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Teenage daughter is extremely self absorbed
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sky




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 7:49 am
I also think summer is the hardest and sometimes brings out the worst in kids.
There is no structure.
Kids need way more stuff. Beginning of summer. Middle of summer. It doesn’t seem to end. Now school shopping.
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freilich




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 7:57 am
OP, you come across as a very caring mother. Kudos to you!

I can relate to what your trying to say here. I don't think today's kids are bad though. Everything is relative. If whatever she's getting is mostly the norm in your community, then she's not an entitled kid. She's just taking things for granted. And that is something we all do to an extent.

I agree with other posters about having her do some volunteer work. Maybe she's simply feeling a little empty inside. What are her strong points? Does she like kids? Does she enjoy elederly people?

Whatever it is. Help her find her strengths , and encourage her to use it for helping people. That will fill her up in a most wonderful way. It will certainly make here appreciate her blessings in life, without any mussar talk.

Hatzlacha
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Jewishfoodie




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 8:00 am
Hi OP,
I have daughters Baruch Hashem. All different natures believe it or not.
Baruch Hashem we provided for them to the best of our financial abilities and Baruch Hashem they were happy kids.

But every LAST one of them went through a period that was rough for us. Each in their own way. One was withdrawn and snippy for a while, one was angry for a while, one was distant and in her own world for a while..

If you already looked for all the red flags (Chas v'shalom a bad friend, an inappropriate adult in their life etc) and came up clean, it's a phase.

I look at my married daughters now and I am amazed that they are those same kids. Just amazed.

At the time, I was certain they'd never outgrow any of it. It's a phase.

My recommendation is killing with kindness. Just be there for her and love, love love her, both you and your husband.

And one day, you'll look back and smile.

May that day come soon! Good luck..
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amother




Bisque


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 8:06 am
A few ideas:
Give her a budget for "extras" : "sury, (just using a previous name thrown out) you have $1,000/500/pick a reasonable number to spend over vacation. Do you want me to help you plan it or do you know what you want to do with it? I'm also giving you 500 for clothes beyond your uniform. That includes shabbos and yontif clothes. Are you going shopping with me or with your friends?" she's of course welcome to suppliment with babysitting money.

How are her social skills in conversation? It might be worth seeing if she needs some help learning how to have a conversation where she listens to other people
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 8:15 am
amother [ Honeydew ] wrote:
from what you describe sounds like a common teenage phase she will outgrow

sounds like you are giving her all the nurturing she needs to outgrow it

sounds like she is the oldest

I would assume she will outgrow it and treat her with the knowledge that she will

hugs and hatzlocha

Amen! From your lips to God's ears!
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 8:18 am
DrMom wrote:
Weekends? LOL! What are those? (I live in Israel, no Sundays off...)

I'm not sure what options are available or where you live. Here, popular tzedaka activities include picking vegetables at local farms and donating to the needy, Pantry Packers, charity runs. Maybe check your local Jewish newspaper or local newspaper? Sometimes schools run events too.

Lol! Israel has got it right! Weekends are ridiculous..
She actually does some of these with her school already.
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 8:21 am
freilich wrote:
OP, you come across as a very caring mother. Kudos to you!

I can relate to what your trying to say here. I don't think today's kids are bad though. Everything is relative. If whatever she's getting is mostly the norm in your community, then she's not an entitled kid. She's just taking things for granted. And that is something we all do to an extent.

I agree with other posters about having her do some volunteer work. Maybe she's simply feeling a little empty inside. What are her strong points? Does she like kids? Does she enjoy elederly people?

Whatever it is. Help her find her strengths , and encourage her to use it for helping people. That will fill her up in a most wonderful way. It will certainly make here appreciate her blessings in life, without any mussar talk.

Hatzlacha


I like the way you put it. And you're right, focusing on strengths and enhancing the positive is a great idea. It's so easy to go down mussar lane and isn't usually effective.
Thank you also for your kind words.
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 8:26 am
Jewishfoodie wrote:
Hi OP,
I have daughters Baruch Hashem. All different natures believe it or not.
Baruch Hashem we provided for them to the best of our financial abilities and Baruch Hashem they were happy kids.

But every LAST one of them went through a period that was rough for us. Each in their own way. One was withdrawn and snippy for a while, one was angry for a while, one was distant and in her own world for a while..

If you already looked for all the red flags (Chas v'shalom a bad friend, an inappropriate adult in their life etc) and came up clean, it's a phase.

I look at my married daughters now and I am amazed that they are those same kids. Just amazed.

At the time, I was certain they'd never outgrow any of it. It's a phase.

My recommendation is killing with kindness. Just be there for her and love, love love her, both you and your husband.

And one day, you'll look back and smile.

May that day come soon! Good luck..


Amen!!! Thank you for your words of wisdom and for sharing your experience. It gives me hope!. I'm curious how long the phase typically was? I am worried that if it lasts too long, it becomes less of a phase and more of a character trait.
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trixx




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 8:27 am
I would consider it a phase and be very very careful not to label anything. "you're so selfish, be more grateful, etc" just ignore it. It should pass. Encourage position of responsibility like job or chessed. Teens will be teens.
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 8:33 am
Thank you all for your responses. It gives me emotional strength and makes me feel a bit more confident as a mom. Your support is fabulous!
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Jewishfoodie




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 8:38 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Amen!!! Thank you for your words of wisdom and for sharing your experience. It gives me hope!. I'm curious how long the phase typically was? I am worried that if it lasts too long, it becomes less of a phase and more of a character trait.


