19 yr old daughter overdramatic

longabruken

I am looking for ways to deal w/ my daughter. She is 19 and everyday situations cause her to react hystarically. Yesterday for example, she is out with her friends and when she gets baack to her car, the locks on her car are frozen. I bought her lock de-icer but she forgot it. She calls me up ranting and raving about her situation. For the first time, I told her to figure it out. She was in a safe location and friends with her so she was ok. I told her I was not coming out. She is now angry with me. This is just an example of the way she deals w/ situations. She crys and screams and acts like the whole world is out to get her. Everyday interactions become major drama scenes.She is a good kid, goes to college, good grades, etc...I just want her to start acting more mature and adult like and I am at a loss how to get her to get that way. I did not like saying no to her, but I do not know how else to get to deal with situations rationally. I believe she has to learn to deal w/ things like an adult. I feel guilty with my reaction but I think it is for the best. If there is any better ways to get her from being so dramactic, I am open to suggestions. Thanks in advance.

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tracystoke

she sounds like a spoilt brat,shes ran to mummy for far too long,its about time she grew up ,she is an adult now,start treating her like one,eventually she will act like one,dont let her keep relying on you,

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auntdiggie

longabruken
I think you may have found your solution!
I did not like saying no to her, but I do not know how else to get to deal with situations rationally. I believe she has to learn to deal w/ things like an adult
The hardest thing to say to our children is 'NO'.
My Mom told me the way to tell if I was doing the 'right' thing with my kids was this:
'If it is easier to say yes, it is probably the wrong answer. The right way is invariably the hardest path'
Don't feel guilty! You are her Mom, not her servant.
She may be mad now (and dam*it thats hard on Moms, teens own 'Mad), but eventually, as she gains confidence in her ability to handle things on her own, she will scratch her mad spot!
Stick to your resolve and don't allow her anger to sway you. She needs you, she will get over it

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sweeby

"For the first time, I told her to figure it out."

There must have been a typo in your post - you said she was 19! You meant 9, right?
If not, you're more than 10 years overdue in getting her to begin to become self-sufficient.
Independence and self-reliance are skills build over a lifetime!
A lifetime of successfully dealing with small challenges that build confidence and teach skills.
Of learning to rely on onesself rather than running to Mommy or Daddy every time there's a bump in the road.

The next time she calls you in a panic, your reply needs to be "What do you think you should do about that?"
Then for goodness sake, Don't Fix it!. Don't even tell her what to do!
Give her just enough guidance to figure it out on her own, then praise her when she succeeds.

You might also want to schedule some 'make-up classes' for 'Adult Life Prep 101'.
Can she cook? Do laundry? Change a flat tire? Fix a leaky toilet? Tell when a houseplant needs more water? Less?
What about personal safety? Dating decisions?
Can she balance a checkbook? Save money? Pay the bills? Do her own taxes?

The problem isn't "Dramatics" --
It's that until now, "learned helplessness" and tantrums have been effective strategies.

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bnicebkind

I know someone like this. She is now 24 and still behaves this way. Her family is at a loss on how to turn this around now.

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believer

Longabruken,

I think that many times we do for our kids without thinking that we are spoiling them unless they exhibit an obvious behavior that we associate with being a "brat".

Your daughter sounds like she has anger control issues and yes, she sounds like she expects you to jump when she says jump. I think sometimes this type of behavior can come from different places other that being spoiled. I have had anger control problems. I tend to fell overwhelmed easily, I have trouble with depression. I have had difficulty accepting some things that have happened in my life. I have allowed myself to harbor bitterness, hatred and the feelings that come with a low self esteem. Perhaps your daughter is dealing with other issues also.

I think what you did was good for her and it probably really ticked her off. She may hold onto that for a long time. Continue to treat her with kindness and lead by example and continue to do what you did. She needs to be polite and gracious to you.

I think it depends on the person whether or not they become rotten when they are spoiled. I don't think everyone does. If you think that you have spoiled her then it's time to let her know that you made a mistake if she is going to act this way about things. I am happy to do things for my kids that may be consider "spoiling" them if they treat me with love and respect and do not act like brats. When they start acting like brats they don't get much from me.

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trekaren

My daughter is 11, PMS'y, and headstrong.

I have found that the actions I take for her behavior that work, usually also break my heart.

That's kind of become my test for whether my punishment is effective or my behavior redirections to her are helping.

I think it's the 'mom guilt' we have hardwired into us.

But that's why they call it 'tough' love.

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stephanie_in_ga

I was 21, weeks after college graduation, when I called my parents to say my car needed $1000 in repairs. Assuming they would have a solution (and money) I told them everything the mechanic said and then waited. After several seconds of silence I heard Mom say these exact words I'll never forget:

"Well, let us know what you decide to do."

I wasn't mad and didn't blame her, but it was a cold bucket of water! Now I understand that was even harder for her to say than it was for me to hear. I don't even remember how I got it fixed on my own, but I did. I think I decided another estimate was a good idea. ;o)

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bnicebkind

stephanie in ga: I got the same answer at about the same age. And like you, I was startled. I realized that I was now an adult, and needed to somehow become one. And I did. And I was proud that I could take care of things without them having to do everything for me.

For what its worth...I was talking to someone at one of the Universities and he told me that this new generation is unbelievably helpless. That they seem unable to take care of anything, and the University blames it on parents doing too much for them. Failing to help them become capable human beings. They are like children in adult bodies.

