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How do you deal with a disrespectful adult child?


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#1 Sunshine40

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 05:25 AM

Hello All. I have a 20 year old living at home (she is a full time student and has a job as well, so she is not a bum) who also goes to church every week and fulfills her calling as a primary teacher. So why am I complaining, right? there are good things to look at.. Nevertheless. At home, she has no respect for other people. Her younger sister (13) is constantly berrated by swear words and nasty comments. ('You're stupid, you're ugly, I hate you" etc.,) She calls me a crack head often and blames her parents for anything going wrong in her life. She is constantly putting other people down..and I want her out of my house . It is SO much more peaceful when she just is not here..but my husband wants her to stay, to "help her out" and she IS moving out next winter..So as i am countiing down the months and days, and teaching my children to turn the other cheek and bless them and pray for them that curse you..etc.. HER behavior does NOT change. Whenever I talk to her about it she tells me "mom, why can't you appreciate that I am the ONLY one of my friends that is even temple worthy"....as if that is an excuse to be emotionally abusive to anyone. What do I do? My 13 year old is REALLY hurting and ahs a SUPER low self esteem as a result. (yes I am taking into account that she is 13 and it goes with the territory, but she is normally a really positive individual)

#2 NeuroTypical

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 05:34 AM

How do you deal with a disrespectful adult child?
...
I want her out of my house. It is SO much more peaceful when she just is not here..but my husband wants her to stay, to "help her out" and she IS moving out next winter.

The problem isn't with this 20 yr old, it's with your husband. I suppose you solve the problem by figuring out things with him.
If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack, to sit in the synagogue and pray.
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.
And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day.
That would be the sweetest thing of all.

Ohhh....
If I were a rich man...

#3 anatess

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 06:15 AM

Talk to her woman-to-woman about how her Temple Worthiness is not showing at home. All her friends may not be temple worthy but she can't be temple worthy either having a dirty mouth like that. It's high time she understands that her temple worthiness may be subject to review or that she may only be temple worthy on paper. There are house rules. You live in the house, you follow the rules. She breaks the rules - I don't care if she's the Queen of England - she gets to move out so she can make her own rules. You don't put a 13-year-old at a disadvantage to please a 20-year-old and a husband. You get to fight for your 13-year-old. If she was younger than 18, you get to whip her butt into shape. It's too late for that now.

#4 Dravin

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 06:17 AM

Whenever I talk to her about it she tells me "mom, why can't you appreciate that I am the ONLY one of my friends that is even temple worthy"....as if that is an excuse to be emotionally abusive to anyone.


My response?

"Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?"

More directly related to the issue at hand, I agree with LM that you need to sit down with your Husband and agree about a plan of action so that you can present a united front.
Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

#5 applepansy

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:38 AM

Our youngest is 24 and married. Our youngest son is 27. He's been out of the house three times. The last time he needed to move home was 3 years ago when he got custody of his son. We do not tolerate disrespect in our home. PERIOD! My husband is less tolerant of disrespect than I am. Our son would not be living with us now except we don't know how to let him fall on his face and catch the baby (who is now 4-1/2 - we've had them both for 3 years now). I am grateful to have our grandson living here. He's safe and loved and cared for. No more abuse and neglect. However, Our son still has a lot of growing up to do. He's doing it but slowly. He is never disrespectful anymore. He knows he'll lose his roof, the car we allow him to drive so he can work, and his bed....and if he loses all that he might just lose his son too. So... he gets angry sometimes but no more disrespect. Your husband needs to be on the same page as you are. Your daughter is an adult. She doesn't need protection. Your 13 yo daughter needs to be protected from her abuser. That's your job. That's your husband's job. Protect your child from the adult who is abusing her.

#6 prisonchaplain

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:19 AM

Talk to her woman-to-woman about how her Temple Worthiness is not showing at home. All her friends may not be temple worthy but she can't be temple worthy either having a dirty mouth like that. It's high time she understands that her temple worthiness may be subject to review or that she may only be temple worthy on paper.

There are house rules. You live in the house, you follow the rules. She breaks the rules - I don't care if she's the Queen of England - she gets to move out so she can make her own rules. You don't put a 13-year-old at a disadvantage to please a 20-year-old and a husband. You get to fight for your 13-year-old. If she was younger than 18, you get to whip her butt into shape. It's too late for that now.


I concur with all of this...though I might have said it more...well...PC :P

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." -- Lord Acton


#7 anatess

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:40 AM

I concur with all of this...though I might have said it more...well...PC :P


It would be awesome if you PC-fy it, PC!

#8 annewandering

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:36 AM

We have to deal with disrespect as well. It isnt as easy as it might seem. I wish there was an easy solution. In your case it is going to have to be a matter of priorities. A 20 year old can generally take care of themselves a lot better than a 13 year old can. I suspect you are going to have to do a priority battle with your, apparently, enabling husband. Enabling bad behavior by accepting it.

