EEEEEEEEEEW! GROSS!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
EEEEEEEEEEW! GROSS!
15
Thu, 11-13-2003 - 1:17pm
I have had it with my 13 YO DD. She is really trying my patience. Here is a sample of what I am going through. Last Saturday she asked me if she could go to the mall with her friends and then, from there to a B-day party they were both invited to. I gave her permission and $20. She asked for more money but I told her no as she does very little to help around the house. So fast forward to 9:00 that night. My boyfriend and I, my son and his friend go to pick her up a the church hall where the party was held. She comes out with her hair styled in braids (supposedly done by her friend's sister) and a new Aeropostile sweatshirt. Then she gets into the car and proceeds to show us all the other stuff she bought. I'm thinking, how did she buy all this with $20. Now, earlier we had taken the boys out to an arcade. When I looked in my wallet there was $20 missing. So I asked her if she took money out of my wallet. She confessed she did, but she never apologized. Her punishment was that she was not allowed to go to her boyfriend's B-day party Monday night. That did not go over very well, but I had to hit her where it hurt.

So, remember the braids from Saturday? Well, it is now Thursday and she still has not washed her hair or showered. I am totally disgusted by her lack of proper hygiene. I have harped on her over and over again to no avail. Personally, I don't even know how she has a boyfriend.

I just can't take it anymore. She is ALWAYS on the phone and computer. I have call waiting and sometimes she has both lines tied up. I have password protected the computer, but she always manages to get on somehow. Her only steady chore is to empty the dishwasher and clean the dishes. She refuses to do even that simple task. Her room is a disaster area and she refuses to clean it.

Is anyone else having these problems?

Thanks.

Karen

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Thu, 11-13-2003 - 3:00pm

I have 2 boys ages 13 and 16 and no - I don't have these problems.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 11-13-2003 - 3:14pm
Hi Pam-

I understand what you are saying. However, implementing things is not always easy. This year has been especially tough because I am getting divorced. I have been out of focus because of this and she has just gotten way out of control. It is just so overwhelming to deal with all the crap from my ex-H, her issues and he little brother's attitude which is very trying at times, plus work full time and maintain the house. I have tried so many things to get her to cooperate but she continues to ignore me. It is very frustrating. I do not even have the option of sending her to live with her dad as he travels 60-70% of the time. I do try to limit her computer time and phone time but it is very difficult when I am not home.

Thanks for your support.

Karen

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2003
Thu, 11-13-2003 - 3:21pm
I have a similar situation. Teenage boys and going through a divorce. One thing I do is if I don't want them on the computer and I'm not home to monitor it I take the keyboard AND mouse (they can IM with only a mouse using cut and paste!)and put them in the trunk of the car. Now I have to figure how to fit all 4 TVs in the trunk too! Only kidding, but I do have to figure out how to monitor that when I'm not home. Anybody have any ideas on that??
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 11-13-2003 - 7:54pm
Hmm ... something struck me while reading through both your posts. It was that no matter what you try, she still 'ignores' you.

I relate to just how hard it can be to be dealing with exes and personal issues and how hard it is to remain focused on our kids. I've also learned that if I veer too far that way that that is when my kids start seeming off track. It seems that some of the things your dd is doing, while some of it can be age-related (& likely at least some of it IS), part is likely her doing whatever she thinks she has to, to get your attention focused on her again. My younger dd, in particular (12) is a guaranteed barometer of whether or not she is sensing that I'm stressed, distracted from her, etc and she will respond accordingly. When that happens, I make a point of sitting down and talking to her, telling her that I feel we haven't spent any special time together lately, that I'm sorry life has felt like it's taken precedence over her and that I want to plan a special time with her one weekend, just her and I. We'll start the day with a breakfast she likes that I might rarely make; we plan a movie she wants to see; we'll go shopping, even if it's just window shopping - activities she knows I'm not crazy about but SHE is. Or we'll go bowling. Or for a drive and then a walk somewhere we love to be. Anything. When I've done this, and I've been really clear that I'm aware that we haven't had time for just *us* two, I've known her to take sticky notes and write a series of them saying things like 'THANK YOU MOM" or "I CAN'T WAIT for our special day together" and stick them all up the stairs and into my room onto my bathroom mirror, lol. If a friend has called and invites her over, she will tell them she can't, that 'my mom wants to spend time with me because we haven't had any together lately'. And then I try to make even 15 mins to half an hour, usually before bed, for us to just talk.

