How do we turn a child's path to go in the right direction?

Heather - posted on 08/07/2010 ( 33 moms have responded )

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When my almost 18 year old daughter was 14 I lost her to drugs and her friends influencing her. How do I get the baby girl I know and love back please help us???!!!!??

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Ellen - posted on 08/10/2010

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Thank you for clarifying Heather. I agree with Jane. Write your daughter letters. My daughter, who I was very close with, wouldn't speak to me or see me for almost a year. I sent her text messages on occasion even though I knew she would not respond. I kept them funny and light, mostly jokes and happy wishes on the holidays. One of her good friends told me she kept my messages. On holidays I continued to get her gifts and/or cards. If you cannot get your daughter's address, give the letters to her counselor to give to her. The first one should apologize for anything you may have done to cause her to want nothing to do with you and be supportive as Jane outlined and let her know that you will always be there for her. Then keep them upbeat. Tell her a funny joke you heard. Tell her you went for a walk in the park and wish you could have shared that with her and you hope one day she will let you. What really seemed to make my daughter turn around was the Christmas card I gave her (just this past Christmas) saying I would always be there for her. By the end of January she was speaking to me again. Do get help for yourself and take care of yourself. Sometimes you have no choice but to let go and let them fall, but don't give up. Just do whatever you can to keep in contact and take care of yourself.

Jane - posted on 08/10/2010

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Yes, that's true. I've been in that situation myself, at least approximate. Now that she's 18, her records (address, etc.) should be public.

I would recommend writing her a letter, and asking the sister for the address of the jail. Write that your relationship is like jumping rope, you're here turning the rope, and when she's ready, she will jump back in. That the past is the past, and you're looking forward to the future with a new, adult relationship with her. That you support her always, you're always in HER corner, even when you don't agree with her decisions, you are still 100% for HER. Write the letter, give her your phone number, just in case, and ask her to call you anytime.

As a recovering (20 years clean and sober) addict, I have to tell you that I had to hit bottom. Hers may be a low bottom, and there's pain in that for the people watching. But until she does, she isn't going to want to stop, and desire to stop is the requirement for membership in the groups that can do her most good. Namely, Narcotics Anonymous, and AA. Do seek support for yourself, Al-Anon is great start, and you should get a lot of good help from them. Don't give up. She loves you, she's lost herself for now, but she will be back in time. If it helps, studies show that 90% of kids return to their parents' values by the time they are 24. Praying for you and your daughter.

Lesley - posted on 08/14/2010

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She needs to want to quit drugs then you need to get her the help she needs and support her with your GP/pharmacist/drug advisers help. Until she sees she is ruining her life and body and wants help then there isn't alot you can do except talk to her and don't give her any money, tell her she needs to earn her own money

Ellen - posted on 08/08/2010

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At 18 there is not much you can do. Try going to al-anon and make sure you are not enabling her behavior. Talk to a counselor familiar with drug addiction for advice on what you can do to help your daughter. If she is still 17, I believe you may still be able to force her to get help, but nothing is going to work unless she wants help. So you need professional advice and you need to follow that advice, as hard as it may be.

Marie - posted on 08/08/2010

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heather im so sorry to hear about your daughter all i can do is advise you to be there for her and in time she see and no you love her be strong xx

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33 Comments

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Rita_2_davey - posted on 09/14/2010

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Well 4yrs. has passed now. I'm not to sure that you can unless thats' what she wants. You can offer her support, help. Sending her to re-hab etc. If she doesn't accept this then its time to realize that she doesn't want to change her ways. I know as parents' it must have you devastated. Just remember "this is not your fault". This was her choice in the beginning. You can try and talk to her, ask her if she wants to change and let her know that you love her and are willing to help her if thats what she wants. Tell her you are more than willing to put her in a Facility to get her off of the drugs. It won't be easy, and she may have already gotten in to far. Encourage her, reward her if she is willing to do this for both of you.
I wish you nothing but the best but pls. dont' be offended if her answer may be "no". She is the one who has to want to change. You cant' change her!! Pray for her and speak with her, not angrily, let her know that you are only looking out for her best interests' and that she is still your girl and you will always love her unconditionally. Good Luck again!! My heart goes out to both of you.