#9 Misshalfway

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:05 PM

Perhaps there is a way to empower the younger daughter as well.

#10 Maureen

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:25 PM

...Whenever I talk to her about it she tells me "mom, why can't you appreciate that I am the ONLY one of my friends that is even temple worthy"....


IMO, it appears her temple-worthiness is not genuine. She's answered all the questions correctly but her actions don't seem to measure up. Point out to her that she's being dishonest when she sees herself as temple-worthy. If she can't treat her family with respect, and do it with sincerity, then she's going to pay the consequences when she's on her own and others will not be as patient. Although, she should be paying the consequences now. I agree that your husband needs to support you.

M.

Edited by Maureen, 10 July 2012 - 02:47 PM.

I'd rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who - is reaching for a star. I'd rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far; for a might have-been has never been, but a has was once an are. - Milton Berle

Sound, balanced teaching is a must. Our default should be to partake. Our default should be to live in joy, not condemnation. Our default should be to love, not to correct, to encourage, not to criticize. (Quote from prisonchaplain)

#11 prisonchaplain

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:43 PM

Embedded is the PC version of this excellent post

Talk to her woman-to-woman about how her Temple Worthiness is not showing at home.

Have a girl talk, and laude her in gaining that Temple recommend. Then encourage her to live up to that high calling by speaking with kindness and humility, in the home--especially towards her younger sibling. After all, this kid is at "that age"--you remember?--and she needs some gentle older-sister encouragement.

All her friends may not be temple worthy but she can't be temple worthy either having a dirty mouth like that. It's high time she understands that her temple worthiness may be subject to review or that she may only be temple worthy on paper.

It is so tremendous that you have earned recognition for living a higher standard than you friends. It might be good, though, to consider making some friends that can challenge you to even greater spiritual accomplishments. After all, we tend to rise or fall to the level of the company we keep. It would be awful to lose that Temple Recommend because of something like unworthy language around the home, etc.

There are house rules. You live in the house, you follow the rules. She breaks the rules - I don't care if she's the Queen of England - she gets to move out so she can make her own rules.

Speaking of higher standards, you may be finding that my standards for you are greater than what the bishop apparently expects. You are an adult, and you certainly have the right to make your own choices. However, if one of those choices is to live here, then you really will need to submit to some of my choices for how I want the atmosphere in this house to be.

You don't put a 13-year-old at a disadvantage to please a 20-year-old and a husband. You get to fight for your 13-year-old. If she was younger than 18, you get to whip her butt into shape. It's too late for that now.

Your 20 year old is now making her own choices. A big one is whether she will support and encourage her younger sister, or whether she will move out. Your hope is that she can continue to enjoy the advantages of staying at home, while modeling godly living for her younger sister. Otherwise, maybe the struggle of being independence will help her find that maturity.


Hey...maybe Anatess' verbage is clearer and more effective--but the PC version is here for those who need the kid gloves.

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." -- Lord Acton


#12 anatess

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 07:49 PM

Embedded is the PC version of this excellent post



Hey...maybe Anatess' verbage is clearer and more effective--but the PC version is here for those who need the kid gloves.


Hmm... I gotta learn how to be a Chaplain! :)

#13 prisonchaplain

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:22 PM

Perhaps...although some people need the good, old-fashioned "hand of instruction" applied to the "seat of learning." :-)

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." -- Lord Acton


#14 Sunshine40

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:15 AM

I will give more detail..My husband did call her out on the crack head thing...and she said she was sorry (to him) and that she will "work on that". However, whenever I speak to her about her rude behavior in the house, specifically about her younger sister, it is all compliance to my face and "I AM nice"..making me feel like a failure as a mother because OBVIOUSLY my adult child has no idea what kindness actually means no matter HOW many times it has been taught to her....anyways, when I emtnion anything to her about her sister , when her parents are not around to hear it, she will make it ten times worse for her. So her sister has actually asked me to stop saying anything...and she is moving out because she is getting married. And the last time I mentioned her behavior, she said she was going to elope..( at this point, I think it not a terrible idea)....And her rude behavior comes and goes. At least things seem okay for a few days before she acts up again. Your advice about talking to her about temple worhtiness was very helpful. I can see that getting through to her. Perhaps that and a temple prep class is in order...but on the other hand, I can see her "giving up" as never being able to be worthy because "that's just the way I am"..and not wanting to make any serious committment with God..so she won't wait for the temple and just 'elope". Her fiancee is new to the church.. He has to wait until Februrary for it to be a year.

#15 anatess

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:04 AM

I will give more detail..My husband did call her out on the crack head thing...and she said she was sorry (to him) and that she will "work on that".

