I'm worried about my 18 year old daughter

Anna - posted on 03/02/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 18 and she is hanging around with a man who is nearly 31, I know he is into drugs, now I am getting really worried about her and I don't know what todo, as she's 18 she just keeps telling me she's an adult, but I know she is easily led. What can I do?

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Michelle - posted on 03/04/2010

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Be open and honest with her. Let her know you are concerned because you love her so much. Let her know you don't understand why a man in his 30's would be hanging around someone in their teens. Let her know you are aware she is an adult, give her your opinions, and let her make her own decisions. If you come down hard on her, she will push you away, and will get worse. Keep talking to her, let her know you are there to listen if she needs to talk...LISTEN...doesn't always require your comments. I hope things work out for you, and as long as she has you in her corner, she may see that he is not right for her. I wish you and your daughter all the best

Tracy - posted on 03/03/2010

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I have a friend whose 18 year old son says the same thing...he's 18 and he's an adult and he can do whatever he chooses to do regardless of his mom's opinions. Meanwhile he is attending a private unviersity with all of expenses paid by his mom and dad. My friend threatened to cut off his funding, to which he replied that he would drop out and still do whatever he pleases. He knows that she wants him to complete his education, so, basically, he is holding her hostage. Don't let yourself get to this point. If your daughter lives at home, pull in the reins! Time to get in her business, as another poster put it. Spell out the rules of your home and what the consequences are for breaking those rules. And stick to it no matter how hard it gets. Even though kids (and she is still very much a kid) grumble about having rules, these boundaries show them that you love them. They show that you want them to be safe and happy and successful in life. If you let her break the rules she will end up in a number of bad situations because she will feel that "nobody cares about her anyway."

If your daughter is not living at home, then invite her over for a heart-to-heart talk. Tell her about mistakes you have made in the past and how you have learned from them. Tell her that you love her and want her life to be happy. And the tell her why you think this man isn't the way that leads to that happy life. If she is interested in a loser like this guy, perhaps her self-confidence isn't where it needs to be. You can't fix that overnight...that is something you have to instill from day 1 with your children. But it's never too late to be supportive of the good decisions she makes. Give her lots of praise when she acts responsibly. But if she gets in trouble along the way, she will learn from her mistakes, just as we all have.

Teri - posted on 03/03/2010

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I agree somewhat with Ellen's comments. Good communication is key. But consider these thoughts as well:

Is she living a home? If so, then it her age does not need to be a factor. You are in charge at home and she needs to respect your values. If she has a phone that you are paying for, take it. If she has a car that you are paying for take it. If she wants to make adult choices then she needs to understand that paying for her own life is included in that.

I know it may sound harsh, but I had to pick my daughter up (18 at the time) from a drug house. One of the worst things I've had to do. We found her because we were "in her business" which a parent needs to be. You have the authority to counsel her. We also have faced having her living out of her car for awhile. Also tough, but she didn't do that for long--too uncomfortable for her. We also had my daughter live with her grandparents for awhile (out of state) to get her out of her situation. Do not be afraid of her choices. Good luck and rememer that you are the parent!

Ellen - posted on 03/03/2010

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Talk to your daughter about your concerns. Let her know you are worried about her and why and then tell her that you know she is an adult and that you hope she will make the right decisions. If you try to tell her what to do she will most likely rebel and do the opposite, but you should certainly express your concerns to her. Sometimes the hardest thing as parents is standing back and watching them make their mistakes. My daughter just turned 19 yesterday and she has made some very bad choices herself over the past year. I feel for you.

Reb - posted on 03/02/2010

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Have you talked to this guy and asked him what the heck he has in common with an 18 yo?

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14 Comments

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Jane - posted on 03/10/2010

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Tough love...TOUGH LOVE. If she can't live by your house rules, then out she goes. If you don't want her seeing a drug guy who's 31, then out she goes. Again...tough love!

Anna - posted on 03/08/2010

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Thank you all for your support and ecouragement, it's nice to know that their are people out there who are willing to listen. I am seeking help, starting tomorrow. Thank you all again.

Dianne - posted on 03/07/2010

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Yes, talk to her about "right" decisions, but also tell her what can happen as a result of "poor" decisions. Keep things on a quiet, peaceful note. No matter what she says to you. She wants to push your buttons. Don't lose it. When things start to get out of control, walk away. I'll be praying for you both.

Dawn - posted on 03/06/2010

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Our daughter is 19, but when she was 17, we too were concerned with an older guy she was seeing. We went down to our local Police station, voicing our concerns, and asking for his advise regarding our Teen daughter. Our names, nor hers were mentioned. He did ask for the boyfriends name, and come to find out...they knew of him.
I don't know how big of a town you live in, but they may know of this guy, and may be able to give you some good advise. Other than that....I'd say PRAY!

Michelle - posted on 03/05/2010

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I agree with Kate...get as much help from doctors or counsellors as you possibly can. Well said Kate. And I wish you and your daughter all the very best!

Anita - posted on 03/05/2010

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Anna,
Just remind her that if she lives in your house she must follow your rules. Don't back down, stay strong.

Kate - posted on 03/05/2010

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There is a bunch of really good advice in these other posts. There is no one right way of going about this. Part depends on what drug is involved and part is the guy she's with. You both need help to get through this. You don't want to do this alone. Something about drugs makes the person they are in, into someone else and you just want your loved one back. You have to fight both parts of this w/o her knowing. Try to avoid conflicts with her until you get help. Fights just gets you going and she sees you as the problem because you are easy to blame and she knows you will always love her. It gives her the excuse she needs to justify any action. See about NA for yourself so you can learn from recovering people about what you are facing. They may even know the guy and help you learn more about him. Also look into Al-anon, but that may only be for alcohol, I don't know in your area. And see if you can get her to go to family counseling. Try to find someone who specializes in addiction. If you don't have insurance the county where you live should be able to help you get free help. You can tell her it's for you and that you need a mediator to help you communicate with her since you want to have a relationship with her. But you are having a hard time transitioning into the parent/child relationship where the child is also an adult. It's not really a trap, there is truth in this message. A therapist who specializes in addiction will ease into the fact that she has a problem. They have ways of having them see it in themselves w/o anyone pointing it out. If you can get her back and have her remember who she is and who she can be, she will walk away from this guy. It will take time, there's no quick fix, even though that's what she needs. He's praying on whatever weakness she has and he will keep doing it because he needs her. She doesn't need him, she needs to gain back her self esteem.

Sandra - posted on 03/05/2010

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Be open and honest with her, about how you feel, and your fear for her safety. Let her know that you are there for her, if she needs to talk. But, there is only so much you can do. Is there any way you can speak with him and ask his intentions? Does she know him from work? Does she live with you? If so, as I tell my 17 year old. You live under my roof, you go by my rules.

Patricia - posted on 03/03/2010

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Unless your daughter is still living at home, there really isn't much more you can do but love her and continue to reach out to her...if she is still at home, than I would truly set some ground rules for her...curfew, coming and going without any schedule...etc... but do not give her any money, continue to voice your concerns...etc..

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