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Topic : General Advice

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Created on : Friday, July 01, 2005, 04:43:59 pm
Author : dataimport
Share advice and support with other parents of pre-teens and teens.

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September 17, 2008, 8:37 am CDT

Messy Bedroom Beyond Belief

My 14 year old daughter is a slob. She leaves her clothes all over her bedroom floor and almost never hangs them up or puts them in her drawers. She had 2 girlfriends over night and they were all walking on top of her clothes! They had to-there was no floor showing. She also has shoes, books, papers, posters, markers, make up, trash, etc. all over her bedroom floor and nothing organized. I told her I will not be buying her any more clothes,shoes, etc. if I don't see her taking care of what she has. She says ok and continues to be the same. Then one day before she knows I might be going shopping she picks it up and wants me to take her shopping for clothes. If you saw pictures of her room you would not believe it. I have read many books on teens saying to ignore their messy bedrooms. I am wondering what others think of that, and would like to hear from others what has worked for them to get their teen to keep an organized bedroom!
 
September 21, 2008, 10:39 am CDT

Guilty

Quote From: pamelajep

My 14 year old daughter is a slob. She leaves her clothes all over her bedroom floor and almost never hangs them up or puts them in her drawers. She had 2 girlfriends over night and they were all walking on top of her clothes! They had to-there was no floor showing. She also has shoes, books, papers, posters, markers, make up, trash, etc. all over her bedroom floor and nothing organized. I told her I will not be buying her any more clothes,shoes, etc. if I don't see her taking care of what she has. She says ok and continues to be the same. Then one day before she knows I might be going shopping she picks it up and wants me to take her shopping for clothes. If you saw pictures of her room you would not believe it. I have read many books on teens saying to ignore their messy bedrooms. I am wondering what others think of that, and would like to hear from others what has worked for them to get their teen to keep an organized bedroom!
When I was 14, my room was horrific!  I am now 31 years old and keep everything immaculate and organized.  It drives me crazy to have things not put in their place.  Back then, organization was not a priority.  I was organized when it came to school and other areas but not my room.  My 15 year old son is the same way.  As long as the issue is just mess and clutter (not destruction of property), I would not be too concerned.  Who knows, may be your teen will be super organized when she is older?
 
September 21, 2008, 5:37 pm CDT

General Advice

Quote From: cary29

My daughter will be 13 in Nov. and for the past year it seems that all we do is fight (verbal only).  My husband and I make her do chores which is always a battle.  She is not allowed to walk downtown, hang out with older kids, wear makeup, wear revealing clothes, date, and she has to do her chores and homework before she can go out to play.  She feels we are way too hard on her and argues daily about this.  None of her friends have chores and they are allowed to do most of the things she is not allowed to and she feels that we are mean.  I tell her I am her mother not theirs and she has rules for a reason.  I have an illness that causes me to be in bed alot which I do feel bad about and I do need her and her brothers help quite a bit.  Lately she has had a very bad attitude, she is not listening, talking back to us, being horrible to her brother, rude to everyone, and tells us she hates us and wants to move in with my mother.  I can't deal with the yelling and arguing any longer.  Stress makes my illness worse.  We have tried to sit her down and explain why we do the things we do.  We have tried to ground her she just says she dosen't care. All that happenes is she acts up worse no matter what we try. If things are like this now what will it be like over the next few years? I am at witts end and need help,  any advise would be appreciated.

Well I think you have two problems with her. The first is the way you communicate with each other. I wrote a message about it a few years back. maybe it will be insightfull. You both are now Against-Above while Above-together might achieve more.

 

Yes teens need authority but if you bring it in an adult way chances are they will actually listen instead of snooping behind your back. And yes if a teen really does something wrong you should indeed ground them or whatever. But if you speak to many times on a authority tone the effect will become smaller since they know that it will happen anyway. 

  

And according to the psycology a teen wants to break free from their parents and if a parent is above against (offesive) (rose of Leary) which is the normal parenting style when the child is younger (they need it at that age) a child will need to break free to become an indevidual and go opposite from their parents style and become above together in the hope that their parents wil get more balanced towards the centre of the rose. so offense leads to offense.  If you approach them in an adult manner which is somewhere near the centre of the rose they will be more open to arguments since they don't feel the need to have to break free from the parents and so they don't have to put all their energy into having to break free. (below I will explain the rose of leary a bit better.) 

