Mixed Emotions about difficult child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by dstc_99, May 13, 2014.

  1. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    So since difficult child has decided to move back here we have been getting along really well. She has been considerate to me and husband and I haven't seen any drama between her and easy child other than normal sister stuff. Of course she is still a teenager so I have to remind her about chores and things but I don't have to yell or fuss all day. We did have to remind her that we would appreciate her coming home around 10 on weeknights and no later than 12 on weekends. This is not because we want to give her a curfew it is because when she comes in the dogs bark and wake the whole house up. My husband is military and I go to work at 7AM so we really appreciate our sleep.

    For mothers day she got me a plant I was really wanting and a card that was really sweet. We went to Mt Ranier and spent the whole day there with no issues. It was really a nice day. The first time in 18 years I have done what I wanted on Mothers Day and not what would work for everyone else. Granted husband , difficult child, and I all love the outdoors so hiking a mountain is our thing. On the other hand easy child not a happy camper. LOL she hates to move.

    Now for the reason for the mixed emotions. difficult child has not gotten a job. I know there are several available in areas where she could work without prior training. She is to good to work at McDonalds in her opinion and refuses to apply for fast food jobs. She did apply for several starter level federal jobs but those can takes weeks to months to hire you and she only plans to stay for the summer. I think husband and I are going to sit down with her tonight and remind her she has been here for 3 weeks and she needs to get a job by week 4. No more laying around in bed and asking for spending money. I understand it takes time to get a job so I am not angry it is taking time I just am irritated that she doesn't seem to be putting out much effort.

    So I am stuck with having a good relationship with her for the time being but being irritated because she isn't actively looking for a job.

    Would it be fair to ask her to apply to atleast 4 places a day? We live in a large metropolitan area there is no reason she couldn't get a mall job or a retail job somewhere.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sounds pretty easy to me. She gets no money from you. Then she will have to get a job. It isn't reasonable for her to expect you to support her at her age when she can work at McDs. Even college grads are working at McDs these days. If it were me, the money would have never come back. All of my kids pretty much worked for their toys and extras by age sixteen, except for my autistic son and he started at eighteen. All have good work ethics, even 36. Who paid for the Mothers Day gift she bought you? You or her father? See what I mean. She picked out a present and you and her father paid for it because she has no way to pay for anything herself. It's like picking out a gift with a ten year old.

    Now this is your decision to make. If you'd rather not rock the boat and let her sleep and be irresponsible in exchange for her not getting verbally combative, that is your decision. Some parents make that choice. However, in my own opinion only, it does nothing for the adult child's future motivation and living skills. You may start something that she thinks will go on forever. So many difficult children get possessed on us if we cut of the money tree, even when they are 25 or older. If t hey are not in full time college, why can't they work? Lazy? Lazy will make a sad life. Dependent on you? Still a child in his/her own eyes? Also not good. They are no longer legal children and shouldn't strive to be children.

    In my opinion, again and only my own, a good relationship means that you respect one another's boundaries and do not have to walk on eggshells to maintain that good relationship. That includes the reasonable expectation that a young woman her age, who is not in school, not sleep all day and ask for money from you, but get her own job in a loving attempt by you two to help her grow up (it is taking her longer than other kids, which is typical for difficult child. They need the push).

    I also believe, and I could be wrong, that our grown kids definitely respect us more if we do set reasonable boundaries. It is not like you are asking her to support you and your husband. You are asking her to get a minimum wage job and pay for her own things. You are asking her to get out of bed in the morning. You are asking her to act her age. That is not unreasonable to me.

    I've had my problems with some of my kids, but all of them have very strong work ethcs and have worked since part-time in high school. Working was mandatory to live in our house and since it was understood when they were young, that was never a problem. They also started paying some of their bills at sixteen. It has been one thing that has worked out very well.

