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In wishing dd was less chavvy?

(635 Posts)
HortensiaPollard Thu 31-Jan-13 09:39:02

Went to parents evening last night at 14 yr old dd's school, and noticed that some of dd's teachers were doing double takes at us. Basically because we are obviously very middle-class (which round here means BBC accent, no visible tattoos or bad hair extensions), whereas dd presents herself as an out and out chav.

When I imagined one day having a rebellious teenager I imaged her as a pretty goth, or something along those lines. You know - shaved bits on her head, intense hair colours, lots of black, chunky boots, and I smugly thought I'd be really tolerant and approving, never commenting on my teen's dress sense.

This is dd's ACTUAL look: half an inch of orange foundation, thick, thick eyeliner and six layers of mascara. likethis Hair straightened to within an inch of its life and coated with product. Massive cleavage (at 14 she's wearing an e-cup bra and will not put the buggers away), sagging tracksuit bottoms (with a bit of belly hanging out over the top), huge trainers.

She has a strong Sarf London accent. As far as food choices go, she turns her nose up at the food I make and spends her pocket money at the fried chicken shop or buying kebabs. Will only eat plastic white bread. No vegetables. Spends her lunch money on things like Panda Pops and Red Bull.

She doesn't read anything except Bella and Best magazines (I'm an English graduate and teacher so this is like a knife to my heart), and listens to the cheesiest, naffest, mainstream R&B. She has no hobbies and no interest in what is going on in the world. She's already told me she wants to have a baby young. A brown baby. Her friends mostly have mothers who had them at 16 or 17 and she sees teenage parenthood as normal and not really a problem. We live in the borough with one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in London, and she knows girls only a bit older than her who are having children.

Most of her teachers (weirdly) find her charming but they are also exasperated by her determination to fail academically, despite our support at home and her very good brain. Last night I wanted to disappear through a hole in the floor while her maths teacher talked about her constant chatting in class, her failure to hand in any homework, her bringing fucking SNOWBALLS in to the lesson and then having a strop when she was told off. She does the 'yeh but no but' thing when she's challenged about her behaviour - suddenly speeds her speech up so it's practically incomprehensible, blinds you with a loud flurry of complicated but intrinsically feeble excuses: "Yeh but, you said, yeh, that if I did last week's homework, yeh, like Kelly goes, whatever, he never set no homework, and you didn't tell me to write it down so it's YOUR fault, and and I'm not taking the blame for you not doing that, and Charmaine said, like, we didn't have to hand it in until Wednesday, but I was off Wednesday and you didn't tell me...." etc, etc, etc.

Last night she threw a massive strop as we were leaving the house to go to parents evening because I was wearing a Hobbs coat, DD said I looked too posh and would embarrass her.

I've n/c for this post by the way, because I feel embarrassed to describe myself as middle-class (although I am - privately educated, dad was a senior diplomat) and because it seems so mean to describe my dd as a chav - but it's inescapable that she has adopted a chav lifestyle and way of presenting herself.

And it's REALLY challenging my ability to be accepting of her as a blossoming adult that she's adopted a lifestyle which happens to embody everything I dislike about modern culture. And saying that makes me feel like a pathetic old git, but it's true. I could take her being an eco rebel, a punk, a goth, an emo. But a chav? It's gutting!

cjdamoo Thu 31-Jan-13 10:17:14


Theicingontop Thu 31-Jan-13 10:17:51


I've worried about this myself. We live in a very white neighbourhood, and when I was growing up here, the only mixed race boy in school was the most popular because 'black people are hard innit'. I want to move before DS gets the idea that he's 'hard' because he's black, and gets the same ego as the boy in my school, starts wearing his jeans below his backside and saying cuz.

I think you're doing quite well tolerating it, and seem to be aware that any opinion you may have towards her appearance/attitude will fall on deaf ears because you're 'old' and don't understand 'today's yoof kultcha'.

I imagine she'll be a bit embarrassed come two or three years, when she sees similarly dressed 14 year olds finding their way. Just bide your time.

