View Full Version : Teens: a mom needs help

03-30-11, 02:34 AM
Sorry for intruding on your space. I thought perhaps you might be able to give me some advice about dealing with my 8 year old daughter who has all the (mental and emotional) signs of pre-teendom. I'm the ADHD one, but she has clearly inherited those same characteristics--reactivity, emotionality, hypersensitivity.

Mainly she reacts when I try to ask her to do something or remind her of our family rules and routines by yelling at me angrily, "Stupid!" or some such (meanie, you're the worst, I hate you, etc.). I try not to react to this, or to react calmly, but I'm not always successful.

So my question to you is, how do you wish your moms would approach you about this kind of stuff (please come to dinner, please hang up your clothes or put them in the laundry, stop being mean to your little sister). Just so you know, I'm going to find a quiet moment to ask her the same thing (without being accusatory), too.

Thanks in advance for whatever guidance you can provide.

03-30-11, 03:05 AM
Hello--i'm 24, but my mom and i started fighting when i was in Jr. High. She also started reading a book about how to save me from adolescence when I was 10, she read it at the pool and it embarrassed me. I think it told her to try to keep me little as long as she could... I don tknow. She'd probably argue with me about that. But, I love my mom and we get along now of course, but we faught a lot when I was younger. (we both didn't know we had add) I don't really have much advice other than that I don't remember what my mom and I fought about.. but i remember the fights and I would cry. If there is a way you can get your child not to wear the capris that are too tight withought fighting, do it. because I remember the fights, and i think they could have been avoided. I know it probably takes lots of patience with pre-teen/ teen age girls! Good luck, hope that helps a little.

03-30-11, 03:21 AM
I'm a teen with ADD, and I think that my parents sometimes feel that because of my attention issues, they need to nag me constantly. And yes, sometimes they do or I would never get anything done on my own. But other times it can be really annoying. I would advise you to listen to what she's saying and just be willing to compromise on some things. If she says "give me five minutes," give her five minutes. Don't insist that she drop what she's doing and come do what you asked her to. What makes me mad is when my parents assume that what they're asking me to do is way more important than what I'm doing at the moment.
The fights between teens/pre-teens and parents really suck. Some can be avoided and some, I have to say, just can't. I think it's important to always make up afterwards, though. I especially hate getting into a fight in the evening and going to bed right after without making up, because in the morning it seems like it's just gone away and everyone acts like it never happened. I think it's important, after everyone's cooled down, to talk it out and apologize for everything that needs to be apologized for, to agree to disagree on some things and to get it straightened out. Personally, I learn a lot from the aftermath of an argument. Everyone gets their message across way more clearly than they do in the heat of the moment when the yelling and screaming is going on.
I hope this helps, and good luck!

03-30-11, 07:42 AM
Thank you both; that's helpful. I'll drop any business about what she wears, and try to listen more and give her time. Pooka, thanks for the reminder about making up--sometimes we do just go to bed and that's wrong.

03-30-11, 09:35 AM
Sounds like it might be a good idea to have your daughter tested for ADHD as well. She sounds very much like my granddaughter was at that age. In some ways she did seem like a pre-teen, we begin getting our periods early in our family, at 9 or 10. I joined this forum when she was about your daughter's age (she's 13 now) and the support here is great.

In case you haven't found Dizfriz's Corner (, I highly recommend you check it out. There are some very helpful articles there on how best to deal with kids with ADHD. I wish I could have read the book "ADHD: Living Without Brakes" when my granddaughter was younger - but even reading it this year was wonderfully informative about both of us and our reactions.

One thing my daughter taught me years ago when she was little, is that when I would say "Please do so-and-so" it implied that she had a choice in the matter. So with my granddaughter I say things like "You have clothes to put away" or "Your room needs to be picked up before you can do whatever it is you're wanting to do." And at 13 she is just now learning to clean her room herself. Before it was actually necessary (as it is for most kids with ADHD) to give her step-by-step instructions.

