Struggling with dsd again(39 Posts)
It's never ending really and I desperately want to disengage from it but I just can't seem to!
DSD is 18 and lives with us full time and has since she was 12. I love her but it's such a struggle right now living with her.
She dropped out of college twice and since she clearly didn't want to be there my DH told her she would have to find full time work. She was working in a pub but decided it wasn't for her anymore and quit. She found another job but it took 6 weeks before she started so she wasn't making money and spent £100 on a tattoo during that time. She was out clubbing and drinking with her friends and took out a credit card to do this, which she's maxed out and defaulted on the minimum payments. She started work but choose to work 2 days a week and couldn't pay a monthly contract she'd taken out. We had to pay it twice (she only told us after she'd received default letters) and we've told her we won't do it again and it's OK to make mistakes but you have to learn from them, which she clearly isn't. DH also told her she needs to be working full time. She spoke to her manager and increased her hours to 6 hours 4 times a week, as she says 5 days a week 'is just too hard for me'.
We told her in February she had to start paying £25 a week in rent but this has been very hit and miss.
She has one 'chore' to do which takes 5 minutes but I've now also started asking her to hoover upstairs as she has decided to brush her hair in the spare room as she doesn't want the hair that falls out to cover her bedroom floor (which she never hovers). But she does a half ass job to the point where it feels pointless to have her do it. But I refuse to stop asking her to do it despite the arguments!
Anyway, sorry for the rant! That was a long way of saying I know I need to disengage from it but I just can't! I'm really struggling with living with an 18 year old who refuses to work full time, refuses to help out around the house, sleeps till 11 most days, refuses to meet her financial obligations and prioritises time with her friends and partying. I feel like she's acting like a lazy leech while DH and I work full time and provide her with a roof over her head and food in her belly. I feel really really mean but I want her to move out. I want her to face the real world and learn responsibility, which she is refusing to do while living with us.
Am I really horrible for feeling this way? If she was continuing her education or saving for a house or to move out I'd feel differently. Or even if she was saving up to go travelling (which I did and learned so much). It just feels like she is using living with us to continue to be lazy. All of this causes so many arguments between her and DH and recently between her and me. As my name implies, I just want some peace!
Of course she needs to grow up and stand on her own two feet...but she's not going to do that while DF keeps bailing her out! He needs to be stronger, refuse to pay any more of her debts and, if she won't help with household stuff, then insist she pays a resonable rent! Where's her mother in all this?
.....and no, you're not horrible, I would feel exactly the same!
Her DM is around but is an alcoholic and mostly abandoned her and her DSIS when they came to live with us. Dsd 18 still sees her sometimes but she really has no influence in her life. Dsd 21 has gone NC with her DM.
I know it's hard not having her mum and I empathise but she's been with us since she was 12 and we've provided stability and good care. That doesn't make up for her DM but she's 18 now and needs to develop some maturity and responsibility. I want her to succeed in life but no matter how we talk to her about budgeting, helping out etc she doesn't listen and continues to act irresponsibly.
Well, if there's no one to pick up the tab next time she gets into debt, it may be an awakening experience for her!
I'm sorry to say but she sounds like a spoilt brat and the best that could happen to her is if you kicked her out so she learns how to fend for herself and appreciate what she had with you.
I would be absolutely livid if my children were acting this way and however much it would break my heart, I would have to take the hard approach. This is what my MIL did with OH (who wasn't half as bad) and even though he refused to speak to her for 6 months, he now says it was the best thing she could have done as he really needed to learn the reality of life. He turned out to be a very hard working, house proud, financially reliable and very loving man who can't do enough for his mum.
To be honest the way she is acting now is entirely your own fault. The pair of you have let her behave like this and you continue to subsidise her life.
Time for a shock - STOP paying for her shit. If she defaults on her card or phone payment then tough shit. That's how she'll learn the value of money.
Rent / housekeeping EVERY WEEK without fail. Insist on it. Make it clear that no housekeepign means no food.
If she blows all her money on partying then that sucks for her. LET her be broke. LET her have a hard time. It won't kill her.
Give her a list of things you expect her to do around the house since she's not working. And change your wifi password - honestly this is my go-to solution for issues in our house. No wifi means no social media, no netflix, nothing.
I feel for you. This won't change unless you and her dad are both on the same page and make her actually hand over rent each week and do some housework.
I couldn't live with an adult who is basically acting like a child. It would drive me insane. My own DD is nearly 18 and I've been very vocal recently with her and telling her that once her exams are finished then I'm expecting a lot more in terms of helping at home and although I won't be expecting rent before she goes to Uni next year, I will be expecting her to put money by from her wages for her living costs next year and to be a more useful member of the family.
However, this is my own DD and it's so much easier when it's your own! If I had my youngest DSD living here and I tried to get her to buck her ideas up then I'd be accused of all sorts of crimes.
I do think you should talk to your OH and get him to understand that he's not doing anyone any favours by taking the line of least resistance. How will she learn to budget if she's not expected to pay a minimal rent? How will she learn to cope if he's bailing her out financially? How will she ever cope if she never does anything at home? Does he want her still living at home in 10 years time leeching off you both?
