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Old 07-21-2014, 04:58 PM
 
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I don't know how to describe my 14-year-old daughter's mood other than "sour." When she's with her friends or their families, she's bubbly and sweet, but when she's home with just her family, she locks herself in her bedroom. When she does come out to speak, she's negative and combative and rarely makes eye contact. I should stress that she's a good student, isn't into drinking or drugs, and hangs around a nice set of friends. I realize that this is a problem she will likely outgrow in time. My question has more to do with how to keep her negativity from dragging me down. I am naturally a positive person but by the end of the day, she leaves me feeling drained of energy, angry, or just so, so sad that I feel like bawling. Any tips or insights from those who have been in the trenches?
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,152 posts, read 37,766,222 times
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Lean on your husband. Joke about it together, not in her presence, of course.

Do things that make you happy, and keep reminding yourself that she needs you and does love you even if she doesn't show it.

Above all, try very hard NOT to get emotional if you do have conflict with her. When she's rude, correct her calmly, then move on.

It's so hard, but it does pass.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:06 AM
 
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Prayer.
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:00 PM
 
5,413 posts, read 4,824,249 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leenie17 View Post
I don't know how to describe my 14-year-old daughter's mood other than "sour." When she's with her friends or their families, she's bubbly and sweet, but when she's home with just her family, she locks herself in her bedroom. When she does come out to speak, she's negative and combative and rarely makes eye contact. I should stress that she's a good student, isn't into drinking or drugs, and hangs around a nice set of friends. I realize that this is a problem she will likely outgrow in time. My question has more to do with how to keep her negativity from dragging me down. I am naturally a positive person but by the end of the day, she leaves me feeling drained of energy, angry, or just so, so sad that I feel like bawling. Any tips or insights from those who have been in the trenches?
Honestly? You need to get a grip on your own emotions first and not take this personally. You're the adult.....buck up and deal.

You should be happy that she's comfortable enough to let her guard down in the house while still being pleasant to the outside world. This age is stressful for teens, hormones, changes in friendships, getting older but still not old enough to make most of their own choices....it's not always easy for them.

She's not acting this way to personally attack you....she's trying to find her own place, and honestly, that place can't also be that she's responsible for your emotions as well as her own.

Let anything non-life threatening, immoral or a direct show of disrespect slide. It really isn't worth getting upset if she, for examples, rolls her eyes when taking out the garbage or if she doesn't like the joke you just told. Make sure your expectations of household chores and school work are clear and appropriate for her age and maturity. Compliment her for things that she does that you like. (Yes, she's probably going to scowl on the surface....ignore that.)

If you are the positive person you say you are, than just go on being that way...set the example.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:12 PM
 
11,615 posts, read 19,731,699 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leenie17 View Post
I don't know how to describe my 14-year-old daughter's mood other than "sour." When she's with her friends or their families, she's bubbly and sweet, but when she's home with just her family, she locks herself in her bedroom. When she does come out to speak, she's negative and combative and rarely makes eye contact. I should stress that she's a good student, isn't into drinking or drugs, and hangs around a nice set of friends. I realize that this is a problem she will likely outgrow in time. My question has more to do with how to keep her negativity from dragging me down. I am naturally a positive person but by the end of the day, she leaves me feeling drained of energy, angry, or just so, so sad that I feel like bawling. Any tips or insights from those who have been in the trenches?
Count your blessings.

I have no real tips other than to focus on the positives and be relentlessly positive no matter her mood.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
5,284 posts, read 4,573,501 times
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No, no, no, that's MY 14 year old daughter you're talking about!

My mom avoided my junior high years completely by having a nervous breakdown and spending 3 years lying on the couch.

My baby has been a moody mess her whole life, so I've gotten used to not taking it personally. This summer I've let her slide on joining us for dinner if she is in a snit. No need to ruin the meal for the rest of us. I've also tried to connect with her by doing things she is not so moody about. For some reason, she enjoys going grocery shopping. She helps me pick stuff out, and I allow her to buy $10 of junk food or things I would not ordinarily buy. If all goes well, she'll talk to me on the way home. I also take her shopping elsewhere....sometimes we just go hang out at the Goodwill and spend $10. (she's a fashionista and I have taught her to repurpose/remake clothes)

She also enjoys photography, so sometimes I'll ask if she has pictures to upload to Sam's Club for printing. That calms her for a while.

