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How do you disclipine your 13 y/o DD for bad behaviour?


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#1 Oilucy

Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:58 AM

My DD is generally a sweet girl but from time to time she goes off the rails. She doesnt have her periods but I sometimes wonder whether her addtitude reflects a mimicking of monthly cycles.
She treats everyone in the house badly at this times, is rude and obnoxious and thinks she is the queen.
Over the last 3-4 weeks she has been a gem.
She came back from her fathers house yesterday and its been awful ever since. I often find that when she comes home from his place it takes a few days for her moods to go back to normal - thinking lack of sleep and generally having no boundaries / bedtimes out there. The past few weeks she was living with us as there were issues at her fathers and I suspect thats why her behaviour was so good - because she was here.
This morning she was really rude to myself and her younger brother. She was telling me a story and I was listening but she started yelling at me saying I wasnt listening to her. SHe then said she was hungry so I suggested she eat breakfast to which she refused but said she would eat something but not breakfast. I told her she wasnt allowed to eat anything from the cupboard/fridge until after she had eaten a proper breakfast and it skyrocketed from there.
I had promised to take her to Sydney shopping this coming Wednesday and today I told her that unless her behaviour improved I would not be taking her.
She went off at me yelling and saying really awful things including that she'd rather her step mother was her real mother because I'm so awful and mean and treat her like a baby. She expects to be treated like a 16 year old whereas we treat her like the 13 year old she is, including bedtimes. She says all her friends can stay up late etc but when I chat to their parents, they in fact dont, though most of them sneak phones etc into their rooms and text at night which their parents get cross over.
Anyway, the reason for my post is, how do you discipline someone of this age?
I have taken both her mobile phone and laptop away from her so she has no electronic devices in her room to play with or contact others.
I told her to stay in her room all day but she has just come out to play with her baby sister.
I know I should tell her to go back in but know it will also cause yet another fight.
Every time she walks past me or I ask her something she makes this huffing noise at me.
I'd really love to just send her back to her fathers today but I'm not going to. She can stay here and learn the right way to behave.
I know she will calm down after a few hours and apologise but the way she carries on and treats everyone shouldnt happen in the first place.
And I also dont want to take her shopping as I know she'll be really nice to me and want me to buy her lots of things and why should I after the way she treated me today?



#2 JustBeige

Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

DD (same age) would definitely not be going into town.  She would be sent back to her room each time she comes out and reminded that until she can be civil and polite like the rest of the family then she can stay there.   She would definitely loose the electronic equipment and she would need to 'earn it back'.

We have many many conversations about her attitude and why she thinks its OK to treat me/everyone the same way.

You are most definitely right in the fact that leading up to getting her period the first time they are hideous with their mood swings.

We found that sometimes we need to yell to be heard and to stop the arguing back.  Then when they have had 1hr in their rooms we go in and talk to them about their behaviour and why they are behaving this way and try and get them to reason it through.

I find this age, that they need as many boundaries as a 3yr old.  The only difference is that we encourage them to be mature and negotiate different things with us.

#3 gina70

Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:17 AM

I can totally relate to your pain!  I could have written this word for word for my dd1 who is 15 now.  We have regular blow ups.  And I got told she would rather live with her friend's mum as she is a much better mum than me.  Okay a few things I am learning.  Don't take it personally, it is the hormones talking and she loves you.

In regards to discipline and I am by no means an expert, but I am trying to learn to preempt.  So I think about what I agree to/ fits into my life.  For example how often she can sleep at friends or go to the movies, dances etc. before she asks.  As dd is getting older I am involving her more in the process.

Let the little things go, I no it is easier said then done.  Breakfast (especially while on holidays) is not worth getting into an argument about.  For dd wearing mascara to school, again, I ignore as it is just not worth all the arguments.

I keep an open line of communication and I take her out regularly on her own for milkshakes etc.  Give her attention, tell her I love her company.

I give her privacy (knock on her door to enter etc) and respect.  She is not allowed to yell at me or her sister, if that happens I would tell her to go to her room and cool down, when she had calmed down she can come out.  

I think threatening to not take her shopping is probably not the right way to go about it, only because she could be really needing your one on one attention (unless of course you already do this regularly)   Set a budget, for example, she has $50 to spend, when this runs out she doesn't get anymore.

I say sorry to my daughter after a row, although sometimes she beats me to it.

