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single parenting an angry teenager...

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single parenting an angry teenager...

my daughter is very angry,with me especially. she doesnt get in trouble at school and gets good grades, she very smart and talented artistically.


shes 15. i've raised her most of the time on my own.


she blames me for everything. has recently written a very articulate and cutting email letting me know just what a failure of a mom i have been and how i have no right believing i am a good mom, that when she is 18 she doesnt know if she will ever speak to me again. i "gave her one of the worse childhoods imaginable" is one of the things she said to me, the most she has opened up in as long as i can remember. by email.


i listened to her, didnt get defensive, didnt take on everything she said. she called me fat and lazy and that to me is an attempt to hurt me so she is in pain.


the worst part is that i do love her so much and have always tried so hard to be the best person i can be, i came from dysfunction and i have had a lot of healing and lessons to learn and its taken a long time. i struggle with people that do not know me acting hateful towards me, i feel like i somehow attract inner anger or repressed feeling people have.. including my daughter. she makes choices on how she behaves. shes been difficult and explosive for many many years and i tried everything. and its so easy and convenient for her to blame it all on me. 


thanks for reading



Frequent scribe

Re: single parenting an angry teenager...

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Hi @momof1teen thanks for sharing here today. We are really glad you've reached out here. Hopefully you will find the support you need in this parent's community.


I can hear your pain about the situation with your teenager. 15 is a very tumultuous time (as I'm sure many other parents will testify). There's unconscious grief about letting go of being a child and taking on the role of an emerging adult. I'm sorry your daughter's email to you hurt you. One positive is that she has opened up and it's great you weren't defensive and that you did not take on everything she said to you. As you said, she must be in pain herself. Do you have any idea about what might be going on for her? Or is it an accumulation over the years? Are you or her seeing a therapist individually?


You might want to consider the ReachOut Parents Coaching. It's free, online and run by professionals from The Benevolent Society. You can focus of specific concerns, like managing your daughter's behaviour at the same time as you improve your communication skills.


ReachOut also has some advice on family conflict and you can take a look at that too.


Hope to keep hearing from you here. Please hang in there and know that you are not alone.




Active scribe

Re: single parenting an angry teenager...

thank you @Mona-RO 


we started a conversation after something happened between her and a family member while i was at work, i can see it brought up a lot of things for her and she shared that with me, posting here and processing it for 24 hours I am feeling like i understand more and see that opening up that communication seems like a good thing, something I want to keep going... I feel like I was able to respond and hear her in a really helpful way, communicating has been a difficult thing for us and i've seen a lot of progress in my own life with relationships with other people... which has always been a struggle for me and to understand that and have compassion for myself has been something I've been working with the past few months. I am almost 40 and it has taken me until now to make some realizations that I am thankful to understand finally and to be able to navigate with more and more confidence.


we had a positive interaction this evening and she offered me an ice cream, that feels really good, i feel like she felt supported by me, i hope we can continue this communication and build a better rapport again. I miss her.  about 6 weeks ago we played some games together and had fun, hope to spend some time with her soon.



Prolific scribe

Re: single parenting an angry teenager...

You are the best parent for her and don't you forget it.

You know why? Because she is 15 and you are still hanging in there like the rest of us, some days merely just by a thread.  We get you, so don't feel alone.


I say to mine 'one day when you are a mum you will be needing me because I now know EVERYTHING..' They nod and roll their eyes - I don't care bc under all that **bleep**, moodiness crap they still talk to me.  I chill during the peace - but it never lasts long unfortunately.


I guess I look at it for the future when I will be recognised without doubt for what I know, but having said that I just told T2 that sometimes her words are cutting and do hurt me. She walked away I felt good for saying it and then she came back and said mum I'm sorry I don't mean what I say so don't feel hurt.


Go figure!

