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Sweating the small stuff...

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I'm trying really hard not to sweat the small stuff with AD (13 in a few weeks' time - how did that happen?), but am finding it difficult. It's not about any one of the individual niggles but the cumulative impact. Being a single parent makes it all harder to ignore this stuff. ..


- not changing her knickers, and putting obviously clean ones in the laundry basket as she knows I might check


- swearing blind that she hasn't cut her hair which has mysteriously shortened by itself


- saying "I can't be bothered/arsed" at least 5 times a day


- drinking squash without diluting it if downstairs alone


- ignoring me when I ask a question, and then getting upset if I don't respond immediately to her questions


- never, ever putting anything away


- blaming others for anything that goes even slightly wrong, sometimes with such convoluted logic that it's hard not to laugh


... thank goodness for this forum and also for my cat


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Mine is 13 in a few months. She lies all the time, leaves all her stuff lying around, nothing goes in the bin without repeated nagging, clothes get dumped in the washing basket because it's easier than putting them away. It's so much easier just to do things myself so now I feel a rotten mother for not making her do more when she was younger instead of slipping into the habit of me doing everything! Her favourite response to an instruction is to inform me that she is doing something else (and hence why she is not doing what I've told her)! Oh the joys of being a single, working parent!


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Sounds sooo familiar... I also worry that I'm responsible!


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Yessssss very familiar!


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You might do a search in the archives for the adoptive revolutionary front

Here’s a link to give you an idea
https://www.adoptionuk.org/adoption-uk-archived-forum?page=8&forum=1&top...


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Simba is also 13, I recognise a lot of this, some of it is just good old fashioned teen stufc though. The problem is working out whats normal teen being a teen, what is more significant and in our case, what is ASD


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Yes yes to all of that or similar issues X 2 as I have 2 teens. Not single but DH isn't a great help with any of that sort of stuff and is a bit of an offender himself! (I do sometimes wonder if he has a version of ADHD......)


Cats help though I barely have time to pay them much attention x


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Enjoyed the ARF link - thank you, Pear Tree!


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I do miss the ARF thread, may be we could revive it ?

Camp penguin still marching on with ds2 having lost a whole weeks spondoolies for verbal insubordination of the worst type.

Small stuff irritation tactics from ARF front here, include

1) shout and swear at least little request ( ARF 2)

2)refuse to take turn of setting tea table as " he's an adult now"(ARF1)

Double pronged attack from both members of ARF include

3)Never never put any clothes away

4)Drop all litter and paper hankies on floor

5) consume large quantities of fizzy drink and leave bottles on bedroom floor


I just about stay sane by reminding myself ( as dS2 does) that at least they are not doing drugs or physical violence. And remind myself that some folks past and present on these forums would be glad to be in this position.

4)


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I agree with serrakunda ! I have 3 birth children. Oldest lad has aspergers and was a dream as he hates mess and only has a bed and a tv on view. Everything else stays in the wardrobe ! So he never caused any mess . But both daughters were / are a nightmare. Eldest married now and left home and youngest aged 18 has picked up the mantle ! Her bedroom is embarrassing! I refuse to sort it out and just shut the door on it . I learnt with my eldest dd to ignore a lot of it though i came down hard on rubbish etc thrown about in communal areas.

Oh how times have changed ! When i was growing up we had to live in an immaculate house as my mother was so houseproud ! Even to this day i have never tucked my feet up under me on the sofa ! I am glad things are more relaxed but it is v irritating when they go through the messy teen phase. I joke it is natures way of preparing parents to let go of their little darlings in preparation for them flying the nest. You start to look forward to a tidy house and a bit of peace and quiet!

So after going all round the houses basically i think dont stress too much as it is a phase that generally passes in the end.


