Soon-to-be-21-year-old disrespectful daughter in college

Lisa - posted on 01/06/2010 ( 81 moms have responded )

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I have a daughter who lives 6 hours away in college. I pay her tuition, rent for an off-campus studio, car note, food stipend, and until recently her car insurance. Her job has been to focus on getting good grades.

What the issue here is a combination of factors: she has this sense of entitlement and disregard for the sacrifices made on her behalf; she is sometimes mouthy and does not respect when I tell her that I disapprove of her mouth or her attitude (varied topics); and she is very disrespectful towards my fiance' (who lives outside my home, but with whom I have been involved with for 6 years). My two younger, teenaged daughters emulate my oldest daughter's negative attitude when she is around, but reverts to their own selves when she is away. When attempting an outing with all my children and my fiance', I get to the point where i even dread a vacation or outing for "fear" of the attitude that my oldest will generate and how this can impact the spirit of the event.

Lastly, my fiance' though a silent observer to this behavior, is a vocal critic when one-on-one with me. Often, i am left feeling angry and resentful.

Any advice...

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Kelly - posted on 11/07/2012

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I realize this post began several years back, but it hits home with me and I wanted to comment. I have a 19-year-old daughter that is also an "entitled" child. My fault. My guilt over my divorce led me to try to give her everything she wanted to make it up to her. She was so angry! So I: stayed in a house I wanted to rid myself of; bought her a BMW (used but whatever); let her go to an expensive college; pay her health, dental and car insurance; pay her living expenses and phone bill. Her dad helps out with 1/2 the tuition; everything else is on me. He doesn't care and, what is crazy, she believes it is all my responsibility, too. She expects nothing from him. She's very disrespectful and always insinuating that she is smarter, more progressive, more enlightened, whatever ... than I am. I am a hard worker. I have two jobs to cover her and her brother's college expenses. And, she is very jealous of my fiance (whom I started dating three years after the divorce and we've been dating three years). He is very nice to her, and we don't live together. Because of her attitude, he now basically stays away when she is home from college. She is hurting my relationship because we can't move forward. He doesn't want to be in the middle of it.

Anyway, I've had it with her. She unfriended me on FB today to "teach me a lesson" simply because we a had a disagreement. She won't return my phone calls.

I think I am done here. Not sure how it's going to work out with the holidays approaching. I have to start cutting the purse strings and let her know there are consequences to her actions. I have to ignore her calls (always about something she needs). It's very difficult and I empathize with all the moms in our shoes.

Melanie - posted on 02/13/2010

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I think it is great that you are able to pay for her needs while in school. My husband and I are doing the same for our 21 yr old daughter. My daughter is responsible for all of her spending money gas and groceries though. This has been a great way for my daughter to realize that money does not grow on trees and when out of school she will be hit with expenses almost immediate. We have expected good grades!!
I think tough love is needed here; the fact that she can dictate the outcome of vacations or the behaviors of the other children is unacceptable. You need to ask her why she thinks that it is okay to be disrepectful to you see if there is an underlying reason that has not been addressed. Make sure that everytime she is being disrepectful you tell her that her response is not appreciated. A lot of times just telling her a different way to say something is better than the words she is using. Of course some of this might be her independence that she is trying to gain so make sure she is allowed to make her own decisions. It won't be long before she is going to have to and she needs to understand once out in the real world she will not be able to treat people the way she is treating her own family and she will have a real problem in the work world. By allowing her to make her own decisions and rely on herself for groceries and gas money she will be able to be proud of herself and know that she is capable of of taking care of herself but you will also know that she is ready for when the real world hits her soon. Our daughter has a part time job on campus and a very demanding academic schedule with a lot of lab and hours in a training room so it can be done. It might be to late this year for her to find an on campus job or even off campus. So one thing you can do is make sure she has a budget. Let her open her own checking account and pay for her own groceries with an alloted amount of money that you give her. If she spends it on wants instead of needs then she gets to eat off of the meal card at college. She will learn to take care of herself.
You have already admitted that what your daughter is doing is wrong so when you and your fiance' is alone it might be that he upsets you because what he is saying is right and hopefully your daughter's attitude upsets him because she is disrepecting someone he loves and he knows that you do not deserve it at all. You and he might try and sit down and come up with a game plan that you both will be able to let your oldest daughter know her attitude can not continue. I suggest that you and he start with the two younger girls, make sure you express your thankfulness that they are not disrepectful but also ask them why they are different when the oldest is around. I would then explain to them that you and going to talk with their sister about her attitude and how it is unacceptable and has to change and the way they can help is for them to be themselves when she is around. That this would not only help you greatly but what an example they can be for their big sister. It will take the whole family for your daughter to change and the whole family gets a say so because remember she can ruin the whole families vacation or spirits and that is not fair. Therefore if the oldest daugther's disrepect is upseting to the younger daughters they need to be able to let her know that, I definitley feel that your finance be able to let her know in a LOVING, RESPECTFUL way that he does not appreciate the attitude and she is very wrong and unGodly when she is acting the way she is. I know disrepect doesn't deseve respect but treating her disrespectfully will not gain her respect either. I have always thought my kids need to be loved the most when they don't deserve it but I have also told them that they will never win a battle with me, they will never be more stubborn than I and I have always stood my ground and they have realized that in the things that matter most I was right and know not to challenge me. Hope this helps most of all prayer for me is my biggest help. Give her attitude to God and let him lead you as to how to teach her out of her disrespect.

Rosalind - posted on 01/16/2010

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Who's in charge? You're in charge. My 18 year old college student USED TO BE the same way. Children do not like to be ignore, no matter what the age. Ungrateful children who feel like we OWE them something, are the worste. However, there is hope. If she THINKS she can make it on her own, she is sadly mistaken, because she is at a point in her life where SHE NEEDS YOU or she will fall into the cracks. I think you need to change the BALANCE OF POWER. As long as you are FOOTING THE BILLS, you REQUIRE and DESERVE RESPECT! She had better show some gratitude, or she should be cut off - one thing at a time. You are only responsible for providing her BASIC NEEDS. Dorm life is not that bad, and it is quite enlightening! Because her job is to focus on education, let her know that you are holding up your end of the bargain and it is time that she GAVE BACK. Respecting you and your happiness is a small price to pay - let her know exactly how you feel, and under no uncertain terms will you tolerate less. If she wants to continue enjoying the amenities you afford her, she must EARN THEM, they are not a given. You worked HARD to get her where she is, she should respond in kind. I will pray for you.

