Subject: Teen Daughter's attitude, moving.
Question: I have a 17 year old daughter and also a 12 year old son and a 4 year old. My 17 year old is a good kid-grades, has goals, doesn't get in trouble. The problem is she hates me.
She tells me she hates me, makes nasty comments to me all the time, right down to my cooking. I tried hard to make peace with her but
I just can't do it anymore. I am a single mother and have been most of her life. We pretty much ignore each other now-I just can't fight with her anymore. Actually, we are all walking on eggshells-she is also nasty to her brother all the time and sometimes her sister. I just want peace in my home and she is making it impossible.
I now have a chance (in about 6 months) to move out of state and make a better life for us-better town, schools without gangs, a real house. My son wants to go, but she is refusing. I can understand she is almost 18 and going to be a senior in August and don't want to leave her friends. I gave her the option of staying with her grandparents-she has not given me an answer on this and will not speak to me unless she wants something from me.
I feel she is being unreasonable-she didn't even want to move to another neighborhood because she wanted to live somewhere "better". Nothing I do is good enough for her-but I don't feel I should give in and stay.
Answer: Dear Anonymous:
First realize that anytime you move a teen who is in high school it is a big deal let alone one with which you are having relationship problems. You said she is doing well in school and doesn't give you problems outside of her lack of respect for her family so it doesn't sound like there are any other issues to discuss her but her behavior and yours.
Why on earth would you put up with this type of emotional abuse. Call it what it is first of all. It is emotionally abusive and the other children are being exposed and abuse as well.
Where did she learn this type of behavior? She needs to get a strong message that emotionally abusive behavior is not going to be tolerated under any circumstances and that she needs to change her style of communicating with you regardless of whether or not she loves your or even likes you. (Take those two off the table and she won't be able to hurt you by witholding love which is the cruelest form of emotional abuse).
You not only want to put a stop to this because of you and your other children but also because she is not going to do well in relationships with others as an adult if she doesn't see this behavior as a major NEGATIVE.
As for leaving her with her grandparents should this even be an option as badly as she is treating you. Do they need to be subjected to this type of behavior? She may not treat them as badly now however there is no guarantee she won't once she is living with them.
She needs to know if she takes reponsibility for her behavior and shows you she knows how to be respectful to her family you will see her as being capable of making her own decisions and being an adult.
However you are the one responsible for demanding respect. No one just gives us repect. The only one who makes the decision to become a doormat is you.
Please consider family conseling as I can sense you are giving up on her and that is the worst decision any parent can make.
In conclusion, there is nothing harder in life than you will ever do this being a single parenting mom. Give yourself lot of kudos and be KIND to yourself. Maybe she watches how you treat YOU.
M Kay Keller
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