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19 Feb 2003

Why this feeling of regret?
I'm a mom of four, aged 16&11 (girls),8 & 22months(boys). I seem to be having BIG problems with them. The older ones constantly fight amongst each other and (to me) it's as if the second eldest is ALWAYS the one who starts it! It's either that someone took this or that of hers, or they're doing something to her! She even says that I don't care about her, because I take the others' side (but I know she is mostly at fault). When I give her chores, her reply is always:"But I did that yesterday, why cant he/she do it" . Is it just a phase she's going through? When my eldest was her age I never had a problem with her. Oh and another thing is that whenever I want to talk to her about "the birds and the bees" she goes out of the room and then avoids me after that. HELP PLEASE!
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

JC, Sounds like a not unusual and highly annoying phase with a young teenager. As at some other stages in life, as they start to explore their own power to assert themslves, to manipulate, etc., they can become a real pain in the neck.
To avoid arguments about whether she id X or Y chore yesterday, why not apportion the chores routinely among the two --- so chore X is something she is expected to do everyday, while her sister does chore Y ever day ?
Sometimes their may be opportunities to talk rationally to her ; to explain that caring about her, which you do very much, does not involve taking her side when she's wrong or when she's being unreasonable, but caring includes discipline and helping her to become a much more loveable and happier person.
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