Should I stop my 14 year old from going a two day holiday

Andrea - posted on 08/05/2012 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I have a teenager who is out of control has been underage drinking and lying where she has been sleeping. She tells her step dad she hates him all the time and can be so mean and hurtful I have been reduced to tears. We have tried all sorts, grounding and taking gadgets away and she is still the same. So we told her if her attitude does not change within the next couple of weeks she could not come away with us on a two day holiday to Poole in October, well the behaviour continued and have told her she can't go. I feel really bad she can not come do you think this is harsh?

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Angie - posted on 08/06/2012

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Oh...I'm sure it's some emotional blackmail with a little bit of guilt tripping which isn't helping you feel better about your decision. My response would've probably been...It's really a bummer you can't go; I really wish you would've used the opportunity to improve your behavior...but maybe next time :D...And really if she wasn't mad about this, she'd be mad about something else so I really wouldn't sweat that too much. I don't think she will get worse, I think it will be a good lesson to her so she will take you serious that you WILL follow through....and if you told me this a few years ago, I would have struggled to believe it, but she WILL thank you for it one day...I know because my almost 21yo has....Teenagers can be soooooo frustrating and it's important that we, as parents, don't feed into that frustration...it's ok to wait on deciding a punishment...it lets them think about it as well...hope you have a great holiday!

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Bobbie - posted on 09/01/2012

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Andrea,

that is wonderful news! More to the point, don't you feel you have more control over the situation? That no matter how she throws a fit it will be her own undoing? I am so proud to hear that you are doing the work! Heaven knows it isn't easy. I suspect when you are on holiday and you see something she would like that you will only allow the thought to process without any guilt, followed by the thought that she has done this to herself.

Relieving yourself of guilt is truly putting all the burden on her for her actions. I do hope you have a great holiday! You deserve it!

Andrea - posted on 09/01/2012

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Hi Bobbie, thanks for your advice it is very helpful. I am learning to keep my anger under control and when she is going on one throwing tantrums, I don't speak until she has calmed down and if I find it hard I go to my room. It's working more than biting back. I am going to stick with my punishment of not going and she will stay with the grandparents, she never misbehaves for grandparents, aunties and uncles. I will not like it if she does not come, but she has done bad things and has said disrespectful things that I willhaves to.I have not been able to speak to her for a long time without snapping, it's like walking on egg shells I just hope this all just a phase. At the moment when she is throwing digs so much, I am now telling her she is having £5 knocked off her Xmas money especially if she swears, seems to be working she is holding her tongue more.

Bobbie - posted on 09/01/2012

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@Angie, thanks. I was hoping she had made the choice between the relatives she listed below as to who was going and could fill us in on whether or not she has decided stand her ground :)

Bobbie - posted on 08/23/2012

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Sorry mom but you have told her that if the behavior continues that she can't go, so she shouldn't go. If you do let her go, and I see you are second guessing yourself, all you have done with your threats were to show her you don't mean what you say.

Don't worry that it is too harsh. Worry more about where she will be and what she will doing if she doesn't go. If going with you is more of a punishment and staying behind was what she wanted to do for freedom anyway then I would tell her you are dragging her along to watch her because she isn't playing you for a fool and running around while you are out of town. That would be different than just going back on your punishment. Parents have to be so careful with what they threaten and say in anger. That is why it is so important to keep your wits about you and not let them draw you into their immature emotional uproar and yell back. I can say I have never been in a fight or screaming match with my kids. They would be fighting all by themselves. I would bare them from leaving the house and let them holler and scream all they want. Then I would ask them "are you done?" When they are I would reply back to them the punishments I had decided based on what they said and if they became cruel and hurtful. If she says she hates her step dad that is normal but can't be allowed because it shows disrespect. So you could say, being disrespectful has earned you the privilege of vacuum cleaning his car. In my house my children are permitted to have their feelings. They can be upset and even get away with a slamming door here and there, depending on the issue, but NEVER do they speak to adults with such disrespect without real consequences. I know you say you have done grounding and taking gadgets but you see the point is to KEEP TRYING DIFFERENT PUNISHMENTS UNTIL YOU FIND WHAT WORKS. WHO IS HAPPY WHILE THE OTHER IS STRESSED OUT AND DOESN'T HAVE CONTROL BY DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER THAT DOESN'T WORK?

If she hasn't responded to your consequence and continues her action that just proves that the consequence isn't effective so try something different. The bad news is that since your consequences haven't worked and she has gotten away with drinking and lying already at such a young age you better do real life changing things for her now or she will continue to get more and more out of control.

