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First day in three weeks and ready to throw in the towel...

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Three weeks we took off. I quit a job and am starting a new one (from home) next week. I am ready to throw in the towel already. At least for my oldest. maybe it is the age (she is 15)? I can't please her. EVER.


She has been in a... not nice word for complaining mood the last few weeks. ALWAYS complaining. Just grumpy. Like constant PMS. She complains because I don't spend enough time with her doing school work. Well folks I just tried, she said she didn't want to do that right now. :huh: :confused1: :banghead:


She complains because she can't make any money (duh she is only 15 and we literally know no one that can babysit for). She complains because I haven't started teaching her to drive. She complains because I am not joyful when taking her to karate (I get so bored going!). She complains because we haven't moved yet. She complains because she doesn't have anywhere to run thus can't lose as much weight as she wants. She complains because we don't have enough vegetarian stuff in the house.


Get the drift? I am ready to send her packing to... somewhere... I just don't know where.


Maybe I should come up with a point system where is she gets in a mood she loses points thus losing privileges?


*sigh* Maybe it is just me. Right now I feel like a pile of nasty brown stuff.

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I just don't think a point system would be helpful to your relationship with her at all. Can you imagine earning or losing points based on your mood? Maybe you can work together to come up with solutions--I've found the book "How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen..." has some great strategies for helping to build relationships with kids.

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Actually, your idea isn't bad. You just need to do it in reverse--that is, reward everybody for any and all displays of cheerfulness. It is easy to get into a rut when you are generally unhappy (or hormonal), and that mood drags the whole house down. I tend to be rather on the serious side myself, and my dh often reminds everyone that we should have as our goal to be cheerful--to smile when we ask for something, to thank others for what they do, etc. I would suggest having a family council at a time when you are not in the middle of a problem and brainstorm solutions. Your 3 oldest are old enough to do this. Make a list of complaints, and address those. Then help them see that you all need to help each other be cheerful. Whenever anyone catches someone else trying to be cheerful, then put a marble in a jar (or whatever suits you). Then when the jar is filled, do something special together.


Another way that you can use the family council is to have it weekly. If you have a lot of complainers in your house, then every time someone complains, tell them they are only allowed to make the complaint at the family council. Have a central place where they can write it down. Then you address all complaints during the family council. You may find that by the time of the council, those complaints are no longer very important. (But if they are still passionate about them after time has passed, then it is definitely worth it to address them.)

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I don't have any teens yet, but she sounds about like me at fifteen. That's about when my Mom decided my education needed to be outsourced and I went to the local community college. And she was glad to see me go.... :tongue_smilie: I was quite the beast around that age.


But she's old enough to start learning how to act like an adult and interact like an adult. I'd attempt to address her issues one at a time.


1) Mom, you don't have time to do school with me.

"I am available between the hours of _ to _. I will have an additional hour at _."


2) Mom, I can't make any money.

"You may earn x by _this here at the house." (And a crafty way to get those pesky spring cleaning chores done!)


3) Mom, you won't teach me how to drive.

Outsource to Dad. :D If not, set a time you would be willing to work on driving skills, maybe on every other weekend. But you set the schedule, adjust if needed, and create a routine you can both depend on within reason. Personally, having supervised my sister when she was learning how to drive (my mother was scared stiff) I always liked to have some time after the session to allow my heart rate to fall to normal. Oh, I am so not looking forward to this conversation with my two sons when they reach this age.


4) Mom, you are not joyful when you take me to karate.

" I have been tired and I probably haven't seemed joyful. But honey, I am so proud of you and how hard you work at your karate." If applicable. Sometimes I think fifteen year old girls are sort of stuck in between wanting their mothers to just go away and desperately wanting to be noticed and commended. What a weird sort of thing.


5)Mom, we haven't moved yet.

"No, but when the time is right, it will happen. Be patient."


6) Mom, I have no where to run so I can't lose all the weight I want to lose.

"Honey, you are beautiful just the way you are."

That said, I personally run up and down my driveway, and when I was in school and working too much to go to the track I would jump rope in a hall somewhere. You can work up a fine sweat with a jump-rope.


7)Mom, we don't have enough vegetarian stuff in the house.

"Come up with a list of seven things you'd like to have in the fridge and we'll pick __number to buy on our next shopping trip."


But I have no teenagers at the house, so I can only come at it from the adult reflection on how I would have liked my relationship with my mother to have been at that age. And quite likely I would not have been mature enough to appreciate it, but it sure would have beat the battles I fought with my Mom.

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15 is hard! My daughter, who is 21 and will be getting married in May, commented the other day about how she wouldn't want to do those early teen years over again:) And neither would I! Critterfixer has some great ideas. Maybe my mantra will help, "This too shall pass." :)

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It is hard. Be patient with her. I like the ideas above about having a solution to her complaints. I actually hate coming back from breaks; sometimes it negates the entire break with their attitudes etc. If you need to have a meeting with her to discuss her complaints and hand them back to her to solve. Make her feel empowered. 15 is the worst. She can not have any of the priveleges of becoming an adult and most likely she has lost the feeling of joy that comes with childhood. She is stuck in the middle and feeling it, and letting everyone know about it. This too shall pass....

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