Tracy - posted on 09/13/2010

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I'm sorry and wish I had better advice - but basically there isn't anything you can do aside from letting her know you are there if she decides to change her life. My husband's oldest is 26 now and he's been in and out of jail for years for drugs and theft. I keep telling my husband that just maybe one day his son will have an experience that will make him want to change. Until then, all we can do is hope that the day will come sooner than later. The day he's serious about it (and not just playing the family again) then we'll be there for him.

Christy - posted on 08/25/2010

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I have no advice, but I will be praying for you and for your daughter. My heart goes out to you. God bless.

Vicky - posted on 08/24/2010

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with my son -we made out contract's. so that if he didn't do what was expected of him he had to go lose something he liked. with him and my signing the agreement. so when he started do the things that he wasn't suposed to do i'd just pull out the contract he knew what was coming. but keep it hidden.

Angie - posted on 08/20/2010

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At this point, I doubt there is anything you can do. Of course you love her and always will so the best thing you can do is let her know how you feel and pray like crazy.

Margaret - posted on 08/20/2010

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Be patient with her and just always be there. The hardest thing at first is not to judge. Fortunately my daughter only smoked pot but she went off to live with her dad then got pregnant. I hadn't judged her and when her dad kicked her out she felt able to asked to come back home. She now has a love,y little boy, her own flat and is going back to college in September.

Mary - posted on 08/19/2010

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I completely agree. That was the point I had to come to myself. My husband and I did everything we could for her with no results. Only when I asked God to bring her back to him, and to us, did I see any results. It's been a hard road, and I know we are still getting where we need to be. She has begun reading her bible and praying again. She has also lost a lot of the attitude we had so much trouble with. I will always fight for my family, but I not realize that I cannot do it without God's help.

Kimberly - posted on 08/19/2010

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All I can say is PRAYER PRAYER and MORE PRAYER. I have a 23 year old and thankfully I have not had to endure this type of "loss", however, less than a month after her 22 birthday she lost her husband of 9 months suddenly to rhabdomyolysis, and so I have had to pray her through over the last year, and thankfully the depression is better and she is realizing that she is worth love and being loved. I hope this helps. God bles

Darla - posted on 08/19/2010

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I can relate to you as my oldest daughter was into drugs alot longer than we even knew but once we had problems and she was not abeying the rules and therapy wasnt helping we put her into a 3 month program and she lived there for the whole time. It was the hardest thing to do but to day after being out almost 2 1/2 yrs she has been working living on her own and just recently bought her first car and a nice one. She was 16 almost 17 but getting her into the program helped. Check into things and see what might be available in your area.

Rose - posted on 08/18/2010

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I am sorry but I am in the same situation myself, just with a son who is 16 now. I have heard about scared straight and have tried the seeing jail thing . The next thing is putting him for a week. Has anything made it better for you? I have cut out any money to him, besides food, and it doesn't seem to make a difference.All I know is to make sure that they know we love them no matter what.His counselor says that all i can do is make sure he knows that I am there. I am sorry I can't help you.

Carol - posted on 08/18/2010

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I too when my almost 23 year old daughter at 16 got involved with meth, I thoought I had lost her too. But a month after she turned 18 she was arrested and spent 5 mths in jail and while in jail she hit rock bottom, she started reading the Bible and asked God and Jesus to come into her heart and her life, She was arrested on Nov. 11th,2005 she got out of jail in Appril of 2006. She met a wonderful young man who has custody of his 8 yr old daughter and 6 yr old son, in Oct. of '06 they got married and in July of '07 she gave me the first of my two biological granddaughters then in Nov. of '08 she gave me that one's little sister. This coming Nov.11th my daughter will be 5 yrs meth free. Sometimes mom tough love is what you have to do to show her that you care never turn your back on her but if you have to mom you might have to take drastic steps and have her arrested or commited to a drug and alcohol center it will be hard but it will be for the best. GOOD LUCK!!!

