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kathsgrdn

I'm really trying....

Kathsgrdn
10 years ago

to like our Russian exchange student. But it's hard. I've found out a lot about her that I really dislike. She is one of the most self-centered people I've ever met. She's also apparently making out with boys at football games behind her Russian boyfriend's back. I know she's young but even my 15 year old thinks that's very uncool.

She is always making comments about how popular she is because she's an exchange student, how all the boys are crazy about her. She gets annoyed when her friends aren't right on time to pick her up to take her where she wants to go and will call to tell them they need to hurry because she's getting bored.

I had to work the other night and was leaving the house at 6:30, she wanted me to drive her first to play tennis with some friends. I told her I couldn't be late for work to take her. She just kept trying to get me to take her, which only annoyed me even more.

I also don't like the fact that she has lied to me, had her friends lie to me for her about an unsupervised party. She has to be home at 9:00 pm on school nights and nights I work the next day...and she keeps pushing that back making excuses for why she can't be here on time. Now, I find out that when I went to nightshift for these two weeks she asked my daughter if that meant she could stay out later.

She is also been told multiple times to shower before I get home on nights I work the next day because I have to go to bed around 9:30 to get up at 5:30 am. She will put off shower until the last minute until it's nearly my bed time and I can't even brush my teeth because she's trying to shower. When I've reminded her to go ahead and shower, she will say something like, "ok, ok, ok, 15 minutes..." arghghghhhh! The other day she came home late and went directly into the shower. I made her come out and go to bed. She wasn't happy and when I went in after she washed her face, found a ton of water on the back of the sink again.

A few weeks ago I was ready to throw in the towel and tell them to have her find another family to go live with. Lauren told me I was being too hard on her, this was before Lauren found out about the other boys and a few other things Lauren told me that she doesn't really like about her. Lauren has a new boyfriend and Liza made a comment to Lauren and later to me about how cute she thought her boyfriend was. Lauren made a comment, like "ok...." and Liza then said she had nothing to worry about over and over again. It was just odd.

I had to work nightshift and was sleeping the other day when Liza tried to text message me to pick her up from school. She knew I had to sleep but still, everything is about her and she had to go to Wal-Mart again (we had just gone the night before!) and then come home to get ready for swim practice. Well, I didn't answer because I was sleeping. Later Lauren told me she kept harassing Lauren about trying to find someone to take her to Wal-Mart, one of Lauren's friend's moms or Lauren's boyfriend...Lauren said no. I've already tried talking to Liza about making one trip to Wal-Mart or another store, not multiple ones. I'm not a taxi.

Last month Lauren and her old scout troop went out to Waverly Hills, an old sanitarium that has a haunted house now. They were going to be out late and so all the girls spent the night over the house of the old troop leader and her daughter. It was midnight and Lauren said Liza demanded to take a shower and wanted Mary (the girl who lived there) to ask her mom. I guess she was so adamant that Mary woke her mom up to ask her if it was ok...she said no. Liza got pissed and went to sleep in Mary's room upstairs instead of down in the livingroom with the other girls. Lauren made the comment that Mary never gets mad at anyone ever and she has known her since about 3rd grade...well, Liza managed to piss her off.

I thought it was just me, but I don't think it is. Unless she does something really bad, I've decided to just let it go and wait the school year out.

Our other exchange student, Sola, is wonderful. But, I've decided this is going to be our last year. I don't think I'm cut out for this.

Comments (35)

  • Lindsey_CA
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Don't you still have half the school year left? If so, and if I were you, I'd tell the school to find another home for the girl. It's not worth the stress for you or for Lauren, not to mention Sola.

  • ruthieg__tx
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I wouldn't put up with it even for the rest of the year. She knows she has boundaries yet she is basically telling everyone she can and will do as she pleases. I wouldn't even want to subject Lauren to that.

  • sheilajoyce_gw
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    So do you have two girls right now? Why not ask if Liza can be placed elsewhere? I wonder if Sola is having a rough time with her too.

  • Kathsgrdn
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Yes, Lindsay, there is 6 more months to go.

    Yes, Sheilajoyce, I have asked about them placing her somewhere else. She would have to find her own place by asking friends according to the coordinator. She said she was not going to go out of her way to assist her. I don't know about them getting along or not, Liza seems to blame Sola for a lot of things...like the water in the bathroom.

  • suzieque
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    That is unacceptable behavior and she needs to be told firmly that it is the end of that. I'd tell her that she has a chance to stay for the rest of the school year or not, and it's up to her. If she chooses to straighten out, Ok. If not, she's gone. And then stick to it.

    Unfortunately, it sounds like it's just her personality, and that's not really changeable.

