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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!

HortensiaPollard Thu 31-Jan-13 10:33:00

"Watch one born every minute and growing up poor with her"

She's watched OBEM. Says she's having a planned c/s. She watched 'growing up poor' at school as part of PSHE.

MiniEggsinJanuary Thu 31-Jan-13 10:33:37

Oh awful, OP! I had a friend who was similar to your DD at 14. She was from a very middle class family and was clever but acted as if she had only half a brain as the other half had been smothered under her make up. She put on an awful accent and purposely made grammatical errors. It might amuse you that I knew her through our country club and the image was rather incongruous to say the least. Her parents were totally exasperated and so sent her to one of the poshest boarding schools in the country. Lord knows how they got her to act in such a way so she got in! Turns out that her act didn't go down too well at boarding school as the others were the other extreme so she became the poshest of the posh overnight! Her parents were thrilled! I'm sure it's just a phase and she will grow out of it.

HortensiaPollard Thu 31-Jan-13 10:35:08

curryeater - she really loves babies and small children, and is brilliant with them.


The only job she has said she is interested in is social work.

FirstTimeForEverything Thu 31-Jan-13 10:35:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Buddhastic Thu 31-Jan-13 10:35:59

My friend, at fifteen, wanted a 'chocolate baby' hmm

specialsubject Thu 31-Jan-13 10:36:47

if this is true...

I remember 'brown baby' from long before Waynetta Slob - white uni pals who were doing something involving childcare, and basically the brown babies were much cuter!

if she wants to dress like the proverbial Australian nightmare, let her - most of us looked ridiculous as teens. Foodwise, she eats what you provide or she goes hungry - stop buying crappy bread and stop the pocket money as she must look after her health. This will also stop the waste of money on magazines etc.

she gets her privileges back when she stops wasting her time at school. That is the bit that disgusts me.

HortensiaPollard Thu 31-Jan-13 10:38:00

If I had the money for a private school she'd be there in a shot.

Unfortunately we don't, so she's at a very mixed London comp. Not complaining about the school though. If she wanted to do really, really well there she could. The school gets kids from their sixth form into Oxbridge and Russell group uni's every year.

Crinkle77 Thu 31-Jan-13 10:39:58

Sorry no offence meant OP. Your post just sounded almost too funny to be true.

onyx72 Thu 31-Jan-13 10:40:03

OP - there are only two things you must do.

Change schools and move to deepest Surrey. grin

SPBInDisguise Thu 31-Jan-13 10:41:09

" . "hello darling, did you & George have a vomit time?""

I can't stop laughing....we need to help you branch out. Nausea can be used to describe a group of things that are fantastic. "everything Adele does is nauseous". Diarrhoea can be used to indicate you agree with every word someone says. "that David Cameron. He just opens his mouth and diarrhoea comes out" etc grin

cantspel Thu 31-Jan-13 10:41:51

So glad i dont live in london.

here my sons wear chinos, spend all their pocket money on calvin kline underpants and come out with twee saying like "bless his cotton socks" and "Ah bless". I sometimes think he has morphed into his grandfather.

FirstTimeForEverything Thu 31-Jan-13 10:41:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

yawningbear Thu 31-Jan-13 10:45:07

Well the social work thing could be a positive, Having been one for the last twenty odd years I usually would always advise against but in this case it might be worth encouraging!

LaQueen Thu 31-Jan-13 10:47:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HortensiaPollard Thu 31-Jan-13 10:47:52

cantspel, the only slang dd uses which I find really quaint and funny is 'Oh my days!' which a lot of kids round here say!

ArbitraryUsername Thu 31-Jan-13 10:48:59

She will grow up, and be hideously embarrassed by all this. She's 14. The fact you were hoping she'd be a goth (etc) means that that could never be a rebellion; instead she's found something that makes you despair. It'll all turn out fine in the end.

(Tbh, I'm glad that DS1 is not really interested in what other people think of him. He's not cool and doesn't care, and his friends are all equally uncool. He's going to maths club after school today, because volunteering for extra maths in your spare time is clearly where it's at! However, he's only 12. By 14 I fully expect him to have found several ways to make me despair.)

themottledcat Thu 31-Jan-13 10:50:19

I know someone whose DS was like your DD. He's now grown up and a complete stereotype of nice middle class university educated young man. However this was only achieved after a complete mental breakdown (seriously) over how he actually hated pretending to be cool and dumbing down and wishes to God he had never started it. He was actually desperately unhappy and hating his life. It was mainly down to insecurity and being ridiculously influenced by some of his peers. I agree with you that to not care what other people think of you is a pretty good attribute to have.

I get the impression you still think it is a bit of a laugh she is behaving like this. Believe me, it's not.

I don't know what the solution is though...he had to come to terms with it himself with the help of anti-depressants. He really regrets those wasted years although he has managed to turn it round but it wasn't easy.

Nancy66 Thu 31-Jan-13 10:50:38

my teenage nieces use the 'oh my days' thing...must be the current fashionable parlance.

Op your posts are v.amusing. Thank you!

GirlOutNumbered Thu 31-Jan-13 10:51:27

She sounds like me. I'm now 37 married with two young children and am senior management at a local secondary.

I cringe when I remember teenage me.

MrsDeVere Thu 31-Jan-13 10:52:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SPBInDisguise Thu 31-Jan-13 10:53:28

Mottled in fairness for most young people it is a phase and a bit of a laugh and they grow out of it.

WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 31-Jan-13 10:54:04

I am waynetta slobs lover and I think OP that you are trying to pull a fast one here. "Everyone's got a 'braaaan baby' on the estate Wayne!!! Why can't I 'ave one!!!" Cue Naomi Campbell lookalike walking in with handful of brown babies. You do not fool me.

ArbitraryUsername Thu 31-Jan-13 10:54:55

You can also help to steer the chav-chic thing she's got going on a bit.

Maybe take her for some make up lessons somewhere really posh (and get her the expensive make up to go with it). Seeing how utterly awesome she could look might have a huge effect. Maybe go together. Or take her to a fancy hairdressers and let her have something great done (still within the bounds of what she considers attractive, but done well if you see what I mean). And/or buy her some very cool, statement piece, designer false eyelashes. Just stuff to see that she can alter the dominant look a on her friends in all manner of interesting ways.

But generally, don't panic. She knows this upsets you, which is what makes it fun. She will grow out of it.

You write very well, and I do sympathise.

I don't mind my DD being a bit alternative as long as it's the right sort of alternative ! D'ya get me ? grin

However I wonder if there are some deeper issues about accepting your DD.
Things I noticed were ... you mentioning a brown baby, her ample cleavage,
that you went to private school, and your Father's occupation.
The ways that you and your daughter are different and the ways you appear different seem to have come into the spotlight.
I wonder in which ways you feel you are similar ?
Intelligence is something you mention for both of you.

If you can start with real acceptance the rest will follow.
As you say, she is testing you.
If you can I'd consider some counseling to talk over some of the underlying issues in your relationship with your daughter.

I think other posters are right too about picking your battles.
Education is more important than appearance.

HTH smile

cantspel Thu 31-Jan-13 10:56:57

my son uses "oh my days" as well. It must be "in" at the moment.

Some of the expressions he uses i need a translation for and when he rabbles on i tend to give him my best blank expression and answer with a general "yes dear"

Oh the joy of 15 year old boys.

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