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My 10 1/2 year old daughter suddenly doesn't like me at all. If i say it's black, she's says it's white, if i like it she doesn't, she looks at me like i am stupid, and often insults me and says things to hurt my feelings intentionally. I realize she is pre-pubesent and the changes are becoming noticable but this behavior is hurtful and disrespectful. Somethings gotta give. I want her to realize her words are hurtful and her "attitude" is not acceptable, without making her feel like she doesn't have the right to express herself and hate me even more.


Naomi Drew Replied: Your absolutely right to not accept behavior that's hurtful and disrespectful. Doing so wouldn't be good for your daughter either. Sit down with her at a neutral time and tell her how her words have made you feel. Let her know in a firm but loving way that this is not okay under any circumstances. See if anything's been bothering her, and let her know that her feelings are normal, but expressing them in a hurtful way isn't acceptable. Be sure to model respect in the way you talk to her, and in the way you and your partner talk to one another. Teach her how to start from "I", not "you" when she's upset. Example: "I think that's unfair," as opposed to, "You're so mean!" And be sure to do this yourself. Then make an agreement that cruel words will not be spoken in your house. It would be helpful to have every member of the family sign it. After that, if your daughter speaks to you in a disrespectful way, call her on it immediately. Example: "That was disrespectful. Speaking to me or anyone else in that way is unacceptable." Don't be afraid to give a consequence either. Kids need to know their limits.
Posted On 2007-11-07 20:43:25
Trish Booth, MA Replied: Respect begins at home, and therefore, disrespectful and hurtful behavior should not be tolerated. It can be helpful to call a family meeting about having respectful behavior be a household rule. At that meeting everyone gets a chance to name behaviors that they find hurtful or disrespectful. Using "I message" ("My feelings really get hurt when other family members insult me.") can minimize an escalating blame game. After there is a list of unwanted behaviors, the family creates rules about appropriate behavior. Everyone also needs to decide on the consequences for each behavior. These can include a loss of privileges, a time out, a fine, or anything else your family thinks is appropriate. Some behaviors may carry heavier consequences because they are worse than others. Parents can be cited for infractions as well as children. Then the rules and consequences are written out and posted, perhaps on the refrigerator or household message board, and the rules enforced. You can use this approach even if you and your daughter are the only members of your family. The first couple of weeks are likely to seem worse than now. However, after it is clear that disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated, it will decrease. In addition, children act out at home because of stresses elsewhere. Try gently and casually questioning your daughter to see if something has happened related to her friends or classmates. If you don't get any information that way, consider talking to her teacher to see is something has changed at school. Helping her deal with that problem may make things easier at home.
Posted On 2006-03-23 09:09:42
Pamela Waterman Replied: I sympathize, having three teenage girls! I do believe it's a stage; however, there are indeed limits. One line I learned and found helpful is "You have the right to your feelings, but you don not have the right to be rude in expressing them." Also, it really does help to pick a time (there must be one ;-) sometime!) when she is not in a really bad mood, to say that it hurts your feelings when she behaves like that. You can say that you'll always love her, but you don't *like* what she's doing. Second, I would think about (or ask her) if there is anything in particular going on at school that is overflowing to home. (My oldest daughter would say "everything is awful at school", then, if I said, "So, even your favorite English teacher is giving you trouble? " she would reply, "Well, actually English is okay, it's just..." Then she would tell me what was the real problem. I compared it to peeling back the layers of an onion, and it took patience. Third, you don't say if she has siblings - that can be the root cause if there's any jealousy or competition over something recent. Lastly, you certainly have the right to set consequences up front, possibly in writing, for this kind of outburst (withhold a privilege,etc.) If you need more ideas, write again; good luck.
Posted On 2006-03-20 22:41:47
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