    Would you allow your own children to behave like that? If not, why would you permit someone else's kid to?

    Good luck - not an easy thing.

  • lynn_d
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm sorry you are still having trouble with Liza, Kathleen, her inconsideration is bad enough but the dishonesty would be a deal breaker for me. She would get stern, one more chance and if she crossed the line again she would be out. When we were involved with the exchange program if there was a problem the coordinators took care of it and if need be they took in the student until they could be rehomed or sent home. If they had to be sent home the student's family paid for it, so the students towed the line. What a shame that she is behaving like a spoiled brat.

  • Granlan_TX
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    First of all, I commend you for inviting these exchange students. I could never do that...not that fond of someone living with me; especially strangers.

    Whatever it takes, there's no way I think you should have to tolerate that girl for another day. Not right or fair to you or the others in your home.

    Good luck in getting something done soon.

  • Georgysmom
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am so surprised that the coordinator wasn't more helpful. It isn't just about you and Liza, but she is ruining Sola's experience living with another family in another country. Perhaps you should tell Liza that this isn't working out and she needs to look for another host family. Maybe (I doubt it) she will shape up. Meanwhile, hang tough. Do they ever send exchange students home early?

  • chloecat
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Wow. She does seem to be a bit of a challenge!

    I'm wondering, though, why you continue to have exchange students? I've seen your writings here at the KT about just about all of them - many times complaining about them. Is it mostly because this is just a place to vent?

    Out of curiosity, do you get paid to have them? Is it a money-making thing? I have no idea if that's how it works (I'm not one to have guests over, much less have anyone LIVE with me... LOL)

  • lydia1959
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Chloe.. Kath and others volunteer to take these students for the year. They do not get paid.

    Kath, maybe you just need to set some strict rules. If she's not in the shower by a certain time.. she doesn't get a shower. One trip to Walmart a week.. if she wants to go more she needs to find her own ride or call a taxi. Tell her she'll have to find a new host family if she can't abide by your rules.

    I don't think you can change most of her behavior, like Suzieque said it's just her personality.

  • workoutlady
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    So I'm curious, where is Sola from? You probably remember that we had exchange students also. The first from Germany was great the second from Brazil was terrible and I'm like you in that I will never do this again because of the bad experience I had the second time around.

    I had some of the similar behavior the second time around as far as her demands. I know that with the second kid, the family had a chauffer, cook and each person in the family had their own maid. I know that was part of the problem with our girl but it wasn't the only problem.

    With that being said, I really believe you need to get this kid out of your house now. She obviously doesn't fit with your family. I really think this situation will get worse. I'm not sure why Sola would need to go though if she's not a part of the problem. Just get Liza out of the house.

    Not sure what organization you are working with but your local person should be able to help you out. Call that person now even if you decide to allow Liza to live there. It's their job to be a mediator and find a new place for her. Also, should things come to a head one day and you do ask her to leave, you have a paper trail and the company would know that this might happen. Without it you will have no support. If you need any other advice feel free to contact me. I do know what you are going thru.

  • alisande
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I think you are cut out for this, Kath--but Liza is not. You describe her very well.....I can hear her, accent and all, and even guess at the body language. LOL

    You have my sympathy, and I hope she gets another placement soon. After that, well, "don't let one bad apple......."

  • bee0hio
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    There can be personality conflicts, or culture conflicts & maybe that's all that's happening here. Or- maybe there is more than that. When you're in the middle of this kind of situation, it's hard to sort all that out. And you're not getting any support it seems.

    The thing that disturbs me greatly is that the coordinator leaves you AND Liza high & dry. To say that Liza would be the one to find another place from amongst her friends?? That just seems wrong! She's only 15 & these are all *new* friends to her in just a few months. Isn't there at least some minimal screening done of the family accepting foreign students? I would hope so. Otherwise, it might be unsafe for these *children*! What would happen if a child was unable to make friends?

    I don't think I could deal with your situation for another 6 months Kath. Don't know what I'd do.... maybe just write everything down in a very objective way & sit down with her (keeping your emotions in check) & lay everything on the line & tell her she'll be gone if things don't change in "x" amount of time. Good luck!

  • patti43
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Can't they send her back to Russia? Personally, I wouldn't want to be responsible for her actions. What happens if she ends up pregnant? And I sure wouldn't put up with her "princess" attitude. Sorry you're having such a time. You're so good to those students who live with you to make sure they have a great American experience. I hate this is happening to you.

  • Jasdip
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I think you've tried long enough!!! Ship her to the curb!

