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Advice re teenage SD

(17 Posts)
lilachaze Wed 04-Jan-17 10:40:17

My partners 2 DD's moved in permanently 1 1/2 years ago due to problems with their alcoholic mother.

The now 15 year old eldest is becoming the bane of my life & moans to DP.

The last 2 nights I've been kept awake by her until 3am & 1:30am due to several trips to the bathroom/lights on & off/ up & downstairs for midnight snacking. She should be asleep at that hour (AIBU??). This is not the first time either, & I have talked to her about keeping me awake all night when I have important work/meetings to attend.

She wants to go to college after GCSEs this year but is being too lazy to try @ exams or coursework. I have offered to help revise etc many times to no avail. Her world revolves around 'group chat', boyfriend , makeup & selfies - which IMHO is affecting her schoolwork & keeping her up all night.

Any advice about teenage girls, teenage SC, how to get her to sleep before midnight, motivated for college.

Is the answer removing the wifi router or is this being childish?

OneWithTheForce Wed 04-Jan-17 10:42:58

Is the answer removing the wifi router or is this being childish?

I was just about to suggest turning off the router at night and removing her phone! Is that what she is doing until 3am?

lilachaze Wed 04-Jan-17 10:50:36

Quite possibly, although DP went in to her last night at 12:30 & she was apparently not on her phone but 'brushing her hair with a face mask on' (give me strength!) when it's her 1st day back at school today.

There just seems to be a total lack of respect for others in the house, & an 'I'm old enough to do what I want when I want' attitude that winds me up constantly now.

Is a chat worth it? (She obviously hasn't listened before) or straight for the router?

fallenempires Wed 04-Jan-17 11:00:46

Brace yourself for a full blown meltdown if the router is removed.

OneWithTheForce Wed 04-Jan-17 11:33:02

Chat first, with DH. (Speak to him before hand so you are both on same page about what you are going to say and do) let him do the talking. Tell her it's fine to do her hair, or whatever but she needs to be in bed by X time (11pm?) and that everyone has to share the house and be considerate of others sleeping. Tell her that if she continues then her phone will be taken off her at 11pm and router switched off.

welshweasel Wed 04-Jan-17 11:37:26

My 15 year old DSD is the same. We now make her leave her phone and iPad on the landing at 1030 on a school night and her behaviour has improved dramatically, presumably because she's actually sleeping. The midnight trips downstairs have stopped too. She wasn't happy about it to start with but we warned her that is she didn't comply her phone would be taken off her. Only had to warn the once!

JustSpeakSense Wed 04-Jan-17 11:43:07

Teenagers are terrible night owls, in the school holidays my DC bedtime creeps later and later, and then like you I hear them up making snacks etc at all hours.

Of course, they then sleep until lunch time, so the cycle continues.

I would have a serious chat with her, she is disturbing your sleep and that's not fair. She will also suffer when returning to school and early morning routine.

I think no access to technology and tv after a certain time at night and also, enforcing waking up at a reasonable time in the morning.

She is old enough to be a bit more considerate, hopefully if you have a grown up chat with her she will agree some changes need to be made.

fallenempires Wed 04-Jan-17 11:45:23

It's good to hear that other teens will do this,we have violent meltdowns if we deny wifi.

welshweasel Wed 04-Jan-17 12:00:33

Any meltdown and phone gets confiscated. If they refuse to hand it over we would ring up and cancel the contract (the threat of this has so far been enough as they aren't able to renew it themselves). Once the phone is gone, the allowance goes, a week at a time (we've found giving the teens total control of their money has been great, they buy everything from clothes to toiletries to days out and never bother asking for money now as we say no). Once the allowance is gone, they get grounded (although with no phone or money they can't really go out anyway). Thy know we will and have followed through on these threats. Usually the threat of phone removal is now enough. You need to remember who's in charge. Violent meltdowns are unacceptable.

OneWithTheForce Wed 04-Jan-17 12:05:07

Meltdowns=immaturity=not ready to have phone and wifi access= both removed until mature behaviour proven.

swingofthings Wed 04-Jan-17 12:23:55

Be careful how you approach this. My DD was a model teenager to the approach of GCSEs, studying hard and regularly thoughout the year. She excelled at the two mock tests. Unfortunately, that meant that she didn't cram like mad like a number of her friends did at the last minute. She did very well, but not as well as she was expected, ie. improving even more on her mock tests.

Some of her friends acted like they could care less until their mocks in Feb where they got the shock of their results. Most started to be a bit more studious only then, some still not until a few weeks before the start of the exams and during. Most of these ended up with very good results, not far off my DD and two actually getting better results.

