Expectations of teenagers - Mothering Forums
Preteens and Teens > Expectations of teenagers
allthesekids's Avatar allthesekids 08:55 AM 11-17-2011

     I am going to try to be concise with this, I tend to ramble sometimes about this subject. I have three teenagers and two small children who are 4 and 7 months.  The teens are 16, 13, and 12 ( I guess 12 is preteen, but she acts like a teen). I have struggled for several years with my older kids about the issue of chores. In my conversations with other moms of teens, this seems to be a normal problematic area. As these older three kids have grown, I have become increasingly resentful of this feeling that I am treated as their "servant mother." I ceased full-time work outside of the home when my infant was born and became a SAHM, and I feel this has worsened the problem.

     The greatest area of difficulty is with my 16 year old, so I will focus on that. Let me also add that my older three are from my first marriage, younger two from my second marriage, I have zero help from oldest three's dad, so I am parenting them with my current husband, their stepfather. Basically, my 16 year old does nothing to contribute to our home. He refuses to do chores, clean his room, or even clean up after himself once he is done eating. If he does do something (rare) he half-a**es it. Like, taking out the garbage and failing to replace the liner or wipe out the can if something spilled in it. I am becoming more and more angry about the fact that I am treated as if it's my job to constantly serve and do things for him (hand him an allowance, drive him to and fro to activities, pay for those activities, etc.,) while he does not do anything to help out in our home. We've been arguing almost daily.

    In the summer, we allowed him to get a learner's permit, and in our state you are required to keep that for six months before testing for a driver's license. We allowed him to drive many, many hours instructing him, and spelled out clearly what was expected before getting his license. We said that A. He needed to find a job quickly and save six months insurance premium (total $240) before getting licensed. B. Once a licensed, employed driver, he would need to take on the responsibility of his own continued insurance cost, gas money (beyond going to school and back) and spending. His $50 monthly fun money would stop. We will continue to buy all his clothes, food, and needs, but expenses associated with driving would need to be paid by him, as would dating costs and the things that come along with that.

    Well, that was six months ago and he has not found a job nor put much effort into doing so. He has turned in possibly ten applications, if that many. He spends most of his time "hanging" with his girlfriend either at our house or hers. He recently told me he is getting his bio dad to pay for the six months insurance. I replied "well, you still need a job for the ongoing expenses of driving." He got furious with me, saying he has turned in applications, it's not his fault no one has called. We are now not speaking. When he starts to raise his voice and argue with me, I shut down and refuse to continue the conversation. It is frustrating because though I have a sounding board with my current husband, he does not directly parent the older three with me, it is like I am a single mom. He just gives his opinion, but does not assert direct authority over the kids.

    My other area of great frustration is that I cook a  dinner meal from scratch nearly every day and no one helps me with kitchen clean-up when asked. My husband works full-time and is a student full-time at night at the university, so I after I cook, drive kids to and from activities, it is time for me to bathe the  little ones and put them to bed, and none of my older kids will put away the food and or rinse dishes or wipe counters or anything. I have tried various systems of consequences and rewards but nothing sticks. I mostly expect my 16 year old to do most of this job because he has no after school activities right now and does NOTHING, where my girls help with little kids and at least keep up their own rooms and such. I am considering not cooking anymore. I feel resentful, taken for granted, frustrated and overwhelmed. If anyone has insight for me at all, is dealing with teenagers or has in the past, please give me your thoughts or ideas that might improve this in some way. Thanks in advance.



genifer's Avatar genifer 09:27 AM 11-17-2011

 

Quote:
(hand him an allowance, drive him to and fro to activities, pay for those activities, etc.,) while he does not do anything to help out in our home.

 

 

Im not sure what you will all think of what I would suggest but here goes. All those handouts would stop if this were my child. The evening meals would stop too. Any dirty dishes they leave would be set on their beds if they didnt clean them up after themselves. Im not their slave and at 12 and 11 my kids are learning this early, lol. Im in college now too and I tend to nip these things in the bud immediately. One evening when I went to college they didnt do their chores, I make dinner, they are meant to clean up after themselves. They hadnt done that or their other chores nor were they in bed when I got home, which is whats supposed to happen, so for the last two weeks ALL privileges, every single privelege was taken away. No tv. No dvd's. No visiting friends at the weekends. They stayed near me and helped me at the weekends doing all the dishes, meals, laundry, etc. After a week they were allowed to stay out at a friends over night but that was it. It went right back to restricted privileges. Not bc I wanted to punish them, but bc I wanted to drum it in how important it was that I needed them to participte in the home in positive ways.

