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What turned my 16 y/o daughter from my best friend to my enemy?

It seems like overnight my only child and best friend can't stand me. How is it that my 16-year-old girl can treat me so poorly when I have done nothing to provoke her? She doesn't share anything about her life. She is very rude and disrespectful to her father and me, and she can even come off like a big bully at times. I get hurt and angry and I almost can't stand her. Help!

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Many parents of teenage girls would tell you that your daughter's behavior is normal, and they wouldn't be wrong. It's fair to say that, in many respects, your daughter is "on schedule" with her belligerent and disrespectful attitude.

But that doesn't mean you and your daughter have to be at war in the ways you've described. The good news is that even if it seems like the only person capable of changing what's going on between the two of you is your daughter, you can make changes in your relationship with or without her cooperation.

First, let me say in big, bold letters: Your daughter cannot be your best friend. Perhaps the two of you have been very close, but it is not appropriate for a child to be perceived as her parent's closest friend. You are her mother. While the two of you may become like best friends as she moves further into adulthood, you have to create boundaries with your teenage daughter that clearly establish that you are her parent, not her friend. Pleading with her to be nice, or lecturing her on how you've done nothing to deserve her mistreatment will only come across as needy and weak, fueling her contempt.

As you step into the role of being a caring parent who is able to support your daughter without needing her friendship, you will begin earning her respect. Until you do so, she will push you away with her disrespectful behavior in an attempt to differentiate. This is why she withholds information about what's going on in her life; she is trying to claim more independence and separation, and she believes you'll force unwanted advice upon her if she tells you what she's going through, rather than making yourself available for what she needs you to do: Be a calm, caring sounding board to help her learn to work through her problems.

If your daughter speaks rudely to you, simply look at her with "that look" and ask her if she'd like to try a do-over. Don't get emotional or list the things you do for her that she doesn't appreciate. Simply state that she will need to try speaking to you more politely. If she rolls her eyes or walks away, don't follow her; let her begin to get a sense that your standards have shifted. The clearer and stronger you are -- without being wordy or whiny -- the sooner she'll get the message that she needs to clean up her act.

In addition, don't overlook the fact that hormones cause some teens to have awful mood swings. The less reactive you are to your daughter's rudeness, the better you'll be able to help her identify when she's "not herself" so she can start taking responsibility for her actions and apologize when she's "possessed" and unleashes her dark side onto you and your husband.

Be clear, strong and most of all, parental. Teenagers still need their parents as guides and advisers -- not friends.The more you define yourself as her parent, and show her what is and isn't acceptable, the sooner things between you and your daughter will improve. Best of luck! It's a wild ride, the teen years, but it will get better.

Yours in parenting support,

AdviceMama, Susan Stiffelman, is a licensed and practicing psychotherapist and marriage and family therapist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in developmental psychology and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology. Her book, <a href="" rel="nofollow" cl="http://www.passionateparenting.net/thebook.html" class="comlink"> Parenting Without Power Struggles</a> , is available on <a href="" rel="nofollow" cl="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1600374840?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=a0382e-20&amp;linkCode= as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1600374840" class="comlink">Amazon</a> . <a href="" rel="nofollow" cl="http://www.passionateparenting.net/freenewsletter.html" class="comlink">Sign up</a> to get Susan's free parenting newsletter.

You received an excellent answer (thumb up AdviceMamma).  I would like to add:
1.  That is a typical behaviou of a 16 y.o.
2.  Don't forget that she is at a very confusing age. 
3.  She is turning from a girl to a young woman. 
4.  She is confused and is checking the limits and testing
     her powers. 
5.  She is doing the first steps towards independence. 
6.  But she still needs you (both) desparately.
7.  Accept her as she is, be there for her, help her and
     try to understand her. 
8.  take some distance and hope that she'll change her
     attitude as soon as she becomes more settled.
9.  You have good reasons to believe that that present 
     situation will improve dramatically (I'll asay within 2-3 years). 

Love is the battery of life....

my daughter was weakened when her Father died...like a pack of wolves on prey..kids whose parents weren't there for them...glommed on to her..convincing her I was the enemy./Why?They needed a place to hang out and smoke and drink...I was not home much..and they were sneaking upstairs even when I was home...They also wanted someone with an allowance to pitch into their habits.  How did it end..?  I took my daughter to counseling..where I admitted some faults..like yelling too.  I then asked the counselor if I was wrong to think these kids were indoctrinating my daughter no less than a gang..and she agreed...it sunk in. Especially after they robbed our home while out of town.   I also got an alarm system on the house then..that chimes any time someone comes and goes..AND I just quit going out and spend a lot more time just being around.

Remember...Wherever you go..There you are

Beat the shit outta her.

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