How do I reconnect with my teenage daughter?

Stacy - posted on 11/03/2009 ( 22 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 16 she will be 17 in a few weeks. She is bright, beautiful and smart. But she seems to be going down the same path that I was on when I was her age. I pride myself on teaching her right from wrong, but it seems that I have now become the enemy where her friends come first. I know that most say that she is at that age of finding herself. But she is making choices that could be come very dangerous and harboring to her future. She has been doing drugs and she has been promiscuous and I am trying to get her understand that she has so much more potential because she has someone that cares for her in her her corner. I am constantly yelling and getting frustrated because she tells me one thing and then I find out she is doing the complete opposite. She wants to be a leader but all I find is her following the crowd. She has a boyfriend who has been kicked out of his home because his mother could not handle him, and she thinks that she can't live without him. He smokes weed and dreams of being a rapper. WTF! She wants to be a cosmetologist yet she is making no decisions that will enhance her chances of being one. I am so fed up that I have told her she is on her way out the door. She is not a bad kid, she just seems to care more about what her friends are doing then what she needs to be doing. I can't talk to her it only feels like I am talking to a wall. I am looking for options to save her because I don't want to give up on her, but I just feel like I have hit a wall. Someone please tell me you have gone through this and understand, and what have you done or are doing to resolve this.

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Cheryl - posted on 11/03/2009

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I'm so sorry. I havent gone through this YET. The only advice I can give is to turn it over to God. You are going to end up getting mad and hurt and may loose her altogether if this continues without emotional change. She KNOWS you disapprove of what she's doing - that's the thrill of the adventure. Im not saying to act like you approve, but love more and lecture less. She will fall. You know that. She will get hurt. You know that too. What part do you want in her life when it happens? Let her know that you love her unconditionally, but you love yourself too. Tell her you cannot allow her to be the person she's becoming without it affecting you. Tell her you'll be there for her to comfort her, but the only support you'll give her is that of rehab. She will resist. Be prepared for it. Give her time, then try again. She has to make her own choices. You cant live her life for her. One small thing - if you stop focussing on her bum-man (even knocking him), she may follow suite. Try NEVER talking about him at all. If she brings him up - calmly change the subject(but you dont want it to be obvious that you're changing the subject). Dont focus on the bad things in her life - ONLY the possitive. If you can find the beauty in all things, then there is less room for the ugly. Talk to her about things going on in YOUR life. For example- " my friend Kara was telling me about a volunteer program in town - I'm thinking about joining. What do you think?' or "the holidays are coming, Im thinking of changing up a few traditions - any suggestions?' having adult conversations will help her see that you arent just out to dictate and schedule her life, but that you want her to be an active participant in yours as well. I do hope for you the very best luck.

Kelly - posted on 11/03/2009

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I have 2 children who have passed this age milestone already, and also one who is 16 now. Although my children have not rebelled, I have a lot of teaching in child rearing that may help. The first piece of advice that I have for you will take a great deal of creativity and time on your part. It is imperative that you find ways to occupy your daughters free time (after school hours). Like Jody said, find things that you both enjoyed doing together and spend more time doing them. With the holidays upon us, this next idea has a lot of validity--Teach her to "serve" others by taking her to visit nursing homes/hospitals/etc. She can make baked goodies, cards, projects, etc. or just go and talk with people. Serving others is one of the greatest ways to give a person self-worth and the feeling of being needed. I know that some of these ideas for a child this age will be met with resistance at first but they are an effective way of pulling her away from the bad influences and replacing them with good. You must act now while you still have a chance......You ARE still the parent and she still is the CHILD. To borrow from Cheryl, Absolutely!, turn it over to God--just put a little feet to the turning over. First pray--not only will this help your daughter but it will help you. God does not give us more than we can handle, WITH HIS HELP!!! Second, I cannot stress the importance of making sure that you are in a good Bible-believing church with a good youth group. (this may take time to find if you haven't already) When you visit a church, observe the teens---chances are that if they look like the kids that she already hangs out with, then they probably are--Keep looking. I cannot tell you the importance that our choice of church makes in the lives of our children. The church will also serve as a lifeline for you as well. You DO have to put the rules down for your daughter and stick to them. If you are not consistent, then she will not respect your rules or you. Where the boyfriend is concerned.....it may be too late, but she shouldnt be dating until she is ready to get married (which means, obviously, not until after high school, for starters). If you cannot change that, at least make sure that she is ALWAYS chaperoned. Again, these are not popular positions to take and they require total involvement from you, but you only have one shot at this. Your child is not worth losing! God Bless you and your family:)

TAMMY - posted on 11/04/2009

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Girl I feel your pain, I have a 15 year old daughter who is disrespectful. I am trying to teach her wrong from right, because you hate to see anything happen to them. My daughter is more connected with her friends and I'm not sure if they are following her or its mutual. But it is nerve wrecking and makes you restless along with running your blood pressure up and causing other health problems but we have to get beyond this. People have told me that I've done all I can do and God knows this. Everybody says get it to God. But something inside you hates to give up, you want to keep fighting, not physically but emotionally. I pray the power of God over our children and that he protects them. Amen!

