13 Jun
My Teenage Daughter Must Be a Vampire Because She’s Sucking the Life Out of Me

It’s Monday! That’s our Funday! Or is that actually Saturday? No, that might be our Gunday. Or is that Friday? OMG, it’s so hard to keep your days straight when you’ve been inhaling bug spray and sunscreen for two solid weeks. Summer’s SO fun! Anyway, today we’re super excited to welcome back the very wise and funny Tonya from AdHoc Mom. Thank you, Tonya! — Wendi

 

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I am the mother of a 14-year-old girl child who is driving me absolutely bonkers with her mouth and attitude. I love this girl with all of my heart but simultaneously wish she would be rendered mute until she turns 18. I get compliments on her great behavior from other grown ups all the time, which leads me to believe that she is demon-possessed and I am the only person in the world who actually sees and believes in this demon.

I have tried calmly talking to her and being reasonable. I have also tried going beserk and threatening her with bodily harm. Nothing seems to get through to my girl. I remember the angst I felt at this age, so I am trying VERY HARD to be understanding and continue to love her. However, the snippy, snotty and just plain bitchy attitude I get most all the time now is bringing me to my breaking point. Please “Mouthy” women, do you have any advice? A 14- year-old girl somewhere in Alabama’s life may depend on your answers.

Signed,

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

P.S. My wine induced state of bliss is not working, either!

________________________________

Dear Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired,

It is questions like this that make me wonder if we, as a nation, did away with child labor a little too soon? Of course, there is always boarding school, but that costs serious cash. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure my wine budget could afford the reduction.

From what I know of teenagers, they’re similar to vampires except that they don’t drink blood—only cheap alcohol that is obtained through ill-begotten means. And since I watch The Vampire Diaries, have seen 2 of the Twilight movies and watched a season of True Blood, I’m pretty sure this makes me an expert on both the undead and mid-adolescence.

The problem for teens — and vampires — is that they desperately want freedom and with it the independence to follow what their heart desires. Regrettably, in this pursuit, they are destined to hurt those who love them the most.

I wish there was some quick fix I could tell you about, i.e. garlic or magical spell, but alas, this is why teenagers are much more destructive than any vampire, werewolf or witch. The only hope I can offer is that, unlike that of the cursed, the teenager will grow out of this behavior and one day, in approximately 4-5 years, return home as a loving, caring human being.

During these next few years, it’s important to keep doing what you’ve been doing: loving her and trying your hardest to be both a mother and an empathetic friend. Remind yourself time and again that if you weren’t at this breaking point, you wouldn’t be a loving mother and then give yourself a pat on the back. And perhaps, up that wine allowance a bit.

Sincerely,

Tonya, Guest TMH

 

 

12 Responses to “My Teenage Daughter Must Be a Vampire Because She’s Sucking the Life Out of Me”

06.13.11#1

Comment by Lisa.

She doesn’t appreciate your trying to understand her, because, well, she probably thinks your a moron.

And she probably loves watching you fly off the handle.

Stop with the fireworks. Calmly tell her that she can think whatever she wants, but she has to *act* with respect or all the extras you do for her go away, starting with tv time, cell phone, internet, etc.

No discussions about it, no yelling. Just take a privilege away until she can act civilized for a week.

06.13.11#2

Comment by StephanieG.

My adorable 7-year old has been an early bloomer her entire life, and I already feel like teenage hormones are taking over. What’s with the eye rolling and the foot stomping? Egad.

I love Tonya’s advice, and I will try hard to take it to heart as we deal with the troubling times ahead.

Thank you for a very timely topic, and I sure look forward to the comments this is sure to generate!

06.13.11#3

Comment by Plano Mom.

You find whatever privilege she values the most, and you take it from her repeatedly until she gets it. However, just as when she was two, you must always follow through with your threat or nothing will ever work. It takes patience, but the no arguments deal works. She may be grinding her teeth, but at least she’s smiling.

06.13.11#4

Comment by Albug.

You are her mother, not her friend. Punish her when she is disrespectful, praise her when she shows you respect. Be sure to let her know what the punishment will be ahead of time, this might help to eliminate the “That’s not fair!” response. Remember, you are raising an adult, not a teenager (you already have one of those).

06.13.11#5

Comment by HerMelness Speaks.

All sage advice. I made a change when I started to perhaps welcome jail time as a bonus for killing my teenage girl. Oodles of ‘me time’, free food, a Doctorate and Pilates in the yard. Even the occasional ‘going over’ by Big Bertha no longer acting as a deterrent to me picking up that kitchen knife.

Then I developed the HerMelness Speaks Radio. A radio which could only be switched on when it heard a sensible uttering. A radio which imparted lots of fun broadcasts and advice. It would immediately switch itself off, though, when The Gibberish Generation (teenagers) started to throw rude or insolent sound waves at it.

A method I use to this day. I stop or will not respond until I am treated with the respect a twice brutally ravaged C-Sectioned woman deserves.

(I privately called it my FM (F**k Me) Radio. But don’t tell the kids that. HMSx

Wendi Reply:

You are hilarious.

HerMelness Speaks Reply:

It was develop a sense of humour or kill them! Similarly, I love this space. I feel normal here.

06.13.11#6

Comment by MommyTime.

May I respectfully suggest that “loving mother” and “empathetic friend” in fact really ought to be two totally different people? “Loving mother” means setting boundaries, NEVER wavering on what they are, making the hard calls that peer pressure leaves her impossibly unable to make, insisting that she owes you the same respect that you hear she offers other adults, and so on. “Empathetic friend” means texting-abbreviation-knowing BFF who will cluck sympathetically over The Boy In Art Class Who Ignores Me, giggle outrageously at the same nothings that makes her laugh, and stay up all night gossiping and day-dreaming over the future. If you insist that you love her, respect her, and will always have her back, but will leave the best-friending to someone her own age, then she is pretty likely to respond by giving you the same in return.

06.13.11#7

Comment by carrie.

I am very unprepared for the teen years. Somehow, I can’t imagine plopping my fourteen year old son into a crib or making him sit on a step. I didn’t know you had to keep on learning new parenting tools as they grow up. Dang. Thanks for the advice, T.

06.13.11#8

Comment by Alexandra.

Oh, I love Tonya.

I have 3 boys: I don’t have the ‘tude but I do have the physical brooding.

That can make one look for the one bottle of vodka somewhere in the house.

06.13.11#9

Comment by FranceRants.

I say beat her w/a stick.

(I’m joking of course, because she’d probably call child services).

Besides all the other advice offered, I would add PLAY A GUILT CARD WHENEVER POSSIBLE.

It worked for my mom, but then again, we’re Italian….

06.13.11#10

Comment by BuenoBaby.

This: “It is questions like this that make me wonder if we, as a nation, did away with child labor a little too soon?” was frickin’ brilliant! And me me laugh my ass off!

Unfortunately though, I think your advice sucked. See, I have a 13 year old and if my experience has taught me anything, it’s that mid-afternoon drinking is much too often underrated. I do my best parenting with a good, before 5pm buzz. Geesh, I know so much about parenting! I ought to write a book or something!

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