The Healthy Family Connections Podcast
Episode 054 · Duration: 00:09:12
My Rude and Demanding Daughter
When kids and parents get into a pattern of arguing, how can a parent require change from their teenager, when they’ve done the same behaviors?
Sandra from Phoenix, AZ writes,
My 13 year-old daughter is chronically rude and demanding. I’ve struggled setting limits with her because she gets so upset when she doesn’t get her way. I’ve made the mistake of trying to accommodate her to avoid her blow-ups. Sometimes I lose my temper when I reach the end of my rope with her. I would like to be able to have “The Talk” with her, stop this pattern, and have her earn her privileges by managing her feelings and being more respectful. But I know that when I tell her she has to manage her feelings and be respectful, she’ll throw it back in my face because I’ve done the same thing to her, and she’s right. How do I get out of this mess?
Thanks for your question Sandra. I’m sure a lot of parents can relate to it because none of us are perfect and there are plenty of things we all do imperfectly or wrong. Most of us lose it with our kids, at least once in a while. If we’re losing it or yelling regularly, then it is in fact a problem, not just from the point of view that yelling isn’t a good way to communicate and can be emotionally hurtful to others, but because it can keep things stuck just as they are with you Sandra.
Step One of “The Talk”
Sandra, it’s great that you’re looking to find a way out of the pattern, and yes, “The Talk” can get things started in the right direction.
By the way, “The Talk” is from my book Ending the Parent-Teen Control Battle and is a way to push reset and move out of the struggle of constantly giving consequences, kids resenting them, improving to a minimal standard for a short period of time, and things deteriorating from there.
Sandra, here is how we can proceed with “The Talk:”
After acknowledging your daughter’s strengths and wonderful qualities, you’ll speak to the problems in her behavior and in your relationship, specifically that when she gets upset and abusive in her language, and that it simply isn’t acceptable.
Now you’re saying that she (let’s call her Jade) will come right back at you with, “But you do the same thing to me.”
And you’ll continue,
“You’re absolutely right Jade. I’ve been getting upset with you when you don’t manage your responsibilities and don’t listen. I’ve been yelling and been abusive in my language when I get to the end of my rope.
“That is totally on me. Somehow, I’ve been trying to get you to behave by first trying to please you, and second, when that doesn’t work, by getting upset with you. That is absolutely not fair to you. It’s up to you to manage your behavior, and you are completely capable of doing that. I’ve been making it my job.
“I’m going to be a better and clearer parent. I absolutely apologize for my yelling for two reasons; first that I hurt your feelings and I’m deeply sorry for that, and second, for trying to change your behavior when you are completely capable of changing your own behavior.”It’s up to your teen to manage his or her behavior. They are completely capable of doing that. Don't make it your job, parents.Click To Tweet
Sandra, can you see how that works? Take responsibility and make amends, and use that as an opportunity to do things differently. Now, instead of not setting standards and limits and then getting angry and blowing up, you are going to set standards and limits and let your daughter successfully address those before she receives her privileges.
Step Two of “The Talk”
Here is how you can continue with Jade:
“I want you to know that privileges, such as use of your phone and having WiFi will be there for you when you earn them, but not until:
First, YOU to decide when you are going to work on giving up rudeness and blow-ups and are going to be ready to be respectful in your tone and behavior with me. Once you’ve decided to work on that, I’d like you to decide how you are going to communicate and demonstrate your decision to me.
Once you’ve decided to make these changes Jade, and are making progress, I’ll be in a better place to offer you the privileges that you will have earned. And Jade, keep in mind that all privileges come with responsibilities and conditions and you will need to manage those to keep the privileges you earn.”
You can would end the conversation by restating your apology:
“I once again apologize for my yelling and hurting you and for trying to get you to behave instead of letting you be the one who is in charge of your behavior.”
In this way Sandra, you will let your daughter be responsible for her behavior and you’ll focus your efforts on only being responsible for yours.
So listeners, let’s ask ourselves this question:
Are we doing too much for our kids and then becoming upset when they take advantage of that? Are we offering privileges to avoid their wrath?Do you offer privileges to your child or teen simply to avoid them becoming upset and lashing out? Click To Tweet
Let’s believe in our children and teens and let’s empower them by always requiring their best.
Thanks for tuning in today everyone and special thanks to Sandra from Phoenix AZ for her question.
Like “The Talk,” there are many other useful tools and strategies in my book Ending The Parent-Teen Control Battle. If you’re looking for more solutions to resolving control battles with your teenager, my book can certainly help. many readers have said it’s the best counseling session they ever had.
I’m happy to announce that our first Empowered Teen Parenting Workshop is finishing up this week. We’ve had a terrific time and we’re seeing some really great breakthroughs. If you’d like to join those getting priority entry when we set up our next one, join the waitlist or send me an email!
Please remember, take care of yourselves; you need it, you deserve it, you’re worth it. Bye for now.
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