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How to motivate/discipline someone else teen.

(10 Posts)
Lindi3108 Mon 10-Nov-14 11:54:44

As mentioned before we have my DH's niece living with us.

We agreed that she should clean her own room, ones a week and do her own washing. She does not work or go to school and is 17. She is happy to just sit on her bed all day long reading or on the computer and only gets some life in her when we go out somewhere of interest to her.

She does not clean her room unless like this morning I put the vacuum cleaner and cleaning materials in her room.

She's been with us for a month now and only ones did she wash her clothes. She wears the same clothes over and over and over. And I suspect undies as well.

How do I discipline her if she is not doing the few things we expect of her. She is not my child, it seems like the same rules just does not apply. She has no friends here so grounding her won't work. I work from home so I can't turn of the internet to remove that from her. I can't take her computer away from her, its not mine.

I don't know what to do to make her realise that we are not here to lick her butt to do things. Hands in hair!!!!

MaudantWit Mon 10-Nov-14 12:04:25

I did not see your previous thread, so don't know what circumstances led to your niece coming to live with you. But, based on what you've said here, I don't think your focus on 'discipline' is going to help. Why is your niece not at school or college? Have you spoken to her about why she spends all day sitting in the room, wearing the same clothes every day? I can understand your frustrations, but it sounds as if your niece is struggling - could she be depressed? - and getting strict and disciplinarian is unlikely to move matters forward.

LastingLight Mon 10-Nov-14 13:05:08

Lindi is she getting therapy now? Do you know what level of self care she was expected to do at home? Maybe you can once a week say to her "I don't have much laundry to do today, so bring your dirty clothes and we will put a load in the washing machine." If she tells you that she doesn't have any dirty clothes you will have to be direct: "I've seen you wear that same outfit for several days, I think it's time it goes into the wash". Do you know how many clothes she actually has? Did she bring summer clothes? If she was very depressed when packing she may not have a lot. If her parents will provide money, maybe offer to take her clothes shopping?

If plonking the vacuum cleaner in her room to prompt her is what it takes, then do that.

As for not turning the internet off, you could change the password. However she will then probably just read.

Maybe you should give her specific things to do. Tell her you're dying for a cup of tea but you're very busy with your work now, could she make you one? Ask her to bring in the dry laundry, take out the rubbish bin or entertain your little one for a bit. Involve her in cooking supper. (If she is anything like I was at 17 she might not have a clue how to cook/clean, so give detailed instructions.) She is not a paying guest, she is supposed to be a member of your household so should be treated as such. Just get her doing something, anything, as a way of getting some momentum going.

secretsquirrels Mon 10-Nov-14 15:27:00

I don't know the back story but a few chores seems to be the least of her problems.
What has happened that she is happy to do nothing all day and has no friends? She must be miserable.

ChillySundays Mon 10-Nov-14 16:24:52

Thread is here for those who haven't seen it

Lindi - sorry it is still not working out. Lasting is right is right that perhaps (as annoying as it is) you should keep saying 'please do this please do that'.

Does she get involved with your child (sorry can't remember you have DS or DD)? Perhaps you can ask her to watch while you cook dinner.

secretsquirrels Mon 10-Nov-14 16:35:22

Ah ok. Perhaps it might have been better to resurrect original thread OP.
Others with much more experience of depression than me will help.

Lindi3108 Wed 12-Nov-14 08:30:42

It seems from conversations with other people that this is how teens are nowadays? Seriously is this all they want to do?

I don't understand how at the age of 17 all you want to do is sit on your bed and read or be on the computer. Her life is passing her by....
It saddens me. And I kind of feel like we are failing her because we just don't know how to get her going. If you ask her do xyz now, she will get up and do it. Take her time to do it. but then plonk right back down.

I seriously don't have the time to stand behind a teen now and tell her do this do that. Is it so unreasonable to ask I want you to do this that and whatever ones a week and expect her to do it?

ChillySundays Wed 12-Nov-14 11:48:03

Teenagers are Lindi but if I had dumped my teenager on family members I would expect them to earn their keep. Her parents need to have word or have her back.

I am not the best parent in the world but college or a job has not been optional. It is difficult when it is not your child but something needs to be done.

Travelledtheworld Wed 12-Nov-14 11:55:01

In your last thread you said she had been to the Doctor and he said there is nothing seriously wrong with her. She has had a month with you now to settle down.

I do think you need to get tough.

You and DH need to sit her down and have a serious conversation with her, about helping in the house, getting out of the house, doing some volunteering, studying. Make it very clear if she does not pull her weight with very simple household chores, then her time with you is limited and you will send her back to the UK. She also needs to understand that she is in a position to make the most of some fantastic opportunities in a new country.

Agree some targets and deadlines with her.

Do not be afraid to hammer on her bedroom door, wake her up and make a lot of noise until she gets out of bed.
Limit time for social media.
Can she do some studying/ college course/ distance learning on line?

Volunteer with a playgroup/ church/old peoples home/with animals ?
Go swimming ? Learn a new sport ?

Be interested in what she would like to do. Thank her when she does a job and give positive feedback when she does something useful.

Do you have enough money to send her on one of those structured volunteering things? They are expensive but it would at least get her out from under your feet, to see and do something different.

notanevilstepmother Sat 15-Nov-14 12:46:46

Would techniques usually used for younger children work? Like a chores chart that gets ticked when she had done the job?

Dsd does need reminding and I do find it frustrating. I feel like if I had brought her up from the beginning then she would be more likely to do her chores without so much nagging. But I'm probably deluded. :-)

Anyway I realised that I have to start where she is not where I would like her to be, so I do remind her and I do have to tell her.

As mentioned you could change the wifi password. But I would save that for a more serious crime. As for taking her computer away, its your house and your rules in my opinion. But I would be more inclined to give her a time to be up, dressed and out of her room.

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