OT - Getting Tough with a Teenager Updated 6/18

I was a difficult teenager, I was about 15- 16, and I needed someone to take control. I picked my boyfriend over my mom, I was disrespectful, rude, quite frankly (so not all of you think these patterns still exist) mean!

I say you are doing the right thing!!!

I tell my husband constantly how my kids will not have their own car- the’ll share one, there won’t be a TV in their rooms, I think there is needs to be a stopping point with kids anymore. Most are out of control. I have never seen so many kids wearing the ads of Juicy, Abercrombie, Coach, etc.- I am not saying this is bad, but we are creating a generation of immediate gratification.

I was once a teenager and I have to say- I think you are doing the right thing.

I think kids have way too much anymore and they lack respect. I am constantly aware of how much these kids have and how they take it for granted. All they do is want, want, want. I heard from a mother recently of their young daughter already placing a claim on the things she would want when something happens to her mom. Ouch!!!

I say take away the material things- she doesn’t need them. Don’t take away the bed, but I fully agree of removing the door. The soccer tournament- she is part of a team, and I would say she needs to be there. Plus- that is something she does well and succeeds at- I would let her go, but I would drive her and take her home- or I would allow her to go to the game but not to any of the events after.

When I used to get in trouble, one thing my mom would do to let me have some of my freedoms back was right 5,000 times what I did wrong and that I wouldn’t do it again. At, the time, everything was taken away for 9 weeks and I wanted to go to a party and the seonc time, wanted to spend the night- in order to earn that privelege back- that is what I did.

I tell my husband constantly that our children will not have individual cars- they will have to learn to share, and be respectful of one another’s time. I constantly had my car and I did whatever I wanted. My husband on the other hand was a very respectful son, so he sees my point and will back me- but he said it also depends on the kids.

I say you need to be consistent and follow through. I would sit her down and tell her exactly what is wrong again, and if she doesn’t listen, down with the ax. Tell her, you don’t like me now, there will be no difference when I take away your things then. Let her earn them back.

Most of all- Good Luck! I can’t tell you how I apologize to my mom over and over again for how misbehaved I was when I was 15 and 16.

I have to disagree with this. NOT treating bad kids like bad kid makes them bad adults, many of who I work with. Manners and behavior are really what will get you through the adult world. Some of you are young and don’t have children, or haven’t been out in the adult world a lot, and that is fine. The reality is that the adult child relationship is the preparation that everyone gets for being an adult. The one thing that most kids are not learning today is that sometimes you are not in charge. Sometimes your parents are in charge, or your boss is in charge or whatever. Children today think they are always equal to everyone, they have no sense of hierarchy, either in the home or in the world. If a child wants to be respected, they have to earn it. Parents get to have it automatically. That might seem harsh, but life is tough.

Whether or not you are doing the right thing is so entirely dependent on your child. I happen to know that my son will break and give in. So I know I can push him pretty hard, and eventually get the result I want. But every child is different. There are some kids that will never give in, no matter what. Only you know which kind of child you have.

Hey, just my two cents. Again with the bed, ya gotta leave that in the room. The door can come off, electronics out of the room, etc. I laying down the law is necessary. If you have examined your motives and it’s not a you hurt me so I’ll get you thing (which it doesn’t sound like at all, it sounds like a parenting decision) then you are good.

Definately talk to her and let her know the family has reached its limit, and things have to change. Go as a united front with your dh, talk don’t yell, but stick to it once you’ve committed. Set up a contract, that you, your dh, and she agree on. Ex:

When i am able to go one week without disrespecting anyone in the family I will get my radio back.

When I am able to go two weeks without yelling I will get…back.

You said she’s basically a good kid but disrespectful to you, dh, and a little bit to grandparents, that needs to be stopped! If it was normal teenaged mom and daughter don’t get along, that’s one thing, but berating in public, berating at all is not cool.

