Teen daughter is never ready on time for anything

By | July 26, 2022

My stepdaughter (13) never seems to be able to get ready on time for anything. Dentist appointment at 10:00? She’ll just be getting out of the shower at 9:55. Staying in a hotel and the check out time is at 11:00? She’ll still be in her pajamas and not packed at 10:50.

She was also chronically 10 to 20 minutes late for school last school year.

She ignores my wife and I if we try to give her gentle coaxing to get moving in the morning. If we try to be strict and tell her she NEEDS to be out of bed at x time and showered by y time, she snaps at us or shuts down and throws herself under the bed covers. If we try to talk calmly to her and ask her to brainstorm with us ways we can support her to get ready on time she also snaps at us and tells us she doesn’t need our help or just says “I don’t know” in response to us asking how we can help.

Multiple times I’ve had to call a doctors or dentists office and say we are running 20 minutes late and apologize, or call a hotel front desk and say we need an extra half hour past their check out time, all of which makes me uncomfortable as I don’t like to inconvenience others like that. The chronic school tardiness especially makes me concerned.

It’s gotten to where I’ve been fibbing to her about the times things are actually scheduled for to compensate for her sluggishness, such as telling her an appointment is for 10:00 when really it’s at 10:15.

For some additional context, my wife and stepdaughter are immigrants from another country where, my impression is, the culture does not consider punctuality to be as important as we do in the US. I understand and respect that but I really need her to meet me halfway here.

I’m not sure what else to try here or how to approach this and I’m looking for advice? Thanks in advance.

3 thoughts on “Teen daughter is never ready on time for anything

  1. Peloquin Post author

    Is mom like this? If she is, forget it. You aren’t going to win. If not, mom needs to be on board and try the below.

    Natural consequences time. Going to an event she is excited to go to, leaving at xx:xx, she needs to be ready by xx:xx. Sd, we are leaving in 10 minutes, we will leave without you if you are not ready. 5min warning. Bye sd.

  2. Iris

    My daughter is slow at everything she does. Not slow as in mentally handicapped, but slow as in everything takes forever.

    She’s intelligent for sure. She learned to read at two years of age. She’s analytical, quick (in her mind) and sharp. School has been easy.. BUT her grades are suffering now because of her slowness. She doesn’t have time to finish her tests and assignments.

    Her mind drifts. She’s always off somewhere in the clouds. Homework takes the whole evening because she’s not focusing. But there’s no problem focusing when reading or watching movies. She reads a lot and she can sit and read focused entire days without breaks.

    Yesterday dinner took 90 minutes for her to finish. Taking a shower MINIMUM of 30 minutes. Plus time for brushing hair and putting clothes on. Evening toiletry, brushing teeth, cleaning up etc… 30-60 minutes. It’s the same with everything.

    Her teachers are talking a lot about this is well. Schoolwork and Lunch takes forever.

    If we ask her to hurry she says she tries, but we see no difference. Sloooow motion movements. It’s driving us insane. All we do is nag, nag, nag, nag, nag, nag and when we see no results it feels she is provoking us and we start screaming at her.

    This combined with her other issues (if we ask her to do one thing and then another, she only does the first and forgets the second, she constantly forgets basic routines like brushing hair, teeth, changing underwear, putting away dishes = nag nag nag nag nag, she keeps throwing clothes on the floor and we can’t make her stop, nothing works, threaths, rewards, punishments… I could go on and on and on) makes every single day an endless torrent of things that irritate us, and nagging. My new fiancee can’t stand my daughter because of this, it’s a real problem for my relationship with my fiancee. Because how can I be with someone who doesn’t at least LIKE my daughter?

    My daughter is the sweetest girl. But she’s a dreamer, like me. A thinker. Possibly a little Aspergers in some ways. And I don’t know how to improve this situation.

    Well, that’s it. Sorry for a fragmented text, just pouring out here. Please ask questions if I need to clarify something.

    1. Mom

      First of all, put the fiancé on the back burner and work on your relationship with your daughter. Pour your time and energy into her and her well being. Once she is on the right track (medicinally or however that comes about), then re-examine your relationship with the SO again. Your SO is a choice, your daughter is your obligation. If SO doesn’t even like your daughter, it’s time to take a huge step back with that so you can see it clearly.


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