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terrible relationship between teenage daughter and father

(25 Posts)
jaykaycee Sat 23-Feb-13 11:45:24

I seriously don't know what to do. My husband and my 19 year old daughter just can't get along and she has openly told me she hates him. I feel they are both at fault and I'm torn between backing him up and defending her when he's shouting at her for being lazy around the house, as I appreciate how she goes to college and does have a part-time job. I've other problems right now as well as this issue and some days I feel as if I can't cope anymore. I also have a teenage son but he isn't displaying any stroppy behaviour (yet) and is also caught in middle at times.
Any advice would be gratefully accepted as I'm seriously at the end of my tether x

amillionyears Sat 23-Feb-13 11:54:08

What sorts of things does your DH do?
From the example you have given of your DD, if she is at college and has a part time job, maybe she isnt too lazy?
What else does she do.not do?

Has their relationship always been difficult?

jaykaycee Sat 23-Feb-13 12:08:39

I understand that to help me i need to give you an informed description of a typical day. My daughter goes to college 4 days a week and sometimes i give her a lift to college and sometimes her elderly grandmother will give her a lift if she's not in college until mid-morning, therefore she NEVER uses public transport. When she returns from college, she's given her dinner (that she doesn't eat because she has treated herself in town) and at 6 or 7 p.m. i give her a lift to work. She finishes work at 10 p.m. (sometimes later) and I give her a lift home. My husband gets angry because when she has a day off college, she lies in bed and her room is attrocious! We both believe she should get up and make a bit of an effort to help with housework, i.e. hoover or empty dishwasher or hang out washing. In fact the only reason she does help is if i leave a note asking for specific things to be done. What we then find is that she will lie in bed until she knows we are due home from work and then she will jump out of bed and quickly do what she's been asked to do.
On the flip side of all this my husband can present as quite an angry person and I don't think he should take his anger out on her, plus money worries at present are making him more stressed out (and me too but i'm not angry more tearful)
Hope this explanation sheds more light on my troubles?

BertieBotts Sat 23-Feb-13 12:12:35

She probably should be pitching in with housework as she's an adult.

However, I don't like the sound of the "angry" husband/father, either.

LynetteScavo Sat 23-Feb-13 12:19:11

So....don't make her dinner as she's not going to eat it.

Give her a list of jobs to do...does it matter if she does them first thing in the morning, or rushes around at the end of the day?

I don't see the issue with giving her a lift/ her using public transport/riding her bike. If you don't want to give her a lift, then don't.

You DH sounds like he needs to leave her alone, rather than taking his stress out on her.

UnrequitedSkink Sat 23-Feb-13 12:19:24

Have you tried taking her out for a coffee and having an adult conversation with her about why your DH is so stressed at the moment and what she could be doing to help ease the situation? It does sound as though she's taking advantage rather a lot (for instance why isn't she using public transport rather than relying on you as a taxi service - does she even offer you any petrol money?) but I suspect you'll get further by enlisting her better nature than by antagonising her. As a one-time selfish teenager I can assure you that the guilt trips from my mum were way more effective than being shouted at!

BackforGood Sat 23-Feb-13 12:23:22

So - She's not on drugs, or coming in drunk or being abusive or 'doing nothing'. She's attending college, has a part time job, and does the jobs you ask her to do.

I think it sounds as if it's your dh who needs to look at himself....

flow4 Sat 23-Feb-13 12:31:10

If she does what you ask her to do in notes, then I can see an easy way to get her to do more around the house: leave more notes! Lots of teens need very specific instructions about what's expected of them... A note that says "Today, please do two loads of washing, vac the sitting room and make bangers, mash and peas for tea" might do the trick. smile

Lying in bed on her day off doesn't sound a problem at all (I do it myself, if I can get away with it!). Getting lifts everywhere sounds simply opportunistic (she knows a good thing when she sees it, and she's making the most of it!) - and you can easily just stop giving her lifts if/when you've had enough of it. Not eating food you've cooked sounds very irritating - but if you know she's feeding herself before she comes home, why still cook for her? Just stop! smile

All these issues with your DD sound minor and easily addressed... However, it sounds like perhaps it's your husband's anger that's the real problem here... Are you perhaps trying to get your DD to do more because you hope he will then be less angry..? But if he is stressed and 'quite an angry person' anyway, then it seems likely he will then simply find something else to be angry about... sad

If I'm right, I think you need to be careful of making your daughter 'responsible' for your DH's anger... And I think you also need to ask yourself (honestly) what/whether/how you are adjusting your behaviour to try to avoid or deal with his behaviour...