I wish all my methods didn't cost money, but I guess we'll get there somehow.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:42 PM
 
19,237 posts, read 11,156,405 times
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if you are not welcoming as a parent, and seems like you just thinking bout self ---the kids KNOWS it. time to look in the mirror instead of the child. Maybe you make her depressed> ? I know someone who is all about HER even with the kids,,, sad
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:18 PM
 
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I was a kid with good friends, top of my class and never experimented once with drugs or alcohol during my entire high school career. There were two things going on that really messed me up though. 1) I had an undiagnosed learning disability (severe ADD - didn't get a real diagnosis until almost 30) that made every social interaction I engaged in a minefield I had no idea how to navigate. 2) My parents and I had entirely different values, and I had no respect for them on a moral level, which is actually kind of devastating.

So these are my thoughts about possible courses of action for you.

1) Get your daughter psych screened for, well, everything - but depression, in particular. The teen years are TERRIBLE, but there is a chance there could be something more going on that is dragging her down. I am not someone who thinks one should be on meds at the first sign of an issue, but at the very least some talk therapy could provide her with a sounding board and some possible coping strategies. If there is a depression diagnosis though, dig a little deeper - my teenage-years depression was a direct result of my ADD.

2) Take a good long look at yourself and your husband. I AM NOT suggesting for a moment that you are anything like my parents - I really don't know anything about you. My father is a narcissist/borderline sociopath and my mother has very strong narcissistic tendencies and tended to take her frustrations out on her only child (that would be me). Are you guys modeling the behavior and morals you expect from her? Are you creating an comfortable environment for her to express her opinions (political, religious, global, environmental, whatever) in? Do you have a lot of ranting, insults, scorn, whatever being expressed in your household? How do you and your husband get along? Does your daughter have reason to feel like she cannot be herself in your presence, and do you treat her with respect or dismiss her thoughts due to her age? Does she feel insecure about her future?

Look, this is probably all just normal teenage stuff, and I realize you were asking for coping advice to deal with your daughter not ways to fix her funk. But it could be something more, or it could be an easy fix. Be proactive rather than reactive. As for dealing with her moodiness in general, I have always found it best to nice people to death when they are being surly. I'm not saying you let her get away with rudeness, but you don't take it personally unless it really is about something you're doing wrong.

12-15 was probably one of the worst stretches of my life - topping that period for unhappiness took the deaths of my best friend and her mother and my parents' messy divorce in a 2-year time span. So yes, adolescence was pretty ugly for me. Approach her with consistency, kindness and compassion - but also make sure you have your rules, boundaries and expectations (in terms of behavior, academics, chores, etc.) clearly defined and enforced.

You may also want to consider what I call "Human Clicker Training" - a dog trainer I know gave me a methodology for dealing with negative people based on her experiences training dogs and studying psychology. When the subject is even a little bit positive and upbeat (or even neutral), you respond with engagement, questions, eye contact, smiles, etc. When the subject is being excessively negative (not when they have a legitimate grievance or sadness), you respond with neutral comments ("I'm sorry to hear that." "Wow." "That must be very difficult for you.") and avoid engaging in a meaningful way. I've had this work with people - I kind of treat it like a game, and yes, it becomes kind of fun
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:42 PM
 
6,461 posts, read 6,106,582 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytrump View Post
if you are not welcoming as a parent, and seems like you just thinking bout self ---the kids KNOWS it. time to look in the mirror instead of the child. Maybe you make her depressed> ? I know someone who is all about HER even with the kids,,, sad
Teenagers are moody and it's not their parent's faults.

I had truly wonderful parents, and I was still moody. It's a way to separate from the family unit and create your own identity.

There is an increase in the hormone THP that causes anxiety in teens.

Also, their brains are rapidly developing and changing and there are increases in the connectivity of brain cells and also brain "pruning". The pruning is getting rid of unused neural connections and teens can lose .5-1% of their grey matter per year. This coincides with the increase in white matter. ( adults have much more white matter than teens)

This all combines in a perfect storm of moodiness. Add in puberty and social issues and you see it's inevitable.

Last edited by Meyerland; 07-22-2014 at 06:55 PM..
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:55 PM
 
19,237 posts, read 11,156,405 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meyerland View Post
Teenagers are moody and it's not their parent's faults.

I had truly wonderful parents, and I was still moody. It's a way to separate from the family unit and create your own identity.

There is an increase in the hormone THP that causes anxiety in teens.

Also, their brains are rapidly developing and changing and there are increases in the connectivity of brain cells and also brain "pruning". The pruning is getting rid of unused neural connections and teens can lose .5-1% of their grey matter per year. This coincides with the increase in white matter. ( adults have much more white matter than teens)

This all combines in a perfect storm of moodiness. Add in puberty and social issues and you see it's inevitable.

nothing new here--- BUT who is having the "problem" with all this natural teen crappy years?
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