 

Now, I cant see you keeping your older teens by your side like they were younger children but all those special handouts and privileges can most certainly stop. I would prepare myself for a battle, but their perspective is all wrong sometimes when they are this age and it takes, imho, a steely determination on the mum's part to battle on in the knowledge that we are actually doing them good by making them realise the world doesnt revolve around them. ykwim?

 

I think its alright to expect basic respect from our teens. I expect my kids to contribute to the functioning of our family home. The expectations evolve as we grow and change and the needs of the home change, but we all have to contribute. Delegating and expecting and making it happen ends up being my job. My dh expects me to do this, he doesnt like me asking him to take the bins out on garbage day but if I didnt ask him for help he wouldnt think to do it, it would seriously not cross his mind to do anything I think. So, thats how we roll, lol.


allthesekids's Avatar allthesekids 10:17 AM 11-17-2011

I like the way you think....and I agree completely with what you have said. I feel like I need to explore why I am having trouble sticking to my guns and enforcing the rules, setting boundaries, etc., Deep down, maybe I fear loss of their love or something? I need to look inside and see why I am so bothered by this, and why I have so much difficulty carrying out the punishments and consequences. Arrrgh! Thank you so much for your reply, it was indeed helpful and makes me realize how much better it is on kids to expect them to respect the household.


whatsnextmom's Avatar whatsnextmom 10:19 AM 11-17-2011

What makes this hard is that he doesn't do anything. In our house, it's pretty easy to get the kids to contribute because they also ask a lot of us in return. They both have several after school activities they are passionate about and that require a LOT of driving on my part and some require money too. DD goes to a special school that requires I drive her in and she has a part-time job that again, requires I drive her. When the kids don't do their part, I don't do my part. They get in a panic when they are late or have to miss activities (and they get penalized at their activities for missing too.) It's pretty good motivation. Plus, the kids seem to have a good understanding that a household is a FAMILY responsibility... we don't really get "why should I have to do that" as much as simply forgetting or not budgeting their time well. Then again, we're talking 11 and 14. Since it's unlikely either will get their own car at 16, it's unlikely they will ever get to the point where they don't rely on us pretty heavily while living in the house.

 

Have you considered requiring them to clean-up the kitchen before they eat dinner? I know this leaves the plates and such but at least the pots, pans, counters will all be clean. If they don't do it, they don't eat. Get rid of the quick, snacky items so they can't fill up that way.Then maybe move to paper plates once in awhile to give you and the younger kids a break.

 

Certainly cut-off any allowances or driving privledges. I assume the 16-year-old doesn't have his own car, he certainly doesn't need the keys to yours if he's acting that way. 

 


genifer's Avatar genifer 11:11 AM 11-17-2011

 

Quote:
Get rid of the quick, snacky items so they can't fill up that way.

 

 

Yes that absolutely!

 

And sticking to your guns, being the kind of mum who doesnt budge, I find my kids respect that. My dh used to tell me that they wont stop loving me if I put my foot down once in a while and I found it to be true. Im quite a softie, dh is the hardcore, authoritarian disciplinarian. Im not like that. But if Im not careful I can make a rod for my own back, thats what I find.


LynnS6's Avatar LynnS6 04:37 PM 11-17-2011

I hardly ever recommend this book, but you might want to check out Love & Logic for teens. I think the Love & Logic approach isn't appropriate for little kids, but I think the "you've made your bed, and now you get to lie in it" approach does work well with teens. If you want to drive, you need to earn the money for the gas. No gas money? No keys. Don't argue about it, just repeat the rule and let it be. Maybe he doesn't really want to drive all that much.

