Hi Cathy, I am a foster carer and a social worker recommended your books. We have had 19 children share our home in the last 18mths, and met some difficulties in the way. I have a 14 year old girl at present who will hopefully be with us long term. She’s a lovely girl but insists on piling make-up on, and getting it all over the bedroom, furniture and walls. I’ve talked to her and she agrees that it is not right, but goes on doing it. Have you any advice to help me deal with it? Kind Regards
Pat A
CG: Hi Pat, I think there are two issues here. One is that your foster daughter is putting on too much make up, and two she is making a real mess in the process. I suggest we tackle the two issues separately. First – the application of makeup. Many teenage girls apply too much makeup when they first start using it, and often the last person they will take advice from is their mother or carer. Can I suggest that as a special treat or part of a birthday present you book your foster daughter an appointment at a beauty salon to have her makeup done professionally. Most salons and cosmetic departments in large stores will give profession makeup advice. I suggest you go with your foster daughter; it will be a fun activity for you both, and having heard the advice you can remind her of it later if necessary. Now to the second issue. While no one with children can expect a squeaky clean house, it is reasonable to ask a girl of 14 to show some respect towards your furniture etc which you have worked hard for. I suggest you have one area where she can apply her makeup. This could be a small table in her bedroom, or the bathroom, or even on the kitchen table – what ever is most convenient for you all. It should be an area that is easily wiped down. Clearly this ‘house rule’ must apply to all young people in the house who use make up. If she still continues in the behaviour you will need to be firm and (a) warn her of a sanction and then (b) impose it if the behaviour continues. Making her clear up the mess can be very positive, and if bedding or similar is damaged past the point of repair e.g. by having nail varnish split all over it, then it is reasonable to stop some of her pocket money towards the cost of new. However you will need the consent of your social worker to do this. Hopefully it won’t come to this. Good luck and let me know how you get on. Cathy x