Ask Miss Emily -
disrespectful teenage girl
By Miss Emily
Published on 06/6/2007
Dear Miss Emily:

I am a proud single parent of 2 teens.  My son is now away at college.  
My daughter is this terrific kid who has great grades and super
friends.  My problem is that she is verbally abusive to me, but only to  me.  
She is NOT that way to my ex ( who I left 10 years ago for verbal
abuse) and she is not that way to her relatives or friends.  It hurts me
deeply when she tells me to "Just go away" when I am being nice to her.  She can use foul language, too.  I hold it in, then usually blow up at her a month later and, then, feel guilty.  My fear is that she may do it to her husband and children down the road .
Fed up

.................................Miss Emily's advice...........................

Dear Fed up:

Teenagers can sure be a pain in the butt, can't they?  I think it’s too early to threaten cutting her out of your will, although this could be a last-ditch effort down the road. You say that she was witness to her father verbally abusing you?  That is a shame, but the fact that you, initially, took it (without repercussions), makes a statement about you. She may also see some of herself in you, and that means she is essentially lashing out at herself.  But you cannot rewrite the past, no matter how much you try.  Do not engage her in defensive conversation when she is abusive toward her.  Silence speaks volumes.  In a calmer moment, tell her that abusive behavior will not be rewarded, set down some rules and stick to them.  The biggest fear here, is not that she will be abusive to others, but that she, learning from your past, is the one abused.