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Unclean, messy step daughter

(110 Posts)
Mrsbloggs Wed 29-Jun-16 10:17:09

Need a bit of advice... I have two small children (5 months and 2 years.) with my husband who I married a few years ago. We also have one of his teenage daughters living with us, she's 16 years old and just finished GCSE's. She's a lovely girl, very pretty, hardworking and super smart. I actually like having her live with us. She does have one massive fault and that is she is very unclean and has poor personal hygiene. She often smells of body odour. I've noticed this for over a year since she's been living with us and nagged my husband on multiple occasions to talk to her about it, but he never has. Over the past month we've all been really sick in the house. I decided last week that I needed to fumigate the house to get rid of whatever bugs and germs are in the house. I got so far until I got to my step daughters room. It's been a disgusting mess for a long time and whenever my husband asks her to clean her room she only does a surface clean. I've noticed a smell coming from her room over the last few months and bought a plug in air freshener to help, but still it did not get rid of the smell. The morning I was fumigating the house, my mum came over to help me, and my husband and I tried to call my step daughter to get her to come home to help, but we couldn't get through, so my husband gave me permission to go in her room and clean it out. Well, OMG! When I did it was disgusting. My mum was with me and we had to pull out all of her clothes. There was literally hundreds of them. It was like something from a horders program. I could not tell what was dirty and what was clean. She had been putting back dirty period knickers and skid marked knickers, tops smelling of b.o, dirty bras etc (sorry for the graphic degail.) in with clean clothes. My mum was horrified and said we had to clean everything. So 25 washes later and her clothes were clean, dried and piled up. I got her to sort through clothes she didn't want and took the stuff to charity. Out of her room I also pulled mouldy food, bags, drink bottles, it was disgusting. During her bedroom raid she came home and I had to confront her about it. There were tears and I had to explain I was only trying to help her. I made her smell her clothes and told her if she could smell them then other people could too. In the end she was grateful and I felt like I had turned a corner with her. I helped her file important documents and explained to her about health and hygiene. Anyway, I put a washing basket in her room yesterday and said every day she needs to put her underwear, tops etc in the basket. I even told her that I would wash her clothes daily and she could have them back the same day. Anyway, this morning I went into get her washing and her dirty knickers were no where to be found, or her smelly top she had been wearing all day in the cafe where she works. I confronted her about it and she lied telling me everything was in the basket, but it wasn't. I took a pic and showed her, but she didn't even have the decency to reply to me. I've told her father (husband) and he said he will speak to her later, but anyone got any advice on how to deal with a young woman who is very unclean. Should I even be doing this? I feel it's a woman's job, but she has nothing to do with her mother, so I've had to step up. Have I been too nice? At the end of the day it's our house and we've got two small children here, she needs to respect that. Am I wrong in thinking that?

Letmehaveausername Wed 29-Jun-16 10:19:36

Sorry but you managed to fumigate the house this morning, and do 25 washed before 11am?

MrsJayy Wed 29-Jun-16 10:24:25

Why are you fumigating your house i dont know anybody who fumigates their house and 25 washes before 10.30 are you wonder woman or not in the uk?

missybct Wed 29-Jun-16 10:26:45

I'm a bit confused on your timings (you did the washing this morning, along with the fumigating, but you gave her the clean clothes back yesterday?) which is making me wonder whether this is a genuine post.

But if it is and you're just exaggerating on some facts, you need to get your DH to have a word. You've had a chat, woman to woman, and it's not resolved matters. Even if she was your biological daughter, if she's not listening to you, she needs to be listening to one of you - so you need your DH to step up and accept that it may be a bit awkward but it needs to be discussed.

Tiggeryoubastard Wed 29-Jun-16 10:27:35

What a load of fumigated bollocks. At least try to challenge yourself and make it believable.

ficbia Wed 29-Jun-16 10:29:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mrsbloggs Wed 29-Jun-16 10:30:25

Wtf???? I asked for help. Not to be trolled. It took me all week to do 25 loads of her washing. I didn't do it today. Read the post properly and you'll understand

MrsJayy Wed 29-Jun-16 10:30:47

You also managed to clean a tip of a room in record time your post is all very confusing if she is unclean you need to teĺl her why hasnt her dad bothered

Arfarfanarf Wed 29-Jun-16 10:33:26

"The morning I was fumigating the house, my mum came over to help me, "

THE morning. Not this morning. The OP never said all this happened this morning.

meowli Wed 29-Jun-16 10:33:29

Op didn't say this morning. This all happened last week. She said The morning I was fumigating the house..... The 25 washes have obviously been done in the interim.

The washing basket was put in her step-daughter's room yesterday, and op went in to collect the dirty washing today, only to be confronted by the start of the same thing happening again. Enough to dishearten anyone, I would have thought, so don't know why the op is being got at.

Letmehaveausername Wed 29-Jun-16 10:33:44

We did read the post sand you said you were doing it this morning... Read your own post properly smile

Tiggeryoubastard Wed 29-Jun-16 10:34:09

As an aside has anyone here ever fumigated their house, or know anyone that has, on a whim? Can't tell if its meant to be so far out or OP is just unaware of the way things are done in reality.

Imnotaslimjim Wed 29-Jun-16 10:34:45

I think you've all read that wrong, the sentence say "the morning I fumigated" not "this morning" so I'm assuming she's talking of a few days ago. The change of one word can make such a difference! Also I think OP is using the word fumigating to mean a huge spring clean rather than ridding the house of crawlers!

