She keeps saying really mean things to and about her peers at school...

Hi Mark,

I have a problem which has been ongoing on and off for a while. My 14 year old daughter (the eldest of twins) keeps saying really mean things to and about her peers at school. Oh I should mention this twin always seems to be in competition with her twin sister, but this is not the case for twin sister. I hope that made sense.

She keeps blaming everything on her twin sister when it goes wrong with her peers and will not take responsibility for her actions or for saying mean things to her peers. She just expects her friends to keep taking the meanness and just keep going on with life as if she has said nothing mean. I try to explain to her that her peers are getting feed up with the meanness and that she will not have any friends if she keeps it up. When I try to explain this, she flies of the handle, saying “I don’t want to talk about it and stay out of it.” Every time her friends get funny with her she wonders why they are like it and blames her twin sister for taking her friends away from her. I have tried to explain that it has nothing to do with her sister and that her friends have a mind of their own and make their own decisions as to who they want to associate with, but she still blames her sister. Two of her friends are so angry with her for things she has said over the school break and you can see the anger in them when the 14 year old is around. She will not speak with anyone etc (counsellor) saying they are gay (an Australian terminology for stupid). What can I do as I don’t want to go through another year of this. How do I teach her to take responsibility for her words and actions without it looking like I am favouring her sister and what strategies can I give her twin sister to also cope with this? I hope this is enough information. Oh and they are in different classes at school.

I am at my wits end with this matter, please help.




Hi P.,

The strategy that you will want to use here is in session #3 - online version - entitled "When You Want Something From Your Kid."

Please review that section (including the videos). I will be glad to help you plug your specific situation into that strategy if needed (i.e., use your specific example rather than the ones I made up for instruction purposes).


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