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I have a teenage daughter that is going through a tough age. She is soon turning 15. The course of her teenage years have been a rollarcoaster ride.. ups and downs. Her grades are ok, she doesn't party, never had a detention in school or any trouble with the police. The main issues we are having with her is a bad attitude.. the world revolves around her and she expects everyone to drop what they are doing to assist her when she wants us to. This has caused so much stress in my household. As a women, i can sometimes relate to some of the things she is going through. My husband on the other hand, can't!! He allows her moods to effect him to the point that he is constantly in a mad mood. Lately her problems have escalated to anger issues and cutting. She is in counseling to try to assist with these problems.. but she is draining us all mentally. Lately I have been feeling really sad because i feel like i have not been able to focus much attention on my younger daughter who is use to being mommies girl because my oldest is requiring so much attention. Anyone have any advice on getting through these rough years and trying to make sure that the youngest doesn't follow in the oldest footsteps?
I recently finished reading a great book on dealing with teens and their moods and crazy antics, and have been recommending it to everyone I know with a teenager! I highly recommend reading this - the author gives some great techniques for responding to stuff your kid dishes out to you. The good news is, it very rarely has to do with you or anything you did! How you react to it is what can make a huge difference.
The good news is, it very rarely has to do with you or anything you did! How you react to it is what can make a huge difference.
It took me a long time to figure this out. As the mother of TWO 18 year old daughters, I have really been put through the ringer many times. One daughter is always positive and always has everything under control. The other is quite the opposite. It's only been in the last couple of years that we have really started getting along. I simply stopped reacting to some of her stuff and became much more laid back. That in turn stopped fueling the fire. In addition, I reassured and praised (complimented) her a lot. She suffers from low self-esteem issues, so it seems to be working.
Good luck to you and your family on riding out the storm.
I used to be a cutter. I found that stress balls and journaling helped redirect that destructive behaviour. Cutting can often have a calming effect because it focuses the negative feelings and leaves tangible evidence of emotional pain. I was reacting to being in an abusive environment. I am NOT saying that you are abusing your daughter, just giving an account of my journey to healing.
Therapy helped me a great deal, but it took a long time to find the right professional help. Is your daughter happy with her therapist?
Thank you all for your responses!
Yes cutting as in cutting herself. The cuts are never deep, more like scratches.
Leahdorus - I will be buying that book this week. Hehe! :-)
827Aug - I too am trying similar methods, walk away when she wants to fight.. encourage positive behavior and good work.. as well as trying to be her parent when i need to be and her friend when she needs me to be. I have seen some small progress yet but there is still a long jourey ahead of us.
FirstYearDown - She seems to like her counselor. She is a younger lady, shes pretty down to earth. My daughters issues seem to be from her not having the coping skills to release her anger or sadness. She lets things bottle up and holds grudges. I'm glad you got the help you needed to cope through your troubled times as a cutter. Its hard for me to understand the whole thing. I am trying. Its so easy to feel embarrased and want to punish her for the behavior rather then trying to understand what she is feeling inside. I know it's not easy being a teenager and I'm sure it's even harder now then it was when i was younger. I'm doing my best.. I just hope in the end that my best is good enough and she grows to be the beautiful, talented, strong woman.
I have 3 daughters and I love them very much the oldest is 21 yoa and me and her mother divorced when she was 2 I had custody of her from 3 on, and she was handfull during her teenage years to say the least today at 21 she is doing great and is fun to be around and seems well adjusted I wish you could just take about 3 or 4 yrs like from 13 to 16 and not have to deal with them I thought alot of her issues were from her mother due to her moms issues with drugs and stuff so she would act out to get attention i believe i had her in counseling for about 5 yrs anyway she is in college and has a bf and works and is just the sweetest thing you ever met. My other 2 daughters are 8 and 11 and they are great so far they do fight alot or argue i should say but i hear that is normal.
My ex husbands daughter was a cutter, it was hard to deal with, but got better with a therapist who specialized in self mutilation. Teen girls suck, even in the best of circumstances, add in some mental issues and it's a nightmare. I DREAD my daughter getting hormones running through her, she's 6 and already acts like a teenager. They'll be fitting me for my straight jacket by the time she gets her period, it really does make me cringe.
Agree with AR that the cutting could be related to something a lot more complicated, and not just OCD. There's also a strong link between self-mutilation like cutting and borderline personality disorder, so much so that it's part of the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for BPD.
What kind of counselor is your daughter seeing, firefairy? Is she a psychologist? Have you tried a cognitive behavioral therapist? I've heard CBT can be really helpful for cutting behavior (and so many other things).
Everybody deals with these issues differently. With my own children I explained to them that their actions would dictate how (big) or how (small) their world would be.
So a child that shows themselves to be responsible and truthfull would be able to do a great many things (still having to ask permission). The reverse of that is they would not be allowed to have privacy in their own room.
If I can't trust you not to cut then you will be standing before me everyday so that I can inspect your (whole) body for cuts. I will be inspecting your room (every inch) I will manage who you are around and who you are speaking with at all times. I will be taking you to school and speaking with your teachers and administrators weekly. None of this said in a mean or angry manner but (in my case) the child cut because he had stupid looser dirtbag friends who did (because their lives were so hard) and he wanted to be cool so he started. You also cannot be alone. Or you can (not) cut on yourself.
We had a one on one (come to Jesus) talks where we discussed point blank (nowhere to run) what their issues exactly were that would make them cut. The silences were awkward for them but I had created a excellent home for them where they were free to be the people they wanted to be providing they act like responsible people over themselves and their actions. At 15 (or 8th grade) was when both of my children attempted to go off the rails. Mostly because girls became the primary reason for their existence and not grades and having fun. It takes a couple of years to get their minds settled back down.
I have also told my children that everything in life is a test. If you can do your chores and contribute to the family then when you ask for stuff you get consideration. When you can't do the simplest of tasks (dishes) you will be given less consideration (being polite) when you then want something from me.
I am not your friend. I am your parent.
Friendship comes later after I get you through the kid stage where you don't know what your doing. Right now I am responsible to see to it that you learn what it requires to be a responsible person.
Do get the cutting evaluated. However, cutting in this area became kind of a fad with the girls. A very unhealthy fad, and I think it is a bit of an addictive behavior once it starts. But many books and theories are imo out of date. It isn't necessarily an indication of abuse or mental disorder.
I am hesitant to suggest any person get any kind of official diagnosis these days because of the computerized records which will follow them forever. I think I would be comfortable suggesting some kind of family therapy, plus it would be a gentler thing to approach your daughter with. The goal would be to improve communications and understanding between you and her, so there isn't some kind of focus on her as being defective.