This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
I'm your mum, not a piece of crap(20 Posts)
I've three DC-DS16, DD14 and DD3. We've always had problems with DD14, her behaviour mostly. Not wanting to do anything (homework, chores, keeping room tidy, brushing teeth) pretty much anything you ask her to do she will shout,stomp,slam doors. The phrases "why do I have to" and "no, I dont want to" are regularly shouted. Shes stolen money from her DS moneybox (notes) had the police round as she was caught shoplifting from a sweet shop with her friend. She regularly takes food and hides the empty wrappers in her room. Mouldy orange peel under her pillow, even found a mouldy orange under her duvet at the bottom of her bed. We've tried all the consequences, no tech, no school trips, grounding, loved things taken away all to no avail. Her personal hygiene is awful, just two weeks ago myself and DH did a full on deep clean/cull of her room and found over 20 pairs of knickers stuffed in drawers/boxes/bags. They were not clean. We've had discussions about hygiene (especially as she will be having periods at some point) but it's in one ear, out the other. The latest phrase to come out of her mouth is "I dont care how I speak to you."
My DS has always been well behaved, does his homework, helps with chores (begrudgingly but he still helps) until a few weeks ago. He was found stealing my vape liquid (after we'd found and then got rid of a vape-apparently he had got it from a friend) he started taking money from my purse, and again stole my liquid. When DH came home from work he took all tech from his room, all his loved things (gaming merchandise) and we found something rather grim. To say we were disgusted is an understatement. When DS came home from school he said nothing when he went in his room. An hour or so later DH went in and asked him if he was going to remove the grim discovery from his room, DS replied "I don't give a shit" (he never swears around us) DH went on to say it was disgusting, and that's probably why his room was stinking. DS then full on screamed "I dont fucking care, I dont give a shit" DH said he'd leave him to calm down. I went into his room half an hour later to tell him dinner was ready, only to find he'd gone out his window. Cue frantic phone calls and searching the streets for him. He eventually arrived at my brothers house, and stayed there the evening. When he came home the next day, there was no apology, no explanation, nothing. Anytime I try and talk to him, I get grunted at. I went to get the tree and decs from the loft (outside DD room) and not one offer of help, even as I'm shouting "could someone give me a hand with this big box" DH and I are just sick of the utter disrespect. It's like we are something they've stepped in. Now DD3 is picking up phrases from DD14, she tells me she doesnt care about me, asks me why I'm so mean and will have a fit when its brushing teeth time. I just cant take any more of this shit. Its grinding me down, the kids go to bed and I sit and cry wondering where I've gone wrong. I cant even be arsed with Christmas. This was to be the first christmas we've had at home (usually go to mils, but staying home this year) and Im honestly dreading it, I'd rather the two older ones stayed upstairs and opened their gifts on their own. If that makes me a shit mum, then I'm a shit mum. I'm sorry this is so long, but it feels slightly better getting it off my chest.
No words of wisdom i'm afraid OP, but sounds a lot to deal with at once .
That sounds really tough. Can you tackle DS first as he seems only recently to have gone off the rails? Could his dad take him out somewhere for an honest chat? Have you spoken to school to see if there's anything going on, and how both older kids are behaving when there?
It sounds really hard . With this “grim discovery” do you think your ds felt humiliated over it?
Have you sat him down and asked him what’s glint on, you care about him and you’ve noticed his behaviour has changed lately etc?
It sounds like there’s a high level of stressful interaction and a lot that’s not being said or communicated effectively. It almost seems like family counselling would help or even just counselling for yourself - to try and explore why some of these unhealthy dynamics are happening
Teenagers can be total arseholes. I could happily throttle mine.
Try and take a step back - if they want to live like pigs let them. Close their bedroom door and let them get on with it. If your DD hygiene is lacking tell her she will smell and have no friends.
A certain amount of cheek is to be expected. You just have to count to 10 and remind them you are a human being with feelings too and if they are nice and respectful to you they can expect the same back.
Furthermore try and make time for yourself and schedule in dates nights for you and your DH. Look after yourself.
Feeling really sorry for you. Teens can be a pain and don't really mean it but that doesn't help when you're the one they're treating like shit.
What did you find that was grim - because subsequent advice will depend on what it was?
Okay... it does sound like a lot going on. But you also have a 3 year old- so a lot went on at a pretty vital time on your older children’s lives too- gaining a baby sibling age 11/13 is a pretty big deal and could go some way to explaining their behaviour and attitudes.
