Saturday, January 1, 2011

My 17 year old "moody" daughter

Questioner: Shelley

Subject: 17 year old 'moody' daughter

Question: My daughter is 'bitchy' all the time.. and i expected that hormones would play a large part in her development; however, even she claims, she just can't seem to help herself. Is this normal? She's a fabulous student, we have issues with curfew, boyfriend, etc. which I think are typical teenage angst. I don't tend to try and 'control' her; just remind her what I expect. But the moodiness is a concern for me and for her.

Answer: Dear Shelley:

You may not like my answer however my job is to be honest with you. Referring to your daughter as "bitchy" is really sexist and belittling.

Possibly some of her moodiness may have something to do with this behavior as well. Even more surprising is that she is a fabulous student. Issues with curfews and boyfriends with a 17 year old almost adult who does great in school just doesn't mix for me. If she is doing well with school and bucks the curfews what about this is out of the norm for a young woman her age?

Possibly your expectations need to be re-examined and this perspective needs to be re-examined before she turns 18 and can choose where she wants to spend her time and with whom.

My strongest suggestion is to start appreciating her. How great she is to be doing well in school and to tolerate complaints about her moodiness. Possibly her moodiness is her way of trying to deal with her need for independence and still abide by your rules. She is being pulled in two different directions right now as her developmental stage is to separate from her parents and become an independent adult as well as, practice socialization skills. This is difficult for any teenager. They often pick arenas to let us know they can handle life on their own terms, sounds like hers maybe her moods. Let her be less than perfect and work things out on her own a little more.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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