13 year old

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-17-2003
13 year old
4
Thu, 11-06-2003 - 2:40am
Our 13.5 year old refuses to do anything that she is told. She goes out of her way to do the opposite. How many others out there are dealing with this? What do you do? From homework to chores...She will do none of them.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
In reply to: chimenl
Thu, 11-06-2003 - 6:55am
I think 13 is the ultimate oppositional age - even worse than the terrible twos! My DSs went through it, and thank goodness it only lasted for about a year. Sometimes just sitting down and talking with them helped if I waited until a quiet moment..."What's going on in your life these days? You seem so stressed out!" Thirteen is a tough age, their horomones are going crazy, peer pressure is probably as mean as it's going to get, they're not little kids anymore but not full fledged teens yet either and they have no clue where they fit it. They want to be independent from mom and dad but really aren't ready to be yet. In our school district, it's also the age when they jump from the relative protection and structure of the elementary school to the Jr. High - which is attached to the high school, so they're going from being the oldest kids on the block to the youngest, sometimes the target for the older kids, always wanting to have the same rights and privilages as the older kids but not yet mature enough to handle them. And often the friendship groups that formed in elementary school break up and new ones are formed. It can be a pretty stressful, confusing time for a young teen.

If the talking didn't work, and pretty quickly because they were also disrupting the rest of the household, there were always things that could be taken away until they changed their attitude...tv, the computer, their bikes, freedoms...or there were always the opportunities for extra duties if the situation warrented. In any case, I made it plain that they were members of the household, and everyone is expected to contribute in some way, shape or form...and just because they were in a mood was no excuse for them to 1. not do their share and 2. make everyone else's life miserable. When I say they are expected to contribute to the household, I don't mean money, but things like helping with keeping the house picked up, doing yard work, their laundry, helping make meals or clean up, etc. As the boys have gotten older, their contributions have changed...now they work on my van (hasn't been to the garage in a few years, saving lots and lots of money), fix things around the house, run errands for me, etc.

Hang in there chimenl, this too shall pass. Try to handle it with a sensitivity to her feelings, but remember, YOU are the mom and deserve to be treated with respect, and since YOU are in charge of the household you deserve to have the cooperation of the people in it. Good luck to you!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: chimenl
Thu, 11-06-2003 - 10:18am
I have a comic on my refridgerator. It's from Zits, the one about a teenage boy. His mom says "black", he answers "white." Then it goes up, down, back, front, bottom, top, cold, hot, wet, dry. The mom asks the dad "Why do we even bother?" And he dad says "On the other hand, we ARE communicating." My ds will also say the opposite of whatever I say, so I tried reverse psychology. Sometimes it works, but the best thing is to ignore him when he asks for something. LOL!

Ellen
Avatar for arwen12
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2003
In reply to: chimenl
Thu, 11-06-2003 - 11:14am
Mine is now almost 15, sophomore in HS.

And, I have to admit, she has definitely calmed down from when she was 13.

Big time! Major changes.

She will actually cuddle with me on the couch to watch a movie.

And, I agree wholeheartedly -- I told someone at work who was complaining about his little ones... "The Terrible Two's is nothing! Just wait until the Terrible Teens!"

(hey! that sound slike a good title for a book!)

There is also this commercial on TV about a Mom and Dad at the dinner table and suddenly, the son appears and they don't recognize him. Probably because they haven't seen him since he was 10. I think of that commercial a lot when my daughter is talking to me and chattering on and on.

Because, when she was 13, she went away for a while.

She went away in terms of attitude, and also spent a lot of time in her room being grounded!!) -- but now she is back and I am thoroughly enjoying her.

Hopefully this will continue through to graduation!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!

So, 13 I think is a very tough age but very normal.

But be consistent, set appropriate limits, set appropriate consequences.

They come around eventually -- the light at the end of the tunnel DOES exist.

Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-17-2003
In reply to: chimenl
Thu, 11-06-2003 - 2:07pm
THANKS FOR ALL THE ADVICE. I HOPE THINGS IMPROVE. AHE STARTED THINGS LIKE THIS AT 4. AND THEY JUST SEEM TO GET WORSE EACH YEAR. SHE HAS BEEN DIAGNIOSED WITH ODD. OPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER. WE HAVE BEEN TO LOTS OF COUNCIL AND SO FAR THEY ALL SAY THE SAME THING. SO WE ARE SURVIVING AND EVERY DAY IS SOMEHTING NEW. I HOPE AS SHE GETS OLDER THINGS WILL START TO MELLOW.