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My 14yo is a self-centered, "victim" mentality kind of kid. I have dealt with this lovely personality as it has grown since she was oh, about 6yo. Everything is everyone else's fault - that kind of thing.

 

She and her 12yo sister volunteer at a ranch every Saturday morning. When they get home I ask them to run their laundry from the ranch as it is a bit smelly (understatement). Saturday came and went with several reminders from both my dh and me, laundry didn't get done. Sunday it didn't get done. I didn't let her do it on Monday because that is my 13yo son's laundry day. Today is my 14yo's laundry day so she ran the ranch laundry yet left the bin she was supposed to run today sitting there completely full. When I told her to hang her ranch laundry and then run the regular laundry for today she got so angry! It is all my fault (as usual) or her sister's fault or the neighbor down the street's fault...anyone's fault but hers. Then she made a rather fatal mistake...she said, "Have you thought about what my Saturday was like?"

 

This last Saturday I drove her to the ranch, drove 4 of my dc to Awana Games, raced back from the Games to pick her and her friend up from the ranch, waited while they showered and ate, raced them up to a science event then raced back to the Games just in time to see my 10yos blow away the competition in a 6-lap relay (OK, bit of a brag there...it was very impressive! He could have walked the last lap and still come in first!). I missed out on the rest of the Games because I was getting my 14yod. Then I picked her up after the science thing (she was supposed to call me when she was done yet went to her friend's house and forgot to call until 5:30 :glare:). My entire Saturday was about her. I spent more time in the car than anywhere else and mostly for her. Yet amazingly enough I still got all of my Saturday chores done.

 

I am livid. Right now I have told my dd to please walk away from me because I cannot say anything that would be good at this point. I had her call her friend (whose house she was to go to this afternoon) and cancel. I'm to the point of grounding my dd for a long, long time.

 

I'm also thinking about having her take over laundry duty for the week to show her how important it is that each of us does our part. Laundry in our house is not overwhelming at all as long as each takes their day and runs one load. Had she not run her regular load today it would have been to the point that it would be two loads this weekend (I try not to do laundry on the weekends).

 

Thoughts? Sympathy from other self-centered teenage girls? Suggestions for boot camps (not entirely kidding on that one)?

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Do you remember when you were 14? I do and oh boy it wasn't pretty. Cut her a break. Still be her parent but just remember, she could be getting her period any day (I know she's probably had it for a couple of years already). My 16 year old daughter who is usually very funny and great to be around is HORRID the few days before her period. I have two daugthers by the way, (23 and 16) so I know what you are going through. All I can say is, she is a girl, that is how girls act, not much you can do about it really except be a strict parent. take away her priviledges, don't let her go to the ranch or make her wear the dirty ranch clothes for a month (keep them dirty, put them in a plastic bag in your garage each week but make her wear them dirty). There are alot of things you can do, but until she matures more, none of it is going to do any good really. Sorry, but that's how I learned!

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Guest CarolineUK

:grouphug: No advice, I don't have any teenage girls, although I do have an eleven year old boy who sometimes has a bit of a victim mentality, so I know how irritating it can be.

 

Just to say that I think you're very justified in your outrage and I'm sure your response was spot on. For now, at least, I think she'll have got your point :D.

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Put her chore list on the wall. If she doesn't do it, she doesn't go anywhere. She's old enough to stay home alone. It won't take long to change her ways. "If you can't get along at home you need to spend more time there." I would start fresh tomorrow with the rules and consequences clear. :grouphug:

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"Since you are so booked that you can't keep up with your responsibilities, your schedule is now cleared. Once you have your responsibilities under control, we will add back one thing at a time - as long as the responsibilities continue to be taken care of."

 

No privileges til the laundry is caught up. WITHOUT COMPLAINT. And maybe the other chores on her list, too...

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"Since you are so booked that you can't keep up with your responsibilities, your schedule is now cleared. Once you have your responsibilities under control, we will add back one thing at a time - as long as the responsibilities continue to be taken care of."

 

No privileges til the laundry is caught up. WITHOUT COMPLAINT. And maybe the other chores on her list, too...

:iagree:

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My sibs and I, as well as dh, were raised in households that if you couldn't do your part in a timely, helpful, reasonably cheerful manner, than all of the privileges were revoked, NO DISCUSSION.

 

Our 14 year old can be a real martyr, but we don't put up with it. He lost a youth activity last week, computer privileges even though he had new animation software for writing his v.b. robot maze game, and won an earlier bed time too. He's being really helpful and happy this week.

