Just Disgusted with difficult child...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Some time ago, I wrote a thread about how difficult child always seems to have money even though she has no job and gets no money from us. In that thread, I had asked for theories....and OH did this board ever come up with ideas.

    helpme guessed right off the bat that difficult child might have been selling her "free" school lunches.

    tiredmommy hoped she was wrong about difficult child getting paid for "sexual favors".

    Well, seems like we have our winners....

    Yes, difficult child was overheard bragging that she gets paid for "hugs"....{lalalalalalalalalalalalalala--I'm plugging my ears and wagging my tongue so that I can't hear any more details --lalalalalalalala}

    And school lunches here cost $2. difficult child is currently eligible for the Free Lunch program, so she pays nothing and then turns around and sells her free lunch to someone else for $1. Then each day, she uses the dollar to buy a candy bar instead.

    Her extra money usually goes toward sodas and other goodies from the vending machines.

    I'm just disgusted.

    And now, with husband getting a better job...we will no longer be eligible for the Free Lunch program. But I will be d**** if I'm gonna spend money on school lunches so difficult child can sell them to somebody else. But of course, if I send her to school with no food and no money I'll be this bad parent - so it's a lose-lose-lose situation all around.


    In other news, difficult child keeps messing up her graduation plan. All students are supposed to declare a general career area of interest and then the school schedules classes accordingly. So if a student thinks they want a career in the sciences, they will follow the school's "Science Core" program...if a student thinks they want a career in journalism, they will follow the "English Core" program...etc.

    difficult child keeps changing her core program. First she was in English Core....then Foreign language Core...now she is in ROTC Core--which should mean she is planning on joining the military after graduation. But, since difficult child is failing ROTC...she is thinking of changing again.

    Last night--difficult child announced her new career plans:

    She has decided to go into modelling...

    Which she feels will help her launch a singing and acting career.

    I dryly commented that she is a little too short for runway--since runway models start at 5' 9".

    difficult child explained that she is only too short by 5 inches, so it should not be a problem.

    My fear? Any girl who wants to be a model/singer/actress as the easy way out AND who is willing to accept money for "hugs" {lalalalalalalalalla} is going to find a way to make a lot of money in some pretty unpleasant ways...

    I'm just disgusted.

    And sad.

  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    {{{DaisyFace}}} Sorry I was partially correct.

    Does anyone at the school know that she is selling her lunches and soliciting herself for $$$? Also, it's time to get her guidance counselor involved in her plans, at least as far as it impacts her graduation plan. So, buy her a lunch box and keep lunch fixings in the house for her to pack her lunch daily. Make sure the principal knows that your daughter is being provided an alternative to buying lunch and you will no longer be participating in the school lunch program by sending a letter. Explain that she has been selling her free lunch to buy candy instead. Also, demand a plan be put in place that she is not able to sell "hugs" anymore because difficult child is in need of constant supervision and not providing it is allowing her (a minor) to be put at risk.
  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wonder if difficult child needs to be taught the concept of "fraud" by the guidance counselor or school principal?

    I'm sorry. :(
  4. helpme

    helpme New Member

    Ah, BUT in my humble opinion the modeling is a routine girl phase during tween/teen years.
    Please, stay ahead of her (maybe check her email?) and know about the
    stupid programs BEFORE she does. Some are so expensive and I used the
    um, I am paying for your education, so if you want to model, you pay for it.
    I made sure the expensive programs mailed out the information needed,
    ie: portfolio and all. I then researched their recommendations for the
    portfolio and whipped up a spreadsheet (i'm sure that's long gone) with
    the total for everything involved. I think I even played along with a few of
    the all day auditions and the standing in line routine, and the phase
    finally phased itself out. Middle kid still does submit her pictures to a few
    of the "scams" out there, praying for a "BIG BREAK", but at least I was
    able use the situation as a "second career/hobby" if that makes any sense.
    Be careful, barbazon still calls us today! Good grief!

    unplug ears for a minute...