Barbara - posted on 11/14/2012

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Lot's to think about. Who allowed her to grow up believing she was/is entitled? We start out "giving" our children the necessities, but soon "wants" seemed to become meshed with "needs" and before we know it, we give our children everything, so much so that we end up giving all of ourselves along with the material things. Our children sometimes end up believing they should "get" it all and they should "get" it on a silver platter. Weaning her, from what she's been given will take tenacity on the part of the parent in this situation. First talk about (don' t shout) your expectations, do not give demands, ask for suggestions. If that is what your daughter turns the conversation into, softly remind her this is a discussion, nothing more. Discuss the difference between needs and wants......we need to eat, just not at a 4 star restaurant (etc). Start out with small things like the phone, take the phone off the home plan if it is on one, require that she use first her "allowance" to pay for the phone, there are many phones with month by month unlimited talk/text/web usage. Since that money will come out of what she's using on herself, why not start with that. She will hopefully see/understand and then accept this initial responsibility. The next step would be other material things she calls necessities. Together, list those and list responsible yet effective ways she can acquire these on her own with her on funds. After this step, next talk about working, even if it is on campus, most of those jobs require that students leave enough study time to accomplish keeping up their GPA. One by one, handing over more responsibility/choices along with consequences to your daughter, with less decision making from parent, will allow & encourage her to realize what you have done or do for her. In turn, she'll hopefully discover that by making choices, where she can have what she needs first, that she'll be encouraged to work toward what she wants later. If she remains steadfast with her "sense" of entitlement, then talking about what will have to change would seem like a logical consequence. Good Luck.

Bobbi Jean - posted on 01/24/2013

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Jutta:

Give your daughter a list of what you expect from her, if you are to help with school and a deadline. This is the date she is either in school or out of the house. Also tell her what will cause the agreement to become null and void. Put it in writing and both of you sign it. It is a contract--remember you are dealing with an adult. (Adult like, anyway.)

My son got this little chat from DH and I after he decided to fail high school when he was 19 and had a wreck. We dropped him from our insurance. He took the GED and passed, enrolled in the local community college--3 courses each semester, and got a part time job to pay for a private school course to make up the class he failed so he could get the diploma from his high school. H also had to buy his own car insurance. If he got Bs--we paid him back for the cost of the course and the books. By the following autumn, he was more than ready to compile with requirements if he was to be able to attend a school in another city. This too, came with a money runs out on date. Hope this helps.

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Bobbi Jean - posted on 01/24/2013

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Had this problem with both my children over the last few years. (Son 33 and daughter 31.) When it happened, I told them that while they were entitled to their own opinion, they were not entitled to be disrespectful to anyone else, especially me. I told them that I liked and loved them, but not the way they decided to act. Then, I ended the conversation. I got an apology from both of them within a couple of weeks. This was a couple of years ago and things have been much better since then.

I hope this helps.

Michele - posted on 01/15/2013

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First I would let her know that this would be her last semester in college while you were paying. Basically that the well just went dry. She would now be responsible for all things since she is an adult. My children worked hard in high school and earned scholarships to schools. Not full rides, but they still managed to work, get married, build a house, and get their degrees. And are better people for it. As for the younger ones at home, let this be a lesson that it too will happen to them.

Lisa - posted on 01/05/2013

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Thanks for asking, Aurora. I no longer support her; she is now 23 (in grad school). She has grown some, but recently there have been a few issues. Some periodic manipulation is still there, but she truly has to deal with her own choices now (my two younger children are now in college -- out-of-state), and are learning that there are consequences to all actions. It's been a journey, but there has been improvement. Thanks for asking!

Lisa - posted on 01/05/2013

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Thanks for asking, Aurora. I no longer support her; she is now 23 (in grad school). She has grown some, but recently there have been a few issues. Some periodic manipulation is still there, but she truly has to deal with her own choices now (my two younger children are now in college -- out-of-state), and are learning that there are consequences to all actions. It's been a journey, but there has been improvement. Thanks for asking!

Lisa - posted on 01/05/2013

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I hear you and your pain; it's a new day and age. No more handouts is the motto for "grown" children. We all have to make our way, and no parent is responsible to provide luxuries. Best wishes...

Susie - posted on 01/05/2013

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I know it very hard to understand when you give so much and they show no appreciation. She has some miss directed angry she not dealing what she really upset about. Children think parents owe them because they know we as parents will always love them no matter what. With that being said I do not know the whole the story, until you find what the trigger is of her attitude you should make changes for your self. I would take her out to dinner and let her know your feelings and you do not want this negative relationship with her. Let her know what you will keep doing for her but also let her know what you will no longer allow. If she does not show any changes do not invite her with the family outings.. The younger teenage daughters correct them and hold them accountable for their actions. You do not have to yell fight with them, if said no to going out because they showed disrespect, leave it at the decision you made, (no means no). They might go on about but you have the power to be quite.Pick your battles stay clam mean what you say, listen to what they are saying, We do not agree with what they are saying, but the truth is that is how they feel and how they see it. Listen does not mean they are right you are validating their feelings. They are self center and they think their problems are more and important than anybody else because they do not have enough of life experiences.I hope you can make your relationship better with your daughter she does love you and try not to take what they say personal. Any relationship takes work and understanding and family is the worse to get respect we want, but family is also the best thing we have. Stay strong it will all unfold.

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I can relate to the disrespect issues. I have two teenagers ages 16 & 18. I feel so disappointed because my daughter is being very lazy about applying to colleges. So far 1 college acceptance and wait-listed at the other school. Deadlines are in 2-4weeks for regular decision. She only cares about her iPhone and car. The one college she was accepted to really is not that great....

So disappointed! Any advice?

