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Tween girl with attitude, pressure on relationships.

Tween girl with attitude, pressure on relationships.

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Tween girl with attitude, pressure on relationships.

Hi,
I am in a blended family dynamic. I have been with my partner for 4 years and living together for almost 2. My partner has a 8 year old boy, and I, a 12 year old girl. My tween has had mood swings and irritable behaviour on abs off for the last 7 months or so, and has done the big jump into year 7. She had also just gone through puberty and friendship issues, the list goes on.....

Sometimes when I’m trying to deal with a situation, my partner makes comments and points out her attitude. It often doesn’t help and sometimes I’m left trying to explain what’s going on for her and why I won’t punish her for every single thing. It makes him think I’m defending her and taking her side. I try very hard to remain neutral and understanding to how the constant moods affect him. But it’s now giving me anxiety as I’m feel I’m trying to keep everyone happy.

An example happened last night, my daughter retaliated after I put a restriction on social media on her phone for the first time. She did act out very emotionally, saying I had no right. She packed her bag and said she was getting picked up. I could see she was very frustrated. My partner huddled her out the door and just said “ok then, see you later”, and when she returned to talk to me, Le laughed at her as she was sounding very irrational.
I asked him not to do that and said it was escalating her and making it harder for me to deal with the situation. It started an argument between us.

I waited for a while for her to come back but when she didn’t, I went and found her, heard her out, and taught her to write her anger in a book.

Meanwhile, my partner retreated and became sullen.

This frustrates me as I let him discipline his 8 year old his way without comment.

My partner says he only says stuff because he has had enough of hearing her attitude. I do pick her up on attitude but don’t punish her every time. I feel it’s a balancing act to keep her talking with me. I don’t feel my partner understands or appreciates this and we just go around in circles.
He reverts back to how it was dealt with when he was a kid.

Am I just to let him say whatever to her in the moment so that he feels i am supporting him? I understand this is an issue but sometimes I think he just has a short patience with my kids (his kid is quiet and passive).

How do I deal with these situations? I’m worried I’m that if I leave his comments and dealings it will interfere with me trying to develop a relationship with my daughter where she can talk to me when things are difficult emotionally for her, even if she is not dealing with it the best way (has attitude).

Thanks
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Re: Tween girl with attitude, pressure on relationships.

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Hi @Goneforawalk, thank you so much for sharing. Parenting in a blended family can be really difficult.  It seems like it is leaving you feeling quite stuck and as though you need to pick sides. Lots of parents go through this and it can be so incredibly tricky to be in that position. Do you think it would be helpful to set aside a night each week to talk about your parenting approach? Perhaps there may be some things you can change slightly. If not, your partner may need to become more accepting of the way that you parent. It might also help to save these conversations for a time when your children aren't around. That way you both have time to process the conversation and aren't frustrated by trying to manage your daughter's behaviour at the same time. You also mentioned that your daughter's moods are impacting your partner. If you think it would be helpful, maybe there is something he can do to create space: a) for himself and b) for you and your daughter to sort it out? For example, going for a walk, going into another room, having a shower etc. These are just some suggestions that I have heard of other parents using, they may not feel right for you.

 

It also sounds like you have a close relationship with your daughter and want her to be able to come to you about anything. I can tell that you are trying your best to preserve this which is really great. It is important for a teen to feel understood, heard and not judged. They are still very young, going through so many changes and learning how to regulate their emotions. If you think it would be helpful, maybe you could seek advice from a counsellor about regulation strategies? The anger book sounds like a good one!

 

We also have some articles on blended families which have some suggestions. There is also a service called ParentLine which offers telephone counselling. It also has a number of referrals and resources that may be helpful for you.

 

Please feel welcome to keep us updated Smiley Happy