At wits ends with my 17 year old daughter

User - posted on 09/01/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I'm at wits ends with this kid. She is the oldest of 3 the other 2 are a boy 12 and a girl 3 years old. She is now a senior in High School and will graduate with her diploma plus her cosmetology license. She is a cheerleader and is hard working outside the home. She has been working for a year now and gets pay $500 every other week.

She has been buying her own lusuries since then but wastes money as if it grows on trees. She recently purchase her own car which is still in the garage because she doesn't have her drivers license yet. She will go for her license next month. Things keeps getting bad for us financially and I just recently talk to her about pitching in at every pay check to contribute and help. She totally refuses to it and has become very very disrespecful to me and even said that "Im no body to make her pay for anything" she even said "that I'm becoming one of those parents that their kids end up killing the parents". I can't talk to her without her screaming at me and harrasme. She can be the sweetest person one minute and become an evil monster yelling at me in a minute. Everything is fine as long as everything goes her way and she is not asked to turn the tv off and do a chore.

I'm so at wits end that I want to be the kid and run away.

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Tracy - posted on 09/04/2011

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Ok, so everybody has told you how to make her heal and make like a good child, but not once has any one asked the question "what is causing this new behaviour"?

My 16, almost 17 year old is acting the same way. I have tried just about everything to reach her. Some days she's great, others..... well lets just say she makes it hell on earth. She has gotten physically violent with her 15 year old sister and I and I have warned her that if she lifts a hand again, I will have her removed from out home and moved to a group home. I have taken the car I bought for her away and it is now in storage. It will stay there until she changes her behaviour. She finished Grade 11 with a 99% average and is highly thought of by most of the staff at the school and her friends. It is just at home that she is a harridan.

Ok, now for the why? Her father lost his 5 and a half year battle with brain cancer in January. They were very close and to the very last moment my oldest daughter was searching the net for a new cure or treatment. She was not ready to accept that we were out of time and options.

Over the years things were rough with his cancer as it made him more volatile and aggressive with certain medications. Don't get me wrong there were sill times that he was awesome. That probably even made it harder for her. His mind was an amazing thing, he was beyond intelligent and admired around the world for his ability to teach in his chosen field. He travelled to China and Europe to teach, A few months before his death he was awarded the Govenor General's Award for his teaching methods in his field. His funeral was attended by the Deputy Minister of the Environment. The reason for explaining this, is his oldest daughter has the same potential as he had. She has been accepted at every University that she has applied to and has received entrance scholarships from all of them. Here comes the dilema, she is so afraid of making a mistake and not making her father proud of her, that she is at odds with the world. She is also bounf and determined that she is leaving home to go to school, but is afraid of leaving, All of this and still trying to cope with the grief of her father's death is making her a mess. She is mean, nasty, cild, distant and when she is with us, we are dirt beneath her feet. I understand that she is dealing with a lot of crap, more than any 16 year old should, but that doesn't give her the right to be the way she is. I have gotten both girls and myself into councilling and am hoping to see an improvement in all of our behavior. I guess what I am trying to say, is look beyond what is happening on the surface and see what is underlying the problem. Is she scared of growing up and having to move out? Children this age still have great fears about what lies ahead of them. Don't ever give up on her, she will amaze you one day. I know that I amazed my mom and I'm sure you did too. Good luck and I wish you great times ahead,

LaKresha - posted on 09/02/2011

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Well mi mom was having the same problem with mi oldest step brother...he wanted to run things in run in an out the house at late hours even tho he knew that every one in the house had to be up early for work or school. He also had a job working at sonic 4 to 5 days a week. My father did not like this so he politly told him that since he could stay out late in not worry about helping with any thing that he could pitch in sometimes in help mom with the bills. My brother responded in said that mi mom wanted to use him for his money and told both of them how wrong they were. He was later kicked out that week for comg in the house dunk.

It took him 2wks to realize life is to short in thatthey werntaking him for much. e cameback still upset but he handle his buisness. He wated to be an adult so e treated him like one.
You are not wrong for any thing you told her so dont walk around wth your head down...Everything will fall into place. Just dont STRESS keep calm in dont forget that there are two lil ones watching your everymove.!!!!!

GOOD LUCK!

Jane - posted on 09/01/2011

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In order to help the family budget, you could simply stop supplying her with things she could be buying on her own. For example, no more shampoo, make up, clothing or special food treats, no more school expenses or cheer leading supplies, no rides to friends' houses, none of that. Just cover the basics such as the regular meals you fix for the family, water and electricity. Figure out how much she costs you a month to have at home and cut your spending by that much. If she complains, point out that the family is in a financial bind and simply can't afford these things any longer, but that she can buy them herself if she wishes.

As others suggest, you can also prevent her from getting her license before she is 18. Then at 18, she can go get it herself. She will also be old enough to legally sign a lease and so could and should move out. BTW, if she is only 17 how did she buy a car? She can't put it in her name legally or make contracts. Whose name is it in? If it is yours, then you have ultimate control over it. She needs to remember that.

