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What do you do with a teenager who has no mental filter?

Whatever she thinks comes right out of her mouth, regardless of how hurtful it might be. Also a part of the problem is, she doesn't realize the effect what she says has on people. She's not intentionally mean...like yesterday my sister posted a photo of her 22 year old son on Facebook. My daughter's response was, "Bobby's short!". I had to explain to her that at 5'4" Bobby has always been sensitive of his height and that she should not mention it again. She was very remorseful about it, but it's just a matter of time before she puts her foot in her mouth again. She thinks it's fine to make jokes of a sexual nature to me or anyone else simply because it's funny to her. She's very smart but unbelievably naive about the world in some ways...how can I help her decide what's appropriate to discuss and what's not?

 
benjamink

Asked by benjamink at 12:12 AM on Aug. 22, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

Level 10 (378 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • My grandmother's rule was to ALWAYS ask yourself, "Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?" before speaking. Whoo, boy is THAT hard to follow! Back in her day, children were "to be seen and not heard", too, so she learned to follow the kind/true/necessary thing. Me, I have to learn from my mistakes and try harder.

    I offer the phrase, though, as it is useful as a repetitive reminder tool to help your daughter. When she speaks out, you say, "Honey... Was that kind, was that true, was that necessary?" and after a pattern is developed, you can shorten it to, "Honey... remember KTN." and others don't hear (or understand) her being "reprimanded". With time, and practice, and some big & small goofs, she'll fit in one day.
    cutiemoose

    Answer by cutiemoose at 6:07 PM on Aug. 23, 2009

  • Oh, she'll be 16 years old December 31st.
    benjamink

    Answer by benjamink at 12:14 AM on Aug. 22, 2009

  • sounds like impulsive compulsive disorder i had it as a teen and was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder i wasnt trying to be mean i just never thought before i spoke, I was put on depakot and at first i was taking anti-depressants you might want to take her to see a mental health dr.
    ggiovanni

    Answer by ggiovanni at 12:16 AM on Aug. 22, 2009

  • Welcome to the world of teens. I was at a seminar once that discussed the teenage brain and it was interesting to hear that the actually lose the ability to think. So when we as parents ask, "What were you thinking?" They really weren't at all! Seriously not at all. I believe they said that "thinking" part of the brain doesn't return until the early 20s.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:16 AM on Aug. 22, 2009

  • Her brain is still developing. However my nieces are the same age and they always put their foot in their mouth. My sil is really rude and puts her foot in her mouth all the time. Some girls and women are too blunt and that's just their personality. Maybe get her involved in some charity work and see if she recognizes and maybe empathy and sympathy will kick in.
    jenzachsam

    Answer by jenzachsam at 12:22 AM on Aug. 22, 2009

  • Remind her if she can't say something nice, don['t say it at all. I reminded my kids so often when they were little, I don't have such a problem now days. Possibly you could say something unkind to her. when her mouth falls open, or she gets upset, gently remind her this is how other people feel when we speak out of turn. This way she could walk in another's shoes.
    moneymagnetmom

    Answer by moneymagnetmom at 1:34 AM on Aug. 22, 2009

  • Don't fret about it too much. She'll figure it out with time.
    Mousuke

    Answer by Mousuke at 2:45 AM on Aug. 22, 2009

  • If you find the solution to this problem let me know.. I still have this problem LOL... and i'm 21. I have gotten alot better now than I was a few years ago but I still speak before I think and have hurt quite a few people in the process.
    KalebsMommee

    Answer by KalebsMommee at 1:51 PM on Aug. 22, 2009

  • BTW, it has nothing to do with the whole "if you don't have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all" that doesn't really work in situations like this because it isn't like it's an intentional thing. Atleast with me it's like I can't control what I say and things often come out wrong or not how I actually meant it.
    KalebsMommee

    Answer by KalebsMommee at 1:52 PM on Aug. 22, 2009

  • Sounds like kids I know with Aspberger's syndrome.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:06 PM on Aug. 22, 2009