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#1 of 16 Old 09-03-2006, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't considered charging my dd rent...until this morning. She seems to look at our house as her boarding house. I have spent the last 3 1/2 hours cleaning the family room. A room that I never use, in fact rarely even see it except when walking by to get to the laundry room. I walked by today and noticed all sorts of empty pop cans, napkins and general debris everywhere. Then when I got to the laundry room, there were no laundry baskets because they were full of well....laundry. I asked my dd to come and help me clean the family room (because it really was to the point of being way past unhealthy) and she refused to clean...as it's MY house and if I want it cleaned I should do it myself. Then she has the nerve to call downstairs to ask what I'm making for lunch...I hadn't even had time for breakfast yet!!!

I'm trying really hard to back off and let go. Today she wanted to go out to eat with friends. I suggested that she might want to spend some time folding the 7 laundry baskets stuffed full of her laundry. Then I changed my mind and said she could do what she wanted, but from now on when she runs out of clean clothes, she can no longer come to my room and borrow mine. I've tried staying away from the family room and let her 'manage' it...but eventually I can't take it!!

I've asked her to think of us as room mates, hoping that would make her think that we both have responcibilities to this house, and that we both need to be respectful of each other and our property and living spaces.

I don't really know what to get out of posting this here...I'm just angry and frustrated and needed a place to get it out. Thanks for that.
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#2 of 16 Old 09-03-2006, 03:51 PM
 
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I don't really have any answers because I frequently feel the same way. I still make my fourteen year old's bed because otherwise it stays unmade and the junk food debris gets hidden under the covers. I guess it's just my attitude that's changed in the past year: I can see how much LESS cleaning there is to do now than there was when they were toddlers. I also see them growing up and needing me less so that providing them with a reasonably tidy home is one of the few things I can still do to express my love for them.

I've always had issues with feeling inadequate about my ability to pass the white-glove test. Recently I made two friends who spend even LESS time cleaning than I do, and although they are every bit as self-conscious about it as I am, I enjoy spending time at their homes because they are friendly, fun people who make me feel welcome. The lady with books and sheet music all over her floor is well educated and interesting and much better company than the lady with a spotless house and three books to her name.

Of course you can't have moldy food all over your family room, but maybe raising this girl to be so incredibly successful in spite of her special needs and now teaching her what her responsibilities are as far as maintaining your shared living quarters is more important than keeping the house immaculate at all times.
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#3 of 16 Old 09-03-2006, 04:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by momfirst
I'm trying really hard to back off and let go. Today she wanted to go out to eat with friends. I suggested that she might want to spend some time folding the 7 laundry baskets stuffed full of her laundry. Then I changed my mind and said she could do what she wanted, but from now on when she runs out of clean clothes, she can no longer come to my room and borrow mine. I've tried staying away from the family room and let her 'manage' it...but eventually I can't take it!!

I've asked her to think of us as room mates, hoping that would make her think that we both have responcibilities to this house, and that we both need to be respectful of each other and our property and living spaces.

I don't really know what to get out of posting this here...I'm just angry and frustrated and needed a place to get it out. Thanks for that.

I see two things here. One she got her way & she did not have to do anything but whine about it all. She will never do her laundry if you do it for her. Instead of making her do as you stated, she was able to do what she wanted. I think that is huge. Second, she is not a roomate, she is your daughter. She needs guidance & boundries. Set some limits & stick to them. Do not cave.

My 12 yr old is a slob. I admit it, she is slob, but she also knows I mean business when I say, clean up your mess. If she does not do as I say, there is no cell phone, no cheerleading, no friends calling, no starbucks. All those things are priveleges, not rights. You earn them you get them, in our house. We have boundries and I think they are important. Cleaning up after oneself is huge. It makes for good skills, I think. (Ok let the mudd slinging begin).

Cristina - "If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded." Maya Angelou
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#4 of 16 Old 09-03-2006, 04:15 PM
 
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Your daughter is SO lucky you GD, cuz if I told my mom I wasn't going to clean she woulda beat the CRAP outta me! Hopefully you find a way to stick up for yourself that doesn't involve getting physical.

ETA: Do you not believe in taking away privileges? I know some moms on here don't, but it's not just her living space she's affecting, it's yours too, so you will obviously have to find a creative way to deal with this. Hopefully other moms who have been in this position can offer some suggestions.

