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Question
Posted by: Savanna | 2012/02/20

Am i spoiling my only daughter?

Good morning
I have a 13 year old baby and very moody and I don’ t know how to handle her and my family turn to think I spoil her.
She only wash the dishes when I tell her to, she makes her bed when I tell her to, she does her homework so well and she will leave the books on the table for a night only remove them in the morning when we are ready to hit the road and goes to school. I tried to tell her that I will take her phone and stop her from watching TV if she does not stop doing all the things that I have mentioned. And moody as she is I have a boyfriend that I have been dating for a year now and they have a very good relationship except when my daughter is moody the boyfriend does not talk to her and I asked him why and he said he will not let a child young as she is control her, he will ignore her until she comes to her senses it hurts me of course that my boyfriend does not want to talk to my daughter when she is that mood. It will go as far as my daughter will hold the remote control of the TV and not move its like she will say no one will touch this remote and when she is happy if he comes she will jump on him and tell him all the stories in the world and they will all laugh about it. If he comes maybe to sleep over at my house if he sees that she has started with her moods again my boyfriend will decide to go back to his place instead of sleeping over.
Will you please advise me on this situation. Am I really spoiling my daughter? Am I too soft on her? Am I not allowed to spoil my only girl? Why is my boyfriend behaving so childish I mean my daughter is only 13. Should I end my relationship with this man and focus only on my daughter. Am I a bad mother for allowing my boyfriend in my house while my daughter need her space?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sounds like she is indeed spoiled, and that your attenpts at discipline are rather disorganized and random. Maybe seing a counsellor would help you to plan a realistic and consistent and effective code of conduct for her.
Don't be hurt that your boyfriend is sensible enough not to allow a kid to manipulate and try to control him - you should not be allowing and encouraging her to do so with him or with you. It also sounds as though she is trying to control even the relaionship between you and your bf.
My blood chills when I read " Am I not allowed to spoil my only girl?" NO ! That's why it is called SPOILING - it makes her a selfish, undisciplined ugly and unpleasant child. You should love her enough NOT to spoil her. Spoiling is not a way of loving a child, it is a way of not respecting her, and teaching her not to respect others. TO decide to "focus only on your daughter" could spil her even more.
Your task is to be a good mother, a good parent, not a fawning, obsequious, obedient servant or friend.

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Our users say:
Posted by: WB | 2012/02/24

Dear Savanna,
Your first sentence is very telling of the relationship you have with your daughter. She cannot be 13 and a “ baby”  at the same time.
When becoming teenagers, children (especially girls) change due to the hormonal changes in their bodies. She is bound to be moody, angry and not understand why she feels that way most of the time. Even so –  she WILL respect you in your house. Allow her to apologise when she has been rude, but make it clear that you will not tolerate bad behaviour. Considering that she is at the age where she will question everything and everyone and push her boundaries, you will have to remind her that challenging or disrespecting you will not win her any brownie points.
If she wants to be treated with respect, you will have to insist that she treats others with the same respect she expects.
She appears to be lazy (as most children are!) and will only listen to you if you tell her to do something. Threatening to take away her phone or the TV, will not help if you do not actually keep your word. Threats without action teaches her that you are a “ push over”  and she will keep challenging your authority if you are not firm with her (consistency is the key!)
As for your boyfriend, he appears to be considerate of her moods, but will not tolerate her being rude and rightly so. I don’ t know what type of relationship she has with her biological father, but it appears that she likes your boyfriend, but will have to learn to respect him or their relationship will suffer. Your boyfriend sleeping over is confusing to a child and you might have to explain that to her if you haven’ t covered that topic before. If she is good at her school work, compliment her and reward her. This will teach her that good behaviour gets rewarded. Do not overdo it, or you will be crossing the line and “ spoiling”  her again. Keep a good balance.
Remember that your love for your daughter doesn’ t mean that you cannot love your boyfriend. You must find a balance so that they don’ t have to compete for your attention. Don’ t let either of them manipulate you and be firm about your decisions. If you are not consistent, people WILL walk on you
Hang in there and good luck! Being a mom isn’ t easy, so keep at it and it will get better.
Best wishes, WB
PS: Cybershrink - take a chill pill!

