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Confessions: My teenage grandchild is breaking my daughter and I don't know what to do

 Her moody attitude is also upsetting her younger siblings (Photo: Shutterstock)

Dear Coleen,

My granddaughter is 13 years old and her poor mother is tearing her hair out. I know teenagers have their moods, but it’s the attitude and back chat that my daughter is finding so hard.

Even if her mum confiscates precious things or she is grounded, it still has no effect on her. This attitude is also upsetting her younger siblings.

I know all teenagers are going through a horrible time with Covid-19, but her attitude was there before lockdown.

Although her parents have split up, my granddaughter sees her dad regularly.

I know hormones don’t help, but whatever her mum says, she says the opposite, and of course she is always right.

Help! Any ideas?

Coleen says:

It’s worth remembering that her parents’ separation will have a big and lasting effect on her, even if she’s still seeing her dad.

You don’t say what her mum’s relationship is like with her ex, but it’s important the pair of them work together to tackle their daughter’s behaviour, with the same rules on discipline.

I’m sure hormones play a part, but some of it could be down to seeking attention, especially if she’s competing with siblings.

My kids always said they knew things were serious when I went quiet because they knew I was planning a consequence! But a more quiet approach does work – it gives kids the chance to think about what they’ve done.

Her mum should try to find time with her alone and ask why she feels so angry.

She can explain there are rules because she loves her and wants her to be the best person she can be.

Are there rules her mum goes over the top with? A bit of give and take helps.

It should be about communicating and trying to understand where the other person is coming from.

And it’s also important to acknowledge when she’s done something good and mention it.

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