Rhonda - posted on 11/03/2009

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I won't lie, it wasn't an easy road and some days we still tell her what we don't like about what she is doing. She's even asked for advice recently on things, and I tell her you don't have to ask for my permission, you are your own boss now. I think her hearing that come out of my mouth must have hit like a ton of bricks in her stomach because she got quiet. I always did the yelling (screaming) and once I told her I brought her into this world and I can take her out of it just as fast. I can almost see how a parent can lose control and kill their child. She has pushed me to the edge several times. But now 7 months later on 11/7/09, I sleep good at night and try to look at the positive things. No more mess from her and her friends after I get home from school, tons of laundry left either in washer, drier or on top of the drier all wrinkles, no more having to go in her room to find every bath towel... She is working 3 jobs and has no time for friends between working and doing the laundry...LOL Because her boyfriend works sometimes with his dad but doesn't do the laundry and then she'll get home after 10pm and have to do laundry then go to work at 9am. Life is reality for her now and I am letting her learn it the hard way! Tough love!!! Less stress now for me too! I use to feel like I failed as a mom but I know that I did what I was suppose to do as a parent vs what some others do by not caring what their kids are doing or who they are with. If you need me, just look me up on facebook and send me a message okay. I am all new to this circle of moms as of today. LOL

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Barbara - posted on 01/04/2013

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This is hard! My daughter is 15 and has, for the most part, really good friends. She knows the one or two girls that I won't allow over because of the stuff they do, promiscuity, weed/marijuana, alcohol (we don't have any in our home, but I don't want them bringing any). She also knows that I have a 'no boys' policy unless it's for a special event, birthday party, etc.
I'm also very lucky that my daughter thinks that anyone who does drugs (including weed) is stupid and a fool. I'm hoping this lasts well into adulthood. At 17 it will be difficult at best to re-establish any control over her behavior and will be temporary at best - til 18. I wouldn't kick her out at this stage, it could provoke her into living with the boyfriend that you already don't approve of. Sometimes kids this age need to push the envelope, try out negative behaviors even though in their heart of hearts they know it is unhealthy for them. I would try not to respond to her arguments, take what she tells you as though it is gospel even though you know it isn't. Let her make her own mistakes, but don't make this easy for her by giving her money or chauffeuring her around, permitting friends to come over who are unacceptable in your home. You can also try to withdraw privileges, cell phone (only if you pay for it) and other 'fringe' benefits of living in your home. Hope this helps, mine is being a little snot right now and it's my turn to deal with her! Good luck and my prayers are with you, it can be extremely frustrating and upsetting.

Wanda - posted on 01/02/2013

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She just wants to have fun and parents yelling makes the kids hate the parent even more Shes probably thinking your only young once and fun stuff and boys Dont give up her her if you want her to live on the streets and then something will end up happening to her You will get mad but hopefully she realize's your there for her!!

Katie - posted on 08/13/2012

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My husbands daughter is 13 years old. I have no children of my own but I consider her my daughter. He only sees her every other weekend because of the distance between the parents and its a struggle to get her to talk about anything. We do not hear anything about grades, activities, homework, ect. Recently on the way to the drop off/pick up point with his daughter they got into a discussion about why my husband does not communicate with his mother or sister (which is a because of a very painful, abusive childhood). His daughter's mother, (after my husband put his food down and said absolutely not) allowed her to open up the line of communication with his Mother and Sister via Facebook and telephone. We already didn't agree that a 13 year old should have a Facebook. They got into an argument about the communication with his mom and sister and he said, "we have 3 miles until we get to your mom's car. I'd really like to make up with you and forget about this converstation" she looked out the window and said "I hate you, I will never forgive you. And by the way, I'm never coming to your house again". Of course that is going to break any Daddy's heart. So once again he tried to reason with her. And ended up saying "Do not get out of my car and get into your Mom's without us trying to get this worked out" She got out of the car and slammed the door and said nothing but got into her mom's car. By the time he got home and for the past month he has not seen his daughter, she refuses to come to our home, answer his phone calls and try in anyway to forgive him for the fight. She's even gone as far as saying that she wants her Step-Dad to adopt her. The Mom has tried a little bit to smooth things over but in the end she says its up to their daughter. Trying to remember when i was 13, I know in my heart (and i've asked my mom) if she let me decide when or if i wanted to do something that had to do with my parents. She said absolutely not. It wasn't my choice until i was old enough to an "adult" decision. I'm really at a road block on how to help dissolve the issue. I feel helpless and completely lost. We both love that girl with all of our hearts, but we've come to realize that all her Dad is to her is a paycheck that she has to come visit every other weekend to ensure that she gets that paycheck.

