Magicsunset08's picture
Magicsunset08

My Daughter treats me as if she can't stand me!

I am new to this forum. Actually kind of embarrassed to the fact that i am on here. I have 2 teenagers. A soon to be 16 year old daughter and a 13 year old son. I have been married for 15 years (in May). In keeping this short as possible-my daughter just flat out talks to me like I am an idiot! She has for about 4 years now. My wife has talked to me in this manner in the past and I always just blew it off with the occasional "What the hell?" comment about taling to me this way. Well, the past couple of months have been horrible. If i ask my daughter anything about anything or try to spark a conversation she will snarl at me or give me a dirty look most times. I can't take it! Last night-(during a sit down at the table meal) I asked her if her friend had any easier time getting home than he did coming over to our place, since he is un-familiar with where we live. I was just trying to have a conversation with her. Her response was; "obviously not!" My wife and i looked at each other with wide eyes.....then i went off. When I said something about her response, she said she didn't mean to say it that way and then changed it to she wasn't condescending when she responded. The bottom line is, she always treats me this way. She makes me feel like she is un'approachable. I have always tried to be involved and encourage her. I have done nothing to get treated this way. I feel she is spoiled and seeing how i have let it go for so long she thinks she can get away with it. Any suggestions on this matter? My wife tells me I am too nice! This is my daughter! Why wouldn't I want to be nice to her? However, when she treats me this way i just can't any longer. I have always let it slide because she is a female and she may be having hormone issues to contend with, but I don't see her treat anyone else this way. One other small concern regarding my son. He is an exceptional athlete, but shows very little interest in sports. He has played all, but has settled with basketball. I played basketball in college and coach the Jr. High level. I try to leave him alone and encourage him to be an individual, but sometimes i feel if i did not give him a nudge he would become a vegetable and do nothing if i would let him. He needs to play because he is good and he needs to be accountable on a team. Should i just leave him alone and encourage him or just simply let him go? I am a 38 year old that now has quite a bit a gray hair! These teenage years are brutal! There is no book on this stuff and i am not a perfect parent, but i try and definitely care. Could this actually be my problem? That I try to hard or care too much (at least outwardly showing it)? Any input is welcome. Thanks.



GirlsMom's picture
GirlsMom

Magicsunse...I'm going to try to give you some credible and useful help that I think might work for you. I am a mother of a soon to be 15 year old and a 13 year old. Two daughters, no sons. Here's what I can tell you about your teen girl....they are like Jekyll and Hyde and you are not alone! It's their temperament and how they choose to navigate the journey from child to young adult. I go through this in my own life but I have learned what works and what doesn't. First, you are her father and you have to command respect. If she cannot give that to you, then she will be punished. Teens need it cut and dry....act appropriately and show maturity and we will give you freedoms and privileges. Start acting disrespectful and immature, and you will face consequences. It's that simple. That's how I operate my house and it works like a charm. First off, you and your wife need to have a chat and work as a united front. She needs to stop the belittling way that she speaks to you because it is not healthy as a married couple and secondly, it is a bad example for your children. You two need to discuss this and get that fixed up ASAP! Then, you both need to talk about what levels of respect you want from your teen kids and what you will do to get it. Choose 5-10 rules that you would like to lay down in stone and have your kids abide by. Example: It is NEVER okay to speak in a disrespecful or rude tone to a parent....or....Curfew is 11:00 and being late will not be tolerated. Stuff like that. Once you get these rules down, have a family summit meeting with you, your wife, and both teens. Lay down the rules, be very firm, and CONTROL the conversation. If you need to make adjustments or amendments to the rules, fine, but generally you need to stick to what you and your wife want instead of what your kids are going to bargain for. Then, here comes the Achilles Heel of all teenagers from what I have seen in my house. It's the consequence or punishment for breaking the rules on any given day and I call it...Social Shutdown. You will "unplug" your teen for the length of time that you decide on if the rules were broken or your child's attitude becomes unacceptable for any reason. No cell phone, no computer, no TV, no friends in or out, NOTHING! If it is a "social" thing, it is on shutdown. They can read, do homework, or help around the house but they are NOT doing anything fun or remotely social until the punishment period is over and their attitude has improved. If they backslide during the punishment...I add a day for each infraction I see. It is brutal and pretty much a huge wake-up call that parents are not to be messed with. You need to be supervising this too because teens are sneaky and have ways around everything. Social Shutdown is pretty much equivalent to a few days on Rikers Island. When their punishment is over, explain to them that they are in full control of their behavior and choices and that THEY are the ones who can choose to have freedoms and teen luxuries or spend their days in the "pokey". Then you give back all their favorite junk and see if improvement comes. It should. I did this with both of my teen girls and it only took one time a piece in Social Shutdown to set them straight. If they get mouthy or give me trouble, the mere mention of what will come next shuts the rude behavior down immediately. I also go out of my way to praise my teens for good choices, excellent grades, and perfect attitudes. They get to have sleepovers, an extra hour added on to curfew, a day at the nail salon, or whatever I can think of every now and then to let them know that I appreciate mature and respectful teens. That is how I show them the "nice Mom". In your case, you need to be the Dad first and the "nice Dad" when you get results. Trust me, this works. A few of the moms on this forum have tried this method I use and I'm happy to report great success....even with really bad situations. As for your son, I think you need to be supportive and encouraging but you need to understand that kids are so technologically connected these days that it literally overrides sports and things that you and I were really into when we were their age. Don't give your son a license to be lazy or inactive. Sports build character, boost confidence, and provide physical wellness. Just don't live your life through your son's life....he is not you and is growing up in a whole different world now. I know it's hard, I share your thoughts. Just be supportive and encouraging. That's being a great Dad. Well, I hope what I have said here is something you can wrap your hands around and use. I never give advice to others that I don't already follow myself. I finally figured out how to control Teen Girl Syndrome so I'm going to let the world know what is working for me and others that are also having success with my discovery. Please let me know what you think or how it works if you try it. Get in there and command a presence!

