When Your Teen Doesn’t Appreciate You
One of our core needs as moms is to feel appreciated. And when we don’t get the appreciation from our kids or even our partners day after day after day, it affects us deeply. We can lose our motivation, our energy, our worth, and definitely our joy.
These are the kind of things I hear moms say.
- I just feel like my kids are taking advantage of me.
- My daughter’s nice to me only when she wants something.
- They think I’m their “ATM” machine but they won’t do anything for me around the house.
- My daughter expects me to drive all over town and instead of being grateful she is rude to me.
Let’s say you’ve asked your daughter several times to clean her room and she just ignores you. (And is rude to you) Then your daughter says, “Mom, I need a new outfit for Friday, NOW!”
Well this is going to bring up a cluster of feelings. Not only do you feel unappreciated, her entitlement is going to infuriate you. And the “natural” reaction for most moms would be to get really mad at their daughters. I totally understand since I’ve raised a teenage daughter, but this only escalates the drama. Whatever you say (or yell) in that moment is going to trigger your daughter and she is going to react. I promise you “getting mad at your daughter” will not get rid of her entitlement. This will only make her retaliate.
“Then what am I supposed to do?”
In the moment there is not much you can do. The real change happens later. This mom could say in the moment, “I’ll think about it.” In other words this mom needs some time to come up with an effective plan. This mom isn’t losing face, she is holding on her to her power.
***Actually when you lose it and react and get angry with your daughter, you lose your power.
You teach your daughter to appreciate you!
Your daughter isn’t going to naturally appreciate you. This is a very egocentric time in her life.
Here’s the problem. If you expect her appreciation to be natural, you take her disrespect personally. And then your feelings get in the way of dealing with her actions.
Teach Your Daughter To Appreciate You By . . .
1. Learning from the past
If your daughter’s actions upset you, it’s a big clue that she is not appreciating you. Learn from these incidents. What life lessons does she need to learn? Probably one of the biggest lessons she needs to learn is that entitlement doesn’t work. In the real world her boss is not going to reward her for her demands, he is going to reward her for her work.
2. Getting clear
Let’s see what happens when the moms gets clear in the scenario above. She’s clear that her daughter needs to get her chores done first, and be respectful by answering her the first time. Then she can ask for a new outfit on Friday.
See, you’ve got to be clear first. Part of the plan is being clear about the boundaries and consequences and how to communicate this to your daughter.
It’s hard to be clear when were offended. So we need a little time to calm down before we can get clear.
3. Communicating with your daughter
After you are clear you want to communicate this with your daughter.
In the scenario above, the mom would talk to her daughter the next day and say, “This week won’t work for me. Here’s what would work for me. Next time that I ask you to clean your room, you need to acknowledge that I asked you by saying, “Okay mom.” After you cleaned your room then you can ask me if I can buy you a new outfit. This is a discussion and not a demand. If you are grateful and respectful to me, I will be much more likely to buy you a new outfit.
4. Following Through
Now that you are clear and have communicated to your daughter, you need to follow through. Your follow through is what teaches her to appreciate you. By not reacting, you’ve maintained your power.