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I agree with Wizzywoo - both my eldest daughters are married - the younger of the two who is dyslexic had a particularly messy room (apparently someone told her she was not capable of putting things back in the right / same place due to her dyslexia) They both have reasonably tidy houses and get annoyed when they are messed up - the second one more so than the eldest (she has no kids yet!) My younger two who are at home have very messy rooms - I do the same - just ignore it - remove rubbish if necessary but keep reminding them of what they need to do - not nagging or expecting it to be done asap - but just saying "you need to do xyz" - one day they will I'm sure! We all live in hope!


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It's the rubbish and food remains that really get to me. I can close the door on clothes etc on the floor , but I really am not prepared to risk mice, cockroaches, etc, so Every so often I fling everything else onto the bed and Hoover the floor . If they don't like it ( me moving their stuff) they have to lump it. They know what to do to avoid it.


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Yes we had a lovely cloud of fruit flies in a bedroom recently - yes I know it's a positive she likes fruit.


I do periodically insist on them tidying every so often so I can hoover, though usually get lots of procrastination or whining for my help. Sometimes I get a result. Sometimes I give in and do it when they're out.


Am trying not to collect up dirty clothes (other than dd2's school uniform) but sometimes I need more "whites" or "coloureds" to make up a load and can't resist the impulse!


Also can't bear piles of clothes in the living room (yes, really) or bathroom so have to move them.


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I have developed a totally non-characteristic blindness to all of this stuff. Clothes on their floors - who cares? Not me! Clothes on my floors (as in anywhere communal within the house) then I pick them up and literally chuck them on to their floors, if they are not prepared to move them for themselves then it is one strike and you're out in this household - I ask once, they don't do it, I sling the stuff into their rooms. I only wash stuff that is in an authorised destination point (a laundry bin or the bathroom floor, if requested to be put there). Otherwise, if AD has to wear dirty leggings to X or AS's swim towel is soaking from the last time then, sadly, that is just tough.


Things that I wouldn't even bat an eyelid about would be:

* not changing her knickers, and putting obviously clean ones in the laundry basket as she knows I might check - peer pressure will sort this out soon enough or it won't. You won't be in a worse position and may be in a better one. Unless your washing machine makes a formal complaint then I would just move on from this.


* swearing blind that she hasn't cut her hair which has mysteriously shortened by itself - it is her hair. It may have been cut by a friend, she may have cut it herself. Who cares? (Sorry that may have sounded a bit more blunt than was intended) but it is done so you may as well move on. My husband is convinced that my AD has a tongue piercing - "how could you not know?" I hear you ask. Well I don't often check into either of my children's mouth unless there is a good medical reason to do so - she may have, she may not. Who cares? If she does then she does, if she doesn't then DH is mistaken and she probably will do in a year or two. I just can't see why anyone would make a fuss about something that doesn't harm anyone and that is outside of your control.


* drinking squash without diluting it if downstairs alone - just don't buy squash ... Water won't kill them.


* never, ever putting anything away - I'm afraid I'm with the posters who blame themselves. I could never get AD to do this and gave up trying. I just do it. AS does if nagged enough, which I find wearisome so tend not to bother. So I tend to just do it myself other than toys which I can point DH at and say "AS needs to get that sorted asap" - whoosy me but seems to work with both of them suddenly beetling along because they know that they can't move on to the next thing till this one is finished.


Things that I ignore when feeling strong enough but which I hate:

* saying "I can't be bothered/arsed" at least 5 times a day - sorry can't be bothered to respond to this point; I'm too tired; busy; hungry; cross ...


* ignoring me when I ask a question, and then getting upset if I don't respond immediately to her - Huh? Were you talking to me? Well I didn't hear you and I'm just doing something right now so would you mind re-posting in an hour or two when I have time to focus on you?