    It isn't that hard to get a job as a cashier or fast food, etc. in a large metro area. If she is trying to get an executive job, it will NEVER happen. Getting a job to pay for her own cell phone, car insurance, and other stuff for herself isn't that difficult.
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  3. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    I agree with MWM....in fact your story reminded me of a time when easy child was a senior in h.s. School was out for the summer and day after day went by and still he had no job. Big time dragging his feet. We had a sit-down with him and told him the following morning he was to leave the house by 9 am and not come home until he had a job. Surprise! By 2 pm he had a job working as a cook at Steak 'n Shake. This is the great young man who now has a master's in math and is fully self supporting.

    There are plenty of jobs for people who want one.

    Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app
  4. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I ate lunch with her today and made it clear she needed to start looking for something soon. She said she had applied for several positions, even some fast food, which suprised me! I told her to keep looking until she found something.

    On a side note she took easy child to school this morning and refused to get her breakfast because she didn't want to spend "her" money. UMMMM seriously husband and I gave her that money for small expenses. I can't believe that she refused to get her sister breakfast knowing she had 40$ in her account that we had given her. The tone of voice was pure disgust when she said we needed to give easy child money if we expected her to be fed. SHE didn't have the money to buy easy child's breakfast! insert my eyeroll here

    First off we don't buy easy child breakfast ever. She can eat at home or at school. husband and I are tight schedules in the AM and dont have the time.

    We will have to have a talk about that tonight. I was eating lunch at work so I chose not to deal with it right then.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think you may be having a good relationship with your difficult child because she is getting her way. I wonder how she'd behave if you cut off the money supply until she got a job as a motivation for her to actually try hard and get one. And I wonder how your relationship would be if she had to pay her own bills after she got herself a job.

    Unfortunately, the bar is set so low with difficult children. We quickly forget how nasty they can get if we don't give them money and allow them to act like young kids, laying around the house, going out until all hours of the night with OUR vehicles, setting limits that they don't agree with.

    I wouldn't be giving an eighteen year old an allowance, especially when she won't buy her sister breakfast with it. She putting any gas in that car she drives? Is she being nice because she wants to be nice or because she is getting her way? The only reason I'm asking is because I remember days and weeks when I was too tired to fight with difficult child son so I just let him do whatever he wanted. Granted, he was never pleasant, but he didn't fight with me as long as he got his way, which included being able to lock himself in his room and do what-the-hello in there when he was home and lock it with his own key while he was at work or with his one friend. If we tried to check on his room, well, he had fits that included extreme abuse, even violence. I knew darn well nothing good was going on in there, but I didn't always want to have to deal with him so I'd let it go and say to myself "Things are better." But they weren't. As soon as he didn't get his way, everything imploded again and he ended up leaving in the end. Which was a blessing.

    Just don't fool yourself. It could be that your daughter is in a better mindset. And it could be that she is going to be ok with you guys as long as the money keeps coming, she can sleep late, she can party while doing nothing during the day, you really don't ask what she is doing or try to find out or you don't FORCE her to get a job. After all, just knowing many difficult children and how they can be, she could say she filled out six job applications and not fill out any. For the most part you fill them out online now, even McDonalds. If you really want to know if she is complying with your wishes, tell her you want to see her job applications just before she sends them on the computer.

    You can't just walk into, say, Burger King and fill out an appy anymore. You have to do it online. I recently was looking for a job myself and I had to fill every single job out online, including McD and Burger King and Walmart (took me almost an hour!) and other menial jobs. There were no paper applications. So your daughter should be able to prove to you just how hard she is looking. She should have a paper trail.

    That will tell you a lot more about how s he is really maturing. Unfortunately, a difficult child's word is not good. You need proof.