 

Ditto for the dishes & picking up after yourself: You do dishes, I make dinner. You don't? I make dinner for me, and the little kids. You do laundry, you have clothes to wear. You don't do laundry, you don't have clean clothes.

 

You might also consider asking the older kids to cook. In our house, whoever cooks doesn't have to do the dishes.

 

Does everyone in your house have chores to do? Personally, I'd make up a chore chart for the 6 oldest people in the house: You, dh, 16 year old, 13 year old, 12 year old and yes, 4 year old. Even your 4 year old can spend 15 minutes a day picking up toys, as long as you work with him. I'm a firm believer that EVERYONE in the house has to contribute to its running. I'm also a firm believer in starting early with these things. The more it becomes part of the family routine and the more it's simply expected, the easier it is for us as parents. Now, it takes a LOT of work to get the routine started. A lot of energy. It'll take even more because you're starting with teens. Sometimes it feels easier to do it yourself. But if your relationship is clouded with resentment and they're not learning life skills, I think it's worth the investment.

 

We do 15 minutes of chores a night. Last night dd cleaned up the living and ds scrubbed the bathroom sink. Chores can range from mopping the floor or vacuuming to doing laundry or picking up clutter. They're responsible for putting their laundry in the hamper and telling us when they run low on clothes. In addition to the 15 minutes a night (which isn't that much, but it keeps chaos at bay), ds (age 10) has to empty the dishwasher every day. Does he like it? Nope. Does it make it easier for me to do dishes? Yep. And so I'm willing to enforce it. Every night.  My kids know the basics of cleaning a bathroom, vacuuming, doing laundry and cleaning the floors. Now, they're not great at it, but they're learning. They sometimes even dust! (I hate dusting.) Ds is learning to do dishes. I'm going to teach him to cook this summer. By next fall, I'd like him to be doing the dishes 1 night a week and cooking a meal one night a week. I think that's reasonable for an 11 year old.


allthesekids's Avatar allthesekids 05:31 PM 11-17-2011


I will check out that book, I have actually had someone else recommend it to me, so I really should get it now that there are two recommendations! I will consider asking them to cook. I give people in the house chores, but like I said, with 16 year old ds, it really doesn't matter. He just doesn't do them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

I hardly ever recommend this book, but you might want to check out Love & Logic for teens. I think the Love & Logic approach isn't appropriate for little kids, but I think the "you've made your bed, and now you get to lie in it" approach does work well with teens. If you want to drive, you need to earn the money for the gas. No gas money? No keys. Don't argue about it, just repeat the rule and let it be. Maybe he doesn't really want to drive all that much.

 

Ditto for the dishes & picking up after yourself: You do dishes, I make dinner. You don't? I make dinner for me, and the little kids. You do laundry, you have clothes to wear. You don't do laundry, you don't have clean clothes.

 

You might also consider asking the older kids to cook. In our house, whoever cooks doesn't have to do the dishes.

 

Does everyone in your house have chores to do? Personally, I'd make up a chore chart for the 6 oldest people in the house: You, dh, 16 year old, 13 year old, 12 year old and yes, 4 year old. Even your 4 year old can spend 15 minutes a day picking up toys, as long as you work with him. I'm a firm believer that EVERYONE in the house has to contribute to its running. I'm also a firm believer in starting early with these things. The more it becomes part of the family routine and the more it's simply expected, the easier it is for us as parents. Now, it takes a LOT of work to get the routine started. A lot of energy. It'll take even more because you're starting with teens. Sometimes it feels easier to do it yourself. But if your relationship is clouded with resentment and they're not learning life skills, I think it's worth the investment.

 

We do 15 minutes of chores a night. Last night dd cleaned up the living and ds scrubbed the bathroom sink. Chores can range from mopping the floor or vacuuming to doing laundry or picking up clutter. They're responsible for putting their laundry in the hamper and telling us when they run low on clothes. In addition to the 15 minutes a night (which isn't that much, but it keeps chaos at bay), ds (age 10) has to empty the dishwasher every day. Does he like it? Nope. Does it make it easier for me to do dishes? Yep. And so I'm willing to enforce it. Every night.  My kids know the basics of cleaning a bathroom, vacuuming, doing laundry and cleaning the floors. Now, they're not great at it, but they're learning. They sometimes even dust! (I hate dusting.) Ds is learning to do dishes. I'm going to teach him to cook this summer. By next fall, I'd like him to be doing the dishes 1 night a week and cooking a meal one night a week. I think that's reasonable for an 11 year old.