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#5 of 16 Old 09-03-2006, 04:34 PM
 
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No mud slinging here, Debstmomy. I agree with everything you said. My 14 yr old DSS would do NOTHING around the house if we didn't insist he do it by linking his privileges to his chores. I think all kids are different, and maybe some don't need to have threats of things/activites being taken away, but I think some kids do need this level of discipline. Yes, I know the GD line is that they will learn the lessons over time and isn't that more important than the house being perfect? Well, no. It's not. Not to me. And my house is faaaaaaaaar from perfect. But I don't get help, it's a total pigsty and I refuse to live like that. If he wants to live like that when he is an adult, then that's fine, but chidlren in our home contribute to the household and that's that.

momfirst, you're not roommates. You are the mom. I think it's prefectly reasonable for you to inssit she clean up after herself (and no, I don't mean keeping things spotless, but a reasonable level of cleanliness can and should be expected). But you have to be okay with her being mad at you about it. Because she will be. Because that tactic seems to have worked for her. Expect an adjustment period where she is pissed at you, and know that this is the crucial time for you to stand your ground. If you cave, she will know she's got your number and will resist your future efforts even more strongly.

BTW, how old is she? Is charging rent really out of the question?
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#6 of 16 Old 09-03-2006, 06:57 PM
 
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I've asked her to think of us as room mates, hoping that would make her think that we both have responcibilities to this house, and that we both need to be respectful of each other and our property and living spaces.
I'm afraid that the only way to get this across is to tell her directly. Telling her to think of herself as a roommate won't work because she's never been a roommate and doesn't have the reference to understand what her responsiblities would be in that kind of situation. Tell her what you need and expect her to do to keep the family room clean now that you have cleaned it and give her a time frame to get it done in. Waiting her out didn't work, so she needs some structure in learning how to get this chore done. Having it done before she knows you will be getting home from work, for example, gives her some wiggle room so she doesn't feel like you are being a dicator.

Likewise, I wouldn't let her get away with not putting away her clothes. 7 loads may be overwhelming to her. Have her do it one basket at a time over a couple of days.

I would not let her get away with using you as a maid anymore. She's going to be living on her own one of these days and she needs to learn to keep things clean long before then.
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#7 of 16 Old 09-03-2006, 07:33 PM
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How old is your daughter?

Maybe talk to her about how you feel, and what you need? That seems to work better in our house than simply telling people what to do.

I guess I'm also wondering about how things have worked until now...has your daughter been a contributing member of the household up until now? Did something change recently?

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#8 of 16 Old 09-03-2006, 08:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debstmomy
I see two things here. One she got her way & she did not have to do anything but whine about it all. She will never do her laundry if you do it for her. Instead of making her do as you stated, she was able to do what she wanted. I think that is huge. Second, she is not a roomate, she is your daughter. She needs guidance & boundries. Set some limits & stick to them. Do not cave.

My 12 yr old is a slob. I admit it, she is slob, but she also knows I mean business when I say, clean up your mess. If she does not do as I say, there is no cell phone, no cheerleading, no friends calling, no starbucks. All those things are priveleges, not rights. You earn them you get them, in our house. We have boundries and I think they are important. Cleaning up after oneself is huge. It makes for good skills, I think. (Ok let the mudd slinging begin).
She's only 9 but I agree. There's no other way.
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#9 of 16 Old 09-03-2006, 08:47 PM
 
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my kids aren't preteens or teens yet, but i agree with the pp. i would just not do her laundry. if she wants to have clean clothes to wear, then she will have to do them herself.

i would also take away privledges until she cleaned up her mess... because you wouldn't want mold, ants, critters, etc to get into your house and make you guys sick.

Momma to K ('01), E ('03) and A ('07)
Acting as a Gestational Surrogate for my cousin, EDD Jan 17th
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#10 of 16 Old 09-03-2006, 08:56 PM
 
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I think you need to sit down with her and set up some house rules. "No food outside the kitchen" is a very reasonable rule if she's been leaving food containers all over the house.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#11 of 16 Old 09-04-2006, 12:55 AM
 
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I had this same problem till I said enough was enough. She eats her, she can clean it up, she wears the clothes, she can wash them, she wants to go sleep at so and so's house then she needs to wash the dishes tonight. Its not a choice. You are a part of the household you are apart of its mess lol.
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#12 of 16 Old 09-04-2006, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the advice! However, I think you have a totally wrong picture of me. I didn't do my dd laundry, most of it's still there waiting for her (she did some). She didn't go out with her friends, it was just her option to do so...she got to decide what to do instead of me telling her what she could and couldn't do.

I don't expect any part of my home to pass the white glove test, but when it gets to the point of being able to write messages in the dust, stuff a pillow with the furballs and not being able to walk across the floor because of all the CD's, games and empty food/drink containers, it's time to do something about it. I gave her months to decide it was time to pick up the family room (with some prompting). I did make the choice to clean the family room by myself, but that was mostly for my own sanity. I didn't want to deal with her, and I prefer to clean on my own. BTW 4 garbage bags filled!!!!

