How do I get my 13 year old Daughter to stop the "silent treatment"?

Keely - posted on 02/07/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I am the mom of a 13 year old daughter and her father and I have been divorced/seperated for 4 1/2 years. Over the past 6 months, she has definitely developed the "attitude" I feared and is barely passing the 7th grade. Her father and I have 50/50 custody. Recently, she and I got in an arguement when she rolled her eyes at me, informed me of her "D" grades, and slammed the door in my face (all in one morning). Now, her father has informed me that she doesn't want to talk to me and doesn't want to come to my home, yet her brothers will. The ONLY thing that I can possibly imagine for her to be this upset was that I told her I was gonna start cracking down on her behavior, influences, and school. Naturally, her father thinks he is playing Super Hero by allowing her to act this way. HELP!!!

UPDATE:
Thank you very much Kristi for the encouragement! I have not been able to even speak to my daughter directly and we have now hit Day 7. Everytime I call, my ex just simply says "She doesn't want to talk to you" and "She needs time". I have tried to talk to her when she has been on the phone with her brothers and I get the same thing, through her father. The crazy thing is, and I believe God worked this one out, I wrote her a short letter telling her how much I love her, am proud of her, and have no idea what she's going through (I didn't come from a divorced home). I decided that on my way to pick up her brothers from school (ages 9 and 4), I would attempt to giver her the note attached to a teddy bear. As I pulled up to her father's apartment, I noticed 3 girls walking that way, one of them being her BFF. Naturally, they quickly acted as if they were not on their way up to the apartment, which has NO adult supervision for 3 hours after school. Long story short...they were shocked they got "caught", my daughter would not answer the door, AND I found out she has a FB account! It all suddenly started making sense. In my home, she has lost computer priviledges, I work from home which means constant adult supervision, etc... Basically, she rules the roost at dad's and not with me.

I informed her father without directly stating what I now knew, that he has no idea what goes on while he is not home and I now know why she would prefer to be at his home. Of course, I would imagine he let her in on what I knew, plus I know she knew she got caught when I suprisingly visited their apartment, so I would think she is FURIOUS at me now.

I do plan on visiting her school next week and chatting with the guidance counselor. I was to have her this weekend and even after being informed of her brother's child dedication ceremony taking place this sunday, she still (according to Dad) refuses to talk to me.

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Kristi - posted on 02/09/2013

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I feel for your situation, Keely. Co-parenting is so difficult! It's hard enough when the parents are supposedly on the same page. Sometimes seems impossible when one tries to out do the other in any way. From my experience, especially the older they get, 50/50 custody is very ineffective. But, short of going back to court, that is irrelevant.

Have you been able to have a peaceful, logical conversation with either your ex or your daughter since this happened? Does he realize that she is hanging out with the wrong crowd and about to fail 7th grade? I would also point out to the Super Hero that, although she may be all sugar and spice and everything nice right now, the minute he tries to get her to follow his rules she will show him the same disrespect that she shows you. That being said, eye rolling and door slamming is pretty popular at this stage of the game so try not to take that part too personally.

I would try to have a(nother) reasonable conversation with your ex. Do your very best not to make any comments that may sound remotely like you're accusing or blaming anything on him. I suggest keeping tree bark near by so you can bite on it when you feel like you can't hold back! ; ) Lay out your concerns about your daughter, ask if he's noticed any of the things you have. If he starts bragging about how great their relationship is and she tells him everything, bite the bark, then tell him how happy that makes you, you're glad they have an open line of communication, blah, blah, blah. It will take the wind right out of his sails. Tell him you'd really appreciate it if he kept you in the loop. Then, maybe go about your ideas for getting your daughter back on track. Asking his opinions and if he has any suggestions. Keep pointing out how much you both love your daughter and you know you both want the best for her. Hopefully, at some point he'll put his pride back in his pants and agree to a plan to help your daughter. Then, if possible, the two of you present "the plan" to her together. For now, that may mean letting her stay at her dad's for awhile. Just make sure you keep contact with her. If she is still being an imp, don't push too hard...it's not easy to find the right balance, but I'm sure you'll figure it out!

I would also suggest a meeting with the three of you and her guidance counselor to see what can be done about her grades. It will be one more setting for her to see that you and your ex are working together. I would definitely talk with her teachers each week to make sure she's staying on task. (Keep the ex up to speed!) If any of the teachers offer extra help, I would make her go. When my daughter slacks off, I make her go in before school to get caught up. Is she interested in sports or clubs at all? Maybe you and she could take a ceramics class together or something? I don't know if these are issues for you or not but these are other things I do (and other moms also do) to try to keep up with our kids, so to speak. I have all passwords for my daughter's accounts such as FB, cell phone (texts), iPod. I don't check them constantly but she knows I can and she knows if I find something inappropriate there will be consequences. She is also only allowed to use our computer in the living room or the kitchen. When she makes plans with a friend, I confirm them with their parents. If your daughter does stay with the "Super Hero," there is absolutely no reason he can't do these simple things, either.

I hope some thing out of this rambling comment helps. I'm sure some other moms will post some helpful comments. Hang in there. : )

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All That Makes You... - posted on 02/08/2013

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I have no idea but I have two 13 year olds and it kind of sounds nice.

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