Handling an Out of Control Teenage Daughter

by Jamie Sullivan · 4 comments

Happy Child Guide

If you’re the mother of a teenage girl who is on the verge or already is out of control—or if your relationship with your daughter is on the rocks, here are six steps you can take to bridge the widening gulf between you.

Distinguish between Healthy and Unhealthy Rebellion

Rebellion takes many forms, from harmless talking back to defiant acts of drug and alcohol abuse or sexual activity. As a mother, you have to determine which acts fall under the healthy category and which cross the line into unsafe territory.

Talking back is a clue that your daughter is in the throes of her first teenage rebellion. It signals that, while she’s not yet articulate enough to express herself effectively, she’s struggling to find ways to assert her autonomy.

Uncover the Roots of the Problem

Out-of control behavior is a symptom of deeper problems. Consider how the two of you got to this point. Take a guess at the reasons your daughter is acting out. By identifying the reasons for your daughter’s undesirable behavior, you’ll be more apt to find the keys to correcting it. If you treat just the symptoms, the underlying trouble will still be there and will erupt again.

Ask Yourself

What have I done to contribute to the rift between us? Think about when the trouble began. How old was she and what was going on in your family life? I have counseled hundreds of mothers and daughters whose relationships were badly damaged and getting worse.

For healing to begin, it was important for the mother to understand what part she had in fueling the fires of defiance. If you’re willing to take an honest look at yourself, you will find some answers.

Avoid Blame

While some people claim that when a daughter is rebellious her mother is to blame, this usually is not true. Blaming the daughter for the difficulties does nothing to fix the problem either. There are many circumstances that contribute to the predicament.

Try Everything

Mothers often feel that they have tried everything. They are convinced that nothing will work. These negative stances won’t get you out of the rut. Even though you’ve tried everything you can think of, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a solution. Often we are so close to our own problems that we can’t find the obvious answers.

But if you’re willing to stay open and seek help, the answers will come. Get outside opinions, but be sure they apply to your situation. Listen to your daughter and your own intuition and you may be surprised with the solutions you’ll discover.

Be Willing to Negotiate

The “fix my daughter” approach won’t work. Both mother and daughter have to be willing to negotiate and find solutions they can both live with. There are times when there’s nothing you can do to get your daughter to cooperate except wait until she’s ready. If your daughter obstinately refuses to work with you, realize that you can’t control her behavior, but you can control your own.

You can learn more about dealing with an out of control teen from a professional with a parent support group HERE.

Happy Child Guide

You Want to Read These Too :

  1. Handling A Child’s Tantrum During Dinner
  2. Reducing Quarreling Between Teenage Siblings
  3. How to Reduce Quarreling Between Teenage Siblings
  4. How to Show Your Daughter How Much You Love Her
  5. How to Connect With A Teenage Son

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle Peel 01.09.09 at 12:46 am

This is great I am sure all parents who have teenage daughters need this just for peace of mind well done I look forward to further information.

thanks again jamie

Teenage Anger Management 05.08.09 at 3:18 am

Hi Great post, i completely agree with you when u say don’t try and control your daughters behavior, this can make the situation worse.

Holly J. Ward 12.01.09 at 11:06 am

Am struggling alot today. My 15 year old daughter and I had a horrible fight last night. She refuses to stop seeing this 18 year old boy that has been in lots of trouble. She is a good girl but I fear she is heading down a wrong path. Her father and I got divorced last February and he really doesn’t see her or her sisters but maybe once every other month. He lives 1 1/2 hours from us and is living with another woman. I know she is feeling abandoned by him, which is alot of the problem. I don’t know what to do. She has talked about suicide and running away or even moving to her dads. Her father is not going to allow that. He has no way of taking care of her. He and I already spoke about that this morning. We also feel that she is trying to play that game between us. Well at least he is supporting me on this. She said to me this morning that this wouldn’t be happening if I would let her do what she wanted. I responded with, “sorry, I am your mother and I can’t allow you to do whatever you want to.” I am your mother not your friend!


angie 02.21.10 at 12:21 pm

my 14 year old daughter, doesnt do as i tell her. She has a sewer mouth. She has failed two years of school medical conditions. now she doesnt care about her school work she doesnt take care of hair. 9 times out of 10 i have to tell her to shower, she comes out with wet hair that she has used a spray bottle on the tub is not wet, otherwise she doesnt care if she is clean or not. when it comes to “monthly time” she will not use any woman products so i have a smelly daughter who doesnt care. she is all the time running her mouth pure filth that comes out of it , counseling doesnt help she lies with every breath that she takes, she acts as though she is the mother am i am just here for her convienece, im worried that my 6 year old will start to act like her sister.

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