    I think I'd be worried about the hugs scenario. Maybe play it as well what
    are you going to do when someone wants more than a hug. What are you
    going to do when your friends realize what you are doing? Please, understand
    that I am not directing this in any sexual manner either. But, in my experience,
    the kids who are paying out the money have their own low self esteem problems.
    Those are the kids who later on, pay for essays/homework/etc, even though
    they don't need it. They pay for it for the attention/drama, um, maybe better
    said as a "way to look cool and have people think they are cool".

    Just wait, I pray you don't hit the phase where they allow the boys to buy them
    "naughty" underwear and the likes by trading and bartering god only knows what!
    I made policy that if someone bought you underwear they better plan on buying
    you everything else you need, cause I definitely won't be buying you another
    thing. Yes, she then started shopping with me in the lingerie section. But at
    16, at least I was in control of the nightgowns and underwear and what was
    truly appropriate of her at the time.

    You will find a solution to the lunches. We have special accounts now where
    the kids can only buy certain things (truly for the kids with food allergies/ADD,
    etc). I try not to tell the school what my children are doing, but rather let
    then figure it out themselves with a lot of support from me, ROTFL. The
    school usually comes back with a different and similar "issue" (so they look
    good) and sometimes things work out even better.

    But I bet you can get the problem fixed someway or another.
    I have the ultimate faith in you. :smug:
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    UUGGHH!!! Don't get me started on that stupid school. They've already been told about difficult child's inappropriate behaviors (sex at school, cutting, vampire games, skipping class) and they're pretty darn nonchalant about it.

    Guidance counselor is out on leave through the end of the year.

  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    If they are so nonchalant, maybe they need a reminder that while she is at school, difficult child is in THEIR care and whatever happens at school is THEIR RESPONSIBILITY and LIABILITY. I'd be sure to toss in some appropriat legal terms in there too. Maybe THAT would get their attention.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Yes, I think you are right about it being a common phase. The "modeling agency" scams are the least of my worries...

    I am runway height...and I modelled for several years when I was younger, but I quickly got burned out and disgusted with the whole business.

    It was absolutely disgusting how many times a legitimate gig led to an inappropriate proposition. There was plenty of money to be had for young women who were willing to provide a few extra "services" to the boss. And it was disgusting how free everybody felt to just put their hands all over you or watch you getting dressed or whatever. But Hey--they hired you....and as far as they were concerned you were just a piece of meat. They were free to critique and criticize and pad you where you weren't big enough and wrap you with tape where you weren't small enough. It was a killer on self-esteem.

    I swore I would never let any daughter of mine be treated that way.

    And that's real modelling through a professional agency.

    As you said, there are waaayyy too many scammers out there ready and willing to take advantage of these girls and their big dreams. Some are these "modelling schools" - but some are "freelance photographers", and other creeps who offer to "get you into the business"...and they're gonna do you this HUGE favor by getting you that big break....so can't you please do stuff for them in return???

    Right now, difficult child is far too willing to make herself available. She'll be an easy target.
  9. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    Daisy face ~ I am so sorry - having two girls myself - I can only imagine how disappointing this is.

    I always hesitate to say anything on anyone's post because I so do not have good advice.

    I guess what I see - is that now you know.

    Once we have the facts - we can deal with things ~ Although dealing with our difficult children is sometimes overwhelming and discouraging - a lot of the frustration is not having the facts and not knowing what we are really up against ~ we can always deal with the truth.

    Like I said - I have no answers ~ only compassion and empathy.

    Hugs to you ~
  10. helpme

    helpme New Member

    DaisyFace..... I am proud of your perseverance.

    To persevere, to endure, is a choice.

    Persevere and preserve yourselves for better circumstances.

