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Fourteen-Year-Old Daughter Angry at Mom After Divorce

Question:

My husband and I have had a difficult year struggling with dysfunction and domestic violence. After our separation, I started dating someone, and my daughter found out from a message on my cell phone. 

Even though the relationship has been over for seven months and I am supporting my four girls by myself, my 14-year-old daughter is extremely angry with me. She blames me for the divorce and for “ruining her life.” She is verbally abusive and has even pushed me. She will not eat dinner with the family or attend church or participate in family activities. Her disposition is nasty; she will not even look at me. I have had to call the police several times to get her under control.  

She has turned my parents against me, and they lash out at me as well. I need to reestablish parental control, but I am afraid that my family is damaged forever.

 

Answer:

Children of divorce can react with anger, and since you are the parent with whom she lives she will direct her anger toward you. Some of her anger is the same type of anger a person feels when she experiences a loss. Your daughter is grieving for her lost parent and family.  

Outside intervention is needed since she will probably not listen to anything you have to say at this point. Be it a family member, a teacher, a minister from church or a counselor, someone needs to help her see that her anger is both misdirected and destructive. It might be a good idea to also get you and your other girls into family therapy since your other daughters are likely to be struggling to some degree with the family situation. 

We can offer referrals for family counseling in your area if you need them.  Another idea is to get your daughter involved in volunteer work because giving to others helps us forget about our own problems and makes us feel better about ourselves. Again, have another adult make this suggestion since she will be more inclined to listen to someone other than you at this time.

 

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