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Re: single parenting an angry teenager...

thanks for your reply @Lily17 its good to be here talking with other moms of teens


i live in a small town and work in a very social community oriented place with LOTS of people who have just had babies, I see parents a lot with babies and little ones and it pulls at my heart in the place i am right now with my daughter. 


i didnt work outside the home until she was 5 and i was really into mothering and keeping a home. I nursed her until she was 4, until my ex partner came along, she let me know she still has feelings that i chose him over her and i can see now why she acted the way she did when we were together, she felt like i was choosing him over her and while he was really good with her in some ways, he had extremely high expectations of me and i did go through feel extremely torn between my relationship with him and her. that's over now and I am going to acknowledge that to my daughter...


weve been through a lot, almost 2 years ago now her dad just stopped talking to both of us, I was his link with her, I was helping them have a relationship because he had not been in her life enough and he decided to move close to us and he did all the preparations for her 13th birthday and then a few months later just shut us out and he was/is living across the street from where I work.


the holidays after him dissapearing were hard and my daughter was acting out so much that i couldn't manage it and i was being physically hurt and the police were involved. we ended up with a court case when she didnt do what she was suppost to do and that went on for 9 months, just got through that a month ago and since our final court appearance, she stopped speaking to me and has been this way. the charges were dropped as long as she stays out of trouble.


i spoke up for her in court, i stayed in touch with the lawyer, it was a very stressful thing to go through its hard to understand why after the charges being dismissed she would seem angry with me. she is staying out of trouble though.


she has a friend at school who is not helping, i talked to one of her teachers yesterday, she called me concerned about the relationship with this other girl, said the girl was speaking for my daughter in class and said that my daughter does great work but the other girl doesn't do hers or do her part when they have projects together. i have been concerned about this friendship for years.



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Re: single parenting an angry teenager...

i drive her to school that is 15 miles away and yesterday when i picked her up she was especially sullen, lately when i drive her/ pick her up she stares out the window and doesn't speak to me, yesterday a woman drove by and looked at daughter who probably looked really unhappy and then as she turned she just stared at me and it felt like judging me for what she saw of my daughter, i stared back at her and afterward just felt like people can be so judgmental and crappy, that woman has no idea who i am as a mom or how much i love my daughter, it was that kind of day yesterday..

Super contributor

Re: single parenting an angry teenager...

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Hi @momof1teen Thank you so much for joining us here at ReachOut Parents.

I'm so sorry things have been so hard for you and your daughter. It sounds like you've both been through a lot.

Unfortunately, she's taking it out on you. Which is not uncommon for a kid who has been rejected by a parent. They test the other to see if they'll leave too.  Sometimes our adult parent brain can look at things and think "she didn't know him, he never did anything for her, why would she grieve him leaving?" and we forget that when you're young your parents wield this huge power, especially absent ones. The absence becomes this huge hole in their lives and if the parent appears and then disappears, it can be brutal. It's a lot for a teenage girl to process.

Which does not make her harsh words any easier to hear but might help you access your compassion when you're feeling really hurt.

I agree that the free coaching can do wonders to improve communication. It's over the phone and available outside of office hours, you can do it in one session or more if you want to cover more issues. The main thing is it gives you practical steps you can use immediately to improve your relationship with your daughter. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, click here and it will take you to the page.


And you are absolutely right, that woman has no idea about you at all. Try not to give her your valuable energy. 


Re: single parenting an angry teenager...

Hi @momof1teen I read your story with such compassion and concern for you . Parenting is hard enough let alone doing it solo with another parent who drops in and out of their duty to parent . I agree with @Ngaio-RO she is punishing you for being the parent who stays ! Bizarre as it sounds . It is common for  teens to hurt the ones they love the most . I know I used to be rude to my mum and would say things to her I would never say to my Dad who was distant and a bully . 

