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Mom no longer willing to live with 14yo daughter who 'genuinely' hates her. AITA?

Mom no longer willing to live with 14yo daughter who 'genuinely' hates her. AITA?


"I'm no longer willing to live with my mean daughter (14F)"


I posted this on AITA & someone suggested trying here because it's more of an advice situation than an AH situation, although I feel like an a$#^ole. I (38F) no longer feel willing to live with my (14F) daughter “Abby” & might send her to boarding school—I’m at my wits end.

Around 11-12 Abby really changed and she seems like she genuinely hates me. I don’t know how else to put it & I have no idea what might have caused it. No matter what we try, Abby is relentlessly unkind to me when we’re in the house together.

At first it was immature kid stuff, like telling me I was ugly and fat and smelly. As she got older, this behavior got worse & more sophisticated. She makes specific comments about my flaws every day now, like “you can see your cellulite through those pants mom.”

She’ll tell me I’m getting older and I should be worried her dad will leave me for a younger woman. She’ll also play “pranks” - replacing my expensive moisturizer with expired milk, hiding or destroying my clothes & she once even crawled up behind me while I was WFH on a video call & and cut off the bottom of my ponytail. She has hidden and damaged my work materials more than once.

She doesn’t behave like this towards her dad (40M) or brother (16M). I feel like I should be 'strong' enough to not care but this behavior has really impacted my life. I feel incredibly self-conscious of my appearance and it’s hard to get dressed in the morning.

I’m less confident at work and around our friends. I find myself dreading being in my own house if Abby is going to be there, staying longer at work, going to the gym after work and asking my husband to cook, going right to our room when I’m home to avoid her. I feel guilty and embarrassed about avoiding my family!

I feel like we’ve tried everything: Talking to her of course. We’ve asked her why she says those things or if she knows she’s hurting my feelings. She just says “it was just a joke/prank” and “she didn’t mean to hurt my feelings” and “don’t I want to know if I look bad.”

Consequences. We have tried taking away her allowance, electronics, or grounding her for being unkind. She was grounded from her phone so often that now she permanently just has a flip phone (also because we worried this might be the influence of social media.)

We still want her to have a good life and opportunities so we have kept her in her sports & activities & she’s currently allowed to go see friends because honestly, she does this so often and was grounded so often for a few months we were worried about her social life and gave up on the groundings.

So much therapy! I’m in individual therapy, couples’ therapy with my husband, family therapy with my daughter, individual therapy for my daughter…she has not been diagnosed with anything specific and has never given a deeper reason for why she does this.

(My therapist has wondered if it’s because she and I are so different in appearance, I am a small, short, slim woman with dark hair and she is taller, broader, and has lighter hair like her father…but she has never mentioned it in family therapy.)

We have all lost our temper and yelled at her at least once for this behavior (me when she cut my hair, our son once blew up on her when she said to me in front of him that “statistically dad will die first and then no one will love or want you mom and you will die alone” and my husband has yelled at her probably 3-4 times.)

But we always apologized for yelling. Our family therapist has told me that while we shouldn’t have yelled, we don’t have an abusive or traumatizing home— there is no physical violence in our home, and none of us are belittling or insulting each other like my daughter does to me.

Talking to the school. My first fear as a victim of bullying is that she was being bullied herself, or bullying other kids at school. It doesn’t seem like it, and she does have friends, though she gets in arguments with them sometimes it doesn’t seem like anyone is a “bully.”

Talking to other trusted adults. My very worst fear is that something horrible happened to my daughter to cause her change in personality. I have tried to talk to her privately, so has her dad, a teacher, her aunt, and her grandparents but she has never shared anything like that.

Last weekend we had an incident at the beach and I realized I just can’t live my life like this anymore. It’s been 3 years and I can’t do another 4 years until she moves out.

I told my husband I wanted to move out for a while so my husband/son/daughter could stay in our house. I could get a studio apartment in our city or go stay with my parents about an hour away. He said he loves me and doesn’t want to live without me for 4 years (though I said I’d move back if things got better).

He wants to send our daughter to a decent boarding school and have peace in our house.I feel bad at the idea that she might feel rejected or unwelcome at home, but I am seriously considering it. What would you do in my situation? I appreciate any advice.

