DEAR COACH RICHIE: I feel like my 13 year old daughter has no emotional intelligence. She only cares about herself and what she wants. She thinks of nobody else in our family. She says mean things to all of us, she’s always wants the most expensive meal in a restaurant, the biggest gifts, the best clothes but does nothing around the house to help us. Answers back and is very disrespectfully
My son who is 11 does chores with being asked, helps me and is generally very well behaved. I don’t feel like I parent him any differently
It’s like the worse she is the better he is and vice versa.
I’m running out of patience with her. We try not to yell and we never hit her but I feel like I could explode with anger and frustration some days. Mostly I just cry when she can’t see me.
COACH RICHIE:A couple of questions. When you say your daughter has no emotional intelligence. Have you ever compared your daughter to your son? Because he does chores, etc.? You mentioned that she can’t see you. Are you seeing her? What actually is emotional intelligence? We have so many expectations for our children and when they don’t live up to the way we thought we should parent them that is when we get upset. Do you think she needs to be parented differently than your son? We have to meet our children where they are?
They are all different and need different things? What do you think your daughter needs right now in her life? When teenagers act out there is typically a root cause. Troubles at school, friends or at home. Teenagers are learning about their emotions and can only have one emotion at at time. Love or hate, Sad or happy, hot or cold. So when they encounter challenges in life they don’t know how to express themselves. We see this as lack of emotion, etc. However, it is because they just haven’t figured it out yet. We are adults and for the most part most of us have figured it out so we see our children through these filters which makes us think there is something wrong with them. I would start with some questions for myself.
What is going on in her world that could be causing this behavior? Is she not getting enough attention…too much attention..has she become disconnected from us as parents. Found a teen tribe to connect to that is bad news. The easiest way to reach a teen that is disconnected is to have a conversation with them and tell them what they are thinking. Yes….Have a chat with her…preferably out of the house (that is not neutral territory) place she likes to eat, etc. Or in the car.
Before the chat think of 3 things that you know she thinks of you. Whatever they are. Then script the conversation as such. I know you feel like I am a bad parent because I don’t listen to you (whatever you think she is thinking). I believe that makes you feel very angry and say hurtful things. Then say. “Is this true”. Then give her some space to talk. Don’t deny, judge, fix, or rescue. Just listen to what she says. Then she will either tell you it’s true or she will tell you what you are doing wrong.
Because we are always wrong…(Right? 😄) Then ask her how bad it gets for her when you don’t listen to her (remember what she thinks). Then give her more space to think. Then after she speaks wrap it up with. Would you be able to help me better listen, understand, see, hear you (whatever that is) so you don’t feel (insert emotion) . Hope this helps. We can love them or control them but we can’t do both. We sometimes have to just do things differently by Parenting. out of the box. You got this all day long. 🤘
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