My daughter says dreadful things to me like , " you do nothing at home , you sleep all the time and you are lazy . She has also screamed at me " I hate you Mum" . She also said once , "we don't get along " and she gets on better with her Dad . I used to think that she had no respect for me and favoured her Dad but now I think it's that she feels so loved  and comfortable with " us" that she knows she can express herself without there being horrific consequences because we are so close and have a very good relationship  . She is also " in the moment " like most teens when it comes to emotions ,  they have no verbal filter and wear their heart on their sleeve . Teens are all or nothing , their language is absolute and catastrophic . There is no nuance or temperming of feelings . They are never just sad , ask them , they are DEVASTATED and it is the worst thing to ever happen to them EVER !! .  In that moment you might as well be a serial killer and they will happily electrocute you . The next day you are the best Mum in the world because you bought them Maccas . 

. I ALWAYS let her know later when she has calmed down that , what she said was disrespectful and hurtful and I will not tolerate it and will take away internet if it happens again - and I always do !! 

I once told my husband how upset and deeply hurt I was at her words to me . She came back later with a letter telling me I was a great Mum and " I talk make up with her " . Lol Perhaps finding someone she respects and telling them how hurt you were may be an eye opener for her too . Better still telling her yourself in a good moment between you .  Always acknowledge her feelings too , even if you don't agree with her perspective . Perception is reality . By acknowledging your own faults with her , you are  modelling accountability and that is a gift to her future relationships . Best wishes 😊

Super star contributor

Re: single parenting an angry teenager...

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Hi @momof1teen, I'm sure I've communicated with you on another thread as I recognise your username. Reading your story made me feel we have some similarities. I've been looking for the thread I posted, but cannot find it at the moment - I started a topic about my issues and the difficulties it brings raising my daughter who is 15. I can relate to you talking about yourself and the things you have learned about yourself and the changes it has brought with your daughter. Please believe I am by no means implying that you must have a mental illness like I do, which is what my thread was about, but I can so relate to how words and others can really impact you heavily. (That was my reason for wanting to share it with you). I admire the work you have put in as it's not easy making changes and takes practise before it becomes second nature. Having more understanding is the best thing though isn't it! It makes things so much clearer and gives empowerment. And hope!


I completely agree with @Lily17 - you are the best person for your daughter. For so long I thought my girl would be better off in care because I felt so incompetent as a mum. I was told so many times that I was the best person for her and home with me was the best place for her. I'm so glad I had people around me who knew better than I did! Even though you cop her anger, you are her rock - even if you are a bit wobbly sometimes, which is okay. Life's a bit wobbly sometimes! I learnt through the Circle of Security parenting course that kids need us to be on point 30% of the time, and they will be ok. There's nothing worse than knowing you're not getting it right, but knowing you're giving it everything you have. That figure took a massive weight off my shoulders. If I am really stressed or I know today's not a good day for me, I let my daughter know. I assure her that it has nothing to do with her, she hasn't done anything wrong and I'm not upset with her in any way. She copes then and I will likely get a cup of tea made for me. When she feels it's because of her, we immediately have a problem. Teens can be so tough with their words, but they're marshmallows really. 


Keeping calm is the key. Trying not to react to her mean words, because they are purely showing her pain - she loves you dearly. Connecting at every opportunity, which you lovingly crave, I can hear that. Have you heard of Kahoot! ? It's a fun game we play. You can download the app for Android here or from the Apple App Store. Hidden in the fun is learning as it's a question and answer game. That has made it sound boring, but check it out, it is fun. Maybe that's something you and your daughter could play together as well and have a have a laugh and enjoy each others company for a while? It can help ease any tensions of the day, or week. 


Last part of this novel, people can be judgemental - imagine them nude (or maybe just in their underwear) Works for me every time!  Smiley Happy   


Re: single parenting an angry teenager...

I’ve recently experienced the same thing. We’ve gone from a strong and positive relationship to my teen withdrawing from all extra curricular activities, angry and violent outbursts, lying to friends and others about how I am ‘mistreating’ her, telling people she no longer wants to live here, shunning all forms of care and interaction from the family including gifts, outings, activities, reluctance to see a doctor or counsellor, and everyone in our household walking on eggshells waiting for the next rageful outburst - including siblings and pets.