OP, it sounds like you're trying really hard with her. It could be as simple as she's got into a bad habit and will now need help getting out of it. Just carry on reminding her every day she's needs clean knickers, bra and top and if she has had an accident of any sort, her underwear needs soaking to prevent staining. Keep pushing with it, you will get through to her

taptonaria27 Wed 29-Jun-16 10:35:07

I think if she has no contact with her mother and her father isn't speaking to her effectively, you need to step up and teach her how to manage her personal hygiene but you must do it kindly.
No accusations, just collaborative, positive, encouraging help.
If she's finished her GCSE's then she has loads of free time, she needs to spend some of it on herself and her clothes.
By all means encourage and check but try to be as non accusatory as possible. I suspect a photo of her empty wash basket will only set her against you.

Letmehaveausername Wed 29-Jun-16 10:35:21

Ahh God sorry, this is what I get for not wearing my glasses, so sorry. I am completely wrong, you did not say this morning at all blush Sorry!! sad

pengymum Wed 29-Jun-16 10:36:23

Oh for goodness sake people! RTFT! OP is talking about when she cleaned the house last week NOT this morning. Not that it mattress!
In my experience, this is very common with teenagers. Not sure why, maybe it is a form of control/rebellion? I don't know. But I've tried all sorts with no joy so have decided to close the door & leave the to fester in their pits until they see the light themselves.

Arfarfanarf Wed 29-Jun-16 10:37:39

I think OP that being confrontational isn't going to work. Kind and gentle is the way forward. If she's got to 16 without these skills and lived like this then one deep clean and a washing basket isn't going to cut it. She needs to agree a routine with you all. She needs help but she also needs to feel in control of what's happening and to not be made to feel bad about herself. I guarantee her interpretation of what you say will be "you disgusting filthy pig"

What she needs is help to get to the bottom of why she chooses to behave like this. Is it about control? Does she feel she has no control? Does she not care about stinking to high heaven? Could the benefits of being clean be spelled out to her - friends? relationships?

Things like this do tend to be much deeper than a kid being a dirty lazy git.

TheWindInThePillows Wed 29-Jun-16 10:38:17

It sounds stupid, but you need to teach children (and your sd is just an old child) how to be clean. They don't automatically know, IMO. You need to be very specific- each day change your bra and your pants and put the old ones in the washing, and the first few days go and help them do this, not in a judgmental way, or taking photos on your phone (ridiculous behaviour).

Your husband is a crap father for not having helped her with this before the age of 16, children need teaching about how often to wash, what products to use, and guidance if they don't get it right.

Maybenot321 Wed 29-Jun-16 10:38:49

IME you both have to keep banging on and on about it.
Keep a mental inventory of what should be in the wash basket too and keep on nagging her.
Is she a bit old for sanctions at 16 ?

Letmehaveausername Wed 29-Jun-16 10:39:16

I used to be hugely embarrassed to wash/change/put my clothes in the wash as a teenager. Partly it was to do with depression but also, the biggest reason was because I just did not feel comfortable in my home. I was constantly feeling worried and anxious and the thought of going for a shower and having to undress with other people in the house (even though the bathroom had a lock) and having to walk past everyone to put my washing on etc made me feel sick to my stomach.

Not saying this is what's happening, but it may be a possibility? Also, how was her personal hygiene when she was living with her mother? It could be years of ingrained behaviour that you're trying to change so it may take quite a while (it did for me when I left home)

Ratbagcatbag Wed 29-Jun-16 10:39:27

I have a 17 year old DSS who's around half the time. I happily nag him rather than asking his dad to do it. I guess it depends on how you feel about it.
Has she got enough underwear to last between washes, any particularly comfortable bras that she keeps rewearing? Decent deodorant?
In fairness my DSS would be the same, I just chivvy him along and when I head in his room for something I do a cull of dirty stuff and throw it in the wash.

Alfieisnoisy Wed 29-Jun-16 10:40:16

Hello OP, I don't have lots of advice but my son can be a bit like this. He has terrible executive function skills. How is your step daughter in other areas of her life?

I suppose I am wondering if this is just an isolated area of her life or if she is likely to have lifelong problems.

Is it possible she has gone off in her dirty undies and top? If she is very disorganised it is entirely possible she has overslept and just gone off in the same clothes.

TheWindInThePillows Wed 29-Jun-16 10:41:02

And- my sanction is I simply refuse to go out with people who haven't washed in days or who have greasy hair. I don't expect high standards, but there's minimum standards and if they are really skanky, I just don't go out for family meals, fun activities, take them to Guides- and spell out that friends expect you to have nice breath and not smell.

One of mine is a soap-dodger and has to be 'encouraged', but it's part of being a parent, your husband needs to step up and so you do you if she's part of your family, I actually feel sorry for her no-one noticed that there wasn't a turnover of washing, or went in her room to help her sort washing prior to all this.

MrsJayy Wed 29-Jun-16 10:41:12

Oh god im sorry i misread it is a confusing post though,
anyway ill start again.
you need to be at her daily but not nagging she sounds like she has had no guidance from her mum or dad if her room is a tip thats kinda normal for a teen ime but she needs to put her dirty washing in the basket is she not changing her sanitary towels regularly ? Has she access to them

ficbia Wed 29-Jun-16 10:42:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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