It's not for the faint of heart.

Welcome to my slightly silly, often odd, and mostly messy life.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Raising Teenagers

Raising teens, and tweens is such a joy...  and yes, I'm being sarcastic.

My oldest is just being a pain in the ass.  The conversation we had tonight was long, and loud.  I ended up taking her cell phone away.  While I'm holding it a text comes through from a friend.  Not really thinking about it I look down...

BOOM baby, just a whole lotta ugliness unleashed about what a horrible mom I am. How much she hates BLT and I, and how we have no right to tell her what to do, and all I should be worried about is that she gets straight A's so I should just butt out of her life.  Lovely...

After a while I went back down to her room. I told her:  "I love you, unconditionally. But I will not be abused.  I will not let you talk to me like this, or treat me like garbage. I did not have children so that I could be your slave.  I have expectations of you that you WILL meet.  You WILL change your attitude, and you will treat everyone in household with respect.  Otherwise I will drive you to school, pick you up in the afternoon and you will have absolutely no life other than school, chores, and homework.  You WILL participate in this family, and you WILL be a good role model for the younger kids. If you ever talk to me like that again you'll be grounded so long that you'll have grey hair before you see your friends again."

I told her that I'm it.  I'm the only parent she has.  I'm the one that works to feed her.  I'm the one that supports her. I'm the one that loves her unconditionally.  I'm the one who wants what's best for her.  I'm the one who sacrifices for her....  out there, in the real world, nobody gives a rats ass about your issues.  They want to know what you can do for THEM, not the other way around.  I told her that there is a statute of limitations on teenage moodiness and she's just about reached it.  After that people stop overlooking your bad behavior as an indicator of teenage angst, and then you know what you are?  You're just a bitch... and you don't want to be that kind of girl.  You don't really want to be an eye rolling, dismissive, rude, judgemental, pain in every one's ass... because that's not who you really are. 

Her answer was that she doesn't try to be rude.  My answer?  Well you sure as heck aren't trying NOT to be rude now are you... so how about we go at this from another angle.  For the foreseeable future you try NOT to be rude and we'll see how that works.

God help me...  I'm exhausted.  I'm frustrated. I'm at my wits end.  I just want to understand what's going on with that kid.


  1. As frustrating as it's been, I think you took a good approach. Getting good grades is fantastic, but that's no excuse to let performance elsewhere slack off.

    Also? Good move having the bulk of your talk in her room, away from the rest of the family. Nobody likes being dressed down in public so having that little come-to-jesus talk in private was wise.

    Now the hard part - encouraging better behavior without sounding patronizing.

    Boys are SO much easier to raise. Satisfy those primal urges and they're happy campers for the most part.

  2. I'm guessing here, but you may have left BLT's (or someone's) name hanging out there by accident. In the paragraph with the "BOOM baby . . .

  3. I love your response to her...I am going through the same thing with my 15yr old and just said something similar to him the other night but you put it so well I may just have to copy and use for next go round (Im sure there will be one)

  4. Thanks B... fixed that.

    I was in such a freakin' tizzy last night I didn't even notice.

  5. I'm soooo glad I have 3 boys and only 1 girl. Boys are easy... they fuck up,, you get in their face!! Girls you have to dance with.... I don't envy you. Kids these days know that parents hands are tied... My GF is going through the same thing with her 16 yr. old daughter... I want to say things but I bite my tongue.
    I think girls are born to push buttons.... the laws of the land tie our hands as to what we can do to change them... If my boys had talked to me the way my GF's daughter talks to her, they would have been patching the sheetrock that they were just threw threw as their punishment...

    Yelling doesn't help, don't lower yourself to their level... firm discussions and follow through. That's what I tell my GF...
    You're not her friend, you're their MOM... lead by example...
    My daughter is 25 and she made it out of her teens alive... we get along great now.... so there can be a happy ending.
    Good Luck, you'll need it!


  6. Oh my. *Blink* How old is she? I have this to look forward to?

    Here is QT, feeling sorry for herself.

    You handled it correctly, I can only stress that enforcing your policy (non-rudeness) is as important as her following the policy.


  7. You are a good mom. I'm looking forward to hanging with you and the kids this weekend. We'll have to take some time to commiserate on the joys of parenting 13 year old girls.

  8. Sounds very similar to a conversation I had with my 17YO. She's been very disrespectful to both me and her brother. I ended up telling her that it is not my responsibility to make sure she and her sibling got along but we are the only immediate family she has and the world is an awful big place without family. I also told her that it was my job to call her out for crappy behavior and that my financial support is directly correlated with good behavior. Fortunately she's been a lot better since then but we still have our moments.