It can look too overwhelming to say "Clean up your room", but breaking it down into steps and giving them one at a time makes it less daunting. "Pick up the clothes on the floor and put them in the laundry basket. Thank you." "Put your toys and books away." "Make your bed now sweetie."

I still have to remind her to go back and turn off lights, but I stopped blaming her for not being able to remember on her own and realized that if I want the lights turned off I will need to remind her. No more yelling, I just say, "Katlin, the light please." or even just "The light."

03-30-11, 09:40 AM
Thought you might be interested in this chat session I found at National Resource Center on AD/HD: A program of CHADD;

Ask the Expert Chat: Our next chat on Parenting When the Parent has ADHD will be Wednesday, April 20th (2:30-4:00 PM EST) with Patricia Quinn, MD. The transcript for our recent chat, Therapy for Children with ADHD: When is it Useful and How Can it Help, with Joyce Cooper-Kahn, PhD, will be available March 31st, along with transcripts from all previous chats.


03-30-11, 10:21 AM
Give some leeway and compromise with small things and save the firmness for important things. It was one thing my mom really had to learn as I was growing up. She used to get frustrated with how messy my room was even though I never really lost anything when it was messy and I knew where almost everything was. She used to make me clean it and that would only annoy me. In my eyes there was no point because it would just get messy again later. After countless arguments she eventually came to realize that ultimately it was my room and I was the one living in it, not her. We came to the compromise that it could be as cluttered as I liked as long as it was clean. So no dirty dishes, no old food, no crumbs on the floor, and relatively free of dust.

Another thing that I hated was when my mom acted like I had a choice in something when I didn't. It's like Lunacie said, if it's not optional don't word it like she has a choice. Instead of saying, "Please come to dinner" try saying, "It's dinner time." If she's smart she'll know that means she needs to go to the dinner table and eat.

One thing my mom did that I did like was giving me a time frame to get things done. If it was something like hang up my clothes she would say I had an hour to hang up my clothes. That way I didn't have to drop what I was doing right away, but I also knew to watch the clock to make sure I have enough to hang up my clothes. If I didn't get my clothes hung up in that time frame she make me do it twice (probably not the best punishment but she knew pointless extra work was one of the things I hated). If Idid get done with in the time frame she would say good job.

Good luck and remember puberty turns us all into seven headed monsters with bad skin and a grouchy attitude, but most of us come out of it just fine. Listen to what she has to say, make what you want her to know clear, and have the patience of a saint and you'll get through it.

04-08-11, 03:05 PM
Good luck and remember puberty turns us all into seven headed monsters with bad skin and a grouchy attitude, but most of us come out of it just fine. Listen to what she has to say, make what you want her to know clear, and have the patience of a saint and you'll get through it.

well said.

04-08-11, 11:14 PM
My Mom always gave me options: You can vacuum the upstairs or do the dishes, which do you want? I knew I was going to have to do one of them, but I felt like I was given some respect and choice in the matter.

She'd also give me time frames as well. The dishes had to be done by 6. So long as they were done by 6, it didn't matter if I got them done at 5 or if I rushed and did them all at 5:45. This totally helped me to learn how to plan chores when I was an adult on my own too.

Letting me find the best way for me to do things was great too. Mom didn't care how something got done, so long as it got done in time and was completed. I clean a living room in different steps than she does ... so what? It gets clean. This was another thing that helped me when I moved out on my own. I had already experimented with different ways of doing things and learned through doing. Sometimes I needed step by step instructions but by the time I was 15 I didn't, I had it (mostly) figured out.

04-10-11, 09:43 PM
I would expect my mom:
1. Not to EXPECT me to somehow know if the room's too dirty for her. To tell me when it is.
2. Not to ask the same question over & over.
3. Not to yell at everything I do wrong.

Pretty much of it.

04-11-11, 02:41 AM
not to yell at everything i do wrong...thanks for this, nitz.

of course i had to read it after yelling at her for not doing her homework when she told me she had. i suck, pretty much.