I am at my wits end with my daughter who is soon to be 18. What can I do do to stop her reckless behaviour?

Dianne - posted on 07/29/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My daughter who is almost 18 has given us a great amount of anxiety and stress since she was 14. At 14 she got involved in a big way with a chrisitian club, at 15 I had the police out looking for her on a number of occasions. Also her Dad got arrested that year after she accused him of hitting her during a row. He did not, as I was there, but he ended up in court. She has left home twice, because of rows and not wanting to follow any house rules. She is back home now and in a relationship with a boy of 19. After a special family gathering yesterday, her boyfriend decided to go home, instead of staying at ours. She got upset about this, and would not settle. We arrived home from a surprised birthday do for her cousin at 12pm. However, I saw my daughter walking up the road in the pitch black at 2.10am to meet a friend. I was worried sick for her safety and this morning noticed she had not come back. I am so worried that one day the police will be on the doorstep to tell me she's been raped or murdered. I am sick with worry with at her reckless behaviour and don't know what to do. HELP !

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User - posted on 07/29/2012

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I feel for you just as I feel for all the moms who are going through similar situations. I'm going through my roller coaster ride as well. She's almost 18. Tell her if she doesnt follow the rules she is out at 18. My son is almost 17 and gas been giving me stress and heartache for the past 2 years. I have told him he's out at 18 if he continues. You are almost there. Hang tight.

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Dianne - posted on 07/30/2012

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Thanks for replying, when you love them and remember how they were; pre teens, it's heartbreaking. None of her cousins in her age group are behaving like her. I think it must be a family trait, as two of my siblings were very troublesome at that age.

Angie - posted on 07/29/2012

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Unfortunately there is nothing that you can do...you can't make her do anything that she doesn't want to and you have to trust the 18 years you raised her is enough to get her through her transition to an adult, but probably since you have been issues since she was 14, that's not a huge reassurance to you.

I think the only thing you can do for your own sanity is set house rules and follow them. If you are providing anything for her such as a car, cell phone, etc, I would stop until she shows some respect for my home. If I would've seen my son out walking at 2am, I would've told him to get in the car or don't bother coming home. My 20yo does not have an open door policy at my home ~ he has a curfew; one time a month before he turned 18, I woke up to find him gone & he wouldn't answer his cell. He apparently had left around 1am to go spend the night with his girlfriend. I informed him when he got home if he did it again, he would come home to his things packed on the front porch. He said I couldn't do that, he was only 17; I called his bluff on it and told him by the time they got through all the paperwork, he would be 18 and a non-issue.

It sounds to me that you have had hard path with her, but you are going to drive yourself crazy with what-ifs. And I know as parents we are always wanting the best for them, but you have to accept she is almost a legal adult so just make sure she knows you love her and you are always there for her as long as she is helping herself...best wishes :)

Amanda - posted on 07/29/2012

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How soon will she be 18? It seems like there should be outreach programs that can help you. I am sorry you are going through this! :(

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