 


Thisbirdwillfly's Avatar Thisbirdwillfly 05:23 PM 11-18-2011

 (hand him an allowance, drive him to and fro to activities, pay for those activities, etc.,)

 

This has to stop.  At a time when you are both calm, sit down and explain the new rules.  NO more handouts.  If he wants his allowance, then he does his chores without reminding.  We used to cut our son's allowance in half if we had to remind him, otherwise it turned into days of us "reminding" and him avoiding.  

 

Best of luck to you, Mama.  


chaimom's Avatar chaimom 12:38 PM 11-21-2011

I think it's time your children learn you're not their maid and driver.  You need to tell them that the family is a team and they have jobs to do.  If they don't do their jobs, you won't do things they want to do.  You said you take them to activities?  Well, why?  If they're not doing what they need to do at home, seems to me, they've lost the privilege of going to those activities.  If your son hasn't gotten a job, he's lost the privilege of driving your car.  I think you need to let them know that what you do for them is a privilege and they've got a responsibility on the other side.  

 

My kids are a bit younger than yours, but already, there's a consequence when they don't do what they have to do.  My boys both love their sports.  If their homework isn't done, they can't go. Period.  If I have to hound them about their music practice, I will stop paying for music.  (So they practice when I remind them about the agreed upon time.)  If they don't do their chores, they don't get allowance. (They have to clean their rooms, put away laundry, clear the table, help keep the house tidy, sometimes clean the bathroom, take out the trash and anything else we ask them to do.) One of my boys is an avid snowboarder, but he knows it's a privilege.  If he doesn't study and do his best in school, he doesn't get to snowboard.   

 

How about sitting down for a family meeting and laying down some new ground rules.  Get some input from your kids, too, so that everyone is heard and everyone feels like they have a stake in what's happening.  You might say that you feel like the burden of running the house and the family is entirely on you and you have decided you can't keeping doing that.  Tell them you'd like to keep letting them go to activites and such, but that you need more help (name it specifically) and ask if they have any suggestions. And set up a new system for chores and privileges from there.

 

I would definitely hold my ground with the older kids.  You're not their maid and driver and they're definitely old enough to contribute to the household.  Good luck!

 


neonalee's Avatar neonalee 01:47 PM 11-21-2011
We ate having similar problems in our house. One thing I've done is set a time limit for her chore. "If your bathroom isn't clean by 2pm on Saturday I will do it myself & you will pay me out of your allowance". There is a checklist she has to follow & we verify that it's clean.

As for the fact that she leaves everything everywhere, when I clean, all her stuff that isn't put away gets tossed in a bag & left in her bedroom. If it's something my toddler could eat & be harmed by (hair pins usually) I throw it out.

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allthesekids's Avatar allthesekids 05:41 PM 11-22-2011

I appreciate all the replies, I felt all advice was helpful and I am definitely going to be implementing some new strategies and making changes. Thank you all.


Imakcerka 06:19 PM 11-22-2011

Good luck

 


nextcommercial's Avatar nextcommercial 08:28 AM 11-23-2011

I LOVE "Love and Logic for teens" and I recommend it all the time.

 

My 19 yr old is pretty sloppy... well, i'm afraid to go in her bathroom because I'm sure it's diseased.

 

But, she's always worked, always paid for her own gas and car expenses, and always helped in the house IF I asked her.  If I didn't specifically ask her, she will do absolutely nothing.

 

I have no doubt that when she moves out and lives on her own or with a husband that she will be a pig, and people will be shocked at how sloppy she is.  So, I have resigned myself to knowing that eventually she'll have to learn it the hard way... or worse yet, she'll never learn it and always live like this.  Surely there will be a reality tv show about people like her.

 

So, while I am very proud of how hard she is willing to work outside the home, she's not going to be selling any "how to" cleaning and organizing books in her future.