 

-------------------------------- 

Rose of Leary 

-------------------------------- 

  

The rose of Leary consists of 2 axis --> above below and against together 

                     against  |  together 

                                    | 

above                         | 

---------------------------+----------------------- 

below                         | 

                                    | 

                                    | 

therfore there ar for combinations possible: 

above-against or offense (e.g. why did you do that?) 

below-against or defense (e.g. but I just wanted to ...) 

above-together or leading (e.g. would you do that please?) 

below-together or following (e.g. yes) 

  

a natural reaction wil always be above leads to below and vice versa. 

a natural reaction to against wil be against and together leads to together 

so offense wil lead to deffense and vice versa and leading will lead to following and vice versa. 

  

But if someone is very offensive or defensive or leading or following you might want to change that. You effectively want to change it towards the totally oppesite so that they become more towards the centre of the rosefrom offensive more towards following for example.  

  

If you want to achieve that you will need to become the same above or below cathegory but the other against together cathegory. so to change offense you will need to assume leading role. If that is in a parent teen situation it will probably clash. 

  

I hope my explenation of the rose of Leary is clear and that it explains why you should talk to teens as if they where adults 

 

On the internet more info about the rose of leary can be found. this is a translation of a dutch text book so the actual names may differ. search for Leary and it will probebly produce some results.

 

The second problem is that you are setting her up to rebel in my opinion, you may differ on my views and I would like to exchange our points of view. Even if you don't do anything with the following the above is probably true no matter the difference in our idiological views. You are forbidding all the things that teens her age find interresting. I mean clothes, make-up, go downtown, hang out wih older kids & date.

 

Now I'm not saying you should radically change overnight but you can take smaller steps if you want. Try to see her as an adult and not as a child. approaching her in that way will help you to give her more responsibility. And make it clear to her that if she can't handle it you can take it away again.

 

I suggest you rethink which battles are the battles you really want to fight. Now for the clothes I suggest you'll try to find a middle ground. I mean you both are intellegent people I guess. So I don't think you can expect her to wear a turtle neck sweater all day and she can't expect that you'll allow her to go out in a tank top not large enough to cover her bra. See what is reasonable and what you can agree on. Try to find nice clothes she can wear without being embarresed about in front of her friends while you can still live with the fact she is wearing them.

 

Make-up, well all girls want to look pretty. Make up dates back to prehistoric times where women accentuated there lips with berries to look pretty in front of men and each other. It is not a new craze, teens have been putting it on for ever (at times even men did.) Maybe you can also find a middle ground here. Like maybe when she goes out she can put on make up and for the rest she can't or maybe a fine line under the eyes.

 

Walking downtown. Well I don't know how safe your town is, but if she can't walk maybe she can go by bike or one of you can bring her. Don't deny her social life, she needs to learn skills in interacting with others and can only learn that if she can interact with peers.

 

Hanging out with older kids is also normal for her age. she looks up to them because they are her peergroup and probably the leaders in that group. THey are more or less the role models that you have been in the previous stage of her life. It is good to watch out for older kids that are way older though, but don't be too strict and judge every older kid seperately. Some 13 year old kids are worse to have your daughter hang out with then some of the 17 year olds for instance.

 

Last dating. I think that you need to know that there is a difference between dating and dating. When you think about dating you are thinking about the adult version, the courting you and your husband did before you got married. She however is 13 dating consists of a movie holding each other and kissing a bit. In this she gets experience and learns lessons so that when she is older she can enter in an adult relationship.

The later she enters the dating scene the harder it will get to catch up with her peers who can date at this age. Also it sends out the wrong signal about dating. It becomes the forbidden fruit. And we all know what happens if somehing is forbidden.

 

If you are afraid that things might happen she is not ready for (sex). then you can help her to say no. Not by teaching abstinence, abstinence only doesn't work. sex-ed consist of more. You must also talk about the nice things of sex and when you do it. And just in case teach her about contraception so that you don't have a pregnant daughter or worse.

No matter what sex-ed is more abot empowering her then anything else. She needs to be able to listen to herself and see if she is ready or not. And needs enough self confidence to be able to say no. And believe me if they are thought teens can, evn with raging hormones, be sensible and say no because it doesn't feel right.