My dd has always had boundries and expectations...but now that she's 18, I am also to the point of thinking that she needs to move ahead and not always rely on me to tell her what to do and when to do it.

She has always had chores/privilages/guidance/consequences. She is now 18 and has started ignoring me and most house rules. She currently does have her cell phone taken away and has lost all computer privilages (because those things are mine and I feel that I can still take them away). Like I said, she's 18 and graduated (starting another school tomorrow). If she were 9 or 12 or even 17 I would have no problem with how to handle all of this. However, she's now 18. She's a legal adult (although I have legal guardianship of her). I admit that I am having a real hard time with this age and knowing where we should be. I'm not sure that an 18 year old should be grounded. I am fine taking away certain privilages (such as computer and cell phone as they are mine) but I'm not sure about taking away things that she has worked for and bought with her own money.

The 'roomates' comment was because she did this summer have 'roomates' (for a few weeks while I was gone on a trip for work) and will have roomates when she eventually moves out to a group home (or supervised living). Yes, she is still my 'child' and I am her parent, but our relationship is changing. She is now what I call an 'adult in training'. It's time for her to spread her wings and see where they take her...hoping that all I've taught her to this point will shine through. I know part of her is just rebelling and trying to find her own way. It's really hard...she is still so dependant on me, but also trying so hard to find her own way. I'm trying to guide her as much as I can while allowing her to become the person she is meant to be.

Anyway, thanks for the comments and suggestions. Please don't think i'm someone who has always catered to my dd and let her control the show. She has been raised very well and I need to trust that at some point her upbringing will come through...once she's gone out and tested the waters.
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#13 of 16 Old 09-04-2006, 12:53 PM
 
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18 is not a magic number. If she's not doing what she needs to do now to help you keep the house livable then she has not learned what she will need to live on her own. It's still your house and you are still her mom. Letting it get to squallor conditions did not trigger her 'cleaning gene' to turn on. Letting it get that bad again won't do it either.

You need to address this problem with rules about how that part of the house is going to be kept. Now that it's neat, it will be easier to start anew. When she moves to a group situation, they will have these expectations of her and it will be an easier transition if you work with her at home first. Sometimes what seems like a step back is actually a step forward.
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#14 of 16 Old 09-04-2006, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Vampyre500
18 is not a magic number. If she's not doing what she needs to do now to help you keep the house livable then she has not learned what she will need to live on her own. It's still your house and you are still her mom. Letting it get to squallor conditions did not trigger her 'cleaning gene' to turn on. Letting it get that bad again won't do it either.

You need to address this problem with rules about how that part of the house is going to be kept. Now that it's neat, it will be easier to start anew. When she moves to a group situation, they will have these expectations of her and it will be an easier transition if you work with her at home first. Sometimes what seems like a step back is actually a step forward.
She did have that 'cleaning gene' till she turned 18 about 6 months ago. I think right now she is testing her wings. We've talked about what will be expected when she moves out...something she will just have to figure out on her own since she thinks I'm making it up. To be honest, I never kept my room clean at home either. It wasn't until I moved out and had a place of my own that I cared about it being picked up. I agree that now that the room is clean it should be easier for her to keep that way...we'll see what happens.
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#15 of 16 Old 09-04-2006, 03:04 PM
 
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a small, probably usless suggestion: Could you get some storage bins/garbage bins/laundry bins and place them in the necessary room? My thinking is this: if it's easier to be neat it might be more appealing. If she's in the den and has food litter, and there's a garbage bin 2 feet away, or a funky box for her cd's at her fingertips she may actually deal with it on her own. I don't have a teenager
but I'm guessing that if she doesn't have to get up from where she's sitting (at the computer, in front of the tele, in front of the sterio) in order to keep it tidy, she might CHOOSE on her own volition.
in terms of the laundry bins, could you just get a few for only yourself to use? Keep them in your room until you need them and make it clear that they're yours?

I'm all for the path of least resistance in this case. It's something she will go through and out of at some point (though likely not under your roof...)
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#16 of 16 Old 09-04-2006, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good suggestions. The family room already has everything within arms reach for her (basically). It's a small room and I'm a basket person, so there are baskets everywhere.

We do each have our own laundry baskets. I don't keep mine in my room, hers have her name on them so we can tell them apart. She just uses all of them because she's too lazy to bring her laundry upstairs...when she actually does do laundry.

It's really not a big deal. I just needed to vent...so thanks for letting me do that! We are at a difficult time that I really don't know how to handle. Our relationship is sort of changing...I'll still be her mom, but it's also time for her to start learning to be on her own.
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