My other dd who is 13 (so far) has not been any trouble, although she has always been an easier child.

Good luck and remember you will get through this!

#4 AntiBourgeoisie

Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:38 AM

I don't have a 13 year old daughter, but I have a lot of sympathy for my mother who had the job of raising several of them.

It's been a while since I was 13, but I do remember it (as I'm sure you do), but as I was a particularly spectacular troll, maybe I can tell you what was going on in my head.

I was profoundly affected by my hormones/periods. Watch out world for those 3 days before.
I often didn't mean to be nasty - just my tongue seemed to run away ahead of me before my brain caught up and said 'hey, don't be mean to your family'
I really really really really really thought I was grown up and it wasn't until I was actually grown up that I realised I wasn't
And (I suspect) just as toddlers go through developmental 'spurts', I think teenagers do too.... I remember sulking and being in a foul mood for a week, and then being surprised that suddenly (for example) I understood the maths problems I had struggled with a week earlier.

My mother really never punished us. And in retrospect, I think she was right. Guilt and being reasonable was a far greater motivator than punishment. Being a troll to your mother over a petty issue like breakfast and then getting sat down to a nice cup of tea where my mother told me she was just by the comments I'd made and she hoped I wouldn't say them again, but that she still loved me  and would still do x with me that day because she loved me really cuts deep, and leaves an impact.

I think if you just ignored it and took her out shopping, that would send the wrong message. But at 13, she's old enough to understand "that was really quite unacceptable behaviour, i was really upset, but as you're important to me and I'll always love you I'll do this nice thing for you - and next time if you don't want a healthy breakfast and want junk food instead, please lets not fight about it (but you still don't get to eat junk food as the first food of the day)" - that way you're reinforcing the message about what she was upset at, reinforcing the notion that her behaviour was unacceptable, and also showing her that her families love transcends that.

Of course this approach won't work with everyone - but if she's come out of her room to play with her sister, despite the huffing and puffing, I suspect she's a good egg on the inside.

#5 mitty82

Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:17 PM

First thought is to chart the behaviour on a calendar to see if it is hormone related. My daughters behaviour is worse when she is tired.

#6 mitty82

Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:22 PM

no shopping for sure.

Send them to their room with no fun tech equipment and cant come out until they have calmed down and can speak nicely. I get the i hate this i hate that, i dont want to live here and never did. That last bit did it for my husband and he told her then leave. He went and got the suitcase and told her that if she doesnt want to then to go. This was at about ten pm at night, she stomped off muttering not now it is too dark. lol well she didnt. It was more of a 5 yr old saying im packing my bag and leaving.
My daughter is 12. I would say it might be lack of boundaries from the dad, tiredness and the difference in homes and rules. etc.

#7 galba

Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:52 PM


Not a DD but my DS who has been the model child until he hit 11 is now 13.  The moods have hit and he can be sullen one minute and laughing the next.

What do I do - remain calm at all times and keep talking to him.  He doesn't get sent to his room in fact he has to stay and socialise with all of us regardless.  I find that this way the mood doesn't fester and build and build as it would if he was stuck in his room with nothing to do.





#8 HarperLeeAndMe

Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:20 AM

My DS is really challenging the first day or so he is back from his dads.  I think it is such a big adjustment for them to constantly have to make.  I try to have lots of conversation about this and let him know I understand.

I am not sure sending children to their rooms is the best idea.  It is sending the message "you have done something wrong and we are going to isolate you for it and keep you away from us", I think a better approach is " you have done something wrong and we still love you and are keeping you close".

I changed our wifi password so DS couldn't access it for a while.

#9 bees-knees

Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:33 AM

My almost-13-yo wrote some nasty messages to a friend on Facebook. Fortunately, the friend's Mum called me to let me know.
She was grounded for a month. This means:
No going to friends houses
No having friends over
No using computer/iPod/phone (she had an iPod at the time - got a phone for Christmas)

This all happened about a week before Christmas which meant that she got this mobile phone (her first one) as a present, got to play with it for half an hour or so, them handed it back.
It was also pretty bad timing for her in that it covers most of the school holidays, and when her grounding finished, she'll be away with her dad & step mum until a day or so before school goes back.

So pretty rough holidays for her, but she is ok, not sulky about it or anything, and finding other things to amuse herself.

So I guess the short answer to that question could have been "we take away her technology"!

#10 Raticataticus

Posted 08 June 2013 - 04:22 PM

I don't have children but I was 13 once and in a similar situation to your DD so perhaps I can offer some input.

