Teenage Daughters!


#1

Hi,

I have been a ‘Lurker’ for some time now but I am hoping that you will have some good advice for a mother of FIVE girls!!! Im 41 and my eldest is 17 so maybe its just to long since I’ve been that age but I am at my wits end and my poor hubby is just well he hasnt got a clue!

My eldest two (17, 15) are like glue which I think is good in some ways because at least I dont have to deal with the fighting (my youngest drive me mad!!!) BUT they seem to copy each other and I am concerned that their behaviour is getting out of control, I work from home and I am noticing changes in both of their behaviours. They are both getting more argumentative, they keep pushing the boundaries with dress and curfews and they seem to need more and more money?? I know they arent on drugs or having sex (thanks to God) but I am worried that they are getting on the wrong path! I believe in giving them independance - both girls get good grades and have high aspirations my eldest has even joined the family business however they are arguing with me and hubby about stupid things - food, curfews, pocket money and what ever my eldest does Liv follows. I’m scared that this will brush of on the other three has anyone got any tips?


#2

Have you thought of letting them have part time jobs, so that they have a certain amount of control over their own spending money? This would also reinforce the connection between work and money, and give them an idea of where money comes from, in the first place.

With regard to curfews, are they similar to what other parents in your area are demanding, or do your kids constantly have to “go home early” - that is, earlier than kids from similar families? Or are they wanting to stay late and be with kids who don’t have curfews at all, for whatever reason?

As far as dress goes, I assume you’re not trying to wrap them up in burkas, or anything. It is possible to be both modest and stylish; East Indian girls are good role models for this. :slight_smile:


#3

Hi,
Thanks for your reply - my eldest is getting involved in the family business but I dont really want them to have ‘outside’ jobs whilst they are at school! All my girls have savings accounts - have done since birth and the agreement is that we match what they put in - any special money (eg good reports etc) goes straight in so they have been taught to save and they get an allowance of $100 a month so they get money - for clothes, CD’s etc and I try to give them independance but I think they get enough money? Maybe I’m wrong?

I have enforced strict curfews none of my girls are allowed out on school nights andmy 17 year old has an 11pm curfew of a weekend and my 15 year old has a 10pm (its Liv who keeps trying to stretch the curfew) Many of their friends dont have curfews but they also go to clubs etc and I am NOT allowing that!

I think I am an ‘average’ mom with regards to clothes I DONT like short skirts or tube tops nothing to clingy or tight - my girl have big chests and I dont approve of them showing cleavage - but Ive found my eldest with a ‘Wonderbra’ and I dont think she should own one they also keep buying make-up and hipster jeans - Im dreading the big summer shop!!!


#4

I do not have kids so take what I have to say with a grain of salt:D

While not going out on school nights is admirable, maybe for the older girls you might ease up on that with guidelines in tact, of course – especially if they’re involved in extra-curricular activities. I know when I was that age we often would want to go get ice cream or something after practice, rehearsal whatever. That might give them a feeling of independence with you still being in control. You could always say to me what my mom said to me every time I left out of the house “Come home to me safely and make wise decisions.”

My mother did not want me working part-time while I was in school either, and that really didn’t bother me too much. I was allowed to work at a skating rink (my friend’s aunt owned it) on some Saturdays and then I worked at a snow-cone stand that a friend of my mom’s owned. Just little jobs that gave me some extra spending money. Maybe there are some jobs like that (or babysitting) that they could do for extra money.

As far as the dress goes, I think you should allow them some independence on that but be very firm with the rules they are to follow: No bra straps showing, no tummies being shown, skirts/shorts must be to a certain length. I would think as long as they’re following your rules, they should be allowed some independence.

As far as the WonderBra thing goes – I’m somewhat busty – 36D (excuse me for being personal:D) and I’ve found that the WonderBras are really the only ones that fit comfortably and I’ve tried lots of brands. So maybe that’s the reason behind that choice of a foundation garment. Have you talked with her about why she wants that brand?

Just some food for thought.


#5

Teenage girls generally test their parents. Mine did, and I did when I was 17. Stick to your guns, but allow them to express their opinions in a respectful way and hear them out. Our daughter was “hell on wheels” for about a year and then straightened out. I continued to love her and show respect for her opinions and ideas and we all got through a very difficult period.


#6

Okay - I’ll just relate my own observations here:

In this area of the world, most kids in high school do have weekend and after school jobs. Their parents stop giving them allowances when they turn sixteen, and they get their spending money from their part time job.

