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Help! My 14-year-old has turned into my worst enemy!

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I know, everyone says it's normal for teens to go through stages and become monsters at certain points in time, but this is becoming unbearable. She was always raised with respect, kindness, and while she was given sports and extra-curricular activities, she was never over-indulged or entitled. We don't have a ton of money, so "spoiled" didn't really fit the bill. I'm a single mother, and my two kids and I have always been very close. Recently, though, she's become horrible and I seem to be her #1 target! She thinks it's funny to joke about drugs, she thinks it's funny to talk about sex like I'm one of her buddies (including rape jokes), she's begun cussing like it's allowed, she speaks terribly to her 8-year-old brother (even telling him that our "hard times" with money started when he was born). We go rounds daily over these things, and she just snaps back at me, talks to me like I'm below her, slams doors, etc. I know...people say, "She's probably doing drugs, or sleeping around," but it's not possible. I take her to school every morning and pick her up immediately after. She's never "on her own." Her friends aren't bad kids, either. She hasn't changed her appearance or the way she dresses, and we SOMETIMES have good days. But for the most part, she just doesn't seem to have any regard for anything anymore, and when I try to talk to her or discipline her for her mean mouth, she refuses to answer me, or even look at me. She just shuts down. Sometimes she'll flip her hair, raise her eyebrows, shrug...it's like she's giving me the finger without actually doing it. We are scheduled to move out of state in one month, and she's been fighting me all along the way...even to the point of asking her friends and TEACHERS if she can live with them. It's raising questions in the school about why she doesn't want to live with her family anymore. She has absolutely NO reason to be so angry. In the meantime, at home, she's making life unbearable. I've tried everything I know of...to be understanding, to be firm, to talk to her, to negotiate, to explain that she's the child and she has to move when her family does....nothing works. She's just hateful. My question is, would it exacerbate the problem if I withdrew her now and home schooled her the rest of the year? I'm literally afraid of letting her out of my sight. I don't know what happened to my sweet girl.

answers (1)

Chances are your daughter is very upset about your upcoming move. I had to move to a new state after my freshman year of high school and it was very difficult. The best thing you can do is to see a therapist with her. Having a neutral third party present may make it easier for your daughter to actually talk to you about her feelings.

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