Hello. My daughter has recently started transitioning from the fun loving kid she was into a teenager who’s seemingly starting to rebel, or at least doing the whole i need independence from mom gig. Shes glued to her phone, enjoys time with friends like everyday. Lately when shea having a moody day she begins complaining nonstop about how much she hates the life we have. I come from a poor childhood, but managed to do pretty well for myself. I moved us out of the crappy town we lived in, 5 minutes away to the uppity town near by, because the schools are the top in the state and i figured it would be a better life overall. That was about 3 years ago. Despite making it this far, I’m surrounded by the stereotypical soccor moms with their big beautiful houses, good marriages, etc. She gives me a guilt trip because she feels this life isn’t what she wanted. I dont understand what I’m doing wrong. She has a lovely Bedroom filled with everything she ever said she wanted, no chores, freedom and privacy etc. She’s really quite spoiled in my opinion and there’s nothing more i want then to be there for her and to see her happy. Her dad doesn’t come around much but he works like crazy and i can’t much change that. She says shes not happy and would rather live with the babysitter, who also spoils her like crazy, and ice tried telling her that most teens would probably live elsewhere other than with their moms if they could, but it’s not a choice at her age. She says she cant stand any of us here but cant give me a straight reason why. She tends to spend most of her time at home in her bedroom on her phone etc. And says our home ia too uptight. I’m lost for how to handle these changes in her. Any advice on how to better things on my part would be appreciated so much.
I don’t want her to rebel the way i did as a kid, but i grew up poor with parents who really could careless about me or my future or feelings. And i don’t want to spend my thirties becoming a soccor mom because i didn’t want that life for myself. I want a simple happy life. Its easy for a soccormom to live that way because that’s the way they were raised and always been. Inforcing simple rules are becoming harder with my daughter. Really the only real expectations i place on her is homework, hygiene, and keeping the peace.
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A male reader, WiseOwlE + ♥, writes (29 September 2018):
My dear, stop apologizing for yourself. This is the classic case of the child assuming the authoritative-role over the parent. You are always apologizing to your daughter for being poor when you grew-up; and over-compensating by trying to give her everything she wants. You are apologizing for her father not coming around; so you cater to her by giving her too much freedom, letting her hangout as much as she pleases, and letting her walk all over you.THE CHILD IS SCREAMING FOR A MOTHER, NOT A BEST-FRIEND!!!You’ve got to assume the role of mother in your household and lay-down some rules. You’re trying to bribe her to love you through providing for her; but it also takes discipline and structure. When children can do whatever they please and talk-back; they feel totally disjointed and fly out of control. Yes, they rebel against authority and pull-away; but you’re supposed to be the adult. Not let her go total bitch-mode when she feels moody, stomping around the house as if she pays the bills. Send her to her room, and take her phone away from her. There is also an app that lets you control how much time her phone is active. You can shut it off!Her friends are influencing her. It’s what they say that gets into her head. You’re being too nice, and not explaining to her how lucky she is. Instead, you’re caving-in and feeling bullied by a moody hormonal-teenager. You were a teenager not that long ago; you can’t be that out of touch. She’s irritated about growing-up, trying to understand the world around her, and she feels there are no rails to keep her safe and steady. She’s living with a “big-sister,” not her mother. SHE says what’s on HER mind, with no back-talk from you. She complains, and talks smack all over the place. You cower under her thunder. Feeling you have no control. WHO’S THE MOTHER HERE! Is she home or away!Take authority over your daughter. You can’t always be her friend; and she doesn’t know structure or discipline. No she can’t go out with her friends; until she adjusts her nasty little attitude. No, she can’t have her phone, until she apologizes for her rudeness and sass. Call her dad, and make him spend some time with his daughter. Stop making lame excuses for him; because you’d rather not see or deal with him yourself. You can’t buy her good-behavior, you have the right to demand it! You’re also her teacher and role-model. She needs to be given lessons in respect and composure. She needs to learn what it means to be grateful. Reminded how much better it is now, than it was.Most of her silly stunts is stuff you should just ignore and blow-off. Learn to say no when she wants something. Make her do chores around the house, and give her some household responsibilities. Make her get a job when she’s old enough, and let her pay her own phone bills. Buy her own clothes and shoes. Then she can’t complain; because she will have to buy what she can afford, or ask you nicely for help!Stop being jealous of the other mothers for what they have; because some of her behavior is based on the signals she’s picking-up from you. Your resentments and your unhappiness. If you complain, she complains. She doesn’t have the ability to process like you do; so she goes ape-wild. Your job is to make her settle-down, and show some backbone if she doesn’t.She pretends she doesn’t need you, but she needs you more than ever; but you’re afraid to act like her mother. Fearing she’ll be worse, or you owe her something because you had to leave her father. Because you hated being poor too!You’re her mother. Not some workhorse strictly there to provide her with comforts and freedoms. She needs structure, discipline, and an attitude-adjustment. She needs to be told to cut it out! If she doesn’t know what having a parent feels like; then she thinks she is responsible for herself! You’re only there to there to pay the bills. She’s walking all over you, to challenge you to be her mother. Taking control makes her mad; but it also makes her feel safe and protected. She also needs her dad to make her feel that she matters not just to you, but to both of you. He needs to be a father, and not just the guy who stops by now and then; or pays his child-support.Stop showing her your weakness, and show her your strength. Teach her what the words NO and STOP mean. Place some restrictions and rules around her; to make her feel like there’s a parent in the house. Not her nanny or the live-in maid! Make the sitter lighten-up on the gifts. She’s not helping the situation. Have some control that too!
