Parenting is hard, parenting a teen with an attitude should be an Olympic sport.
They fixate on fighting with adults and refuse to listen to authority.
Redditor stepmom1638 encountered this very issue with her stepdaughter. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for refusing to do my stepdaughter’s dishes and laundry?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My husband and I share 3 kids. His daughter (12) and son (11) from his first marriage, who we have full custody of and have lived with full time since they were toddlers, and our daughter (7).”
“Lately our oldest, who we’ll call Amy, has been acting out towards me.”
“She’s constantly saying that I’m lazy and do nothing around the house and undermining me in front of her siblings. Whenever I ask her to do anything she’ll grumble and call me things like lazy idiot under her breath.”
“The other day when I asked the kids to clean up the mess they left on the table, I heard her tell her brother that I wasn’t their real mom and that they didn’t have to listen to me.”
OP’s stepdaughter took it took far.
“I have no idea where this came from as I have always thought of myself as their mom and have done everything but legally adopt them as my own.”
“I don’t have the kids do a lot of chores, but I just ask they keep their rooms clean.”
“My husband usually makes dinner as he is a much better cook than I am, and I do the dishes. I vacuum and mop the floors once a week, clean the cat litter boxes and do everyone’s laundry.”
“Last night when I asked Amy to clean up some paint supplies she left scattered on the floor, she called me a lazy jerk who expects her to do everything.”
“I said fine then she can do her own chores from now on. Sure enough after dinner I did everyone’s dishes but hers. I also did laundry this morning but left hers in her hamper.”
“When I told her she had to do her own dishes and laundry she exploded and went crying to my husband, who said I was being too harsh and singling her out.”
“I’m really at my wits end here, I tried asking her if she wants to talk, I’ve tried being nice, I’ve tried being firm. Am I really being the a**hole?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was the a**hole.
“NTA- she is simply being a rebellious teenager but you and your husband need to get on the same page and try to get this behavior under control otherwise it will spiral quickly, you say she is leaving paint supplies out, I’d say give her 10 minutes to clean it up or it’s going in the bin.”
“Edit to add that this was meant to be portrayed as a joke, it was something my mum used to say as a way to get us to clean things we wouldn’t.”
“There was once a time she hid a Wii in her cupboard whilst saying she had binned it, needless to say when we got it back a few weeks later it was always packed away.” ~ Scarsguard11
“NTA. Teens oh boy! I have two 13&15. Some days smh..I swear I’m going to roll my eyes one too many times and they’ll be permanently stuck that way.”
“I agree you and your husband must be on the same page. Teens will push and push to see how far they can.”
“You both must be the wall and teach them rules, boundaries, and consequences. It’s not easy and sure as heck not fun.” ~ Flyingplaydoh
“This. She’s 12 years old and probably raging with hormones. Not to mention she’s dealing with the turmoil of being a preteen during COVID and school coming up.”
“Enforce boundaries, absolutely, but part of parenting is being compassionate, understanding and being, most importantly, the ADULT. The adult thing to do is implement small consequences, not toss her art supplies in response to her lashing out.”
“I’d also like to bring up that people do not lash out for no reason, even 12 year olds. Maybe a loving sit down talk is in order. It could be that she is dealing with an issue that she is struggling to communicate.”
“It’s very easy with how nasty preteens are to forget that they are children after all and often lack the capacity to express their difficulty coping with the abstract and unfamiliar feelings that come with adolescence.”
“This seems like an opportunity to be a pillar of strength and reinforce your position as mom rather than become an adversary. One of the worst things you can do is make a perceived villain of yourself before your teen is really even a teen.” ~ SquartMcCorn
Teenagers are tough to deal with.
“My first thought was she is probably about to have her 1st cycle. I know when I had my first one I was a completely different person over night and it built up for months.”
“The mom comment made me think this even more so. Idk the reasons why y’all have full custody, but I would imagine it’s hard not having bio mom around for such things.”
“I mean no disrespect or am I in no way playing down the role/relationship OP has had in this girl’s life. This is just a hard age.” ~ kimmycake94
“This is absolutely a possibility and a couldn’t agree more.”
“You’re so right about it being such a difficult age and it’s so easy for us adults to forget what exactly it’s like, and even harder still for us to not hold a 12-year-old who throws verbal punches like an adult to the same standards and expectations as an adult.” ~ SquartMcCorn
“I still remember the day I got my first period. I was 12 and didn’t understand why I was so mad or why I was screaming at my mum for no reason, but everything she was doing was just pissing me off.” ~ LIKES_ROCKY_IV
Raising a teen can be a pain in the butt, but it’s worth it.