 

Faith

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"Since you are so booked that you can't keep up with your responsibilities, your schedule is now cleared. Once you have your responsibilities under control, we will add back one thing at a time - as long as the responsibilities continue to be taken care of."

 

I completely agree with this. A practical, non-emotional response. And if she is spewing bad attitude about it, I'd add more responsibilities so that she could learn to appreciate them more.

 

At 14, if she has a problem with the laundry system, she's old enough to be responsible for her own laundry, provided she keeps her stinky clothes in her own bedroom. Eventually, the vanity that comes with being a 14 year old girl should kick in enough to make her wash her own clothes without being told.

 

Do you remember when you were 14? I do and oh boy it wasn't pretty. Cut her a break.

 

I agree that 14 isn't pretty and the hormones are flaring, but I think ignoring it just enables it. Cut her a break and you increase the likelihood that she'll be an obnoxious 24 year old. We don't generally outgrow stupid, but we can un-learn it.

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My two girls really don't have this type of mentality at all. They are very good about being responsible for their own actions and when they mess up, they didn't give me "buts...". They also worked hard in school and did a lot of discipline in their extracurricular activities. They also weren't into the dramatics that much. Very earth grounded.

 

I have 4 boys and two of them have a severe case of "victimitis"... one is 21 and he is still like this and the other is 12 in a few weeks. I wish I could give them a reality check that they can't "blame" me for. But short of a natural disaster I just don't know what to do to get through them.

 

The other two boys are much less of "poor oh me" but they are both on autism spectrum. I don't know if that helps or not- :tongue_smilie:. We just have other issues to deal with... :lol:. These two are also very dramatic though.

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"Since you are so booked that you can't keep up with your responsibilities, your schedule is now cleared. Once you have your responsibilities under control, we will add back one thing at a time - as long as the responsibilities continue to be taken care of."

 

Done this with my now 21 yr old... didn't help. In fact he just convinced himself that everyone in the world was out to get him and that we were even more at fault.

 

But he had/has other issues and came to us when he just turned 9 yrs old. We are still dealing with this victimized attitude and so far natural consequences aren't getting through... :confused: :banghead:

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Done this with my now 21 yr old... didn't help. In fact he just convinced himself that everyone in the world was out to get him and that we were even more at fault.

 

But he had/has other issues and came to us when he just turned 9 yrs old. We are still dealing with this victimized attitude and so far natural consequences aren't getting through... :confused: :banghead:

 

Yes, I have two victims in my house. But I tell them (and myself) that I am not responsible for the mental choices they make. They can take correction and learn from it or they can continue to buy into the victim mentality. But unfortunately their mental reaction doesn't absolve me from doing what I think is the right correction as their parent. Sometimes that gets through to them, many times it doesn't. My kids are still young and I don't know yet how it will come out in the end.

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:grouphug:

 

it may help to be clear on the goals. the laundry and the blaming others are separate issues.

 

we have 4 dds. laundry issues seem to take care of themselves. ie. you have one laundry day. use it or wait until your day next week. once they hit about 12 years of age, they only miss laundry day once or twice.... i do not remind them it is their day.

 

re "being a victim". there are some good and easy techniques for teaching "learned optimism" which seem to address the victim issue indirectly.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Learned-Optimism-Change-Your-Mind/dp/0671019112

 

one of them is a gratitude journal. we do ours at dinner most nights. each person comes up with three things they are thankful for in their day, and i write them in the book. some days, one or the other of us has trouble finding three things, but after listening to the rest of us, can usually come up with them.

 

another is learning to reframe things, and this is really helpful.

 

good luck!

ann

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Sounds like a difficult situation. I understand your frustration completely. Hard to deal with. Here is my 2 cents.

 

Paradoxically, I think in order to teach children to take responsibility, we have to get away from the concept of blame and punishment. Children often try to deflect the blame off of them by avoiding taking responsibility. If we stop blaming them, they don't have to deflect any blame, so they are more likely to take responsibility.

 

Instead of blame, have them think of problems to be solved. Such as the clothes stink. Logical solution is to wash them. If the problem can't be solved that way, then the next logical consequence is to not get them smelly in the first place. No more ranch. That solves the problem.

 

But notice, that it's not a punishment. It's about solving the problem in a logical way. It's not about blame and punishment. That keeps them caught in the not accepting responsibility cycle. Instead, it's about problem-solving.

