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Old 02-28-2008, 09:28 AM
b75
 
950 posts, read 3,122,151 times
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Yes glad to hear you are communicating. Given the extensive nature of the breakdown in communication and how depressed she sounded, do you think it might be a good idea for you to try and screen out/isolate a therapist you like for her to start talking to? It sounds like maybe that could be helpful - she is obviously going through some sort of internal turmoil.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Burlington County NJ
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mainstreet - I'm so happy for you. I'm so glad that you have begun to heal the relationship with your daughter. Obviously there are some things that will still be lingering, but this is the first step.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Life here is not an Apollo Mission. Everyone calm down.
1,065 posts, read 4,111,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regarese View Post
Great to hear. Just curious-did the discussion of her behavior toward you come up, or is that for a different time?
At this point, I'm going to wait and see if she brings it up. I doubt she will. She might be over taxed. She is not communicating with her job manager and they are just scheduling her without her input. For example she has to work on her birthday. She's not turning in her availability because she is not planning long enough in advance; she is definitely a day to day kid. She's not organizing her time well. She did get an A+ on her last algebra test, so the grades do have a chance, but we have a lot of planning to do, college visits, etc.

She said the doctor told her to stop eating junk, which I'm guessing its at school and too many Jack's pizzas at dads and I'm not going to take no for an answer when I hand her a One-A-Day vitamin.

We are definitely going to take it baby steps, starting with her management of time.

Her step-mother sent me an email today about telling our daughter that she must own up to her own emotions and understand them.

As far as a therapist, I don't think it's necessary; she and I have always been great communicating with each other, and her blow up two weeks ago was something even she was surprised by.

Thanks again for everyone's support.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Burlington County NJ
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Nobody knows her like you do - if you don't think counseling is the right way to go ...then don't do it. My parents tried to pull that crap with me when I was a teenager and I didn't need it. I just sat there and ended up more and more angry with them.

I would not let her get away with this "temper tantrum" though. She needs to know that this was unexcusable and will not be tolerated again. I'm sure you'll choose the best way to do that.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:36 AM
 
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I would not let her get away with this "temper tantrum" though. She needs to know that this was unexcusable and will not be tolerated again. I'm sure you'll choose the best way to do that.

I know Mainstreet is going to do what feels right to her, but I just wanted to say that I respectfully disagree with the idea that a temper tantrum is inexcusable. It's certainly neither desireable nor the best way to handle a situation, but anger is a very viable emotion and a 17-year-old should be free to express it. An angry outburst is the opposite of a joyful, exuberant dance around the room. There are more sedate ways to express both, but sometimes they bubble over the top.

It's one thing to say "your angry outburst hurt my feelings" and another to punish for the outburst. While everyone should aim for clear, calm communication I don't think that a temper tantrum, without more, should be punished.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:40 AM
b75
 
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Yes seriously as an adult don't we all go through phases where we are not in good moods/grouchy sometimes to the people we see the most? A teenager has way less control over their emotions - so to suggest they don't have the right to an angry outburst, when an adult who is much more in control of their emotions does, is just creating an antagonistic situation. People are allowed to have emotions.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b75 View Post
Yes seriously as an adult don't we all go through phases where we are not in good moods/grouchy sometimes to the people we see the most? A teenager has way less control over their emotions - so to suggest they don't have the right to an angry outburst, when an adult who is much more in control of their emotions does, is just creating an antagonistic situation. People are allowed to have emotions.
True, but they also have to be taught what is an appropriate display of those emotions as well. My husband is 33 and throws the occassional tantrums, usually while fixing something in the house or on the car , that would embarass the worst behaved 2 year old. LOL. After he is calm I'll ask, "Now how would your boss have acted if you just did that in the office?" When he says he'd probably be fired I ask then why is it ok to act like that at home? Punishment may not be appropriate, but a discussion of how to deal with anger when speaking with your mother is certainly warranted. Learning how to apologize when you cross a line is just as important as learning to express anger and something a 17 year old should learn how to do as she is going into adulthood.

But in any event-like Nic59 said Mainstreet-nobody knows your daughter like you do, and moms forgive and forget a lot of stuff that others don't. Be well!
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Life here is not an Apollo Mission. Everyone calm down.
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My daughter's stepmother and I talked on the phone for a couple hours tonight. We are, to my relief, exactly on the same page. She filled me in on my daughter's behavior at their house. There is definitely some jealousy issues going on between my daughter and her younger step-sister (she's 10). My daughter expresses that she is "seventeen" as if she wants to be treated like an adult, but contradicts that by acting like someone much younger than that; some really petty, childish things she is doing, with a lot of unnecessary drama.

