Catherine - posted on 08/28/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )
Please give me some advice. I have 2 children I thought I was bringing up the same way, hopefully respectful, kind, understanding , self disciplined. Both are girls, one is 11 one is 14. I seperated from their father 4 years ago and we have since divorced both he and I have been a in a new relationship for over 3 years. We do not get on and cannot communicate, we live in france and have done for 5 years. Both girls are supposed to stay with their dad every other weekend and half of all school holidays (as laid out in the court order) he lives 1 minute round the corner from me. The 14 year old fell out with his other half and for the past 4 months has refused to stay with him ever since, the 11 year old dutifully goes, even when she does not have a good time there still returns without a fuss. OK background over.... My 14 year old is totally demotivated, not just a pain but... No work ethic, seems to find it really hard to understand that people work for their money, that a gift is something to be treasured, to be grateful even. It has only become a problem in the last 2-3 years. Example: 11 year old was given 100€ for bithday from me and 80€ from her father because she was saving towards an IPAD she had been saving for ages, my brother, her uncle, gave her the final 200€ for working and saving so hard, I run a busy bed and breakfast and pay her 5€ per hour for helping out. My brother offered my eldest daughter the same deal, he would give her 200€ once she had saved and worked for whatever it was she wanted. OMG toys out the pram or what... "how do you expect me to save that sort of money" " I have friends and a life you know, just coz.... never goes out and is prepared to work why is it fair that I miss out?" "I cant save, I just walk through the shops with my pocket money and see all the things I just have to buy!!" etc etc etc. OkSo I explain it all to her calmly. BUT she truly does not seem to understand. I seem to come across this issue time and time again. I also dont understand why its my fault. The gift was nothing to do with me. I have offered her work in the B&B even summer changeovers for a company my friend runs. No Point she says I just cannot save!! Her father even agrees with her, he said to me how unfair it is that the uncle favours one over the other. When the argument started my 11 year old said Oh mum thats just Daddy talking. But how can I make her see. Most of her friends are 16 and 17 (which by the way is quite the norm in France) they have all had jobs and some of them have their own income and go shopping etc etc. I thought I taught her how to budget and manage money. Now she just says "I dont care!!" If I withdraw pocket money for whatever reason she just gets it from her friends or boyfriend. I have tried to strike a middle balance and (except until the age of 11) we have had a truly tough love hate relationship. I don't know where to go with this. She is in her final year before Lycee and so takes her Brevet, I have offered her 400€ if she passes with an AB or better. She just shrugged, laughed and said well thats a year away and a monkey could pass their Brevet. Please????