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stephanie_in_ga

I can believe that, bnice. I don't know how it happens. Might be parents are too busy and find it faster to do something for the kids than to teach them to do it (cuz it does take longer that way, at least in the short run), or if they feel guilty for being busy and compensate. Or if they are fearful of letting kids fail, or of being accountable for their kids' mistakes. I don't know. I think I have made the mistake of doing things for my kids b/c I am in a hurry and letting them do it would take longer. I get impatient.

I saw my ILs last week. MIL said something to my DS 15 y/o that surprised me. My DH flunked out of a private school his freshman year in college. He went on to apply elsewhere and did complete a 4 year degree. MIL told DS about this and said that it was b/c she didn't make him do enough for himself, he wasn't prepared for getting along without her. Only when she said "tough, figure this one out yourself" did he take it seriously and do well. She basically told DS he must make his own choices and take responsibility for making them happen himself.

This was b/c we were talking about DS getting his learner's permit to drive. He is old enough, the age for permit is 15 in GA. I know what he needs to do to get it. But I won't tell him. There are forms to fill out and get signed by his school, documents he needs to request from the school, and of course a manual to study and an exam. Like I said, I won't tell him that, I won't get the papers. I told him he needs to figure it out. All the instructions and forms are available online. He knows how to google. ;o) My policy on this is that if he isn't ready to figure out what to do, he isn't ready to drive. I'm sticking to it. He's been 15 for 6 months. But I honestly don't think he is ready to drive, or even quite feels ready himself.

I feel like this issue is a precident for the next several years. It would be easier to just tell him what I know. But I am resisting, it's actually pretty easy by now. ;o)

My 12 y/o was failing a class in 6th grade several weeks ago. He was missing several assignments. I showed him how to pull up his grades/assignments (our district uses a site to do this... it is awesome!) and print it out. Then I said take it to your teacher and talk about it, I'm not talking to her for you. That was hard, b/c I knew if he didn't follow through it would be an F on his report card. Yikes. But it's 6th grade, it's one F, I figured if that's what it took, he would learn. I'm not the one who didn't do or turn in the assignments (he loses things). But he did, and came home the next day with a packet of make-up work and brought the grade back up. I was proud of him, and could see how handling that empowered him.

So, I think the OP is doing the right thing. Even if a the DD is mad at the time, in the long run the empowerment she will feel from solving her own problems is a much better thing to do for her than running to her aid. After the cold water bath Mom gave me, it felt good to know that she had confidence and trust in my ability to handle things myself. It's not that she wanted to abandon me, it's that she knew I was competent. It only took until I got the car fixed myself to smile and know she was right.

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azzalea

I totally agree that we have to start early to teach our children the tools they need to get along independently in this life. It's certainly good that you stepped back and let your dd solve this relatively minor problem on her own. Good place to start if you haven't already worked with her on problem-solving.

However, I do have to say one thing in defense of your dd. It's very unrealistic to expect a 19-year-old to react as an adult would. Their brains aren't fully formed yet. The part that controls logical thinking doesn't fully mature until about their mid-20's. At this stage in life, your daughter's brain is mainly being controlled by emotion, not logic. So reacting emotionally is not really unexpected or out of the ordinary for a child of her age. She may not yet have the tools to do more than that. Of course, you can work with her. Teach her the 5 steps to good decision-making/problem solving. By having a formula to follow, it will help her organize her thoughts, and make better decisions at this stage of the game.

Hang in there, though--you'll see a huge difference in your daughter's behavior and relationship with you in the next 4-5 years. They actually get quite nice and pleasant by their mid-20's!

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susie53_gw

Many years ago when our kids were young I read a small passage and it says it all. "It is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that makes them ready for the world." It just about says it all. We have the most independent kids there is. They can do it all.

Susie

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sue36

Generally speaking, I agree with the other posters (re: promoting independence, etc.). However, I wonder if there is something else going on? Is this a situation of a slightly spoiled, probably immature 19 year old? Or is there some personality disorder? The way the OP describes the hysterics, ranting and raving, crying, hysterics...that sounds more like something else is going on. That is not, well, normal. Everyone has a melt down once in awhile, but the OP says this is a regular occurence.

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mom2emall

My 19 year old sister is the same way. My dad babied her our whole life and now she is a brat! She cries to daddy over every problem. He finally got her to get her own apartment with a friend and move out of his home since she would not respect his rules and boundries. Now he gives her money each month because she can't pay her bills (though she has several new tattoos and piercings)! Its awful!!!

With me my dad was different. In high school when my used vehicle broke down my dad paid for the repairs and set me up on a payment plan to pay him back from my part time job. As a senior I was buying my own yearbook. If I wanted to drive around with friends I was paying for my own gas. If I wanted to go to the movies I paid for myself.

When college came around he never offered to pay, so I applied for grants and scholorships and worked full-time as I went to school. I graduated with honors and had NO LOANS to pay off when I was done.

While at the time I was mad at my dad for not helping me more I thank him now. If he would have babied me like he did my sister I would not be self-sufficient either!

Stop babying your daughter!

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believer

Susie53.....I absolutely love what you posted. Thank you for sharing that.

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sirens

THANK YOU ALL for posting on this thread! This is wonderful advice for us parents.

Thank you!

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everyonespecial

My daughter used to act like that (before she aliented me from her life 3 yrs ago)....I THINK the best thing to do is to stay calm (sometimes they feed off of sensitivity) and try to say no at times, even though I know it's hard to do. I went through that also. I never understood why my daughter would fly off the handle either at the littlest thing and seem to hate me for it..?!?!?! I just know if you lose your temper or become upset, that makes things worse. Good luck with that

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