Opinions Please

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by meowbunny, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Am I being unreasonable?

    My daughter is truly making an effort to do what is expected of her. She thinks I don't see it, but I do. I admit that it is the things she doesn't do/see that truly drive me up the wall.

    Anyway, there are still major issues with her going to bed at a reasonable hour. I wouldn't mind her staying up if she would get up as expected.

    Before we moved, I told her that I expected her to get up by 10:00 a.m. every day. We did compromise that with she could sleep late one day a week. I also expected her to truly help with the house. She was also to pay rent. I let the rent issue go until she found a job.

    We will have discussions that frequently turn into arguments about her getting up and doing what is necessary. Usually after the discussion or argument she will do what is needed for a day or two and then go right back to me having to nag her to get it done.

    Last night, she went to sleep about 3:30 a.m. As the morning passed, I finally growled at her to get up at 11:00. She finally got up around 11:30 but only after I told her to get up or get out. She got up, moved herself to the couch and plopped there all day. When I tried to talk to her about doing things (like picking up her bra by the couch), she got defensive, which, in her case, means getting downright mean and ugly.

    So, chores get done if I nag or get truly angry. Rent has not been paid although she has been working for a bit over a month. Getting herself up by 10:00 am happens about once a week.

    Today I had finally had it and told her she would have to move out on January 15th. (She'd been given this date previously so it wasn't like I was springing a big surprise on her.)

    I feel like I'm throwing her to the wolves, especially since she has made so much progress and truly is trying. Am I being unreasonable? Should I just try to enforce the rules as they are and growl as necessary? Should I compromise and let her sleep til noon even if that does drive me nuts? Should I stick with the 15th move out date?

    I really, truly need some advice on this. I can't put myself out of my box and be objective.
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Is there a reason you require her to be up by a certain time of the day?

    I ask because with 2 grown kids at home I don't tell them when to go to bed or when to get up. I also don't wake them for school/work/doctor appoints and such either. I know other parents act like I'm crazy over the not waking them up part, but I figure that's their responsibility. I haven't woken them up for anything since their freshman yr in hs.

    As far as the chores go, I still have to nag mine. Although I haven't had to growl lately. lol I just revolk transportation as necessary and they get the idea.

    Is there any chance she'd be more cooperative with the chores if you could relax a bit on her sleeping habits, or has this been major issue in the past? I'm just wondering if maybe she's feeling a bit too mothered and is passively rebelling against it.

    I'm not pushing the chore issue with mine too hard because I know they're trying on other fronts. Chores and sleeping just aren't major battles for me.

    Maybe you should have a sit down talk and see if a compromise can't be made. I mean if it doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out. But you'd be showing difficult child you're willing to work with her to make it work as long as she's really trying.

  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    My mom used to tell me that there was a place on earth for people like me and it's called 3rd shift. Unfortunately, I've never worked 3rd shift so I was forcing a 3rd shift body into a 1st shift world. I'm not wired that way and never have been. By Friday every week I was exhausted as I averaged no more than 5 hours sleep a night during the week. There is actually a name for it. It's called Delayed Sleep Phase. Whether that's your daughter or not, I don't know, but it's a possibility.

    easy child is 16 years old and he gets himself up for school at 6am. This is his first year doing it. There have been some times (like now and the past 2 weeks) when he's been stressed (because of the move) and I've had to get him up. Not an easy feat, either. But then, I'm not easy to wake and he's always been like me when it comes to sleep. Weekends or days off school (work in your case) are for sleeping in. on the other hand, difficult child has always been easy to wake, was always an early riser and always required less sleep than easy child or I (she averaged 6 hours a night as a pre-schooler). She has been staying up later and sleeping in later lately, but I attribute that more to her age and depression.

    I guess you can tell I wouldn't have an issue with the sleep thing. I would have serious issues with her not doing her chores, not picking up her bra when you specifically asked her to and not paying - or attempting to pay - rent.

    easy child and I have had several knock-down-drag-outs over chores lately. My kids don't have specific chores other than easy child does trash and difficult child feeds the animals - and they both have to pick up after themselves. I will call them into the kitchen from their rooms or even from outside to put their dishes into the dishwasher from the sink. And, I expect them to help when needed; if they see something needs to be done, do it and if I ask for something specific I expect it to be done promptly. That comes with being part of the family and sharing responsibility. easy child wants the house to be clean, but seems to think that getting it that way doesn't involve him.

