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SD15 and the teenage angst

ksmom14's picture

SD15 has always been the most rational out of the skids. She's a good kid, seems to appreciate things the most, and has true empathy for others. Every so often some of that teenage hormone angst rears it's ugly head and she can have an attitude, be rude, and snappy. We've always shut it down, but don't usually worry about it too much as they are few and far between. 

Well yesterday SD15 decided to not get on the bus after school because "it always comes late". Monday is a switch day so BM dropped them off at school, and they're supposed to come home to our hosue. So DH and I with 2 DDs (because we carpooled) in the carseats in a 4 door sedan have to go pick her up. She is irritated right away and has to squeeze into the middle seat between the carseats, not sure if it's that fact that ticked her off or something else going on. 

She doesn't say a word to us on the way home, and immediately goes to her bedroom. DH calls her down for dinner 30 minutes for later and it's an argument to get her to come talk to him. They go to another room and with some prodding she tells DH (crying because she's upset) that everything is fine other than things with him, that we're too strict and it's making her miserable, but she's basically unable to give any examples. She ends up leaving and won't listent to DH anymore and he lets her go because he's pissed.

SD13 starts agreeing with SD15 and telling DH that we are too strict yada yada, irritating DH even more. Since SD15 tends to just have blow ups occasionally, I encouraged DH to give her and him some space and time to cool off and I'd try to talk to her later to see if there's something more going on. 

A few hours later I try to talk to SD15 as DH is out and it starts off OK in that she's able to be reasonable and talk. She thinks we're too strict because any time the skids want to go somewhere with friends we need to talk to parents. I explained to her that she's getting to the age now that she'll be able to do more things by herself, it will depend on the information we get from her, honesty, and the situation to determine if we need to talk to anyone.

Most of this was all about her phone though. Each skid got a cell phone around 7th grade, they were gifted a brand new, newest model phone and told that it would be the ONLY phone we would buy them. That if they wanted a new version, they'd have to buy it themselves. Also, each skid has parental monitoring software on their phone. It allows us to filter websites, allow or block apps, monitor GPS location, and set time limits for phone usage. So she then starts saying that all her friends get new upgraded phones, and non of them have the monitoring app and that it's embarassing. That she doesn't care that it's for her safety, she thinks we should trust her yada yada. I explained that we love her and the benefits of the monirotring app for her safety are more important to us than her irritation with having it on her phone. Her response was "well it doesn't make me feel loved", then she goes with the whole "what's the point of even having a phone if you're going to put the software on it".

Well I'm rabmling now....anyways DH and I haven't really done anything at this point. He's super pissed and is consdiering just getting rid of the phones. He thinks she's feeling too entitled and spoiled, and that if she thinks we're being too strict he's going to "show her what strict really is" so she can appreciate that we aren't. I don't know if that's the best solution, I'm kind of at a loss...I feel like she's acting ungrateful, but not sure how to show her that without just pushing her more onto the side of "they're unfair"

I thought maybe this morning she'd be in a better mood, but no, she literally got up extra early so she could eat breakfast without being around us. Hasn't said a word still.

Thanks for reading if you've gotten this far! You deserve a medal lol


ksmom14's picture

This made me laugh, thanks Smile

Yes they do suck, and this sucks extra because she's always been the easy one!

DH is so depressed about this too, he thinks his kids will just never care about him again, I try to explain that it's just the teenage phase, but he doesn't want to hear it. I think us having our young DDs has helped, because they still run to him and give him hugs and kisses lol.

futurobrillante99's picture

So, lets play a game about what the REAL reason is that SD15 is upset.

She was at school, and some of her friends were going to A) go get some fast food in someone's car, Dirol go hang out at a friend's house or C) go for a walk in the woods. Either a friend or a cute guy she likes was in this group, and she ditched the school bus thinking she could get away with sneaking off to do this thing, then she realized she had the GPS on her phone and you guys would know where she went. And as she stood there contemplating breaking your rules, she chose the safe route and now she's embarrassed that she HAS rules and is now afraid her friends or the cute guy are judging her or think she's not "cool" like they are.

Soooooooo - she is taking it out on you. Mark my words, she WILL find ways around your parenting attempts and when you catch her, she will "hate" both of you for ruining her life. But these times should make you feel good about what you're doing. All studies show that while teens hate rules and boundaries, they actually THRIVE with them and will be thankful for them when they are under a lot of peer pressure to do something that even scares them.


CLove's picture

It never expires. Hold strong. Her safety is number #1 priority, and shes at the age where its even more necessary. If shes going stone cold on you its because she has seen someone cave when she does this.

Munchkin SD12 has started giving "the frowny face", and going silent, when she is asked to do something, or someone is frustrated and speaks strongly to her. She has learned that "silent treatment frowny face", makes mom and dad soften up. Its tough through because if they start off sweet, and youve had issues with others, then you are not wanting that "sweet, basically good kid" to go away. Truth is they went away on vacation and wont be back until around 19-maybe 20.

ksmom14's picture

Yea I think BM folds for SD15....I've seen text messages where SD15 talks to BM in a way that she never has and hopefully never would talk to DH or I.