  • FlamingO in AR
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oh, Kath- you're a much nicer person than I am. I'd be all over that coordinator, it's HER job to make this right and if you say she's out of your house, that's your decision. Sounds like she's about to start hitting on Lauren's boyfriend, too.

    I think she needs to go home, frankly. I can't believe the nerve of a 15 year old girl, being such a pushy guest. She needs to learn that the whole world does not revolve around her.

  • Jasdip
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    What worries me Kath, is if she's pushing the limits like this...I'd be worried she'd be stealing money from me. I know that's extreme, but you never know....

  • pammyfay
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I would sit her down, reemphasize to her the rules of your house (in addition to the badly-timed phone calls and why you can't be at her beck and call to take her to a store, that you are a working mom). I would tell her that her actions show disrespect for you and for your efforts to make her comfortable, and that there will be a two-week trial period to see if she can get with the program, but that in the meantime, she needs to think about where else she might want to live while in the U.S. and start talking to some of her friends' parents. (Then I'd talk to the coordinator again, apprise her of this and tell her it's her responsibility to pick up the pieces if things don't work out. Remember, too, that the coordinator has a boss -- find out who that is and make sure he/she knows you received no support from that person.)

    You can only control so much -- she's not your child, and she knows you are not her parent (she prob thinks what are you gonna do-- call her parents in Russia?).

    She is trying to experience every bit of freedom she has here, pushing the boundaries. It'd be interesting to take a peek at her life back in Russia and the limits her family sets on her.

    But you know one thing: You can be comfortable knowing that your daughter has absorbed better from you and isn't trying to take after her. The situations you mention prove that, and you should be proud of her.

    The fact that there is another exchange student in the house basically caught in the middle is a problem -- I'm sure she senses (and hears) your frustrations and feels a bit ignored, knowing that things would be different for her if you weren't so focused on the problems with the other one.

    (And I agree with Alisande: I don't think it's that you're not cut out for this -- how many people wouldn't even consider hosting a student? You've had good experiences before, no? This one just happens to rub you the wrong way -- oil and water.)

  • vala55
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I would have a talk with her and explain that she has to follow the house rules and tell her about the the other things that bother you. If she doesn't cooperate then I would make the call to remove her.

  • vala55
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I wanted to add, I think taking in a foreign exchange student is a very good thing and you are to be commended for taking on that responsibility.

  • gardenspice
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    You are much more tolerant than I. I would sit her down, give her the rules, check her understanding of the rules, then tell her that if she is unable to follow the rules, there will be consequences, including being asked to leave.
    She seems to think of a servant, rather than a host.

  • Lily316
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    You are to be commended on taking in foreign exchange students. Given your experience , I doubt it's something I could do. Good luck

  • lindyluwho
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    When DD had an exchange student from Ukraine a couple of years ago they had to ask her to find another place to live (about this same time of year). She was given and ultimatum to straighten up or leave. She also lied, it was "all about her" and a lot of stuff I won't get into here. She found another place to live and they were all much happier.

    DO give her an ultimatum. DON'T accept excuses, lies and bad behavior. DO ask her to leave if she doesn't comply. Once you ask her to leave tell her she has a certain amount of time (2 weeks maybe?? and not a minute more) to find a place to live or she will be going home. DO let the Exchange Student Co-ordinator know the girl is no longer welcome in your home after a certain date. A new home will be found for her since she won't have a place to stay otherwise.

    Remember this is your home and you make the rules. You don't have to have anyone there who makes you unhappy. That's not what you signed up for. Also don't let "cultural differences" be her excuse for bad behavior. That's BS. She is old enough to know how to behave.

    Good luck. Life is too short to let someone make you miserable especially in your own home.

    Linda

  • darrah
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I think it is admirable that you open your home to exchange students. However, would you put up with this attitude from your own daughter? If not, then you have your answer - this girl is history. If you choose to finish out the six months she has learned that she can get away with this in the future with other host families and it is showing your daughter you don't have to be respected. This isn't about a different culture - it's about being a self-centered person.

  • kfca37
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    When I was in high school in the early to mid 1950ties, we had two exchange students in our graduating class, a boy named Peter from Holland & a girl from Denmark or Norway, forget which. Don't know why I didn't wonder at the time about where they were living (duh), but I guess with some local families. So obviously these foreign exchange programs have been going on for many, many decades.

    Just curious as WHO runs these HS student exchange programs? Obviously, such programs don't run on Love, so there must be money changing hands.Do coordinators get a fee if host families don't? I've seen ads around the SF/Bay Area seeking housing for three months for what sounds like language exchange students, but the host families apprently do get paid a fee.

    Sorry about your situation. Relatives visiting for a week is more than plenty for me.