    As your difficult child is an adult, living with you is a privilege. By not doing chores without nagging from you and by not paying rent, she's taking advantage of you. If I were living at home and not paying rent for whatever reason, I would certainly want to help out wherever I could. Having respect for you home, your space and your stuff is a big deal. Would she like it if you dropped your bra in her room and just left it?

    by the way, I just noticed that you say in your sig that you're severely depressed. I hadn't noticed that before. Are you doing anything for you? Talking to anyone? Depression severely affects one's frustration threshold, among other things.
  4. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    I guess I wouldn't have a problem with her sleep schedule IF you hadn't mentioned lots of other issues.

    No job.

    Not helping around the house.

    Not doing anything productive.

    She is 20 years old. Living with you is a privilege not a right anymore.

    I don't think your expectations are unreasonable. I don't think you are throwing her to the wolves.

    I think she needs some reality to get her off her behind and get her motivated.

    If it were me - I would put your requirements down on paper. Make sure they are 'measurable goals'. That is - concrete requirements that can be 'counted'. IE: Help out around the house isn't very concrete. Stating that vacuuming every Monday and Thursday or Preparing dinner on M-W-F are concrete goals.

    The ball is in her court now.
  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I tried letting her sleep as long as she wanted. She'd sleep until 3 or 4 every day, do nothing and I'd be tiptoeing through my own home. It drove me NUTS!!!! So, finally said up at 10 am.

    She is now working, albeit only weekends. When they cut her hours at Applebee's, I suggested she either look for a new job or a second job. We don't even want to discuss the meltdown that caused.

    Her chores are take out the trash for pickup; put up the clean dishes, dust and vaccuum the lanai and living room twice a week, put up the clean dishes, clean her bedroom and bathroom once a week. If she doesn't clean her bedroom, I let it go. The rest is pretty non-optional but for very good reasons like being ill.

    I honestly could handle things not getting done and the like if there wasn't so much attitude when reminded that things aren't getting done. I don't need to be yelled at, get THE faces (hon, you're not 14 any more, cut it out), the total attitude. The funny part is that right after all the garbage reactions, she will do what is needed.

    So, do I stick with the deadline or keep trying?
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I agree with gg. I understand about sleep schedules, circadium rythyms and all that other good stuff that makes complete sense. My difficult child would sleep until 12:30-1:00 every day, except she still goes to bed by midnight - she just loves to sleep and apparently she needs lots of sleep. I don't mind if she sleeps till 10, but after that, c'mon - get up already. She hardly ever has time to take care of things that need to be done because she sleeps and goes out, there is no time for anything else. Part of her living at home again means that she will have to conform a little. Tough :censored2: if she doesn't like it. I left her a note this morning to dust the house, take out the trash and do her laundry (so I can do mine later). I KNOW she will not do at least 2 of those things. I also just saw on the calendar that she is missing a DR appointment RIGHT NOW. I feel your pain.

    I personally think 10AM is reasonable. And I think holding down a job is a reasonable expectation. Paying rent is reasonable. Picking up after herself in a timely fashion is reasonable.

    I think you need to put these reasonable conditions down on paper, with bullets to accentuate each point and present it to her in a calm setting, say after dinner, alone at the kitchen table. It is up to her to figure out that getting up at 10 means going to sleep a bit earlier than 3AM.

    Try to keep your voice neutral and even if she says something or makes a facial expression that sends you over the edge, remain focused on your goal. Best of luck...even the best laid plans go awry.
  7. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I have to say that I am with Jo and GG.

    Sleep breeds sleep. If you get into the habit of sleeping till mid afternoon, you can easily just keep sleeping till mid afternoon.

    10 is SO reasonable that it is silly. I might instill an 8AM wakeup time with a full time job of looking for work until she finds full time work, or something like that, to get your point across. OR, if her jobs are mainly night jobs, then stick with the 10 wakeup time but still, full time look for work till she is employed full time.

    If she works nights, and is up till 1 or 2, but really working, I would imagine you would be willing to compromise on the wakeup time as long as she continued to pull her weight and pay her rent.

    I think that the 14 YO faces are very telling. She seems to be testing you, as a 14 YO would as well. Let's see how far we can push mom...

    Write it out. You can always change your deadline if you see progress. But write out EXACTLY what you want to see changed.

  8. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    10am is my ultimate cut-off. easy child is a great kid...gets good grades, works nearly full time. BUT, he does nothing to help around the house. The ONLY chore he has is to take out the garbage twice a week. That rarely happens. It annoys the heck out of me that I'm up at 7am doing dishes, cleaning, etc., and he's sleeping quite cozy. Yes, he goes to school and works, but this is the real world. Things just don't happen without work.

    I don't think you're being unreasonable.