I know raising teenagers is as easy as herding cats, I have raised 5, but there is a way to make it so much less stressful for you. You have to find that place of calm control that she can't shake Andrea. Put that stress on her where it belongs. She is the one profiting from her bad behavior and you are the one suffering from it. What is wrong with that picture?!

I watched a special on an out of control teen. The child behavior specialist told the mother that the mother actually showed the teen she had control when she stood her ground, no matter what, and didn't give in. Her son stood in front of her screaming at her, breaking her pottery and threatening to hurt her. No matter what he said she stood her ground and told him no, he wasn't getting any money and no he wasn't going out. Once he slammed up to his room she waited until she was inwardly calm and he came down for round two, this time showing tears and begging that he was sorry but she had pushed him to far. You see, if you listen to teens you get the truth. He wasn't really sorry, he was mad that she had pushed him to his limits and he was feeling the frustration this time instead of the other way around. So no matter what she tries, no matter if she stays at it all night, it is all on her. You can remain calm knowing that once the dust clears she isn't getting her way and you will calmly remove from her the privileges you see fit due to her tantrum. The trick is toe remain in control. You don't approach a screaming person. You can't be in control if you are reacting and yelling out punishments in the heat of the moment.

I wasn't surprised to see how well the specialist's ideas worked on the special to turn things around. Like I said, my children learned early (like at age 14) that pushing my buttons and upsetting me wasn't getting them anywhere but in deep trouble.

Also, leave step dad out of the discipline whenever possible. Stand against her yourself with calm certainty that she will do as you say.

Discuss this email with hubby and tell him that when he steps in or you two both talk at her at once you don't show the strength she needs to see from you. That you require control of her regardless of step dad and he deserves to be seen in a better light by her and not the bad guy.

Lastly - under age drinking and lying as to where she has been sleeping should be a no brainer for you stop completely. She has lost all privileges to spend the night with friends because of her lies, period. When she starts acting better behaved they can spend the night with her at your home. No discussions, just let her screaming, yelling and crying go in one ear and out the other. This is where it gets stressful for her and no longer stressful for you. She can't continue her bad behavior. Her friends are expecting her to join them in their law breaking fun of drinking. Chances are she is also joining them in high risk places for excitement that cause her harm. When she asks for how long she has to wait to spend the night out you can tell her she doesn't deserve to even know when this band will be lifted because she can't tell you when she will stop lying and drinking so you don't feel you can tell her when you will be able to trust her again.

Then address the underage drinking. Have you called the parents where she was found to be and told them she was drinking at their house? As parents we all need the info! I know I had to call a parent and let them know that my 15 year old daughter had talked their daughter into stealing a 5th of vodka from their home for a party. It was their right to know what was going on. I made sure my tone was one of "we are in this together against allowing our children to drink".

If she is coming home with liquor on her breath and you can't stop her because she has gotten away with it for too long. Each time she names a friend she is going out with you demand and get the parents phone number to contact them. Put them all in your cell phone. Then when she comes home very late or you can tell she was drinking you can call that parent first thing in the morning and tell them that your daughter said she was with their daughter and yours came home late and had been drinking. This kind of communication keeps the young kids from learning all the ends and outs of getting away with drinking.

Then let her know there won't be a next time. She is no longer permitted to go to that kids house. Chances are she will wail and cry and tell you she was somewhere other than that friend's house. But stand your ground, That child must be telling her parents that she is at your house while your daughter is telling you she is at her house and together they are off where they don't belong to be. Then let her know that she is always to wake you when she comes home, period. It is the new rule so you know when she gets in even if it is past your bed time. Hold her fully responsible. If she doesn't wake you she does extra chores, that day that she hates to do so that she will remember to wake you the next time.

When she wakes you always hug her good night, if she has been smoking pot or drinking you will smell it on her. Let her know you are calling the police to come question her. AND THEN DO IT! Cops will definitely come to your home if you call them that your 14 yr old daughter came home smelling of pot and liquor and you do not know who supplied her with them.

These things that she is doing with so called friends are to stop. I never told my children who they could and couldn't be friends with but they knew I had their backs, loved them and knew they would make mistakes BUT I MADE THEM RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERY BAD CHOICE and if that effected their friends then that was on them. I also expected them to learn from mistakes and repeat them. To repeat them even once was a sign that I needed to crack down doubly hard on them with a consequence so they learned to take full responsibility for their actions and follow the rules.