Tonya - posted on 11/08/2009

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Stacy, I frequently tell my daughter "its okay if you hate me, because I love you enough for both of us". After issuing this statement, I proceed with whatever discipline/punishment I feel is necessary.... and then I immediately go back to loving her, as if the problem had never occured. This does not change her punishment (whatever it may be) but I think that its important that she knows that discipline is part of my job as a parent, and it doesnt affect the way I feel about her. It sometimes takes her a while to get over being mad at me, but I think this has helped to keep our relationship tight even when I have to enforce rules or dish out punishment that she doesnt like. As parents we have to play the bad guy, but I dont want that to be the only role that I play. I believe that the way I treat her shows her that I punish her because I HAVE to. It helps her come to grips with what she has done wrong and teaches her to accept the consequences of her actions. If I held a grudge, then we would both be walking around the house with our lips poked out, ignoring one another and building animosity. I allow her to be mad, if she wants, but its no fun when you are the only one who is mad, so it doesnt typically last very long. This has helped to keep our relationship close, in spite of the crisis that we have faced. I find that our problems are easier to manage because of the closeness of our relationship. I'm no Dr. Spock, but this has worked for me. Good luck!

[deleted account]

dont give on her. she yours and always will b. stay in her life no matter how bad she hates it.she can only do what u let her do. yes i have a 18 and a15 year old and its hard but i say u will do what i say and u will not go anywere until u are the age of eightteen. hat they take with them when they go what u have given her. u stand stroung with her and she will come around. we all know beind a teen we think we know all, but we as parents know thats not so. so please hang in there for her because she dont know it but she needs u in her life onehunder persent.this guy thats bad for that she cant live with out, u know she can, so just up a stop to it.she wont like it but she will thank u in the end.

Stacy - posted on 11/06/2009

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Quoting Katrina:
I wonder if I'm strong enough to make it through the next few years, but the reward is watching the circle complete itself and them saying "Mom you were right, that person was a bad influance on me, or I see what you meant when you said that, and I'm sorry. Be strong, Hold your ground, Always end each argument with I LOVE YOU!
Good Luck


Katrina you wrapped in a few words what all us mothers hope to hear , it will make it al worth it then...


 

Katrina - posted on 11/06/2009

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First of all, you're a good Mom. You're at your Wits end! All children hate their parents from the age of 13-19. They're suppose to. If you've instilled good principals in her, they're there, she's just checking her boundaries. She's doing all the things her friends are doing. I'm a mother of 5. They range from 14-28. I wonder if I'm strong enough to make it through the next few years, but the reward is watching the circle complete itself and them saying "Mom you were right, that person was a bad influance on me, or I see what you meant when you said that, and I'm sorry. Be strong, Hold your ground, Always end each argument with I LOVE YOU!
Good Luck

Kim - posted on 11/06/2009

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Hey Stacy!! Girlfriend since you haven't 4gotten when u were a teenager, try & remember what ur mother did wrong (or at least what u thought she did wrong) & now use it 2 ur advantage boo!!! USE WHAT U GOT 2 GET WHAT U WANT!!!! Then invite the badass boyfriend over a few times & show her that ur interested in whatever she is (try & hold ur temper) The more u tell her that what she is doing is wrong, the more she is going 2 follow that road & not the 1 she needs 2!!! PUT ON UR KNEE PADS & PRAY!!!! GOOD LUCK!!!