The thing out of all of these that probably looks the smallest but I would say was the biggest and that I would focus on is:

* blaming others for anything that goes even slightly wrong, sometimes with such convoluted logic that it's hard not to laugh - yeah but it is still dishonest on their part and I'm probably going to get lambasted here ... As many have said over many years there are things that we learn push our buttons - this is mine. Blaming others for everything that goes wrong. AD (mainly, although AS can come up with some corkers) will blame anything from the dog to British Rail (which she has only ever travelled on with us) for whatever problem she may be having. It is exhausting. It it confusing. It is emotional turmoil. And, ultimately, it tends to get us nowhere. Nothing ever is or ever has been her fault. She has lost countless friends from this attitude, she has caused many, many difficult times in our family - all because it is always someone else's fault. Genuinely, if I could do anything in any area then this would be my focus.


Best wishes to you and the cat.


Peahen.


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A while ago I did an auk training course and we talked about the things our kids did that really irritated us - in the context of nvr - big basket, small basket stuff. The shxt tip that is my son’s room was my bugbear - and it still it - but, as the trainer pointed out my son couldn’t give a stuff about it so in reality it was my issue rather than his. I could either moan, rant, argue with him over it or spend 5 minutes a day clearing his crap. And that’s what I do mostly. It does pee me right off and I’ve tried closing the door and ignoring it as much as possible but I suspect I’m a bit ocd! I draw the line at picking up his undies from anywhere and I won’t pick up and wash his clothes unless they’re in his basket. And when I find clean, ironed and still folded clean washing in his dirty washing basket ... I throw it at him.


If I need to him or the other two to do something, come for food etc then I find texting them easier and less confrontational! If I don’t have to speak to them, there’s less chance of me shouting.


And when they’re talking nonsense, I tell them I’m not listening and walk away!


Wine always helps. As does chocolate!


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The one that gets me is taking our best tea spoons and forks for her packed lunch and then just chucking them into the bin Sad


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Kangas, if you don't want to lose it then hide it!


Donatella, you actually made me laugh out loud - at least when I throw the child's laundry it is throwing it on the floor and not at the child! Although I have to admit that there have been moments when I've found neatly rolled socks in the laundry and have thrown them at small child. Oh dear. What an imperfect parent. Hey!


Wine also seems to work here. Happy Friday, everyone!


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Maybe a pair of ( clean) boxers in the face might help him remember !! I like that image, I usually toss it on his lap.


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Oh can i join this club-13 year old AS who drops clothes all over his bedroom floor and socks all over the house. Water bottles in his room like he is selling water! I refuse now to tidy up his room and any of his clothes/socks left around the house i pick them up and just thrown them in his room. Funny how it get tidied just before his cousins or friend comes round!


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Oh yes water bottles! Dd1 likes sparkling water. She never finishes a bottle and "has" to get a new one out of the fridge after a while because it's not cold! Decided not to buy them anymore. Idea was to get her to drink healthily but she still buys diet coke every day too.


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Ds1 is a heavy fizzy drinks user, but since day one here. he has never finished a bottle, despite much urging. Every bottle and glass he drinks from has about an inch or two left at the bottom. We and he had a discussion about this and he came to the conclusion this was a hangover from birth family days, when he didn't know when the next food / drink was coming. He knows he is doing it but can't stop himself.


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I have a 13yo son. This thread has made me chuckle after a poor day with him.


Some of the problem is most certainly me as reading your comments I realise I sweat everything !


Nobody has mentioned towels on the floor.....


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Towels on the floor, towels piled up on the end of my AD's bed, pants and jeans taken off in one go and chucked on the floor, or if I'm lucky in her washing basket (normal teem stuff!).

Using my PACE parenting back at me, to get her own way "Mu-u-m, you know how you love me? (coy smile, empathetic laugh), - can I have.....

Deleting all her bleeding texts 'cos she knows we do random 'caring' checks!


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Haven, I had that tonight. "Mum, you know how you love me, would you make me some French toast for supper?"