June - posted on 08/09/2012

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Don't feel bad. When at the probation meeting my 14 son pushed me aside a little, the probation officer called him on it. He then broke down in tears telling the officer we beat him in the face every night. Of course this was a lie that the officer saw right through. All I can say is the bad stuff has subsided once we were not wishy washy and kept up with the punishment. The ugly personality even went away. I tell him he can think whatever he wants about me, just don't say it out loud if it's bad because I will take away phone, money, new clothes,...everything. And... finally we actually do what we say and stick to it.

Kathy - posted on 08/09/2012

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Yes and no.

I don't think you should have told her that if her attitude does not change she cannot go to Poole. She probably needs some positive family time, so it would not have been my consequence of choice.

That being said - you DID say she would miss Poole if her attitude did not change, so you do need to stick to it. She needs to get you mean what you say - and that is probably more important than the family time vacation.

What is up with the underage drinking and lying about where she sleeps?

Where is she getting the alcohol from? I would ban that house, and if it is a place she needs to go to, I would try and get them onboard with keeping an eye on their alcohol while she is there.

As per lying about where she is sleeping - that would scare the heck out of me! She would get to sleep at home only for the next 6 months or so.

Hang in there!

Kathy (mom to a 16, 13 and 9 year old)

Andrea - posted on 08/09/2012

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Thanks June, I think I was beginning to weaken from the original advice given to me. I think it is the older brother and sister thing that they all no better, but as I said I am the one with the teenagers and their children have not yet reached that age. They do not live with my daughter so they would not understand what it's like.

I suffer from depression and take medication which makes me feel like a normal human being, but I can honestly say without them I think i would have had a mental breakdown with the hurtful things she has said and done. She even called social services and lied to them telling them she was afraid we were going to hit her and to come and get her. I was so hurt that she would even dream of doing such a thing. It's like she has become somebody else.

June - posted on 08/09/2012

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If you said you wouldn't take her and you have someone safe to watch her, I would say to go without her just like you said in your punishment. I would also say do not buy her anything as a consolation because you feel bad in completing the punishment. We used to do similar thing in punishing and then changing our mind because we felt bad for the kids. When we were tough in not buying ANYTHING, taking away ALL priviledges including extra clothing and door off room, that is when the kids finally realized their lives were more difficult in being mean and rude to us. They started acting like regular young polite adults, saying thank you when given anything. The key was that my boys never took us seriously until we were serious in not back pedalling with the punishments. Make it clear that as long as your rules are being broken, ie drinking and not telling you where she it, that you will not buy clothes, give money...be ruthless and take away whatever you can think of and STICK to it. I am not out of the woods yet with my own boys, but definitely on a better track and there is no more drug use, thank goodness. Also keep in mind when you stick to your punishments the teen rebels and is even meaner until they accept the situation and decide to make a change. Every counselor tells me "it gets worse before it gets better".

Andrea - posted on 08/09/2012

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So do you think I am doing the right thing June as I have had my two older brothers the last two days saying I should take her or my husband, other daughter and I should not go at all if she is not going. However, their children are not teenagers yet and I don't think they understand what we are going through.

Coz I am the youngest in the family I think they still treat me as the baby of the family and I don't know what I am doing.

June - posted on 08/08/2012

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Both my boys, 14 and 16, were so unappreciative and spoiled rotten mean kids to us until my husband stopped giving them rewards and taking away punishments we doled out. We are still working hard to change things, but finally I see both my boys saying thank you when we do give them a small reward. They have stopped the complete disrespect because their priviledges will be taken away and they will not be given a dime if they are not decent to us. I wish my husband and I got on the same page from birth and not when they are teens, but all you can change is the present.

Andrea - posted on 08/08/2012

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Thank you for your advice this has been really helpful. I just hope she does learn her lesson. Last time she played up she did not come to jersey for the day, the only problem was that I felt so guilty I bought her a pair of jeans and I think I undid the punishment. This time she thought i would go and buy Primark clothing for her with her money, but I have said no because, again I think if i do this it will only undo the punishment.

Andrea - posted on 08/06/2012

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Yes I know what you mean, that is what my husband believes. If we go away she would stay with her grandparents or uncle and Aunty and she always behaves for them.

I asked her today how she felt about it and she said if she does not go she will never forgive me for it and I am not sure if this is just pure emotional blackmail.

I am just worried this punishment will make her worse.

Thank you for your advice.

Andrea

Angie - posted on 08/06/2012

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If you told her she couldn't ago, then you really need to stick by what you decided....so you really should've decided before you said it whether it was too harsh. I'm not trying to be mean ~ I just really think it's important to be consistent in rewards and punishments and follow through is even more important....otherwise, your kids will never take what you say seriously. My concern is I hope she has a safe place to stay while you are gone and not getting into more trouble...good luck to you :)

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