Hopefully DH holds strong here...he can be a pushover when it comes to tough parenting decisions. 

ESMOD's picture

Teenagers suck.. BEING a teenager SUCKS too..haha.  I well remember chomping at the bit.. thinking I was old enough to make decisions for myself.. and I wouldn't get into stupid situations.  yeah.. at 15-18 especially, we all think we are 10 feet tall, bulletproof and are wise to the world.

But, our parents generally do have our best interest at heart.  I kind of get where she is coming from.. feels the "nanny" software is stifling.  But.. in reality, it is probably keeping her from going down some rabbit holes she won't want to be in once she is in them.  Shoot, there as just this year a guy that was shot by a mother in our area.  He came all the way from new zeland.  Showed up with weapons and zip ties I believe.. for a 14 yo girl.  They had met in an onliine chat group and he didn't look like he was coming to play.  Stuff does happen.. maybe not high percentages and as my YSD liked to say.. "there are risks for everything.. you can't let that keep you at home".. I would say that there are good risks and bad ones.  Necessary risks like getting in your car to drive to work.. and uneccessary would be taking a vacation to a war torn

If she is embarassed she needs to do what we told her to tell her friends.. "roll eyes.. my parents are so weird..."  your friends will just nod and agree with you..haha.. their parents are weird too.  Not all parents treat their kids the same.. some have more or fewer resources.  What one family thinks is a good idea.. isn't with others. 

Tell her the good thing is that she has less than 3 years to deal with this.  If she still is unhappy with rules at 18.. she can move on out.. pay her way.. buy herself a phone.. but.. as long as you guys are footing the bill, there will be some limits and you aren't doing them to be mean.  And.. the older she is.. and the more she proves herself.. the more freedoms she is likely to get.  Iknow it's frustrating.. but it's all part of growing up honey.

ksmom14's picture

Yea I guess drive home the point of, "until you're out of this house you live by our rules"...

Do we take stuff away for her acting like a jerk though....I mean after this went down yesterday I went in my room and had to put away some Xmas stuff we had gotten and it just made me irritated that we do so much for them, and she's just so unappreciative Sad

Maybe we should just get all the skids flip phones that only allow texting and calling (SD13 and SS16 have both abused thier phones in the past and would totally deserve this too)

futurobrillante99's picture

I would advise you to not punish her. The attitude is part of her processing a whole bunch of feelings. Let it go but nip it in the bud if it gets worse. The one sure way to make her attitude worse is to reward crappy behavior or cave to her pleas for relaxed rules.

agitated's picture

I agree with the above...Teenagers Suck! My SD16 is usually the less mouthy of our house of teenagers (BS14, BS14 and SD16), however she does the same crap you just described. 3 weeks or so ago while traveling to see a sick family member, my DH asked SD to grab the oil filter on the floor before getting in so it doesn't get crushed. She just stands there staring at him, he asks again, she bends down and I kid you not, PICKS UP A PIECE OF PAPER and hands it to him. DH gets upset and loudly asked her if she seriously thought an oil filter was a piece of paper (NOTE: the filter was in  box right in front of her face). Of course SD sighs and snottily goes off about how we just love yelling at her ALLL the time and she swears we look for any reason to do so. We just ignore it.

Siemprematahari's picture

Whatever you do don't allow H to bend and give into the "guilty parenting". SD is going through her teenage phase and her safety is priority. She thinks you and H are strict and has no concept that all you're doing is protecting her and have her well being at heart. Ok so these kids have upgraded phones if she wants a new one she can work for it. No one will know about th emonitoring app unles she told them so that was stupid on her part.

When she said "what's the point of even having a phone if you're going to put the software on it".  I would have asked her if she would prefer to find out? She doesn't need the phone and she should consider it a luxury that she has one.

So don't bend or entertain her attitude. She'll get over it and be fine. There are worse things that kids go through aside from an outdated phone.......


ksmom14's picture

My response was " well if you don't think there's a point in having one with monitoring that we can certainly stop paying for it" and then she got dramatic and all "god y'all always react like that, that's why I don't tell you anything" 

But seriously, if she doens't see a point in having it with the software on it, WHY ARE WE PAYING FOR IT?!

tog redux's picture

We all survived without monitoring software on our phones. Hell, we all survived without cell phones at all.

I'm going against the popular opinion here, but if she's a trustworthy kid, let her have some freedom. If she abuses that, then take back some of that freedom, rinse, repeat.


futurobrillante99's picture

I would test her. I would maybe hide a GPS tracker on her phone and see what she does with her perceived new freedom. I wouldn't open the floodgates of freedom too quickly.

