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Dealing with a Teenage Daughter

There is a television show called I Hate my Teenage Daughter.  I have been giving a lot of thought to that title, having a hormonal twelve and a half year old daughter myself. Since my marriage ended in February of 2009 I have struggled being a good parent as far as disciplining goes. I was granted 50/50 custody with my ex so our children spend equal time at each other’s homes. I bought the marital home and my ex moved home with my ex mother in law.

I find it hard disciplining my daughter especially when I see some traits of my ex in her.  I want to have respect from my daughter and teach her how to deal with people, places and things. I need to help her lose her entitled attitude. Her favorite thing to do every morning is get up and have me do things for her. It’s the same argument, I ask her to let me finish my coffee and I will get her breakfast. This does not work as she needs her breakfast that instant and it’s like she has no arms and legs to get it herself. Her voice gets louder and more demanding and I get frustrated and just get it to keep her quiet. I have my mom living with me and my son is usually still sleeping and I don’t want to wake the house. It’s been going on for so long that in order to break the cycle I need outside advice. I have enlisted the help of a therapist and we start this week. I am hoping she can help me figure out how to get the respect from my daughter that I should be getting. I do know that some of my daughter’s problems are caused by my divorce, the problems she witnessed at home, her hormones, some of it is peer pressure, and some of it is personality. I read recently it is best to treat your children as individuals, different with rewards and punishments. I tend to agree with that because each child can handle certain situations better than others and each child has their own personality. A big problem I am having is when your child clearly has some personality traits of your ex and you need to deal with them. 

Yesterday something happened that made me realize it is not a lost cause. My daughter was upset because I didn’t get home in time to take her to the craft store. I had told her I would but in the event I got home too late we would go today.  Somehow she forgot that I had said we would go today and had it in her mind I lied to her and came home late on purpose.  As she was ranting and storming around I just let her. I didn’t argue back nor did I try to explain my way out of it. I had to leave with my son to take him to CCD so I left her still in a huff. However, by the time I got back two hours later she was fine. She never spoke of it again and even went grocery shopping with me. She was in a great mood as well. Later that night she asked nicely if we could go to the craft store today, I told her yes.  What I learned was from my own therapist, don’t engage. My therapist has been working with me teaching me how to deal with conflict and she always said don’t engage in conversation when it gets argumentative. I did it with my daughter and it worked.  It’s best to remember your children are a work in progress and you can get the respect and attention you deserve. It is difficult, but when you accomplish it the feeling you get from it is indescribable. My daughter and I had a great rest of the night because I didn’t engage! I let her get out what she needed to get out and it was done.  I have hope when we go to the child psychologist that we can change the bad morning routine that has gone on far too long.

EileenMarie … Being Me

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