Imakcerka 09:36 AM 11-23-2011

So a neighbor of mine does something pretty interesting at her house and I'm storing it away for the future.  She has a system in place with her teens, if they want to do something that would cost money or time from their parents schedule, they have to ask atleast 1 day in advance.  Then they're given a chore to complete in order to be able to do it.  The reason for this is it's something Mom would be doing if she didn't have to run someone around. 

 

Also they have a don't even ask if you haven't even helped around the house policy.  Like if there is a last minute thing that comes up and your chore is cleaning the bathroom that week and the bathroom looks like a mess don't call home and ask.  I was there the other day and she got a call from her son, it was funny because she said the answer to your request lies in the bathroom, would you like me to go check the bathroom?  And since he hadn't clean the bathroom yet he came home right after school scrubbed it in less than 10 minutes came out with a smile and said the bathroom says yes. 

 

I don't know if something like this would work for you, but it's worth a try.  I think it would be a helpful tool.  They're dragging you away from what you need to do, so maybe they could help you get them where they want to go?


skreader's Avatar skreader 04:19 AM 11-24-2011


I know you said you've tried various systems, but I just want to make sure you have considered a job-chart.

 

I make one every school term (since kids' schedules change) and put down the various chores and who does what (including DH and me). That way Child A knows that on Wednesday (for example) she does vacuuming & recycling & Child B clears the breakfast dishes and washes the dinner dishes.

 

We also do fines for towels not hung up, clothes left strewn in the bathroom, etc. If the kids catch us, we have to pay too. Usually its 1 or 2 HKD (maybe 10 cents US).

 

I hope you work out a good strategy.

 

 

Originally Posted by allthesekids View Post


    My other area of great frustration is that I cook a  dinner meal from scratch nearly every day and no one helps me with kitchen clean-up when asked. My husband works full-time and is a student full-time at night at the university, so I after I cook, drive kids to and from activities, it is time for me to bathe the  little ones and put them to bed, and none of my older kids will put away the food and or rinse dishes or wipe counters or anything. I have tried various systems of consequences and rewards but nothing sticks. I mostly expect my 16 year old to do most of this job because he has no after school activities right now and does NOTHING, where my girls help with little kids and at least keep up their own rooms and such. I am considering not cooking anymore. I feel resentful, taken for granted, frustrated and overwhelmed. If anyone has insight for me at all, is dealing with teenagers or has in the past, please give me your thoughts or ideas that might improve this in some way. Thanks in advance.


 

 


allthesekids's Avatar allthesekids 06:38 PM 11-27-2011

I wanted to update the thread and let everyone know how things have been going. I've been seeing a counselor because I have been feeling really overwhelmed with raising teenagers and dealing with their laziness concerning the housework, while also dealing with my two small children and my husband working full-time and being a full-time student. After a while really digging into some sessions with the counselor, I have learned I have co-dependent "people pleaser" martyr-ish type tendencies....specifically toward my teens, though to everyone in general to an extent. The counselor gave me some tips to help work on this and I am implementing them and have read several books on the subject of co-dependency. The sad thing is...I am realizing I have been raising "takers". Just today I did two hours worth of general housework while everyone napped. When they got up, I was asked to 1) Go rent or buy Polar Express for them to watch. They informed me buying it would be better. 2) To buy my son a game. 3) Do we have ice cream and if not, will you go to the store and get some? All this, and yet no one got up from their lazing to do any work, even after prompted. I informed them that the answer was no to all the above requests, and that their would be no allowance given this week, because there was no household/family contribution given....I hope things change around here, because I am truly so disgusted by feeling like their mommy-maid, giving until I am empty with nothing being given back. Hoping the changes I am making will change the behavior of my kidsgreensad.gif.


Imakcerka 09:54 PM 11-27-2011

Good luck!  I hope you can get some positive changes in your house and turn your takers into givers.  You deserve a break.


genifer's Avatar genifer 04:52 AM 11-28-2011

You go mamma!!!! Seriously, you are on the right track and Im so proud of you for standing your ground. Your on a journey of self discovery, it seems, among all those other things. Your kids will be ok. You are changing things, the dynamic in your home and life. If you carried on that path, your kids would have used you even as they got older and moved out. Dont be sad, and dont beat yourself up! Its not too late to change things. I did say you will come up against resistance for a season still, but in the end you'll be different, they may change with you or not, but you've made a good start. Sometimes things like this are about the bigger picture, you know what I mean? Think 'long term' here. Loooooong term.