One thing mentioned that I disagree with, however, is a parent should not be a friend to their child/children. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more. I feel parents should be their child/children’s BEST friend and always make sure they let their children know they can come to mom and/or dad with anything. The last thing any parent wants or should do is to build barriers between them and their kids. It’s not good for the kids and definitely not good for the parents. Not only should a parent make their child feel secure in coming to them with anything,

Not to disagree but I don’t think this is a description of a parent being a friend. :teehee: I know when I say don’t be your kid’s friend be their parent this isn’t what I’m talking about. At least when I say this I am talking about not holding your child accountable for their actions because you don’t want them to be “mad” at you.

Keeping open the lines of communiction, talking to your children and listening to them is not being their “friend” IMHO it is being a parent. Discipline is an extreamly important part of being a parent but by no means is it the only part. My parents were very open with me, and we talked all the time. By no means did I tell them everything, and the older I got, the more I kept my own counsel on certian thing. But that is a part of growing up and becoming independant.

There are more and more people out in the world today who don’t want their kids mad at them, they don’t want to struggle to raise their kids. (Demonica I’m definately NOT talking about you :teehee: , just trying to explain the “not being your kids friend thing”) They want to chit chat with them, gossip, and have their kids grow up magically well adjusted by giving them no consequences, and by helping them out of any difficult situations. I see this all the time. “I know my kid took a knife to school, but he shouldn’t have been cited”, “I know my kid has to be on house arrest, but he’s not a bad kid”, “I know my kid is 30 years old, and didn’t show up for Court, but you don’t have to arrest him”. A major part of growing up is learining that behavior has consequences negative or positive but consequences none the less. When kids aren’t allowed to see what those consequences are, they are so much less able to deal with the real world when they are out on their own.

I know I veared off topic sorry. In my view a parents job is to do what they can to raise a child who is good, healthy, emotionally strong/resielient and able to take on life. Sometimes parents look back and say, “Oh, I wish i hadn’t done that”, but if you are working in the best intrest of your child, don’t regret, don’t second guess yourself. You do the best you can with what you know. You know your child better than anyone. What works for one kid/person wont necessarly work for the next. If she loves soccer and cell phones, then take it. If she loves t.v. and computer then take it. Let her live with the consequences, but let her understand them, and help her to realize that when she corrects her behavior then things get better.

Sorry for the rant, hope it all makes sense.


Wow! Y’all posted quite a bit between when I got off of work and finally got home after errands!

Thanks for all of the interesting ideas and insights.

DH and I haven’t sat her down yet but we’re going to in the next couple of hours.

I have to tell you that I have always had a very open relationship with my children. I have always tried to make them feel like they could come to me and talk to me about anything. I have always been supportive. I have made career choices to best suit their needs – to ensure I am here with them when they aren’t at school. But, I don’t feel like we’re necessarily supposed to be our children’s friends. We are the authority figures in our children’s lives. You can be that and have a loving, friendly relationship with them. I think that when you try too hard to be your child’s friend, they get confused about where the line exists between parent and “friend.”

The soccer thing is probably something y’all may not understand. She has played travel soccer since she was seven years old. We have paid thousands and thousands of dollars for training, travel, and equipment. We even moved to another city based on the record of the travel team in the city. She has gotten so good that she made the state Olympic Development team and only missed, by a hair, making the U.S. regional team.

She has taken for granted that she can act however she wants toward us, and she has done this in front of other people too. That is why taking away two trips (if the team makes it that far) to south FL (very, very costly), as well as the training camp, will make her realize, hopefully, just what this is costing everyone. And if she is supposed to be a “leader,” then what kind of example is she setting if she’s putting me down or yelling at me (or outright disobeying me) in front of her teammates?? I think it would send more of a message if they know she can’t go because of her attitude problems.

I have to say that I agree with your suggestions about incentives…giving back certain privileges with the possibility of losing them again if the behavior turns bad again. That builds trust.

