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Author Topic: my daughter is changing
heartbrokemom
Neophyte
Member # 12175

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I need help tring to understand why she is doing what she is doing.

she is failing school,skipping school and now i caught her smoking pot.

She get a lot of positive attention from me she is in dance...for quite sometime she has almost anything she wants.

but know she is treating me like the enemy she is rude to alot of people, she says she hates me (thats killing me)i told her she cant see her boyfriend till she strightens up i took away the phone the tv the computer i dont know what else to do ..i also have her in therapy. she is 15 years old please can someone give some advice.


Posts: 1 | From: Newington CT USA | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KittenGoddess
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 1679

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While I can understand why you're upset, I'd suggest you step back and remember that your daughter is 15. I'm not 15, but I do remember when I was (it wasn't THAT long ago), that's a hard age to be. Hormonally you're just all over the place. Your body is growing and changing. Things are happening. You want to be an adult, but you know you're not. You want freedom, but still know deep down that you need guidance and that just annoys the crap out of you. School and friends and peer pressure add a heck of alot of stress to the situation.

In short, it's pretty common for teens to act out at that age. It sounds to me like you're doing the right thing by getting her into therapy, especially if she's been using drugs and skipping school. As far as her saying she hates you...while I know that hurts, I suggest you try to move beyond that. I think there's probably relatively few of us who didn't say that to our parents at one point or another during our teen years. Assure yourself that she doesn't really mean it. Sometimes we all tend to lash out at those we love the most...and we never mean it, and we usually regret it afterward.

Have you sat down and talked to her about why she's so angry? Not so much as her "parent" even, but rather like a friend. Approaching her on an equal level may help to smooth the way to some communication. Take a few days and go off on a shopping trip. Just the two of you. Or go someplace else that you both enjoy for some quality time. And just talk about what's going on.

As far as saying she can't see her boyfriend or watch TV...I'm of two minds about that. I do understand the reward/punishment system. But at the same time, I remember my mom saying the same sort of thing to me at that age, and being very confused about what that meant. Telling your daughter that she needs to straighten up isn't terribly clear. I know it wasn't clear to me. I remember being very angry and confused inside, and being told to straighten up usually just made me even more angry because I couldn't figure out what it was I was doing wrong, why it was wrong, or how I was supposed to change it. While it may seem to you that your daughter's attitude problems should be very clear to her, they just may not be. Like I said, she's under alot of pressure from friends and school, and she's probably experiencing alot of physical and hormonal changes that all add up to one very confused teen. Sometimes growing into who you want to be as an adult takes a few wrong turns and mistakes for you to figure out how to get it right. Be really clear with her about what sort of "straightening up" you expect and why you expect it. If you're upset that she's being rude to people, then lay it out that way. "It really hurts and upsets me when you're rude to people like that. How do you feel when people are rude to you? Do you really feel like that's the kind of person you want to be?" Make sure that she's really clear on what she's being punished for and give her something to think about.

I know you mentioned that she was in therapy, have you tried joint sessions with both you and her in the room? That may be something you want to consider. A few joint sessions with a professional might help to reopen the lines of effective communication between the two of you.

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KittenGoddess
Scarleteen Sexpert (and Labia Lady)


Posts: 7316 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Just some additional thoughts here.

Developmentally, teens are in a very social phase, and a social learning phase. So, cutting them off from social outlets entire can tend to be a recipe for them feeling more angry, more depressed and more isolated. Not likely to say, "Hey, since what I know as my life is gone, I may as well do schoolwork and not smoke dope."

As well, experimenting with various things is bound to happen to some degree, both in terms of say smoking pot, and in terms of feeling out limits and boundaries, especially if, as you say, up until now she's "had everything she wanted." I'm not saying you brought this on yourself, at all, but license and responsibility are lessons learned over a long time, not overnight. People simply handed their every wish don't tend to be able to learn that with license comes responsibility out of thin air.

So, rather than simmply taking things away with a vague "straighten up" command, why not sit down with paper and pen and list out and talk about the things that are bothering you and that you see as needing to change. Tackle them one by one in a reasonable way, such as "One hour of homework first, then one of television." Or "Dates with your boyfriend on X number of nights after household chores and schoolwork are finished those evenings."

Might also be a good idea to ask HER how she feels this can be worked out and handled: you can both use each of your ideas to reach compromises and then she can really have a hand in self-teaching responsibility. That's more likely to create real self-esteem and self-worth and pride in being responsible than feeling one just needs to follow orders.

But I'd earnestly advise you not to take her relationships away from her entire. Not only is that a very good way to make everything harder and likely worse for you both, it's pretty unkind, even if it seems reasonable. If someone stole an adult's social circle from them, or their spouse for the same reasons, we'd be pretty alarmed and feel pretty awful -- and we don't need that socialiization half as much as a teen does.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


Posts: 68006 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scorpio
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What Kittengoddess and Miz Scarlet said is so very true. I just wanted to give my 2 cents since I'm a 16 year old girl and understand to an extent what your daughter is going through. One of the things I noticed with my parents is if I did something wrong and they just started taking the important things (such as boyfriend and friends) away from me I tended to rebel a whole lot more.

I really appreciate it when my parents sit me down and say "if you do this (clean room, do homework, be with family, chores etc) for me then we will let you see your friends/see boyfriend." If they laid out goals and things for me to do to earn their trust back then i felt better about. I was more likely to open up to them and feel more comfortable talking with them. When they took things away that felt irrational to me because they were taken without explaination I would push further and further away.

Explaining their reasons and listening to my input helped me strive. If your daughter really wants to see her boyfriend, see her friends and regain your trust she will do what you ask as long as you are reasonable and explain things to her.

I hope things improve!


Posts: 83 | From: Seattle, Washington | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Jill
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 5375

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Does she have a job?

I know my first job really helped me gain some perspective, not to mention the obvious lessons on responsibility. I was doing something I really enjoyed and I decided it was something I wanted to continue doing so my behavior definitely reflected that.

I'm not sure what the public transportation system is like near you but my parents had to drive me to and from work until I was old enough to have a license. This meant spending time alone together in an enclosed area. My relationship with my father was very poor at the time but the rides eventually got us talking which dramatically helped our relationship. We worked at the same place so the conversation usually was about work rather than personal subjects but it was a start.

Also, speaking as an eighteen year old who is finally truly appreciating her parents, give it time. This isn't to belittle your situation but to reassure you that in all likelihood things will improve.


Posts: 3641 | From: Truckee, CA, US | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
religously concious
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Member # 12233

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well, since I agree with all of you I will make this quick. What i would like to know9not trying to be nosey) is was your daughter rebellious before this? I am in no way a shrink, but I AM 15 and spend a lot of time around 15 yer old girls. Perhaps she fels that you are actually giving her too MUCH attention. (if I am wrong on this plz tell me so NICELY)Maybe she wants you to back off, leave her alone,the maybe she will listen who knows, worth a shot aint it?

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Crazy Polish New Yorker
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Cause I am Crazy, Polish, and from New York State


Posts: 24 | From: Buffalo,Ny,USA | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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