How do i gt my 13yr old daughter to not be so dirty?

Shelly - posted on 09/20/2009 ( 42 moms have responded )

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She is just filthy about EVERYTHING from her digusting room having food everywhere,drinks,soda cans,dirty underwear(tshe will even leave dirty pads in her underwear and leave them where ever)and isn't even embarrased.not shaving underarms,will go out to swim ina public place and wear 2 piece and not evencare to tidy up the bikini area.Our dog wll us he bathroom in her room only and sh will leave it there.I have tried over and over t get her to care.Am i the only one with this problem?

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Beverley - posted on 09/27/2009

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I know this sounds bad, but i have three daughters who were all so buggy from about 13.. they do grow out of it. I battled and battled to get them to clean up.. in the end I decided there were more important things to fight about. So I made just a few hard fast rules that worked. I assigned them their own bath towels and each person only had two.. if they left them on the bedroom floor after being told repeatedly not to, I would throw back the bed covers and placed the damp towel in their bed, it worked instantly. The girls did not like sleeping or having to fix up a damp bed late at night. I also put away a lot of the dinner plates so they did not have an unlimited supply available. I would serve everyone elses meal but theirs until they had brought out the plates in their rooms and washed them up.. that works as well :)
I agreed they could choose to keep their rooms as they wished.. it was their own piece of privacy.. but that I would not launder all the clothing when they dumped it out in one sweep, i would deliberately leave their clothing there. They soon learnt that when I laundered they needed to put out a reasonable amount of clothing.
It was difficult at first as your first instinct is to clean.. but remember.. their actions are not a reflection upon you.. and the best way to impact on them is to allow them to be the way they choose.. but not to make it easy for them.. do not alter or pick up the slack that enables them to be that way.. they do grow out of it.
As for personal hygiene.. I would refuse to take them on family outings if they were not clean or presentable.. and they were given ample notice.
Peer pressure will soon get to them.. its a hard lesson and tough love.. but it does work.... keep the faith!!

Karen - posted on 09/26/2009

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I'm not sure how many parents realize the behavioral patterns of children-- not many of us go to school to learn these things, and unless you read alot about it, you probably would never know.
I have had 6 kids, I am on my last child at home and he is 17.
I kept wondering why it was that by age 12-13, our kids seemed to 'forget' how they were raised so far!
thing is, that there are two times in children's lives where they go through an 'oppositional defiance' phase.
between the age of 2-5, and 13-17. it is a normal process of development.
not that it should be ignored by any means.
but I always felt that my young teens were reverting to being 3 year olds in so many ways.
I tried everything that has been mentioned.
But one thing I have not seen mentioned yet, is the total disrespect for what the parents have provided.
The roof over their head, the furniture, the clothing, etc.
Living in a home is living in a community-- children need to learn to live well in a larger community, this needs to be taught at home... it is where the foundation starts.
Where I live, if my neighbor doesn't mow his lawn, or he collects junk cars in his yard, doesn't repair his fence... leaves trash to pile up etc.
The city fines them. And the area has to be cleaned up, or the fines increase.
These same types of laws and consequences can be applied at home.
If your child wants to go to the movies, say 'sorry, you have to pay the fine for not keeping your room clean'-- want that cell phone? ' sorry, you have to pay the fine for not taking a shower'.
We are preparing these young people for living in the real world.
No landlord will put up with someone living gross-- why not teach them that now?

My 17 year old son, pays for his cell phone, by mowing the yard. He goes nowhere and gets no money for anything, unless his room is clean and his laundry is done and he has helped out around the house where we have asked him to.
He has to earn his way out the door to have fun.
Just like as adults, we have to earn our wages, in order to have the car we want, the home we want, and our entertainment too.
We don't get a ton of freebies in life, and our kids need to learn now, that they won't either. Unfortunately, there are many kids going out on their own these days that are shocked that they can't have... that employers just won't pay them for standing around, that they will get fired for not showing up presentable, on time, etc.
I believe it is because, in general, parents aren't teaching their kids about the real world.
In the real world, you really can't live like a pig and get away with it.

Derek - posted on 09/16/2012

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Hi i brought up my daughter single handed after my wife died and had the same probs so i took away the privelage of wearing pads and made her wear tampons until her tidyness improved !

