Questioner: LESLEY TWELVETREE
Subject: 12 year old daughter-out of control.
Question: My daughter is almost 13 and has turned from a lovely child into a rude, arumentative person with no respect for me,or my home or my feelings.
She has taken money, been caught drinking, smoking and other alarming things.I dont know what to do for the best.Shouting and issuing threats isnt working.She will go for weeks being ok then goes back to her old ways.Can you advise me of the best way to handle this without pushing her away?
I feel peer pressure has a lot to do with this.Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.Thankyou!
Answer: Dear Lesley,
First thing going on in my mind as I read this is where is a 13 year old getting cigarettes and alcohol?
Something is definetly going on here. “She will go for weeks being ok then goes back to her old ways.” This jumps out at me. Something is going on with your daughter.
However, my 1st suggestion is to set down and tell her what you see and how concerned you to not know what is happening with her. What is happening in her life to make her WANT to act this way? Most of the time teenagers know and will tell us, the KEY is to be ready to hear the answers. Most of us do not want to know what is really wrong becuase as a parent there is tremdous pressure to be able to fix everything and well, what if we just cannot fix it??
Ask questions then listen, listen and listen some more.
The next step is to get to a counselor and have a screening and assessment for substance abuse. A 13 year old who is getting alcohol and cigarettes from anyone is something out of the ordinary for a 13 year old. Do you know which friends are providing her? Can you talk to their parents?
Who is in her life who is supporting this behavior? Who is she running from in her life?
M Kay Keller