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I'm so sorry for you, I know the heartache & pain. I went through the same thing w/one of my daughters. She left home at 16, went to jail several times, ran w/a wild crowd. Fianally she went to a charter school full of misfits. It was an Arts Academy. I didn't talk to her until she graduated, and slowly we re-built our relationship. She went on to college & is 29 now. It wasn't until I accepted her as she was that things got better. Don't blame yourself. Your daughter has to find herself & only then will she come back to you. Give her time & slowly take back your own life. It wasn't until I realized that my daughters & I are two separate people that I finally accepted her for who she was, then & now. I will say my prayers for you. God loves you & your daughter.

Shonya - posted on 08/18/2010

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tough love i swaer if you feed it..... it will get worse all you can do is love her from a distance

Cynthia - posted on 08/18/2010

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i feel for you. i have gone thru similar things as some of you with my oldest who is 17. she now lives with my mother in a diffrent province, she left amid court proceedings and the court allowed it, when she was 16, it didnt matter if i consented or not and it was like an empowerment for her to learn this, she stopped talking to me and it's been almost a year now. she did a program for her offense in the other province and part of the program was to make ammends for those you hurt in the action that led to charges-it was against me and infront of her siblings- i so looked forward to that time when i was going to get this call or letter where she was going to apologize or what ever...it never happened. i heard recently she graduated the program and is now done with the whole thing...I am just crushed, how can she have graduated without participating in this part of the program atall, could her and my own mother (who has sided with her and also barely talks to me) have somehow faked the communication for this part of the program?
so she basically was encouraged and got away with not actually having to deal with fixing it so now I am afraid there isn't going to be an opportunity to resolve what she did and put it behind us so we can have some kind of relationship...

Sherry - posted on 08/17/2010

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I wouldn't say I was courageous for putting my business out here. Really, you do not know me and I do not know you, but I wouldn't be who I am today had I not experienced what I did. If my past experiences can help someone else or possibly help someone's family members, I feel I have done my community service for the day. I really do not regret nothing I have done, it has all been a learning experience for me, just like anything else. I would give my all to help you or anyone else fight this disease. I am very determined to become a Substance Abuse counselor and did not even get my GED until the age of 41 and now I am enrolled in a University going for my Bachelors.
Thank you for the compliments though, I really appreciate it, but the focus is on Heather's daughter, not me.

Coleen - posted on 08/17/2010

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Take Charge and Take Charge Now. You are couragous to even throw it out there. you need to contact your local Mental/Substance Abuse faculity. Good luck and God Bless!

Sherry - posted on 08/17/2010

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Hi Heather, I just want to let you know how sorry I am that you have to experience this. I am a recovering heroin addict myself and can tell you that the only thing you can do is: sorry to say, but nothing. DO NOT ENABLE HER AT ALL! When she is ready to get help, be there for her, but until then, I know it is hard, but teach her some tough love. Heather I started using drugs when I was 12 years old. I started with alcohol and marijuana and graduated to pcp, crystal meth, and eventually the last 11 years of my addiction was heroin. I lost my mom while I was in jail with ONLY 1 month left to my sentence. I say ONLY, because I guess it is my way of denial, but I know that if I wouldn't have been in jail, then I would have been able to be there when she passed. BUT...if I would have been there, would I have ever gotten clean off of drugs? Probably not. I believe that things happen for a reason. What the reason is, we do not know and may not understand at the time and may not ever understand. Heather, I remember when my mom FINALLY showed me some tough love and it hurt me so bad, especially because I am the only girl and was spoiled (key word: spoiled). It did not make me stop using, but I will tell you one thing...I have NEVER forgotten what she did to me. It hurt me so bad, but today it was the right thing that she done. She also would not visit me when I was in jail. Now she would accept my calls once a week and send me 20.00 once a week, but she would not go to see me. Which I think it was because she did not want to see her daughter in that situation. Heather, today I am in the process of becoming a drug counselor myself. I have over 10 years clean and am 42 years old. I hope and pray that your baby does not go through have of what I went through and I am sorry that she is even going through this. If you need anyone to talk to or need any advice my email address is shernandez@elmore.rr.com, please feel free to use me in anyway you can. Yes, I said, "use me". Use me to find comfort in your situation, use me to get answers to what you are going through, use me for whatever you want, because if there is anything I can do to help you, I promise, I will.
Sherry

