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My kids don't respect me or listen to me anymore and I don't know what to do!

Community Member
I am a single mother of 3 kids ages 10, 8 & 5. My problem is mainly with my oldest daughter her behavior and my lack of parenting of it is now affecting my other children who are starting to mimic her. My oldest daughter has always been strong willed but life with her is steadily getting harder and harder and I am miserable and I don't see her being very happy either. My daughter seems to think she can do or say whatever she wants, she speaks to me like dirt. If I try to get her to do her homework she swears at me and won't do it. Anything I try to get her to do she refuses she swears at me which now the other kids are copying. I have over the years tried calmly talking to her, reasoning with her,shouting at her, smacking her I am ashamed to say, I have tried reward schemes, pocket money schemes, I have tried taking things off her as punishment I think I have tried everything I am at my wits end. Every single day is a series of screaming matches. She takes anything she wants in the house regardless if it is hers or not. She has not respect for other people or their belongings I am constantly finding my stuff gone and then discovered she's taken it. She does the same with her siblings stuff or food. It doesn't matter if I tell her she can't touch this it is for their school lunches if she wants it she takes it. I have to hide everything. She is not deprived, we're not rich but we are not poor she has nice things but even her stuff she treats badly. Anytime she is told to do anything she doesn't want she'll scream and swear it's like her default volume is loud, but then she can be so loving so nice but that is mainly when she is getting her own way as awful as that sounds. I have tried to set one on one time with her but it's hard when there are two others kids and I feel like I am showing the other kids bad behavior gets treats. My other two are starting to talk back to me, even swear at me I still have a little sway over them but I see it dying fast. Tonight I discovered that she had gone into my handbag and eaten all of a brand new packet of chewing gum I had bought, I know it doesn't seem much but I broke down, I can't even have a pack of gum. I just cried I asked her why and she just denied it blamed her siblings when I got angry I just got attitude and she stormed off. When she is not around things are so good, so peaceful I feel terrible saying that but it's true. I love her so much but I feel I don't like her.
10 Replies 10

Community Member

Hi trying hard,

when I read your post, it sounded a lot like my life. Except my eldest is 20.

A few years ago she had to "step up" and be the mum. Now she won't let me get that title back.

It also took me awhile to realise but she has the personality of her dad, lovely around others, not so nice at home. The way he treated me she does now.

Have you seeked professional advice? Maybe she has anger over separation/divorce???

I wish I could relax around my daughter without my heart beat beating so fast and feeling so sick.

Take care,

shaz xx