She is all "me," to the point of even saying something very inappropriate in front of her friend who just lost her father.

We came up with a plan that we can utilize with her at both houses. We are all acting like we are afraid she is going to have another meltdown and letting her get away with saying some very hurtful things, so no more. No letting her start arguing, but rather a deeper form of communicating.

Example: She tries her darnest to distract her stepmother away from her own daughter with things that aren't valid. When her SM suggests that she bring her laundry to the laundry room while SM helps the 10 year old, my daughter says things like "why doesn't my sister have to bring her laundry in?" I suggested something that I've often done with good results...look her right in the eye and express that we are a family, and right now, I'm cooking dinner and helping your sister, who will be bringing her laundry in for cleaning after she is done with her homework. You can either do that now, or you can help your sister with her homework, but we, as a family, will no longer waste our time arguing about things that in the long run, help our family.

Her SM told me tonight that my daughter follows her around and concocts crisis or "needs" like a 4 year old. Doesn't give anyone a minutes peace. If her SM is helping her SS with something, she yells from another room "are you done yet?!!!! In a rude manner and then in the long run didn't have a thing she needed; she just makes waves. We both found this puzzling because we both remember being 17 and never coming out of our rooms for more than a meal. So there is definitely some sort of childish regression on my daughter's part.

My daughter gets lippy as if she is expecting everyone to get lippy right back; which has never been the case. Her SM and I both agree that our daughter sounds a lot like our wicked and my ex-MIL. (See relationships under classic in-law stories....)

Anyway, it was a great and very productive phone conversation between two tenured mothers, lol. We think we can nip this selfishness in the butt, or at least die trying, because if we don't, she's going to have a heck of a time in college.

We both agree too, that she has absolutely no foresight and lives entirely in the moment, that is how she is over scheduled at work, how we've missed one college visit so far (attached to a ski trip that we had to cancel because she was too scared to tell her manager she made a mistake in scheduling, so that is TWO trips in the last two months that she's missed out on), and how we are about to get behind in her college prep if we don't get her focused on her future (she is about to miss an opportunity to attend a young woman's conference this summer if she doesn't get the required recommendations in) and less about all the things that she perceives are wrong with her life (aka boys, prom, orchestra, her relationship with her mom.)

I'm very pleased.

I wrote up a contract for her about 6 years ago, after a rare temper tantrum and it worked for many years. It might be time for a new one. Has anyone ever used a contract with their kids?

Last edited by MainStreet; 02-28-2008 at 08:54 PM..
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:10 AM
 
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I just want to say that I think it is FANTASTIC the way you and her stepmother are communicating about this. Just wonderful. From the perspective of a kid with parents and step-parents who did the same-WAY TO GO MOM!!
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Old 02-29-2008, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Burlington County NJ
1,969 posts, read 5,290,122 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regarese View Post
True, but they also have to be taught what is an appropriate display of those emotions as well. My husband is 33 and throws the occassional tantrums, usually while fixing something in the house or on the car , that would embarass the worst behaved 2 year old. LOL. After he is calm I'll ask, "Now how would your boss have acted if you just did that in the office?" When he says he'd probably be fired I ask then why is it ok to act like that at home? Punishment may not be appropriate, but a discussion of how to deal with anger when speaking with your mother is certainly warranted. Learning how to apologize when you cross a line is just as important as learning to express anger and something a 17 year old should learn how to do as she is going into adulthood.

But in any event-like Nic59 said Mainstreet-nobody knows your daughter like you do, and moms forgive and forget a lot of stuff that others don't. Be well!
I wasn't saying to ground her or something. I was saying exactly what regarese has said. She needs to know that what she did was not the right way to handle this situation - and she needs to apologize to her mother. She is 17 years old.......not too far from going off to college - she can't act like that there when she doesn't get what she wants. And one day when she's raising her own kids - how would she teach them to react to things?
Sometimes life sucks - and we need to learn how to push though it. Period. And its our jobs as parents to teach our children how to do that.

Good for you Mainstreet. I also agree that its a wonderful thing you have being able to talk to her step -mother. Its obvious how much you love, care, and want the best for your daughter. Your a really good mom.
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