However, whenever I speak to her about her rude behavior in the house, specifically about her younger sister, it is all compliance to my face and "I AM nice"..making me feel like a failure as a mother because OBVIOUSLY my adult child has no idea what kindness actually means no matter HOW many times it has been taught to her....anyways, when I emtnion anything to her about her sister , when her parents are not around to hear it, she will make it ten times worse for her. So her sister has actually asked me to stop saying anything...and she is moving out because she is getting married. And the last time I mentioned her behavior, she said she was going to elope..( at this point, I think it not a terrible idea)....And her rude behavior comes and goes. At least things seem okay for a few days before she acts up again.

Your advice about talking to her about temple worhtiness was very helpful. I can see that getting through to her. Perhaps that and a temple prep class is in order...but on the other hand, I can see her "giving up" as never being able to be worthy because "that's just the way I am"..and not wanting to make any serious committment with God..so she won't wait for the temple and just 'elope". Her fiancee is new to the church.. He has to wait until Februrary for it to be a year.


So you're saying that Temple Worthiness for her is just a check-mark off a To-Do List? It doesn't come with the commitment? If she's going to give up on a temple marriage, then it's better that she give it up NOW before she makes that commitment in the temple and become accountable for her actions than to give it up LATER (because, from what you say about your daughter, that's a guarantee of where she's headed) after she's already made the covenant that she can't commit to.

#16 Martain

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:32 PM

I feel for you and in reading about what's happening in your life thought of a wonderful institute lesson regarding agency I recently listened to. It would sadly take too long for me to fully write down how he taught it but I feel it's applicable here and feel to share some of it. Basically, Lucifer's plan in the pre-existance wasn't to destroy agency by removing choice through compelling us to be righteous as I had previously thought. No, he was more cunning than that. Agency is comprised of three chief components. Choice = At least 2 different options Freedom = Options have different consequences/results/destinations Accountability = Knowledge as to which option has which consequence/result/destination Adam and Eve were presented a choice in the Garden of Eden. They could eat of any of the tree's in the garden and could eat of the tree of life if they wanted but not to. They had at least two different options and thus they had choice. Adam and Eve were told that one set of trees would allow them to live forever and that the other tree caused death. Each option had a different consequence/result and thus they had freedom. Adam and Eve were told these trees give you life and this tree will give you death. They had knowledge as to which option was associated with which consequence/result and thus they had accountability. Having all these things God granted them their agency in the Garden of Eden anew. Lucifer's plan was never to restrict choice by restricting everything to a single option but rather his plan was to destroy our freedom by making the consequence/results of any option the same. Our teacher then likened this to parenthood. Lets say you tell your child that they can only have one hour on the computer and that if they stay on longer they don't get to use the computer the next day. Your child has at least two options, they can choose to only spend one hour or they can choose to spend more than an hour. The options have different consequences and your child knows which option is associated with which consequence. Thus they have all the components necessary to exercise agency. Now if your child spends more than an hour and the parent then allows them to play on the computer the next day anyways, by making the consequences the same, they have destroyed that child's agency. It didn't matter which option they choose, the result was the same in that there is no consequence for disobedience. Which choice will they then make the next time you tell them only one hour? In order to have agency, you have to have different options with different consequences and a knowledge of which option has which consequence. Or rather, choice, freedom of choice, and accountability. My thoughts are that you should grant her agency. You're obviously pretty well versed in regards to what actions, behavior and language you do not want in your home. Clearly establish consequences to these actions should she choose in the future to repeat them. If she does then enforce justice. Even though you'll want to give mercy, remember that mercy can not rob justice. Determine what behavior would result in her being kicked out. Then plainly tell her that such and such behavior will result in her being kicked out. Then if she performs that behavior kick her out and stick to your word. If she then repents you can welcome her back with clear terms and conditions. Otherwise... you are in part destroying her agency in that the consequence or result of being respectful or disrespectful is in essence the same in that there really is no consequence. Or at least consequences to similar to show the final destination either one is leading her to. We fought a war to not only have choice but to also have freedom of choice and accountability. Grant her Agency by giving her not only choice but freedom of choice and then make her accountable for her actions. Thanks for letting me share what I was thinking and I hope it ultimately helps =).

#17 katumus5

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 05:24 PM

Your daughter is emotionally abusing all of you. Is this something you want taught to your young daughter? Is this something you want her to mimic when she is older? You have one abusive daughter...now imagine how horrible you will feel if in 10 years from now you have TWO daughters who are emotionally abusive to THEIR children. There is nothing wrong with protecting your children, even if its from other children. No good will come from enabling your older daughter to continue being abusive. She needs to attend counseling, or move out. The choice is yours. Next, maybe think about where your oldest daughter learned this behavior. Is your husband overly stern and strict? Is your oldest daughter mimicking things she has seen growing up? Or maybe has your oldest daughter ever been sexually abused (by anyone) and this is her way of acting out for feeling alone?