Jane - posted on 08/16/2010

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If she's still under the age of 18, put her in rehab/bootcamp/whatever. Once she turns 18, there will be nothing you can do but if she's still a minor, you can force her into something. Act swiftly!

Loretta - posted on 08/13/2010

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Hello Heather I was just reading your story I am a Pastor and we deal with a lot of youth and especially those incarcerated and what I know works is prayer and fasting. You have to take your daughters named to the Lord Jesus Christ not no other God and dedicate her back to him who made her in the first place. God knows your daughter better than anybody and all you have to do is give her back to him to be used for his glory and then ask him to show you how to help her and he will. There is no child out there that can't be helped. My daughter was a lot of trouble too at one time until I started taking her to the Lord in prayer. There is a great book out there for any parent having trouble with your teen or child or adult child called The Power Of a Praying Parent. by Stormie Omartin It's awesome and it has specific prayers for your children to help guide them. When we have no body praying for us the enemy has his way with us. So give it to God and I guaranteed by this time next year your child will be on a completely different path. A path to greatness. God Bless.

Kimberley - posted on 08/12/2010

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That is unfortunate! Im sorry. She has to unfortunately go down her own path to lead her to you eventually, and it will happen when she grows up. She may be 18 but inside she is a hurt little girl reaching out for acceptance from those who do her harm. It is a sad situation I have seen before. I have a 15 year old daughter and I can't imagine that happening to her. Luckily her and I are very close and talk alot. I wish for you and your daughter to bond again and hopefully soon it will happen for you. Never give up hope. She is your daughter and she does love you. Know that, if anything. :) Peace and Joy to you and good luck.

Teresa - posted on 08/12/2010

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Hi Heather, first I dont beleive you have 'lost' the baby girl you know and love so much she is still there just right now she is lost and will one day return to you, she is and will always will need you and I am sure she is very aware that her life right now is not good and is out of control, however for you its a painfull and frightening place to be in, as your daughter is now in the eyes of the law an adult it is difficult for you to do as much for her as you would like, I understand the need for you to protect her and wont her to take the right path to a health recovery unfortunatly this will take time and a lot of hard work from your daughter to acheive, she has to be the one to take those steps and you can only stand behind her and be there to catch her when she falls and needs suppport, to be able to that you have to keep your self health and well so your priority right now is getting the right help and support for you so you can remain strong to help your daughter, please try joining a support group with other parents who have been through what you are now experiancing ,they will guide you support and lead you into how and where you can go, they will be on the end opf the phone when you most need it, they will klnow the system both medical and legal and can help you in how to keep in contact with your daughter in away that keeops you both safe.
Get some counselling support for you this will help you get a better understanding of yourself what you can learn about yourself and when your daughter is recovred how you can help her.
Having said all that this is not going to be a quick soulution as many parents will tell you but there are many parents who can help and share so much with you to give you tools and support to help you and your daughter recover, your baby girl is still there in your heart I know and she also knows in time she will understand that it was your strenth and love that she most treasured and thought of in times when she was alone hold onto that and I hope in time she will take those steps to a full recovery and the family who love her so much . good luck to all of you.