jaykaycee Sat 23-Feb-13 12:42:01

you know i'm totally in agreement with all comments above. My husband does need to look at his attitude as he has always had a problem with respecting women and i believe my daughter probably hates him because of his previous treatment of me, however although my daughter isn't coming home drunk or abusive she IS abusing her home by being leaving her "crap" in every room. when i get up in the morning for work i find glasses of soured milk and plates of half eaten food in the living room; her handbag, coat and shoes in the middle of the hall; pots with congealed super noodles lying in the sink from night before; clothes she has taken off and hair extensions on bathroom floor; hairs she has shaved off her legs and other places in the bath and she's even extended her bad habits to my bedroom as now i find makeup all over my dressing table and long hairs in my bedclothes. I do have a very good relationship with my daughter and we do have chats and laughs. she does give me petrol money as i ask for it and I don't mind giving her lifts as i enjoy her having independence, however i don't agree with her asking her elderly grandmother for lifts when she could get a bus. I think by writing all of this down i now realise that my husband is mostly at fault but I feel that if my daughter had respect for me and the relationship she shares with me she wouldnt leave the house in such a state and she would try to help more without being forced into it. I've seen my teenage son help out more without any prompting. I have tried encouraging my husband and daughter to spend time together to talk through their issues and as a family we have sat down and confronted one another but it always goes back to square one and i don't know how to make progress that's gonna last??

amillionyears Sat 23-Feb-13 12:43:25

Agree with the above.
I have a DD doing most of the above.
Your DD also has a part time job, as mine does.

I can see that her life is not onerous, but she isnt doing too bad is she?

Angry DH with money worries will equal stressed husband.
Is he working very long hours himself?
Does your DD know about his money worries?

amillionyears Sat 23-Feb-13 12:46:49

x post.

The things you have listed about your DD. Some of them could be fixed without needing your DH to help fix them?
Give her a list of the minimum of household things you would like her to do as she is living in your house.
And yes, they may be done last minute. That is a bit power for the course at this age.

jaykaycee Sat 23-Feb-13 12:51:54

sorry i just noticed the post from flow4 after I posted my response. Actually those who said my husband is the problem are right and I need to stop this now. My daughter does add to the mix with her through-other behaviour and OH MY WORD she drives me to distraction but he is definitely using this as an excuse to shout. Looks as if i've gotta stand up to his bullying behaviour whilst also dealing with a daughter who needs to clean up her act. She wants to be treated like an adult when she's going out drinking and partying but when she's at home she gets on like a child who can't look after herself. As for the issue over making her food, she NEVER tells me when she's eaten in town. I then find when she doesn't eat a proper dinner, she comes home after work and wants food and its like i'm having to feed her twice and that's costing more money! hope i've made sense?

BertieBotts Sat 23-Feb-13 12:52:01

Red flags getting redder here.

Perhaps your DD doesn't respect you because your DH doesn't respect you?

jaykaycee Sat 23-Feb-13 12:58:45

In response to amillionyears, my husband is working normal hours but job very stressful and not happy in it right now. Guess he's bringing work issues home with him and this is what i need to stop happening. I don't like what's ahead of me as he can be a tricky character but i need to protect my daughter. Unsure as to why he's always had this disrespect for women as he had a good relationship with his mum and he was the one who cheated on me in our relationship. Anyway that's not the issue here but he needs to be told that he needs to stop taking his problems out on his daughter and she needs to be told to buck up her ideas! My son and I are stuck in middle of all of this and its not fair on him either!

jaykaycee Sat 23-Feb-13 13:06:32

I think my daughter does have respect but she just can't be a*sed helping out at times. I'm proud of her and her accomplishments and i think i should be telling her this right now .. though she stays overnight with her boyfriend one night a week and isn't home right now. Funny thing is she had a lot of problems with an ex boyfriend last year and her dad was very protective and went to court with her but recently everything seems to have gone t*ts up between them and it may be all the money worries and yes she is aware of our money worries ... i.e. we tell her we have £80 to last us 10 days (food/petrol/school meals) and she will reply "well i've only £100 to last me a week" or she will tell us her friends' parents give them money to buy food but we can't afford to give her money and she will post on facebook saying we are poor. it's all very frustrating!

amillionyears Sat 23-Feb-13 13:32:13

Sounds like your family money worries are at the heart of all this.

Cant quite make out how they have changed recently if he is working normal hours and hasnt been laid off?
Did he used to work longer hours?

