Responsibility of 16 year old daughter - FamilyEducation
Responsibility of 16 year old daughter
06/02/2008 at 21:43 PM

I have a 16 year old daughter with responsibility issues.  She is at the top of her class in school, class officer, involved in sports and drama club, and active at church.  Her Dad and I are having trouble with what her responsibilities should be in the home.  Part of me just wants her to be a kid and have.  The other part gets so mad when she can not do simple things like pick up her room or while watching her younger sibiling during the summer, pick up a little around the house.  I will be ther first to say that I have spoiled my 2 kids with the help of the Dad.  Her Dad is constantly on me that if we don't start making her do things that she will not amount to anything in the working world.  She just doesn't see things that need done on a daily basis.  Her cell phone and computer are always going.  She has never broken curfew.  When told she could not see a specific boy because of his age, she called him in front of me and told him she could not see or talk to him anymore.  She did this without being disrespectful.  She is a very kind hearted girl, but lacking on common sence sometimes.  She is one of those types that never picks up a book to study, but maintains a straight A average, occasionally getting a B+ (90%), which I have stated to her could be an A is she only would study instead of socialize constantly.  She has never given us anything to worry about.  Are we being to unreseasonable?  Today I finally got mad at my husband and told him to shut her bedroom door if he did not like the way her room looked. (This was done in private. Not in front of her.)  Actually she had left to go to church camp for the evening.  I know I am rambling, but this is my first time asking for advice on any issues.  Please give me some advice!!

It sounds like you are doing a great job raising your daughter to be a responsible young woman. I only hope my kids' teenage yrs will be that easy! I agree, though, that you need to set some rules when it comes to doing chores around the house. It almost seems like you're afraid to give your daughter chores b/c you don't want to screw up a good thing. Just b/c your daughter is an excellent student and respects your wishes, doesn't mean she shld be exempt from housework. She's 16, so she shld be doing things like setting and clearing the table, washing dishes, taking the garbage out, making her bed, cleaning her room and so forth. That's not too much to ask. If your daughter is as agreeable as you say she is, I don't see why she wld object to these things if you approach her in a reasonable way. She's a good kid, so she deserves privledges and rewards for her behavior. Maybe you can consider an allowance. After your daughter earns a certain amount, you can take her shopping for something she wants. This wld be a good incentive for her and an ice breaker for you. It wld also teach your daughter the value of earning $ and working for what she wants. If you can accomplish this, you'll be very happy parents w/ a very well-rounded daughter. Good luck!

In my opinion, you should DEFINITELY make your daughter keep her room clean; this is important for many reasons. I do not think you should expect her to clean up the house in the summer when she is responsible for her two siblings. That is a great responsiblity all on it's own.

Oh boy...are you sure that you don't have a CLONE of my daughter??? Everything you just said here is exactly what I am going through right now with my 14 year old daughter. She too is a straight-A student, kind, respectful for the most part, and involved in many activities that she excels at. Ask this kid how you fold laundry though, and she's clueless!! My 11 year old actually knows how to work the washer and dryer from standing there and watching me do it. My 14 year old...nope. I feel your pain but here's what I can tell you, she has got to get a grip and start doing things around the house. If my daughter acts "spacey" and doesn't do the stuff I ask her to correctly, I just simply make her repeat it until she does or I supervise it. The common sense thing just amazes me since both our girls are so smart. You'd figure that they'd do everything easily, but they don't. The problem is, if she doesn't learn to do this stuff soon, when she goes away to college or just moves on as in adult in life, she won't know how to manage a household, her own messes, or how to maintain her environment. I had a college room mate that actually piled up stinky, dirty laundry for an entire semester in our closet and then packed it all in a duffle bag and put it on the plane with her when she flew back home for a break. Why? She was going to have her mom do her laundry because she didn't know how and didn't care to learn. I was somewhere in between appalled and amazed by this. This summer, my own daughter will learn to do the laundry and also some other stuff that I feel is important for her to know because I think it's time. Her room is spotless and she does vacuum, dust, clean her bathroom, and help with our dogs as well. She does supervise her younger sister when I need her to and she can also cook quite well. Believe me, the laundry would've come sooner but I get the feeling that some items are going to "bite the dust" during her trials and errors with the washer but she has to figure this out sooner or later.....might as well be now. Believe me, the kid has a life too. She goes pretty much everywhere she wants to and is not short on things to do or people to see. That's for sure. Go ahead and take the bull by the horns and teach your 16 year old the household routine and get her prepared before she leaves the nest. You'll be glad you did and as a could also use the help to give you more free time as well!

You are so right! Both of my children have thanked me over and over for requiring them to learn to run a household by the time they were 16. My son was amazed that his college roommates could do nothing around their apartment. (And, he taught them both.) Your children will thank you someday!!

Then our 15 year old daughter must be the missing triplet from group. She is such a great kid - Student Council, all A/P classes - grades are all "A"'s & 1 high "B" this semester in advanced chemistry. She has gone on several church mission trips to Mississippi, Peru - helps out anyone you know (that doesn't live in our house) you name it - but getting this kid to help out at home is like pulling teeth. She KNOWS how to do it - but it's like when she's home she will take all the punishment rather than do a stinking chore! Unless of course there's something coming up and then she will do it on her own because there's something for her. It just kills me that everyone thinks we have the "perfect" child - and she IS a great kid - I KNOW she could be out doing worse - and her Dad & I have a great relationship with her but...I'm tired of having to threaten her to get anything done at the house. She make the beds and do the dishes every day and clean the animal cages once a week - but other than that - for get it - it's awful! I'm tired of the hassle, her attitude at times, and just feeling like I do some days! Is this normal - if so - WHEN WILL IT END! lol Thanks!

Hello, I have a 15 yr old daughter.She's not real big on chores either.What we have done for a few yrs now tho,is give her an allowance. We figured it would teach her about work,responsibility & finances as well(how to save etc). We opened her a bank acct w/debt card(which I keep,until she needs it).We pay her her age per wk & pay her every 2 wks( $30)(she gets a raise on each B-day). Its helped her learn how to save for things,keep banking records etc. She still doesnt always like to do her chores(who does),but she completes them,as her pay is docked if she doesnt. I feel that all teenagers go thru the "messy room" thing.I think it has to do w/a sense of something thats under their control & their own space. Im 42 now,but can remember my mom saying "your room is such a mess,Id hate to see your house when you grow up"!! Well as it turns out I may have had a messy room as a kid,but Im an excellent house keeper now(house is cleaner than my moms now) & cant stand a thing out of place now---drive my hubby & daughter crazy w/it. I went to college for Child development & child behavioral issues & feel this is just a normal teenage behavior. It sounds to me like you have a pretty good kid. Good grades,never late for curfew,very involved in school/sports etc. If all you ever have to worry about is: a clean room & chores,than you've done a GREAT JOB & we must pick our battles.Its a small thing in my opinion & could be: drugs,sex,pregnant etc... Our daughters sound alot alike,especially w/being so involved in school,good grades,sports & messy rooms. When I see all the probs her friends & other kids at school are having,which is drugs,tons of boy issues & even pregnancies at such a young age, I thank God all I have to worry about is her messy room & the chores I have to bug her to do. Hope this helped w/some ideas etc..