Thank you everyone. I am finding it really difficult to hold my tongue (I know as SPs you know how often we have to do this) and I completely agree it's time for tough love. My DH is a very permissive parent in some ways, although not in others. We've been talking about dsd a lot in the last few months and I even nearly moved out (although not all to do with DSDs). DH is tired of it too and getting tougher with her. We've told her we won't help her with her very few bills again.
DH just rang me after talking to her and it just gets worse! I dispair, really. Last week dsd faked a bad back after clubbing the night before. She rang in sick to work (this was only her second week working 4 days a week) and I'm convinced she knew they would tell her she needs a sick note from her GP and couldn't work for week due to 'hurting' her back and their health and safety policy (I'm aware this happened to someone else she works with) so she knew they wouldn't give her shifts last week. I believe she wanted half term off. Anyway she was supposed to go back to work today but has just told my DH that they refused to give her shifts this week as her GP wouldn't give her a sick note. I think they know she was lying and are punishing her. Any guesses how long she'll keep this job for!?
She gets paid fort nightly and owes us £50 for rent (£25 a week) and she agreed to pay us back £30 a fortnight for us paying £160 of her bills. So on Friday she owes us £80 and I've told my husband she will pay it to us no matter what. If her pay cheque is £60 she will give it all to us and then work for him in the evenings (which she hates) to pay us the rest and if she wants spending money. He didn't argue with me although I know he wanted to. She needs to learn that she needs to pay her bills first and what ever is left over she can spend on herself!
Clarrrp, I'm going to take your suggestion and give her a list of chores to do while she's not working this week! Good idea! I'm sure this will cause arguments with her but I don't care at this point. I also know DH won't agree with me, but I'm going to do it anyway and he will back me up even if he doesn't agree.
Good for you Finding it's the only way! I've said it before, but all you SM's who have DSC living with you are heros......I just couldn't cope with it!
Nothing better to foster independence than letting them with the consequences of their own actions.
Unfortunately, this is impossible to do if she is still living with you, as you can stop paying her bills but the bailiffs will be, ultimately, knocking at your door.
I am really not advocating to kick her out, but honestly, what a difficult position to be in. You cannot cut privileges without that impacting badly on the rest of the family.
You can do the changing the wifi password thing, you can stop doing any washing, ironing for her, you can just not buy her any toiletries etc, and you can just not buy/cook the food she generally eats! And £25 rent per week is chicken feed, she must be costing you a fortune!
MeMy, my DH said the exact same thing about the bailiffs and I told him I hoped they came and we will leave her to deal with it/scare her and then if we have to (rather then having our belongings taken) we will pay off the full amount using the money we have saved for her to buy a car. When she turned 17 we told her for her birthday and Xmas we would put £500 towards a car and she would have to save up the rest. We will use this and also tell her the money we've been saving to help her buy furniture for a flat when she moves out will also be used.
Which brings me to another rant, I'm sorry! We spent £1000 on driving lessons for her and when her instructor told her she was ready for her exam she just stopped. It went no further. She couldn't be bothered to study for the theory test so a year later she doesn't have a drivers licence and has wasted our money!
I remember being a teenager. I remember being lazy but this is a different extreme. I've never met someone so lazy! And she really wanted a car as well!
Wdigin, you're right she has cost us a fortune and she doesn't appreciate it. I have stopped doing her laundry, buying her toiletries etc and will take the advice of changing the wifi password if she doesn't pay her rent on Friday. I had suggested £50 a week rent to DH originally but he felt this was unfair to her. He compromised that after 6 months we would increase it to £50 a week.
It just makes me really sad it's come to this. She has some really nice qualities when she's not being horrible. I really want her to have a happy successful life but I dispair of this happening! Maybe when she's in her 30's?
Finding, the problem is that if the bailiffs come to you, they won't wait around for DSD to show up to identify what belongs to her, they would take whatever is on hand even if DSD doesn't live there anymore. (In my last job, I used to spend part of my days contacting collection companies to tell them that the fuckwit students who once lived in x of y address, and left debt to build up while registered in x address, were no longer living at the address or associated with occupiers. It is very stressful, debt collectors are often very threatening and won't take your word for it)
I totally sympathise, this is one of the hardest situations for a SP, and adult DSD who is, as they say, 'failing to launch'!
I thank goodness that my DSD is now living at her mothers. She is 19, but is at least at Uni, but still totally dependent and doesn't appreciate it.
It is so much harder than having your own child, as you may feel that you don't have authority. I think, now your DSD is 18, and not working towards independence, then this is the one time you should have full authority with your partner. With children, then maybe there is a bit of leeway being a step parent, half parenting and half backing off. But with an adult, they are old enough to have to face up to the fact that a step parent has just as much right to lay down the law.
The only problem is, your DP has been very soft and it may well cause friction between you.
Wdigin seems to have the best suggestions so far - do what you can that is not going to get you into arguments. You really don't need the stress. Just cut off a lot of what you do for her. Only cook for you and DP. Demand that she buys her own food. Buy nothing for her. Actively look for flats for her and keep having the conversation about her moving out.