LynetteScavo Sat 23-Feb-13 13:43:38

TBH, your DS wounds like a saint. Is he just keeping his head down and counting the days until he's out of there?

jaykaycee Sat 23-Feb-13 13:52:44

Money worries started when i became ill and had to reduce my hours in work (not a serious illness but one that i have little control over); then daughter took overdose over ex-boyfriend and money was borrowed for the family to go on holiday; then debt management plan came into effect to try and lump all debts together so now all money goes on paying back debt. very little extra money for treats now. As for teenage son, he's only 14 and a very affectionate soul who does have a good relationship with everyone in the house. He's very close to his sister and wants her and his dad to stop arguing. I need all this sorted for his sake too x

flow4 Sat 23-Feb-13 14:53:57

Oh jay, I do feel for you: you are in that unenviable position of trying to keep everyone happy, aren't you? confused sad

Your daughter sounds like a pretty typical, self-absorbed teenager. Yes, I can see there are some things that could be improved, if you turned your attention to them - e.g. ask her to do more, refuse lifts, stop cooking for her, ask for rent/a financial contribution, etc... I think probably, with everything else you have had to deal with, you have 'taken your eye off the ball' so to speak, and she has developed some bad habits... And like any bad habit, it will take a bit of effort to break it... I understand you would much sooner not have to do that, but I'm afraid you will...

But what you have said about your husband worries me. You've said that he has 'disrespect for women', you've said he had an affair, you've said he's a 'tricky character', and you have suggested domestic abuse - both in the past and now towards you and potentially towards your daughter (e.g. "I need to stand up to his bullying behaviour" and "I need to protect my daughter")... Your daughter's hatred and disrespect towards him now seem very understandable.

Whether or not your DD's relationship with her father can be improved - and whether or not she actually wants to forgive him - is up to her. But it really definitely does not sound like she needs to change her attitude to appease him. It sounds like she is very angry - as children often are towards an abusive parent. It may help if you let her know you understand that.

cory Sat 23-Feb-13 15:00:39

I think you need to sit down with your dd and think about some ground rules. She is an adult and if she is to be treated as one, then she needs to take adult responsibilities. But there shouldn't be a need to shout.

If driving her is inconvenient, then why don't you just say so? Sorry, from X date I won't be able to take you to college so you will have to sort yourself out. Or: Sorry but I won't be able to take you tomorrow, because I am out, so you'll have to get the bus.

If she will do things when left a note, then just leave notes and don't agonise over it. It's nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.

Tell her she needs to let you know in advance when she is going to want dinner and that otherwise there won't be any there for it. And then just don't cook.

Don't agonise over how she spends her spare time as long as it doesn't impact on you. She is an adult, what she does with her spare time is no concern of yours. But whether she pulls her weight in the household she shares, so that you get spare time, is quite a legitimate concern.

Like other posters, I don't see why your dh needs to be so involved with things that are between your dd and you.

Are you telling him things because you are secretly a little afraid of saying no to your dd without back-up?

OTher than that, yes your husband does sound like a big part of the problem.

jaykaycee Sat 23-Feb-13 16:21:27

Hey guys, what you've said has been very helpful indeed and i feel as if there is light at the end of the tunnel with the dinners and lifts and notes and yes i do need spare time but rarely get it. On hindsight my daughter probably got along better with her father last year because he was dealing with his anger and had gone to see a counsellor. However, these recent money worries have allowed things to slip and although he's not quite as angry as previous years, he is becoming harder to manage and I can't allow him to pick on her now. As for him shouting at her for what she doesn't do around the house well i guess it affects all of us and its not that i've told him things, its more that he sees the problems himself (i.e. his razor gets used and then left in the bath where the blade disintegrates and is covered in hairs and when he tries to use it he ends up full of cuts and rashes). I can deal with my daughter's behaviour but i need him to change how he deals with her! She and i have had discussions about her father's moods and to be honest there's very little we don't discuss (about lots of different topics). It certainly seems he is the catalyst in all of this and i'm glad i wrote all of this down as now it's very apparent. Problem i face now is getting him to accept his behaviour is unacceptable!

amillionyears Sat 23-Feb-13 17:20:31

Good luck with that one!

Gunznroses Sat 23-Feb-13 17:26:58

OP why on earth do you need to make your 19 yr old DD a meal/dinner ? can't she just make herself something when she gets back from work ? at 19 I was preparing the family meal.

jaykaycee Sun 24-Feb-13 12:28:09

Hey Gunznroses I also was preparing meals at 19, but dinner is made for everyone in the house regardless of whether they are home or not and this is how dinner gets wasted because I am not being told that it's not necessary to make a fourth meal. quick up-date about husband. i talked to him yesterday evening and he admitted that he misses the relationship he had with our daughter; that hes very stressed over work and money and that her throughother behaviour REALLY angers him as (at her age) he was much more independent and tidy and helpful. He also said he had spoken to a few other fathers in work and they are experiencing similar problems with their teenagers. I think a family chat would be nice as we haven't all sat down together in a long time. I am hopeful he has seen the error of his ways and now i've just got to make her see sense about being a little more helpful when she has the time. So thanks to everyone who made me feel better as all i was doing was crying.
thank you x

Gunznroses Tue 26-Feb-13 09:32:13

OP thanks for the added infer, not unreasonable at all if its a family meal. Can the left over food not be frozen ? then if she comes home another day having not had a meal, she can just warm it up.

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