Online Parent Support Chat

12.2.10

Out-of-Control Daughter

My toughest parenting challenge is that my daughter (who is 16) is very disrespectful and I’m a widowed mother. My husband her, father died 6 years ago when she was 10. She was very close to him and she was disrespectful to me at times over the years before his death. However, all he had to do was talk with her and her behavior would change for quite a while. Her disrespect causes a great deal of problems in our home now. She becomes very angry when told no and has gone to the extreme of breaking things in our home with her anger.

The other problem I’m experiencing right now… is that after a confrontation last night, this morning when I told her that she was going to school, she showed me that she had cut herself on both of her wrists. These were not deep and required no medical attention. However, this is a new behavior as far as I’m aware and when asked she said it was the first time she’d done this. I’ve not had a problem with her lying to me yet. Initially, she almost seemed proud she done this. However, almost immediately the shame set in and she didn’t want anyone else to know. She has a friend who did this and she wasn’t very forgiving a couple of years ago when the friend behaved this way. Most of what I’ve read says that abuse (physical or emotional) is the biggest reason that a adolescent will do this. All day, (I’ve really been unable to concentrate here at my job) I’ve been trying to ascertain if I’m abusive. I know I’m not physically abusive, this is obvious. However, I struggle to figure out if how I talk to her when the reactions to her being told no are so explosive. I wonder after being pushed if what I’ve said or say is wrong or hurtful. It’s hard to be detached from your child speaking/cussing at you. The cussing is also new. Sometimes, I know I do well with it. Other times, not so good.

I’m guessing this is something that will teach me how to stop my part in these situations. It use to be said, “you allow them to push your buttons and give up your control”. So, from what I’ve read on your website and the videos that I watched, I think this might be able to help me with this disrespectful behavior, the cutting incident and maybe any and all other of that long list of behavior that I saw that might show up. One thing that comes up repeatedly after these incidents when I ask her why she did what she did, she answers either, “I was angry at you” or “I don’t know why I did it” or “I don’t know what I’m feeling”.

My Out-of-Control Daughter

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