Trust me, I KNOW how hard it is to find that time. And sometimes to be willing to MAKE that time when I'm stressed out or have a million things on my mind or to do. But I look at it as an investment in something I can't go back and regain at a later date - time and the chance to have a strong influence in my dd's life ... NOW is when we make that investment so that it pays off later on when their respect and desire to still please us are the only real things we have to influence them as they get older.

Good luck with everything.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2003
Fri, 11-14-2003 - 3:15am
I've been there. Not alot of fun. My daughter started acting up not long after her father and I split up. Since most of the blame for the split was taken by me, her anger and resentment were also directed my way. I went through everything with her, from drugs to drinking, to anorexia to running away... foster home....her living on the street and me following her from a distance for a whole summer... endless hours of therapy... we ran the gamut, let me tell you. It was her decision to live on the street in a safe, small town because she refused to follow our rules, and I refused to allow her to make the rules in our house. She could return at any time as long as she followed the rules. Tough love is toughest on the parent. All I can say is now that she is 17, she has a great appreciation for me and knows that I will be there for her no matter what. I never let her walk all over me, but she knew that everything I did, I did out of love. We've discussed alot of our issues now that she is a little older and understands more... she lived with her father for 1 1/2 years and was treated the way he treated me..... always to blame for all things.

Anyhow, I want you to know that things will probably get worse, but will eventually get better (not real encouraging at this time, I know). Independent girls are very difficult to control, but stand your ground and in the end, she will appreciate you for it. Keep on loving her and standing firm on your rules, and things will work out.

Best of luck.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Fri, 11-14-2003 - 7:26am
I hope you ladies don't mind me jumping in here even though I really don't know what you're going through...I've never gone through a divorce and all that stress, but I am a "single mom" of sorts. DH is a construction worker who goes to bed at 8 Sunday night to leave for work at 3 a.m. Monday. He usually doesn't return until 7 or 8 Friday night, has something to eat and goes to bed. That's the routine 9-10 months out of the year and has been for 17 years. It's really tough parenting teens when I feel like I have no backing or support except for 48 hours every weekend, I can't even imagine how tough it is to do all the time.

I agree with kkiana that my kids tend to act up when they feel like they aren't getting enough mom time, which is really tough to do for all of them when there are 4. I try to make a point of spending at least a few minutes one on one with each of them every day that has nothing to do with rules, infractions, or whatever is causing the stress in our relationship at the time. With the two older boys we almost have to schedule an appointment, but the younger two are around most of the time.

With the stress of a divorce in the household, the kids gotta be feeling it too, on top of knowing that mom is distracted. Even for kids without that stress, the early teen years are tough. I went to parent teacher conferences at the high school/middle school last night and found out that DD has some issues in school that tend to revolve around the cat fighting that can be a 7th grade social life...and all the teachers reassured me that ALL kids in Jr HI are stressed and unstable. Not only are their bodies going through some big time changes that they don't understand, but their social lives are in a huge transition too, along with going from the structure of elementary school to less structure and more expectations of personal responsibility in JR HI...it's no wonder they can be little monsters at home. At the moment DD is pretty calm and mellow, cooperative and fun to be around, but it's probably the calm between storms, coz we've been there before, and I'm sure we will be again. I guess all we as parents can do is make sure they have a good anchor, do the best we can to try to steer them in the right direction and hang on for a bumpy ride. Best wishes to you gals, I hope things get better with those kids.
Avatar for heartsandroses2002
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 11-14-2003 - 2:06pm
Hi, I'm sorry that you're finding life to be so trying - I know how it feels as I to went through a divorce with my two dd's (they were 2 and 4, but now are 14 and 16). Even now that I am remarried, I often feel like a single mother, as a majority of the responsibilities and running around falls to me, even though I work full time outside the home as well.

The first thing I would suggest is counseling for you - you really need help in reorganizing your thoughts and prioritizing your household duties, setting up appropriate boundaries and chores and guidelines detailing your expectations of your children. Divorce can be very harsh on everyone, but that doesn't mean that everything needs to go to hell in a handbasket - you still need rules and boundaries. Your children, now more than ever, need to know what is acceptable and what is not. Setting aside time for some one on one with your dd is a great idea, but she still also needs to know that stealing is wrong - whether its .50 or $20. Wrong - period. And the consequneces of her behavior should be spelled out clearly PRIOR to her actions. That is, set up a guideline for yourself, review it a few times to make sure that it is age appropriate for each of your children and then decide how strongly you feel about each item and then set up what the consequences will be. Call a family meeting, just you and your kids, no BF's or ousiders should be included unless he lives with you (in that case, he is considered part of the family, IMO). Anyway, explain that each person will have an opportunity to speak without being interrupted and that although you will consider each objection to any rule, you have the final word. And then stick to it. Put limits on phone use, put limits on social events per weekend, per week, sleepovers, etc. For example, my kids can only have one sleep out or in per weekend - no doubles no way. They can attend one major weekend event per weekend, no doubles no way. They MUST have all homework and chores completed BEFORE they are allowed to have social lives - the only exception is when the event is immediately after school on a Friday or if it's a holiday.