Barbara - posted on 01/01/2013

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@Aurora Gargurevich I'm wondering just how long your children have been in college. When all (4) of mine went off to school each one had his/her adjustment time, and each one ripped or pulled the ties in their own way. They have each one by one turned back toward family, and the “adjustment" was difficult to say the least. But at this point I realize this was all part of what we had to do. Good Luck!

Aurora - posted on 01/01/2013

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Lisa, you posted this two years ago. How are things going? what did you end up doing? did it work or not? I have two kids that are attending college and have some issues with both of them. My husband and I have always been there for them, we used to be very close but things are not the same anymore.

Gigi - posted on 11/25/2012

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I can totally relate I have a 20 yr old daughter that was a lot like what u just explained & a now 17 yr old boy that is the total opposite except when he was around her. It wasn't until I became a psych nurse did I understand some of the things behind my daughter's behavior. When children are given everything they want without having to work for it many times they grow into these abusive & borderline like behaviors. Set firm boundaries & expectations from her & DO NOT budge. Make her get a part time job & start making her responsible for a bill or two something small to start like gas, toiletries or a cell phone bill & don't bail her out. She must learn the consequences of her actions. Goggle borderline personalities & read up on that. I'm not saying that your daughter specifically has that type personality but its interesting & informative. It's important that you're firm, tough, & kind & understanding at the same time but Do Not tolerate her verbal abuse & the same expectations go for your other kids. When correcting or disciplining her be calm, matter of factly, & informative - this leaves her with nothing to argue with even if she tries to engage you still don't. She doesn't dictate your life nor pay your bills & doesn't have a say so & she should respect you, your fiancé, & your relationship with him. I know it may be hard for you but it must be done for you're own self respect & her own good. She's old enough to take on responsibility & young enough too go to school full time, work, & get great grades & still have time for fun.

Carol - posted on 10/21/2012

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Hi Genna:



Never mind the financial sacrifices



Parent's Weekend/ Graduation. I showed up for every event. In 8th grade, I spent the entire weekend, cleaning out her room. In high school, I cleaned her room for two years; I spent graduation crying in a hotel room.



In college now, Drained emotionally, I can't bare the idea of even making the journey



... Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you got. Joni Mitchell



If she can't show you love, what about Respect

Genna - posted on 10/20/2012

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I ALSO HAVE A 21 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER AND AM STRUGGLING WITH HER DISRESPECT AND ATTITUDE. WHY WOULD YOU INVITE HER TO GO IF YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT SHE WILL DO? THIS WEEKEND IS PARENT WEEKEND AT THE COLLEGE MY DAUGHTER ATTENDS. I HAVE NEVER MISSED AN EVENT LIKE THIS BEFORE. SHE HUNG THE PHONE UP ON ME EARLY LAST WEEK AND TOLD ME SHE DOESN'T WANT TO TALK TO ME. NORMALLY, I WOULD CALL AND TRY TO PATCH THINGS UP OR UNDERSTAND HER ANGER TOWARDS ME. I DECIDED THAT I WOULD STAY HOME THIS WEEKEND INSTEAD OF PUTTING MYSELF IN ANOTHER SITUATION TO EXPERIENCE HER RUDE BEHAVIOR. MAYBE IF SHE WASN'T INVITED TO GO WITH THE REST OF YOU SHE WILL REFLECT ON HER OWN ACTIONS AND BEHAVIOR.

Debra - posted on 10/17/2012

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Not sure how to use these sites and still trying to figure out how to get to a reply or message that was sent to me. Any suggestions or help would be appreciated. Don't want to break any site regulations. Thanks!

Carol - posted on 10/16/2012

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Hi Cheryl: If I had the answer, I wouldn't be reduced to tears all the time. I just know that it is rather easy to manipulate someone who loves you (i.e. your mother). Try to ignore the choir who lift their voices to fault your mothering. Your daughter has some choice here; she is on the brink of becoming an adult. She can choose to take accept all the challenges that come with that or focus her energy on blaming you. I said no to the most expensive college this past semester, I really just can't afford it. I have been punished endlessly for this. I've asked her to move out and received answers like "great, will you pay for the apartment?". Of course she's back. I am getting closer to knowing that I deserve to be treated with respect for everything that I have sacrificed, even if no one else in the world knows, exactly how much I gave. You Deserve to be loved and respected! My guess is that if your daughter is crossing the street and is hit by the cross town bus that you are the one who will be there for her, Mom.

Cheryl - posted on 10/16/2012

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Wow, Carol, thank you for that! I am torturing myself, asking what I did wrong. I tried very hard to be a good mom. Like you, I am sick of cleaning up her messes both physically and emotionally. I don't have a relationship with my own mother, so I am determined to have a better one with my daughters.



I do still think that there were times I should have followed through with consequences when she was younger. I am guilty of falling for her manipulation, believing it was all about her. Made sure she had all the bells and whistles like the other kids. I feel used up as well. I am holding steady to her not coming back here. I have given her, "one more chance", once too often. I am done! But I sure don't feel great about asking her to leave. What's the answer?

Carol - posted on 10/16/2012

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Cheryl, you are so hard on yourself! I am sure that you were not the "perfect" mother; but, what you did was out of love. Of course, we have responsibility as parents. But the entitlement thing is so widespread. Don't you think that it has anything to do with the generation in which our children grew up? Most of the 20 something generation grew up with fewer siblings and 2 working parents. From a young age, many were provided with cell phones, computers and even their own cars. If you were one of those parents who did not give in to this, weren't you vilified?It was all about them!

Cheryl - posted on 10/16/2012

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You are not alone. I, too, have a soon to be 20 year old who thinks the world revolves around her. My husband and I have given her everything, I mean EVERYTHING! She is rude and disrespectful. Demanding and angry. I come from a family where there was a lot of screaming, and I hated it. I gave in to her because I just didn't want to deal with it, and now I am reaping what I sowed.



So many young people have this sense of entitlement for various reasons. Truth is, we made them that way. It is a tough pill to swallow knowing that I should have been the one in control. My approach now it to make her world very small. By that I mean cutting her off financially and not putting up with her disrespect. Last week she took a temper tantrum and knocked over a dining room chair in anger. We told her to leave because she definitely knew better than to act like that.



