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Teaching/Helping my 11 y/o how to keep her mouth shut when her thoughts maybe be disrespectful or is asked in a snotty way.

Details: 1. she is my step daughter since she was 2. She is 11 now and does not remember her life without me in it. 3. Her mother is emotionally incompedent and thinks she has an anwer to everything. 4.Her father (my hubby) is at a lose what to do, as he has tried many angles to help her. 5.She is bossy and afraid to be alone. 6. she is an amazing artist, writer and vert smart.
Any suggestion on how to teach her that what she thinks and feels may need to be kept to herself and if she has something to say she needs say it in a tone that is respectful.
Her attitude is in the normal range for her age but i can not teach her how much her tone effects what comes outta her mouth. Its the TONE that is putting me over the edge. I suppose im just looking for some feed back and a bit of support.


Asked by Ihatelaundry at 7:47 PM on Nov. 8, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 11 (501 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • Get her a journal and have her write her feelings down. Let her know that she can write whatever she wants in the journal and NO ONE will read what she writes unless she shows it to them. Her journal is private. You just have to talk to her about that how she says something can be much more hurtful to someone than what she says. You can give her examples. Teach her that she can give her opinion but she has to do it respectfully. It won't be an easy thing to teach and it will take a while, but it can be done. I point it out to my son when he says something in an inapproriate or disrespectful way.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:03 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • sounds as though their is some early past abuse going on she is possibly going through some inner competition trying to level up to life as she knows inside / to converting her thoughts and emotions to persuade her outside. Fitting in isn't going to happen if she was abused. As we look at children and how we want to have them be. Doing anything as a family and inviting friends is positive. Keep the day on the bright side and see everything as a challenge but never normal, this will ensure the child she doesn't need to act a certain way to APPEAR normal, but she should get counseling because if it's not caught right now it will become worse. I know many people that the family tries to control and when these children get into a counselors office and seeing the hugs (pursai) not sure of spelling..... but if it's a well reounded well meaning persoanl and loving session it will teach that child to spill out the trash early wit

    Answer by coffeeyum at 7:57 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • without making her feel embarassed. Children need open windows of life. They aren't sure as it is, and to teach them if abused (I am just feeling something) that the world is bad, and stuff everywhere / people are not trustworthy even a counselor can seem really big and scary. HOPE THIS HELPS SOME HOW !

    Answer by coffeeyum at 7:59 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • i would embarrass her when she talks in a tone not sd 12 does this and its bc of her school environment and the age thing i suppose so i either embarrass her or i ignore everything she says it works like a charm and she changes the things she sayin or i shoot her a funny look and she gets the point...i do believe my fav is the ignoring thing it makes her mad as but i do talk to her as soon as she corrects the problem..good luck and i hope one of these help you

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:07 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • It also might be just her personality. I am straight forward, I don't sugarcoat and yep I say what is on my mind.. I got in trouble alot as a kid and it never helped. As I aged I learned to whom I could speak freely with and how to tone down my "tone". I also learned to still say what was on my mind but in a more professional way, for a lack of a better phrase.
    My youngest DD is also the same way. Treasure that she speaks her mind, it might help her alot later in life and will keep others from running all over her. I am sure my mom knows just what you are going through, I had my parents frustrated many, many times. Now they are very proud. Hang in there mom :)

    Answer by midnightmoma at 8:10 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • She has not been phys or sexually abused.
    I feel that her mother has done some damage emotionally, causing the 'i have to be right all the time') And in the last year has complained the her grandmother (her husband died a few yeaes ago) has showed signs of depression and has yelled at the kids for very small things. The kids avoid having to be with their grandma but their mother uses her alot when she is working.
    She struggles to be better than her 14 y/o brother......i feel this is normal for brothers and sisters.
    i am more looking for a way to teach her about the tone of her voice other then the obvious. I have felt for awhilw both kids could benifit from some couseling, their parents are divorsed, that alone is reason enough for them to see a pro.......i just have to keep trying.

    Answer by Ihatelaundry at 8:22 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • Yes ignoring does cause her distress......i will use that more. thanks!

    Answer by Ihatelaundry at 8:26 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • I think the journal is a good idea.

    You might want to try rephrasing or repeating what she has said in a more agreeable tone to show her what you mean. Some kids can sound fresh without realizing it and need to be told exactly what to change.

    Also, you might try this (a technique called nonviolent communication). First, count to ten.

    Say: "When I .....(hear you talk in that tone), I feel.....(sad, disappointed, frustrated, etc) because I need......( support, respect...etc )
    Would you mind .....(insert concrete doable request) for example--- saying that again in a different tone of voice?"

    I think this fosters a better relationship than ignoring or embarrassing her, and is worth a try.
    Hope this helps.


    Answer by diospira at 11:38 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • She sounds alot like my daughter, very bright, artistic, yet bossy. She is my daughter by birth, and she has been molested, when she was 4, by a person who is in prison now, for more than enough time...she still has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and depression and mood swings. This to us does not constitute a need for bad behavior, because she goes on every day, just like the day before, and she can grow and get stronger each day as well. Whatever comes out of her mouth is either disrespectful, or fine...and my husband and I have tried to teach her the difference and the right way to express opinions. These years are the toughest for a child, especially a creative one. Ours is also very grown up for her age, and is interested in things, kids her age could care less about, which makes her a bit of an oddity. I don't know how she will be when she gets a little older, but I feel very lucky to have such a unique daughter.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:35 AM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • Sounds like a constant struggle in your home,sorry to hear of that.
    About the only thing I can think of not already said is to try and keep the schedule at your home as normal as possible so she knows what you expect of her. That way when she has the "tone" with you -you have a leway of getting punishment correct. Starting a journal as stated above would also be a great alternative for her to vent. Tell her if she feels the need to vent -to do it at home away from all the outside pressures and she'll get more secure as you go. She sounds like she feels like a yo-yo and is unsure what is expected of her. good luck and take care

    Answer by momof4kids257 at 12:33 PM on Nov. 9, 2009