The bottom line is that you need to set up certain guidelines that you can all live with, make her work for an allowance* that meets her needs and doesn't break your pocketbook. And then be firm and stick to that guideline. As she grows and matures, you can modify, but you better get something going soon before she takes over your house. *There are some folks who don't believe in making an allowance something that can be taken away, but I have found with some kids, this is the way it has to be. With my 16 dd she gets her allowance no matter what because she is ALWAYS helping me around the house, does her HW and always calls and basically never gets herself into trouble. My 14 dd needed to work for her allowance because she was exactly like your dd - never did anything to help, refused to shower, argued about everything, stoke money (mostly small bills and change), lied about where she was going and with whom, etc. She has matured soooooooo much in this past year - it sucks having to stay on her, but its paying off, slowly but surely. And I make a concerted effort to talk with my dd's everyday, especially before bedtime, as this is when they tend to open up more often. It is essential to me that they always feel comfortable talking with me about anything. My 14 dd recently did a paper for her English class - she had to write a story about a hero - she chose me and the defining sentence for me was the one that read "My mom is always there for me, she tells me when I'm not doing the right thing and makes me think about stuff."

Good luck.

ps; Sorry this is so long - one more thing to add, I take the computer cord and modem cord each night into my bedroom with me so no one can use the computer at night. Also, we've had periods where I've locked it in my room during the day so they can't use the computer till I get home in the evening. I called my phone service and had them disable the 3-way calling service. Now, my dd can't be on two lines at once and I can always get through.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2003
Sun, 11-16-2003 - 4:05am
First of all one doesn't need shampoo and water to clean their scalps when they have braids or dreads..."Sea Breeze" or Bonne Bell's "10 06" are great at cleansing the scalp. Better than shampoo actually because they don't leave a residue. As far as steaing money from your wallet...she would be dead here. When it comes to the other stuff...Take away the phone, that's easy to do...un plug the phone from the jack and keep it with you, plug in an answering machine instead of the phone, then when someone calls YOU plug the phone in and call them back. unplug the computer or lock her out of it...if it's in her bedroom TAKE IT OUT. My daughter is almost 18 and she doesn't have a computer in HER room. Don't sweat the bedroom...my daughter's room is just as bad...I shut the door. However I did tell her that if we start having cockroaches and mice SHE would be paying the bill for extermination. As for your dauhter's personal hygiene stop harping...she will only get worse the more you harp on her.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2003
Sun, 11-16-2003 - 4:44am
My question is WHO is the parent in YOUR home? So you're getting divorced from her father...I've been separated from my daugther's father for 4 years...the rules in my home have always been the same. If she stole money from me she would be dead meat. If I say no phone...that's what I mean...I unhook the phone, plug in the answering machine and take the phone with me if she is home alone. I do the same with the computer...I remove the keyboard when I say no computer and I take the keyboard with me when I go to work. It's not that diffiuclt to enforce the rules. Just because you're going through alot of crap with her father is no reason for you to stop being her parent. The reason she ignores you is that you aren't parenting effectivly. As long as you don't enforce the rules she will continue to ignore you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 11-17-2003 - 12:35pm
Wow-

I thought the objective of this board was to provide advice to other parents not to condem or slam them. I appreciate that you have been separated for 4 years and you probably are much more experienced at single parenting. Yes, I was only recently separated but prior to that I was married for 15 years to a man who travelled 60-70% of the time, lied, cheated, drank and generally set a bad example for the kids. Try parenting under those conditions! So, you see, not every situation is the same.

Now, I am wondering, how are my kids going to contact me if I remove the phone from the home? Yes, I did take the keyboard and the mouse with me (and I thought of that all on my own). She got another one from her friend to use. What am I supposed to do now? Take the whole computer away. I use it too.

And, as far as the stolen money goes she swears she has learned her lesson. Maybe you feel the punishment was too light, but if the end result is that she never does it again what is the difference? If she does do it again, trust me, the punishment will be much more severe. Even criminals don't have the book thrown at them for a first offense.

Yes, I do try to enforce the rules. I do try to be a good parent and do what I can for my children. And, I totally resent the implications I am not. If I weren't a good parent, I wouldn't be here looking for advice.





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