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Teen girl moods


UmMusa
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Hey guys... I need a little "Mama help" here.  My 14yr old DD gets into a different mood and attitude when she spends time with her group of friends which right now is during the school day (she goes to public school).  After a couple of hours home after school she usually softens up and becomes nice again.  Recently she's asked to go out with her girlfriends after school, and both times I've said no.  She's not happy about that (understandably), and I can see she is trying to keep it respectful to me on the surface, but she is fuming.  Fine.  I'm not pushing for conversation or making her sit with us, I'm letting her come home and surf Instagram and then hang out in her room.  (She'll come out here and there and she's just fooling with her make up and other stuff in her room).

 

Here's the question: I don't want her to hang out with them a lot because 1) I don't like how she gets different after hanging out with them, and 2) I don't feel like school nights are for going out for pizza or hanging out with each other.  Am I wrong about #2?  I want her to come home, eat, decompress, and spend time with us in our environment instead of fueling that school atmosphere and vibe.  She just turned 14 and started 9th grade.   

 

And.. should I just be tough and stick to my guns while keeping it nice and cool with her, or do I insist she ditch the sulky attitude (which how could you force that anyway?)?

 

I just want a little hand holding during this phase... I don't want to say no to everything, but I also don't want her to hang around her friends most of the time vs. only at school.

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My mom never let us hang out with friends outside of school, and it seemed to me that that really limited my ability to make/keep friends.

 

So I vote that going out for pizza occasionally would be a good thing.

 

The attitude thing though...I dunno. Have you talked with her about it? What does she think might be contributing? Is it the friends, or could it also be partly the stress of the school day coming out in her behavior?

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My mom never let us hang out with friends outside of school, and it seemed to me that that really limited my ability to make/keep friends.

 

So I vote that going out for pizza occasionally would be a good thing.

 

The attitude thing though...I dunno. Have you talked with her about it? What does she think might be contributing? Is it the friends, or could it also be partly the stress of the school day coming out in her behavior?

 

I do and have let her do many things with them over the summer, and now that school is back I guess they're wanting to do things during the week too.  Sometimes they go to the movies, out to eat... I feel like a lot the kids in our area are allowed to do just about anything that strikes their fancy.  Sure, there's nothing "wrong" with movies or pizza, but on school nights and Mom and Dad paying for it too?  ( she doesn't have allowance, and these spendy things haven't come up before).  Maybe it's time to rethink a few rules?  It's the weeknight thing that is bugging me, that, and her being so pouty and short about it.

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Hanging out with friends is pretty important for teens.

 

Is it possible to work together to find a compromise that meets her social needs and family needs? (Great opportunity to model conflict resolution too.) Commit to regular weekend get togethers, or ask her to commit to particular family nights when she'll be expected to stay home, or invite the friends over for pizza and movies (bonus: you get to know them), or allow her to go out once a week (or whatever)....all contingent on keeping a respectful attitude at home.

 

About seeming different after being with friends: She might just need some transition time after a social outing. My introverted teen needs friend time but needs to follow it with time to chill and recharge.

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My oldest absolutely could not be nice after hanging out with her friends. I did eventually get her to understand that me saying yes depended on her behavior when she got home. You can get her to understand that hanging out with friends and getting an attitude does not mean you can treat the people in your family badly. If you want to go out next time, make sure you are not a jerk when you come home this time, got to be my theme. She really did get it.

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I would let her hang out with friends, but in my day that meant at a friend's houses, not going out during the school week. Weekends, sure, we might get dropped off somewhere (movie, mall, arcade?), but school nights were for homework and unwinding, whether at my own house or a friend's. I guess times have changed.

 

I mainly wanted to highly recommend a book called Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood. It was written by a woman who specializes in counseling teen girls and their parents and was so enlightening! She explains sulkiness, retreating, and so many other typical teen behaviors and tells you what is normal, what to do, and when to actually worry. Seriously one of the best things I have read in a while. I'm having DH read it next so he can get a grasp on what's to come.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-Guiding-Teenage-Transitions-Adulthood/dp/0553393057/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473911788&sr=8-1&keywords=Untangled

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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Thank you! Y'all are pretty much validating my thoughts as well. I will check that book recommendation and use some Love and Logic here where she can choose to be nice at home after friends in order to see friends next time. I'm so reassured that you can relate!

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It's fun, isn't it? Ha!

 

Dd15 has shown some similar behaviour. I know it's not the kids because of the way she describes them (they're decent kids) and because I know her well enough to know she wouldn't be hanging out with bad kids. So I don't worry about that.

 

The key things are:

1) She's a teenager and there are some hormones involved

2) She is TIRED when she gets home. High school is a lot of work and she often doesn't get enough sleep (sometimes her fault, sometimes not). She sometimes naps after school.