Back when I was a kid, my parents knew a lot of people in our area, and my mom was a stay at home mom, though she was busy with volunteering and church. I could say I was going to stay after school for tutoring or some activity and would take the after school bus home later.

More than once, I'd get home to an inquisition and it turned out some friend or acquaintance of hers had seen me where I wasn't supposed to be.

Times have changed. People don't rat kids out anymore. And some really scary stuff is going on that wasn't really as prevalent 30-40 years ago.

tog redux's picture

Actually, that's a myth based on the media scaring the crap out of parents. Studies show kids today have lower rates of teen pregnancy and drug use. They are having higher mental health issues, and suicide, though. And leaving home at older and older ages.

IMO, parents today are overprotective of teens and that's why they take so long to grow up.  So the same issue we are complaining about on here, we are causing as a generation.  If a kid is a generally trustworthy kid who makes good decisions, then he/she doesn't need that level of micromanagement.

futurobrillante99's picture

I disagree that the world hasn't changed much.

The level of safety and freedom I experienced as a child didn't exist when I raised my children. It was a terrifying time with children being snatched up and killed. (Adam Walsh for instance) - child predators are more prevalent today and have greater access to our children and young people.

I was a generally trustworthy kid who made good decisions but my parents were very strict. It kept me out of a lot of trouble.

Before cell phones and social media, it was a LOT harder for kids to coordinate rule breaking and reckless behaviors. You had to call the house landline or go to someone's house.

The stakes are higher today. The girl is 15. She still needs monitoring and any added freedom should be given incrementally and with oversight, understanding that if she is caught lying, she loses all her new freedom until she earns it back.

ksmom14's picture

Yes I survived without monitoring software on my phone, however I did not have internet access on my phone...and the internet was NOT what it is today.

We've already had issues with all three skids regarding internet content. SD13 "met" someone in switzerland and decided to make international phone calls to talk to her, and racked up hunderds of dollars in charges. SD15 HAD (as in doesn't anymore) an instagram account that she followed a bunch of anime pages that were basically soft porn. SS16 was getting around the software for a while (which I knew and told DH and he didn't do anything about it) and that turned into a full blown porn addiction.

So, yes even though in general she is trustworthy and honest, and level headed, we are not okay with her having FULL access to the internet.

classyNJ's picture

Oh the spy apps LOL 

She is pissy because there are things and places she wants to go that you will not allow her and she can't because the apps will give her away.  She herself knows that those places are off limits and wrong or she would not feel that way.

We went thru this with SS16 then 14-15.  We didn't monitor his texts or emails but would block restricted sites.  Once he started to ask if he could go to places with his older team mates who drove we were skeptical.  We talked to one of the parents of said driver who told us that it was fine and they had a tracker app on their kids phone.  So we put on on SS16.  He was caught twice lying.  

He would ask if he could go to a party or spend the night at a friends house and we would always know if it was on the up and up because when DH told him sure - after we talk to a parent - either A) DH would talk to the parent and all would be fine or Dirol SS16 would get pissy and either say "never mind" or say ok and come back a little later to tell us that all of a sudden the party was cancelled. 

Now that he is back at DBDB he has run of whatever he wants to do and she does not monitor anything.  She is rarely home so we are expecting the worse.

Stay the course and don't give in.  

Step-girlfriend's picture

Her behavior does seem a bit entitled and spoiled, and IMO, a teenager acting pouty because you are being a parent and are "too strict", definitely does not get rewarded by having the software taken off. Bottom line is, it's not hurting her to have it on there, aside from her just not "liking it". I think all parents should be checking their kids phones, if they don't have spyware.

The chances of you regretting putting it on are highly unlikely, but there is a good chance you could regret not having it on there. Teenagers think they know best, and get themselves into trouble. It doesn't mean don't trust them about anything, but it is just way too easy for them to get into trouble with free range on phones. Also, just the fact that she's throwing such a big fit about it makes me wonder what is that spyware keeping her from doing? What would she be doing differently if it weren't on there?

Good for your DH for not giving in to demands and backing down because of her pouty attitude.

ksmom14's picture

That's a very good point, it's very unlikely that we'll regret putting the software on there, but there is a chance we'll regret taking it off.

I don't think we have any plans to take the software off...especially with how dramatic she's acting. DH is convinced she's up to something she shouldn't be, otherwise why would she be so upset?

futurobrillante99's picture

Did you see my earlier post? She’s probably got a crush on a guy and can’t get anywhere alone with him without you knowing about it. 

Frustrated4ever's picture

If it's any consolation, we deal with the same thing here with SD17.  And, I am embarassed to say, we are very lenient with her.  Good student, really dedicated and involved in sports, the whole nine yards.  The attitude at times is beyond incredible. Sigh. BM has the phone plan and DH and her don't talk, so the only communication about the tracking app she had on the phone was when she would question them why they were at XYZ rather than home.