What have I raised? 18 DD(6 Posts)
I've been on here a lot about my DD18. Her twin DB is off to Uni tomorrow so we are all busy. She's been staying with friends for a few days. She came in straight into my room saying she has to get driving as she cant afford to travel, needs XYZ....I couldn't give her my full attention as I was busy with packing etc. Then said she didn't think she should pay her bed and board yet (various reasons) and then that she'd been with friends so shouldn't have to pay all of it etc etc. Also that this wasn't what she had planned for her gap year as she will be giving all her earnings to me (£40pw - she only works one night a week at the moment - says she is looking for more but turns up her nose at what is on offer). She pretty much ignored her granny who had just arrived to visit, got ready for worked and stormed out having caused stress and anxiety me in just 20 minutes of being here. She has also refused to get a leaving present for her brother (they fight - fair enough, her right, but seems mean) and has been generally selfish and self-absorbed and unkind. What have I raised? Some kind of selfish cow? Her twin brother is fine, in a kind of slightly grunty way, but kind and considerate. I don't know if I have got it really wrong or if she has some kind of issues (?) or what I can do. I just seem to end up nagging or feeling stressed and anxious. I can see that getting her bed and board is going to be a weekly battle at this rate too.....
Sorry to moan. I just have to do a reality-check somewhere. It is a bit like being gaslighted and I'm not in the strongest mental state to know if I am also being mad. Thank you.
Could she be feeling sidelined by her twin going to uni ? Is she feeling a bit inferior academically perhaps ?
Hi Lilac - She has said she wishes she hadn't taken a gap year as all her friends are going away to Uni or work. But she is planning on going to Uni next year. I understand that she is feeling left out a bit but this behaviour has been going on for a while. For example, little things like this come up a lot: She recently stayed a week with her granddad in France. He collected us from the port, loaned her a lovely camera, and was a generous host; and last year his he gave her his old (and very expensive) iPad mini, and generally does his best to be nice to her. It was his birthday last week and I asked her to text him or get in touch to wish him a happy birthday. Her reply was just to say "He never remembers mine, so why should I?" I never raised my kids to be so selfish and horrible. This feels like more than a normal self-absorbed teenager surely?
Yes I hate that sort of behaviour too. It would make me pretty cross - I hate rude, lazy or selfish.. But I also know they are young. And transitions are tough. Her brother and all her friends will be leaving and she is staying at home which will feel an anticlimax and that she is missing out.
Once everyone's gone she will have to learn to get along with you all and she will need to get work. I'd probably let her off paying board and lodging if she was working hard and saving hard - potentially for travelling? Thats kind of what I was thinking of for my DCs - work for 6 months and save the money to travel - I might make a proportionate contribution on top of what they save. Maybe think about doing a deal which incentivises her good behaviour would be a good thing. And maybe say she doesnt have to eat with you guys all the time - make her own meals if she wants, do her own washing etc make it feel like she's a bit more separate and grown up. In return she can cook a family meal once a week, do some tidying, cleaning etc. Make her feel a bit more independent in return for more adult sharing of the house. Of course, you've probably worked all this out. I'm not there yet.
I was planning on saving her board and lodging and giving it back to her as a surprise, or at least a percentage of it. The reality is I am a single parent and my income (now they are 18 and no Child Benefit/Maintenance) is that though I work full-time I don't earn enough even to cover our outgoing bills, so it is a case of needs must. She already cooks for herself and does her own washing. She insists on doing both for herself as she wants to be as independent as possible, though this does not seem to also involve working to pay for her travel or social life, or even clearing her pit of a room. She does do a couple of chores a week. And she has freedom to come and go as she pleases.
I know I sound hard on her, but it has been such hard work having someone constantly being rude and making me doubt both my parenting and my sanity.
I don't think you're hard on her at all. I understand - I cant stand rude, selfish behaviour but my DD always tells me to relax and not get so wound up (her DS can drive me bonkers). Your DD needs to help you out and be a good household member. Sorry. I'm not in your shoes.
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