Firstly I think that cancelling the shopping trip is a bad idea as she could probably use the attention and time spent with you. Perhaps going out just the two of you could be a good opportunity to talk to her about how she is feeling, her behaviour, etc.

Sending her to her room is also a bad idea as it would make her feel like she is being deprived of attention and like you don't want her around. Also making her stay in her room with little human contact will probably make her mood/outlook on the situation worse as she will be stewing about it and have nothing else to think about.

I also wouldn't take the phone/technology off her for the same reasons I mentioned above. The lack of communication/distraction will cause her to just get angrier and and angrier about the situation.

If I were a parent in this situation I would wait until she calms down and then have a chat to her about why this kind of behaviour is bad, how it makes you feel, how you'd rather not fight with her, etc. etc. and then move on. At this age a lot of their behaviour is the hormones talking. I'm not saying let her get away with everything, but at the same time, don't dwell on things too much. It's a phase that will eventually pass. No matter how often you ground, punish, take away phones and iPods, yell, etc. when it comes down to it they are teenagers and you have to expect bad behaviour and boundary pushing. Also the going between your place and her Dad's is going to cause confusion especially if the rules at each house are different so you do have to expect some bad behaviour as a result of this.

As long as your kid is maintaining decent grades and not out getting drunk and having sex then you're probably doing a good enough job.

Edited by Raticataticus, 08 June 2013 - 04:22 PM.


#11 Chchgirl

Posted 08 June 2013 - 05:39 PM

I have a 15 year old dd and a nearly 12 year old dd..

I can't say I've had the 15 year old talk to me like that nor does she scream and yell at me, but she does get a bit testy before her period. I had to pull her up about it in the car today. I didn't yell, just firmly told her that as her birthday is in three weeks, if she continues this will be cancelled. She knows I mean what I say.

I've only had to take devices off her a couple of times in the last couple of years, but I never give in and stick to my guns.

I would not do the shopping trip. They can't be rewarded for bad behaviour. Some can be hormones, but not all!

#12 blimkybill

Posted 08 June 2013 - 06:00 PM

I have three teens, none of whom have had very bad behaviour problems, but they have been moody and unpleasant at times.
I take the tack of treating them a little more like I would an adult. So, if they are rude and nasty to me, I tell them how it makes me feel hurt, and I usually go another room to get away from the nastiness until it is over. If they have really pushed things, I might withdraw privileges, such as refusing to drive them somewhere they wanted to go. Or withdrawing pocket money. I usually prefer not to come down too hard or hand out the kind of discipline I would for a younger child. I think from around 12 on a child is able to start thinking in a more mature way and seeing themselves as an autonomous person. Their status as growing up people is important to them. I want the way I treat them to reflect that.
I think that modelling a grown up way of handling the inevitable bad moods is important. And also drawing out their empathy, and respecting their yearning for independence and privacy.

#13 JanetRose

Posted 18 June 2013 - 09:40 PM

Can't say my 13yr old is a yeller, but when she gets a bit snippy I usually wait for her to cool off then talk it through with her, I find it works better than direct punishment because she feels like I am not treating her like a little kid, plus it gets my point across much better than her sitting in her room in silence sulking would.

#14 Curly Wurly

Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:00 PM

I send my DD's out for a run/bike ride or a long walk. When they come home, they always apologise and feel much better after getting those happy hormones rolling. We then can talk rationally.  Generally it is something that has been festering and they havent known how to talk about it.

#15 LambChop

Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:17 PM

She's coming of an age now where she will be profoundly affected by her fathers relationship with her.  Why did the two of you break up ?  Does she have similar relationship needs to you ?  Are they not being met at her fathers house ?  Is she perceiving his approach to the relationship to mean 'he doesn't love her' ?

At 13 you're really starting to solidify self identity - she is trying to work out who she is going to be as a woman.  She desperately would be seeking some sort of 'male validation' from her father.  And she'd be swinging from hating you to wanting to sit on your knee and be held.

As others have said,don't take it personally, set boundaries and stick to them, make the time to 'see' her - listen, validate, accept.

The lashing out for me was a cry for attention - I felt so 'invisible' to my parents.  They never got that, Mum in particular took it as a failing on her part... she made it about her at all times.

Good luck, awesome that you are reflecting and seeking advice... you will get there at this rate !!




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