Oh, and one comment about the bed…I know that sounds pretty radical, but honestly I don’t believe it’s a “right.” Housing is a right, food and water is a right, but a bed is a comfort. And she does love her bed. While I don’t think I’m going to take it away, I am going to keep it in the back of my mind.

Anyhow, y’all are TREMENDOUS!!! What a wonderful, encouraging group of people you are!!!


Now, wish me luck as I go into the other room…

I can openly admit now that as a teenager I was pretty terrible to my mom. We are sooo much alike, which is why we didn’t get along well until I was about 18 or 19(I’m 24 now). I think most of what you are doing is right and is pretty close to what my mom did to me. One option instead of taking her bed out of her room is to take the door off her room. My mom did this to me several times! You really can’t let your child walk all over you, or they will never respect you. My mom did the best she could with me, and we get along amazingly now. I was just a very moody, depressed pre-teen/teenager. She never cut me any slack and I give her credit for that. I do think they you should try and sit down and have a serious discussion over your relationship and her behaviors. Don’t make her feel like you are just picking on her, make it into an open conversation. Good luck!! :hug:

Well don’t let her being a good student and a good person to others be an excuse for her to not be a good respectful daughter to you and your DH. Whatever you decided to do be sure to stick with it and be ready for lots more disrespect incase she rebels. I was a total pain in the a$$ to my mom when she tried to punish me. Oh ya, don’t forget to cover you’re loop holes too. There’s always a way to get around some punishments so beware. Loop holes like…you drop her off somewere only to find out she goes somewhere else with friends after you leave, or she’s grounded off the phone/cell but when you leave her alone she sneaks her calls. Sorry to say but if the soccer thing is REALLLLY important to her then thats definatly the button to push. If it ruins her chances for someting better in life then its her own fault. Another thing is you NEED to make sure that when she is acting in a manner you like/ appreciate you need to let her know that so that she know you know she’s making the positive changes you and DH want and reward her for that asap.

WOW! That’s tough!!! :hug:

You know I was a difficult teenager but my parents always offered carrots along with the sticks. If you take everything away from her then she’s got nothing to lose. Trust me you do not want a teenager who thinks she’s got nothing to lose. Let her stay in her room, take the other stuff she doesn’t need it anyway, but let her keep her room, with the door on, we all need someplace we can go and hide from the world sometimes. Sit her down and let her know that you love her and also let her know how much it hurts you when she treats you so badly and tell her that you don’t want to take her privileges away from her and that she can get them back. There must be a reason why she’s being so difficult. I don’t know how to get to the root, maybe a neutral third party can be of help.

Good Luck my friend, she’s 15, when she’s 40 and complaining about her kids you can thank God for grandchildren and chuckle. I know I do and so did my mom.

    :muah:  :hug: 

Nadja xxx

I support you. You sound like you know what she needs and like the other parent said- you need to draw the line. And that is making her aware you are in charge and should be- she is underage, and is stillunder your guidance.

I have to agree with Carmen- this is preparing kids for the real world, and we need great adults- this world, definitely needs more great people with respect and sincerity, loyalty, and hardworkers. I am typing this of course, at work… maybe I should go!!! LOL!!! :teehee:

Again, GOOD LUCK to you. Some of my favorite mentors were those that where hard on me.

Oh, and one comment about the bed…I know that sounds pretty radical, but honestly I don’t believe it’s a “right.” Housing is a right, food and water is a right, but a bed is a comfort. And she does love her bed. While I don’t think I’m going to take it away, I am going to keep it in the back of my mind.

I suggest prior to taking her bed (if you do) you contact your local CPS. I know where I am you are only required to provide your kids with 3 sets of cloting, something to sleep on (bed, sofa, etc) and food/drink. Different requirements for different states.

You don’t want to get yourself in trouble.

Ok…just did the nasty. Boy was she shocked. She’s crying in her room (on her bed) right now. :verysad:

We sat her down and explained how she had made us feel, and how this did not come out of the blue but had been building over the last several years. We added that we have frequently warned her that it could come down to serious repercussions, but that she never believed us.

