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Ground rules for DD16

(22 Posts)
lanadelray Sun 21-Dec-14 22:07:52

Since a move to a new school for A levels my daughter now has a very busy social life. The lovely girl who liked to stay at home with her mum and insist that I drink tea and watch crap telly with her is now out almost every night and all weekend. And constantly on her phone when she is home. I'm glad that she's having fun but I'm feeling like I'm being taken advantage of.

Background - I separated from husband earlier this year so Im a newly single mum, I also have a DS 14. My STBXH was also my boss so I've lost my job too. I don't have any family or friends nearby. I've picked up some freelance work which I do at home so basically I never see another adult so I'm always available to be a taxi driver and can never have the excuse that it's inconvenient. I feel such a loser and have to be careful to make sure that when I'm annoyed at her thoughtlessness it's not just jealousy because she's moving on.

Anyway, I've been driving her around because we aren't on a bus/train route, her friends are and they live in the opposite direction. I don't have a problem with this but she only contacts me when she wants a lift and rarely answers her texts other times. For example, today she asked for a lift when the shops shut at 5. I texted her and called a couple of times from 5.30 onwards but her phone was off. At 9 she texted for a lift, she'd been in the cinema. So basically I've been checking my phone, wondering if I'm ok to start dinner, etc. for a few hours for nothing.

I know I'm at home, doing nothing, but sometimes I just want to have a bath and a glass of wine. Or watch a film with DD14, it's not fair on him either. I've tried arranging up front by telling her that I can pick her up at x time and x place but she knows I'm not doing anything so will change it as she feels like. One time I put my foot down she said don't worry I'll get a taxi, which ultimately cost me £12. Another time a friends father gave her a lift which made me feel awful because it was really out of his way.

I've told her that there has to be new rules from January because a) I'm pissed off b) I'm skint and can't keep funding it c) I'm concerned it's affecting her Alevels.

This is a very long way of asking do you have ground rules for your 16 yr old? How many nights they are allowed out? How much pocket money do they get? Also, she doesn't have chores, her room is a mess, no part time job, because she was studying so hard in September we agreed she'd never have time and I'd prefer her do well in school. I'm feeling like a mug!

HoHonutty Sun 21-Dec-14 22:10:08

DS goes out most of the weekend, playing rugby then going out with his mates. He trains one night in the week and other than that he's in. I wish he would do more revision though.

lanadelray Sun 21-Dec-14 22:44:52

I could live with that HoHonutty! And he's doing sport too.

WheresMyBodyGone Sun 21-Dec-14 22:48:31

Get her a bike, she can cycle to the station or bus stop surely?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 21-Dec-14 22:52:59

Any taxis she decides to take she needs to pay for! Id also instill a rule : on drop off, give me a collection time. If whatever you are doing finishes earlier, wait. If it finishes later, you will need to leave early.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 21-Dec-14 22:56:25

Keep the door shut on her bedroom.
Insist she brings any crockery down with her in the mornings.
Only clothes in the laundry basket get washed. Putting away and ironing is your own watch.
Dinner is whenever I make it. If you want it earlier, you make it. If you arent in, a plate of it will be put in the microwave.
She needs chores - try and assign her something relevant so if she is the one that uses the bathroom the most/longest, sje can be the one to deep clean it once a week

Mitzi50 Sun 21-Dec-14 23:20:19

I know how you feel - it's hard work being on your own with teenagers.

Rules were/are only going out on Fri and Sat in term and pick up at a pre-agreed time (or earlier if phoned). After a couple of bad experiences of not being able to get hold of Dc, I have also insisted on having a friend's number with the threat that I will ring friend if I can't get hold of DC. Not having any local public transport meant that this was easily enforceable and if they didn't comply, I just refused to take next time cue huge and unpleasant tantrum which was horrible but made the point.

Pocket money was/is £30 a month dependant on room being tidied at weekend and DC willingly giving me 1 hour for chores per week. Both DC got jobs to supplement this (Dd who has great time management coped with job and A levels but DS is struggling so may have to give up)

lanadelray Sun 21-Dec-14 23:26:37

wheresmybodygone That's a good idea. She has one gathering dust.