They control their income by how many hours they put in at work. Most of the jobs they get are in retail or fast food, so they have quite a bit of flexibility to choose their hours. The majority work one night a week for 4 hours and one day of the weekend once every two weeks, for eight hours, which gives them an overall total of eight hours a week. For most kids, that works out to about $240.00 a month after taxes and other deductions.

Most of them know how to budget, and they also share expenses among themselves for things like going out for Chinese food, or buying certain toys that they share among themselves, etc. (For example, three of the boys in one of my youth groups bought a video game system together, and they play on it together. It travels from house to house between the three boys, depending on who has room to store it, and whose parents will let them play it at their house.)

All my girls have savings accounts - have done since birth and the agreement is that we match what they put in - any special money (eg good reports etc) goes straight in so they have been taught to save and they get an allowance of $100 a month so they get money - for clothes, CD’s etc and I try to give them independance but I think they get enough money? Maybe I’m wrong?

This is less than what their peers would be earning at their part time jobs, but it is more than enough if they are not earning it in any way.

I have enforced strict curfews none of my girls are allowed out on school nights andmy 17 year old has an 11pm curfew of a weekend and my 15 year old has a 10pm (its Liv who keeps trying to stretch the curfew) Many of their friends dont have curfews but they also go to clubs etc and I am NOT allowing that!

That’s a stricter curfew than my Youth Group kids have. These kids are allowed out until 9:30-10:00 at night to come to Youth events on weeknights, and other stuff that they do (dance class, guitar, etc.) and midnight on weekends, again for Church-related events. (I’m not sure if the rules are different for non-Church events.) These kids don’t go to clubs at all, though. The wildest they ever get is to go out and play lazer-tag, or race go-karts on a special racing track.

I think I am an ‘average’ mom with regards to clothes I DONT like short skirts or tube tops nothing to clingy or tight - my girl have big chests and I dont approve of them showing cleavage - but I’ve found my eldest with a ‘Wonderbra’ and I dont think she should own one they also keep buying make-up and hipster jeans - Im dreading the big summer shop!!!

This also sounds like the parents of the kids in Youth Group, too. :slight_smile:


#7

I just don’t think my girls should be working now and I think that allowing them to would be giving them access to parts of the world I dont want them involved in - they should concentrate on their studies until they are of an age where ‘internships’ become available or other jobs which would be of direct help to their future careers. None of my girls can date exclusively this is something that they can do at 18 and it is my right as a mother to restrict their access to boys. Believe me with 5 daughters you can imagine my fears!!! My husband is very strict with regards to this also.

As far as week nights go - they don’t need to go out - in England we dont have the same ‘extra curricular’ activities available after school particularly not in their school - they attend a private grammar school which has any extra curricular activities at lunch time by 4pm they have been driven home and any other activities take place at home - music, dance, languages etc.


#8

WOW…you managed to get this far without this cropping up?! My 14 & 12 y.o.‘s are starting to drive us crazy with EXACTLY what you are describing. If there wasn’t some counter-balancing good that we were seeing (the girls confiding in each other, sticking up for each other, being strong students, being complimentary of each others’ respective and differing talents) along with the bickering over shared clothes, spaces, time on the computer, perceived slights, and the worst sibling offense in the world, COPYING, we’d adopt them out tomorrow. Frankly, my hat is off to you for getting so far down the path before this got going (and for being willing to raise the 3 more behind them). We only have 1 very cute boy left and he’s much less complicated!!

As for our approach…if they’re arguing over something…the something goes away like when they were two–whether it’s an article of clothing or computer time. This approach is only partially effective as it usually just drives the argument underground so I don’t hear it and inflict a punishment. But if they can resolve it or argue outside my earshot~all the better! My personal pet pieve is being argued with in public. The moment that starts, my answer to any request immediately switches to an empahtic and irreversible “NO!” We’ve pretty much nipped that ugly problem in the bud!

The challenges continue to be $ and arguments over "she’s copying me/she’s getting to do this earlier than I did."
Re: $ the girls have actually declined an allowance out of a recognition that they get more doing fly-by requests from their dad and I than by having to budget a set amount (they’re not nearly as dense as they seem!) In response, I just recently gave them two weeks to come up with a (monthly) amount and to justify it–then stick to it. As for copying/timing of privileges, it’s an incident by incident, day by day negotiation–exhausting by any measure~and the only thing about which I am certain is that I should be receiving combat pay!! :shrug:


