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

Avatar for sweettartnacho
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Registered: 01-18-2006
Discipline ideas?! I dont know what to do. 2 girls - youngest is ADHD/ODD
4
Mon, 11-11-2013 - 9:00am

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!)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

Well what were things like before the divorce?  It's hard to believe that these girls went from formerly very helpful children to suddenly they will not help at all.  Or did you just do everything for them before and now they don't like the idea that things have to change?  Personally I just can't imagine a scenario where we would move and my children would do nothing--and I would just do everything.  By the teenage years you expect them to take some initiative.  I have a 24 yr old DD (not at home any more) and an 18 yr old son (senior in high school).  I can't really say that I make my son do that many chores since he does so many hours of HW every night and also works part time, so I am probably too lax with the chores. But I do make him mow the lawn since I am not about to do it--when he was 15 or so, I would have to nag him to mow it, but he would do it, but by now, I'll come home from work and find out that he just took it upon himself to mow.  I would be so mad if the girls said why aren't things organized, that I would tell them that this is a joint household, you are no longer everyone's maid and they aren't going anywhere until they help--and tell them that they each have the job of unpacking the boxes and organizing certain rooms.  an 18 yr old should be doing more than unloading the dishwasher.  Maybe tell her that one night a week she is going to make dinner for the family because soon she might have her own place and she should know how to cook.  Everybody lives in the house so everybody needs to have chores.  Of course if they reached ages 15 & 18 with never having to do chores, then it will be a lot harder to make them do it now.  With most kids, you make them start doing chores when they are little so it's not a surprise.  By high school, my kids were also responsible for doing their own laundry too.  of course I always worked full time so I don't have time to be doing all the chores myself.

and this is not about your ex--dont' worry about what he does in his own house.  Obviously you can't threaten not to pay for the cell phones if he says he will buy them new ones--or maybe you can call his bluff.  

Avatar for sweettartnacho
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2006
Thank you. My youngest has always been tremendously bull-headed. They've always done some things, but, for instance, my 18yo says that now she has a pt job & a lot of homework, that she doesnt need to help. I just DO NOT get it. At this point, I cant wait til she moves out of the house. (she's a senior). No roommate will put up with her excuses & she'll learn the hard way. As for my younger, Im talking w/my ex about her moving with him. He has a maid, so doesnt do much cleaning up. He will put up with whatever she does. I just hope these girls mature in a few years. :=(
Avatar for turtletime
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Registered: 05-13-1998

For starters, sending you a hug. This has got to be a difficult time for you and dealing with these issues expecially hard. 

As for the kids, it sounds like they've been pretty pampered. We know many children from wealthy families and while they are wonderful people and might work really hard outside of the home, they can also be pretty clueless as to how much goes into caring for oneself. It is very difficult to instill a sense of duty to family if it's not been there all along.

Have you considered any therapy for the girls? Not about the cleaning but about the divorce. It's hurtful all around that dad had an affair and is living in the family home with a new woman. I imagine it feels like dad dumped all of you for her. Girls this age can already be insecure about relationships and sometimes hyper-focus on finding a partner themselves. To have the man in their life do this to all of you is horrid. They may take advantage of the money he's willing to shell out but  I suspect they know they are being bought. Angry kids take it out on the person who they trust the most. YOU didn't leave them and so you are the safe one to dump all their junk on. Dad, well, that trust is broken and so they are going to be more careful. Having someone outside the family to talk to might really be a benefit for them.

As for consequences, I'd probably just stop doing things for them. Stop cooking for them if they won't clean. Keep your own room nice and spend your time there. Move the TV in there if they can't help keep the public areas nice. Keep a set of your own dishes in there for use and let them run out of what's available in the kitchen. Don't yell, just let them live with the consequences for awhile. That's the best I can offer. Honestly, while my kids don't love chores, I've never had one fight about them or refuse to comply. Sometimes they stomp around but frankly, sometimes I feel like stomping around when I have to do chores I hate too.

Avatar for sweettartnacho
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2006
Thank you. :) I just hope things get better. I am going to someone tomorrow - therapist who is older & wiser & a wife & mother herself. Im hoping we can figure out a plan here. ..... thanks again....