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Frustrating teenagers

amyburemt's picture

  Some days, I just want to scream. Or go on vacation by myself. I know this is somewhat typical teenage behavior , but what do you all do when you have asked that something be done and one of your kids ignores you? 

  My DH doesn't want to say no or be the "bad guy" anymore since SD17 left to live with her mom. (read my previous posts). We have sd16 and bs15 and bd17 in our house plus my inlaws who are in poor health. SD16 also has a baby who is 4 months old. She is getting used to being a parent and has gotten served court paperwork by the father of the baby(who we cannot stand!) and she is graduating a year early from high school and going to college. My dh's drive is that she get through college which I can totally understand but this also means that she can do her chores half assed and get away with it as he doesn't see that it's important. Now to add to all of that, we have a farm so all of the kids have animals that have to be taken care of and we literally are on her almost every day about feeding her group of animals. During some of the other days, they come home and work on fencing which we pay them for. But I get aggravated because I feel like he discounts the smaller stuff like chores inside the house and puts more emphasis on his aggravation when they haven't done something he asks them to do outside. Almost like when I ask that an inside chore be done it just isn't as important. And then if I ask him about it, he gets all defensive. So I quit asking and then guess what it's never done or it's done a month later. 

  I am also aggravated that his daughters court battle is becoming ours. He and I have been through our own custody battles. While mine was easier, his lasted for 10 years and cost us 75000 or more. And it was a nightmare. Now he is paying for sd's lawyer.  Even if he just took it out of what she gets paid for fencing I would feel better. It was her choice not to use birth control and the guy is a loser. She is also under the teenage dream of it "lasting forever and she will be with him forever". She's 16 and going to college. He is not. But I don't believe a parent should always bail a teenager out of situations they create for themselves. Let her pay for the lawyer. She can get a part time job. She and her bf have come up with a schedule of the baby being shuttled back and forth every other week and every tuesday and thursday. This guy is obnoxious. When sd got served paperwork for court, my dh told the bf that he was not welcome at our house. the bf pushes sd to let him in saying stuff like , "well just tell your dad you are letting me in anyway since i am baby daddy". IT'S OUR HOUSE! He is a little a-hole. Luckily she told him the same thing but usually she just goes along with what he says so she doesn't "lose him.". she literally can't tell him no. I really wish my dh had more backbone or at least found the one he used to have instead of complaining he doesn't want to always be the "bad guy who says no". Which is funny since he hasn't done that in about 5 years.


beebeel's picture

Well the boy is the father and grandpa disliking him is no reason to deny him parental rights. Why pay for an expensive attorney for her? What is she trying to fight? 

As for chores, if the kid can't hold up her end of the arrangement, I would start ignoring what she wants and needs right back.

ESMOD's picture

Honestly, I think that a 16 year old with a baby that is still going to school and also doing fence work.. I don't understand how she even has time for all of that.. much less a lot of other chores.  It sounds like she has a full plate.  And... I understand your frustration over the legal battle.  Unfortunately, at her age and in her circumstance... finding a job to pay legal counsel might be a bit out of her reach and in the end... the results of a poor result could have a lasting impact on her and even your household.  So, I do get your frustration and the shoulda, woulda coulda about her being more responsible.. well...that horse has left the barn, so all you really can do at this point is deal with what is.. not fret over what should have happened.

All that being said, I do have a few suggestions.  First, if she has animals that she no longer has time for because of her baby.. then they can be rehomed or sold.  It would not be a bad lesson for her to learn that sometimes we have to make hard choices and as the result of one choice.. she now needs to make some other difficult ones.  Second,  take a look at her chore load and keep in mind her baby's schedule and school commitments.  Was she always a shirker.. or is this more recent.  Maybe somewhat less pressure to do as much might mean that what she does is done more completely?  And keep in mind, she is a teen and even the best kids need to have parents remind them constantly... at least some of the time.  and the boy?  well, you don't have to facilitate the relationship but generally when kids think their parent doesn't like their bf.. they tend to go all "us against the world".. maybe try to use a little sugar here and see if you can bring him in to the family.. get to know him more and involve him more in the child's life.. if he can't/won't do that despite your advances.. maybe SD will realize she doesn't have the peach that she thought.

amyburemt's picture

sometimes it just helps me when I am able to type out my frustrations and get an outside perspective that is from a different angle.

TrueNorth77's picture

I understand where you are coming from. Yes, she is 16 with a baby, going to school. But she has been thrust into the adult world by her choices. She is lucky she has a place to live and people to support her- others in her position would be, and have been, forced to fend for themselves. Every day, all over the world, people in her position and adults with babies take care of ALL the housework, work, and raise a baby. It's doable. If her chores are anything like my skids chores, they only take a few minutes. Most chores really only take a few minutes each. It's not that much to ask her to do, in order to live in your house and have help raising her baby.

If I were in your position, I would probably sit her down and explain that all to her. That you and your DH are helping her in a big way, and if she were living on her own she would have to do this all herself....the least she can do is help contribute inside the house in return. If something is really bothering me and my SO isn't handling it, I just handle it myself.

Harry's picture

then add a baby to the picture ?  What is DH doing about the baby and His DD.  She has a baby and gets to live with you not paying for anything, not working.  Did she go after BD for support,  do you have an end plan for SD and baby ?? 

amyburemt's picture

The end plan is to get her through college. she is graduating high school a year early because she excels in her classes. My dh and I want her to be able to support her child on her own and not have to rely on the baby's dad to support her. he has no ambitions about his future but it's scarey that she is under the veil of believing she will be with him forever at the age of 16 and also seems to have lost her ability to stand up to him. He's soo manipulative with her. That worries me the most.