Stacy - posted on 11/05/2009

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Tammy, you hit every point that vibes through my body just to keep my composure sometime. It seems they got into HS and lost their ever loving minds. I mean thank god girl, that my daughter has yet to really just be disrespectful with her mouth, cause baby, let me tell you she might be sipping through a straw for a long time. Ya got me? She has done a few things her that makes me say WOW, but disrespectful she is not.Ang there have been times that just mad me literally treat her like she act, selfish. I
In other words, what is wrong with these girls these days they are truly not hearing our voices, I' saying we talked to our baby girls in the womb. But now they refuse to even listen. I love my daughter as do all the mothers in here and you are right in saying that," My daughter is more connected with her friends and I'm not sure if they are following her or its mutual".I completely agree they no longer hear us, but they will always need us in the end. That is what I try to instill into my baby girl's head is that your friends literally come and go, but mama will always have your back. But if ya keep pushing I won't be around forever. I want her to know that I am still here, and I am not the enemy. Some people say that you should not have to be your child's friend,. Well my opinion is this, if you stop being your child's friend then someone else will take your place.You can quote that...So what I am saying we as mothers have to come out of our hard exteriors as parents and lean towards friendship a little more. We need to be our daughters best friend. We need to help them through their proper journeys as woman and they won't repeat "our" past. I mean come on raise your hands if you did not yourself try to expeiriment at their age 16, 17, 18...But hey if you had a mother you could literally go talk to about boys, and drugs, and school. Were your conversation full of revelations or did you also, have short answers to every question, told lies to mom so we could go meet up with a boy we thought we loved. Think to yourself as to why you too, rebell when you were a teen whether it was little or a lot. We all felt we were either too scared to go to them, they were always busy etc. etc. I have just been having some revelations and I wanted to share them with you I hope you feel me or else may feel really like I am losing it....I feel like at this point ladies I am just willing to connect with my daughter at what ever means that that is necessary. I think as woman we have all come to this point and we have all realized that or maybe just thought to ourselves damn I did the same stupid shit, excuse my French, but ya know you have. So I am just saying to sum it all up I need to start being my daughters friend again, that is the best way to connect back with her so thank you ladies for all your encouraging words and prayers you have been here for me as I will be for you. Thank you and I hope I made some sense, cause the words just kinda poured out of me. Mama Stacy...

Jeannette - posted on 11/05/2009

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How about a get away weekend planned just for the two of you to maybe the beach or somewhere where you can just talk all day and night and maybe find out if you can reconnect some how and come to an agreement of some sort where you can offer an incentive if she starts doing the right thing. Make sure that you stay open minded and keep your cool as well as give her a time frame. Best of luck!

Tanice - posted on 11/05/2009

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Oh hunny, I am so sorry you are going through this. Im not sure I have any answers...maybe Im not sure if you can afford it, but have a mother daughter weekend out of town, even if you need to include one of her better choices of friends. Just a reconnection weekend? Sometimes as we get away, we are able to refocus.

Vicki - posted on 11/05/2009

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Quoting Kelly:

I have 2 children who have passed this age milestone already, and also one who is 16 now. Although my children have not rebelled, I have a lot of teaching in child rearing that may help. The first piece of advice that I have for you will take a great deal of creativity and time on your part. It is imperative that you find ways to occupy your daughters free time (after school hours). Like Jody said, find things that you both enjoyed doing together and spend more time doing them. With the holidays upon us, this next idea has a lot of validity--Teach her to "serve" others by taking her to visit nursing homes/hospitals/etc. She can make baked goodies, cards, projects, etc. or just go and talk with people. Serving others is one of the greatest ways to give a person self-worth and the feeling of being needed. I know that some of these ideas for a child this age will be met with resistance at first but they are an effective way of pulling her away from the bad influences and replacing them with good. You must act now while you still have a chance......You ARE still the parent and she still is the CHILD. To borrow from Cheryl, Absolutely!, turn it over to God--just put a little feet to the turning over. First pray--not only will this help your daughter but it will help you. God does not give us more than we can handle, WITH HIS HELP!!! Second, I cannot stress the importance of making sure that you are in a good Bible-believing church with a good youth group. (this may take time to find if you haven't already) When you visit a church, observe the teens---chances are that if they look like the kids that she already hangs out with, then they probably are--Keep looking. I cannot tell you the importance that our choice of church makes in the lives of our children. The church will also serve as a lifeline for you as well. You DO have to put the rules down for your daughter and stick to them. If you are not consistent, then she will not respect your rules or you. Where the boyfriend is concerned.....it may be too late, but she shouldnt be dating until she is ready to get married (which means, obviously, not until after high school, for starters). If you cannot change that, at least make sure that she is ALWAYS chaperoned. Again, these are not popular positions to take and they require total involvement from you, but you only have one shot at this. Your child is not worth losing! God Bless you and your family:)


Enough said.

