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Teenage Problems/Stop washing clothes all the time.

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Question
I know this sounds like a silly issue but it's becoming an everyday thing.

My daughter got tons of clothes for school.  I mean at least 3 weeks worth of out fits.  But every night she wants to wash one shirt or one pants because its what she "wants" to wear.  Never mind she has a room full of clothes.  Its one thing to wash a load of laundry but she is having melt downs because I won't let her run the washer for one item. It leads to huge arguments, feet stomping, door slamming and then half the time she just gets up early and does it anyways after we told her not to.  At this point I'm ready to go in an bag all her new clothes and say if she insists on washing the same 3 outfits that she obviously doesnt like these other clothes and they should go to someone who will.  I haven't actually said that yet but the constant arguments is not helping.  I just want her to wait until she had a full load of laundry without it being a screaming match. R

Answer
Hi Tina,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I hope that I can help.

Firstly, I understand how annoying and frustrating it must be that you are spending so much time doing washing for your daughter only to want something that is not clean to wear the following day. I also agree that it is not cost effective to be running a laundry load with only one or a couple of items.

I think that you need to have a conversation with your daughter where you explain to her that either she quits this demanding behavior or one of two things will happen: a) you will stop doing her laundry for her and will ask her to do it with your supervision (if she sees how much of a hassle it is, she may stop her tantrums and demands) or b) You ask her to have a sort out of her clothes and to minimize her wardrobe. Either way she is going to fight it, but it is about giving her the responsibility to make decisions and get an insight into how much work you do. You are her mother, you are not her maid and she needs to learn that shouting and demanding gets her nowhere. You need to stick to your decision either way and no matter how much she kicks and screams and slams the door, do not back down. If she is getting angry because she has not got any clothes that she wants to wear then politely explain that it is her that is wearing her clothes not you and therefore, if she wants to wear them again, she needs to be more proactive in taking the burden of responsibility off you.  

Your daughter is pushing the boundaries and if you do not challenge it, you will end up running around after her for the foreseeable future and she will not learn to take responsibility or gain any independent life skills. If she is forced to learn to be able to do her own laundry, not only is she learning life skills it also means that she cannot blame you if her laundry is not done. If she refuses to either do her laundry herself or to sort out and minimize her clothes, then give her a deadline and explain that if she does not do what you ask then you will have no choice but to have a clean out. As you said, there will be some people who will want to wear the clothes your daughter is not grateful for and she cannot appreciate them or respect the fact that you have you purchased them for her, she needs to learn respect for both you and the things that you have bought for her. She cannot shout and scream her way into success in the future so why should she be allowed to treat you like this?

I hope this helps.

Teenage Problems

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Daryl Taylor, BSc (Hons) Psychology, PGDip (pending certification)

Expertise

My expertise covers everything and anything to do with growing up, being a teenager or a young adult or being the parent of one of the pre-described. I can cover issues on identity, sexuality, love, relationships, families, drug/alcohol abuse and anything and everything in between.

Experience

I have volunteered for AllExperts.com for over ten years now, but even before that I was trying to use my experience to help others by working with Advice4teens.co.uk, Teenadviceonline.org and even Lycos and Ask Jeeves. My experience comes from being a teenager primarily but this lead me to work with young people from the age of 13. I have worked front line, face to face and over the telephone, e-mail and webchat for a government department called Connexions UK (aimed at young people aged 13-19); as well as being student counselor in New York, a Peer Mentor, a student teacher and working for my school, college and University to help raise the aspirations of young people. My life has not been easy and I have been through my fair share of issues; so there is little that I haven't been through in reality opposed to just reading it from a book or from my academic studies. I have been featured as a case study as achieving through adversity for a number of magazines and I have featured in a couple of books on both sides of the Atlantic; even though I am UK based.

Organizations
The Albert Kennedy Trust

Publications
Relationships: Cathy Senker, 2012, Raintree The Dean and Chapter Positive Nation GTEN Television Aim Higher

Education/Credentials
BSc(Hons) Psychology Post Graduate Diploma in Multidisciplinary Design Innovation Basic Counselling Skills Effective Listening Skills Mental Health First Aid

Awards and Honors
Outstanding Student achievement Adult learner's Award

Past/Present Clients
Allexperts.com Advice4teensuk.org Teenadviceonline.org lycos.co.uk askjeeves.com Connexions Direct

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