I punish her and I feel bad

If I say it once I say it a million times, parenting is hard. I mean really hard! My 14 year old just started high school. She is my first born and I love her pieces. But yesterday I had to punish her. I need to start at the beginning. All of my children have chores and things that are expected of them. Apparently I am the only mom in the world to do this. No other child has chores. The chores for Jazz are horrible too. They are keep your room clean, clean the kitchen after dinner (we have a dishwasher), keep the back hallway swept (we have a dog). On weekends she also has to clean their bathroom. Can’t you tell how mean I am?

The last week Jazz had not done all her chores but I let her go to the mall with friends yesterday. It was supposed to be Jazz, 3 other girls and 1 boy. Jazz left without cleaning the kitchen after lunch. Jazz left at 2 p.m. I called her over four times and texted her at least six times. She did answer me at all. She did call her dad though. Apparently she went to the movies with just the boy and his family. Jazz did not get home until after 7 p.m. I am the meanest mom in the world because I think if I get you a cell phone I should be able to reach you. She “claims” she did not get my text but she called her dad after I left her a text and asked was she in trouble. I was going out of my mind. I had no idea where she was or what she was doing. Is this all part of being a teenager? Am I over reacting to not being able to reach her?

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  • Reply donte

    maybe you should sit down and have a nice talk to jazz. She what she is feeling and really listen. No argueing just talking. Mae sure everything you say as well as what she says is the honest truth

    September 9, 2008 at 8:21 pm
  • Reply Nicole

    No, you should not feel bad. And yes, unfortunately this is a teenager thing. I would definitely sit down and talk to her about what you expect from her. I do not think it is unreasonable that if you purchased a cell phone for her and you pay the money for the bill that she should be expected to answer your call. That is exactly what those types of things are for.

    Oh, and as far as the chores go. I must take the cake for meanest mom in the world. I have five children – two that are 14, one that is 11, one that is 10 and one that is 9. They each have an assigned job – laundry duty, kitchen duty, pet duty, lawn duty and bathroom duty. So if you get an award for meanest mom, I’ll proudly stand next to you and accept mine too 🙂 Enjoyed your blog.

    September 10, 2008 at 4:40 pm
  • Reply 1stopmom

    It is so nice to hear I am not the only mom up for this award! I have talked with Jazz. I explained to her that I did not have a problem with her going some place with her friends. What upset me was that I could not reach her. I was scared and worried because I did not know where she was. I think the talk went ok. I didn’t yell so that is a big plus! She said she did not get my text so I will give her the benefit of doubt there. I did stress the importance of calling home to check in when you are out with friends. That is non negotiable in my eyes. I also explained that chores is something everyone in our family has to do. When you are part of a family everyone must chip in. That is just the way it has to be. I thought about taking her phone away but instead decided that she can not go anywhere for the next two weekends.

    September 10, 2008 at 5:42 pm
  • Reply Pearl

    yes, you’re right, that’s part of being a teenager. In my family, it’s my husband who imposes the chores duty for our kids, and i think it’s paying off, because they’ve become more responsible. I have 2 teens (15-boy & 13-girl) and one 8-year old-girl. But i guess it’s not really easy to raise daughters because we have to be more protective of them, unlike with the boys where we tend to be more lenient — i don’t know, but that’s what happens to me sometimes….

    But, i’m sure that you’re doing the right thing, and what’s important is you had a talk with your daughter.

    Pearls last blog post..Awesome

    September 12, 2008 at 5:35 am
  • Reply Pamela Plumley

    NOPE! You’re not mean or wrong! Teens are tough. My son was definitely tough! Chores were like pulling teeth with him…
    It sounds as though she is “playing” your husband against you, also, something kids do to get parents against each other so they can get out of trouble and get one parent “on their side.” You need to make sure that your husband knows you want him on the same page on discipline and things like phone calls, like the one she made to him after YOU texted her. She was clearly being “daddy’s little girl” in that situation.
    I don’t mean this as harsh words, but I have a daughter also, and I see it happen at times. I’ve seen my step-kids play us against each other, as did my own son.
    They’re not bad kids, just being kids or teens and need to know that you and your husband stand together and you can’t be divided and conquered, as it were. I hope this helps without too much preachiness…good luck and take care!

    Pamela Plumleys last blog post..

    September 12, 2008 at 10:59 am
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