I am hoping that we can stick to our guns and not let her think she is running the show. Right now she is not welcome here.



It is tough, but we, as parents, have to take responsibility for the monsters we created. Stay strong, say what you mean and mean what you say! Good luck.

Carol - posted on 10/12/2012

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Over the edge....Please help!



Mine is 21 too. When she was younger, I demanded that she study. Sent her to the best prep schools.



I never attended graduation though because she insisted that it was her time to party it up at graduation drinking parties....



. When it became difficult to pay for college, we rented out our house for 4 years to pay for one of the most expensive colleges on the face of the earth. I had to move out of the house all by myself, she couldn't help --so scrambled, once again, all by myself.....Gave up just about everything to pay for college..Because I wouldn't want her to be strapped with loans. She truly believes, I am just being Cheap.



Bought her the sweetest convertible, like everything else computers, cell phones etc; it was either not good enough or she didn't care about it. I mean I wasn't cutting it compared to her friends, their parents had given them SUV's. She smashed it.



She's a slob, we do her laundry, pick up after every dish, dirty towel just found a large roach in her room. No surprise, she eats in her room and tosses the garbage where-ever.



I am completely over the edge. After all these years, I am so sad to know that she has no gratitude whatsoever, she is purely interested in Free loading. And I just can't tolerate anymore insolence. I don't care how who manipulates to take her side.



I've reached middle age, I am USED UP and angry. No matter how imperfect a mother, I have been, I have given a great deal. She has finally put me in a place where I know that the only choice is to sever the relationship or suffer the abuse.



How does one free oneself of this trap? Especially, when it's your child. No one ever seems to recognize who the real abuser is and has been. Who calls her to the carpet?

Debra - posted on 09/21/2012

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Hi Robin: Gee, this is a recent post as I have just for the first time today came across this website, Circle of Moms in search of some answers myself. Your story sounds so similar to mine. I have a 21 year old daughter who refuses to work. Well she did work one job at a vet's office for a good while and was very dedicated to it but no longer works there now and has no intentions whatsoever in working anywhere right now. She has attended school or college on and off since graduating from high school but she has only "played at it." She is not really focused on attending to really achieve anything other than just making it look good pretending that she is. I don't like saying this out loud. It really saddens me because I want to believe in her. I want so much more for her than she wants for herself. I told her that I was not going to pay or have anything to do with her school anymore until she started proving to me that she was serious. I am already paying the FAFSA loan back from her first quarter that was all a waste because she didn't pass or complete all her classes because of her lack of interest or concern, whatever you want to call it. She went to live with her dad (I am remarried now also) because she did not want to follow our house rules which was to either go to school full time or work full time or school part time and work part time. My husband (her step-father) and I agreed to disconnect the air and tv connections during the weekdays. If she wanted to stay at the house under these conditions she could but would prefer her to be out looking for a job or doing something productive even if it was volunteer work. But instead of doing that she moved in with her dad and blamed everything on her step dad as if everything was his fault. She seems to think that none of this would be happening if we had never met. Her father plays on her behalf also. He is controlling and manipulating and she has grown to become just like him. I recently stumbled across Narcissism and am really starting to believe that her dad is a Narcissist and I am afrain that she has become one to because of him controlling and manipulating her all her life. I am trying to help her achieve some independence and control over her own life but he keeps over ruling everything I set out to do. I just wish so much that she could see this and make steps towards her own independence and get away from both he and I, for her benefit. But she is no further along now than she was when she was in high school. This is what a Narcissist does to someone.

Robin - posted on 08/26/2012

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Thank you, Usually I would never respond to anything like this but after the day I had with my daughter I just typed my problem into the computer and up came this site. I have to say Thank You. My situation sounds reasonably familiar to yours. I am a mom of 4, been remarried for 4 years, was divorced for 9 prior to that and I have run into the ungrateful child syndrome as I like to call it, or the Hurt Your Mom Until she gives In game. The problem one is my 2nd daughter, she wanted to go to a college that I did not approve of, honestly her grades did not merit her going to college anywhere but a community college, but my ex husband whose only purpose in life is to interfere with mine gave her the your mom does not understand you story, the don't you want freedom from your mom etc speeches, and she bought it hook line and sinker. I wish she had let me know the beginning of her senior high school year, before I paid for a trip to Italy, Florida, and countless other things like clothing, prom dresses etc. I acquiesced to her desire to attend a college 12 hours away, thinking; okay, this is her decision, this is big girl time and if she swims she swims and if she sinks she sinks, and for the first time in her life this was all on her. Or so i thought. My ex husband's stories only go as far as that and when it takes time to open his wallet your realize all your getting is stories. So, I paid my third of my daughters first semester, we do a 1/3,1/3,and a 1/3, him, me and the kid. Only to find out that he was only putting in an 1/8th of what he usually did and told my daughter that he is not paying more because I receive child support and I should use her money for that. I have had this discussion with him several times that he does not get to dictate what I use child support for and if he does not want to pay child support while they are in school he should got to court and get it reduced, or just not pay for that particular child while they are in college and submit his portion there. He unfortunately thinks that the whole years worth of alimony plays into the 8 months they have college, and honestly 64$ a week does not go very far. My husband now and I make a reasonable income, we support the kids and never ask my Ex for a penny, we just dislike him so we avoid any and all contact. This is the first week of my daughters college, she has called me everyday 5-20 times a day, could you send me this, could I do this, Hi mom, I love you, etc. then she recently found out that her Dad is not going to pony up the outstanding balance. I applied for Fafsa for her she got a rather substantial amount and at her dad's prompting is refusing to take it and is adamant that her step dad and myself pay the balance. She was rude about it, demanding, telling me I would have to speak to her father he has it all figured out etc. I explained that I was paying no more than what I have paid at present that she needed to accept her fafsa amount in order to continue. She actually text-ed me {Well I know whose house I am coming home too} meaning she was not coming home to me {I am the custodial guardian and whom she has lived with for 17 years. I was flabbergasted, really taken aback by the remark. She stopped responding to calls and text's sent to her and essentially ignored my attempts to speak with her. As a mom that of course hurts like hell, but the thing I realized is that she knows that, and her intent was to hurt me or bully me into paying the additional amount. {ex husband was a bully and abusive just to give you a clue}. I lived through a lot and managed to pull myself and my children through a rough ordeal all by myself, on my nursing salary, working two shifts and extras on weekends to make sure my kids had everything. And therein lies the problem. I was making up for their crappy dad by giving them all I could and more, and at some point it became expected. I stood my ground after a bit of crying, I will be honest, and said okay if that is the way you want it, I love you and have a good life. I'm out. Her step dad and I dropped thousands of dollars to get her set up to go to college, new computer, printer, bedding etc. all the bits and pieces, and not once was any of that taken into consideration by her, we had become the ATM, and at my ex husbands prompting she was going to withdraw as much as she could without even giving us an ounce of respect. We just said No. Honestly while I am worried that she will be disappointed, and I know she will be let down by her dad, she is just going to have to go through it, and hopefully see the light. When she does we can talk. While it sucks to realize I could have done a less and have been appreciated more possibly at least in this instance, the other kids are grateful and happy, yes we have our moments as they grow and we grow with them, they are okay. You know what, I will be okay as well. Tonight is the first night I stopped asking myself what I did wrong, what could I have changed?? The answer is nothing; I am a Great Mom! Eventually she will realize it as well. I can wait it out.