Reply to WB
Posted by: Angella | 2012/02/24

You are not spoiling her only but lack discipline as well.Where is your parent? She really need grandparent who will teach her values as she becoming a woman herself now. I don''t say dump her to your parent but it is good to work together with them to assist you.What you are doing is not love and your child will blame you when she is old bcos nobody will want to be around her she is selfish because she got everything include your attention alone.It is not wrong to love her but you are overprotective, not firm.I''m single mother myself but i don''t allow my son to jump all over me, there is a time of everything and we are very happy in such a way everybody loves him,he makes friends easily,respect everybody so i''m very proud of him.Your boyfriend I don''t blame him to give you a space when she is moody in other words he tell you discipline your child.You can dump him which i don''t see a point and get another one same thing will happen because the problem is you and your child infact you.Be a parent not the other way around.She must wash dishes even if you didn''t tell her,make her room when she wake up because you teach her and firm about it. What kind of a woman she will be if she don''t know now.God give that child to mould her to be something useful.

Reply to Angella
Posted by: su | 2012/02/24

Be strict with lots of love? I need more info on this please. Also have a 9 yr old son &  boyfriend that something do and don''t get along.
In addition I AM the girlfriend with his no doubt spoilt 13 yr old, illmannered and disrespectful daughter.
Double stress:(

Reply to su
Posted by: Charlene | 2012/02/23

Dear Savanna

Your daughter is now hitting puberty. Girls are renowned for being the most difficult of the sexes during this time in their lives. Their hormones play havoc with their emotions and it is like being on a rollercoaster ride (try to remember your feelings at 13:).

However discipline is vital for your road together as mother and daughter (boyfriend or no boyfriend in the picture). She needs to know what her boundaries are with you, and it is important that you stay consistant with your rules. However, it is also important for you to decide what is more important, your boyfriend.... or your child. But you can have both if you handle this correctly.

I had a problem with my son and went to see a therapist whom advised me on how to discipline my child (by being strict and with lots of love of course). My son is now a different person!

Good luck, you CAN do it.

rgds

Reply to Charlene
Posted by: Annie | 2012/02/23

You cannot expect your daughter to change now. She has been your focal point for years. Your boyfriend should accept that your daugher will always come first in your life.

Reply to Annie
Posted by: Queen | 2012/02/20

Sadly, yes you are spoiling your daughter. And she will be the one to suffer the consequences. When she''s older and goes out to experience this unkind world we live in she will realise how less equipped she is to face it. For example, being moody doesn''t get you far in life. Who will want to be around her in her twenties with all her sulking and moods? People will just leave her alone because that''s we do when people get moody.

Children need boundaries, they need a structure and they crave discipline. We don''t always have to be liked our kids in order to be good parents. Lets have a backbone and say ''no''. They will thank us later.

Reply to Queen
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/02/20

Sounds like she is indeed spoiled, and that your attenpts at discipline are rather disorganized and random. Maybe seing a counsellor would help you to plan a realistic and consistent and effective code of conduct for her.
Don't be hurt that your boyfriend is sensible enough not to allow a kid to manipulate and try to control him - you should not be allowing and encouraging her to do so with him or with you. It also sounds as though she is trying to control even the relaionship between you and your bf.
My blood chills when I read " Am I not allowed to spoil my only girl?" NO ! That's why it is called SPOILING - it makes her a selfish, undisciplined ugly and unpleasant child. You should love her enough NOT to spoil her. Spoiling is not a way of loving a child, it is a way of not respecting her, and teaching her not to respect others. TO decide to "focus only on your daughter" could spil her even more.
Your task is to be a good mother, a good parent, not a fawning, obsequious, obedient servant or friend.

Reply to cybershrink

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