How can I keep from arguing with my 15 year old EVERYDAY?

Stacy - posted on 09/24/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )




My 15 year old daughter talks to me with no respect at all. Everything I say is wrong, and everyday is a struggle... I have 2 younger daughters that she compairs herself to with everything I do for them. Mind you they are 4 and 7... There are things I HAVE to do for them.... It's a constant argument. I'm lost on how to keep my cool and not take everything she owns away from her everyday....


Bobbie - posted on 09/26/2012





I responded to your question with a link to a great book. I do hope you find time to read it. However to answer your question to help you now I offer you the following advice.

* gain a good reading of her emotions and body language. As a teen with new hormones and thoughts she is highly sensitive to everything. Therefor if you gauge her body language you can respond to her argumentative tone with a sensitive question that can defuse the situation BEFORE you loose your cool. Example: she yells " I can't do anything without getting punished and they get to do what they want!" your response in a low tone showing real concern "Anything happen today that you want me to help with?" Chances are this response will blow her mind the first time and she may not trust that you are being genuine. I am sorry to say this so bluntly but for the two of you to argue means she has lost trust in you. She doesn't feel she is treated fairly. This could be caused by something you find trivial or of no consequence but to her it hurt her.

*Teenagers NEVER come right out and say what is really bothering them. Most of the time they don't even know themselves. I know this may sound off the wall to you and make no sense but honestly, does anything they do make sense to us really? so why not try this tried and true method to reach her?

*Here is a scenario, made up that shows just how dissociated they are to their real emotions and what is bothering them when they act out against their parent. YOUR SIDE OF WHAT IS GOING ON - In the morning she comes down to breakfast and sees you smiling at her little sister who is 7. You gently say to this sibling, eat your breakfast honey. Then the 4 year old says Mommy I want you to cut up my pancake". You smile at her, busy in your morning routine and don't greet your teen as she comes into the room. She has been so aggressive with you lately that you would rather just keep from starting anything so you say nothing. You look up and meet eyes with her. She goes to the fridge and takes out a bottle of juice and drinks from it. You can't believe she is doing this in front of you! You have told her over and over again to not do that. You say "for crying out loud, can't you get a glass?! Why do you have to start with me first thing in the morning?!" HER SIDE OF WHAT IS GOING ON She walks into the kitchen and sees you showing an affectionate smile to the 7 year old. She watches as you quickly respond to the request of the 4 year old. She looks to you with a look of "what about me? Aren't you going to ask if I want anything for breakfast?" She meets eyes with you and sees the love you were showing her siblings gone, just the stare of her mean mother who doesn't treat her fairly.

WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON - You just want peace. She doesn't act like she wants to be hugged, moves away in fact. Doesn't want you to touch her and doesn't respond when you say things like "good morning honey, want some breakfast" so you have gotten in the habit of just letting her do things on her own. It is what she wants, right? Nope, it is far from what she wants. When a child is trying to break free of being a child but isn't yet an adult their actions and true feelings are completely different. She NEEDS you to always hug her, tell her you love her. Look at her with soft loving eyes no matter how you two fought yesterday. She is your daughter no matter what and in her heart it hurts her when she sees you loving her less for her actions. Children require unconditional love. When love is demonstrated, no matter the reason, they no trust that you love them. This actually makes them strike out more to gain attention, even negative attention from you. When you turn from her sisters and yell at her about the juice she has your full attention. Over time she has learned to push all your buttons in an effort to get more attention.

My daughter was very aggressive and stressed out in H.S. She came home many times and pouted that she had to go to her room. She would slam her door. I would go knock on her door and ask if I could come in. She would say things "I don't care, do what you want" I knew as the adult that I couldn't take these words or her tone personally. She was not herself when she was working through emotions. I would say, "everything okay, anything you need to talk about?" Most often than not she would say, "no Mom, you can't help". I would say, well I am here if you need to talk". I would give her a hug and close her door. NOW, SHE NEVER HUGGED ME BACK. FROM THE TIME SHE WAS 12 SHE TOLD ME SHE DIDN'T NEED A HUG, DIDN'T WANT A HUG. BUT I KNEW SHE REALLY DID. I WOULD TELL HER "WELL, I KNOW YOU DON'T NEED A HUG BUT I DO. I WILL ALWAYS NEED TO HUG YOU, YOU ARE MY LITTLE GIRL, NO MATTER HOW BIG YOU GET.

(today my daughter is grown and has often told me how much those hugs meant to her. Especially when I hugged her longer when she didn't raise her arms to hug me back. She would ask, "how could you put up with me? I was so mean to you? To which I was able to say with pure love "Because I love you no matter what, you will always be my little girl"

Bobbie - posted on 09/24/2012




The dynamics of a mother and daughter relationship is so different than any other relationship you will ever have with females in your life. We need help to figure this out because their teen years do take a huge toll on both.

The book I am linking to you had such an impact on my relationship with my daughter that it has been 13 years and I still remember the lessons learned and the closeness it brought to us.

It is amazing and a quick read. It isn't written in a clinical manner but rather a warm and reassuring way of showing you what it feels like inside her skin and why everything we say and do is under a microscope.

You won't believe the huge differences that the subtle suggestions to try will make in your closeness and communications.


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