Entitled & bone idle child - help me make it better(6 Posts)
I have two dc's 16 & 18. We have been through A LOT these last four years and my parenting has tanked in this time, leading to the situation where I now have a monumentally bone idle & entitled 18yo. I want to start parenting better & get them to be able to contribute and help out around the house a little so they're more prepared for real life. So far I've shown them how to use the washing machine & iron for themselves and said I won't be doing their washing any more. They're now at several months without washed clothes. I've asked for occasional help with the washing up/vacuuming but I only get a grimace. I don't really know what to do to be a better parent. I'm a single parent and in the last 4yrs we've had two of us with year-long life-threatening illness (now abated thank God), death of our only living relative, major house reconstruction due to a fire and divorce! So you can see how I've let things slide in the meantime. Now we're quiet, well & safe the three of us, I want to get things back to how they should be. The 16yo is very good at recognising when things need to be done & they do their own laundry with no input from me. Ditto putting the vacuum around occasionally without being asked or tidying the bathroom. I feel like a personal slave to the 18yo. They couldn't even be bothered to put on a meal for us all tonight, which only consisted of putting food straight from the freezer into the oven & keeping an eye on it. Their pocket £ comes straight from (abusive) exdh to their bank accounts, so I can't withold that and they're 18 ffs. The 18yo is otherwise ok, not rude or agressive just utterly bone idle spending every moment when not in college in bed. What am I to do?
I don't know much about teenagers so apologies if this is really naive. But, I read through your whole post thinking 'poor mum, must be shit to live with such a lazy sod'. However- your last sentence has got me thinking- where you say that he just spends all his time in bed. I know teenagers can often found in their beds but this sounds quite extreme when you say that they are otherwise so lethargic. Do you think there might be some emotional problem going on here? Could they be a bit depressed? It sounds like you have all been through the mill and it must be horrendous to have to deal with everything you have described, along with sustaining a relationship with a complicated sounding father; not to mention the usual stress that goes along with being a teenager. Do they go to college or anything? Is there anywhere you can go for some rl advice with people who know you as a family?
I'm sorry it's tough- I hope you can all find a way through it soon
I think we're out the other side of depression. They have activities they regularly enjoy due to daddy's generous pocket £ & a small but solid social circle. I think the trouble is, it's years since I had any kind of rewards/consequences thing going & personal responsibility flew out of the window when it became 'please let us just survive'. I don't know how to show them that we all need to contribute. No your mum will not be metaphorically wiping your arse for ever.
I feel a bit of a fraud giving advice if folk have seen my posts about DD!
However, back in the day just before she grew horns and a tail: (apologies if this sounds American) I called a family meeting round the dining room table (3 DCs, they thought this was great). Told them I was going full time at work and so would need their help more. We agreed to make a rota - agreed on the night that suited everyone (Thursday, left the weekend free). They had a room each to polish and Hoover. Their own rooms I left up to them (their problem if they were happy to leave it a mess). They also did their own ironing. I did the washing and the bathroom. They were younger than yours though (12 - 15). It wasn't perfect - their ironing piles were often left for ages, or they'd wear it creased saying they weren't bothered (fine, their problem).
But they seemed to rise to the occasion and appealing to their better nature worked (ie. I need some help, how can we do this together?). It may work with yours after what you've been through together.
If he can't put frozen food into oven, when you do it don't make,him any. He will soon learn that to be part of a team you have to contribute to it.
Could 18yo be depressed? Like clinically? If you guys have been through a lot it may have all piled up and their entitlement and laziness could be a mask for something more serious.
Having that little motivation and self care at 18 is a big red flag regardless of what's been going on.
I would encourage/arrange a visit to the GP.
I'm glad things are picking up for you
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