Tina - posted on 09/25/2009

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tell her that if she wants to live like that she will not be allowed to have her friends over until it is kept nice and neat and let her know it is a hygiene problem with not keeping the room clean good luck

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PinkLadyRose - posted on 05/20/2013

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Hello all! I had a meltdown this friday. My daughter is 17 and she is so trifling. Her room was the most disqusting thing I've ever seen. You would think she was homeless the way she kept her room. Dirty maxi pads, on the floor or stuffed in her drawers. Food containers in her bed. You couldn't even see her floor b/c of the dirty clothes, papers, junk all over it. She had food wrappers stuffed in her drawers, mattress, under her bed, under her dresser and in her closet. You couldn't even see under her bed it was so much junk. So what I did b/c my husband I have been struggling with this since she was 13 and even took her to see a therapist in 10th grade. Nothing seem to work, she just don't care about nothing. I'm suprised we didn't have roaches or rodents coming out of her room . I went in Friday and threw away everything. I held on to some of her clothes but I am giving her two weeks to hang them up and if she don't am coming in that room once again with a trash can and throwing away all her clothes. I know I felt so much better when I started throwing away things. It felt like a burden was lifted. I gave her more than enough chances and she was mad when she saw what I did but oh well. I guess now she get the point that I am not taking the trifliness any longer. As long as she's under my roof you have to follow my rules. So we will see...

Barbara - posted on 10/07/2009

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As far as the dirty room goes I am told that is just part of being a teenager. However I was not like that. My 15 year old daughter is very dirty when it comes to her bedroom but that is about it.

You may need to take her to talk to someone about feminine hygiene and have them explain to her what can happen when she does not take care of her self. If that doesn't work then take away privelages until she does what she needs to.

Anyway my opinion only!

Good luck!

Karen - posted on 10/07/2009

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I'll make my answer quick... I have a 13 year old daughter and we have fought about ALL OF THE ABOVE... (just like many parents, i'm glad i'm not alone here). this is what I do...... I put everything on her bed so when she comes home from school, she has to deal with it. It then gets thrown to the floor. After she goes to sleep for the night, I walk in and pile it on top of her while she sleeps. we still haven't completely solved the problem but the "pile" has considerably been reduced.

good luck to all the parents..

April - posted on 10/03/2009

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My 14 year old girl loves to come in & "drop" her things anywhere & everywhere! My 10 year old girl's room is so trashed most of the time, I cannot remember seeing her floor in the last 6 months...the youngest has the dishes & soda cans left in the room issue, but my oldest leaves her stuff all over! My oldest has gotten better over the last year, but not by much. I have threatened (& done it!) to take her phone away, grounded her, etc...she just laughs & says that none of it matters because she never sees anyone other than at school anyway (we live about 7 miles north of our city)! My youngest is following her example....!

My advice would be to stick with the discipline! That was where I messed up! Now my daughter(s) don't think I am serious....



GOOD LUCK!!!!

Rosetta - posted on 10/02/2009

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Quoting Susan:

I have a 13 year old daughter who refuses to clean up also. i've been thinking that maybe I did something wrong when she was growing up, so it's nice(?) to see other moms having the same issues. I've tried all of the above though. My daughter just doesnt care. her comment is "Why should I clean it if I'm just gonna dirty it again?" i don't know what to do with her. I hope that this really is just a phase she is going through.


Thank you I thought i was the only one that heard that phrase."Why should I clean it if I'm just gonna dirty it again?"  Crazy!

Anna - posted on 10/01/2009

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I read this and laugh. I can so relate. I've tried the leave her to it method and the check her room every morning before school method, but most of the time as she is in a sleepout, I just don't bother to go out there. What I don't see, doesn't stress me. It's a hard one. I wonder whether I should put her into army territorials when she's fifteen. I'm hoping that once she leaves home, she will pick up her act.She's 13. Having unexpected (planned) visitors turn up and want to see her in her room, does seem to help. It's not nice when you're children are slobs.

Melody - posted on 09/29/2009

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I think she needs to see a professional person about this problem, she may be depressed.