Prue - posted on 08/12/2010

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Heather, I have an understanding of what you are going through,, I lost my now 19 yr old daughter to drugs and influencial friends when she was 16 and her father died. She ran away from home, but I have always made sure that she would know the door was always open. I did however have my own boundaries. She has started to make a turn around, lessening her usage of drugs and holding down a job (sort of). These days I am dealing with the mental issues associated with the drug use and am putting up with a lot of abuse and am spending a lot of money that I just don't have becuase I love her and she is my daughter. Once they turn 18 it is very hard to do anything, because here in Oz she is considered an adult and responsible for herself. I've had her with mental health teams after she has tried to jump out of my moving car, only to have her say she wants nothing to do with them, and they have to step back. I am now on the path again with my 16yr old son, who I am finding drug paraphanalia in his room, money missing from my purse and constantly lying. At times like this I just want to pack it all in and find myself a retreat!

Mandy - posted on 08/11/2010

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This is a hard one all i can say is she is nearly an adult and although we might try our best to bring them back on the right path they have to make ther own choices , right or wrong , all u can do is be there for her , never take your love away , let her no your always going to be there for her and although u may not like what she does u will always love her

Mary - posted on 08/11/2010

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I agree completely. Part of the dentention camp program was parenting classes. One of the exercises we had to do was each of us, my husband, myself, and her, had to write a letter saying what we liked about our relationship and the mistakes we had made. It's hard to admit anything is your fault, even if it's something little that might have been taken out of context. After the three of us read our letters in front of the group and the counselors, we each got to say what we thought and why. It was really a healing process, even though I didn't see the point at first.

Mary - posted on 08/11/2010

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My daughter also got in with the wrong crowd. She was skipping school, running away, smoking pot, and being promiscuous. We tried everything we could think of to straighten her out, but since we hadn't caught her actually smoking, there was nothing we could do. It took us 3 times for my daughter running away before the police were able to get her with a charge. After the first time, they simply brought her home because running away is not a crime here. She simply decided that since she wouldn't be punished she would leave whenever she wanted to. Her friends didn't have rules so she decided she didn't want to abide by ours. The third time she ran away she was gone for a week. I was scared to death. A small town can seem really big when you don't know where your child is. When the police caught her she ran so they were able to charge her with fleeing, which is a felony. She was then sent to the youth center and later to a detention facility where she currently resides. She has been there 6 mos., and gets group counseling every day and individual counseling once a week. She also has a review board every 2 weeks to note her progress.

She wasn't doing well in the facility at first because she still had the attitude. Now, with help, she is coming around. I am beginning to see my daughter emerge once again. She is now set to come home by the end of the month, and I am hoping and praying she remembers everything she has learned.

I do hope this has been some help to you. I know I felt completely alone when my daughter started doing things I never thought she would do. Please let me know if I can help anymore.

Heather - posted on 08/10/2010

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I guess with the reponses to my question of my 18 years old today daughter, I failed to tell you that along with the drug problem she's been incarcerated through the whole process which started at 14.
We tried councilling with a councillor and I asked for guidance from the church and the pastors exact words were "I've never seen anyone this far gone and not knowing how to guide her back." I have asked for help from Child Protection, Councillors, Church, the Police and Even the Court System and I have got the same response from all of them "when a child turns 12 it's a gray area and when they turn 16, the parents have no rights. But the best is I haven't seen my daughter since she was 16 and she is on probation but right now she is in jail, so her older sister told me, but I called her probation officer and because my daughter doesn't want her to tell me anything,she doesn't. It breaks my heart that when I call to find out how she is, "IT'S NONE OF MY BUSINESS". So I guess if it wasn't for my oldest I would never know if my baby girl is dead or alive!!!!

Jakethia - posted on 08/09/2010

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I advise you to get her some medical help, take her to a drug counseling, and show her a lot love. Heather try not to say negative things to her or call her bad names, and ask your daughter do she want to go to church with you. If, she doesn't listening to you or don't want to go by your rules, just say a prayer for your daughter and don't give up on her. I wish you good luck with your daughter, and say a prayer everytime she get out of hand or she don't want to obey you.

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