 

 

 

Last thing I wat to say is that your sickness also affects her. It is constantly in her mind. Her acting up can also, in part, be explained by her mother being sick. Not that either one of you can do anything about it, and you defenetly shouldn't feel guilty about it. But she might just need to blow off steam every once and a while.

 

Ow and I agree she needs to finish her homework and chores before she can do anything else.

 
September 25, 2008, 1:38 pm CDT

Teenage son over me!

I married my wife in Sept. 2006.  When we were first married she lived an hour and a half from me in the town we both grew up in.  When we first started dating I explained to her the importance of my career and the need to stay where I am living because I have a child from a previous marriage and am very active in her life.  She understood this and agreed to move to where I am.  After being married, we discussed her moving and she wanted to stay in her home town until the school year was out, in order to avoid uprooting her 2 children in the middle of the year.  I agreed that might make the transition easier for them.

 

After the school year was complete she moved to where I live, we established a home and things were going fine, so I thought.  She only stayed for three weeks and told me one day she was moving back home because she was homesick and did not like it here.  She left me August 19, 2006, alone, in a house I couldn't afford alone and with nothing.  I had gotten rid of all of my furnishings because she liked hers best.  No problem, I just wanted her and her children to feel comfortable and welcomed.  Plus, it would be familiar surroundings for the children, by the way, who were 14 and 6 at the time.

 

After leaving me, she immediately insisted on filing for divorce, which we did.  However, she would not move on.  I attempted numerous times to pick up the pieces but she would contact me and I would agree to try and work things out, knowing in the back of my mind she said she didn't want to live here with me.

She divorced me in November 2007.  I again attempted to move on and again she kept pursuing me.  I eventually find out that she was having an affair with her ex husband the enitre time.  She claimed that she was reaching out for something she couldn't have and that she was now over that.  She insisted we try again, but I avoided it as much as I could.

 

Well, after many months of begging, crying and many promises on her part that she would do whatever she had to in order to make it work, including moving to where I live.  I was very hesitant, but eventually gave in because I do truly love her.  She assured me, promised me and even swore on her life that if we were ever together again, she would never let me go.  I again told her, I could not move an hour and a half from my daughter and give up my career.  She didn't care, she just wanted us to be together, even if it meant walking out and leaving everything she had, she just wanted to be with me.

 

Well, 2 months ago, she moved back here.  We are together now, her children are in school here and things seemed to be falling into place.  That was until this past week.  Her son, who is now 15, called his father and asked to come live with him.  My wife told him that was not an option because she didn't want to split her children up.  My wife is now considering leaving me again to move back to her home town in order to please her 15 year old son.  He liked his old school and his old friends.

 

I am not sure what to do.  Her children love me, we do things together, have fun and get along fine.  I actually spend more quality time with them than their biological father.  My biggest confusion comes from the fact that she is going to let a teenager make a decision for her that will affect the rest of her life, an mine!  She doesn't want to leave, but she says she won't lose her son either.  We seriously need advice on how to handle this situation.  What should I tell her or what should she do?

 

Am I just completely wrong or should she not be letting her teenage son force her into leaving me?

Todd

 
September 29, 2008, 9:30 am CDT

General Advice

Quote From: jaimie1974

Wow, it sounds like youve really been through a lot with this woman! You are right; the biggest concern is that she would allow a 15 year old make such a huge decision for her. Perhaps she is allowing him to do this because the reality is that she wants to go back where she came from? (I hope that isnt the case, just a suggestion; something to consider.) Have you discussed this concern with her? Explain to her that she is the mother; that you will do anything and everything to support her decision to stay; and remind her that SHE is the parent- her son cant simply decide where he wants to live and then do what he wants.
It sounds like the son is just playing one parent against the other. This is so typical of teens; they know exactly what buttons to push! Especially if this young man has been raised believing that he can tell his mother what to do; then hes going to do exactly that. I wish you the best; but if she goes this time; do not allow her back into your life.

Thanks Jaimie for your comment.

 

Part of the problem is that since she divorced their father she has felt a need to over-indulge her 2 children in an effort to compensate for their loss.  This leaves them thinking that she will and does do anything in her power to pacify them.