Thinkivebeenhacked I know I need to be stronger about collection times but she doesn't see a problem if I'm not doing anything anyway. I've need to write a non negotiable chore list, maybe that'll affect pocket money so it gets done. I focus on the state of her bedroom when I said I wouldn't be that mother but it pisses me off that she's out because she says she has no homework (Art A level - there's always homework) but I think what about the other stuff, like your room or maybe you can walk the dogs for a change? Ugh.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 21-Dec-14 23:32:25

Well if you keep saying "yes" then of course she wont see it as a problem.

At "Can you come for me at ten?" , "yes".
A text later on:- "Party is really good, im staying til eleven, come for me then" , "No, DD, we agreed ten, that is when I will be there"

Seriously OP you have her over a barrel here - she relies on you to sustain her social life. She takes the piss and is late for pick up, simply say no when she wants a lift the next time. She hasnt cleaned the bathroom this week? Say no.the next time she asks for a lift.

The fact that you "have nothing to do" (and I use "" because relaxng with a bath and a glass of wine IS stuff to do), doesnt mean that you have to agree to everything she expects of you

lanadelray Sun 21-Dec-14 23:32:52

Mitzi50 thank you that's so useful. I was thinking £30. I'd like her to have a part time job. She's relying on me too much and I want her to take responsibility. For example, she takes her phone to bed "for the alarm" but I have to wake her every morning because she sleeps through it.

I do have a couple of her friends numbers - from when her phone has died and she's had to text off theirs for a lift. I'll start using them!

colacola Mon 22-Dec-14 08:05:50

My DD sounds like yours. We did everything together until she started 6th form in September, now I get treated like the hired help.
My DD is not allowed out during the week unless its something special.

If DD has somewhere to go at the weekends, I encourage her to have her friends over to stay, that way I can call them as well as DD if she is making me wait to long. I think it makes it easier as the night doesn't end with me taking her home. You get to hear all the gossip on the way home too.

I was against DD having a saturday job as I thought it might interfere with her studies. Ive now changed my mind and think its a good thing. The busier you are the more you can fit in.

Gabriola Mon 22-Dec-14 08:13:19

I think you also need to start investing in your own life. Exercise classes, reading group, art/language course, late night window shopping or whatever.

You're not doing yourself any favours sitting at home waiting to be used as a taxi service.

3teenageboys Mon 22-Dec-14 12:19:25

Lanadelray have I been there!!!! You have to take control. I had this with my 16DS So now he's only allowed out Fri & Sat night, (except holidays) & I collect him when it suits me , normally between 11-1am. He's normally ready to come home. Sometimes he asks if he can sleepover,i only allow this if I know them.
Interestingly, my eldest DS phoned me to collect him one time, but was so drunk he didn't know where he was. Found him eventually but it freaked me out. So I made them all download "Find Friends" app on their phones. This shows me exactly where they are & if I am collecting they can see where I am.
This also useful when DS not where he say he is ie, said one place been a teenager ended up somewhere I don't know. I have been able to locate him and collected. Obviously, 16 wasn't happy with this but now accepts it . I don't mind if he wants to stay out but this way I know where he is & isn't wandering the streets (another story - sorry to those who thinks this is controlling it has been a very long difficult year with DS16, who now accepts why we think they way we do, he has been troublesome to say the least. It works for us cos it's only way he has transport ( also strict on chores-)

specialsubject Mon 22-Dec-14 14:40:46

all for socialising, but I don't think even the artiest of A levels mean you have absolutely no homework to do. She cuts down the razzing about, she learns that transport costs, she pulls her weight and she learns some manners.

she's pissing you about and pissing away her education. Get it stopped.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 22-Dec-14 14:47:24

How far IS the nearest bus stop?

You need to put your foot down - have that wine and start that film, don't sit waiting on her. Tell her if she hasn't contacted you by [say] 6 with a pick-up time you are assuming she is making her own way home. And don't pay for the taxi! You need to train her to manage her time and not rely on you all the while.

nostress Mon 22-Dec-14 15:12:06

DS16 Only usually goes out 1 night at the weekend. This usually entails a very late night or early morning and that's enough for him. Quite a lot of the time its parties/gatherings at friends houses and involves sleeping over. We live in a city so he can also get a cab back. I give him £15/week (+phone/bus pass/£5 a day dinner money/Gym membership). As long as I know in advance I don't set a curfew. This Saturday he was off to a music event in a late bar that finished at 2am. I gave him an extra £5 to make sure he had enough for a taxi. He arrived at 2.25am and he'd got a cab from directly outside venue. He only had £30 going out so wasn't too drunk and he'd lent his friend some money so he could get a train home (they don't start til 6am!). I think I would be different if I had a girl!

