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Joining the Sh*t Parent club

Discussion forum for parents in Australia


Joining the Sh*t Parent club

Hi, I am struggling with my 13 year old daughter who is the baby of 4.
The last 18months have been a rollercoaster we have ventured through inappropriate social media use, sexualised social media use, vaping, stealing alcohol (not sure if it was drunk) stealing money, taking others personal items, repeated prank calls to emergency services, physical and verbal fights at school which lead to on going suspensions and then exclusion, refusal to meet home expectations (which are very minimal), verbal abuse towards all other members of the family, roughness with others property (not yet to the point of damage but close), physically engaging with her brothers and father, consistently doing things in her own time with no regard to the impact on others, absconding from home and most recently self harm and refusing to go to school.
Don’t get me wrong I still at times have my kind, compassionate and happy young lady engaging with me but more and more I have an angry, unregulated and mean young lady in front of me.
Her externalised behavior impacts the whole household. It’s hard being the only one with a better understanding because I end up in the middle of each relationship. Her father becomes very unregulated because his view is she gets away with everything and should just do as told. Her brothers are anxious all the time because she verbally abuse them and if they stand up for themselves she will physically engage with them just because. Her sister has moved out. My husband and I (her father) fight when ever he lets her manipulate him into stopping to her level.
I have made my way here today because even with my exhaustive skill set I am now at a loss. I am on my edge all the time, our home is not a nice place to be. I worry about her and the impact this has on my other children. I worry about my marriage. I acknowledge she requires different parenting than my other 3 children, I am very lenient in comparison, I give lots of warning and timely reminders, ignore a lot of secondary behaviors to address the primary behavior and pick my battles carefully but there are still expectations and consequences because that is the real world. e.g. be ready for school and in the car by this time or your privilege of a phone is taken because my employment which your making me late for supplies it. However when I hold up a boundary and initiate a consequence I am verbally abused.
Today when I was faced once again with 45mins of not getting out of bed until the last minute and being told to shut the f*#k up and then had complete refusal I lost my cool, I ragged at husband calling her behavior names (she’s behaving like bi*ch, she’s just being an **bleep**) and then I screamed at her that she was consistently selfish, never considering anyone else except herself and causing unnecessary stress on everyone in the house.
So currently I am home not at work and she is in her room not at school and I feel I have entered the ‘Sh*t Parent Club’ because this morning. Behaved like a teenager not an adult.
Rant over….
Community Manager

Re: Joining the Sh*t Parent club

Hi there @dbenn81 welcome to the community! 

I'm glad you decided to open up about all of this - it sounds like you've needed to witness some big changes in your daughter - processing those changes and figuring out how to respond while taking care of the household is no easy task. 

I'm not surprised that you hit your limit this morning, after all, parents are only human and I can see that you're doing all you can to navigate these transitions as best as you can. You're also one person and I can imagine the pressure you're feeling to smooth over conflicts and make sure everyone's needs are met. In the midst of everything, is there anyone you can lean on? Do you and your husband have support? 

It sounds like your daughter is going through a lot internally and it must be hard to watch this unfold for her. I'm curious to ask if your daughter is connected to any support through school or mental health services? I'm also wondering if the two of you ever have the chance to get out and spend some time together? You mentioned that at times you still have your kind, compassionate happy young lady - do you find those times are a good opportunity to open conversations about how she's feeling? 

Once again, thank you for trusting us with your worries. I'm going to send you an email to check in so keep an eye out for that.