Talk

Advanced search

Advice re parenting

(46 Posts)
wirral Tue 26-Jul-11 08:10:05

I am at a loss and really need some words of wisdom

I strongly object to my 11 year old daughter getting her ears pierced. My ex knows this but is still going to take her when he has her this week.

I am so lost as to what to do. It seems to me that my wishes count for nothing and that my rules don't count. My daughter has very little respect for either my ex or myself and this will just compound matters.

Sorry this is a very small issue but I am so very upset about this

theredhen Tue 26-Jul-11 09:23:28

Oh dear. Sounds like your daughter is playing both her parents off against each other. :-(

Does your ex have parental responsibility?

You must feel very undermined and de-valued. I don't think the issue is about the ear piercing but the lack of control you feel in your own parenting.

Is there anyway you could come to a compromise? Perhaps waiting until DD is 12 or something, which might make you feel a little bit more in control of the situation?

wirral Tue 26-Jul-11 09:33:21

Exactly! The issue isn't the ear piercing, it's the fact that my opinion doesn't count. I have suggested that she waits a year (believe me, I won't want them done then but will accept it!) but they are both insistent that she goes this week.

I guess there is no solution here. I have said that I don't want her to wear the earrings to my house. Means I go on holiday on own! Oh dear. Oh dear

theredhen Tue 26-Jul-11 09:45:51

Have you tried mediation with your ex? This situation is really unhealthy, particularly for your Daughter because she is learning that no-one will stand up to her.

berkshirefem Tue 26-Jul-11 11:48:50

I agree with redhen.

My suggestion would be to tell her that you disagree with her having her ears pierced and if it wasn't for her dad agreeing to let her have it done, she wouldn't be.

Tell her that after the period during which the earrings can't be removed, she will need to remove them every time she is in your home. If she doesn't there will be consequences (grounding/ extra chores/ no TV/ moblie/ pocket money)

You may no be able to stop her getting them pierced as her dad can give authority, but you can demand authority and respect in your home.

Absolutely steer clear of running her dad's decision down at all or using emotions. She's using emotional blackmail and manipulation on both of you, don't rise to it.

cestlavielife Tue 26-Jul-11 12:15:06

i dont see the difference between ears pierced now and in one year.
i dont actually see what the objection is anyway.

if is being done to get at you - well dont let it get at you. ignore it.

butpoint out she will have to make sure she doesnt get an infection etc.
goto theteenagers forum - see how others handle this kind of thing.... what if the next thing is she wants to dress goth or whatever?

but clearly there are bigger issues at stake here. nothing to do with ears pierced or not is it?

focusing on this and making her not wear earrings in your house just sounds petty.

what si the bigger issue here? why doesnt she respect you?
whay dont you repsect her choices?
what are the basic ground rules in your house about behaviour and respect? does she help with chores etc does her homework and is otherwise great to have around?

berkshirefem Tue 26-Jul-11 12:23:46

I don't think it's petty. We all have boundries that we set our kids.

I don't let my DD do things in my home that lots of other kids get to do. it doesnt matter why OP thinks 12 is the age her DD scan have her ears pierced, she's her mother. She is the head of the house - end of.

Plus she said the child has no respect for her so simply letting things go isn't the way forward.

But then i'm a tough mum.

gillybean2 Tue 26-Jul-11 12:31:19

Does your dd's school allow earrings? If so do they need to be removed for PE?
I would go with the route that school does not allow them (assuming they don't) and she will have to remove them herself or her dad will have to come to school and do it for her.

niceguy2 Tue 26-Jul-11 13:58:35

I agree with cestlavie.

Your objection to the ear piercing is irrational. What's the difference doing it now or next year other than you chose the time next year rather than your ex.

Your ex & daughter have taken your wishes into account and decided to proceed anyway. Frankly I don't blame them.

If you want your daughter to respect you then you'll have to start respecting the fact she is allowed to make some decisions even if you don't like them. Otherwise once she's a teenager, you'll be in for one hell of a ride!

berkshirefem Tue 26-Jul-11 14:26:49

Err... 12 year old causing permanent damage to her body...? How is it irrational not to want that to happen?

berkshirefem Tue 26-Jul-11 14:28:51

What else is irrational? having a bedtime? having to eat healthily? being home by a certain time?