 

And it's also not about threats. You don't threaten to take away the time at the ranch. You do it. No yelling or nagging involved. Just take away a logical privilege.

 

They will hate you for it, temporarily. And they will start taking you seriously. And start washing their clothes.

 

Best wishes.

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:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

Oh man, can I ever empathize! I was a terrible 14yo as well, I remember it clearly, & I wish my mom had stood up to me more (not that I made it easy) on this issue. With my dd, well, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. She's been doing all her own laundry since she was 11 to relieve a severe point of contention.

 

As far as taking responsibility & ownership, a very clear "If - Then" chart or conversation might help. For ex., "If you get your xyz responsibilities done, THEN you may have abc privileges", "A+ attitude = A+ lifestyle. D- attitude earns you a D- lifestyle". I agree that the connection between responsibilities and priviliges has to be learned, and that might be hard. However you choose to go about it, once you start, don't back down. Be strong & consistent; she'll catch on eventually.

The book From Defiance to Cooperation is a good one, too. Good luck!

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Sounds like a difficult situation. I understand your frustration completely. Hard to deal with. Here is my 2 cents.

 

Paradoxically, I think in order to teach children to take responsibility, we have to get away from the concept of blame and punishment. Children often try to deflect the blame off of them by avoiding taking responsibility. If we stop blaming them, they don't have to deflect any blame, so they are more likely to take responsibility.

 

Instead of blame, have them think of problems to be solved. Such as the clothes stink. Logical solution is to wash them. If the problem can't be solved that way, then the next logical consequence is to not get them smelly in the first place. No more ranch. That solves the problem.

 

But notice, that it's not a punishment. It's about solving the problem in a logical way. It's not about blame and punishment. That keeps them caught in the not accepting responsibility cycle. Instead, it's about problem-solving.

 

And it's also not about threats. You don't threaten to take away the time at the ranch. You do it. No yelling or nagging involved. Just take away a logical privilege.

 

They will hate you for it, temporarily. And they will start taking you seriously. And start washing their clothes.

 

Best wishes.

 

I very much agree with this. A favorite phrase of mine around here is "So, what can we (or you) do to solve this?"

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Paradoxically, I think in order to teach children to take responsibility, we have to get away from the concept of blame and punishment. Children often try to deflect the blame off of them by avoiding taking responsibility. If we stop blaming them, they don't have to deflect any blame, so they are more likely to take responsibility.

 

Instead of blame, have them think of problems to be solved. Such as the clothes stink. Logical solution is to wash them. If the problem can't be solved that way, then the next logical consequence is to not get them smelly in the first place. No more ranch. That solves the problem.

 

But notice, that it's not a punishment. It's about solving the problem in a logical way. It's not about blame and punishment. That keeps them caught in the not accepting responsibility cycle. Instead, it's about problem-solving.

 

And it's also not about threats. You don't threaten to take away the time at the ranch. You do it. No yelling or nagging involved. Just take away a logical privilege.

 

They will hate you for it, temporarily. And they will start taking you seriously. And start washing their clothes.

 

 

 

 

Great advice!

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:grouphug:

 

it may help to be clear on the goals. the laundry and the blaming others are separate issues.

 

we have 4 dds. laundry issues seem to take care of themselves. ie. you have one laundry day. use it or wait until your day next week. once they hit about 12 years of age, they only miss laundry day once or twice.... i do not remind them it is their day.

 

re "being a victim". there are some good and easy techniques for teaching "learned optimism" which seem to address the victim issue indirectly.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Learned-Optimism-Change-Your-Mind/dp/0671019112

 

one of them is a gratitude journal. we do ours at dinner most nights. each person comes up with three things they are thankful for in their day, and i write them in the book. some days, one or the other of us has trouble finding three things, but after listening to the rest of us, can usually come up with them.

 

another is learning to reframe things, and this is really helpful.

 

good luck!

ann

 

Thanks for the book recommendation. I am going to look into this for my ds15.

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"Since you are so booked that you can't keep up with your responsibilities, your schedule is now cleared. Once you have your responsibilities under control, we will add back one thing at a time - as long as the responsibilities continue to be taken care of."

 

This!

Say it calmly, do not get angry no matter what. Just have it so.

 

This is a very real life answer to the problem, not just a "punishment". Sometimes we do have "too much" we think must come before daily responsibilities, and our priorities must be set straight. It also helps to learn to handle those effectively, away from distractions of outings with friends, etc.

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