MOORE — Q: I was recently taking my freshman daughter to school and was giving her a list of chores that needed to be done when she got home from school. She became enraged, to the point where I was so angry that I stopped the car and made her walk the rest of the way.
We have terrible mornings from the moment I wake her up until she finally gets out of the car, and it ruins both of our days. Her behavior is very troubling to her younger brother and sister, and she will hardly speak to her father. Do you have an opinion as to what might make our days start a little more smoothly?
— Claudia and Stan, Moore
Dear Claudia and Stan, Of course we have an opinion. Who is the boss in this situation?
Our first suggestion would be to buy an alarm clock and let her set it to an appropriate time that would allow her to get up, get ready and get to school on time.
Kids who are not morning people definitely do not have a great kickoff to the day. Dealing with teenagers who despise getting out of bed is not pleasant for anyone.
Rules should be set. She should know what time the bus leaves the bus stop and where the bus stop is.
She should also know what time you are leaving the house, and that she is welcome to ride with you if she is in the car when it leaves the driveway.
The chores you spoke of should be an ongoing occurrence and should not have to be talked about in an already stressful time. If this requires putting a list on the refrigerator so that all family members know what is expected of them, then do it.
By the ninth grade, responsibility should have already been a part of your daughter’s routine. If they aren’t, by all means, start now. Due to personal experience, there is something else we would highly recommend. It is tthat you simply refuse to play into her bad mood.