    Wishing you lots of luck. Hoping she really does get a job and ups her motivation and is not getting into trouble while not at home!!!
  6. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Yep, went through this with our difficult child daughter. She, too, was too good for McDonald's, couldn't find anything, etc. She finally found a job delivering food, but it took a lot of prodding. She would get mad if we prodded too much. One thing that seem to make an impression was, when she would talk about wanting something, we could say, "Well,once you have a job…"
  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Have you tried to sell her positive, adult reasons why she should be willing, even eager, to have a job in fast food for the summer? And I don't mean "you have to work", "you have to earn your own money" (that of course are real adult reasons to have a job) but more in the line: "You need a job so your CV doesn't have an empty spot", "fast food job in fact looks good, when you are looking for better jobs later, employers like young people to have experience in customer service and doing your time in fast food shows you are able to handle the stress." Those were the points we used last summer to sell our easy child the idea that he certainly wanted to spend his summer selling ice cream from the small kiosk with very minimal pay when most of his friends were at the beach.

    Teens tend to sometimes like it and listen for that kind of reasons much better than ultimatums or "we pay your food and roof on your head, we can make the rules" type of encouragement.

    EDIT: And with our easy child I totally understand his reluctance to take that job. Pay was disgustingly bad, no opportunity to use the toilet during the work day, the kiosk was either hot or cold, work hours were ridiculous (he got to know if he had work at the morning, hours could be anything from the couple to full day, he only had work if the weather was nice.) And did I say it paid really bad. But it does look good in his CV.
  8. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    That's my fear!

    I wont be once she gets a job but we wanted her to have a small amount for gas or emergencies. The not buying her sister breakfast thing got dealt with. I think she now knows #1 that we don't buy easy child breakfast and #2 that the money is ours and better be treated that way.

    Only when she has to but without a job she's got no money to put gas in.

    Thankfully the partying isn't an issue! LOL
    I did find her a job dog sitting and once I told her about it she actually took the steps to get it. She is meeting the owner on Friday. It only pays $200 for 2 weeks of work but she loves dogs and so do we so it's actually not work. I also set her up babysitting three girls after school for the rest of this week. I'm sure the parents will pay her but I didn't set up payment. She can deal with that. Plus if they dont pay her I'm fine with it because we are close friends and help each other out anytime we need to.
  9. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I actually think she wants a job because she likes having her own money. Unfortunately around here the are several colleges so it seems like a zillion teens and early 20's are all applying for the same jobs. I am still going to keep trying to push her a bit but when I do it I make sure to make it sound fun.

    IE: I tease her about getting jobs at a tanning salon so we wont be so white when we go on vacation. I tease her about working in a clothing store because we could get cheap stuff. I tease her about working at Chipotle our favorite fast food joint so that we can get free burrito bowles.

    Anyway I keep reminding but not pushing. I know if I make it an ultimatum it wil only get worse. BUT I am not letting up about it.
  10. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a plan.

    One way to look at it is, that she made her first attempt to launch in appropriate time (with much unnecessary drama and while being nasty to you, but she is a teen girl and a difficult child after all) but crashed and burned. That happens. She had an ability to evaluate her situation, admit her crashing and take a step back, turn to people she can trust and start regrouping before the next attempt to launch, hopefully with some wisdom gained from the first attempt. This is normal enough scenario. Doesn't happen to all kids, but happens to many. As long as she is showing movement towards next attempt to launch, even if small, and doesn't get stagnant or longer term stuck, there is likely no need to push her too hard. Internal drive is much better motivator than someone pushing and forcing you.

    Those kind of small jobs, and even just part time job later at summer, are good to keep her moving and still allowing her time to rest, think and regroup.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Good luck then :) That was one issue that was never an issue. We never had a lot of money and they worked or they didn't have any extras, gas included. My current hubby spoils Jumper something awful and often just hands her money and she is much less worried about her job than my other kids were. He will give her gas money, fast food money, movie money, etc.

    On the other hand, and I'm not sure it matters, she is pretty much total easy child and IS going to college in the fall and all the kids at college work part-time and she will too. They help get the kids jobs there.
  12. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    As long as we aren't handing out much money I'm not concerned. I spend as much on easy child's school lunches as I do on difficult child's spending money. BUT the job thing is not going away and she needs to face that.