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Feeling very down today – need your input

Kelamity's picture

DH shared an e-mail with me from his ex. Pregnant SD17 is wreaking havoc with BM, and BM can’t wait to ship her back to DH as soon as the baby is born and given up for adoption. This girl is a master manipulator, grade A b---- (which BM never believed when we tried to tell her, but now knows full well what SD17 is capable of and has stated “I don’t think that I’ll be able to have a relationship after she goes back to you”). Nice. So not only will we be going back to having her full-time, but SD will know that her mother doesn’t want her to live with her anymore, that should help greatly with her behaviour (can you hear the sarcasm dripping …). Sigh.

DH and I are talking tonight about whether we could make things work - what rules/guidelines we will put in place when SD17 comes back to live with us. I have made a list, and he has made a list, and we are going to compare to see how close they are. If we can’t come to an agreement, he will go to plan B: find a place for he and SD17 to live. My biggest concern isn’t that we agree on rules/guidelines, it’s that he won’t follow-through with consequences if she breaks the rules. Our counselor has said that “consequences don’t have to be severe, they just have to be certain” – make sure each incident is addressed, if you ignore poor behaviour or “let it slide”, it sends a message that that behaviour is okay. Simple concept. Why do so many BDs have such a hard time with it? Anyway, one step at a time.

Here’s a few items my list, tell me if you think I’m way off track:

1. No boys in the house when an adult is not at home
2. Ask permission BEFORE inviting anyone over
3. Curfew 10:00 Sunday-Thursday, midnight Friday and Saturday
4. Keep cell phone turned on so you can be reached.
5. Be respectful to everyone in our home.
6. Attend school, no skipping (she only has one semester left to graduate)
7. Don’t slam doors (one of her favorite things to do)
8. Tidy up the kitchen after you prepare food, including putting dishes away and not left on the side-board for someone else to deal with.
9. Kitchen quiet time 11:00, if you need snacks, get them before then (she’s very noisy and our bedroom is close to the kitchen, she likes to eat at midnight or whenever, microwave going, etc. DH and I both have to get up early in the morning so go to bed before 11:00)
10. Internet access to be provided in family room, not on wireless laptop (she has a problem with surfing porn)

A couple other small, common sense things, like don’t start laundry at 11:00 at night, the banging of the machine doors and buzzer of the dryer wakes us up (honestly, you would think someone that age would be able to figure that stuff out, but you really have to spell things out for this girl!)

What do you think, am I being unreasonable with any of these? I want to be prepared before DH and I talk tonight.


stepoff's picture

I would also add 11. make a doctor's appointment and get on birth control! When does she turn 18? And how long before the baby is due? Why would DH get a place with her and leave your home? If she'll be turning 18 soon, then she can live on her own, right?

b1tchplease's picture

I would add a #12 also. You need to get a job and make plans for post graduation. There's no reason she should be laying up all day, doing nothing. If she can get prego, she can work!

Also, your DH needs a bat to the head! Moving out if you can't agree on rules for an 17 yr old?! If I were you, I'd be extremely pissed off right now!

No one can make you feel inferior with your consent - Eleanor Roosevelt

Storm76's picture

So what will be the consequences if she breaks these?

I would taken 'kitchen' out of no 9 - after 11pm she has to be quiet, so TV/music if on must be very low, not to use the kitchen, any non-essential appliances etc.

I'd suggest looking into parental controls on the PC so even if she's there by herself she can't access inappropriate sites - your internet provider may have something you can easily set up.

Also, thinking that having just had a baby & given it up for adoption, she's likely to be a bit fragile, you could put something in like 'please talk to us about how you're feeling, we can't promise to make everything right but we can at least try' - it will show her that you're thinking of her welfare too.

Totalybogus's picture

I agree Storm. I think a separate list of what the consequences should be if she breaks the rules should be another project. The consequence is really the crucial part of the agreement being reached.

now4teens's picture

Sounds like a good list. Do you know what the consequences will be if she CHOOSES to break the rules?