  9. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    This is very familiar territory for us. in my opinion your requirements are more than reasonable. I definitely would stick with the deadline unless there is full and cheerful compliance (or very nearly) without any nagging. I would recommend simply stating that you are no longer going to nag -- you will give her a reasonable amount of time to complete the expected tasks, and if not completed you will note that it was not done and review the record of compliance vs. non-compliance on Jan. 15th and act accordingly. Not sure if I would try to enforce a certain time to get up but I'd say that you're going to be up and have no intention of tiptoeing around; conversely you expect peace and quiet during normal sleeping hours. If she was to get a full-time second or third shift job then sleeping hours might be negotiable, but quiet during your sleep time is not negotiable.

    We (wife and I) have been there done that on all of your complaints. Our difficult child has a long way to go yet but there has been a vast improvement these past few months. She has now not used in 9 1/2 months, a record, and is working full time and sleeping on a near-normal schedule (if 10+ hours a day is normal). She is supposed to do the laundry; she actually does about 2 or 3 loads a week (I usually run 3 or 4 loads on Saturday mornings to catch it up). She is paying rent (wife does the accounting and I suspect lets her slide a bit but that is NOMB).

    Really the only major issue left is that she is very careless and slovenly, not in her person, but around the house -- leaves dishes, glasses, clothes, cosmetics, food, and especially cigarette butts everywhere. She never turns off a light or a TV set ever, frequently leaves the oven on, will not rinse dishes and place them in the dishwasher (which has been a standard expectation and which she has failed to do for the past 20 years, so I guess it ain't gonna change) and eats and sheds crumbs all over the place. She is constantly fixing herself something in the kitchen and leaves the microwave and counters splattered and utensils lying about dirty.

    WHOA! Didn't mean to go off on a rant about our difficult child. I was going for a "there is light at the end of the tunnel" anecdote. Our J was as bad as what you describe at first this last time that she's been living at home but has been getting better and better.

    Sending good support vibes your way!
  10. KFld

    KFld New Member

    The problem with difficult child's is when you give them an inch they always take a mile, or 10 or 20 :smile:
    So on one hand I say, if she agreed on these rules to stay in your house and she's not following them, then she should be asked to leave, but on the other hand if she has her own room and she can compromise on cleaning up after herself, like picking her bra up off the living room floor!! and do her chores that she is expected, then don't worry about what her sleeping hours are, but I certainly wouldn't tip toe around. If she chooses to sleep until 3 in the afternoon, just let her know that when you have things to do, you will start them at 10 and if it wakes her up and she doesn't like it, then to bad, she can move out. I live with my 18 year old easy child and she really only sleeps in one day out of the weekend usually, so I do respect that and tip toe around a bit, but I certainly wouldn't do that 7 days a week, but she also cleans up after herself and isn't a difficult child.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Again...another post I can relate to!

    I just had to have a huge family meeting on this very subject because my family seems to think I have "Doormat" written on my forehead.

    You would think I had a houseful of toddlers living in my house considering how no one seems to think they have to do anything around the house. Only MOM can do anything! Oh HECK NO! Mom is on disability for a reason people!!! My therapist is ready to come out here and wring some necks...lol.

    I have 3 grown men living with me who dont seem to understand that they are quite capable of cleaning a house, cooking meals and all that other good garbage. Not just mom. Its pitiful.

    I have to drive everyone around to their school and work, take care of the baby when she is here, wash clothes, cook, clean...yada yada...on top of my own needs. Its too much for me and Im crashing bad. I wrote down what it takes to make this house run...and its more than obvious that I cant do it because the house is a disaster...and said...I NEED HELP!!!

    We shall see if anything helps because I am on strike. I am not going to kill myself for people who really dont care, who sleep all day, argue with me over everything, make me miserable. I can catch a burger out if they wont wash dishes and the kitchen is a mess. I simply wont walk in it.
  12. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    I propose that we produce and give to each CD mom or dad "The Golden Rules for Living" by Miriam Hamilton Keare, hand-lettered in gold ink and in a suitably ornate frame, for posting in prominent spots about the house where difficult children and PCs alike can see and ignore:

    <span style='font-family: Georgia'><span style="color: #cc9933">1. If you open it, close it.

    2. If you turn it on, turn it off.

    3. If you unlock it, lock it up.

    4. If you break it, admit it.

    5. If you can't fix it, call in someone who can.

    6. If you borrow it, return it.

    7. If you value it, take care of it.

    8. If you move it, put it back.

    9. If you make a mess, clean it up.

    10. If it belongs to someone else, get permission to use it.

    11. If you don't know how to operate it, leave it alone.

    12. If it's none of your business, don't ask questions.</span>
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think I would let the sleep issue go, but not so far as that I was quiet around my own house. L did that when she was living with us a few years back - rent free. I did what I had to do when I wanted to do it. Too bad if it woke her up. That's what happens at my house. Don't like it? Get your own.