  • pekemom
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It's not fair that one girl is allowed to disrupt your family and the other exchange student. You gave her many
    chances, she is not about to try to be decent about it, apparently she thinks you and everyone else will just have
    to put up with her. I'd get rid of her, 6 months more is too long.

  • Adella Bedella
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Being an exchance student is a privilege. I'm assuming the both of you agreed to a set of conditions when you agreed to host her and she became an exchange student. I'd document what she has done. I might not even give her one last chance. Someone who is sneaky like she is might do something to get you in trouble. I'm not sure I'd let her hang around to see what else she might pull.

  • glenda_al
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I see RED FLAGS waving: She's also apparently making out with boys at football games

  • Kathsgrdn
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm just venting here. She reminds me of Johanna, who we hosted last year, only 100 times worse. Johanna's family was well off and was kind of self centered, expected everyone to do her laundry, get her drinks etc...mostly Maria, our other exchange student. They had a maid at home because her parents worked long hours out of town. She was a slob too and at the end it affected her and Maria's relationship. Maria was always cleaning up her messes.

    Liza is 16 and will be 17 next month. Talking to her via e-mail before she came, she seemed so mature and level headed. The coordinator, me and Liza did have a meeting last month and I told Liza I was considering having her find somewhere else to live. That's how bad it was. We went over the rules again. Her coordinator from the main office called me too, but I was driving with both girls at the time and couldn't talk to him. I tried calling back but didn't get an answer. Then got busy working, etc...

    She is from a single parent home, mom is a pharmacist and she is used to getting whatever she wants. She has expensive things and likes to shop at the mall every chance she gets. I don't worry about her stealing from me because she not only gets scholarship money from CIEE but has personal credit cards from her mom.

    She was shocked when I grounded her after the lying/party thing. She said she's never been grounded before. She also said that it was ok with her mom if she went to parties not supervised by adults.

    And no, I get no money for hosting them, just a little tax credit.

  • Kathsgrdn
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oh, kfca37, apparently we tax payers pay for the exchange program because I got an e-mail from CIEE last week asking me to send a pre-made letter to my state representative to vote for funding for the program. I'm all for international exchanges but not sure I like taxpayers having to pay for it.

  • linda_in_iowa
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I would give her the boot. She is a spoiled brat. You don't need this stress Kath.

  • chisue
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Get her out of your house. Patti beat me to it, thinking about an unplanned pregnancy. Guess WHO will be blamed should that happen? (Or when she gets in trouble in a different way.)

    You've already laid down the law, and she isn't following it. No more 'chances'. I'd just say sometimes there's not a 'fit', and make the system move her.

    Do you have spare time to 'parent' these kids? Sounds like you're already working long hours at your job.

  • pudgeder
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Would you allow your own children to behave like that? If not, why would you permit someone else's kid to?

    That sums it up for me right there.

    you're coordinator is WRONG. It's THEIR responsibility to find a new location for your student, not HER'S or YOURS.
    The coordinator DOES get paid, even though you do not.

    This child is a self-centered brat and shouldn't have been accepted into the program. Guess who'll get blamed if she ends up pregnant from making out w/the football team?

    Time to move her out.

  • kacram
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm sorry, Kath. Call the coordinator that hasn't help you and ask her for her supervisor's name and phone number. Tell them that the have to get her a new home, as she will soon be homeless! lol No, seriously, hopefully if you ask for the supervisor, maybe your coordinator will step up and help before you have to turn to her super. The host families are volunteers and it IS an expense for them. The program should be watching out not only for the students but the families too!

    Call her Monday and them the number

  • Georgysmom
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Kath, you need to sit down with Liza and explain to her just what being an exchange student means. The whole idea of the exchange program whether it be domestic exchange or foreign exchange is to experience a different way of life other than what he or she was living. In some cases, the students were living a very privileged life and exchanged that for a more down to earth life, in some cases the students were living a down to earth life and were put in a more privileged setting. One is not necessarily better than the other, but they are different and in order to get the full benefit of the experience, they must go along with the rules and regulations bestowed upon them in their new home. Right now you feel things are not working out because Liza hasn't adjusted to her new surroundings and wants to continue her life style that she has always led in her home in YOUR home. She is not getting the full benefit of the experience. If she is not willing to cooperate and see what a different lifestyle is all about, which means following YOUR rules, she will no longer be welcomed in your house and will have to either find a new host family or return home.

    If this doesn't work, you will have to put your foot down with the coordinator and let him know that Liza is no longer welcome in your house. Not only is she making life miserable for you and your family, but she is ruining your other students exchange experience which is totally unfair and unacceptable.

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