Kerry - posted on 09/28/2009

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sorry for another post after my book but I just noticed all the comments on boys...I have 4 kids, the youngest is 10 but my oldest is 20 (these are my boys) and when the oldest was a young teen he didn't bathe a lot or use deodorant. I would walk to him and hand him the deodorant without a word when i had to smell him. But once he discovered girls all was taken care of. With his teeth it was another story. He would brush for the girls but if he didn't need too he wouldn't because he has never had a cavity in his life so I couldn't use that as a reason.....then at 18 he was out for a weekend with friends and got a fungus infection in his mouth that was very painful and extremely serious and since then he will brush his teeth religiously. He got it from sharing cigarettes with friends (he would socially smoke). He no longer smokes either because of this. Now that he is 20 and since about 18, he does shower every day and uses deodorant religiously so even the boys grow out of it. Girls tend to be the trick when they are younger teens but eventually most get it as well. sorry for the 2nd book :)

Kerry - posted on 09/28/2009

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When both of my teenage girls (who are now 17 and 15) were around 11 or 12 they would keep food and soda cans in their rooms until they got ants and then I would have to go help clean up the rooms. I would yell and complain and finally just shut the doors. As they got older the leaving of the food and soda in their rooms for weeks stopped and they do clean them up, usually weekly when they decide it is too much or I say something about the food/drink containers and warn them about ants. So now the rooms aren't health hazards like when they were younger but they still let the clothes gather until they get sick of it and will clean it up. My 15 year old still is rather messy and, honestly, I just shut the doors and tell their dad to leave it be. Now if the dog is leaving his business in there then it is a health hazard and can get you in trouble with the authorities if one ever comes by so you could use that argument in at least making the room less of a health hazard. What is funny is we have 5 cats and when we got the first 2 (they had kittens so each child was able to keep a cat) I told the kids that I wasn't going to be taking care of them and if my house smelled of cat they were gone. Both girls, especially the 15 yr old, are really good at taking care of their food and litter box and clean it daily. About once a month the 17 yr old will get sick of the clothes on her floor and she will clean her room spotless. I honestly don't know if it is an age that she will grow out of like mine did. Even now my 15 yr old hates to shave her armpits but will when i get on her or in a bathing suit/tank top and has gotten better at it as she has gotten older. Both girls do trim their bikini areas but I never had to ask them to or anything but they know I trim and followed suit on their own. I know this because of the hair they leave in the tub and I'll just wash it out and comment about how they need to go back after the water is out and clean the tub. I guess it comes down to battles...the dog waste needs to not be in there, but perhaps if you just shut the door and stop saying things she will come around on her own. My 15 yr old also has left tampons or pads places and I would get on her for it...If i found it out of her room i would make her come and take care of it herself without making much of an issue about it except stating it was poor manners and hygiene....shes growing out of doing that as well....sorry for the book but hope this helps you some

Penny - posted on 09/28/2009

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my daughter at thirteen was the same way she is now 17 and is better about the hygiene thing but i dont think the room thing ever gets better. hang in there

Bridget - posted on 09/28/2009

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Sorry to hear that youare going through this. Does she have any friends? Teens usually listen to their freinds..try talking to some of her friends..good luck on that..

Steff - posted on 09/28/2009

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My daughter was the same way! haha I was so afraid she would be known as the stinky kid. She's fifteen now and grew out of it....mostly. She still shows signs of it but not too extreme. On Sundays we say it is grooming day and she shaves legs, bikini area and such, plucks eyebrows, paints toenails....That usually takes her for the week. However she didn't shave her legs for weeks saying all the cheerleaders were doing it until the football team won a game. Oh my, it was bad but I cannot fight everything. Wait until boys become important because boys don't like smelly girls.

Kaye - posted on 09/28/2009

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My daughter is 17 now and spends hours pampering herself, but when she was 13 I thought I was sharing the house with the troll that lived under the bridge!!! lol She left food in her room, never washed, clothes all over the floor, dirty underwear in the bed or under her pillow!! EEEK!! :0 One day I got her school blouse, put the smelly BO armpit under her nose and said " do you like that smell?" she said no, so I replied..., neither do your friends at school and they have to smell it all day long!! I battled, shamed her, nagged and forced and nothing changed until she started a liking to the opposite sex I'm afraid lol then I never got in the bathroom again!!! Her room is still a tip, but she will tidy up now without sulking for a week first.