    The rent would be non-negotiable. Chores would need to be done while I am awake. Same deal, it's my house, that's how it's done.

    And you know what? If you still decide that you need her to leave, I think that's ok too. She doesn't need to work more than weekends, because she doesn't have to pay (real) rent, food, electric, water, garbage, etc. Obviously, she can work. I wouldn't feel too guilty about sending her packing at that age. I'd probably help with first and last and security, if I could, but it may be time to kick her out of the nest. But do it with strength, not with anger.
  14. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Your difficult child sounds so much like mine. She would (and does) stay up all night and then sleeps all day. It has been a problem for years. Thankfully, now that she has her own place, I don't have to know what her sleeping habits are.

    My difficult child also gets attached to a job and refuses to leave even when it is not in her best interest to stay. Once she gets comfortable with the job and people on the job, she hangs on to it no matter how many hours they give her. We are trying to get her to give up her pizza delivery job because of the toll it is taking on her car but she "loves" her job and the people that own the pizza restaurant.

    I understand your feelings on this subject but the problem is that things won't change unless you are willing to set a deadline and follow through. I get the feeling that you are not ready to do that.

    So, if I'm right, I would let the sleeping issue go but absolutely not tiptoe around your house during reasonable daylight hours. If your normal, everyday activities wake her up ~ problem solved.

    We found that the only thing that really made things better was when we made difficult child move out and live on her own. She still hits us up for money for bills but we are finally saying no to that, too.

  15. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Meow - (I'm sorry about your depression, never noticed it before either)

    Well- I think if it's possible we have tried every parenting skill, doctor assisted plan available. We did charts with check boxes for the very few chores he had to do. Brush teeth daily, water the dogs daily, and take out the trash once a week. THAT was it. If he got that done and every box was checked he got $$.

    He never made it - not once. We tried asking HIM which chores he thought he could do? He said "take out the trash" we said "Already tried it and you failed." so then he said "Brush my teeth?" I mean come on. Take out the trash once a week? How hard could that be without nagging?

    He made so MANY other messes in the house my chore list went from manageable to unreal. Every time he took a shower the bathroom looked like you bathed a St. Bernard in it. How anyone could consistantly get water on teh ceiling and have 1/2 and inch of water on the floor is beyond me - getting him to clean it up - beyond him.

    Somedays I just figured it was easier to not ask him to do a thing. When I said unload the dishwasher - every bowl, cup and plate eventually ended up broken or chipped. I have Corell and he chipped an cracked even that. So no more dishes. Sweep the floor? He'd sweep the mess from the kitchen on to a throw rug, take the throw rug and shake it behind the dining room table - I mean WTH? So no more sweeping. Tried asking him to vacuum one a week and now all my furniture looks as if someone took a hammer and pounded the legs and feet of it. I finally gave up. I did all the chores myself. I did make sure he KNEW how to do them - but his attitude at being asked to do anything in our home was utterly amazing.

    As far as sleeping? Up for school by 7:00 when he lived here and went to bed most nights at a reasonable hour. The nights he was up all night? You had better tiptoe for ME and get your butt up in the morning. Saturdays were sleep in days for him or if he got up to go shopping and help me - I usually rewarded him with something.

    Now he's living in a group home - that will NOT nag. 37 years of raising kids has told this man to tell these boys "I'm going to tell you one time - and either you do it or you don't. No one is going to force you to do it, no one is going to nag you to get it done, but know this - I will know when the things I ask you to do are NOT done. And when I reach MY limit? You will be asked to leave without notice. So you can either comply with our house rules, pitch in and do your chores (that rotate weekly) OR you had better get a dang good job and save up lots of money because first, last, security add up for an apartment, and then there is down payment on lights, and cable, food, gas, necessities like toilet paper, and gas for a car if you have one, insurance, medical expenses (and he just goes on and on for like 30 minutes about things you'll need if you don't abide by his rules to live under his roof."

    - If difficult child doesn't abide - and gets thrown out it's back to jail possibly for him. And like a typical difficult child - he hasn't done his chores and he's sleeping in till 11:30 every day, not going to his appointments, or school - and so they had a meeting 2 weeks ago and told us he was OUT. Sorry - out. Not complying - apparently doesn't want to live there. Good bye - no more discussion - here are some garbage bags, get your things and get out.

    difficult child didn't like it at all - and I thought maybe by no one nagging him it would never work - but I've kept out of it. I'm 43 this man has been taking care of difficult child's for 37 years. Maybe he knows a thing or two? ANd like he said - WHO is going to get you up, pay your rent, buy your groceries, clean your house and get your education? YOU. Not Mom or Dad, not him or his wife - YOU.