Estella - posted on 02/26/2010

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ok , I have a daughter in college who is 21. There was a point in time she thought she could mouth off to me and I put a stop to that. She told me I going to callthe cops and say you abused me I said go ahead and do not let th edoot hit you on the way out. Oh by the way take everything you own with you.This happen shortly after she moved back home after living with her father for a whole 9 months and dropping out of high school. My husband at the time and I placed her into counsiling put her back in school where she did get her GED. Got her int college we picke dup the tab fo rthe first semister . That di dnot work out to well. That is when the back talking started coming into play. She learned that I was nto going to put up with it. She calle dher father who told her call the cops and I could get into trouble. I told her oh yes I may getinto troubel for discplining you but wher eyou going to live. you 18 and who going to make sure you going to school and jave medical insurance. My dear Lisa, do not and stop layinginto her hand.If your daughter wants to stay in collgee and you footing all the bills well she needs to step up to the plate or tell here at her age allyou will do is make sure the information needed for thepaperwork for school os there she can take out all her own student loans and such pay her own way. My daughter now is paying her own way through college. We let her stay hoe rent free. We help her with car insurance health insurance food clothes. However she and I sit down and fill out all the paperwrok for grant scholarships and student loans for her to attend class. My daughter has her associates in Medical assisting and now is working on her BS in Nursing and plans on going to work after she graduates after she recieves that degree and goin back to school for her masters in nursing. Myself I am disabled with a wonderful husband and two step daughters that are in high school. I also attend college on line. Yes we make sacrafices for our children, but we cannot let them walk all over us and disrespect us. If we do what message are we sending our other children.
I pray all will work out. I cannot tell you what to do I can just let you know how I handle the situation when it happened to me. My daughter and I have a great relationship and we work together. We can talk about anything I think this is the key.

Pamela Yvett - posted on 02/22/2010

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Yes, cut the financial ties. It is that easy. She didn't just feel this way over night. She's been accustomed to this feeling of entitlement from you for some time now. It's sound as though you have created a "DIVA MONSTER". She's too far gone now. She needs a stiff reality check and that is make her pay her own way from this point on. Trust me you, I'm speaking from experience. That is the only way you are going to get through to her. I used to be her.....Good luck!

Carlise - posted on 02/09/2010

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How about showing her some tough love for a couple of month. Than she might appreciate everything you do. Sometimes when we reflect back we wish we can change some things, so just try the tough love.

Sandy - posted on 01/24/2010

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You have had plenty of advice. I can only say that I let my children know when they were little that other than food, a place to sleep, and clothes to wear, the rest were privilages. If they boke the rules or mouthed off they lost their privilages. They would not have friends over, watch tv, talk on cell phones, get on computers or any other luxery if they were disrespectful. They knew when they went to college they would have to pay their way either by scholarship or by loans. We could not afford it. By the time they went to college they had scholarships and they got student loans to pay for the rest. We co-signed. They knew a college education last a lifetime unlike cars and houses that we get loans for. They took college seriously because they knew they would pay for it and it would pay off. My two oldest graduated with honors and have great careers. My youngest is a sophomore and on the dean's list. She is a PA in her dorm. They learned to take responsibility early on. They know it is because of our great love for them that we gave them responsibility. My youngest knows the car is ours and we can get it back at anytime. An off -campus dorm is a luxury and your daughter could go back to a dorm. Food stipeneds can be included in a loan. If your child thinks she is entitled to things, then maybe you should appologize for giving her that impression, and straighten her out. Tough love gives them tools to be successful in life. My mom couldn't provide a college education for me. It wasn't until I had 3 kids and was working full time that I realized I needed that college education. No one helped me. My kids saw me do it the hard way. They saw that it was worth it. Set limits and expectations at home. Do realize she may choose another way. She is an adult. She may choose the hard way. You can't ground them at that age but you can take what is yours and let them do it their way. Good luck.

Brenda - posted on 01/23/2010

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Lisa,
Your the parent... always remember that . You gaveth, You can taketh away. That is what must happen. With all my step-daughters they were never given a car for college they had to rely on public transportation or friends. When they wanted to move out it was all on their own means and they left nothing of their personal stuff here for us to store. If they wanted to be grown up then they totally played the part. The oldest daughter thought we were cruel not helping the youngest daughter and she kept giving her hundreds of dollars a month for a year or more and came to realize that she just enabled her sister to become a ungrateful and a huge sense of entitlement and finally cut her off. The oldest finally understood why we stuck to our guns about if they wanted to think or play grown up then they were going to do it on there own. You need to get sanity and peace back into your life. Let the oldest one know that rules of your house and the way she speaks to you. You also give her 30 days notice that all her bills for rent, food, car, and car insurance will be her responsibility. If the car is in your name then you need to take it and sell it. She needs to learn that it takes hard work and respect to have the priviledge of easy transportation. There is no legal responsibility on your part once they are 18. This will also show the other children that it you better to be ready to make it on your own. Do not do any outings or vacations with her if she can not get her attitude in check. Start standing strong its hard but that is the only way they learn. She may not talk to you or may try and manipulate you to get you to help her but stay strong and just offer resources for her to help herself no money. This is the only way to get her to change her behavior.
Brenda
Been through this with four children.

