Yes, teen girls can be drama queens, but mom’s can be drama mamas.
“What are you talking about? It’s my daughter’s fault. She is rude, disrespectful, and defiant.”
I know it’s easy to focus on your daughter’s behavior, but it’s easy for mom’s to join the drama dance and escalate the drama.
Now I am not blaming moms or letting teenage girls off the hook.
But moms need to take responsibility for their part in the drama dance. I am a mom of a teen and I know how easy it is to get hooked in the drama. But here is the good news.
When you take responsibility for your part, you can avoid a majority of the drama with your daughter.
The drama will dissipate quickly when you refuse to join the drama dance.
It takes two to do the drama dance. This is why it’s important to know how you escalate the drama. No mom intentionally escalates the drama dance. It’s a reaction. You react because you are afraid, frustrated, or she makes you feel like a failure.
The Six Ways Moms Escalate Drama
1. Lose Control
Your daughter loses control. She starts yelling and being disrespectful, and before you know it, your feel the fire welling up in your belly. You are in touch with your inner warrior. You’ve had it, and you are ready to put her in her place, but you lose control.
You lose control of your words, judgment, and actions.
Result: When you lose control, it gives your daughter permission to lose control. This creates a downward cycle that creates a whole new set of problems.
What you can do about it: Take a break. Go to the store. Walk around the block. Take a shower. You need time to calm down.
2. Escalate the Arguing
Avoid arguing at all costs. It is not a conversation; it’s a power struggle where there is going to be a winner and loser. It’s a battle to the finish.
Your daughter will try to get what she wants by arguing with you.
She will use her teenage logic which is really code for “I will argue with you till you let me do what I want.”
She will throw things at you like, “You hate my friends.” If you take the bait and start defending and arguing why you don’t hate her friends, she will continue to argue with more passion and emotion. These arguments go downhill quickly. She will throw everything at you to get her way.
Result: Arguments are doomed from the beginning. Your daughter really is not open to what you have to say. She just wants her way. Because these arguments are so frustrating and irrational you are bound to lose it in bigger ways.
What you can do about it: Wait for a time when both you and your daughter are calm. This is your best chance to have a conversation. When one person is upset it will turn into an argument.
Get clear about what you think and what you are going to do about it. A lot of arguing happens when you are not clear.
3. Scare Her
Another tactic is trying to scare your daughter into changing. This happens when you feel you can’t get through to her.
You try to scare her by making negative predictions in the future.
– If you are sick and tired of your daughter’s room being trashed, you say, “If you don’t learn how to take care of your things you are going to be the biggest slob in the world. No one will want to room with you in college. Good luck finding a guy who will put up with that.”
These negative predictions fly from your mouth when you are really frustrated and you don’t know what else to do.
Other negative predictions are:
– If you keep eating like that you’re going to be huge.
– If you don’t care about your grades you will never get into a college. You’ll be lucky to get a job at a fast food restaurant.
Result: Your daughter feels humiliated or shame. She’ll feel that you’ve given up on her.
One teenage girl told me, “My mom thinks I’m stupid and can’t get into college.”
Negative predictions lead to apathy, despair, anger, and shame. They never motivate.
What you can do about it: Remember your daughter’s strengths, abilities, and resiliencies. This will help calm your fears. Encourage her by saying things like, “I Dramacool know you can be successful, when you put the time and effort into it.” You are challenging her but in a positive way.
4. Threaten Her
Threats are different than consequences. A good consequence is well thought out. It is doable and instructs. Threats are like waving a sledge hammer over your daughters head.
– If you keep acting like this you’re going to boarding school.
– You’re going to live with your dad.
– You’re never going to drive again.
– I’m not paying for college.
These threats use fear to “motivate.” The problem is that fear never motivates. It throws you and your daughter in a limbic reaction of fight, flight or freeze. Your daughter will cuss you out or shut down but she will not grow from it.
Most of the time, these “empty threats” are impossible to carry out.
Threats are knee jerk reactions to a situation, and are not well thought out.
The intent of threats is to hurt and punish. They are mean spirited. Because of this, they hurt your relationship with your daughter. Your daughter will react by avoiding you or saying she hates you.