 

I hope you feel empowered!

 

gen


allthesekids's Avatar allthesekids 03:24 PM 11-30-2011

Thank you Gen, I appreciate the reminder about these changes being more about the long-term effects, that is so true.


MamaRhi's Avatar MamaRhi 08:26 AM 12-08-2011

One thought the helps me implement rules and consequences with my kids (now 10 and almost 13) is thinking about all the adults I know who haven't recovered from losing their "mommy-maid" and how tragic I find that. Just that thought makes me determined to not send two more kids into the world to become those adults and I quickly put my foot down.

 

My favorite tactics:

1. job chart w specific days jobs need doing, it becomes expected that "this day I do this"

2. kids clean the kitchen before I make dinner

3. After dinner clean up before desert or movie watching

4. laundry taken to the basement laundry room or it isn't washed

5. activities, money, movie watching, hair dye, whatever extras they want depend on helping around the house and behavior

6. my new one: a rotating schedule between DS, DD and my BF for helping me make dinner each night (they all need to learn how to cook)

 

I also occasionally remind everyone that something could happen to me and I might not be here for some reason. It doesn't have to be a morbid topic. I might go away to a knitting conference or something. But when I am gone they still need to function effectively. Since I was recently hospitalized for several days, this does kick in the "oh yeah, it sucked when mom was gone" thought.


MamaRhi's Avatar MamaRhi 08:27 AM 12-08-2011

I also want to add, good for you for seeking out counseling!! Take care of you, it's the best way you can be there for everyone else, honestly. :)


allthesekids's Avatar allthesekids 07:23 PM 12-13-2011

Well, I don't think he is changing, he seems to be regressing in maturity. I gave him ten dollars allowance on Saturday, he had cleaned the kitchen and done some chores. Today, which is Tuesday he wants more money to go to a game. I said no. He starts yelling at me and telling me I am ridiculous and ten dollars is not enough money to do anything. So I said, get a job. To which he yells, "I'm trying!" Is coming  home from school and sleeping two or three hours and watching t.v. "trying?"

 

Anyway, he seems to be feeling really entitled and acting and speaking disrespectfully (other behaviors I won't get into for the sake of keeping it short), but I am changing. Not being manipulated anymore, not willing to tolerate ugly talk and yelling. I am thinking I may need to stop handing out money altogether. I truly believe if a kid were really motivated, in my area, they could find work. There are dozens upon dozens of fast food restaurants alone.

 

Raising teenagers is exhausting, and I am learning that extreme self care is vital to be able to get through it.


journeymom's Avatar journeymom 03:18 PM 12-14-2011

My kids are 16 y.o. and 12 y.o. and I really need to visit "Preteens and Teens" more often.  This is a great thread.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by allthesekids View Post

Well, I don't think he is changing, he seems to be regressing in maturity.

 

 

Raising teenagers is exhausting, and I am learning that extreme self care is vital to be able to get through it.


 

Your son's reaction is almost predictable. =)   You've changed your game so he's pushing back.  He's had it pretty cushy for a while so of course he wants to protect and maintain it.   He will, hopefully, come around. 

 

But the other behaviors, like speaking disrespectfully to you, are definitely related and addressing them might help with the chores issue, and the taking you for granted issue.  

 

How to do that?  I'm not sure; I have a similar issue with my son.  He does occasionally speak disrespectfully to me (though my dd doesn't particularly).  My response is to always, each and every time, acknowledge and counter it.  "Hey that was disrespectful, you don't get to talk to me that way."   

 

I think even if your ds doesn't precisely change his ways it's good for you to keep it up.  He might be stubborn but it's really important for you, the most important woman in his life, to insist on being treated respectfully. 