The only thing I could suggest is you get all her dirty things and pile it all up in the middle of her room, put a can of deoderant next to it ... leave and say nothing lol might work ;)

Good Luck hun

Kaye xx

Gloria - posted on 09/28/2009

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My daughter went through the not wanting to bath part at her age had to tell her to go do it.. Luckily she grew out of it. Because I would nag and instill in her. When you go out in public people will talk about you.Not only that it reflects badly on us as parents. And that shouldn't be. Unfortuantely she is a typical teenager and hates to clean her room. But i try to tell her if you want company to spend the night you have to do so. I hope it gets better for you! You don't deserve the heartache and embarrasement.

SANDRA - posted on 09/27/2009

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OK THIS IS A COMMON PROBLEM.THIS IS HOW I DELT WITH THIS.AFTER MUCH DISCUSSION AND RANTING WITHOUT SUCCESS.I CLEANED MY CHILDS ROOM WHEN SHE WAS AT SCHOOL.AND I MEAN STRIPED IT DOWN.ALL EXTRAS.I BOUGHT HER NEW PRODECTS AND GAVE HER INSTRUCTIONS ON THEM.THEN JUST LIKE WHEN SHE WAS LITTLE I CHECKED DAILY TO SEE IF SHE WASHED USED SOAP.DEODORANT BRUSHED TEETH,ETC......EMBARRASING HER AS IF SHE WHERE 2 AGAIN ,,,,IF CLOTHES WERE ON FLOOR THEY BECAME MINE FOR A TIME.IF HER FAVORITE SHOES DISAPPEAR SHE WILL EVENTULLY HAVE TO PUT THEM AWAY IF SHE EVER WANTS TO WEAR THEM AGAIN.

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Take polaroids and sit her down and have her look at them and ask her what she has to say. Set up rules--have her eat and drink only at the dining area......do her own laundry, no going out if things are not tidy. If she does not change--take her room from her and fix it up nice and just allow her to look at it. Put her bed in the garage or basement--just to shock her for a night or two. What do her friends say when they are over??? I have put my sons clothes in a trash bag after telling him 10 times to pick his stuff up....now he does ;-) Good luck to you!!

Rochelle - posted on 09/26/2009

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well my dad took it upon himself and when I was a teeneager he dumbed my old soda and milk on my head..funny now but it was pretty humiliating then ..maybe start taking things away and not lettin her out of the house until shes presentable, and rewarding her when she does what shes supossed to..sticking to your rules and following through with punishments are a big factor

Joyce - posted on 09/25/2009

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You're definitely NOT alone! I could have written your post about my DD too! My DD is exactly the same way, right down to the pads in her underwear. She has AD/HD, so I always attributed her inability to organize, leaving unfinished projects all over the house, never putting lids back on cosmetics or toothpaste, and dropping her dirty clothes anywhere they fall as a symptom of the AD/HD. Her room was so full of clutter, it smelled stuffy when I walked by. She has started taking an interest in her appearance, but she still doesn't care if her clothes are clean or not. I never say anything though, because the kids at school will let her know when she stinks. LOL!

However, a friend gave me an idea that has helped my daughter (and me), but it means you'll have to get tough for a while. Here's what I tried...

I got fed up with her room one day because she had reached a point that she couldn't find anything anymore and she started using MY stuff and losing it in the "black hole" of her room. And, her stuff began "leaking" out into the rest of the house because she couldn't stay in her room to do homework anymore. (Big mistake!)

So, while she was at school, I removed everything (and I mean everything) out of her room except her clothes and furniture. To start her off, I made her bed and put away her clothes and dusted and cleaned everything so her room looked and smelled nice when she got home. I thought she'd be furious, but she actually thanked me! I told her we would have nightly inspections and that she could earn something back every night simply by putting things away and taking care of herself and her things before bed. She accepted the consequences and the plan worked for a while. But, we did reach a point where she couldn't manage all the stuff she earned back. Also, I need to be more consistent about the inspections. I slacked off because it was going so well, and she seemed motivated to keep her room clean on her own. Apparently, she still needs the nightly inspections.