Come on, we're parents, we have authority, why is everyone so scared to say no to their kids? Stick to your guns OP. Make her take them out at home and stop letting these two disregard your authority!

colditz Tue 26-Jul-11 14:32:39

It's not a case of being scared to say no to your children, it's a case of punishing a child for something her other parent has Okayed, and arranged, and paid for. It's not fair on the child.

niceguy2 Tue 26-Jul-11 14:47:38

I agree, it's not about being scared of saying no. But in this case, authority is an interesting word since this is exactly what its about.

The ear piercing is a distraction. The bottom line is that mum feels her authority is not absolute and that's what's upsetting her. The fact that her daughter (and ex) dare to do something against her wishes.

In this case, OP's logic is flawed. She doesn't want her DD's ears pierced but is willing next year. What's the difference? It's hard to argue that an 11yr old is not mature enough but a 12yr old is? Especially when most girls have it done younger. Mine had hers pierced at seven. Even then she felt she was practically the only one in school without! Incidentally I didn't agree to this either. Her mum did it.

So the only difference is its a time of her choosing rather than her DD's/ex. In that context it's hard to say her "authority" should be respected.

berkshirefem Tue 26-Jul-11 15:16:24

But Coldtitz, Wirral had already said no. Her daughter undermind her by going ot her Dad. In my opinion, that would be punishable if the parents were together or seperated.

berkshirefem Tue 26-Jul-11 15:20:08

I don' agree niceguy. at some point, wirral has decided that 12 is the age whenher Dd can get her ears pierced. The age is irrelevent as that it the rule. I have told my DD she can start wearing make up to school when she is 12.
DP told DSd that she could start going to the cinema with friends alone when she turned 11.
It's not up for arguement and reason, it's a rule, and these are kids. You have to draw the line somewhere otherwise you could move the goal posts to 11, then what, at 10 they'll look up and say "But what's the difference between getting them done at 10 or waiting until I'm 11?"

I regret having my ears pierced young as they're now in a weird place because i've grown and heavy earrings look crap. I certainly wouldn't let my DD do that to herself at 7.

berkshirefem Tue 26-Jul-11 15:24:15

Ah, i see what you mean niceguy. That her dad should have as much authority as her mum. Yes, that i agree with. But the Daughter already knew her Mum's rule and yet went and overrode it by asking her dad. Plus add to the mix that this is a kid with no existing respect for her Mum..

I actually can't beleive we're debating allowing the child to get away with that scot free. My parents were together when I was 11 and had my mum set age 12 as a rule for something and I went and had it down with my dad anyway - I wouldn't have seen outside for a month! But that was in the good old days when you could say no to your kids.

It would be the same if the dad had said no to something and the child went to mum. utterly disrespectful.

cestlavielife Tue 26-Jul-11 15:48:05

hmmm wonder if there is anything that dad says no to but mum says yes? are the parenting styles vastly different and she can use that to advantage?

it's the issue of "disrespect" here isnt it?

and that ex backs up the daughter to get back at the mum (presumably - or perhaps he just doesnt see it as a big deal getting ears pierced).

it all goes back to the main problem here as expressed by op
"My daughter has very little respect for either my ex or myself "

why is this?
what happened with the split? is it (still) bitter? does dd behave "disrespecfully" to get attention from either side?

(behaviour in a child is often communicating something...)

is she disrespectful to her teachers? what do her school reports say? is she happy?

what else does she do? does dd talk to mum about what's bugging her? does she talk to dad? is there frank open discussions from both parents about growing up, peer pressure etcetc?

niceguy2 Tue 26-Jul-11 16:56:20

The thing with respect is that it has to be earned. Even by parents. It's foolish to think we should get it simply by being parents.

So from DD's perspective, her mum's decision here is flawed. It's also crucially not supported by dad.

Now there's a good argument here to say that mum & dad should have discussed this privately and presented a united front. That's not to say the decision should automatically have been "No" because mum had said it. In actual fact I think mum should have said "yes" because her logic is quite flawed.

