how to get a almost 19 yr old to grow up?

Vicki - posted on 08/16/2012 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I have a almost 19yr old daughter who doesnt seem to want to do anythink productive at the moment. She seems really focused on drama to the point that she cant focus in school and do her work. She has repeated grade 12 twice and still didnt pass. All summer long she slept all day and hung out with friends. She has a part time job in the evenings not always she goes! My husband and i cannot get her to make choices that would benifit herself for the future such as school, full time job, vounteer etc etc.. she comes and goes as she pleases, its real frustrating! Whjat does a parent do with a person that doesnt want to do anything but act like like a child?
Anybody have some advice?

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Arleen - posted on 08/19/2012

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GIVE HER AN ULTIMATUM!!! Either go to school and get good grades OR get a full time job and start paying rent!!! If she doesn't want to do either, tell her to get her own place so she can do whatever she wants!!! But you HAVE to give her a deadline (a month or two at most), and you HAVE to follow through. It's tough love, and not everyone can do it, but believe me when I tell you that it does work. Good luck with everything.

Jodi - posted on 08/17/2012

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She is an adult! She hasn't grown up because she hasn't had to. Nobody has ever made her be responsible for her life or her choices; she fails school twice and nothing changes? Perhaps reminding her of what that means would be effective.

Wouldn't it be great if you or I could just have a temper tantrum and things around us would get done? Stop responding the way she expects. Yes the temper tantrums will increase. My recommendation is that you treat her like you would a two year old, record the tantrum and in a quiet moment when all is calm, play it back and let her see fully what she is acting like.

Stop bailing her out, don't give her money, don't pay for her phone, don't pay for her computer access (change your home network password daily), don't pay for her clothes, don't pay for her auto insurance, don't pay for her gas, (allow her to use the car on a pay per use term), etc. (give her food and shelter as you desire).

good luck to you all!

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Junie - posted on 08/19/2012

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There was so much that happened, & believe me I rewrote & cut & added several times lol. I had the why should I do it- you have another son & I'll be moving soon- heard that for over 2 yrs!!! Talk about wanting to pull my hair out lol. The biggest thing is deciding what you can live with, & what you can't. She's not underage, she's not just turned 18, she's had more than a year of adulthood, & has refused to embrace it. Most kids cannot wait to be out on their own, & even if it's hard, & they do without things like cable, or internet that had @ home, being proud of having their own place is usually such a high goal, they work harder to make it their own. She's got everything taken care of for her- the power or water's not getting cut off for non payment, she's got all the things she thinks she "deserves" without having to work for any of it. There is no pride of ownership, of doing things on her very own. I really think as long as this has gone on, I'm not sure even charging her rent & setting rules will work, it may be you have to just say, hon we love you, but it's time to spread your wings. Set a date. It will be hard, but you can do it! It is NOT being mean, you want her to be self sufficient! God forbid something happen next week to you, then where would she be? She's got to learn to make & handle the consequences of her own decisions. My son has figured out the hard way, being generous is a great thing, but doing it & then being left with the bills from it- not pretty. He's still working it out on his own. I help once in a while, usually a short term loan, or some groceries etc. He doesn't expect anyone to hand everything to him now, & I have a wonderful example that happened today.... he needed to mow his grass, he works 3rd shift so was behind on it. He called & asked his little brother to do it this afternoon- if he paid him like $15. Normally, we'd say- heck no.... we're family, but @ the same time, it's teaching 2 great lessons- 1 MOST people do not work for free, if you expect to get paid, then you should be willing to pay someone else to work for you, & 2 his little brother got to feel like he was earning his way too. Not bad all in all :)