SecretSquirrels Mon 22-Dec-14 16:40:26

It's always hard to make rules and set boundaries where there were none before. Much easier to relax existing ones.

I think you need to start though. Going out every night will not get her those A levels. Waste of time enrolling at sixth form if you are not going to do the work.
Set some rules now and never re-negotiate an agreed pick up time.

TheWordFactory Tue 23-Dec-14 08:28:01

First, A level students need to be studying. They simply can't socialise every night and do well. Well a few genius kids can, but I'm assuming that doesn't apply grin.

I'd agree on one night of socialising in the week, the rest home at a reasonable hour.

Talk to her about the need for sleep, good food and studying.

Second, lifts for socialising have to be asked for and agreed in advance. The best way to get this across is to be unavailable when the lift is requested on the day. The fist time you say, oh no sorry, I'm doing X, she will look at you like this shock because she's used to her ad hoc taxi service. But by the second time, she will have learned what she needs to learn wink.

TheWordFactory Tue 23-Dec-14 08:29:46

Oh and don't pay for taxis and socialising. This should come from her allowance and/or part time work.

No teen should be able to afford to socialise every night of the week. Most adults can't!

Number42 Tue 23-Dec-14 14:19:55

I would suggest changing from no-strings pocket money to paying for the things you want from her eg every day her room is tidy = £1 or whatever rate you think suitable. Family washing-load done - £2 etc. Some form of payment for schoolwork as well (ours is we pay for a week free from detentions!). We were dead against it before we had teenagers but changed our minds when we got there. Oh and we say that contactability is a condition of us paying for phones - texts and calls go unanswered for any serious length of time: one warning, and then phone gets taken away for 24 hours.

notquiteruralbliss Wed 24-Dec-14 09:10:25

I am super liberal (there are very few rules in our house) but your DD is taking the piss. Her doing what she wants to do is stopping you (and your DS) doing what you want to do.

My 16yo DD gets £80 per month so can afford the odd taxi. If she is going out (she rarely goes out midweek but that is her choice) she texts us an expected pick up time and let's us know if it changes or if she is staying over or has a lift home. If we can 't manage a lift, she pays for a cab.

How she keeps her room is her choice. If she wants washing done, she brings it down. How much work she does is also up to her. However, she wants to do a degree that needs high grades, so knows she needs to prioritise her work.

circular Sat 27-Dec-14 08:38:22

DD1 17 now yr13, no hard and fast rules as not needed them. Too busy with activities for further social asking and very disorganised. Part time job seemed out of the question as not free Saturdays. After AS results, accepted she is not likely to get top grades, but still needs to step up a bit to get what she is capable of and is likely to need. Also constantly saying 'no homework' or all done in frees. That may well be true, but A levels are more about extra independent learning.
Her social life took off at start of this school year, and she also took on part time work. Seems to fit more in now, but rarely goes out on a week night , usually Friday, Saturday or Sunday - max of 2 of those, gets too tired otherwise. Also has one completely lesson free afternoon, so sometimes socialises then (instead of school work).
Fortunate that we have good transport links, but prefer her not to walk home from station alone (5 mins) after 10pm so insist on picking up. That's usually around midnight. Have warned her that if she ever missed last train back, would have to pay for taxi herself.
Most friends live within a mile or two, but amazed that their parents don't seem to mind them walking home alone. So find when I go to collect her often running a few others home too.
Spend quite a bit of time at each others houses, so various parents running them back.
Have insisted that only washing in laundry bin gets done, which seems to work after a few incidents of favourite top being found dirty and smelly stuffed in a corner after first accusing mum of losing it in the wash. Not quite got the message across to DD2 (12) yet, who leaves a stream of clothes in every room in the house.

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