Sunday, August 8, 2010

My 13 year old!

Questioner: Missy Subject: Better Communication with my 13 year old daughter

Question: Not sure where to start. My 13 year old daughter struggles with talking to much in school, is constantly texting or on computer, she continues to ask me to do activities even when I have said NO many times, she will not stick to her chore list, believes I treat her older brother better than I treat her, has an attitude most times we communicate, and always has to have the last word.

I am overwhelmed as to how to effectively parent and better communicate with her. Currently I find myself trying to be calm and explain why I ask certain things of her, but it escalates to yelling when she does not do what I ask. Unfortunately their father who is not in the home prefers to send money than help me raise them.

Any advise would be very helpful. I feel like I would rather not talk to my daughter because most conversations are upsetting. I realize that this is not healthy and wish to come up with better alternatives. I love her deeply and it hurts to have such poor communication. I also hope that improving communication will open her eyes as to why I have rules for her to follow.

Answer: Dear Missy, First take that texting device away until your 13 year old daughter figures out you are the parent and hence the one making the rules. Make it clear you are the mom and not there to win a popularity contest. No yelling your the mom. Be clear and consistent. Make her earn her device back. Same with the computer except for homework and put a time limit on it.

Actually if she can't stick to it she can write out her homework. Lastly until she communicates respectfully you do not have to justify, argue, defend or explain why you ask her to do something. Do however be reasonable to a 13 year olds developmental tasks. Ask only what a 13 year old is capable of and when she yells walk away. Tell her without any eye contact that you will listen when she uses an adult voice.

Don't let that guilt trip she is putting you on about her brother being your favorite get her what she wants. That's the oldest trick in the book and you are being played. Out play her, ignore those comments. IGNORE guilt comments.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller