Discipline ideas?! I dont know what to do. 2 girls - youngest is ADHD/ODD

Avatar for sweettartnacho
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2006
Discipline ideas?! I dont know what to do. 2 girls - youngest is ADHD/ODD
Mon, 11-11-2013 - 8:58am

My kids & I recently moved into a lovely new townhome.   My husband had an affair & I opted to move out w/the kids, while he & his mistress take over the lovely family homestead.  

Anyway, my kids are 18 & 15 & I am just APPALLED at how they will do NOTHING for me in my new townhome.   My oldest says she uses so few dishes, so she doesnt need to participate in running or unloading the dishwasher.   My youngest says she runs the dishwasher (ie pushes the buttons) so she shouldnt unload it.

I dont know what their excuse is about the trash, but they wont take it out.

I have unloaded the dishwasher every time since we've lived here & Ive taken out the trash every time.

If I start talking about it & telling them to do this & that, it ends up a screaming match.   They dont do it.   My youngest, in fact, will make a mess, or drop something on the floor & walk right over it.   She will NOT pick it up.

I have no control.   My ex is of no help.   He makes gobs of $ & spends it on them.   He tells them not to worry about any threats I make (ie taking away phones) because he will cover it.    I refuse to take my younger one out to buy things she needs & she raises cane w/my ex, talking about how awful I am. 

Im starting to talk to my ex about my younger one coming to live with him.   He basically is a doormat who will put up with anything.   $  helps a lot with him.   If she doesnt want to clean at his house, he just calls a maid & pays them.    

My oldest is truly a "good citizen", but, unbelievably will NOT help with anything that involves the household.   Only her own room.

With as much hell as I personally have had to live thru with the affair & getting back on my feet & having to leave my beloved home, these girls have not lifted one finger to help me.   I moved every single box (maybe 300?) alone up & down 2 flights of stairs.   It has taken me weeks & the girls complain about why things have not gotten cleaned & organized sooner.   Ive done all the moving, arranging utilities, improvements, organized the kitchen, organized the food.  The girls have done nothing.   Not one thing.   Only their own things.

I need some discipline ideas.    At ages 18 & 15, I feel it is tooooo late.  These are not MEAN kids (well, maybe my youngest is), but I cant believe they havent helped me out of love, if nothing else.   My ex is (behind my back) feeding this.   He is enjoying the way they are behaving, because it hurts me.   

What can I do at this point?   I feel like it is just too late & Im going to have to accept that Im doomed to a few more years of cleaning up behind them.   My 18yo has talked of moving out &, because of all this, Im encouraging her.   Ive also started pushing more that my youngest go live with my ex.  

:(    He would like nothing more than this, as he wants the girls with his mistress to be one happy family (altho they HATE her guts!)

Avatar for janx7
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2001

Separation and change is difficult for all during times like this.  I'm sure the girls are just as angry about the changes they're having to deal with as you are.  Pitting parents against each other is very common and if the parents are fighting with each other -- the girls will definitely pick up on that too.  

I know first hand that what we consider rebeillion is a matter of the child/teen needing some power and control over their lives right now.  Remember, you weren't the only person impacted by your ex's choices.  The kids were too.  Their whole lives have been disrupted... now, it's time to acknowledge what they are doing right in the moment.  Did the girls also have to change schools or move out of a neighborhood where they have friends and companions?  

I know it's hard when you're feeling totally overwhelmed by your own personal circumstances and you feel that no one else is helping to lift the load from your shoulders especially if they are capable of doing so.  Rather than take the you're not respecting me attitude, consider doing the following:  
Have a family counsel.  Establish rules and let the girls help create the rules that will be in your home.  (Don't reflect on times past, you're beginning anew now).  Create an environment of sharing and responsibility for the iving space and how you'll all divide that up fairly and making your space one you can live in and thrive in.  Agree to set time limits on accomplishing chores and responsibilities...and most importantly honor and recognize everyone in your home (including you) as things get done and celebrate those moments with joy and love.  When things don't get done, don't nag and energize.  It's possible to still get things accomplished in calm, non-energized and neutral ways. Your home will become a place you want to be and where they will want to be.  The love and joy and you can have will blossom.  It won't happen overnight, but with some intentional time and planning, it will happen.  Good luck!