Daughter Age 13
I have been in the adolescent whirlwind for about a year now. I purchased Dr Bradley's book a couple of weeks ago. Life is so much better for me because of this book. I am dealing with issues from rage to isolation and low self esteem. I have applied many of the principles and advise from the book, in particular allowing her to rage and answering calmly. This is new to me (not to rage back) but it has been very effective. I am working on gaining respect - my daughter constantly ridicules me, calls me names like Dork and Loser. She never curses but I fear that will be next if I don't get a grip on the situation and gain respect from her real soon....for now, I have started the book over from the beginning...
Wish me luck and any advise for bringing up her self worth and encouraging her to open up to her surroundings, rather than shutting down and "going inside herself" as her softball coach described her in the summer of 2002. My husband says she'll be fine until she loudly tells him to "shut up" and then he's ready to knock her upside her head.....
It sounds as if you've done great with your initial steps with your kid, and now it's time to push on a bit. Take her out for a coffee and ask her to please stop calling names. Let her know how that makes you feel (sad, angry, not wanting to help her), and ask her if there is some other way she can get her message to you (i.e. "I'm really angry at you.") Then get ready for the hard part.
The next time she name calls, calmly ask her ONE TIME if that's the way she wants to talk to you. When she screams "YES DORK!" calmly walk away and end whatever support action you have going on for her. If you're taking her to the mall, calmly turn the car around. If her friends are over, calmly tell them that you are very sorry, that they will have to leave now, but that they are welcome back tomorrow. Tell hubby to stay out of this, since this is a battle you must fight alone with your daughter. Batten down the hatches while she goes nuts and ride out the storm. Repeat this response a few times and she will finally "get it."
Most of all, remember that raging back will only cause her to see you more as someone she can and wants to abuse. As you gain this respect from her, she will be more likely to talk to you about the "whys" of her arrogance which probably do result from her lack of self esteem. Teens must respect you before they can confide in you.
Goos luck and keep us posted.
Last edited by Mike Bradley; 11-22-2003 at 09:23 AM.
Dr. Mike Bradley