Okay, my tweener daughter informed us that she doesn't want to be a part of this family anymore last night, so being the loving mother I am, I handed her a suitcase and offered to help her pack.  Hubby didn't think that was quite the right response.  I am truly at wits end with this child and could really use some good, Bible-based advice.

Here's the situation.  18 months ago she lost only child status.  6 months after that, the Grandma who didn't like her, moved in.  She was no longer the center of the universe.  New little brother arrived as a 5 yr old with special needs and more charisma than Bill Clinton (but fortunately better morals).  Grandma had cancer and required constant care.  Little brother had multiple dr's appointments and 2 surgeries.  Her Dad travels a LOT with work.  She continued to do school at home, but it was through an on-line program, so she spent a lot of time on the computer with her teachers.  Not necessarily with me.  I was focused on getting her new brother through kindergarten at home and caring for my MIL.  By the way, MIL passed away peacefully here at home a month ago.

Now, understand that this is a VERY outgoing, pretty, charismatic young lady.  She is quite capable of carrying on adult conversations.  So being outshined by anyone was difficult, but the little brother that she picked out was just too much. 

Meanwhile, the physical changes have set in.  Her bra size is now bigger than mine.  (Truly depressing, since she's only 12!)  She's only 3 inches shorter than me and she is in shoes 1/2 size BIGGER than me.  (Her Dad is 6'5" tall, so it's not unexpected.)  She is also developing some very shapely curves that scare the heck out of her Dad and I.  Her hormones are running rampant.  Oh, and she got braces about a month ago.  She's getting major acne break outs (I did take her shopping and buy her the stuff for a good skin care routine and good razors for shaving her legs, and all that feminine stuff that I thought she might need.)  We have definitely discussed all the physical changes and what they mean.

So the issue is just outright defiance.  Sometimes over the most stupid little things.  I know we have to demand first time obedience, but it is a major battle everytime.  Last night, I told her to put a lid on her glass of milk because the family was eating in the living room and her brother tends to spill everything.  I turned away and thought she had.  Well, three minutes later her Dad is screaming because her brother spilled her entire glass of milk all over.  I got the towel to clean up the mess and then cornered her and demanded to know why there wasn't a lid on her milk.  Her answer was that she's not a 6 yr old so she shouldn't have to put a lid on her milk.  And, no, she shouldn't have to obey me if she doesn't want to.  (See why I handed her the suitcase?!)  So now she's banned from eating in the living room for 3 days.  She's too big to spank.  And I've tried having her copy applicable verses repeatedly.  Time-outs are useless.  Taking away preveledges is only marginally effective.  Her Dad and I both have tried taking her out on "Dates" to give her some one-on-one time.  We praise the good things she does to high heaven. 

But still she defies, picks on her brother, lies to me about schoolwork, and throws a fit if I ask for her help around the house.  Also makes her mad that her brother is very good about helping around the house.  (He actually likes to scrub toilets, the little darling!)  But she gets so mad when he does it.  Help!  I'm at my wits end with her. 

She does do good things.  She is singing a solo for special music at church next Sunday (she's got an awesome voice!)  She's going to be performing skits for the kids at VBS this year.  She tests for her black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do this fall.  She has lead her robotics to state level competition 2 of the last 3 yrs.  She is getting up every morning and jogging to prepare herself for trying out for the track team at the local Jr High next year (She decided she wants to attend school there next year.).  I think it's time for her to do it.  She stood before our state senate last year and gave an excellent speech on the importance of school choice.  Quoted Jefferson, Socrates, and Plato in her speech.  She is performing with the All Ohio Piano Ensemble in a couple weeks in Columbus.   I mean, she's got so much going for her, but she'll blow it all if she can't get beyond this defiant attitude.  How do we address this?  Please help.  I'm stumped.

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Comments:

tabbys4
Jun. 2, 2008 at 9:39 AM shes a teen so to speak god help u xoxo when i went through the i hate u faze with my mom i called her by her first name my mom was like ok fine and she played along after a week i was begging to call her mom. i got nothing special from her and i had to give her my allowence for rent. after a while i saw being in the family was better then the tenent. me and my mom are very close now and laugh about it now. i wish u all the luck and my codolences on your familys loss. she will lear being an adult is harder then they think in due time she will see.

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tatar
Jun. 2, 2008 at 9:42 AM Oh my...I am not sure how I could help you.. I only have a two year old....But I heard, intelligent smart teens are really very hard to control since they think they are very smart, they know everything...I do hope you'd find the right solution and be able to address her attitude problem...goodluck mama...

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dancer
Jun. 2, 2008 at 10:10 AM Wow!! All I know is that I have two sisters who r still that way and they r moms!!! Good Luck!!!

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