Susan - posted on 01/23/2010

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And us Moms thought changing diapers and crying babies was tough, little did we know how getting them to grow up and find out what the real world is all about when you want to be independent is really like. Yes , I miss those diaper days and crying.

Patti - posted on 01/23/2010

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TELL HER STRIGHT OUT IF SHE DISRESPECTS YOU SHE PAYS HER OWN BILLS AS FOR VACATION I WOULD TELL HER MAYBE NEXT TIME SHE CAN COME IF HER MOUTH HAS IMPROVED AND DON'T LEAVE A KEY TO THE HOUSE

[deleted account]

I had the same issues with my two teenage children. My daughter especially worships her father who divorced me 6 years ago and gives me attitude and expects me to spend money on her every time she is home. I put a stop to it when one night (in tears) I told her I could no longer allow her around me if she continued to speak to me in a condescending or disrespectful manner. She would also not be allowed in my house until she could treat me, and everyone near me (thus ur fiance) until her hurtful behaviors stopped. I kept my word and the first time she disrespected me i made her leave. We did not speak for several weeks, but later she called, tried to use a guilt trip that i didnt love her. I explained my position once again, that i did not need to tolerate her behaviors in my life and when she chose to treat me with respect and kindness my home and time would once again be available to her. It is really hard, i cried alot, but it worked like a charm. She may test the waters a few times more, mine did, but stick to your guns and it really helps

Jacqueline - posted on 01/23/2010

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I have a 23 year old daughter and 20 year old son and 17 year old daughter. I have learned that only with responsibility comes appreciation. But Responsibility comes gradually. My suggestion would be to cut the food stipend first and tell her to get a part time job. Food is a great motivator. She will not go hungry there are far too many soup kitchens available in the city. And do not pay for clothing. If this does not change her attitude and she wants to be an equal cut the studio and any other living expenses. She will be an equal in responsibility. Brace yourself for much anger as imaturity must brake forth to maturity. Times like that makes me miss those long nights with a crying baby throwing up all over the place :)

Carol - posted on 01/22/2010

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Tell her that everytime you hear a rude or fresh comment, she will have to pay one of her own bills.

Wendy - posted on 01/22/2010

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Our children are paying for their own college tuition through student loans, working and scholarship money. We are helping with living expenses and if they run short we will help them out. No one paid for my college and I went to some college prep classes for parents and they suggest not paying for college so that the child has some responsibility.

Good luck to you, it isn't easy!

Litanya - posted on 01/21/2010

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I feel your pain....minus the fiance. Everyone tells you, "it's the age", "they'll grow out of it", one day she'll appreciate you...."...blah, blah, blah!! At least yours is at college...mines won't even try and get there, although she's working. They won't appreciate anything until we give them tough love. Even though it will break our hearts, it's the only choice we may have. If they are old enough to disrespect and talk back, then they are old enough to find out just how cold the world is without mommy to save them. No one can advice you on what to do because we all are "wired" differently. My only advice is follow your heart and when it's time for tough love don't back down. Let her know you will always be her mother but the doormat days are over and it's time she finds out who loves her unconditionally. I so feel your pain....that's why I bough a Chihuahua to remind me how cute babies are that never grow into teens and little I don't have a job but want want want women! Cheers.

Erika - posted on 01/21/2010

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Sounds like she needs a cold dose of reality. Perhaps lay out the facts of life for her: how much you are paying to cover her style of living and remind her that this could go away, in whole or in part. You need to stop this as soon as possible or you will have 3 of them all acting the same way.

Kym - posted on 01/21/2010

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I have a son this age. I am lucky that he seems to be mature about these kinds
of issues. I guess I would use the leverage you have in helping to pay for the car first.
Taking away some of the things you provide might make her realize just how much you do for her and how much she still relies on you. You may consider going on trips without her as well. I know that would be a difficult decision. But let her know you would love to have her along but her behavior prevents enjoyment of the trip for you and
your fiance. Until she straightens out, she will not be included. Good luck!

[deleted account]

I have an 18 year old and a 23 year old. My oldest just finished college. Every year she was in college, she had to work to pay for any extras, there was no "spending" money from us! She also had to buy her books. It is time you have your 21 year old step up to bat. She is right, she is not a child and it is time to stop playing the childish games. Give her a time frame to get a job and then hold to it. You might have to continue to buy her books if she doesn't follow through but the pizza money, party money, clothes money, gas money . . . .gone. You are doing her a favor making her act like her age. You pay for a studio . . . .time for her to figure that one out. That is above and beyond what a student "needs" to succeed. She has to grow up sometime and now is as good as a year from now. A year from now, at the rate things are going, you may not have/or want a relationship with her if she doesn't change her ways. Tough love is tough but well worth it in the long run. Hang in there mom, you can do it!!!

Pauline - posted on 01/20/2010

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i have three adult children, daughter 20 and twin 18 year olds. i have raised these children alone as their father chooses not to be in their lives, even though he lives only 1/2 hour away. i am so very, very proud of my children because they DO appreciate every sacrifice i have made for them. my twins are graduating from a private school which, in putting them through almost cost me my house! my oldest just applied for and is going to a community college starting tomorrow. so, with all that said, i think the disrespect starts with you, as a parent, and boundaries. i do not tolerate disrespect in my home. if it happens there are consequences ie: NOT paying rent, food stipends, etc. i think if a child does not work for what he/she wants, they do not have the ability to gauge what it is like to have to EARN these things. In doing this they have a sense of self esteem and want to do more for themselves. yes, our children have it much better than most of us did growing up...but respect starts in the home and by letting them walk all over you, you are disrespecting yourself.

