Mouthy & Lazy Teenagers

Missy - posted on 06/10/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My 16 year old daughter is a great child. I am very blessed to have her and feel lucky that I have her. Up until now...She has NEVER given me an ounce of trouble...then as soon as school was out she thinks she should be able to sleep all day, and stay out late every night like it's a weekend (Even though she has drivers ed at 9:00am) and not help out around the house. She used to be a great helper and I can not get her to do anything...Please help! Any Suggestions on how I can handle this?

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I would definitely start with having a (non-judgmental) discussion with your daughter. Take her out to eat dinner and have a heart to heart with her. Try to relate with her... maybe share some of the ways you tried to gain independence at her age. Set clear boundaries with her on what you are okay with and not okay with. Try to find some points that you are comfortable with being more lenient on and have her help you set reasonable limits on those points. Then discuss with her what the consequences of exceeding the limits and boundaries will be, like loss of driving privilege for one week, loss of cell phone privilege, etc. The key point that I tell my daughters is this: If you are behaving responsibly (meeting curfew, completing chores, etc) the privileges increase. If you are unable to make mature, disciplined decisions, the privileges will decrease. I would recommend having this discussion with her first and set clear boundaries and be very clear about what the consequences will be and then follow through the next time she breaks curfew or whatever the case may be.

Jenny - posted on 06/23/2009

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I would start to take away her privileges. No phone, TV and computer really effect my teens. I make them earn the use of the items back. I also have a chore list for them to do they have a couple things to do everyday with thier weekends off. They aren't huge jobs but some of them incluse loading and unloading the dishwasher. sweeping the kitchen floor, strightening up the living room just to name a few. They understand that they need to do the things on their list to be able to leave the house or to have friends over.

Debbie - posted on 06/10/2009

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are you staying up late? I have found when I am modeling healthy habits it tends to rub off on the kids. I am always reminding them it is my resposibility to teach them how to be healty adults. I get my teen daughters up with me in the morning and have breakfast with them and talk about the plans for the day so we all know what is going with each other, even in the summer when a schedule is harder to keep. Sometimes they go back to bed after I leave for work but often they start making plans for the day. I ask only a couple of quick chores to be done each day so they have some choices about time spent with friends and everyone is expected home when I return from work to plan the evening. Two nights a week are off limits to friends and they are only aloud to go out on either Fri or Sat nights not both, curfew is standard 10pm weeknight and 12pm weekends unless prearranged depending on event ie; drive in movie, prom ect. I am usually up when they get home so we can visit about there evening if they want to. I find if I ask a couple of questions about the friends they were with and stay quiet long enough they will share, it helps us feel more in touch and then they arent as mouthy later. In stead of asking my teens to do alot on there own cause its no fun to do anything alone at any age least of all chores I ask them to give me 15min of focused effort on one room with me to knock it out quick so we can get on with something we would rather be doing, then set a timer and when it goes off I quit and thank them for there help and we move on. They like this and you would be suprised what 15min without distractions can accomplish. If you do it every day you can keep the whole house picked up without much effort from either of you and have time for other things. She will only be as committed as you are so dig in and make some positive, healthy changes, it is easier than you think. She wants to help she just doesnt want to feel like she is doing it by herself is my guess. Good luck

Beth - posted on 06/10/2009

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well, you can threaten her with driver's ed. Tell her driving is a privilege not a right.

Missy - posted on 06/10/2009

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Thanks Christa and I think you are right about her trying to find her independence. It is so hard for me though with her being my only one. I ALWAYS remember and say to myself that I am your Mother NOT your friend. That is so important...I know. I have given her quite a few breaks with her curfew and maybe I need to pull back on that. Her curfew is 12:30 and depending on what she is doing I will give her until 1. But as far as I know she has never smoked (She hates it), done any drugs and has never drank. She has a lot to loose if she was ever to get caught through Cheerleading and Gymnastics at school. And she never ask to stay anywhere...she hates to sleep over anywhere else...she wants to be in her own bed. So I am always up when she gets home. She has been late a couple of times and I have grounded her from going out the next night and have also made her write a 500 word essay on why it is important to be home on time. So I guess there is good and bad in there but maybe now that she is trying to act out a little bit, maybe I should consider pulling back on curfew a little bit?? Thanks again for the great feed back!! I really appreciate anything anyone has to offer!! :)

Christa - posted on 06/10/2009

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I'm not at that stage yet, but it wasn't that long ago that I was in that stage myself. I think at that age they are becoming more independent and feel the need to express themselves. My advice would be to give her certain responsibilities and if she doesn't have everything done then no going out. Also my parents were very strict with my curfews. I had to be home for dinner at 6, if not I had to have pre approval to do something else (ie eat with a friend) My night curfew was 10 or 11, I can't remember now, but that was also strict. If I was late no going out the next night. I also couldn't spend the night two nights in a row, that way I couldn’t be gone for days. It's important you follow through with consequences if she breaks the rules. I hated it at the time, but now that I look back I'm so grateful they did this. I partied a lot and would have done much worse things if I didn't have these rules. In fact my friends did drugs that I knew I couldn't do because I had to be home in an hour. If I could have stayed out like them I would have done them.



Lay the rules out very clear and follow through, she will thank you for it someday. Remember you are her mother not her friend. Good Luck and God Bless!!

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