MEAN DAUGHTER

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
MEAN DAUGHTER
6
Sat, 11-01-2003 - 11:11am
I need some input here, can someone help. I have a 15 year old daughter. Gradually over a period of time she has turned into someone I don't even know...or want to know frankly. She is mean, rude, doesn't have a kind or positive thing to say about anything or anyone, makes fun of people (not to their face), and just generally is a nasty nasty person I have been trying to make her see herself for how she acts but she keeps ignoring me, saying that she's fine with her friends and at school. Well yesterday one of her friends got her nerve up and told her the exact same things about herself that I have been telling her. She (the friend) said she was trying to tell her nicely, but that she was tired of listening to her be rude, mean, and all she ever talked about was making fun of people. I have spoken to her older sister (25) about it and my sister. They have both said let her go she will learn her lesson when she doesn't have any friends. But really I love her too much to let that happen and would like to put the brakes on this behavior now. She is a pretty girl, and gets good grades in school. We have a good family life, she is a little spoiled. She just seems to be so intensely angry all the time. Can someone help me out here? I would appreciate it so much. Thanks and God bless.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
In reply to: mombear22
Sat, 11-01-2003 - 12:24pm
well alot of teens go thru that stage where they are "mean" and angry at home, but usually they counter that by having "normal" relationships with their friends. your daughter sounds angry and possibly depressed - and if she starts to lose her friends that would just make her feel worse about herself. would she see a therapist? is there a counselor in the school that you could talk to?
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2003
In reply to: mombear22
Sat, 11-01-2003 - 7:09pm
I think sometimes people can get stuck in ruts, emotionally too. Have you ever noticed if you go thru a period of time where you find your thoughts are more and more along the lines of 'I *Hate* it when I can't get my car started', "I HATE when I'm interrupted", "I HATE when someone talks to me that way" ... I "*HATE* *HATE* HATE - and how it just kind of snowballs over time?

What do you do when you go through that? By becoming *aware*, that helps you to start to counteract. That comes from your own life experience and willingness to be self-honest. A child is still learning and doesn't have the experience yet to draw on.

I think one step you can take is to teach her *how* to counteract. When she says something mean, tell her calmly to rephrase what she's just said. Give her examples; she isn't going to know what you mean unless you exemplify. i.e. "*so-and-so* is just a jerk" ... can be changed to 'So-and-so and I don't agree on a lot of things'. "Holly is such a bag" - "Holly can be a good friend to someone she calls a friend, but we aren't friends unfortunately". "I HATE *whatever*" - changed to "I don't actually *hate* it. I just don't feel like it ... it's ok *sometimes* ... and so on.

Besides the 'on the spot' getting her to counteract her own statements - wilingly or not, said snottily or not, because just the simple action of having to do this EACH and EVERY time will eventually become either irritating enough to her to think twice and over time, it really will start to make her stop and truly think - the other thing I would encourage you to do is buy a special journal and call it a "Gratitude Journal". Buy one for your dd, and one for yourself and if someone else in the family would benefit from it, one for them. Have your dd sit down and write out every thing she can think of that she is thankful for during the day. Even if it starts off with "I'm thankful for my house." My food. My bed. My pet. My clothes. It doesn't matter. Over time, she will grow bored with saying the same things or being rebellious about doing it esp if it doesn't gain a reaction and she has to keep doing it anyway. And if YOU write things that are meaningful, and make her feel good about herself in the ways that *matter*, like you're thankful for a child who is 'whatever really DOES make her special' and for other things in your life that you are thankful for, it will be also a means of teaching her and counteracting the negativity. It's almost like a habit - which is 'learned behaviour' that needs to be counteracted and re-taught into new behaviour over time. Someone who speaks English as a 2nd language that I know once told me that if he learns a new word wrong it takes twice as much work to unlearn it and remember the right word than it is if he just learned it right the first time. But it's definitely not impossible.

I hope it helps and that things turn around. The other poster ventured the possibility your dd was depressed. I think you are in the best position to determine this and decide if further evaluation, maybe first with her GP, is appropriate. Other than that, I really believe that gratitude journals and counteracting 'on the spot' help in these kinds of situations.

cl-kkiana

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-07-2003
In reply to: mombear22
Sun, 11-02-2003 - 1:30am
Hi, Your DD sounds a bit like mine. My 15yo can be very direct with friends, not taking into consideration their feelings. She has seemed to change from this sweet, kind girl to this rude, no-time-for-family, irritable teenager. I thought her behavior change was drastic and included other changes in behavior (withdrawing, crying easily), so she is attending a group for depressed teens through our health plan, though I'm not entirely convinced she is clinically depressed. I don't know if depression is what's going on with your DD, but I read that depression can manifest as acting out in teens. But you say she is otherwise doing well with friends and in school. The best I can suggest is to allow her to suffer the natural consequences of her behavior (e.g., losing friends). You want to protect her but in the long run you actually don't if you allow her to be rude to you or try to cover or apologize for her behavior. You've already tried to tell her. Don't keep repeating yourself. She probably realizes she is being mean and deep inside doesn't like it. I think people are mean and rude when something is bothering them deep inside, when they feel unsure of themselves. Anyway, I would deal with it as it arises. If she gives you a rude reply, tell her rudeness is not tolerated in this family (or elsewhere but you have no control of her outside the home) and then impose a consequence (a chore, a lost privilege, etc.). Every now and then, ask her if something's bothering her or if she'd like to talk, then let it go -- just often enough so she knows you care but not so often that you are nagging her. I hope this situation improves for you. I believe if a person has a good foundation and was once kind and thoughtful, they'll eventually get back to that place one day. The teen years are really tough for some and everyone handles them differently. Whatever you do, don't give up on her but don't allow her to behave rudely at home.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
In reply to: mombear22
Sun, 11-02-2003 - 1:50am

you know - i had another thought. sometimes, kids who suffer from certain LDs (such as ADHD) do NOT understand social "rules" and do not understand the consequences of acting against the rules. like your dd may think its "ok" to say what she feels - and she doesn't UNDERSTAND that people over a certain age (lets say 4) just dont' DO THAT. sometimes its not that she is being mean, but she really doesn't get the social connections. she may not

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2003
In reply to: mombear22
Mon, 11-03-2003 - 9:07am
i don't know how you have been trying to talk to her, but the setting, and the way you aproach it is everything. i should know, i was there once, and no too long ago. you should plan a day with her, whether it be shopping, or something that you two like to do with each other that doesn't end in fighting. then over a bite to eat, very calmly ask her how life is going, getting her to slowly spill stuff, then just tell her you are worried, and that no matter what you will be there and you love her. other than that there is nothing else you can do, and then it is up to her to come to you. i know that isn't the advice you wanted. but that is all i can give. it worked for me. but i don't know if it will work for you. try it. i hope that it works.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2003
In reply to: mombear22
Sun, 11-16-2003 - 5:47am
I guess it hasn't occured to anyone that she is being a 15 year old? No teen (well human) on this earth is like any other. Beleive it or not she WILL outgrow this. Talking to her and badgering her is only going to make things worse. Let her be herself rather than who you think she should be