Yetta - posted on 01/18/2010

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It may be time to lovingly let your "adult" daughter know that you're cutting the strings and letting her fly on her own. I believe that by continuing to take the responsibilities for her life struggles, she has nothing to respect. She's left to engage in selfish pursuits. Her attitudes at this point could poison the 2 left at home to finish raising. I would wager that the younger ones silently resent all the attention that the eldest is getting with the undesirable behavior. Her attitude will eventually undermine and destroy your relationship (if you continue to allow it). I humbly exhort you to do the hard thing---LET your adult daughter go to be on her own! I have 3 children (22 yr old daughter, 20 yr old son, 18 yr old son w/autism) All three are of such value but my role in their lives as mother has to be respected. Your daughter knows within her that her treatment of you is wrong....you need to allow her to experience the consequences of engaging in behavior she knows is wrong. Let her know you love her and that is why you have to let her go....

JOHANNA - posted on 01/17/2010

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I totally agree with Cindy. Has your daughter been away for long ? Maybe she misses you and the family especially as you have a fiance. Maybe she feels her "territory" or place in the family is especially threatened now that she is away. It's a classic when the person who loves you so takes it out in you. Also you don't know who she mixes with and that might have to do with the change of attitude. She is alone trying to learn to be an adult (while at the same time everythign is put on a plate for her as is with all of them nowdays). My son changed attitude as soon as he started university and was away living in his student flat. He became quite arrogant even. I agree with Cindy again on the time factor. I know it's hard to put up with in the meantime and sure enough there are some boundaries and limits to what is acceptable but once she has to fly on her own she'll find out what life's about. Without lecturing her, I would maybe try to put her on the spot ans ask her calmly if she loves you, if she loves her brothers and sisters and does she thinks that she is showing you all love with her attitude and mouthing. And I agree with your fiance being a silent observer and sharing his thoughts with you alone, very wise even if it hard to swallow, I have the same situation. However there are also limits that HE should not allow in her attitude to him (not just as your fiance but as any human being deserves manners and respect). You may want to discuss with him what limits and what he may say to her. If he loves you he can't be enjoying seeing you put down like this but at the same time he is in a very difficult position, especially as he doesn't live you and therefore doesn't participate in he children's upbringin per-se and financial input.

I know it's hard to "give the other cheek" for a slap when they need a bit of "cement" in their heads but try to insist on the love factor. Why she thinks you do all this for her; for status or for love. At the end of the day you are not obligated to provide her with studies, instead of giving her an opportunity you could "force her off to work". Imagine if you couldn't afford it. Not only that but whatabout her siblings, are you going to pay for them all ? Does she think you expect too much from her, does she really want to study ? it's so difficult at times to know what goes on in their heads especially as they are always on the defensive which makes them aggressive. And her job shouldn't be getting good grades, her job is to become a functional, respectful, caring and loving adult, I think that's what she needs to hear, I may be mistaken but she might be feeling too much pressure and is afraid of failing and not stepping up to the mark after all the sacrifices she is bound to know you are making. Having said that those ages are very selfish, they are the centre of the world, misunderstood, always victimised, etc..etc...Patience Lisa Patience, time does put everybody in their place.

Lisa - posted on 01/17/2010

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This is for Lindy:
Know how you feel, my 17 year old son is 6'5" and I'm 5'8 1/2". Very little disrespect going on there! Very interesting looking UP that far when laying down the law. LOL
My son and daughter are VERY different. Same rules for both, yet she has ALWAYS bucked the rules, colored WAY outside the lines. He on the other hand has only no desire to color that far outside the lines. Wish it were more even, life would be easier.

Lisa - posted on 01/17/2010

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Cindy, I know how you feel. My daughter will be 20 soon and she went from a responsible teenager, working and saving money to buy a horse, then a car, paying everythng (phone, too) on time, to now she pays almost nothing. She lost her job because of not following procedure after an operation. (Didn't file proper paperwork). Took her 10 months to find a job. We paid for everything during this time. Now she works a part time job and doesn't pay for anything. She is constantly running out the door to her boyfriends, the horse or work. Says she'll be right back and we don't see her for days. When confronted she acts like a shrew, carrying on like a drama queen.
We've tried sitting her down and talking to her like the "adult" she claims to be. We lay out rules and expectations...nothing.
Finally we have to do what we have been trying to avoid...cut her off. As a parent we want to protect our children not hurt them. We felt cutting her off was setting her on a downward spiral. But we have tried everything else. Like Trish Whitman said "tough love". In 2 weeks, we are renewing our auto insurance WITHOUT her, changing our cell phone coverage WITHOUT her and her horse will be in her name only.
We are tired of her using our house as a pit stop when she needs food or clean clothes. Sick of the attitude we get when we ask her to pull her weight. Her 17 year old brother goes to high school full time and works a part time job. He pays everything on time, does fairly well in school and helps around the house. Why should she have the same priviledges he does?
She wants to be an "adult"? Well, now she can act like one. We're going to stop enabling her. If she can't afford "it", be "it" car insurance, phone or horse, well I guess she won't be able to use "it". We're lucky we made the kids save money to buy a car outright...no car payments. Wasn't going there.
Good luck!

Mary Gail - posted on 01/17/2010

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Lisa - is this change a result of her living on her own? When she comes home do you go back to "Mom" mode? I have a couple of thoughts on this, but have not been there yet. : )
If she has gradually changed - she is spreading her wings which you wanted. But, if she is not appreciated of what you are doing for her, she needs to be brought back in check. My first thought is to cut back on her money. Make her work 10-20 hours/week with the expectation that her grades will not suffer. What you are giving her is a gift - plain and simple - an incredible gift. If she cannot tow the line, she needs to face the music. You and I both know when you get into the "real" world, actions like this won't be tolerated. It sounds like you are a terrific mom. Think of it as when you popped her on her behind when she ran out into traffic. Until she lives on her own and supports herself 100%, you have a right - within limits - to bring her in line. It wasn't easy when she was 2, 6, 13 or now. We hurt when we discipline, but you know you have to do it in order to help her down the line.
If you are becoming "Mom" again when she hits the door, this could be part of her resentment. The overall fact is you have to trust your gut. Education is not something parents owe their children - it is a gift. I am doing the same for my son, but if he started this up with me, I would draw the line on him really quick.

