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Parenting Issues Message Board


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Hey Gang :wave: You've been so helpful to me lately and at Goody's house it seems to be coming in threes as they say ;)

We had a little bit of a crisis sneaking up on us on the homefront. Having 2 teenage girls has been quite a challenge lately and although this may belong on the parenting post I fell we may have better luck here with people we have grown to trust. I know there's a variety of ages here...some who can remember being a teenager themselves and some that can't but who have had the experience of going through perhaps what Tom & I are at this time.

Over the past few weeks we have gotten into what I would consider volitile situations with our 16 year old daughter. She's been working alot of hours (around 15-25 weekly) balancing it with school, friends, family, driver's Ed and SAT preparation as well as a boyfriend. Our rule of thumb is it's ok to have the job if you can keep up with your grades and family duties. She continues to do honor roll grades in school but the issue of making money and saving for a car have taken over. She barely keeps up with household responsibilities which I consider to be minimal (eg:keeping up her room, bringing laundry down and sharing Kitchen cleanup after meals with her sister) without being told more that 5 or 6 times and then becoming disrespectful to family members. She has progressed to using words that I couldn't even repeat and refusing to do any of her responsibilities saying that she is not a slave and is too tired from work and shouldn't have to. We have sat down on numerous occasions to explain to her that the hours she is working have become too much for her to balance & that something has to give in order for her to relieve some of the stress. She has rudely stated that the only stress she has is at home, we are ruining her life, that she can't wait to move out and that I'm a crybaby who wants to be the center of attention when she has brought me to tears with all of the hurtful things I hear lately.

Last week Tom acted on something which turned our home into a nightmare!! She called me a F******* B**** and Tom went for the soap in the mouth as he forwarned her. Of course she fought him and kicked him where it counts, and scratched his face....he went to restrain her as she continued lunging for him. I physically got between them and our younger daughter screamed to stop hurting her sister. I grabbed my older daughter and hugged her tightly leading her to a couch...she fought me but I reassurred her that I was holding onto her tight only to help her calm down. Her face was beat red and she was huffing & puffing and as soon as she calmed down she ran for her room. I did tell my husband that the soap in the mouth was not the way to go and that her offensive words needed some type of action but that she was too old for that one. His forehead was bleeding and I tended to that and then went to speak to both my daughters. I told my oldest that things were getting out of hand in terms of her behavior to the point that she was affecting the entire family. I told her that I thought it was the amount of hours and that she was stressed and tired and that whether she knew it or not we as her parents saw how it was affecting her. She screamed that I wanted to take the only good thing in her life away...I told her I thought she should cut the hours, not entirely give up the job. Seems that both my daughters got together and said that Tom & I were abusive & didn't want to live with us anymore. I explained that what just occured was not abusive...it was scary for all of us...that Tom was only restraining and that the only physical injury that occurred was on his face. I told them both to take little time and we would talk as a family in a few hours.

We did and ironed things out...until I got a call from a social worker at my younger daughters school. I told her what had occurred and how my daughter was frightened by it and I thought she was ok after we talked & that I would talk to her further when she got home. And I did.

A few days go by and my older daughter pulls her cursing then going to the sink & pouring dishwashing detergent into her mouth & swishing it around....stating how she punished herself. She then refuses to do her responsibilities for the day & I tell her she cannot talk or see friends, use TV, or have any kind of fun until they are done. Dinner comes...she refuses to eat and since she didn't, refuses to clean up. Tom tells her to do so she mouths off again...the youngest says she hates living here and wants to leave...we tell her there are guidlines & responsibilities in our home & if her or her sister wish to live here she & her sister must obey them. She packs up & says she doesn't want to stay and we say if she leaves don't come back until she is ready to live by our rules of respect & the few responsiblies we have. She walks out...our older daughter continues stating that she wants to live anywhere but here (at this point I am welcoming the idea and would love to get her into a shelter) I call my next door neighbor to ask if she can take my oldest for a few weeks....we sit down and set up some guidelines so that it doesn't seem like a vacation. She's there only working 6 hours/wk, goes to & from school, cleans up and does household duties etc. She left & let out a scream of excitement that she made sure we heard and she has been there for the past few days. Our younger daughter ended up at a friends house around the corner whose mom couldn't hold onto her because of work & activities going on. she's back with us and grounded from most of her priveleges for leaving. I am torn as to whether I did the right thing. My friend is extremely supportive and making the experience like boot camp and I am a little relieved but not sure I am doing the right thing. I felt like crawling in a hole at first but realized that if things remained the same around here they would only get worse. I figure my daughter seeing that there are rules & rsponsiblities in other households would open her eyes up a little. On the other hadn I thought that she may think that when things go wrong at home jsut go next door although both me & my neighbor have said this is a one time deal to help her deal with her issues. What do you think....sorry for the lengthy post but I really could use your advice....Goody





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