CremeEggThief Thu 31-Jan-13 10:18:46

thanks for cheering me up and making me smile this morning smile.

IWishIWasSheRa Thu 31-Jan-13 10:19:15

Oh erm.... Absolutely agree with all the other posters. School work and no babies definitely more of a priority.

runs like fuck

HortensiaPollard Thu 31-Jan-13 10:20:05

DD's teenage culture challenge is making me massively appreciate my autistic child's (dd's younger brother) complete and UTTER disregard for what other people think of him and how he presents himself.

Mosman Thu 31-Jan-13 10:20:29

She'd be in a Catholic boarding school by now if she was mine

noddyholder Thu 31-Jan-13 10:21:08

I would change schools! This could alter her whole life if she follows the crowd and 16/18 and doesn't continue her education in order to pursue babies etc

Hullygully Thu 31-Jan-13 10:22:08

Me too noddy

I am AMAZED at the difference between various children at various schools. Makes ALL the diff.

MrsDeVere Thu 31-Jan-13 10:22:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hullygully Thu 31-Jan-13 10:23:02

To be completely honest, I literally (and I mean literally) couldn't cope with an orange teenager and attendant speech and accessories. And I am sarf London born n bred.

Hullygully Thu 31-Jan-13 10:24:24

yy mrs dev. Need to find the nice polite geeky kids who want to do well and think it's cool to do so.

HortensiaPollard Thu 31-Jan-13 10:24:42

Theicing - I have two younger boys. The 9 year old has currently aligned himself with all the Caribbean and African boys in class and enjoys rap music. But although he's mixed race himself he looks completely caucasian (fluke of nature), is tiny, camp and very arty. I do wonder how things will pan out for him when he becomes a teen, given that street culture in the South London borough we live in isn't particularly welcoming to tiny, camp, arty kids!

DreamingOfTheMaldives Thu 31-Jan-13 10:25:03

DS, 9, has started saying everything is sick. This is a good thing apparently. No longer since I started saying the same to his friends, but sometimes replacing it with vomit instead. "hello darling, did you & George have a vomit time?"

Fantastic SmallPeople

DonderandBlitzen Thu 31-Jan-13 10:25:34

My eldest dd is 8 and I was hoping my dds would rebel later on by being goths or emos too. I hadnt thought they might end up being chavvy. But then I suppose my mum probably found my teenage goth incarnation just as unpalatable as I would find a super chavvy dd. It's no good them rebelling in a way that we like i guess!

LadyBigtoes Thu 31-Jan-13 10:25:52

Ha ha! If this is real... approve of her. Say, in excruciating middle-class tones, "Darling! I LOVE your hair like that! What fabulous stretchy trousers, would you mind if I got some too?! I'm so glad you're not a goth." etc. If possible, adop as much of her "chav look" yourself as you can. Nothing will put her off faster.

Bejeena Thu 31-Jan-13 10:26:08

Well I can see how this upsets you but I would really really try and see this from your daughters point of view and understand her feelings.

The reason I say this is because I was that teenager. We were the only middle class family (well in fairness in my Mum was working class background, my Dad moved to the area for his job) in a very working class town. I went to one of the worst schools in the country and it is very hard to fit in when all you are the only one whose Dad sounds a bit posh and was university educated, the only one whose Dad worked in an office when everyone else's Dad worked in the local factory. It is very hard and you have to do your best to fit in otherwise you will get picked on and even then there are still some kids who choose to tease you.

In the end I was one of the few in my year to finish A Levels and go to university, I ended up ok, but I tell you something for nothing going to a school like that taught me a lot about life.

I close my eyes and I remember being 14 and going to that same parents evening and honest to god afterwards I was teased the next day to death for being so 'posh' that my Dad came to the parents evening with a suit and tie on as he'd just come from work, when everyone elses Dad's came in overalls. Those days were some of the most unpleasant of my life, but luckily I did have some friends, but if I'd had spoken as if I had a couple of plums in my mouth and dressed the way my Dad would have preferred me to I most certainly wouldn't have. Other incidents also include I used to purposely get 1 or 2 answers wrong in tests/exams because if you got them all right you were a swot and consequently bullied.

