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How do you deal with a 12 year olds BAD attitude

My 12 year old is extremely mouthy and disrespectful towards me, her dad, and her sister. She knows how to push everyone's buttons and not leave off. She really irritates me with this little laugh she does and she does it to irritate me. I know it is for attention but sometimes I don't have time to to give her my full attention all the time. I try to involve her in my business but she doesn't want to help me. She picks fights with her sister because she likes to see her get angry. Then she'll tease her because my younger daughter has anger issues. She'll say ooh my name is Ashton and I need Anger management classes. She is mocking her sister. I have taken away the computer, her Nintendo DS, sent her to her room. Cut off the money and privileges, nothing works, do you think making her attend a therapy session with her sister would make her see what her sister is going through and what she is doing is wrong?

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Asked by CasualCandles at 1:11 PM on May. 5, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (9)
  • Is there anything in her life right now that could be making her so angry? I do think a therapy session may help, but be ready if it doesn't. She sounds like she needs her OWN therapy. I speak from experience b/c growing up, my sis and I were 2 yrs apart and at one time we were close, but at teenage time she changed and became this horrid unhappy manipulative bitch that everyone was miserable around. BUT....our grandmother made her life hell. G-ma adored me and hated her (we have diff dads and g-ma hated hers dad and so also hated her). I now know that she endured a lot of mean stuff from our g-ma and that was why she was so mean in turn. She did get better as she got older, but she would have greatly benefited from therapy because to this day she is still affected by what g-ma did. Good luck.

    Answer by GMR at 1:24 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • Thank you for such a quick reply GMR. I don't know think she has anger that is my youngest child that has anger issues. My 12 year old is more ignorant and makes fun of her 11 year old sister with the anger problems. She is mean at times but not violent. She makes me want to pop her one in the mouth but I don't, I have to walk away. I don't want to hit her. She doesn't make fun of other people or handicap people she has compassion for them. She only irritates her family I came home one day and my sister was watching them and my sister was literally rocking back and forth on the couch because she drove her that insane while I was gone. That is uncalled for I told Renee what she did was wrong and she laughed and said let's put Aunt Amber in the nut hospital then. I see myself on Maury one day with my soon to be disrespectful teen. I dread the next couple of years.

    Answer by CasualCandles at 1:38 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • I don't know how much I can get into my reply with such limited text allowed lol but... There is a few things I might be able to give heads up. First of all I admit that as my daughter entered the 10-12 years stage oh yes they test your limits to no end, this is really pretty normal for a lot of kids and yes it is attention seeking... The reason behind it might vary per child, mine likes to talk about her and everything about her if she does not get everyone to listen to her endless "school friend" drama she will behave badly. It is also common that teens go through a very selfish stage - yes mine still does it at 13 where she doesn't think about others and always everything is about her... Here is why you are frustrated... You feel and expect when you discipline your daughter that there should be some immediate reaction behind it, for example you take the ipod away, you want her to jbeg and plead and for her to be so...

    Answer by TheFriskyKitty at 2:44 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • traumatized from it that she will change her behavior, trust me I know I been there.... I got very frustrated when anything and everything I did my teen still didn't change her behavior. Now giving your situation and things I have done to my own teenager I can give you some advice some might work, some you might want to try it a little different to suit you and your situation.
    1. This is the hardest step to take but you need to shut her down IMMEDIATELY when her mouth opens... My husband has real issues with this and "argues" with my teen I do not, I simply grab her by the arm and drag her to her room and tell her to stay there. If your teen persists on coming out and testing you, by all means, if you have to spank her on the hinny, it may be odd or uncomfortable or weird, but the fact is you must stand your ground against her as the parent and remind her she is the child.

    Answer by TheFriskyKitty at 2:47 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • 2. Dont just walk away from the issue but take a break until she stops, but it does need to be dealt with, the more you let it slide the more she does it, and the harder it will be to stop her later. Take the reins now and do not step down even if it take a month to get it through her head, this is a challenge contest, the second you walk away she wins.

    3. She may or may not care what people THINKS about her but in my home I remind my teenager, if you act like a child, I treat you like a child, and therefore if I treat you like a child you only get child privelages. So most 6 year olds do not surf the net or have computers, or phones and what not. If she wants them she has to act her age, simple as that. Make her EARN stuff back and do not give it ALL back either... For example my teen gets 15 mins on the phone all week this week.....

    Answer by TheFriskyKitty at 2:50 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • Everytime she cleans her room or keeps her mouth shut or does something nice I give her an extra 15 minutes a day. See my issue is with my teen she will be sweet as pie until she gets it back, but once she has it, she goes back to the same behavior... This is why I say, give stuff back with a limit. Everything should be earned, from money, phones, computers, outting with a friend, a friend staying over so forth. and with a limit.

    4. My final advice is, get her involved... Kids that often do things for attention often will recover or get over it better if you get them in sports, dance, activities to wear them out. She may not want to do anything, that is ok, make her do housework until she picks but you are the most important key to making this change happen... Persistence and consistency. Without both, you will find yourself going around and around with your teen. I wish you luck!

    Answer by TheFriskyKitty at 2:54 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • Thanks for asking this question. I too am in a pickle with my 11 year DD and boy is it frustrating. I do feel your pain on this one. I will be trying some of the advise from TheFriskyKitty. As I am on my 2nd teen DD and I swear I have not figured it out yet. I did do one thing that was very effective with DD #1. I totally cleaned out her room . OK this may sound mean but, it worked. OK for about a month:) Now when I say I cleaned out her room I mean I took it all. Nothing left but, the bed and clothes. She had to earn back everything. Life was good and peaceful. A bit on the extreme side I know. It was that or I was gonna move out. IT was an absolute night mare:)

    Answer by mommarykaje at 7:39 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • Therapy or counseling can be helpful. If she's seeking attention, what had worked for me is not giving the attention. It sounds like you're feeling bad because you can't devote more time to her. Children of all ages need attention, but not when they're acting out or misbehaving to get it.

    My youngest son, who is now 25, was awful when he was younger - mouthy, temper, etc. When I stopped feeding into his moods and disrespect, he actually got better. it didn't happen overnight, but it did work. At first he would get even angrier when I ignored him. But, eventually he came to me and told me how much it bothered him when I ignored him. I explained why and that he needed to behave to get the attention. He did and it was so much better after that.

    Answer by Ginny19 at 10:57 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • The biggest thing is not to address the issues she is having the 'bad' attitude about. I have generally just remained calm and say 'that's not way to ask'... and just wait until she asks in a nice way. I try not to make an 'issue' of the attitude, but I also don't give into what ever is at the center of the attitude. Inevitably they will need something, and a few times if she had an attitude earlier, I'd tell her no... given her attitude before, doesn't really put me in a mood to say yes. (Essentially, as the previous answer said, treat her like a terrible two if that is how she acts).

    I have also made a big effort to make sure I speak in neutral tone at all times so that it doesn't feed her mood. And I do try to be very postive and ask questions about her day, dance class, etc... in an effort to try to avoid the attitude before it starts.

    Answer by PhillyinFrance at 2:03 PM on May. 6, 2009

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