TL;DR: My teen daughter is cruel to me every day. We haven't found evidence of bullying or abuse to cause her behavior (though can't rule it out) and therapy hasn't improved her behavior towards me. I want to move out, my husband wants to send her to boarding school.

Here were the top comments from readers:


I would go with your husband's solution, but agree with some of the other comments of forewarning and giving her a chance to simmer down to dirty looks...

Personally I'd have Dad be the one saying it with you next him, and have Dad express how he is your team member, and that it will be you deciding if she has simmered down or not...


Hi! Kid who got sent to boarding school here! SEND HER. My parents sent me away cause we were having interpersonal problems (NOTHING like your daughter’s issues, ours were legendary power struggles. Military parents + kid who discovered that no one can actually MAKE you do anything at an early age… anyways).

My dad presented the boarding school option to me at 13 and I was given 2 choices. Go to a school in the state or go to one 800 miles away. I chose the further one.

I wanted to get away just as much. We visited once over Christmas break and by the return after new years I was enrolled. We needed to be apart. It was the absolute best thing that could’ve been done.

People act like boarding school is a punishment but it’s a very viable solution. You are being abused. Your family is clearly suffering. Do not feel bad. Send her to boarding school and she may even prefer it. I definitely am grateful I got shipped off.


Maybe I'm just a horrible parent, but at this point, I would be way beyond trying not to raise my voice so I don't traumatize the precious darling. I'm a mother, but I'm also a human being with feelings. If my teen daughter was being relentlessly cruel to me, there would be some heated words.

Seriously. It's okay to go off on your kid when they act like this. You don't have to be a calm placid robot to be a good parent. It's good for kids to learn that other people have limits, and if you cross them there is a reaction and a consequence.


My mom was the most kind and caring woman I know and if I did one of these things she might have took it but my dad would skin me alive and feed my dead corpse to crows.

I'm joking of course, but whenever we dared be rude to one parent the other one would come down on us HARD. like 'get out of my sight and don't come back until you are done with your trashy attitude' hard. Why are you so alone in this?


I’m curious, when she makes mean comments - how does the entire family respond?

I was incredibly mean to my entire family as a teenager. I was going through a lot emotionally and had several undiagnosed mental disorders. As a result, I was just awful (I’m not exaggerating).

Whenever I said ANYTHING mean, someone (sometimes who it was directed to, sometimes someone else) would call me out “that was f-ing rude” and the entire family would get up and move to a different area. It sounds really severe, but it really quickly isolated me and made me realize how my behavior impacted everyone in my family.

I’d obviously talk to her therapist, the family therapist, and yours before doing something like this. But it worked really quickly for me and my meanness turned into a depression that my parents picked up on very quickly, then took me to be evaluated.


My brother was the same way to my mom. It got to the point where if he couldn’t act like a decent human being then he had to move out. So he in fact moved out and didn’t come back.

Obviously still kept contact, hung out, holidays, whatever. But he didn’t live with us anymore. This was when he was 16 and it just got to a breaking point.


Hey OP, I was a sibling to a kid like this. My sibling did get sent to a group home/boarding school type facility where they could get more one on one care beyond just therapy.

The stress was so intense, my mom was on anti anxiety pills and gained close to 100lbs. My other siblings and I were all walking on egg shells and depressed. When they left, wow, it was like a breath of fresh air. We could finally start healing and acting like a normal family.

I will caution you though. People won’t believe you when they find out even a tiny amount of why you sent her. They’ll blame you. Love is not always enough. Sometimes people are struggling with something and we can’t fix it for them. You have to do what’s best for you and the larger majority of the family.

Extended family is only just now finding out the truth of my sibling’s behavior after blaming us as abusers for over a decade. It hurts to hear my aunts and cousins saying that clearly we abused my sibling and we made everything up. Chin up, the truth will come out, just worry about yourself for right now.


Reading the title I was thinking no way sending a kid to a boarding school is a good idea.

After reading… damn. I feel so so so sorry for you. And definitely after seeing what you’ve tried - send her to a boarding school. She seems to take pleasure in what she’s doing which is very alarming.

Sources: Reddit
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