It sounds like your daughter is desperate to fit in, she wants people to like her and I am sure that she is a lovely girl and will go very far in life. But now as another poster said you have to be the tolerant and accepting parent you always hoped you would be and love your daughter for who she is.

Would you rather your daughter be the way she is and happy or the way you want her to be and miserable?

Hullygully Thu 31-Jan-13 10:27:23

I can't see the need to rebel.

Not these days, not when there is communication and cooperation and kindness love and understanding between the generations.

I think rebellion happened when we were still stuck in the "them" and "us" of parents and kids.

yawningbear Thu 31-Jan-13 10:27:27

Oh I really wouldn't offer to fund a trip to Shagaluf, have you seen any of those programmes, I caught sight of something recently proudly referred to as 'Best BJ competition' Long gone are the days of merely offensive wet to-shirt competitions. I do totally feel your pain, DD is only little compared to yours but I could see this happening. I agree with Hully. Not much help though unless you can actually afford to move her somewhere else. I would probably be most worried about the baby thing, that would be one thing that could not be easily undone or left behind.

Crinkle77 Thu 31-Jan-13 10:28:45

Is this post for real? The 'brown baby' is a reference to a sketch from Harry Enfield called the slobs

HortensiaPollard Thu 31-Jan-13 10:30:07

MrsDeVere - My SIL married a total cockney, who works as a painter and decorator and is covered in Chelsea tattoos. They've scraped together the money to send their dc's to very good private schools (they get bursaries). All of their children are now INCREDIBLY posh. Cut glass accents. Tall, gorgeous, academic, sporty. Their oldest boy is being encouraged to consider medicine at university by his school, which is one of the best in the country. I bet BIL gets looks at parents evening too!

FirstTimeForEverything Thu 31-Jan-13 10:30:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hullygully Thu 31-Jan-13 10:31:00

I think the op's name and link might be a clue...

still an interesting question tho

PseudoBadger Thu 31-Jan-13 10:31:10

I think 14 was the age that I was worst for this. By 16 I'd found a whole new group of friends as it was just so difficult to keep up with the pretence of being someone who I wasn't.

HortensiaPollard Thu 31-Jan-13 10:31:49

Crinkle - it is for real. My dd loves mixed race babies. Thinks they're much cuter than Caucasian babies. She's mixed race herself but very light skinned. She wants a baby who is darker than she is.

curryeater Thu 31-Jan-13 10:32:19

One of the cleverest girls in my class at school had horrifically bleached and frizzy-permed hair, orange trowelled-on make-up and glue-pot eye make-up. She did very well, and as far as I know is still doing very well. I think you are right not to worry about make-up and clothes too much.
The school work thing and the baby thing is terriifying though. I think GCSEs are very bad for this sort of pupil, as any idiot who jumps dutifully through the hoops can do well, but a clever lazy kid like yours can't just show up on the day and ace the exam, like we used to do with O levels (ancient, yes - but I was the last year of O levels ;) )
And the baby... oh god (clutches pearls clutches pearls, my girls are 1 and 3 and I am terrified ALREADY). I mean it doesn't matter how she dresses, it doesn't matter how she speaks (she knows how to speak like you, all kids have different dialects for different situations, don't worry about it) but if she buggers up her education and has a baby she will find it hard to come back from, in these cold hard times where you can't get a job answering phones without a degree.
Is she winding you up about the baby thing? I mean she obviously is a bit, but how much? Can you tell?
When do kids get to do work experience? has she expressed any interest in any sort of job? Would a short sharp shock of what life is like at the bottom of the employment food chain achieve anything? Maybe sweeping up in a hair salon for £1.50 a day or whatever the poor buggers get might teach her something.

God my life would have been such a disaster without music. Source of all self-esteem, self-discipline, social skills, sense of responsibility, and emotional outlet. I know people who say the same about martial arts. I think either proper music training, or martial arts, or dance should be compulsory for all teenagers. (only half joking)

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