As to her attitude, when she begins to yell, leave. Go outside, get in the car and drive off, go to another room, whatever, but refuse to get into a pissing match with her. If she won't do chores to help the family, then don't do chores for her. Don't wash her clothes, run errands for her, clean her room, remind of her of things, none of that. If she says that you are nobody to make her pay for anything, tell her that the same is true in reverse.

If she does actually threaten you or gets physical with anyone in the household, tell her that you will call the police. Then follow through. In our state at 17 a person is no longer a juvenile offender. They go to big people jail, and that is no fun.

And finally, get rid of all but one television and place it where you can keep control of it. If need be, use the security settings to block off her favorite programs and tell her that it isn't her television, it is yours. If she wants a TV she can go buy one of her own.

If she is at all intelligent she will realize that life is much simpler when you are nice to others, and your younger kids will see that as well. If she doesn't realize it you may have to dig a bit deeper to find out why she is behaving like this. Could she be hanging with kids who echo this attitude? Is she suffering from extreme "senioritis" in that she is riled up because she is so close to actually being an adult and done with school? Could she be using drugs or alcohol?

My son behaves this way, although he is getting better, but he suffered some brain damage at birth and has ADHD and ODD, and suffers from Bipolar Disorder. We have done all these same things with him, except that he has not gotten a job so a few more things are considered to be necessities.

Good luck!

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Nayanda - posted on 09/13/2011

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Oh hell no! I'll be damned if my 17yr spoke to me like that. She'd be out on her ass before she could finish her sentence. I'm not being mean because I made plenty of sacrafices for her. With that said, if Missy can't respect you in your house she must find some place else to live. How dare she treat you that way and how dare you let her get away with it! You show people, even your children, how to treat you. In additon she is showing your younger children how to treat you and if you don't nip this in the bud you'll have two others to deal with as well. She wants to act like an adult then treat her like an adult. No cable, if she doesn't contribute. Cell phone? Off! Money is tight and times are hard. Children have it so easy and when we show them how life really works only then do they realize how much we did for them.

User - posted on 09/04/2011

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I'm so thankfull to all for your replies and advices.
It's been a few days since I posted this and let me tell you I have already taken some steps and follow your advices.
First thing I did was talked to her in a calm voice and first thing I say was "I want to talk to you, please listen to me and don't yelled". She listened to me and responded after I finished with tears in her eyes and all she wanted to do was hug me. She didn't say much but told me she will come back to me to talk when she figures everything up.
The other thing I did was make an apoitment at a counceling agency for her to be on counceling and me and the family if needed and see the physiachiatric if is also needed. She has lost many friends to suicide in the last 2 years and she might still be grieving or having a hard time coping, I don't know if it has anything to do with it but it won't hurt to try to find out what might be the underlying problem as some of you suggested. I also used the parental settings on the TV and she and her other sibblings can watch TV only after there chores are done. I even disconected her bedroom fan ( she uses it on high even when the ac is on and even during winter). I done quiet a few things in so little time, I just hope to have the strenght to keep up and be consistence with everything so that it will work and pay off.
I'm currently working on a Parent/Teen contract about chores, car, curfews and money to go over with her and the family and have her sign.
I mentioned to her that since she is still a minor and I sign the tittle for her to buy the car, the car it's on my name and I have control of it and if I don't think or see she is ready to drive then she won't until she is 18.
I will keep you all posted and once again Thank you so much. God bless you all!!

JuLeah - posted on 09/01/2011

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So, maybe she won't be allowed to get her license? You have power over that.

But, I wonder if something else is going on? Has this always been her behavior?

Was her comment about killing a parent a threat?

Well, at 18, she is gone, right? Maybe she can move out now and pay her own way. She makes enough to support herself.

I'd not accept abuse, and really not accept it in my own home. She is harming your younger children too - they watch this, hear this ... not good

Give her notice maybe .... I assume you have tried everything else

Kathy - posted on 09/01/2011

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well you have every right to ask her to help with the family expenses . you are doing your best to provide for her and her siblings i believe she should help . i recently kick out my 17 year old pregnant daughter because she acted like a 2 yr old when i asked her to start saving for her baby by giving me 30 dollars everytime she worked( she car hops at sonic and usually makes around 60 dollars a day plus a pay ck every 2wks) she has been paying for car ins. gas and cheer (til she got pregnant) for about 1 and 1/2 yrs now . she was gone to fer boyfriends about 4 days then she came back and has been giving me 30 everyday she worked til sonic took her off car hop now she doesn't make as much . we were able to save 800 dollars in 1mo . like you i have other children to support and a disabled husband . all that to say is it is hard but tough love works ! i wish you luck .when she came back i gave her certain rules which were go o school , go to work , pay yours bills( car ins, cell phone ,gas , clothes ) do her chores , and come home on time .

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