As our Parenting Coach told us, "You and the child NEED to know IN ADVANCE what the CLEAR and certain consequences will be when the rules are broken, because we all know the child will, FOR CERTAIN, CHOOSE to break the rules."

For example, you for rule #7, no slamming doors (my BS also LOVES to do this when he's angry). He KNOWs that if he slams his door, the consequence will be that I pyscially REMOVE his door from the hinges for 24 hours.

Yup, that's right. 24 hours without his bedroom door. No fuss, no muss. I clamly get the hammer and screwdriver and take the three bolts out of the hinges and off it comes until the next day!

As for the other rules, you need to get creative, such as loss of her favorite electronics (Ipod or cell phone) for 24 hours.

Does she drive? Loss of car privlidges for 24 hours. (That's an effective one for SD17)

But make sure she knows IN ADVANCE all the consequences- that's KEY!

Good luck! Sounds like you'll need it.

"Of course things worked out nicely for Carol Brady...she had a live-in maid and Mike's first wife was DEAD!"

Amazed's picture

-birth control is mandatory
-helping to clean up the family "common" living areas is mandatory
-coming up with a future plan to become a productive adult is something that needs to be worked on within the next 2 years
-THERAPY for dealing with losing her baby to adoption,losing her mother due to her shitty attitude,and therapy for learning to cope with her porn surfing issue.

~“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone"~ Audrey Hepburn

Kelamity's picture

Thanks for the comments …

Can’t believe I forgot to put “be on effective birth control” on the list! Definitely needs to be there. The baby is due any day now. SD will turn 18 in July. I agree that if she is so bent on living life her own way she should be asked to leave the house at 18 and go live it her way, but DH unfortunately doesn’t see it that way, that if he “kicks her out” he won’t have a relationship with her. News flash, you don’t have a relationship now, other than the tail wagging the dog, and I’m not okay with that. He does not want to face the fact that she isn’t a person who you can have a relationship with at this time, she is so self-centered and she only uses people (which is why her BM wants her gone from her home ASAP). He feels he can turn her around (hasn’t happened in the three years she lived with him, 13-16, and she’s not likely to turn around any time soon if he uses the exact same parenting style he used for those three years). It really would probably IMPROVE their relationship if she had to fend for herself in the real world, she’d realize everything he’s done for her (not to mention all the things I’ve done for her too – which she gladly accepts, but then tells DH when referring to me “just because someone’s nice to you doesn’t mean you have to like them” - lovely girl, just lovely!). I am torn between being pi$$ed off and depressed at this point, and I think depression is winning  Hopefully we can agree on some rules tonight, and then when we go to our counseling session next week the counsellor can help us (DH really) with appropriate consequences other than “having a loving talk” when rules are blatantly broken. Yeah, all that’s gotten him so far is a pregnant teenage daughter. I like the idea of therapy for her as well, we had her in therapy before, but she really did con the therapist, he actually told us not to worry about her, she was “making good decisions” – two months later she announces she’s preggers at 16! But it is certainly something worth trying again. Definitely if she’s not in school she has to be working and paying board – that is also the rule for SD20 – she’s out on her own now but has been told that if she wants to move back in, she has to pay board – DH and I agree on that, and he actually wants to charge her more than I suggested, so that made me feel great! Now, it hasn’t actually happened, and hopefully it won’t - I am looking forward to being an empty nester (my own DS 24 has been on his own for years, and we have a wonderful relationship, even though it was very rocky while he lived at home). Thanks again everyone, very much appreciate your input.

stepoff's picture

If I can quote a line from "Ferris Bueler", 'how can you respect someone who kisses your ass?' The nicer DH is to her, the less she will respect him and walk all over him. And as for “just because someone’s nice to you doesn’t mean you have to like them”, well then don't be nice anymore. Sounds like you'll get the same result either way.