I also held out the carrot of incentive. She’s pretty devastated though.

Tough love…next few weeks are going to be really hard…

You did the right thing. I am glad to hear you guys approached this together and maybe she will realize how much she has hurt you both. There needs to be that realization. :hug: :hug: :hug:

auburnchick :hug: :heart: :hug: :heart: :hug: :heart: :hug: when you need to vent you know where to go. I believe you are doing the right thing, and I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible.

I have to say, it is nice to see a parent so concerned with every aspect of their child’s behavior. If your daughter doesn’t “appriciate” your actions there are plenty of us who do. Stay strong…what did that old commercial say? “Never let 'em see you sweat?” :teehee:

Oh boy. Been there done that. I’m not sure that taking everything away at once is the right thing though. If nothing changes you have nothing left to work with. I see you’ve already talked to her though. I hope it works for you and she learns that she can’t treat people poorly and get what she wants.

I just wanted to wish you luck. My brother lived with me from the ages of 14-19. There were definitely times it was REALLY rough. We also used the loss of certain things (cell phone, computer, friends, school trips, etc…) as punishment. Around age 17 he started acting like a normal human being again. Now he’s finally getting his stuff together and I really like the person he’s become.

And my daughter just turned 13, so it’s starting all over again for me.

I fully support your actions. In our house (we have 2 teenage boys 15 & 16) we practice an Amish restriction. That means nothing electronic. This includes electric (of course no candles allowed) so it usually results in an early bedtime. A frequent problem with teens is isolation from the family. They stay in their rooms and seldom interact with their parents. When we put them on an Amish restriction we do allow them to spend time in the living room if we are also in there. After a day or two of going to bed with the sun they start coming into the living room. This has led to some real good family discussions and activities.

You know, Jan, we have tried pulling things away before. But the thing about grounding and/or item removal (cell phone, computer, etc.) is that eventually, they get the item back. They know they are going to get it back in a week or whatever the term is. I’ve made this open-ended…meaning that she could get it back (perhaps sooner if genuine change is observed) or she might not. I think this will have more of an impact than just “waiting out” the prison term…so to speak.

Thanks again for all of the love! Y’all are the BEST!!! :muah: :muah: :hug: :hug:

Stand fast… ifyou need a shoulder we’re here. If you need to talk anytime pm me… I’ve been at the end of no respect. I gave in when I thought my duaghter had changed, when in fact she only changed to get what she wanted then changed back.

Bear hugs your way… you need them… I wish I had the guts to do what you did.

Bear hugs,


GOOD FOR YOU :happydance:

You did the right thing :hug: . It’ll be one of those things she will appreciate when she has kids. My mom always said to me you’ll understand when you’re older/when you have kids and i totally do understand now because i am older and i do have kids and if my kids ever try the stuff i did as a teen they’re going to have it in for sure…i learn form one of the best :teehee: . Well if you don’t take away the bed you could always take away the door to her room… if she needs privacy she can use the bathroom…living the way shes living and having the things she has is a privilage<–sp? not a right. I hate to say it but really it’s your house and your rules.

Oh wow. I am reading this thread and taking notes. I have two boys and they’re both strong-willed but in different ways. They say that the behaviors they have as a toddler can come back when they’re teenagers…so I’m scared of those years.

But how do they say it, what goes around comes around? Yeah…I wasn’t a good teenager. To be honest, my mom and dad had weaknesses and I exploited them. I was horribly disrespectful and she didn’t ever deal with it correctly. There were times when lines were drawn and kept. I yelled and ranted and raved but deep down inside, I was relieved when that happened. I never verbalized it, but I really wanted those parental boundaries.

I think you’re doing right by sticking to it. Hopefully, in 10 years you’ll all talk about this at a get-together and be able to chuckle over it.