One child's lasted over a year, one child's last 3 years, and the others I don't remember so I have to imagine it was a few months or a negligible amount of time.

So long as they feel love, they'll be fine. It's why people groan when you say you have a teenage daughter.. It's their modus operandi..

Much Hatzlacha!!
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chestnut




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 8:46 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
It's a great idea. I've done those things when she was younger but at this point she's a bit too old to go for it. And she goes to bed way after me Tongue Out

Whatever, in the evening, not bedtime. Maybe start your own and tell/show it to her and she might like it...
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PinkFridge




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 9:01 am
DrMom wrote:
I agree that many teenagers go through a self-absorbed phase.

How about you find some tzedaka project in which the whole family can participate?

A 5k run for a good cause, working in a soup kitchen, delivering groceries to needy families, etc?

It can be a way to get her to snap out of her self-absorption and also feel good about herself. Plus it's quality family time.


Yes! This is what I was going to suggest.
Does the school have a chesed program? Or are there community programs that use high school girls for manpower? Doing something with peers can be especially powerful.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 9:05 am
Do you think it would help if you communicated this to your teen sometimes? Saying things like "it would be nice to hear some appreciation for xyz, Daddy and I put alot of effort into making that work out for you", etc....

Also, try not to get fazed if she gets upset over something you and your DH feel she does not need. Don't feel guilty or pressured, it's okay for a teen not to have every last thing that everyone else has.....
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chestnut




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 11:44 am
salt wrote:
Does she have any of her own self-earned money?
I have a teenage DS who wants new things more often than I can afford to give him, and way more often than his siblings get (eg, decided he doesn't like his shoes anymore after 4 months, and wants a different style).
So he pays for it himself. Or, sometimes, if I'm feeling generous, or just 'stam', I pay him back some of the cost.
When it's their own money, they get a sense of how quickly money can disappear,and it makes them more appreciative, when you do give them things.

Omg, the last paragraph is so true. When I tell my daughter to spend her money on something, suddenly, it's not so important any more
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chestnut




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 11:51 am
Chayalle wrote:
Do you think it would help if you communicated this to your teen sometimes? Saying things like "it would be nice to hear some appreciation for xyz, Daddy and I put alot of effort into making that work out for you", etc....

I sometimes say out loud "thank you, mommy, for ..." and look at my daughter with a smile. She already knows to repeat it, in her own words. I know, sounds insincere on her part, but I'm hoping she still internalizes it as she practices it
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 11:55 am
chestnut wrote:
I sometimes say out loud "thank you, mommy, for ..." and look at my daughter with a smile. She already knows to repeat it, in her own words. I know, sounds insincere on her part, but I'm hoping she still internalizes it as she practices it


A friend of mine does this with her kids from a very young age. She will say to her toddler "you want another cookie, please?" and hands child cookie and says "thank you Mommy for the cookie..."

Her kids are very well-behaved and well-mannered children.

I'm not so disciplined, myself, to always model the correct behavior so consistently, but I admire and respect it.
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amother




Wheat


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 12:02 pm
This morning, I told my toddler that I was putting diaper cream on him so that he should feel all better. He said, "Thank you, Mommy!"

We definitely do try to model good manners and appreciation to him. Will it become genuine and stick? I don't know. Time will tell.
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frumarochel




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Aug 22 2019, 1:00 pm
Your daughter is growing up, Boruch Hashem! To reward her it's time for her to assume some grownup responsibilities. These new rules should be presented to her as a privilege she has earned and there should be some benefit she can perceive. Example: when my daughters became too demanding in their requirements for laundry services, I told them they had earned the right to be in charge of doing their own laundry and could do things the way THEY wanted them done. One daughter in particular became so specific in her need for ALL the Day of the Week underpants to be washed, dried, folded and in the drawer in sequence that she was promoted to doing her own laundry at an early age. You are giving your beloved child some POWER in the world.

We know that in real life, when you are earning a living, it takes a lot of work to stretch your income to cover necessities and a few extras. We value the things we work hard to get. Maybe the ladies here can think up some good ideas for new privileges/responsibilities. My family couldn't afford the things most of our children's friends took for granted. I thought up ways they could earn money by doing extra work. The money had to be partly saved for the future, partly for charity and some to spend. My fifth grade daughter saved up for cowboy boots. (She told me in adulthood that the quarter I could afford to give her each week was so inadequate to purchase anything that it was no problem to save it! However $5.95 was a significant sum to achieve and she did get what she wanted. Eventually.)

This same daughter's first job was to take care of feeding a neighbor's cat when they went on vacation for a few weeks. She was 9 years old. Then at 11 she was a mother's helper taking care of a newborn after school. She said it made life easier to have a job because she knew she had to do her homework right after school, then get to work on time. It helps to work for someone outside the immediate family when you can find someone you trust and be treated as an adult.
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