Another thing we did after all the clutter was gone is we painted her room and rearranged her furniture the way she wanted it. That also provided some motivation to keep it looking nice because she wanted to show it off to all her friends. And it really looks "cool" when it's all clean and neat.

But, you have my sympathy because this isn't an easy problem to solve! Is it possible your daughter is overwhelmed by trying to take care of too much stuff? This was clearly the case with my daughter. We're still dealing with the pad issue too. Even getting her to remember to flush the toilet is challenging. But, she's almost 13 and I'm sure peer pressure will take care of a lot of these concerns without my nagging.

I wish you good luck!

Susan - posted on 09/24/2009

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My daughter doesnt just keep her mess in her room though. i am glad that so far her pads have made it to the garbage can in the bathroom, but the nasty panties and bloody clothes are still all over. She will even let the cat poop in her room and not clean it up. She doesnt do anything except hang out in her room and write stories, or do homework, or sleep. There really isnt anything I can take away from her to make her clean up. Can anyone tell me about how long this "phase" lasts? months? years? Anyone know?

Cara - posted on 09/24/2009

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I agree with Jennifer, its the age, it will be over before you know it. I just shut the door so I don't have to look at it and wouldn't allow friends over unless the room was at least straight.

Chrissy - posted on 09/24/2009

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WOW! I thought I was the only one with a 13 yo girl like this. I flipped out when I found a used tampon under her matteress when I smelled something nasty. So then I started digging in her room and found soda cans, empty pudding containers, etc. it was gross. I haven't always been the "your room must be spotless" mom but it was so gross. Since then I have to dig through her stuff and I would have hated it if my parents did that to me. I feel like I'm snooping or invading her privacy. What do you think? She'll go the whole weekend without showering or changing her clothes. The weird thing is she is a complete priss, won't leave the house without make-up and thinks she is the queen of fashion. I know my post isn't actually giving you any advice, but I'm glad to know I'm not the only one out there with a nasty teenage girl. I thought only boys did stuff like this.

Denisha - posted on 09/24/2009

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this is so funny i also have a 13 year old daughter who does the same thing. i have to tell her to take a bath! put on deodorant i mean really what is so hard about putting on deodorant i dont get it.thank God she haven't started her period yet cause i know she would have dirty pads all around the house not picking up behind her self wow teenagers!

Shelly - posted on 09/24/2009

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ME TOO!!!....But when is it over?I'm losng my mind.She WAS NOT raised that way!!!

Susan - posted on 09/23/2009

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I have a 13 year old daughter who refuses to clean up also. i've been thinking that maybe I did something wrong when she was growing up, so it's nice(?) to see other moms having the same issues. I've tried all of the above though. My daughter just doesnt care. her comment is "Why should I clean it if I'm just gonna dirty it again?" i don't know what to do with her. I hope that this really is just a phase she is going through.

Gina - posted on 09/23/2009

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I can't believe I just happened to stumble on this!!! My 13 yr old daughter is a complete slob and all this time I thought she was the only one. The not changing pads as often as she should, the greasy hair, the smell, the room, the not brushing teeth, etc. I have even grounded her for not being cleanly. I sit her down and tell her calmly that she has to take care of herself but it's no use. Other kids have to notice her appearance. She's had issues with other girls in the last few months. For no real reason girls that were once her good friends have now turned on her and I'm wondering if it's because of this???

Michelle - posted on 09/22/2009

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I also had to practically wrestle, shame, whatever I had to do to get my now 13 yr old son in the shower these past few years. He's also a big boy so he needs to shower EVERY day and only recently, when he noticed someone elses B.O., did he finally 'get it'! I don't think they realize how they are perceived. I do believe they will come around though. I remember being the same way as a young teen with my mother...and specifically the pads! I remember not being very careful how I disposed of them or who saw them. Ugh and yuck! I just needed to grow up. My 13 1/2 yr old son is now taking TWO showers a day because he plays football, using deodorant and even face cleanser for his 'newly' aquired zits, etc. Yay!

Luci - posted on 09/22/2009

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Oh my, I have a 13 year old boy and he has that whole BO thing and foot fungus smell. Ewe. I wish he would start getting and interest in girls and maybe he will start bathing more. I hate telling him when to take a bath and reminding him to wash his hair. He too stuffs food under his bed. I don't get it..... I am so glad I'm not the only one with this issue. I was starting to feel like a bad mother for not being able to get him to do those certain things.