3) She's a teenager - it's not going away! - and is naturally wanting more time to herself, it just seems rude to us when she heads straight to her room.

4) She finds being around people exhausting even though she loves it so it takes her a while to decompress once she gets home. She can be snappy during that time.

 

I do try to let her relax before dinner, then she is usually quite friendly by then. If I want her to actively spend time with us - playing a board game, watching TV, doing extra chores - I let her know in advance so she can fit it into her plans for getting her homework done and relaxing. I do sometimes tell her enough with the Skyping friends she's been with all day!

 

In terms of hanging out with friends. There is a large mall and train station right by dd's school, so the kids do walk across there sometimes and hang out for a while after school, grab a snack, window shop. I encourage 'play dates' in her younger sibling, so why not her? (NOTE: referring to them as play dates will not go over well with a teen!) I'm ok with that once a week after school for an hour or so. Sometime she 'studies' in the library with friends after school. Keeping a lid on weekend activities with friends is still challenging for me (she has only really has enough people around for a social life since she started at this school in February) and I need to be clearer about where family activities take priority. When that happens she's good natured once she gets over being disappointed as I do let her see them plenty.

 

Good luck with this! Your dd sounds pretty much normal. I think we really have to try not to push them away at this time - setting up family and friends as a them versus us scenario is only going to make friends look more appealing. And we need to leave room for growing independence and more demanding school lives while still insisting on courtesy and participation in family life. We've found it helpful to make some of these things more explicit (friends x times a week, family arrangements can't be canceled for friends, give notice about family plans etc,) so she knows what we expect.

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Random thoughts:

 

Do you live "out" - like out of town?  Could she have friends over? If you're  going to give her the money anyway, just go spend it on toppings and they can make homemade pizza.  Or spend it on some great boardgames?  Or... ?  

Do you know these girls?  Are they relationships you want to encourage?

Why are they friends?  In other words, what commonality do they share and is that what you want to encourage?

 

Let me give you an example since I have NO experience other than my own.

I was not a great teen.  I was pretty much the opposite of it.  But I will tell you most of my friends were athletic, so it did keep my partying down because if they got busted they were risking their sport.  It kept me a little more chill than I otherwise would have been.  But I knew a few kids who hung out with some unsavory types (who, I'm sure, were that way because of other issues) but one friend in particular ended up with a nasty meth addiction for years. :( She's kicked it (thank God) but good friends would have helped and bad friends didn't.

 

Knowing that, if these are great kids, I'd encourage having them hang out at your place or encourage the friendships.  

 

I am *not* in the same boat so my opinion is just me opening and closing my mouth with no real experience.  DS is not public schooled but he does take three classes at the CC and then one at our public homeschool building. What's he into?  Mock.  The commonality is where he made his friends - they are all mock kids.  And I'm grateful, because I wasn't real impressed with the friend he made at CC.  Might have been a nice kid but he was trouble walking.....

 

So we encouraged the mock friendships.  DS wanted to help coach middle school this year with the same group.  Am I thrilled that I don't see him most of the day and now he's mocking (out of high school season) 2-3 days a week?  Cough.  Not really.  But I genuinely LIKE those kids.  

 

Here's the problem though - her attitude. 

I think a serious talk about the fact that you kept her alive all these years - you know, food, shelter, etc., buys you guys simple respect.  And the fact that she has her hand out asking for, "Mama, take me..." "Mama, can I have $20 to go out?" etc.... LOL. It cracks me up to think how this would go if she was sassy to me all afternoon and then puts on her nice face to ask for favors.  I think I'd roll on the floor, literally, laughing, then finally get serious and say, "You must be kidding?!"  And walk away.

 

I'm about relationships.  You do not treat someone like dirt except for the times you want something from them.  This isn't a friend problem.  You can have friends and not come home and treat your parents like dirt.  That's a personal problem and I'd lay that right on the person who is doing it - definitely don't pass the buck to the friends on this one.  DD needs to own that.

 

And, when she acts like a young adult, then you can consider giving her some of the freedoms that go with it.

But I'd also consider encouraging a "thing" - some purposeful, intentional activity where she can get out, interact, but it isn't just pointless wasting of time.  Because a group of kids with too much time on their hands and no purpose is begging for bad habits.  KWIM?

 

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I think you're right to be concerned about the influence from this group of friends.

 

are you able to get her into an after-school activity where she could connect with other girls?  or maybe something on the weekend, when her 'school-friend' mood is likely to be less.

 

is it possible some of the other girls might be in the same circumstances as your dd (bad with the group, but nicer when separated) and she could invite one home to hang out at your house?

 

but I agree, I wouldn't allow her to hang out with the group.

 

 

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