Family dynamics- are you with their father? Was your youngest planned? Do either or both of you work? What else might be significant about your teens lives so far...
I’m sorry to say but the whole family dynamic is likely to be playing a huge part in this behaviour and it will only change if all these areas can be addressed rather than seeing it as a teen issue...
I don't think OP needs to say. She, her family and DS deserve some privacy. Its very possible to get the general sense of things without knowing every detail.
Oh and don’t fight fire with fire. It just dials the drama up a notch and teenagers love a bit of drama.
Go right back to when they were toddlers. Reward good behaviour, ignore low level annoying behaviour and penalties when they are toe rags. If that doesn’t work remember they will eventually leave home.
Isaid has made some good suggestions, some might help.
I dont agree with leaving them to dirty and disgusting bedrooms and shutting the door on them. They are rooms in your house and you can't have dirty knickers and rotting food in there. I'd be marching in with a non bag on a daily basis and requesting the full bag with any rubbish for starters.
I'd stop any further Christmas prep stone dead with the very clear direction that unless they start behaving like human beings they're to expect the minimum back.
It's basically the 'Father Christmas is watching' mantra but for teens rather than toddlers.
It’s a tough one op, in some ways I get his reaction .... I was not had untidy as a teenager bar messy drawers ( no
Food products ) and generally got on well
With parents but my mum though nothing of opening my mail, and going through my drawers to check up on me.
I found that highly invasive and made me
Feel uncomfortable where I lived, I had given no reason by the way but my brother has been a bit naughty so she decided to keep
A more careful eye on me.
I also don’t agree with their rooms stinking though.
Could you perhaps explain that they need to do Simple tasks like keep their rooms reasonably clean ( and list what that looks like maybe start with dirty laundry in laundry basket , food chucked out bin emptied weekly and hoovered weekly beds changed two weekly )
Then explain if this is not maintained pocket money will be suspended and you will go in to do it. For health and safety reasons.
I was not a rebellious kid but going through my things made me hate my mum for a long time... she found condoms once I admit I was 19 with my first boyfriend and yes I was practicing safe sex... she made me feel so bad about myself and so mad at her. But if you respect privacy they need to respect rules
Keep telling yourself 'this too will pass'
I don't believe in letting dc sit in their own shit. I'd be cleaning their rooms now and again as it's your house too. All you can do is keep plugging away. Maybe some 121 time with each child to try and build the relationships (even tho I'm sure you prob don't want to, and I don't blame you for that either). As for Xmas, just do what you need to. I also don't believe in cancelling Xmas due to their behaviour but you can try and ignore the shifty behaviour and try and enjoy your time
@treefall of course she doesn’t have to say- but it makes a huge difference to the issues of the teen behaviour if the 3 year old is a half sibling resulting from a relatively new relationship or the child of their father and whether she was planned or not etc. Of course it does. But if the OP doesn’t want to share that info it’s totally fine but still relevant.
What did you find in your ds bedroom that was so bad for a 16yo
I found a bottle of vodka and a condom in my 16yo dd bedroom about a month a go took a photo of them and sent them to her said their not mine and I told her not to take other peoples stuff home or I would leave it back at their house. She also had a vape for bf quickly gave it back when I said get rid off it or I will bring it to his house.
Talk to him about what you found.
Teenagers are going to have stuff.
There is another thread holding onto the thread you would find useful your kids sound like not too bad when you read others stories it helps you feel your not alone.
Not really necessary to know every detail. OP has given plenty. It’s wise to protect your privacy on a public forum - especially your children’s privacy, it might be very embarrassing for them if they were identified. Her wording made it clear OP didn’t want to say more on what she found. I think some people are just really unpleasantly nosy but dress it up as concern.
@lige as no one on hear knows anyone and under false name if people looking advice no one can advise them properly if they don't know what it is.
Like is it hard drugs or food from kitchen different advice would be needed.
That's why I referenced the other thread because some people on there really struggle with their teens and she might find helpful advice.
Sounds really hard going. I wouldn't fight fire with fire. Try to dial down the drama. Don't threaten to cancel Christmas. Try to use humour to get your kids to do things. Give them space. You need to find out what is going on with your ds - calm conversations and no judging if possible. Turning around the mood in your house will help and to do that you'll have to drop the stuff that isn't important.