My arrogant teenage daughter bullies me

My 14-year-old daughter is beautiful, intelligent and talented. The trouble is, she knows it. I’m proud of her in so many ways, but wish she’d stop acting so superior. At school, the boys seem to be in dribbling awe and the girls follow her around, desperate to be her friend.

Other parents tell me how polite she is when she comes to their house, but to me she’s totally vile. From the sarcastic put-downs to the withering looks, she clearly believes she’s better than me in every way.

To be fair, she does have a point. She’s a stunningly attractive young woman – friends have said she looks like a young Kate Moss. Where I have a mid-40s, post-childbirth tummy, she has the body of an athlete, but why she feels the need to comment on my midriff, I ­honestly don’t know.

On one particularly bleak day, as I glanced in the mirror on my way out, she told me how “frumpy” I looked. In my circle, I’m known for being quite stylish, so I didn’t see that one coming.

I’ve been successful in my career as a journalist and written for every major newspaper, but whereas once she would proudly tell her friends, “My mum’s a writer”, if I ever mention my job at parents’ evening now, she kicks me under the table.

When it comes to her schoolwork, she’s a straight-A student. I spent hours painstakingly teaching her maths and phonics in primary school, but now her maths homework is often beyond me. I tried to help her with a history essay last year, but after a while she looked at me, exasperated, and said, “Let me get Dad.” Failed again!

It wouldn’t be such a shock had she not been so adoring of me when she was younger. Little did I know what evils lay ahead when those big blue eyes gazed at me, full of love. But when she turned 11 and started secondary school – just after I gave birth to her ­second little sister – her personality changed overnight.

While I struggled to cope with the exhaustion of having a newborn again, she blossomed. The paler and more insignificant I became, the more powerful she seemed by comparison.

She’s inherited her confidence from her dad, and while I’m sure she’ll go far in life, if she treats others with the same contempt, I’m worried she’ll make a few enemies along the way.

Where she is a leader, I was more of a low-key character at school. I had a close circle of friends, but also seemed to be a magnet for bullies. I can’t imagine anyone ever bullying my daughter, but the truth is, she now bullies me. I don’t want to tolerate it, but I don’t know how to make her stop. You can’t force someone to show you respect.

She treats me as a domestic slave, and when I went to her room the other day to collect some washing, she was in such a foul mood, she chucked a pile of dirty clothes in my face – that was a first, even by her standards.

I was so mad, I called up to cancel her mobile phone contract as punishment, before changing my mind halfway through. For her own safety, I didn’t want her stuck without a phone. I refused to wash her clothes for a couple of days, but as the stinking pile started to mount up, I caved in. I couldn’t bear to send her out of the house like that.

For her birthday, when we hosted a small party, she even made fun of my dancing. But after a while, I turned the tables. “Well, you show me how you think I should dance, then,” I retaliated, which ended with us both collapsing in ­giggles as she tried to teach me how to twerk.

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