Sunday, May 06, 2007

What to do?

I have a beautiful 17 year old daughter. She got a job last fall (finally). Since then she has come to think that because she goes to school and has a part time job that she does not need to contribute to the household. She also seems to think that because I am her mom, and because I do not have a job outside our home right now, I am supposed to do everything for her. She came home tonight after working and was hungry. We had only had left over spaghetti for supper, and I had saved some for her. She proceeded to complain about there being no meat. I told here she could could cook a hamburg if she wanted. There was meat sauce to go with the spaghetti, but she "hates sauce." She then proceeded to ask me to make macaroni and cheese for her. I made her cook her own.

I guess I am frustrated at her lack of contribution to family life at this point. She does not want to do anything at home, and has been neglecting her chores (laundry) so that I wind up having to do them. I don't mind doing chores around the house for my family, but I do mind being treated as though I am a slave here to do other's bidding. Does anyone else ever feel like this? What do you do?

Dear Lord,
I try to provide service to my family without grumbling, even though I may not be cheerful about it. I am at a loss, however, as to what to do in this situation. Please soften my daughter's heart to see that her behavior is denigrating. Please open her eyes to see and her mind to understand that household chores are something she will soon enough be responsible for as an adult, and that learning to budget her time to accomplish all her responsibilities helps both her and the rest of the family. Please help me, Lord, to be a loving mother who can teach and mold without resorting to pettiness. You know how I have difficulty in this area, Lord, and I know that you can help me to re-train my own heart.



Maria said...

My kids are still very little, but my mother has had to deal with this attitude over the years (I'm the oldest of seven, the youngest is 14 right now).

My mother was very loving and charitable to us, but she also worked hard to help us become independent and unselfish. It sounds like you are doing the same thing for your daughter. It is good for her to do more for herself, and it is good for her to know that she is part of something bigger than her own personal concerns.

Cheryl said...

Sorry. I have no experience with teenagers to share. I agree with your wanting her to contribute to the family though.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are both squaring off. Teenagers are what they are, just learning to be adults and it is probably the most self-absorbed time of any person's life. But, that is a good thing, it's an important time. If you want her to grow up chairitable and self-less, do her laundry for her. Not to spoil her, but to set the example that sometimes you have to do things you don't like, but it's the loving thing to do. Or, you can try to engage her and do it together. Acknowledge that she does have a job now and she is working and it is a busy time for her. You want to help her find ways to ease her stress. Be a team, not advisaries.

Marie said...

Boy I feel your pain, but doing it for them doesn't help them learn. My DD is 21 now and she can do her own laundry and works and cooks for herself because when she was 16 and started working if she wasn't home when dinner was served and didn't want leftovers she could make herself something, and she could have her clothes in the laundry room for laundry day, and if not or if she wanted/needed something that wasn't in the laundry room she did it herself and she also works on her own car because my DH would work on her car when it needed work or an oil change but she had to help him do it to appreciate the hard work it was and how much she was saving not having to bring it to a garage. She can change her own oil and brake pad like a pro!! I am very proud of the adult she is becoming...although she is not there yet...but it was a long hard journey there!! Good luck and I am sending my deepest heartfelt prayers your way!!!

Leonie said...

I always tell my kids that I am the manager - not the only do-er. So, we all pitch in and help, allowing for our other commitments, of course. But there is no getting out of working together - its everyone's house and family and we try to co-operate. lol!