  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We got caught up on the edges of the modelling thing, with easy child 2/difficult child 2. She originally wanted some professional opportunities for her stiltwalking - she was 8 at the time and had almost freakish abilities with her balance. She'd been offered work but had no insurance; the agencies promised us that their insurance would cover her so it seemed the best way to go. Only problem was - the (big name) agency that we went with, often asked so much for her services plus wouldn't let her do any "community service" freebies, she lost a lot of possible work. Then when she DID get paid work, the agency didn't pass the money on to her, we finally had to take them to court.
    Through this, easy child 2/difficult child 2 did some acting, discovered she liked it, did a bit oh photographic modelling (a character shot, so there was no need for anyone to put their hands on her except for her face and hair, which they actually let me do) and worked towards choosing at least a hobby/career in performing.
    The laws in Australia are strict especially with under-age kids, but parents can often be bluffed out of insisting. After all, if you make a fuss they might not let your child work for them after all...

    The rules here state that for every job where a child is under 18, the parent MUST be with the child. But one job easy child 2/difficult child 2 did (she was about 14 I think), they wouldn't let any parents on the premises. It was a famous TV soapie and easy child 2/difficult child 2 was just one of a group of schoolkid extras. "Portable scenery", we call extra work. She was required to wear their costume which meant she had to change, and I wasn't allowed to be with her. I wasn't even allowed to be on the site, so I parked my car down the road and made sure easy child 2/difficult child 2 had her mobile phone. I didn't know about the law at that time, or I would have insisted. They said they simply didn't have the space to let all the parents stay. And they didn't provide lunch for her, nor had we been warned they wouldn't. She had to ask permission to call me up so I could meet her at the studio gate with food. Again they wouldn't let me in the gate to bring the food to her - she had to run out the gate, still in costume, to get her lunch from me. Very bad form. Despite all this, she actually did enjoy her work that day.
    So a major TV network broke one (several) of the most important rules. I was very unhappy. And her pay for the day - $30 (which was also in the settlement we had to fight for, from her agency). So there isn't big money i this, as a rule. As you would know. There are base rates of pay which are legally binding, but they aren't much, not really. You have to be a big name to get more than base rate, and sometimes not even then. That's probably why our best actors go to the US!

    And once the child is over 18, it's a lot harder to insist on parental supervision.

    Also important, and something she needs to know - if an agency or employer feels she is unstable or uncooperative in the slightest, word gets around and work dries up. She would get dropped like a hot potato. That's something I've worried about with easy child 2/difficult child 2 - she's a fine actress and she's motivated, but has an odd combination of very strong ideas about how to portray a role, coupled with (at times) a lack of confidence especially at auditions, and this doesn't get her the roles. When she has been given roles, they're enthusiastic.

    She was offered a nude role when she was just 18. I was actually present for that audition/interview and we'd already read the script, so we knew one of the roles included full frontal nudity. She desperately wanted that role, but I let her make the decision. She chose to not do it, because she felt at 18 she was a bit too young. She also felt that the full frontal shock effect was not needed, she would be nude for the cameras if necessary but felt the character could be figleafed. So she turned it down, and they gave her a smaller role. The girl who did the lead role was a good actress but not as good a 'fit' in the part. As we expected, the role has led to more work for that actress (it was that good! Not the director doing favours in any way).

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 has her issues, but at least she has the stability and grip on reality that is needed to cope emotionally with all this. Also she has a good self-image; doesn't let anybody else's opinion of her body get in the way. She knows her strengths and weaknesses. You have to be resilient to do anything like this, and especially modelling.

    There is the option of petite modelling; I had to chuckle at the "I'm only 6" too short" line. THAT is NOT having a good grip on reality!

    You can know you're good at what you do, you can know you would have done X better or Y better than the person who beat you at the audition - but there is still a lot of waiting around for the agency to call. We would find no calls coming in for a year or more. Then the agency would call with an audition, curiously just as membership fees were coming up for renewal ("we need fresh photos, we've got the photographer all arranged" and no doubt had their own commission skimmed off the photographer's fees too). So we found an agent who did not insist on an exclusive contract (so I was free to act as agent for easy child 2/difficult child 2 for her own freelance work) but all fees had to be paid by us. he charged commission only (that's the law here) and to make it obvious that he wasn't ripping anybody off, the annual membership fees to the casting books and websites, he got us to organise ourselves. It was optional for him, but without the casting book listings, casting agencies didn't know who you were. Plus easy child 2/difficult child 2 had to take out her own insurance, cheaper now she's over 18. BUT - turned out the previous agent, the one who we had to take to court to have her paid, never took out the insurance they promised they had. Very naughty.

