I have a 14-year-old stepdaughter and 11-month-old twins. I am on the verge of collapse. I have told her 10 times to wrap her used pad in a piece of old newspaper and to put it in polyethylene / cloth bag and then throw it in the dust bin, which I have kept in her room along with old newspapers to make it easy for her. One day, she had kept it on her bed and it took me one hour to remove all the stains from the bedsheet.

My husband is sick of her behaviour and says he can't tolerate her anymore. I don't want him to send her back again. I understand she behaves rudely and has no manners but please can someone tell me how to explain to her to not keep her blood-filled sanitary napkin on the floor of her bathroom?

  • 10
    Is there are way you can make it easier for her? wrapping it in a newspaper AND a extra bag is a lot of work. I usually just wrap it up in the wrapper from the new pad and toss it in a bathroom bin. In addition - when she soils something, make her clean it up. A teenager should be old enough to get stains out of a bedsheet.
    – Ida
    Oct 20 '14 at 17:31
  • Thanks Ida . Wrapping in newspaper and bag is not that difficult when.I keep both in.her room to make it easy for her. Its not that she needs to search it all over home. As for her cleaning the sheet , she said she won't clean and it is I who should do the cleaning job and not her :(
    – Tiffany
    Oct 21 '14 at 1:27
  • 7
    @Tiffany Whoa, she is telling you you should be cleaning and not her? Okay you have a bigger problem on your hands than her just not taking care of her pad. That is a clear sign of disrespect. I suspect THAT is the root of the problem (likely other problems you have) and would encourage you to solve it FIRST. Talk to your husband, and somehow agree to stop cleaning up after her. I imagine at some point it would start to bother her, having to clean up herself, then she might realize her errors and even apologize.
    – mykepwnage
    Oct 21 '14 at 13:14
  • 1
    I agree with @mykepwnage. She's more than old enough to understand basic sanitation (which is why she's using sanitary napkins at all instead of just bleeding on her clothing). This is a tool she has found to make you and her father upset, and she is using it. She is purposely finding the most disgusting thing possible to leave around to offend everyone. There are much deeper problems here.
    – Acire
    Oct 21 '14 at 23:49
  • 1
    You mention that "I don't want him to send her back again." That seems important - could you clarify? Where does her father want to send her "back" to? To her mother? To an orphanage? Foster parents? And what makes you think the father would consider that? Did he tell you? Tell his daughter?
    – sleske
    Sep 2 '18 at 20:43

Your daughter might even be (likely) totally aware on how to handle this properly.

To me, this sounds like a problem that's not so much an issue of practical nature, as it appears to be a matter of trust, empathy and mutual respect. You guys need to put understanding of each others perspective in front of anything else.

Even though it's just words, and your husband might have expressed it differently, I think it sounds "funny" to me when you state that he says he doesn't tolerate her. There's a distinct difference between that, and not tolerating the outcome of things she does (i.e. not her in person). Perhaps it's your husband and your daughter that needs to talk, in a different way and communicate better? It really appears that you've done more than your fair share in this regard – what about him?

How about asking him to try and be more gentle. Seriously. (Being gentle does not mean you're selling out on the integrity of your concerns, by the way.)

He only needs to put it somwhere along the lines of …

"Hey sweetie. (Looking her in the eyes.) You know... This doesn't really work, right? Have you and mom talked this over, how to handle these pads? You see (look her in the eyes again if needed), dad's a little sensitive to blood. Don't you agree this is better placed in the dust bin anyway?".

… Being on HER side is the ONLY path out of this and similar situations. Get used to it: It may seem like the wrong thing to do – like handing over all the keys to HER and loosing your own will and power to command – but really, that's what needs to be done. Eventually, she'll be the sole commander of her own actions anyway. And maybe that's just what she needs, to be confirmed by you guys. Try to act more supportive in this matter, and don't alienate her in this – for her – new situation beginning to have her period. Sometimes her personal insights will come slowly, sometimes fast. Like you and me, right? Personal development isn't a fixed rate curve. Again, it's ALLRIGHT to progress slowly, as much as it is to do it quickly, in this regard. Only nature decides what's the proper/unique progression for your daughter. You guys are only there to support THAT curve. HER progression/development. NOT to support your own ideals of comfort, EVEN though I (as a parent to three 2/4/7 year old manic troll sons) have your full compassion and sympathy for the constant lack of energy a parent might suffer from. It comes with the territory, so to speak, from the day you choose to be a parent.

As further advice, I think you should be prepared for the possibility that you might have to rinse and repeat this procedure a few times. (Bonus: for increased effect, try taking it from different angles each time, while keep telling it like a friend; provide nuances that might help support her personal insight.) All in all, if multiple times telling this is what it takes, refrain from freaking out, say, the third time … You're about to establish something that may or may not be new in her relation to her parents: trust. Real trust. Trust, as in friendship. And friendship as in, people who are looking up to each others greatness. It's delicate. But please don't ruin that bond – it's your foundation as a family – or the problems might start to multiply themselves if you establish trust, then break it.

Good luck and all well to your whole family, Tiffany!

  • Thanks for the advice. I mostly do take her side but she doesn't like that. She likes me but as a friend, and not as a mother.
    – Tiffany
    Oct 22 '14 at 11:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.