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AIBU to strip DDs bedroom of all her personal possesions?

(411 Posts)
VoldemortsNipple Mon 25-Apr-11 10:32:09

I really need some good advice on how to handle this. Sorry its long.

DD is 14. her bedroom is a tip. I dont mean normal teenage mess, I mean environmental hazard mess. There are dirty dishes that she sneaks up there, pot noodle pots shoved down the side of her bed. We had mice at Christmas!

All her clothes are dirty. I have asked time and time again for her to bring washing down. All she brings is the bare minimum of washing that she needs, ie; one set of school uniform, one pair of jeans and a top that she wants to wear. She normally washes her own clothes now because of this, but she washes them as she needs them. She has a binbag full of washing in one corner, the rest is all over the floor, including smelly dirty underwear. When she runs out of clean underwear, she will take to wearing mine. She will even wear her brothers boxers.

She has broken countless expensive items by lack of respect. Her laptop over heats because she would fall asleep with it on her bed. Now she will take her brothers things without asking and refuses to give them back or denies she has them until we have a big shouting match about it. We have to unplug the wireless router and take it to bed with us or she will sneak downstairs and be on the intenet until early hours of the morning.

I have helped her tidy her room countless times but within a few days it is a mess again. The bedroom is now in such a mess it stinks. Last summer she paid for paint and new soft furnishings to decorate the room herself. I thorght then that she would begin to take pride in it but she still doesnt care.

Her personal hygiene is also very bad. She goes out to school with perfectly straight hair and make up on, but she will smell of BO because she hasnt washed. If we are lucky she will have a shower once a week.

On Friday I gave her an ultimatum that she has until the end of today to clean her room or I will go in and clean it for her and on doing so will remove all her things. Up until not she hasnt done a thing and I really dont expect her to.

So tomorrow I want to not only clean her room, but take away all her things including books, ipods, make up and straigteners (which will upset her the most) and leave her with two sets of clothes, underwear, uniform and pyjamas.

I want her to respect her own and other people posessions. I dont know whether by leaving her with so little will do more harm than good but I just dont know what to do next.

Happymm Mon 25-Apr-11 10:35:57

Think you have to for it now. You've made the threat so can't back down as the war will be lost!

Julesnobrain Mon 25-Apr-11 10:36:16

YANBU Help her find away to 'earn' back her possessions. She is lucky to have a mum who cares enough to make a firm stand. Going to school smelly yuk. She will thank you in the long term...well maybe 10 years or so

millie30 Mon 25-Apr-11 10:37:06

YANBU, it sounds like drastic measures are called for!

pjmama Mon 25-Apr-11 10:37:22

I think if you've threatened it, you'll probably have to follow it through. Not got teenagers myself, so no real experience but I've always been of the opinion that in your own room you should have a bit of licence to be messy if you want to - personal freedom and all that. However, I don't think I could stand the kind of filth you're describing and there has to be a limit. I think in your shoes I do it and see what happens.

Perhaps if your repost in the Teenagers forum, there will be mums there who've been through this kind of thing and can speak from experience?

Good luck! (mine are only 4, am dreading the teenage years!)

hairylights Mon 25-Apr-11 10:37:59

Sounds horrific, but I also think taking everything she owns away from her is really horrible and rather OTT.

Have you thought of other types of bribe punishment?

eg: no pocket money unless all cups/plates/rubbish removed and room tidy?

or no straighteners unless the room is clean and tidy?

Have you sat her down and talked to her properly about personal hygiene. I've had to do this (not with a child but with a teenage 'client' at the time).

You could print out some stuff off the internet and let her know you are telling her because you love her, and if you don't someone else will, in a nasty way? The approach I took was explaining that most people will have a shower once a day, and that even if they don't they need to thoroughly wash, because stale sweat smells very bad.

HarlotOTara Mon 25-Apr-11 10:38:26

I am assuming you have tried talking and listening to her regarding why she is living in such squalor? The thing that jumped out at me is why your dd is only washing once a week and stinks of BO. This seems very unusual for a 14 year old in my experience. All the teen girls I know are hyper-clean at this age. Is she depressed/being bullied or something?

GrownUpNow Mon 25-Apr-11 10:39:32

Mum did it to me and it worked pretty well. She did it without warning while I was out and the shock is still with me.

BeakerTheMuppetMuppet Mon 25-Apr-11 10:39:50

Hmmnn.....hard one this.

I would definately get in the room and tackle the debris, but not quite sure that taking her possessions away will encourage respect.

Help her get the room into order, get new baskets/storeage and tell her you will be emptying her waste bin once a week, and pushing the vacuum about too, and that anything in the way will be binned. And stick to that yourself too.
The weekly invasion of her privacy might just be enough to kick start her into better housekeeping.

The personal hygiene is probably more about self esteem, if she lives in a tip, she'll be feeling shit too.

DontdoitKatie Mon 25-Apr-11 10:40:15

I think that sounds awful, and she sounds depressed.

Have you asked her how she's feeling. Not washing, taking care of yourself is a big sign of depression.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 25-Apr-11 10:40:31

I think your solution is the only one that's going to work - in the short or long term, OP. Wishing you luck also. Do you have earplugs for yourself and the rest of the family?