 

I have discussed this with her many times, including research from phychiatrists and psychologist, who all say that moving is a big deal for teenagers.  However, when handled properly it is something that can be easily overcome.  i have attempted to get him involved in the community, church, school activities, etc...  I do feel that she may be looking for a reason to go back home, and if she does there isn't much I can do.

 

She doesn't work, she has a long history of migraines and other issues that prevent of from working.  So she feels that I should give up a 17 year career in Law Enforcement to move with her.  I have a child from a previous marriage, I am a very active part of her life and have only 8 years until retirement.  I am not going to walk away at this point.

 

I think a part of her is thinking she can manipulate me.  If she does move home this time, I have no choice but to sever all ties.  I have discussed this with her and made it abundantly clear.

 

Other than what I have mentioned, I don't know what else to do.

 
October 2, 2008, 10:16 am CDT

cleans just to make it dirty again

Quote From: pamelajep

My 14 year old daughter is a slob. She leaves her clothes all over her bedroom floor and almost never hangs them up or puts them in her drawers. She had 2 girlfriends over night and they were all walking on top of her clothes! They had to-there was no floor showing. She also has shoes, books, papers, posters, markers, make up, trash, etc. all over her bedroom floor and nothing organized. I told her I will not be buying her any more clothes,shoes, etc. if I don't see her taking care of what she has. She says ok and continues to be the same. Then one day before she knows I might be going shopping she picks it up and wants me to take her shopping for clothes. If you saw pictures of her room you would not believe it. I have read many books on teens saying to ignore their messy bedrooms. I am wondering what others think of that, and would like to hear from others what has worked for them to get their teen to keep an organized bedroom!
I have a 16yr old daughter and going through the same thing. Her room looks like a hurricane blew through it with all kinds of little pieces of "things" all over the floor. He laundry hamper is over flowing with clothes and I don't know how she sleeps in her bed with all the stuff on it. She will get annoyed at me nagging her to clean her room after a while and spend several hours cleaning it, it looks spotless. And the next day it starts all over again. I don't know how she can spend so much time cleaning just to make it dirty again.
 
October 4, 2008, 11:12 am CDT

Pam

Quote From: pamelajep

My 14 year old daughter is a slob. She leaves her clothes all over her bedroom floor and almost never hangs them up or puts them in her drawers. She had 2 girlfriends over night and they were all walking on top of her clothes! They had to-there was no floor showing. She also has shoes, books, papers, posters, markers, make up, trash, etc. all over her bedroom floor and nothing organized. I told her I will not be buying her any more clothes,shoes, etc. if I don't see her taking care of what she has. She says ok and continues to be the same. Then one day before she knows I might be going shopping she picks it up and wants me to take her shopping for clothes. If you saw pictures of her room you would not believe it. I have read many books on teens saying to ignore their messy bedrooms. I am wondering what others think of that, and would like to hear from others what has worked for them to get their teen to keep an organized bedroom!

The first thing i would do is take a garbage bag and start removing most of the items from her room.

I would leave her about three changes for school and one for the week end.

Shoes, i would leave her sneakers, and one pair of dress shoes.

All those posters on the floor would be boxed up, as well as any thing else that was not essential to her that was on the floor. Everything, that was not being used and was strewn on the floor.

All school books and papers would be boxed up, were she could get at them if she really needed them.

After I had done this, i would firmly tell her keep it clean, or not, but know this if you can not show enough responsability to keep it decent, then there will be nothing added to your room, like new clothes, make up, posters, ect simply because you can not handle the reponsabilty of managing items is a mature and responsible way.

If after a week she is showing that she is making a sincere attempt at keeping her room decent, let her go through her clothes and pick on more outfit, to add to her closet, keep doing that till she has earned her clothes, make up, posters, what ever back. If she starts slacking take an out fit away, poster's away, make up away, ect. Do not buy her anything new untill she really gets that you mean buisness. I mean really gets it that you had enough and are through playing games. When you feel she really has started to get it and is sincer about making a concious effort to do better reward her, take her out to a movie, or let her have a sleep over ect. Honestly if my house was in such a mess i would not want people over, so she should nto be having people over into her space (bedroom) untill she got it under control.

Be aware she will probably react like any typical teen, temper tantrum, crying, begging, promising, ect, don't buy that for a second lol. Do not give in, she is fourteen she really needs to learn consequences for action, respect for her property and yours, and self pride in doing a job well for herself.