 

I think 'extreme self-care' is a good point.  My dh is the oldest of a large family, and while his parents are good, kind people, they never really got it together. His mom is kind of emotionally fragile and there was always a baby to take care of, so if dh wanted clean clothes he had to do it himself.  He's been working since his first paper route, when he was 12 y.o., that's how he afforded his first car, a wretched piece of junk that he was so proud of.  :D  

 

He was given almost NO extras.  Anything fun he wanted he had to get it himself, or do with out.  Today my dh has  an excellent personal work ethic.  Unfortunately he likes to give his kids all those things he didn't get to have, so they're a bit spoiled in that regard.   The comparison and contrast, I think, is really stark and obvious.  

 

My long-winded point is that your ds, all your kids, really, would probably benefit if you were too busy caring for yourself to do things for them and instead started expecting a lot more from them.  And it'll be difficult. 

 

And really, I'm not one to speak.  Don't get the impression my kids are super-responsible hard working kids.  They're pretty spoiled and lazy.  

 

 

 

 


journeymom's Avatar journeymom 05:23 PM 12-14-2011

Another thought.  I had some success when I stopped asking, especially asking them to do stuff for me, when i took it off me.  When 'no tv on school nights' became a House Rule, instead of me nagging them to turn the tv off and do their homework every afternoon, they cooperated much more.  It was pretty dramatic.  

 

Similar with dishes.  When I made a chart and stuck it on the fridge indicating whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher and whose turn it is to load and clean up, they cooperated more, argued less.  Putting the chart up is actually pretty important, apparently.  Keeps it fair in their heads, and the authority comes from the chart, not me.

 

This might not be as effective with a sixteen year old, but it's worth a shot.


neonalee's Avatar neonalee 12:33 PM 12-15-2011
We're still in the trenches here with you. Dp found a crumpled paper the other day with 10 reasons I hate DPfirstname DPlastname. We don't know if it was left out to be found or not. I can't tell how hurt he is over it either. My dsd has just been a nut case for the last 4 months. Being as terrible as possible so we will send her back to her moms house where everything is wonderful & unicorns vomit rainbows. Right. We take turns holding each other up emotionally but we are both running out. She is so spoiled & *itchy I can barely look at her. Dp sent a txt today after he drove her to school (not something he has to do) asking if he could just leave her birthday presents in the middle of her bedroom floor & cancel our dinner out. greensad.gif

No advice just commiseration. But I think I will follow your example & make sure dp & I take good care of ourselves.

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allthesekids's Avatar allthesekids 08:19 AM 12-16-2011

Neonalee, I wish I could just reach out and give you a hug, this is so hard to experience with a child that you love. This rejection from them....even if it's "normal" for a teen it is just so...painful. hug.gif

 

Journeymom, your posts are full of wisdom, so very helpful and practical. I LOVE the idea of just making things a house rule, and need to commit to just doing this. I have done it on a few things and have considered when an issue comes up, just posting a note about it on the kitchen bulletin board. For instance, if you plan on going to a friend's home (spur of the moment) it is a HOUSE RULE that you must come and ask or at least text and ask for permission.

 

I have always been concerned with being a "good mom." Yesterday, after yet another heartbreaking exchange, I decided to drop that goal. I am going to be me, the best me I can be. And I am going to work at having good relationships with all my children and being a parent and a person that I am proud of. But many teen's ideas of a "good mom" are just...really not. They seem to want a lenient, cushy friend who will give them whatever they want and prevent them from experiencing any lack or discomfort. So not what I am about anymore. My goal is to gently guide toward responsible adulthood while caring for myself the best I can. Hopefully the end result will be good.


genifer's Avatar genifer 09:22 AM 12-16-2011

sorry, ot here.

journeymom, I just wanted to say I love your avatar... It would apply to my dh who is addicted to the new star wars mmo that just launched.


neonalee's Avatar neonalee 02:25 PM 12-16-2011
Thanks:) I think we should all send out cyber hugs to each other. I keep reminding myself how lucky I am that dp&I are on the same page. I've seen issues like this destroy blended families so easily. Also grateful for my cyber acquaintances; it's so helpful to have people to talk to who are going through it and or have BTDT already.

sent from my phone using tapatalk, please forgive typos
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