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Question
Posted by: just a mom | 2008/08/11

13 year olds.....

Hi CS,

I have read a few posts about the 13 year olds giving some probs. It is comforting in a way. It means my child is normal...
However, I have no idea how to deal with her nonsense. It feels like we are permanently fighting.
Of course I am to blame for her poor misserable life, and yet, she does not stop the crap.

The disrespect she shows, is unbearable. Towards myself &  her syblings, and living with her, is really not a bed of roses.

There is doing things behind my back, and recently I took her cellphone because the bill is wayyyyyyy over the limit. I dont pay the contract, its being paid out of their trust their dad left for them, but the trustees might just decide that I must pay for it if she goes overboard like that.

Her sisters phone was mysteriously gone...since I took her phone. I suspected something funny around that, and sent a msg to her sister' s phone. The phone was off, till this morning school started......
I just know my 13 year old took her sister' s phone and is nicely phoning and smsing form her phone.
So now I am dealing once again with the dishonesty &  stealing.

How do I keep on doing this without making her a " bad person"  and breaking her down.

I think that I fight with her so much, she must feel like I hate her. yet, these kind of things are serious to me &  cant just be left?

Pls advise...

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Our expert says:
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Hey, i a teenager gives no problems whatever, maybe that's a reason to worry a little ! Check the archives as I've discussed this type of problem so very often. Set basic clear house rules, applicable to all the kids, with penalties ( losing privileges she values, such as the use of a cellphone at all ) for breaking them, and rewards for keeping to them. Apply these firmly, calmly and equally to all. Disrespect to others is not acceptable. And why does she ened a cellphone at all, with a bill you pay ? Why not let her have only the phone, with NO airtime, which she must buy from pocket money she earns by being respectful to all, and by doing chores around the house ? Don't let the bill be payed, willy-nilly, bu the trust. Discuss this with the trustees.
And report the sister's phone as stolen, so it can be blocked. And if it turns out she does have it, ask the police to inform her how they would deal with such a theft. She has to recognize the likely results from
the choices she makes.
And make it clear, you do not hate her, but you hate some of the things she does, such as lying --- its the cations that are hateful, not the person.

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