This is a learning process, so it is not going to happen over night, it is a lot faster to learn a bad habit than it is to undo one, so patience and persaverance is key.

Ignoring a problem does not work, it simply reinforces for your daughter, that it if you do not mind it does not matter, and believe me it really does matter. There is a lot of teaching opportunities that are missed when something is ignored, and she is going to need all the tools you can give her to make a wonderful life for herself when she reaches adulthood.

Good luck! Let us know what you decided to do, and how it is working for ya, or if you just need some support.

Tammy

 

 

 
October 27, 2008, 9:06 pm CDT

General Advice

Quote From: bj1962

This is a long story, please stay with me...

We have 3 children, the two eldest are boys (20 & 21) and a daughter whom is about to turn 19. Our daughter is disabled due to an accident when she was only 2 and in a special education class, she's a cheer to be around...most of the time (like any teen eh?). She has a young friend I'll call 'Anne' who is also in her class, she has a 16 yr old body and the mind of an 8 year old. Our daughter and Anne get along very well and we have been having her over this summer for company as we live in the country, we have been doing all of the 'girl summer' stuff..painting nails, sun, sand, water, magazines...shopping, they are having a great summer as it should be.

The young girl has been raised by her father whom works to support herself and 3 older siblings in the house, as the mother left when Anne was only 18 months old. Her grandmother had much of an influence until she passed on 2 years ago, but since then I don't believe there has been any other womanly input.

Anne comes to visit with a ripped shopping bag full of clothes which are 2 sizes too small, no underwear nor bras...I'm sure you get it. We aren't wealthy but I have taking the girls out for some shopping and I have managed to pick up some cotton panties and the like, I stuck them in the bottom of a bag I made her for travelling. This has been happening since the end of school and gradually I have been able to weed some Tshirts and shorts for her from our daughter's stock...no biggie.

This week Anne didn't feel well so I took her home early (I called first), she had too much to carry herself so I was allowed entry into the small family home for the first time. I'm not quite sure how to say this without sounding like I'm judging the dad because I know he works hard but the place was...looking for a word here...terrible. They have 2 small dogs that seem to not go outside and have left all of their business on the kichen floor...everywhere. I had to wade and find the kitchen sink just to wet a cloth for her forehead, there is garbage and bags and towels and empty beer bottles and old newspaper and old food...you get the drift. I didn't give any response at all and just kept on as I didn't want Anne to feel as I had noticed.

Now the dilema...should I just go in and have Anne help me clean up? Keep my nose in my own business? Offer to help? We like having Anne here and it seems she loves being here and her father doesn't seem to have any problems with it either, I'm just not sure IF I should go anywhere with it at all. There are 2 older siblings at Anne's home that are female 20 and male 22, and from what I can tell her sister watches Jerry Springer and soaps all day and the brother stays up in his room playing video games and listening to Marilyn Manson (I can hear it from outside when I pull up).

My husband says I am always out to save the world...I think we can only do what we can, if we can.

 

Any thoughts anyone? Thanks in advance :)

The difficult thing here is that there are two other adults living in the home therefore I would NOT come in and clean it for them.  I may approach the 20 year old female and discuss it with her - she may accept your help.  I think it is a tricky situation that I would ask once about and if the offer is turned down then I would leave it alone.  You are showing her by having her into your own home that it is not necessarily the ideal way to live.  On the other hand if you feel it is a health hazard you could let some time pass so that they would not suspect that you were the culprit and contact human services to come for a visit since there is a minor child in the home with mental issues.  Human services would probably hold the other three adults in the family responsible for keeping it orderly and clean to some extent - then the monkey would be off of your back.  It sounds to me like the living conditions could pose a health hazard.  If there are two adult children living in the house lying around all day and not working and contributing to the household to help take some of the burden off of the father then there are some other serious issues as well.

 
October 27, 2008, 9:22 pm CDT

Messy Room

Quote From: tammy_anne

The first thing i would do is take a garbage bag and start removing most of the items from her room.

I would leave her about three changes for school and one for the week end.

Shoes, i would leave her sneakers, and one pair of dress shoes.

All those posters on the floor would be boxed up, as well as any thing else that was not essential to her that was on the floor. Everything, that was not being used and was strewn on the floor.

All school books and papers would be boxed up, were she could get at them if she really needed them.

