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Advice needed - 14 yr old - boundaries, pulling her weight etc.

(8 Posts)
joesy43 Wed 05-Mar-14 14:05:26

Just needing advice on a few things regarding my dear 14 yr old daughter.

First problem - can I confiscate her phone/lap top from her room after a certain time or will she hate me forever. Lights out should be 10. I have walked into her room well after 11.00 sometimes later and her phone is under her duvet in her hand OR she has dropped it onto floor hearing my footsteps (but I know she has been on it). Another good one is when being asked to turn off the laptop...I can't it's charging my phone. She lost charger. I will have to get a new one!!

Secondly - not sure if a problem YET but she went on a cinema date last year with a boy..heard no more of it. Have been skyping! each other and face we are leaving the house at night to meet up as long as we are home by 9.00. Actually it was a problem. She said she was meeting 2 friends at the park at the weekend. Asked to be picked up. 1 friend lives 5 mins away. I said why didn't you just walk up with her. Where is she. She left with other friend to go to her home. As we were driving up the road...oh look isn't that the boy you met at the cinema last year. Busted. Actually I asked her later why she lied to me about this and she said she wasn't sure I would have let her go. I said I was more concerned about her lying to me and how did she know I would say no if she hadn't asked. Tbh I think she lied because she seems a bit embarrassed. I asked if it was a romance or just friends. Again embarrassment. So I am not sure if it is boyfriend/girlfriend...maybe. 14 is a bit young?

She also doesn't lift a finger around the house...her room gets tidied after she's been asked about 10 times and then I feel like I am going on a bit. She will set the table occasionally. That is it.

Any tips?

LastingLight Wed 05-Mar-14 16:41:08

If your teenager doesn't hate you, at least part of the time, then you're doing something wrong! grin Of course you can and should confiscate her electronics if she isn't using them responsibly. Tell her you want laptop and phone on your bedside table by 9:30, and if they're not there they will be taken away for 24 hours. I say 9:30 because they need some screen free time to unwind before sleeping. She can read.

Sit her down and explain that a family should function as a team. You are not her slave or her skivvy. Make a list of chores that you expect her to do, plus consequences if she doesn't do them. Consequences can be losing electronics, losing pocket money, not getting lifts to place etc. Then stick to your guns. It's going to be painful in the beginning, but don't give in. It is in your daughter's best interests to learn how to do chores, otherwise she won't be able to look after herself when she leaves home.

Don't really know what to advise you about the boyfriend... I don't think 14 is young these days.

adeucalione Wed 05-Mar-14 17:14:48

I would link chores and general helpfulness to her monthly allowance, take electronics out of her room at the specified time (phone and laptop can charge elsewhere) and set sanctions for lying that would leave her in no doubt that you take lying seriously and won't tolerate it.

And I wouldn't give two hoots about whether she's going to hate me forever or not - my job is to keep her safe and support her development into a decent human being.

joesy43 Wed 05-Mar-14 18:13:52

Well that didn't go down well. What and why. Explained why and response was that's so messed up! sad

LastingLight Wed 05-Mar-14 18:25:47

It doesn't matter that she doesn't agree with you. You're the parent, it's your job to make these decisions. Certainly explain, yes, but don't expect her to be happy about it.

joesy43 Wed 05-Mar-14 18:40:26

She asked why now after 14 years. We have set no boundaries and are at fault.

LastingLight Wed 05-Mar-14 18:48:02

Difficult to start doing it after 14 years, but it's got to be done. Life is full of boundaries and rules. If you end up house sharing you can't just leave the kitchen dirty and leave your stuff lying all over the show, it's not fair to the other people in the house and they will kick you out. When you're working it's not acceptable to spend the whole day doing your own thing on FaceBook etc., you will get in trouble and eventually fired. Clothes don't wash themselves, food doesn't cook itself, toilets don't clean themselves. Unless you have household fairies, these things have to be done by all the humans who live in the house because that's only fair.

You and your DH/DP needs to agree on what you expect from your daughter. You can explain to her that you realise you have been failing her by not teaching her to take responsibility in the household, but you promise to rectify that now. You know that this will be very uncomfortable for her and it's also not going to be fun for you if she complains all the time but eventually it will become habit. (I hope.) Good luck.

specialsubject Wed 05-Mar-14 19:26:04

well, better late than never. You are doing her no favours as you know - everyone hates the entitled useless girl and she will really suffer when she leaves home.

so present a united front, turn off the router at 9:30pm, confiscate the phone. Any whining and you sell the smartphone and she goes to a text/talk job. This is not an abuse of her human rights.

helping in the house is not a favour, or indeed help - it is what people do once they are out of nappies.

best of British...

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