Advice on rebellious teenage girl

Edm2777 - posted on 02/26/2017 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I have a 15 year old daughter that has no shame in smoking pot and cigarettes. I work about an hour away from home and am a single parent. No matter what I tell her about the dangers she simply replies with "I know. But I'm not going to stop". My home reeks of this stuff and no matter what she always gets more from friends. We go to therapy but it doesn't seem to be doing much-if anything she's becoming more verbally abusive. She cuts class and is also in danger of being held back. An issue that also doesn't bother her. I'm at the end of my rope and when I spoke to her father he made the suggestion I send her to live with him and his wife. On the one hand I feel a 2 party parental system may get her back on track but on the other I'll feel I didn't do everything i could to help her and thus failed -plus I'm terrified her behavior might escalate into running away (my ex lives in another state). I've even told the therapist this. I can't trust her so all my spare time is looking for her, making sure she's in her room or in school. I'm becoming worn and so tired lately i don't know what to do. I have no family or a support system here so everything is on me at the moment.

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Ev - posted on 02/27/2017

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Then maybe you need to sit down with her and tell her the options you just told us including having to send her to dad. Tell her you have done all you can with her and it is not working and she keeps on doing the same things anyhow. You also tell her you are not giving up on her but are trying to work with her dad on this and you did say he offered to take her. So it is not like you are just throwing her out with the trash so to speak. You would be trying to help her in a different way and her dad would be involved. Sometimes mom can not do it all....sometimes you have to get the help of the father.

Ev - posted on 02/26/2017

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Maybe you should take all her things away but for the necessary things she needs: Bedding, clothing, and shoes in her room...nothing else. Maybe she needs to spend after school with someone until you get home. I do not know. But if her father is willing to work with her in a new state and a new home, maybe she will get what she needs.

Ev - posted on 02/26/2017

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So what consequences have you given her? You have never said you did anything outside of keep constant watch on her. And why did you not report her to the police for her using weed? Or is it legal where you live?

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Dove - posted on 02/28/2017

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I'm sorry you are dealing w/ this. Smoking is one thing (well, there are many) that my kids absolutely can not do, but they know this from very young because they see what happens to me when we are in public and come across a smoker (even so far away that we can't see them, but can smell it). Having a smoker in my home would kill me, so if they were stupid enough to start and refuse to stop... they would have to live somewhere else. There wouldn't BE any other options for us.

Sarah - posted on 02/27/2017

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I agree. If you feel you have exhausted all of your options, then what choice do you have? Why do you think that sending her to her father will result in her running away? Maybe he will be able to supervise her effectively.
I am sorry you lost your mom. Who was caring for her before she passed? Also, was your daughter acting out before mom died or did it start since her passing? If it is more recent then maybe she needs help processing the loss of grandmother?
You ask for solutions to the situation and it seems like none of the solutions worked or will work, so what other option is there?

Edm2777 - posted on 02/27/2017

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I HAVE asked for all that - which is why I am looking for advice on those who have gone through it. I'm not making excuses nor justifying anything - I'm asking for a "what did you do?" ... I'm doing everything I can. You weren't being harsh - you were being judgmental and that's fine when you don't know someone and read a bit of their story. I'm already hard on myself - I guess this was a validation.
My fear is I send her away she'll feel like I gave up on her/don't love her and she runs away (which is a big possibility especially sending her to the city). She is still a child and to feel rejected by a parent is one of the most horrible feelings in the world even if it is for her best interest- you would hope she will see that in the future that is if she doesn't do anything foolish in the midst of emotions.

I did have someone living with me. She died in May- my mother had cancer and succumbed very quickly. My friends live 1-2 hours away. I live in a working class neighborhood of 20 homes. We are all gone 9-5 and the children are in day care. 15 is a tad to old for day care. I have asked the school for help and sending her to a friends home but policy states there is a liability on sending a child someone other than their designated stop. (and yes it's in black and white- no exceptions). She can stay for after school help BUT they cannot force her to stay.

I also deal with family services every week and have been for the past 6 months.. so again IT'S JUST ME - which is why I needed advice from others who went through this. I already feel like a failure. I didn't need to feel worse. Family services want to put her on medication and more therapy. They have nothing to offer in terms of keeping her in school or behavior issues. Last private therapist suggested boarding school which me nor her father can afford 50K a year - she wouldn't be able to go to college. I want to know how someone else did it or how someone else did it because they were the rebel teen.

Sarah - posted on 02/27/2017

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I have four kids, and I know parenting is hard. However, as a parent, it is my job to raise my children into successful human beings. I never suggested you hand her over to a stranger- if you cannot supervise her, then someone has too. Since you justify all the ways you cannot manage her, maybe you should send her to her father. There is a reason kids do not live alone at 15; they don't have the decision making skills needed nor can they predict the consequences of their actions. It may sound harsh, but how will you feel if she gets hurt, overdoses or worse? Will you then think; "gee I should have steeped up?" or will you rationalize that you just could not parent her because of your own circumstances?
Can you not invite a family member to live with you, can you not make a friends, can you not turn to your church or other social service agency, can you not send her to state-funded treatment, can you not ask the school for help?

Ev - posted on 02/27/2017

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No one said you had to pay for services of a guard. Is there an after school program that she can go to while you finish work and come home? You need to also be sure of who her friends are and so forth. You will eventually be called to school regarding her skipping classes as it can turn into trouble for you as her mother. You say you work an hour from home? Maybe you should move closer to your job and change her schools? I do not know. But something has to be done. YOU do have choices. Maybe her father is the answer.

Edm2777 - posted on 02/27/2017

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i appreciate the tough love but you assume I have money for what would be a personal guard-who would this person be? Do they have a record? Would you let anyone be alone with your child in your home? Remember in my post I said I'm alone up here. No family. No friends. I'm a single mother barely making ends meet. How would you force her to stay in a school of over 5000 and one school guard. If you know please share!!! I tried and failed. She always came home. My health insurance wont pay a penny toward inpatient treatment. They pay for outpatient which is what we are doing now. The point is she has only bare necessities now and it doesn't phase her. So what leniency am I giving? She sees her friends in school. She can cut class with them. And you're suggesting remove all her furniture and force her to sleep on the floor? I get where you're coming from but if I force her to sleep on the floor especially it may not go well when she sees her counsellor at child protective services. Would you suggest I let them take her away into the system? Not being combative or sarcastic I'm curious.

Sarah - posted on 02/26/2017

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She's 15! There should not be leniency for her drug use. Why is she even allowed home alone after school? Hire someone to watch her or make her stay after school in a supervised setting. She is still getting to do whatever she pleases, so why would she stop? You have to teach her that following the rules is not optional. If she has a drug issue, send her to treatment.
If my teen behaved like this she have her luxuries removed; and I mean all of them. I'd strip her life down to a roof over her head, meals and a change of clothing. No phone, no computer, no friends, no bed, no furniture, no door etc. Once she improves her behavior you can return one perk at a time. Is it hard? Yes! Will it be worth it? Absolutely!

Edm2777 - posted on 02/26/2017

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It's not legal where I am but the laws are lenient on private property although if she has paraphernalia she (rather I) would be fined and she would be sent to counseling.
In terms of consequences I've taken the phone away, grounding her (which is useless because she can have anyone over from the time she gets out of school until right before I get home and I'd never know.-it's happened)she can be grounded for two months with 0 affect. My 20 year old son even tried to reason with her on what can happen if she continues this way. But again she doesn't care and this wasn't the same girl who loved playing cello and watching cake boss. Its almost like she doesn't believe or think there can be life changing consequences for this path she's staying on.

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