My teenage daugh­ter is a spoiled brat

The Bay Chronicle - - COMMUNITY COOKBOOK - Q: I’m a sin­gle mother of two girls, 11 and 13. I’ve brought them up with very lit­tle help from their dad. I specif­i­cally bought a house in a good school zone with their teen years in mind, but now my Year 9 girl is mak­ing friends with girls with wealthy

It’s al­ways alarm­ing when chil­dren get lost to us for a lit­tle while, but I think as with most teenagers, your daugh­ter will come back.

In the first in­stance, let’s ac­knowl­edge how tough year 9 can be for some chil­dren. They are of­ten thrust into a big­ger, com­pletely novel en­vi­ron­ment and with this in mind, you must be re­lieved your daugh­ter has made new friends. The fact that th­ese friends are from a dif­fer­ent so­cio-eco­nomic mix makes it harder for her. All chil­dren com­pare – it’s hu­man na­ture, and your 13-year-old prob­a­bly doesn’t have the ma­tu­rity yet, to be com­fort­able with your fam­ily’s fi­nan­cial con­straints.

It’s also quite likely that this prob­lem is more than a money/ com­par­i­son/dis­sat­is­fac­tion thing. Your daugh­ter may be tem­po­rar­ily lost un­der a big pile of nor­mal teenage angst. Even if you could buy her the lat­est sneak­ers and phone, she may still hate on you and all you rep­re­sent.

There’s not much you can do amidst this tur­moil ex­cept re­main stead­fast. While your daugh­ter wa­vers and is em­bar­rassed by your house and the way you live, you must re­main res­o­lute and un­apolo­getic.

I sug­gest you keep try­ing to in­vite her friends to your house. You can of­fer them time-rich op­por­tu­ni­ties that might not be avail­able in their toy-rich houses. If you play a long steady game of cricket, it could be that your daugh­ter’s new friends are the very ones who bring her back to you.

As an aside, I wonder when you say you’ve specif­i­cally bought a house in a ‘good school zone’, if that is not a eu­phemism for a ‘rich school zone?’ We have out­stand­ing sec­ondary schools right around this coun­try with great hearts, amaz­ing learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and di­verse stu­dents that would en­rich your daugh­ter if she were to come in con­tact with them. You’ve made your choice now, but per­haps be open to the ad­van­tages she may gain if she’s al­lowed to have ac­cess to friends who do not have so much money.

It’s alarm­ing when chil­dren get lost to their par­ents for a lit­tle while.

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