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A female reader, mystiquek + ♥, writes (29 September 2018):
Teenager daughters can be trying at the best and impossible at the worst! I had both a son and a daughter and trust me, my son was far more easy to raise. Daughters are these sweet lovely creatures that at about 12-13 suddenly turn into these snarling snapping monsters that we don’t know. I understand your confusion! My daughter and I were very close and then when she hit her teens it truly was “Who is this person and where did my daughter go?” It isn’t that you are doing anything wrong its just that they are growing, changing, stretching their wings trying to find themselves. Don’t you remember what it was like? Nothing seems to make you happy and your parents are complete idiots! The best advice I can offer is keep trying. Keep the lines of communication open don’t ever shut the door. Always be aware of who her friends are, what she is doing, where she is going and WHO she is talking to on the internet, phone etc. Be there for her. Even if she says and acts like she doesn’t care..believe me, deep down inside she does and she needs to know that you are there for her. Even when you are the most frustrated, don’t ever turn your back on her ok? Its hard too because you want to be a friend but you still have to be the mom, be the adult and don’t let her get away with things just because you want to be kind. Teenagers need to have boundaries and need to have rules. Even though they may push you to the very edge, they want to feel safe and secure and know that someone is there for them. There has to be a line between being a friend and being the parent and the trick is not to let the two blur into one. Know when you need to be a shoulder to cry on and when you need to put your foot down. Someday she will thank you for being a good mom, I promise. I KNOW how very tough it is but hang in there. My daughter and I got through it and you will too.
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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious + ♥, writes (29 September 2018):
First of all, take a DEEP breath and repeat after me, “This too will pass”. Your daughter will not be a teenager for ever (I can hear you cheering!). Yes, this phase IS difficult as hell, but YOU are the adult and YOU must take control and ride out the storm. At the moment your daughter rules the household. This is probably adding to her unhappiness because she does not feel like she has anyone “over” her. You need to take back control and stop ALLOWING her to guilt trip you. You need to stop taking your daughter’s teenage angst so personally. Regardless of what sort of home life she had, it is unlikely she would be happy because she NEEDS to go through this to reach adulthood. Based on the contents of your post, I think you are possibly trying too hard with her. For instance, WHY does she have no responsibilities bar her homework? At her age she should be starting to help a little around the house. Laying the table for meals, washing up, dusting, taking out the garbage, learning to cook simple meals. You are doing her no favours by waiting on her hand and foot. How else is she going to learn if her mother doesn’t teach her? Rather than trying to “fix” whatever it is she moans about (because this is IMPOSSIBLE), have you tried just listening and agreeing? If she says “my life sucks”, try nodding in agreement and saying “I know, honey”. Then ask her how SHE would like to fix that (not YOU, SHE). Let her start taking some responsibility for her own happiness. She is at that awkward stage where she is no longer really a child but still not an adult. She has a lot of painful lessons to learn and you need to steer her in the direction of learning them rather than trying to make everything ok for her. Always listen to what she says but stop feeling it is YOUR responsibility to fix her life for her. Accept that, for however long it takes, she is NOT going to be happy. Buying her everything she wants is not making her happy. You sound like a great mother BUT you need to stop being so overprotective of her and allow her to grow and become an adult. Hang in there.
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