Time to get tough!
If I were in the position of bailiffs barging into my home and demanding goods, in connection with her debts, I'd go straight up to her room, collect anything I could find...iPad, CD player, hair dryer/straighteners, expensive shoes/bags/clothes etc, and just give them to the bailiff!
Do you get to choose? I always thought they would take the big stuff first like TVs and kitchen appliances followed by furniture. It is not that they can recover debts from old clothes that they could only sell by the weight. But I could be totally wrong in that.
I assumed when a bailiff turns up at your door they want to recover the money first, plus extra for their time, and they would ask for cash before taking anything? If dsd is home I'd let her sweat it out with the bailiff before agreeing to pay off the debt. I think if it got to the point that bailiffs show up at our door that would be the final straw for DH and he would tell her she needs to find other accommodation and learn responsibility.
Also bear in mind that by the time a debt gets to bailiffs, fees will have been added on top and the amount requested could be hugely disproportionate to the original amount.
She is 18, defaulting on debts and ducking out of work? Time to nip this in the bud. She is already in hot water and needs a wake up call, not bail outs. I am amazed that your DP is Disney-ing around over this.
Debts are bad and defaults are really dangerous. She is setting up a lifestyle and problems which could affect the rest of her life. At this rate she might never be able to get a mortgage or even a rental agreement.
Also, beware how the damage to her credit rating could have a knock-on effect to yours as you're at the same address.
If she's seriously getting into debt Meridian is right, her DF has to force her to wake up to the realities of life! I know at aged 18 all you want to do is party, sleep, spend time on your phone and party again....but, you have to be able to fund it!
Why is she not able to work 5 days a week? Why does she think it's OK to sponge off her dad....because he's let her that's why! I realise this is his little girl we're talking about but, it's way past time he provided some tough love!
Apart from the fact that he's ebabling her lazy lifestyle, I imagine its not doing your relationship much good either. Time for a family crisis talk I think, whether she likes it or not, you and her DF must sit her down and read a (prepared) riot act....spell out everything you expect from her, plus what you're prepared/not prepared to do for her! If she a) refuses, then she must find other accommodation, if she b) accepts the situation, but then goes back on her word, then again, she has to go!!!
I know how hard this will be, but I'm sure all of the above posters will agree, it's the only way forward!
meridian I completely agree. It's worrying and unacceptable that she is now in debt at 18 and this will likely effect her ability to buy or rent in the future. My DH tries to talk to her about this but she has such an attitude that it ends up in an argument. Then she goes to her mum's and complains that she's not wanted at ours and doesn't want to be here.
DSDs DM rang DH an hour ago asking him to ease up on dsd and that I talk to dsd like a c***. Needless to say DH is now feeling guilty and will start giving in to DSD more. I feel like screaming at DSD's DM but I'm trying to detach from it and what do I care what she, a neglectful parent, says or thinks about me. The fact that dsd says that about me though is hurtful. Yes we've been arguing more recently but I very rarely shout, I never swear or call her names. BUT I'm entitled to get angry with the people I live with and let them know this.
It's got to the point where I really hate living with dsd. I hate feeling this way! I hate feeling so uncomfortable in my house, the place I should be able to find some peace. I imagine she feels the same way. And that makes me sad too. But this is my home, where I pay the rent and bills. I tried to leave and go back to the house I rent out but DH wouldn't hear of it. So she needs start acting more responsibly and maturely because I just can not continue to live with what is essentially an adult acting like a leech in my house!
If my DH won't take control of this situation what am I supposed to do? If my DM lived in this country I'd go stay with her for a while!
Wdigin you're right, he's enabling her to live like this. But he won't ask her to leave because of guilt. I know he won't.
I've tried to have family meetings before as I think they are an excellent idea but for some reason, which I've never got to the bottom of, DH tries to avoid them. It's hard enough trying to get her to come to one, never mind trying to get DH there too! BUT I think I'm going to have to force the issue. DH plans to take her out to dinner tomorrow and 'talk to her and put their relationship back on better footing'. He saaays he won't start tip toeing around her and will let her know it's not acceptable to act this way. And although I think it's a good idea for them to talk instead of argue and doing this in a public place might be better I think he'll tiptoe around issues that need addressing. So having a family meeting on maybe Friday or the weekend might be a good idea. Thanks Wdigin for the suggestion.
Any other suggestions? I'm desperate!
Oh, at the risk of drip feeding, can I just add (to rant and also to express the weight of the stress) that we have had 2 pregnancy scares with dsd. One when she was 15 and then another recently when she came home drunk and in tears and told me she had a miscarriage and she hadn't known she was pregnant. Both DH and I had separate talks with her, after giving her some time to greave, about being responsible with her birth control. She says she doesn't want a baby right now but can't remember to take the pill everyday and refuses to have the injection or implant because she's scared of needles. Even though she has piercings and tattoos. I'm scared one day I'm going to be forced into a position where I'll be taking care of her baby!
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