Magicsunset08's picture
Magicsunset08

Very useful information regarding my daughter. My wife has gotten alot better with her words. Last night, i felt bad by the timing of the "outburst" because wtih our hectic schedule "table dinner's" are hard to come by. However, it needed adressed and my wife said that i should have done it a long time ago. Well, I have, but not in the fashion i did last night. I told her that i didn't care if she liked me, but i am her Father and i will not be talked to this way. I took her phone away last night, she has to have it for communication purposes during the day ( they encourage you to bring it to school where she is at) for research and things. Crazy I know. But, in the evening her social life takes a hit. She sees that she has done nothing wrong. I was pretty clear last night when i told her that i could make her life pretty difficult if she kept it up. Like driving priveledges coming up, prom, friends, etc. I will definitely change my pattern of behavior and continue to be consistant. As far as my son goes. I was trying to push him towards football and not basketball because of the expectations on him because that was the sport i excelled at. If he wasn't any good at sports i would leave it be. He is good without trying hard! I was able to get a full athletic scholarship for athletics. Basketball wasn't even my favorite sport, it just worked out that way. I guess i would like him to use sports like i did--to get an education, but i can't make him like it. I told him to pick one and he chose basketball. So now, i told him i will not let him quit because that's what he chose and it would benefit him and save him some embarrassment if he gave it his best effort. We will see. Thanks for the advice. It is useful. Thanks again.

GirlsMom's picture
GirlsMom

I am glad that you and your wife have come to a meeting of the minds and that she is going to curb the degrading words that she has tried out on you in the past. That's a great step in the right direction. It doesn't surprise me that your daughter doesn't think she has done anything wrong, either. Mine were the same way and they would put up a case that only a seasoned lawyer could navigate! LOL...teenage girls are ferocious and totally full of themselves. The reality behind the mask is that they really don't know who they are just yet and often take liberties to act ridiculous in an attempt to find out. I did the same thing when I was younger and all because I was unsure of myself and looking to exert my independence any way that I could. Thank God my parents were didn't stand for much in the way of bad behavior. I turned out pretty darn good. I have learned that it's all about balance. The more balanced you can be with teens, the better because they always seem to be at extremes in their lives. You kind of have to take up the gray area in their universe of black and white. However, when it comes to discipline or producing polite and well-rounded teens, I have found that laying down the rules and handing out cut and dry punishments works the best. It takes away the guesswork and lets your kids know in advance what you expect of them and what will happen if they disappoint you. One more thing....beware of the melodramatic teen girl thing. The "I did something wrong and now I'm punished and you are ruining my life" thing. It's crap. THEY have choices and THEY are choosing to misbehave and THEY earned the punishment. Put the ball in the right court and don't fall prey to the melodrama. Most boys aren't so combative on this level but I've seen some huge teen girl meltdowns that can make a parent feel very guilty. Ditch the guilt and just be consistent and matter-of-fact. Never let them see you sweat.
On the sports note, if your son doesn't truly feel compelled to push himself into a possible scholarship opportunity then I would let it go. He may not realize how a sports scholarship really works. You could explain it to him but do it gently. Pressure is not a good thing when they really don't have an interest in sports at that level. They might be fantastic at the sport but don't see themselves utilizing it as a tool for education. Part of that might be because they are too young still or because they don't have the interest level that you had. Tread lightly with that. Teenage interests change like the weather. Sports always looks good on a college application but so does Student Government, Honors or AP courses, clubs & interest groups and community service work. It all adds up. If he's a great basketball player and he loves the sport, support it. If he tells you he is losing interest, finish out the season and walk away. They have to be able to make those choices and have your support. I'm glad you found my advice helpful. Good luck over there and always know that you're never alone with the battle of the teens!

desperatemom's picture
desperatemom
I have the same problem with my 13 year old daughter only we have been butting heads since she learned to talk. She has always been a difficult child but it has been getting worse lately. This morning she found a new hairstyle on the internet that she wanted me to try and when I did not get it right, she pulled it out and exclaimed "I'm sorry for thinking that you could actually DO something!" I don't know how to handle her. She makes me so angry that I end up shouting back at her and I know that is counter-productive. She just says the most hurtful things to me and her siblings. She is good as gold for absolutely everyone else including her dad. Away from me, she is a perfect angel. She gets straight A's and excels on her dance team. I have to wonder what everyone else would think if they saw the way she treats me.
lovelife240's picture
lovelife240
its a faze i treated my mother the same until i was about 17.
EarlGreybeard's picture
EarlGreybeard
OUTSTANDING advice! The greatest frustration I have with raising my teen daughter during this test-me phase is really other parents! I am surrounded by parents who give their kids everything to the point to where my daughter thinks she absolutely needs an iPhone5 and is upset with me when I tell her no. IMHO teens should NOT have 24 X 7 access to unrestricted iPhones and computers. Nor do they need unlimited texting. Every time I set my girl up with unlimited access to everything, she spirals out of control in bad attitude and poor grades. I disabled texting and instructed the home router to cut-off Internet access to her machine at 6 PM. Attitude improves and her grade go up.