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Towels on the floor ... don't get me started. I had a four month long silent battle with AD about towels. Towels that are in the bathroom on towel washing day get washed (towel washing day is variable which means that towels need to be in the bathroom on all days or might miss getting washed). Towels that aren't don't - simple, simple message. AD refused to put her towel in the bathroom after taking a shower. And I don't mean kept forgetting I mean refused. AD realised that there were two other towels designated as "hers" in the airing cupboard. AD leaves towel 1 on her bedroom floor and helps herself to towel two (and repeat). So all supplementary towels were removed (and washed! before you think me a complete slattern). Towel 1 still remained on AD's bedroom floor. Did I give in and wash it? Errr, no. DH told me I was cruel and unjust. Errr, no. Four months later and a once white towel (with rather pretty pink flower edging) appeared in the bathroom on towel washing day (I washed it about four times but it has never looked even vaguely white since). Other towels released. Somewhat surprisingly AD hasn't used the "white" towel with the pretty pink flower edge since - I just don't understand why.


Seriously, this has been a constant area of difficulty for me. After a couple of weeks I went into the "who cares and is AD likely to catch some debilitating disease from this exercise?". My conclusion was "no" so I just went with my feeling of "how hard can it be to put your towel in the bathroom after taking a shower?" - not very! Therefore this was a control thing for her and I wasn't going to let this become a control issue back to me. So I stuck to my guns.


Just checked in the bathroom and there is one AD towel and one AS towel in exactly the right place ... Bliss (got to get you kicks where you can!).


Peahen.


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There's another way of looking at it which I feel is valid (and probably the one I defer to most though I have bursts of trying to change things) which is the children aren't ready to "grow up" and take responsibility so therefore we should continue to care for them and their stuff.


Dd1 can act all tough and independent but underneath she's scared of the big wide world and needs us to do many things for her the average 16 year old would do independently. She's even expressed fears of making her own way in the world at times. Of course, she's also very idle and demand avoidant! I don't see it as a control battle with her though - she just doesn't want to look after herself or her things in the way I want her to. She wouldn't shower or bathe if I didn't remind her, so why should she be expected to care for her possessions?


Dd2 is more upfront about it all. She wants to be parented. She acts like a normal 12 yo with her friends and is helpful and sensible at school. But at home she wants to be a little girl and still likes a lot of our attention -wants me to sit by her when doing homework or says she "can't" hang up her clothes because she doesn't know how etc. (Actually I suspect latter is true - yesterday I decided maybe I hadn't ever shown her properly so I gave her a little lesson in hanging and folding - she was quite happy to do it as it meant we were engaging together. Tine will tell whether she'll now do any of it independently -suspect not!)


It's good to let off steam but these things are truly "small stuff" in a wider picture. Having said that they're also typical of the age group. Met some friends at a fireworks display yesterday and they were saying very similar things re their 16 yo birth son.


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That's partly why I do the occassional cleanup, as I do feel they need more nurturing than the average kid where it's just teenage stage. However Ds1 is 19 now so should be getting past that stage so I am trying to encourage some action and he is beginning to put at least some of the rubbish into a large kitchen bin that I put in his room last month. We have also just begun to realise that because he wears overall trousers and top at work we hadn't noticed that his own trousers are getting very threadbear underneath He hasn't bothered to go and buy any new stuff since he started work. We bought him a pack of socks a week ago and they are still lying unopened.

Ds2 begged for a new pencil case and it's being lying unused in his room for a month now. He is much more clothes concious than ds1 but still leaves them in a big heap.


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Am so impressed by Peahen leaving a towel to moulder for months... haven't yet managed a day.


AD is relaxed and happy at the moment, and I'm really enjoying the fact that I can focus on the small stuff. This phase won't last and the big stuff is just that - big. So bring on the disgusting underwear, badly shaved eyebrow, and the impressive swearing in her sleep. AD has bounced happily around all day tigger-style as I didn't want to wake her up in time for her ADHD medication. She's driven me bonkers and made me laugh so much all at the same time.


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