#18 katumus5

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 05:58 PM

Also remember you can NOT fix your daughter. You will never be able to get "through" to her by trying to force her into seeing the error or her ways. This will just make her rebel even more, and she will manipulate you even more. Why do i know this? Ive done this to my parents. She is clearly angry with you and your husband. So instead ask yourself, why could she be so angry? And if you really can not think of anything you may have done, meet her in person and sincerely say this and ONLY this : " Honey, i really need your help with something. But please, if its ok, can you be brutally honest? Ive been thinking alot lately and I feel i need to be more accountable for my actions. What could I have done better as a mother? What can i do better?" etc. etc. etc. And then proceed to listen to her. No protesting. No arguing. It might even just be best for you just say nothing at all except for "im sorry you had to go through that" "I hear you" and " i love you". REMEMBER....what you remember, and what a child remembers about the same situation can be totally and completely different. Be compassionate about this. For example: My parents perception is they did the best they KNEW how to do. They taught me the way they were raised. They tried to give me all they could. They loved me very very much. MY perception as a child was that my parents didnt have enough time for me. They thought i was independent and i didnt need as much attention or love, and i grew up very very angry at my parents for not being able to provide me the love I NEEDED. So whos perception is correct? Both. They both are true, important and correct perceptions. So keep this in mind when trying to empathize with your daughter. Also have you tried just asking her whats really going on? and continually ask if shes ok? She is clearly in turmoil about something. There is always a deep emotional reason for our acting out behaviors. Im sorry your going through this. Ever thought about counseling? It does wonders!

#19 Smudge

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 07:02 PM

I was reading your posts and wondering if there was a specific event/incident that triggered your daughters behaivor. When I was at high school when it got to exam time my mother used to ship me round to my grandmothers because she couldn't handle me - when I was under a lot stress I would change and become a "stress monster" - there would be major arguements and it horrible being at home - yet at my grans there were no arguements I don't know what my gran did differently but it worked. We were able to trace my change in behaivor ( usually I was a model LDS teen - completing seminary and memorising all my scripture mastery, doing consecutive club and all my young womans recognition stuff). Thinking about how I would change because of stress makes me wonder if there is a some sort of underlying cause to your daughters behaivor.

#20 Sunshine40

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:25 AM

Hello all, I thought I replied through my email, but it may have only gone to one person, so I will cpoy and patse what I wrote here. Thank you for your replies. Hello all, Since I have recieved a recent reply to this thread, I thought I would post an update: The oldest is no longer living with us. She ran off and got married. She does not mean to be abusive, and yes, she had a perfect example of "how to be emotionally abusive" by her father for her almost her entire life. Another update: I have recently discovered "borderline personality disorder" through a thread on this site, which lead me into an entire new world of "oh my gosh, so this is what I have been dealing with for 20+ years!" and have been studying up on validation techniquess etc., which I find very helpful. (when I actually have the energy to use them.) Well that's it in a nutshell. FYI: Borlerdlines think what they are doing is rational and normal when it just is not. For instance, yesterday morning I received an email from the stake music chair (since I am the ward music chair) asking for me to get members of my ward to participate in a stake concert coming up, and they want good singers and people who can learn music quickly. So, I am enthusiastic about my calling, and was excited about the concert, and thinking about th talented members of my ward. Then my husband gets up and sits next to me in the living room, while I have this email open on my lap. He has his Lorenzo Snow manual in hand, prepping for teaching that day's lesson in Elder's quorum. He asks what the email is, and I tell him. I tell him I was looking at my schedule to see if I can participate. (I have a different instrumental concert that day for school, but in the morning, and really wanted to do some singing, since I am not in a good choir this semester except for conducting one, but I can't be at their performance either, so my assistant has taken over...so I wanted to sing) Anyways..when I said this (in a less confusing way) my husband throws the book across the room and proceeds to yell at me that I want to be anywhere but with the family etc....oh ya, this is after I asked if he would like to participate as well..which he does not...And this is mostly due to the fact that he had just woken up from a dream ten minutes earlier where we were yelling at eachother, and I was leaving him. (In the dream) So, that is what I have been dealing with for 20+ years. THAT is BPD...feeling=facts, and irrational behavior follows it, and I have to learn to say in a nice way that "dude, chill, you're not thinking rationally" which I cannot say, because it is invlaidating and saying so makes things ten times worse. So typically I'll say nothing and just go about my day until he calms down...hmmm maybe there IS some tiny seed of truth in the fact that I do not want to be around that behavior...But despite the fact that he CAN help himself if he tries hard enough, it is harder for the person with borderline personality disorder to think with their brain rather than their emotions, and blow things propotionally out of the water, than it is for people without BPD. I think my daughter has many BPD traits as well, but her husband has PTSD, so he can handle her. (well, he does handle her). -sunshine




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