DontdoitKatie Mon 25-Apr-11 10:41:37

Also the logic of taking away all her belongings so she'll learn to respect belongings doesnt' really make sense.

hairylights Mon 25-Apr-11 10:42:26

"tell her you will be emptying her waste bin once a week, and pushing the vacuum about too, and that anything in the way will be binned. And stick to that yourself too"

Nooo! She's fourteen! Tell her she will be emptying her own bin and hoovering once a week!!!

she has to learn that you are not there to pick up after her - at fourteen she should be looking after her own space and she needs to learn to do so!

worraliberty Mon 25-Apr-11 10:45:49

We were never allowed friends upstairs when I was a teenager...because we had 2 reception rooms downstairs and one was set aside for guests.

I let my bedroom get into an awful mess, despite my Mum's pleas for me to clean it.

One day, a boy I really liked at school knocked at the door and the next thing I saw was my Mum popping her head round my bedroom door to make sure I was decent...then she said "Ok, go on in" shock

I nearly died to see him standing there when my floor was covered in clothes, make-up and random crap!!! It certainly taught me to keep it tidy blush

BeakerTheMuppetMuppet Mon 25-Apr-11 10:45:51

exactly hairy

at 14 would YOU have wanted an adult going through your stuff once a week?

it's part of the threat and also re-education. she might be 14 but she's acting like a toddler....i think a bit of 'babying' would shock many kids into action

FabbyChic Mon 25-Apr-11 10:48:24

Firstly you have to bar her from eating in her room.

Secondly you have to phsyically run the bath for her, tell her she stinks ask her how she expects to have friends when she stinks so much.

I would even go so far as to remove the bedding and let her sleep without sheets.

When I was 14 I had to help my mother do the whole house on a Sunday, one week I would do upstairs and the next week downstairs, we also had a rota for the ironing, one week me for a family of five the next week my mum, whoever ironed the other put it away.

Don't allow her to live like a pig, Id dish her food up in a dog bowl and tell her if she wants to live like an animal she can eat like one.

Nanny0gg Mon 25-Apr-11 10:51:40

The OP's daughter clearly isn't a respecter of privacy or possessions as she takes what she wants from other people when her stuff is unusable, so I don't see a problem with the OP going in and stripping the room.
I agree with a system of her 'earning' her stuff back too.
However, two thoughts cross my mind - how will you stop her taking what she wants from elsewhere as she has done it in the past, and can you talk to her?
Because this does sound more than the usual teenage rebellion/laziness.
For one thing, her peers would soon let her know about any hygiene issues.

Bogeyface Mon 25-Apr-11 10:51:40

she sounds depressed.

No she doesnt! She sounds 14! If you think that living in a shithole and stinking like a bears arse is depression then 99% of the teenagers in the UK have it!

She lives like that because she can. She knows that eventually the OP will crack and do the hard work for her, so she has no reason to do it herself. She has been warned, talked to and (I am assuming but its an educated guess!) shouted at! Taking away the things she values will make the point that she cant continue to treat her home in this way. She has her own room in a house her parents work hard to pay for and she treats it with no respect so she needs to be shown the consequences of that.

The not washing thing is another symptom of that laziness and is very common. My DS would use a can of lynx a day rather than have a wash, despite the fact that it didnt actually work, he just stank of BO and too much spray. My friends dd of the same age was the same, especially with her clothes. It got better as they got older and I am sure the OPs dd will do too.

But right now a short sharp shock that actually mum DOES mean what she says will work wonders, after the initial meltdown obviously!

hairylights Mon 25-Apr-11 10:53:03

"Secondly you have to phsyically run the bath for her, tell her she stinks ask her how she expects to have friends when she stinks so much.

I would even go so far as to remove the bedding and let her sleep without sheets."

My goodness what an insensitive and uncompassionate way to deal with a fourteen year old.

squeakytoy Mon 25-Apr-11 10:53:11

Harsh is sometimes the only way. Too many parents are too soft and it gets them nowhere.

She is 14, not 4. If she doesnt learn now to live in less chaos, what will her house be like when she leaves home.

I had 2 stepdaughters who both behaved this way with regards to food, clothes, make-up, dirty cups and plates, and after fair warnings, they both had this treatment.

heliumballoons Mon 25-Apr-11 10:53:58

worra grin. I'm sure it wasn't funny for you at the time but your mum sounds on the ball!

OP YANBU as it sounds like this is a last resort. Mice will affect the whole family so its gone beyond just 'her' room.

beesimo Mon 25-Apr-11 10:54:01

Fabby Chic

You would not seriously put a bairns food in a dog bowl??

FabbyChic Mon 25-Apr-11 10:54:22

All her friends will be thinking she smells, if the mother cannot tell her she does how else would you deal with it?

I've had two 14 year olds and neither of those ever smelled.

If they did I just told them use deodorant you stink.

hairylights Mon 25-Apr-11 10:54:24

Well there's harsh, and there's making a teenager eat out of a dogs bowl and sleep with no sheets

DontdoitKatie Mon 25-Apr-11 10:55:30

Those are the kind of things you'd call social services for.

She actually sounds to me like she'd like some looking after.

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