Susan - posted on 01/16/2010

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You are not alone Lisa, and it is very frustating when they are disrespectful to you. I also have a 20 yr old in college, who left home at 17 cause someone made it more appealing to her. In time she found that this person wasn't a good mom. As much as it hurt I shut her out of my life. Told her I would not have anything to do with her as long as she was living with that person. She didn't want to come home because of my rules , but managed to get help to get an apartment, so I let her back in my life with reservations. In time I realized her attitude hadn't changed and she still didn't have respect for me, so I asked her to leave and think about her sttitude, tough love is hard , but in the long run it is worth it, cause it forces them to grow up and think.

Sheri - posted on 01/16/2010

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My opinion is she needs some tough love. Although it's hard for us mom's to do that because we don't want our kids to be without. I would start by telling her she needs to get a job to help pay for tuition, food, car, rent, or whatever you don't want to pay anymore. She's in college and needs to start acting like an adult. I agree, then next time you go on a family vacation she needs to stay home and when she asks why all you need to say is the last time we went somewhere as a family you were disrespectful so this time you're not welcome to come along with us, maybe on the next one. Then see how she is on the next trip. If she's still disrespectful then she stays home again. I certainly wouldn't reward her by taking her along.

Tyon - posted on 01/16/2010

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I am a 38 year old single parent has always been a single parent. I lost my daughter when she was 11 yrs old to asthma. Leaving me to raise my now 19yr old son by myself. I has been a struggle and boys are much harder to raise than boys. He got into lots of trouble when he was younger and I mean age 11 through age 15 after that he stopped. But I never had problems with him being disrespecful, but then agin he knew moma didn't [aly and that I meant business. At age 19 he is a wholesome well rounded young man nd I still don' have a problem with disrepect from him. A change in th eone of my voice was enough to scare him but sometimes a good old fashioned ass whooping was in order. Excuse my french.

[deleted account]

I have a Special Needs adopted son ( high functioning) that is out on his own- he is 19. He hold a job, went to college ( for awhile) pays his bills , has a savings acct etc..... but this is because we never did pay anything out to him after age 18. A loan or financial help is a different story. We were going to do this but he stole a significant amt of money from us & that ended that. Hard for us to comprehend stealing from his parents & not care. One of his probs---no empathy nor a conscience.
On the other hand , he probably sees us as "not my real parents." He does his own thing & he has stolen before, been in trouble with the law & is one step away from prison time. ( we are told) He won't admit to this as he does no wrong ( never has) .
I ( as a Mom ) always used to live my life for my 2 kids. ( adopted) Know what? They grow up & leave!!! Don't live your own life for them & give up on your own!!! Living from a place of fear is very , very unhealthy. One has to be strong for their kids for they do look up to u no matter what they say or do- one son did admit that to me. You & hubby/ fiance have to have their own private lives too- not just the kids. We wouyld find some one ( sitter or friend) to watch the kids every friday & that was "our nigtht" no talking of kids & we had a jar- we put a nickel or penny in it everytime we spoke of them. Sure taught us -----eventually.

Respect is taught. You don't respect yourself- why should your kids respect you????? My kids did but those teen years & tween yrs are awful due to "so & so has this----does this ect...."I always said "we are morally & legally responsible for your soul. God gave us a Gift & what we give back---matters. We do understand where you are coming from but yoiu must try to understand us. It is a 2 way street." They did when in HS.

gOOD LUCK!!
Theresa

Gina - posted on 01/15/2010

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I understand 100% I have a 20 year old in college also but still lives at home and will be going out of state in August. I pay for all the things you said and she is sometimes thankful but most of the time, very unappreciative. This past week, I took her cell phone away and kept it for 3 days. She was lost and very upset. Then I gave her 5 dollars each morning for gas so she could go to school and gave nothing else. It was hard but I, like you are fed up with the you owe me attitude. I finally gave it back yesturday with the advice "give me an attitude and you will have no phone and the next time will take something else too". I have had the sweetest most appreciative daughter this week. But the next time I will have to take it again so she will understand I will do it. Being a single mom I now realize that you have to keep your promises to them. If you say no gas except school for a week. You have to do it. Hope this helps. Gina

Denise - posted on 01/15/2010

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I constantly keep by boys in check - when they start to get mouthy I remind them that I am NOT one of their friends, I am their mother and will NOT be talked to in that manner and they will talk to me with respect. They also know that if they want us to buy something for them, that they will have to work for it - vacuum the house, do the yard, etc. Thye know we are not going to just had them money, especially if they are disrespectful to me or thier dad.

Marjorie - posted on 01/14/2010

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I have found the kids that get it all appreciate it less. My 18 yr old complains abt how selfish her friendsour. When her Father became ill and almost died She had to do online scholing Jr. year cuz I had to relocate him and couldnt g0 cuz I couldnt afford it. She had to grow up to soon. She also had to work Sr year of High School to help pay for 1/2 her prom class trip and misc. Its made her stronger and She is doing well in College. But one thing She always says is Maybe we dont have alot But Shes always been glad We are her Parents Because She always knew How much She was loved. Also in our house We idd not beleive in spare the rod. But honestly if they were hit 5 times in their lifetime that was alot. But They were told from very young if u do drugs Hit the ground running Mommy was coming. They also knew that there were consequences for their actions and that I would not cover for them. If Shes disrespectful to your Fiance tell him He has permsission to tell her that . If She cant respect him then He need not respect her and plan a nice outing and tell her She cant go.Because its his outing. First time will be hard Shell be angry but Shell get the idea. If Still disrespectful do it again Also tell her when Shes ready to be nice you would love to have her there because you love her and She is an important part of the family. but you and your Fiance arent her doormats.

Ann - posted on 01/14/2010

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I would definitely stop the free flow of money. I truly believe kids appreciate more when they have to work for it and aren't given everything so easily. Just the fact that she doesn't respect you at all is enough cut back little by little. Maybe then she will learn that it is a two way street.

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