All this to say that all is not lost at this stage and she is probably not acting that differently to many of her friends. Is she due to do mock exams soon? If so, I'd wait to see how she's done and go from there.

The attitude you describe is unfortunately the common one. My kids are 'good kids' and yet there is some of that attitude and sometimes, I really wish I could tell them to go and pack their bags but when it gets to this, I try to take a step back and focus on the positives. They go through ups and downs and sometimes do show they are capable of thinking of others than just themselves, it is just still on the rare occasions!

In regards to her waking you up, don't make it to be just about you, just ask her nicely, AGAIN, to keep the noise down. If she doesn't, get up and tell her that she has once again woke you up and that you are not pleased.

lilachaze Wed 04-Jan-17 12:39:01

Thanks everyone.
It is helpful to know I am not alone.
I have been thrown in the deep end somewhat by (literally) having 2 teenagers living with me over night & not having any kids of my own it has been difficult to adjust, let alone put up with this sudden attitude.
Thanks again.

fallenempires Wed 04-Jan-17 12:54:59

Tbh this is largely typical self absorbed teenage behaviour.How does she generally behave towards yourself and other family members?
Have you contacted school for some support with her revision & course work?
I'm actually a RP but can fully appreciate how you feel as my DP is in the same position as you are!

Evergreen777 Wed 04-Jan-17 13:15:30

We plug our router into one of those timer units that cuts the power at whatever time you choose. We make it go off at 11pm each night which was introduced after similar problems with DSS being nocturnal. They all moan about it but it's been hugely successful at getting them to go to bed at vaguely sensible hours. Works best if their phone contact limits data too, or allows you to switch data off at night.

If she's keeping you up at night I'd also be strict with her about getting ready for bed (PJs, bathroom, snack if needed, etc) about half an hour before you go to bed yourself, then if she does stay up later at least she won't be waking you. Best to give her half an hour or so to do these things though as you don't want to be having arguments at the time you really need to get to sleep.

I know what you mean about being thrown into parenting teens when your own DC are still young. It does feel like you've been thrown in the deep end with no rule book doesn't it? I think overall you need to be confident in pulling rank on them and making it clear you're in charge. But you also need to make time for nice times with them - ask her what music she's into, watch TV together, chat about your own school days, find fun things to do together, etc, which will help build up the relationship you need to parent more effectively and happily. It's not easy though. If it's any comfort my eldest DSD was definitely hardest at 15. She chilled out a bit after that and stopped fighting so hard to be a grown up, and things got a bit easier.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sat 07-Jan-17 02:30:08

Evergreen what a brilliant idea! I'm going to copy that one... !

Very annoying OP. I do think teenagers 'moving back in' with non resident parent is very hard, although in your case there isn't really a way back if the Mum just isn't up to it.

I'd even go to counseling with your DP to talk about practical ways of coping - it's such a tense time with a child becoming an adult, being stroppy, up all night. My DSDs would drive me absolutely insane - on their gadgets until 1am downstairs, then upstairs, then bathroom, then downstairs for snacks...

My DP seemed to be totally oblivious. And now my own DS drives me nuts but I have far more authority, more say, more ease of parenting that it isn't half as stressful as being glared at by a child who is projecting 'You are NOT my mum' at the back of my head!!! Stress!

Try anything practical - like moving her bedroom, removing wifi - do take control as if you were a normal parent - standing back is not going to work (it may temporarily, and then when she is treating everything like a hotel the resentment will shoot up, and your own kids wondering why she gets away with murder and you don't say a word...)

And book yourself into a spa retreat every other weekend!

Thepurplehen Sat 07-Jan-17 09:17:02

With regards to the router on a timer, will she just not unplug the timer? Depends how rebellious and tech savvy she is.

I set controls on my router that meant any devices my then 15yr old son was using after that time couldn't access the router. He just renamed his devices and changed their IP address so that he could still access the wifi. Also be aware that a mobile phone with 3/4g can be set up to be used like a router for other devices.

I hope you get it sorted, the inconsiderate behaviour towards others is something that needs dealing with. My DSC have kept me awake at night slamming doors etc and it makes me really angry how selfish they can be.

Evergreen777 Sat 07-Jan-17 18:24:58

My DSS is very techy purplehen but funnily he never seems to have tried to sneak downstairs to plug the router into a different socket, or change the timing on it. Maybe it's not enough of a challenge for his techy brain grin Depends where your router is how easy it is to keep an eye on though I guess.

Yes, if they know how to set up a VPN via their phone (which isn't all that hard), they can then use their mobile phone data to route their computer through. Or just go online direct with the phone if they're just messaging. So unplugging the router works best if their contracts have limits on data use.

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