Junie - posted on 08/19/2012

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I am a widowed mom of 2 boys who will be 15 & 20 in September. I went through this with my oldest son- & worse. He's also ADHD/Bipolar. About 17, he decided he was the MAN of the house since my husband had died in 2008. It didn't help he's also HUGE, he's currently 6 ft 7in tall & 260lbs or so. He got really belligerent, stopped taking his meds, refused to help @ all here. I am disabled. We had went through the whole school issues years before when he was 14. I had to take him to an alternative school for a year, because I refused to get into trouble for truancy because he didn't want to go to school That shifted the burden to him, & he got with the program. He went back to high school & did ok- graduated with a 3.0 @ 17 yrs old. He didn't turn 18 until fall, & it was 5 month after his 18th Birthday before he could find a job. We live in a really rural area, & jobs are hard to find. I supported him, paid his bills, etc, & when started working full time I gave him a modest rent. I think it was $30-$40 a week. He worked 2nd shift, & I took him to work every afternoon & picked him up @ 2am each morning. Once again the mouthing started, cursing me daily, & anything we needed his help- he'd refuse. I raised his rent. I decided ok I'll do it this way- & once again it is HIS CHOICE. He can help out & keep the lower rent, or he can pay the higher rent & not help out. ( All I had asked of him towards the end was to take out the trash weekly, & mow the front bank once a month!!!)
To make a long story short, things eventually escalated to the point I had to make him move out.
We had a very strained relationship for about 6 months. Eventually however, he realized I did what I had to do. That he was wholly unreasonable, & there was NO excuse for his behavior. We get along great now, & I once again have that wonderful son I knew I had, he had just gotten lost for a while.
I guess what I am trying to say is, I think you are partly where I was, caught between having an adult, who wanted to have everything their way- no matter the turmoil it caused in the rest of the household. No matter her behavior, she is an ADULT. What you need to realize is, as long as she lives in YOUR HOUSE, you have the right to set whatever rules & boundaries you deem fit. It's time for her to comply or find her own place- period. I kept telling myself, well if he had transportation for work- I had cosigned for a truck, but it needed work, & he had no insurance etc, so it stayed here until it was paid for & in his name. ( he did get his truck last fall- & totaled it 10 days later.) If we had public transportation, if we had places he could go if he wound up not having somewhere to go, if, if if. I finally had to put my foot down & say Enough! He stayed with a friend, then a girlfriend, & when that didn't work out, he was right back in the same boat as when he left here... no plan, no money, & nowhere to go. He didn't want to come back here.... but I sat him down, & told him once again what I had been trying to make him understand all along, that I love him dearly, & I will ALWAYS be here for him, I just refuse to be treated worse than trash! The hardships he learned on his own really opened his eyes to how good he had it here. He came home June 30th, & July 17th he found a place to rent. We are close again, & I am so happy to have my ADULT son back in my life. He works full time, he's worked out a ride back & forth, he has his own place, & he regularly invites me over. I take him every Friday to pay bills, & grocery, & any other time he needs me, I hope to help him find his own transportation before long. This time he will appreciate it much more. He has realized that mom does KNOW a few things @ least, & that I would never try to steer him wrong. Your daughter has her cake & eats it too- why would she change that on her own? No responsibility, no rules, she does what she wants, & she doesn't have to worry about paying her rent, or electric, food, toiletries, etc. You gotta stand up for yourself, your home, your sanity. It was the HARDEST thing I ever did.... & when he was angry it was the worst feeling in the world. I won't lie about it- it was hell for me....... but it was WORTH IT! He's responsible, he takes care of himself, & he RESPECTS & LOVES me. What more could a mom ask for? Best wishes!

Shahaira - posted on 08/19/2012

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I agree with Arleen.I didn't know my oldest has a twin? I just gave mine until the ending of Octoober to get out. Mines did finish high school but is verbally disgusting to me. Since I can no longer tolerate it so she can go ahead.I also have two other teens whom aren't that way but r mad that she acts that way to both of her parents.good luck

Vicki - posted on 08/17/2012

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Thanks for the advice Jodi,
Your right we have been making things easy for her. In the way of not having consenquences for not going to school etc etc... We are not intentionally going out of our way to do so, its that we are having trouble as to how to make things happen! This is the main reason for my post to seek advice..... As for her cell phone and computer, i mentioned previously that she pays for those items herself, including half the cost of internet. As for giving her money. we havent given her money at all she knows we wont so she does'nt ask. And a car? She does' nt have her license.
The issue is trying to get her to help out around the house and go to school or full time employment. We are not sure how to get her to step away from child into adult hood. Anybody have sugestions?

Vicki - posted on 08/17/2012

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Hi Christine,
Thank you for the advice!
I agree with you she should earn her keep however this is where the disrespect comes in. We ask her to help out and she argues with us as to why she doesnt have to. We hear " get Josh (her brother) to do it, why should I have to I'm hardly home i didnt make this mess". WOW! Let me tell ya when she's home everybody know it! She leaves her stuff lying around and when i ask her to put it away she sucks her teeth and often says why are you being a bitch?! She dyed her hair in the bathroom and left a mess behind to the point that cleaning product was needed. I knew she was getting ready to go out so I asked her to see to it that the mess be cleaned up before leaving. She said ya ya I know dont have to tell me! Later on she walked out the door all in a hurry. I said you havent cleanned the bathroom yet she said I dont have time my friend is downstairs and walked out and refused to come back and clean it. I had to clean it due to her not returning that night infact she didnt return until a week later! She often does this leaves for days and often weeks.
As for her cell phone and laptop, She pays for those things herself so I feel like I cant take them away. She has a part time job selling newspaper subcriptions.
I feel frustraded and disrespected. I'm not sure what else to do.

Christine - posted on 08/16/2012

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Make her work around the house for her privledge of living in your house and eating your food.
Take away her phone and computer privledges. If she wants the fun she needs to do hard stuff to earn the fun.

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