfriend was hurting her or if she was afraid of him. She would say "oh mom, hes not like that!"
So as you can see, I have been through hell and back raising a defiant teen, and she DID do things that I would never dream of. She had been verbally abusive, and Yes I would retaliate and say bad things back. She barely graduated highshool because of poor attendance her seniour year. She has been in therapy for over a year, and hopefully this is helping. IT has been a living nightmare, and actually her behaviour has changed (for the better) since her almost fatal accident this past October. I am very proud of her strength now, and hope she can be happy. When I wrote this last post, it was after a fight we had. One of her "friends", was driving drunk with marijuana in his system that fatal night and almost killed her. Sometimes i say bad things about him and his family since their house was the place to party, and she still defends them. She thinks I'm twisted and the MINORITY. She is now left with a deformed arm, in pain everyday, wore a back brace for 8 weeks for 7 broken vertebrae, etc. We are closer than ever before. I took care of her 24/7 during her 3 weeks in the hospital, 1 week in rehab, and 2 months at home after going on an FMLA. She never lies about where she is anymore , started working again, but had to withdraw from college. She has a VERY long road ahead of her, but is very positive and wants to return to college in the fall. I do however sometimes find it VERY difficult to forget her past behaviour. I can't help but get exasperated at times when shestill can't admit to her reckless decisions in the past. I am really trying, and thank you for helping me see it from a different angle.
Actually, I sometimes feel ready for the loony bin............

Cecilia - posted on 01/18/2013

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" I am a very easygoing person, kind, and really don't have a mean bone in my body."
I tend to believe this isn't as true as you might think it is. at least not in your daughter's eyes. The reason I say this because you did not say one positive thing about your daughter. I'll assume it's because you're angry right now and didn't think to say anything nice.

You would need to give more details so we can help more.
What have you tried thus far, as far as discipline, therapy, talking to her, ect.
When she was 14 what happened that made things change?
If she is 18 and treating you so badly why are you still allowing her to live with you?(or doesn't she?)
When she kicks off what is it about?

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