    If your daughter is insistent, tell her (from our experience) that is is imperative that she join the appropriate union. We would have done a lot better if easy child 2/difficult child 2 had been a member when she had the problem with her agency. So she joined as soon as she left the agency, and the union (Actors Equity) have fought for her (and others in the same cast) at other times when she needed advocacy. She also gets invited to union events which has introduced her to some of Australia's top performers. We've got a great photo taken with David Wenham at one of these events.

    But she still has her feet on the ground. Currently working in a shop, on the checkout. Despite all her talent, looks and experience. Because people who want to get into this sort of business have to learn to be patient, have to learn to be resilient and have to keep themselves from starving.

    I agree - from what you've said about her (and her own comment about only being 6" too short) she hasn't got what it takes, not at the moment.

  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Daisy.....I just found it incredibly amusing that while you were cringing at selling hugs, we had Keyana sell hugs this week for Relay for Life...lmao! I think she made about $75 bucks off a van of construction workers! She must give good 3 year old hugs...lol.
  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Yes I read that! That is funny!

    I have used "hugs" in quotes because the stories that difficult child has been telling go like this:

    O so there was this guy....
    and I don't even know his name...
    but he was this guy...
    and I saw him after school...
    and he gave me a dollar...
    and I said what's this for...
    and he said he just wanted a hug...
    and can you believe he gave me money?
    I don't even know him!

    And of course, she is not telling the stories to me....these are just the parts I overhear.

    When I ask her where this money is coming from, she swears it isn't hers and she's just "holding" it for other people.
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    You are exactly right. One must have the correct sort of attitudes to get anywhere in that type of business.

    difficult child has mentioned modelling as a way to launch her singing career. Meanwhile, is she interested in voice lessons? Her high school chorus? Joining a church choir? Attending practices and rehearsals?--NO! That's too much work.

    I guess she figures modelling will be super easy and really big money and then she'll be a star.
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    seriously, Daisy - can you find a LEGITIMATE agency and arrange an appointment for her? Work with her on a CV, list her skills, attributes etc and see what you have that would pass muster as a head shot (a lot easier these days with digital cameras). Then take her and the CV to an appointment. Let the agent tell her what she needs to hear!
    Nobody legitimate is going to take on somebody who hasn't got what it takes. So either they'll take her on because she CAN be a model and CAN sing, or they'll tell her a few home truths.

    But THEY will be the ones telling her, not you.

    You said you used to model - is it possible that at some level she is competing with you? A sort of, "I know my mother used to be a model but she couldn't hack it. I'm going to be a model too, only I will stick it out and I will be bigger than Naomi Campbell, bigger than any of the supermodels then I can use that to become a great singer..." and trying to be bigger and better than you.

    If so - very unhealthy. But if so, maybe you could consider enrolling in further studies? You know - at whatever level you finished your education, go back and take it further. Or at least talk about it. Then let her compete with THAT!

  16. ML

    ML Guest

    OMG what a ride she is taking you on. I am so sorry. I can see manstser selling lunches for candy. No advice, just hugs, support and empathy. ML
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    OMG, I am so sorry.

    Unfortunately, she sounds like my stockbroker. :(
    And school lunches here cost $2. difficult child is currently eligible for the Free Lunch program, so she pays nothing and then turns around and sells her free lunch to someone else for $1. Then each day, she uses the dollar to buy a candy bar instead.

    You've gotten some great comments and ideas here. {{hugs}}
  18. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Once again, you are exactly right. This whole thing started after another woman and I had been having a conversation about the modelling business. She was quite stunning--but joked that she had to quit modelling because she had a nasty habit of EATING...and could never be quite as thin as everyone wanted. So despite her good looks--modelling was not meant to be.

    Obviously, difficult child must have overheard at least part of this conversation--although how she did not hear all the negative things we said, I have no idea--because shortly thereafter she came up with this new "career plan".

    So yes, her sense of reality on the subject is way out of line....