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Personality disorder? Too much like her dad? Or "normal" teen behavior?

18 y.o. dtr. has been "difficult" since about age 11. Never any inclination towards drinking, drugs, smoking, promiscuity, lying, stealing, etc. BUT is rude and disrespectful to me when in one of her moods. No issues with teachers or authority figures but family, friends & her friends' parents would get a taste of attitude when issues arose. Has no long lasting intense friendships/boyfriends but instead seems to switch friends/boyfriends every few months. She sees no problem/doesn't recognize it. She has NEVER apologized for "going off" on anybody, especially me. Does not suffer from low self esteem - instead VERY over-confident i.m.o. and thinks her s*** doesn't stink. Argues every point no matter how trivial if in a mood and there's no way to make her see another opinion or even fact that is as plain as day once she gets her teeth into it. Plays blame game A LOT and shuts down/no communication. Love dtr. but hate attitude!

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:51 PM on Oct. 18, 2009 in Adult Children (18+)

Answers (21)
  • She's 18 now. Counseling may have helped... now it's in her hands

    Answer by ironkitten at 2:53 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • If she is still living in your home, give her a choice--either be respectful or move out. Eighteen is legal age in most states. Maybe the best thing that could happen to her would be for her to have to be totally responsible for herself. A lady whose opinions I greatly respect says that the person who has the power should also be the one who has the responsibility. So if she wants to rule, then she should have to be the one responsible for all those things that one must have in order to just survive.

    Answer by NannyB. at 2:57 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • I went thru an age where I was very mean to my mom. It took me getting intro some trouble for me to realize how much my parents loved me and were there for me. She'll realize it soon enough and if she doesn't than don't humor her and tell her to leave your house.

    Answer by SaraP1989 at 3:13 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • OP here - Space was limited so couldn't go into detail. Yes, we tried counseling. Believe me I tried! She shut down and didn't want to go. Forcing would've made it worse but, yes, maybe we should've kept looking for a counselor who could really connect with her. It's so expensive but if it helps I want to try. Problem is, she seems to think everyone else should work on themselves but doesn't think she needs to make any effort. I am a single mom but think I honestly have done my best. I am flexible, not opinionated but probably not as strong-willed as I should be because I failed at discipline. While I appreciate honest input about my failures as a parent, I have to add that I've always provided a good example, a listening ear, love and rules that are pretty even-handed. But thinking back I guess I had always been too lenient and it's coming back to bite me in the butt.I can see that she does need to be on her own-might help.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:28 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • She doesn't have a personality disorder those develop from childhood trauma. She sounds like a normal teen, testing her boundaries, she seems to be getting them, so good job. She is testing her boundaries with those she loves because well frankly you love her. People treat those who love them the worst because they will love us after it all. Give her space were you can. Listen as much as you can, pick your battles wisely. And be thankful she doesn't maintain lasting relationships, she is less luckily to have sex if she doesn't have a long term boyfriend. Also if she is 18 get her looking at collages, or dual credit enroll. Being around other 18 yos and older might show home isn't so bad. If she is only a terd at home you are doing something right. Good job.


    Answer by DevilInPigtails at 4:28 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • Thanks! Some days are really good and some are awful. And then sometimes things will be going well and it turns around. It hardly ever goes from bad to better without some time elapsing (hours or overnight). I know teens test limits with those who love them most for that very reason. It just tires me. She's very interested in school and wants to go into the medical field. She's attending community college where she had been dual-enrolled since 9th grade. In fact, she's working on her mid-terms right now. She was supposed to be full time but she is just working on two online classes this semester. I'd always told her I (and her dad) would cover her expenses if she was in school full time. The people she does get along with best are a couple years older and are in college with some direction in their lives. Although she lacks initiative she does have an idea of what she wants to do and is trying to accomplish her goals.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:57 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • OP again - As for living on her own, she and I both want her to, not because she can't stand it here and not because I want her to go away. I just think it would be great to spread her wings and I support that 100%. She's very much into being an adult and, understandably, living like an adult. She's also totally welcome to remain living here. I just want to shake her sometimes though when she gets the attitude. I think when she's on her own though, there will be a bonus as she will learn to deal with situations calmly and in an adult fashion-I hope! She was actually going to find a place to share with her boyfriend but they split up. She said she found out something negative about him. I believe her-they weren't to the point where they'd be fighting yet. Anyway, it's expensive so she needs a roomie-and a job (laid off months ago). She wants to pay all herself even though she knows I'll help if she's in school.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:21 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • do you have the same daughter as I do?--from the time she was say 15-till now 29, she is the same snot nose kid,with respect towards everyone else,but her own Mother..I don't understand this, and why,as I see many young girls with their Moms and love it..Mine and I don't talk-been 8 years now,and just as well,she blames everything on me or whoever,never her fault,and quite honest,can't stand her,so I learn to let this daughter go (to the father-same as her),and really want nothing to do with her. I wish I had a wonderful Mother/ Daughter relationship with her,but can't,I guess I would never know a Grandchild--Do they change somehow? I NEVER disrespected my Mother-Never

    Answer by Somma at 5:39 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • I am reading about adult ADHD and this sounds just like the book.
    It's called "is it you or me or Adult ADD?" by Gina Pera
    My daughter and husband are affected and iam too. Sounds like stuff that goes on here.
    What can help is understanding that could be the reason not the excuse.

    Answer by MCchaddmom at 2:03 AM on Oct. 19, 2009

  • Sweetie im 18 now and trust me i think its normal i really do ..for a long time i was kinda like that too..dont get me wrong i dont think its right for ur dd to disrespect you and ur hubby but i thnk its apart of trying to be more indapendant for a long time i thought my parents were trying to control everything that i did even though they werent at all now that im a mom whos still in school i get the pros and cons of both worlds so my advise to u is that sit down with her and tell her how shes making u feel and open her eyes to things like how shes being rude stuff like that and if all else fails than go to family counceling maybe theres something that she not telling you thats really bothering her

    Answer by rachel216 at 12:00 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

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