#9

My daughters, just turned 18 and will be 16 soon, do not work outside the home. The older (a senior in hs) has an internship a few hours a week. Both belong to various clubs at school and at our church. School is pretty far and pretty rigorous so NO TIME to go out at nights and most friends don’t live close by anyway. Going to an all girls school cuts out a lot of boy “friends” so that part has been easy.
I tell my daughters all the time when they are adults they get to make all the decisions regarding the rules when they don’t like a house rule I have. For now I get to make the decisions because I am the parent. I talk to them the way I would like them to talk to me, and remind them of that if I detect a tone of argument or whining. That is not to say they always cooperate, but so far mostly so good. Last night I actually told them we now have a 'if you started the argument you have to give me a dollar" rule.
With five your time is going to be stretched so definately harder for you to spread yourself but at the same time, you don’t have all the time to be settling silly arguments which probably will make them more independent.


#10

Island Oak - Im soo glad Im not alone - Girls seem to be hell!!! I dont remember being this difficult??? They are driving me to distraction like you I welcome the benefits of their closeness but the negatives - they make me want to scream!!! You are lucky with your little boy we are still holding out for a little man!


#11

Mommy JJ! I think that there is something wrong with your signature. It reads that you are a husband to a wonderful man. But shouldn’t it read: wife to a wonderful man? Perhaps I am misunderstanding something.


#12

Just an idea…Perhaps the reason your second daughter is pushing curfew is because her older sister has a later one?


#13

Whoops - You are indeed right !!! Definatley a wife!!!

I know Liv resents having an earlier curfew but there IS an 18mth gap!!! So i think its fair! When Ava was 15 she had the same curfew it only rose when she hit 17!


#14

well all your statements sound very normal to me. My daughter will be 15 soon… So I agree with you. I don’t let mine stay out unsupervised at all at this point at all. Which means, no trips to the mall on Saturday night alone with the friends, no trips to the bowling alley alone with the friends. These are where they all hang out and these are the places where the kids always get in trouble. So technically the issue of a curfew never comes up because she just isn’t allowed out at night unless it’s for youth group or a school function. I think she’s too young still. And yes, I totally object to the whole clothing thing. We have been shopping for a semi-formal dress and 99% of the dresses look like nighties. It’s crazy! Absolutely crazy.

So I don’t have much advice other than to say that I think you’re doing a good job!!!


#15

I think it’s really lovely of you to help them focus on their schooling and keep track of their finances. I also don’t think the weekend curfews are unreasonable. Like many others, I feel that the weeknight restrictions may be a bit much, but you’re the mom. Maybe they could have one weekday after school to get a snack or coffee with friends?

As for clothing: I agree with you on avoiding the tight and skimpy stuff. Longer shirts and tunics seem to be in style, so maybe they could wear those with their hipster jeans. As for the Wonderbra: teen girls like to have pretty things, including lingerie, and that’s probably what her friends are wearing. If your girls are busty then they don’t need the push-up bras, but they’ll still want the pretty undies. It’s just a girly-girl thing. I don’t know where in the UK you are located, but if you can, take them to a Bravissimo shop and have them properly fitted with something pretty and more appropriate. I wish I’d had something like this when I was a teen; I always wanted to wear the pretty things at Victoria’s Secret, etc., but many of them didn’t come in the 34D I was wearing then, and the ones that did really never fit properly, although they weren’t any worse than anything else I had. Years of wearing the wrong bra size (although I can’t really be faulted; US companies don’t make 30F bras) has left permanent dents in my collar bones. Bravissimo’s online store is great, so I’m guessing the brick-and-mortar shops will also be great.

(Good grief, I’m turning into such a bra-vangelist since I’ve been fitted. :rolleyes: )


#16

it’s because once you finally find a bra that fits you want to do the dance of joy around your house – well, maybe not. But it sure is nice to actually wear the proper size.


#17

I’m in on the whole combat pay for parents of teens!!! Where do I sign up???

A good old one I use (frequently) is 'I’m your mom and I have responsibility for you/your safety/your attire not Susie/‘s’.

Another steadfast rule is that if they ask in the presence of their friends (or have a friend-or friends parent-ask) the answer is automatically no. No arguement, no haggling, just no period. Even if I would have normally said yes.

Kids are always going to use the ‘but everyone else is doing it’ in some form or other. We as parents just have to remember (and forever remind our kids) that God made us their parents, not Susie’s parents or Janie’s. Not that we don’t sometimes feel like we are messing them up for life, but we have to pray & use our best judgment.

I have a theory that we correct the mistakes our parents made with us with our kids, they’ll correct ours with their kids and so on, eventually somewhere down the line there will be perfect parents.

Saying a prayer for all parents of teens…


#18

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