Kim Lee - posted on 09/21/2009

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My daughter has just turned 13 and has started the dreaded teens.

It's asif we have someone else living with us. She's moody and when I bring up her room, she says I pick on her.

Her room looks asif a bomb explded in it.

I must agree with Diane, I give her an ultimatum, if her rooms not clean, her phones gone. It works.

Sharon - posted on 09/21/2009

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I am no know it all mom, but, I will give you a couple of things to try, and it will be hard on you for a while, if it works for your daughter, one if you have time so there won't be any questions, make out a list of rules (an extra for yourself in case she "misplaces" it). I know alot of girls are going through the "grunge look" and all that is part of it, If you have to take everything out of her room, make her earn back all of her things, they think its the end of the world, and she will say things that might hurt you, or make you feel bad, but, thats how they get out of it, they push buttons until you give in. you shouldn't have to do all that, but, if we don't they think its ok to do those things. go in daily, check the room, I have even taken a chair in the room, sat down until it was done. I don't know if it will help, but good luck. and hang tough.

Lisa - posted on 09/21/2009

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My thing is that my son keeps his room clean and he keeps him self clean...The one problem is that he doesnt like to brush his teeth but he does do it but i have to always ask if he's did them or not but onlys does them in the morning but not at night.



also he washes his own clothes which i am very happy about but he does nothing else in the house to help out. I usually am happy about it but he wants money all the time and i tell him if he would help me out around the house i dont mine giving him money but he has to work for it. i dont ask for much around the house. One big thing is he keeps room clean but when he is in the rest of the house he doesn't pick up after him self. the garbage can is right there next to him and he will leave it on the counter top. I hate that... never puts garbage in the garbage can or dishes in the sink or dish washer. Should i be mad should i do somthing about it or excdpt that he keeps room clean and does his own clothes?

Diane - posted on 09/21/2009

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I have had that same problem. I would preach to my daughter about being a young lady and taking care of herself. I finally found something that matters alot to her (her phone). Now I just tell her that her room needs attention and she has an hour to get it done or the cell is gone for 2 days. It's done correctly in 45 min flat!!

Gail - posted on 09/20/2009

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My daughter when she was 13 had a few of those problems. But she is 14 now and I don't have to say a word to her. I did sit down and have a talk with her about it; I did not fuss or anything we just sit down and talked to find out what was going on etc. I told her she was growing up now and she needed to be more respectful to herself and others.

Ginger - posted on 09/20/2009

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I have a 13 yr old boy and while he doesnt have the exact problems this sounds "somewhat" similar (all sarcasm intended). I had to make him and his brother start wearing deodorant when they were 11 and it is very noticable when they forget to put it on! I have just been extremely blunt with them and told them that they stink and their hair looks like they can fry french fries in it! They thought I was joking until I sprayed my oldest with room deodorizer. It was a little drastic for me but it got my point across very nicely! I think it also helps that he is getting interested in girls now so he cares how he is seen by others. I wish you good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shelly - posted on 09/20/2009

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sounds just like mine,and i have tried telling her the same thing,she just dosen't care.She acts like im one of those parents who doesn't stick by the promised disipline,but that just isn't the case.She acts like im just making suggestions.LOL.She truely feels like she is equal to any grwn up.Doesnt undrstand respect,or just the basic no nos from whn we were kids.Like shut your mouth or do what i tell ya!She feels like she has every right to argue what she thinks about something,and those shut ups and do what i said,etc... .are not even considered.Like who in the hell am i to tell her what to do,thats how i feel anyways

Rose - posted on 09/20/2009

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You are not a lone at all.. My 13 year old daughter is the same way. I have to go as far as to tell her when she has to take a shower and when it is time to change her pad or she will leave the same one on all day if no one says anything to her. She will change her self and just leave it in the bathroom without throwing it in the trash at all. She has foul BO major. I have to remind her to put deoderate on and everything. I tell her now she should know why she gets teased in school just by the way she treats her own house. How she will never have friends if she do not take care of herself. she will not have friends or sleep overs if she does not clean that room. She may not even see what outside looks like except when she has to go to school.

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