After I had done this, i would firmly tell her keep it clean, or not, but know this if you can not show enough responsability to keep it decent, then there will be nothing added to your room, like new clothes, make up, posters, ect simply because you can not handle the reponsabilty of managing items is a mature and responsible way.

If after a week she is showing that she is making a sincere attempt at keeping her room decent, let her go through her clothes and pick on more outfit, to add to her closet, keep doing that till she has earned her clothes, make up, posters, what ever back. If she starts slacking take an out fit away, poster's away, make up away, ect. Do not buy her anything new untill she really gets that you mean buisness. I mean really gets it that you had enough and are through playing games. When you feel she really has started to get it and is sincer about making a concious effort to do better reward her, take her out to a movie, or let her have a sleep over ect. Honestly if my house was in such a mess i would not want people over, so she should nto be having people over into her space (bedroom) untill she got it under control.

Be aware she will probably react like any typical teen, temper tantrum, crying, begging, promising, ect, don't buy that for a second lol. Do not give in, she is fourteen she really needs to learn consequences for action, respect for her property and yours, and self pride in doing a job well for herself.

This is a learning process, so it is not going to happen over night, it is a lot faster to learn a bad habit than it is to undo one, so patience and persaverance is key.

Ignoring a problem does not work, it simply reinforces for your daughter, that it if you do not mind it does not matter, and believe me it really does matter. There is a lot of teaching opportunities that are missed when something is ignored, and she is going to need all the tools you can give her to make a wonderful life for herself when she reaches adulthood.

Good luck! Let us know what you decided to do, and how it is working for ya, or if you just need some support.

Tammy

 

 

I couldn't have said it better myself - I have a 14 year old daughter and she would never dream of not cleaning her room when I ask her.  She is responsible for making her bed BEFORE she leaves the house in the morning.  Evening time she must hang clothes up, reorganize, etc.  It takes all of 10 to 15 minutes because she is not allowed to let it get out of hand.  Take control now or the fact that she knows that you tell her to do something and she got away without doing it will lead to disrespect in other aspects of your relationship.  I don't agree that teens should be allowed to have a messy room.  When they have their own house they can have it as messy as they like.  She is not showing you any repect for the home you provide for her and the things that you buy her. I would take her into her bedroom and tell her you are going to help her get her room up to par.  while you are helping her I would show her how you expect things to be kept within reason.  My daughter likes me to come in and help her sometimes because I organize things a little better but i have noticed that she has learned from it and is getting pretty good at it herself.  Help her once and let her know she is on her own after that with consequences.  She may be overwhelmed at the mess. A few times a year i take trash bags in her room and we go through all drawers and closets and get rid of anything she does not wear or that she has outgrown and things that are wore out as well as other junk she has gathered - then we take it to the thrift store so she can pick out other things that she wants. Getting rid of clutter is key and having plenty of storage to keep things out of sight helps. Don't give in girl - this is when it counts - don't back down.
 
October 27, 2008, 9:46 pm CDT

General Advice

Quote From: oet_gaol

Well his dressing i just a way of expressing himself. He just wears what is normal within the group of friends he has. There is no going right or wrong here by you, you cant influence his clothing too much during his puberty. He dresses this way so that he can become an adult having his own opinion and style, it is important that you let him. After a while he will dress differently it's just a fase remember that. Most important thing for you to remember is that clothing doesn't change his personality, a good kid is a good kid no matter how he dresses.

 

I have two sons - 21 and 17 and a daughter 14.  The boys were both skaters and their dress was not the best but they were good boys like yours.  I have always encouraged individuality among my kids as I am a lesbian mother.  Find something you really like about him and tell him how much you like it.  I didn't really like my sons hair hanging down into his eyes because he had these gorgeous eyes but i found that if I let him know that i didn't like it the longer he would grow it.  I started telling him that it was growing on me and that i kind of liked it now.  Next thing i knew he had a buzz cut.  I acted so disappointed but i would tell him that i loved seeing his beautiful eyes again.  Please stand behind your sons choices and let him know that you accept him the way he is and reinforce the good things about him like his grades.  The less reaction that you give to things such as dress and hair the better.  It will change before you know it.  Focus on the qualities that you love about him and let him know it - Sometimes you just gotta laugh and go on. You are spending too much time worrying about where you went wrong but it sound to me like you have done some things right.
 
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