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Why is my 12 year old daughter acting like a bully?

Today my (usually very mature) 12 year old threw down her brothers very expensive game system and said, "Oops, I dropped it." But, having seen this with my own eyes I know for a fact and she admitted she did it on purpose. I asked her why she did it and she really didn't say except that she wasn't mad and wasn't provoked. What do I do??? I threatened to take her out of jazz band but somehow feel this punishment is not fitting BUT, I feel there should be some major repercussion for her actions...but what??? Has anyone else experienced this with their daughter? Their father and I are divorced and she is constantly doing the, "you love them more than me!" to either me or her father. Typically she is a really good kid, hard worker and really driven to do well in school I just cannot figure out why she feels the need to bully. Help!!!

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Asked by MJblessed at 2:58 PM on Aug. 28, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Level 5 (101 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • Is the divorce recent? Like less than 3 years? She's at a very confusing age without any other stressors added in. My guess is she is angry -hurt over the divorce. She may believe it was her fault in some way. Kids that think that usually have one of two reactions..they totally withdraw, or they act out. She may need some counseling to help her navigate this really difficult time. She DOES need to be punished. No gaming, no phone, no computer other than as needed for homework, no TV, no friends for at least a week. She also would have to sincerely apologize. That is what I would personally do.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 3:03 PM on Aug. 28, 2011

  • Find something of hers she enjoys and take it away. No TV, computer, or phone time. But maybe opening up some communication to her. Giving her a voice and let her tell you how she feels without being judged or reprimanded.   Sounds like she needs some attention.


    Answer by luvmygrlz at 3:06 PM on Aug. 28, 2011

  • No, the divorce happened 8 years ago. I do believe she is still upset over the divorce and over the current situation. Part of it I think is jealously, her father bought my son the game (a PSP) and when she asked for one for her birthday she didn't get one. I have encouraged her to talk to her father about it but she is scared to. I think it's a poor excuse to act that way and will punish her accordingly but I could understand the hurt. It just seems like she is continually looking for us (me or her father) to mess up like this to justify her anger. Anyway, I think I am on the right track and counseling might help a great deal. Thanks for your advice.

    Comment by MJblessed (original poster) at 3:10 PM on Aug. 28, 2011

  • Talk to her about what's going on. Often kids act out when they have some sort of inner turmoil going on. 12 is a hard age, and is fraught with angst.

    Answer by cleanaturalady at 8:29 PM on Aug. 28, 2011

  • I would make her buy a new one to replace it and she would be taken out of Jazz band.

    Answer by aj23 at 9:03 PM on Aug. 28, 2011

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