    There are a lot of things they do there I don't like - but if they have a system that gets Dude motivated? Gets him behaving like a decent human - and gets him in his own apartment where he's self sufficient? I am all for it.

    I dont' think you're being too hard on her. I like the idea of a deadline for moving out - but honestly how prepared is she to do that? If you say you don't care - then you have to stick to it, otherwise she's going to figure you're a sucker. Just saying if you tell her she's got to be out - no matter what - out she goes.

    I like the idea about going over it all, telling her you're not going to nag or monitor her, she has to be up by 10:00 ON HER OWN, and then you'll negotiate her behavior vs. moving out.

    Tough place to be in - and great ability on the not making a face back or saying YOU KNOW - it will stick like that. (oh for the things I could take back) lol.

  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    She is 20
    Sleeping in too late
    Not paying rent
    Working only on weekends
    Arguing about doing chores
    Not respecting your wishes about picking up after herself

    Why would she change a thing?

    I believe you would enjoy your difficult child much more if she lived elsewhere. Problem is how can she afford to move out? She really needs to get a full time job and figure out how to live on her own. I do not think this living arrangement fits into your retirement plan. And I think you have a right to say so.

    You need a plan.
    She needs time lines. She has to get a full time job by Jan 15th. Then she can stay until Mar 1st so she can save a few paychecks. If no job on Jan 15th she should have to leave, but where will she go? I know it is not your problem, but will you be able to follow through if she is to be on the street? I don't think so. Not unless she really pushes you over the edge between now and then.
  17. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    We talked. She has until the end of August to save her money for apartment and car. That will be a full year here. Of course, this is on the proviso that she continue making real efforts here. If she starts slacking off and a gentle reminder gets a screaming response, she may have to the end of that month. If rent is not paid by the 5th of each month, she will be living elsewhere. Chores will be done at reasonable, daylight hours unless they are specific night-time chores like taking out trash and cleaning catbox.

    I think we both can live with this. And, yes, she will still be getting up at 10:00 a.m. I won't nag. I will give her reminder if needed but only one (and I honestly don't mind doing that). If she hasn't saved enough money, that is her problem, not mine. If she loses this job when the snowbird season ends in March (which is highly likely), it will be her problem and responsibility to find another job.

    There will be no extension of the August date. I couldn't extend even if I wanted to. My plan had been to rent here for a year and then buy at the end of the contract. Well, my medical bills pretty much have taken every spare penny I have. I'll be lucky to be able to find an affordable place to live at the end of this lease.

    So, that is how things stand for now.
  18. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    MB, now that you have come to agreement, I urge you to write it down. Make a contract of it.

    You have a lease with conditions...so should she.

    Be very specific with your expectations and write down the accompanying consequence(s) if those expectations aren't met, just like any other contract...then both of you sign and date it.

    Make several copies and retain a copy in your computer (in case they get ripped up in a rage). Post a copy in a prominent place---refrigerator door is where we posted Rob's contract. The reminder helps and it also helps to be able to refer to it if necessary.

    Good luck!

  19. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I like Suz's idea of a signed contract. I think you did very well talking to your daughter and ironing out the things that are bothering you. Here's to hoping it works for you both!


    ps I hope you are having a good day health wise. You seem to be in good spirits - I hope you are also in good health!
  20. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Contracts are a disaster here. She's always taken them as an implication that she's too stupid to understand and that I can't trust her word. Yes, it's a manipulation on her part but she's never argued that something was agreed upon, so I try to respect her feelings on this and do not do written contracts or reminders. The funny thing is she will make lists constantly. I find them all over the house. She rarely follows her lists but she tries.

    As to my health, honestly, it could be better. I'm still incredibly tired from the anesthesia and there's a lot of pain. I've talked to my surgeon about both and had it explained that she was minutes from totally opening me up rather than doing it laproscopically. The gall bladder was incredibly gangrenuous and I'm dang lucky to be here. So, she's not surprised I'm this tired -- I was under longer than normal for a gall bladder removal. I am to watch the pain, though. If it gets worse or doesn't improve a little every day, I'm to come back in and they'll see what is going on. However, if it continues improving, then I'm just going to have to accept I'm a slow healer (accepted that one decades ago sigh) and wait to recover. Thanks for asking.