Carlese - posted on 11/04/2009

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Hey girl, I have 2 grown children and one teenager, a boy. I must admit I have dealt with the same issue with my oldest son but my girl has taken a different path. While dealing with my son I showed him continual support and spoke directly with his friends. My prayers have been the only thing that helped me thru it but what I learned most is he is a human being and his choices are not mine but I am taught to love him at all times even if the choices he makes are not the correct ones. I use to pick my children friends and they were taught at any time I would step in and cut the tie. I gave them the choice you break the friendship or me. They always choose for them to handle it. To date my son is 25 and living alone while my daughter is 21 and still at home while working and attending college. My 15 year old son is making better choices but not necessarily how I would but none the less he has a brain. Try to reestablish hanging out with one or two of the close friends with your daughter and set up like a movie date for you all, you will discover what they are interested in and by all means ask questions. My children think I am square because I ask so many questions but they know that I am concerned and they give me the answers. I also let them know when I need a hug, not them me so that they know I am human too. That breaks down the wall that I am a mother but also a confidante as well. I have communication time with them to update what I am facing as a single parent everything I do affects them. I remember one time I was in a position on my job the causing problems at home. They sat me down and said you have to quit that job because it is affecting us, they gave me 30 days to do so. And because I love them I did and we were family again without all the stress. I found a different job with a smal pay cut but hey it was worth it. I also taught them that everyone in the family place a position and in order for us the win everyone has to play their position. And we do family meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page. I hope that helps, May God Bless you!!!

Stacy - posted on 11/03/2009

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Thank you Rhonda, just knowing that I will survive this is relieving. And you are so right that I probably will cry because she wants to move out as soon as she turns 18, actually she wants to move out now, she asked me to emancipate her, OMG. But I think I have at least settled her from that idea, I just want was is bets for her and I want her to atleast have options. Thank you for sharing it was very uplifting to know that I am not alone in this....

Rhonda - posted on 11/03/2009

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I know that people tell me all the time "it will get better". I have dealt with what you are dealing with now and I feel the same way. We don't want our children to make mistakes that could alter a chance at a better life than we had even if we didn't make those same type of mistakes. From 16-18 was pure hell at home with the lies and sneaking around and the type of friends... finally my husband put his foot down and said we have rules and if you don't like them, then when you turn 18 there is the door feel free to leave. BUT...if you leave we are not paying for your college, etc. Well the day after she turned 18 (4/7/09) she moved out and in with boyfriend of 2 months and his grandmother. It nearly killed me. I cried for weeks (day and night) But you know what...she is closer to us now, calls/texts several times a day and has learned even little things like money doesn't grow on trees and now that she has to work to survive, there isn't alot of time to hang out with some of the friends that we didn't think were best for her anyway. We have twins and she is the one that always was independant and thought that she had all the answers. I can say the more you agrue with her, the more she will lie and back away. I am still learning and dealing so I don't know if I helped you at all but I thought I would share. Good luck!

Stacy - posted on 11/03/2009

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Thank you all ladies all of your encouragement has allowed me some sincere thoughts of encouragement. I know that I am on an uphill battle but I would have to agree with all of you. I need to place more focus on me and allow her to make her choices, but also let her know that I am still here if she fails. I need to come up with some ideas to get us back communicating whether it be small talk or emotional break through's. I do believe that I need to show her that she is still important tome and that what she does, does affect me. Again thank you ladies for sharing and I have to say I love this site, I don't have many to talk to and knowing there is someone out there does take off the stress a little more. So Thank you and if you have any thing else to suggest please do not hesitate to post. God bless you all and thank you, Stacy...

Beth - posted on 11/03/2009

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I am in the same boat with you with the exception of the boyfriend trouble. I am talking to the same wall you are. I feel like im at my wits end. I have her an appt with our family doctor that has seen her since she was 5 yrs old. Im hoping that maybe just maybe he can talk to her. Also testing a full panel drug test and std testing also. A family friend is coming by to talk to her about his history of drug abuse and taking her to see what can happen... he knows people that have lost everything and they have agreed to talk to her. Turned all the names of users and sellers that we got from her to local police and school officials. I'll be praying for you both. Good luck

Jody - posted on 11/03/2009

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Try to find something that you used to do that you both enjoyed, movies, shopping, favorite restaurant, whatever and enjoy being together. Hopefully she can see your love for her and maybe she will be more honest with herself and listen to you, Good luck.

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