But they haven't and if this is the typical example of how decisions are arrived at then frankly I'm not surprised DD is disrepectful to you both. Why be when the easiest way to get your own way is to pit you against each other like bickering kids?

wirral Tue 26-Jul-11 23:43:35

Thanks all for the posts. I purposely didn't explain why I objected to ear piercing as that isn't the issue here. I also think that this should have been discussed in private and a united front presented to daughter.

Her recent behaviour at her Dad's house has been terrible. To the extent that she has even hit his girlfriend. My ex confiscates her ipod as a form of punishment. In addition she has skived from school on numerous occasions - ex allows this as he works shifts and is off on some days so he can look after her. I work fulltime so would always make her go to school (unless really ill of course)

I don't actually want her to get her ears pierced at 13 (she is nearly 12 now) but would hope to use the next year as some sort of bargaining tool - if she bucks up her ideas and attends school and alters behavior then she will have "earned" a reward. In my opinion getting something the instant it is demanded is not the right thing. Nor is it the right thing to go against any parent's wishes be they of the Dad or Mum

berkshirefem Wed 27-Jul-11 10:15:44

I think you and I will agree to differ niceguy grin

We have different parenting styles.

berkshirefem Wed 27-Jul-11 10:19:43

And good luck Wirral. You have ever right to withhold privileges to your DD until she bucks her ideas up. You also have every right to apply your own judgement to make rules for her.

It would be ideal if you and your ex could talk about important things and present a united front but as it doesnt seem possible I would suggest telling your daughter what you decision is and then enforce it where possible in your home.

It's so hard. My DSDs mum doesnt work and allways lets her take days off school for no reason (possibly for the company) DP and I very passionate about keeping as high an attendance as possible but this is constantly undermined.

You do feel helpless but you need to find a way to let go, it will make you stronger to demand the authority in your home.

cestlavielife Wed 27-Jul-11 10:47:15

does sound like there are bigger issues - if she missing school for no reason then school must know?
also this risks educational welfare getting involved.
is she achieving at school?
will ex attend a meeting with her teachers with you? maybe teachers laying down the law with her...
does she move school this year?

so if she gets dad to take her to get ears pierced then what will your bargaining tool be? he is treading dangerously -eg she hits his GF gets ipod taken away but still gets ears pierced? !

v difficult if she getting totally diff messages - not just parenting "style" really - (not about earrings vs not earrings) bit more than that? but what is ex like? was he violent?

wirral Wed 27-Jul-11 11:04:40

We have been to school and we agreed that we would discuss things together and present a united front. Teachers have also tried talking to daughter but she is just sulks with them and has actually run from them.

She is achieving at school and has just passed to the local Grammar school (not many kids did)

Ex not violent at all.

When she last missed school I drove her to her Dad's and told her off enroute as was so angry that she was missing school yet again. When I went to pick her up that evening she refused to come home. Ex told her that she should "be the better person" ie better than me as I had told her off but she still refused to come with me. When I phoned to speak to her later that evening Ex was in work and his girlfriend was looking after daughter. Daughter couldn't come to phone as she was playing outside. I told girlfriend that I didn't think it appropriate that she should be playing out when off schoo ill and also refusing to come home. Ex just says that fresh air would have done her good!

Sorry - long rant re above. I do genuinely believe that ex thinks he's doing the right thing and I am really frustrated by my own inablility to explain things in a logical way to him.

Bit lost really. I will obviously have no bargaining tool if ears get pierced but will say that the earrings are not to be worn in my house

berkshirefem Wed 27-Jul-11 11:37:48

Hmm, I think it's shaky ground to give advice about whether she should play out when she's been off school when she's at his house.

I think you should concentrate on letting go once you have left her there, but gaining conrtrol back whilst she's with you.

Heaven knows that's easier said than done but you may as well accept that she will never be parented the way you want while she's there.

She'll thank you in the long run for being th eone who set boundries and gave her stabilit6y, mark my words. She won't however, thank you for undermining her dad.

wirral Wed 27-Jul-11 11:59:15

Ah but she should have been at my house that night. He had not only allowed her to stay off school but condoned her refusal to come home by not only not punishing her but by encouraging her to have a good time.

I have no problem with the boundaries he sets whilst she's there but I do worry about the impact of them on her behaviour

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now