My daughter turns 18 in 8 weeks, and wants to leave

Jennifer - posted on 10/13/2011 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My daughter turns 18 in 8 weeks, she says that she will not be coming home the day after her birthday, I agree on letting them go and try to be on their own, however this is her senior year. She says she will be moving in with her friend who is a junior this year, Her friends parents seem to be welcoming her with open arms. Whats wrong with them, why r they not telling her to go home and work things out? What do I say to her? Do I let her go knowing she is taking advantage of some other family. Am I supose to stop her. Is her friends parents thinking its all a joke. Help

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Rebecca - posted on 10/23/2011

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I had this problem with one of my kids and what I did was to go and talk to the other parents about it so that they would know both sides of what is going on then I let my daughter go. She stayed for a couple of months then decided it was not as bad here as she thought it was. Sometimes you just have to let them go and see that the grass is not greener on the otherside. My daughter is almost 20 and still lives at home she has moved out a couple of times but she comes back. SO just let your daughter spread her wings and grow would be my advice as I have been through this 7 times and only have one more to go.

Jane - posted on 10/13/2011

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Legally there isn't much you can do. I suggest you get to know the friend's parents to see what sort of structure, if any, your daughter will be living under, if only for your own peace of mind. You have no idea what your daughter has told them so you can't even speculate why they are letting her move in. She may have told them complete lies or they may simply be part of the "takes a village" school. My cousin lived with my parents her last year of school because she simply could not get along at home and it was better that she be safe and going to school at my parents' house instead of miserable and argumentative at home.

And if she is "taking advantage" of another family, it is their choice to let her. Just make sure your door is open when they decide they have had enough. But make sure she knows what rules pertain in your house and what happens if she won't follow them We did that with my stepson, who learned the hard way that when a friend's parents "rent" you a room you do indeed need to pay rent, or your stuff ends up on the front lawn. Of course, since he had moved out we had rearranged the house to suit our needs best so he couldn't simply move back in and go back to treating us badly. He had to adjust.

We have had to deal with this in other ways in our family. Fortunately my dad has been able to set up a reward for graduating as at least one of my brother's kids would have dropped out of school. That is, every grandchild that graduates gets a sum of money the day after graduation to use however they wish. So far, three of them have gotten the money (and have generally spent it within a year), and my son has so far stayed in school because of it. Perhaps there is something you too can promise your daughter that will be contingent upon her graduating.

Good luck! Remind her that you love her and that since she is now an adult she should act like one in all ways, not just the fun ways.

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Julie - posted on 11/04/2011

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Having experienced the scenario in many aspects I believe the best plan of action is to agree with your daughter. Reminding her with adulthood comes responsibility! I hope she has a job to support her wants & needs because once she walks out of my house she is on her own! She can not handle the BIG world as an adult also remind her just because she is now 18y/o does not mean she HAS to be an adult!! Therefore, should she want to return home & live by your rules she is welcome anytime!!

Dana - posted on 10/29/2011

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Seems I'm in agreement with most of these other parents. Nothing you can, legally, do... but let her know she's welcome back to your home (with some respect rules, I'd assume) if she decides that situation is not working for her.

Toni - posted on 10/28/2011

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It sounds like there is more to this story then what your saying. An 18 yr old girl doesn't want to leave for no reason. I know you are upset and it sounds like she is probably upset also. I suggest the both of you sit down and talk, really talk. That means both of you have to listen!!! If she still feels as though she needs to move out, then you have two choices. 1. You can tell her you love her and that your house will always be her home for her to come home to. or 2. You can tell her you love her, but once she makes the decision to move out, that's it, no coming back. You have to trust that you have raised her right and that she will make the right choices, with that being said, think about what decisions you are going to make also. I wish you the best of luck and God bless you!

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I agree with the basic sentiment expressed by Louise Gough - talk to the other parents. However, I would advise the other parents that if they assume the responsibility of having your child under their roof, then they also assume the financial burden. I would also tell your child that you do not agree with her choice, but as she is an adult, it is her right to make the choice. She also has to live with the consequences of that choice. Keep the lines of communication open, take her back in when she needs to come home, and always show her your love.

Louise - posted on 10/25/2011

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I would contact the parents of the other girl and ask them if they are serious and then ask them why they would do this. Are things really that bad at home that she wants to move out, or is this a fairy tale in her head. We all want to be independant but normally we have a job to pay our way. If the family are serious then you will have to sit down with the girls and their family to discuss the financial side of things, obviously you will want to support your child whilst she is at school. Believe me it is not worth the fight to try and keep her at home, legally there is nothing you can do. So turn the tables on her and let her go. She will either thrive or dive and then you will be left to pick up the peices I know but she will be unbearable if you insist she stays where she does not want to.

Christina - posted on 10/14/2011

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I remember hating my mother (had no father) so bad that as soon as I was 18, I headed to Georgia with my boyfriend. It took about 2 months and getting slapped by my boyfriend to realize how wrong I was and I went back home to an open-armed mama. No matter what I said, she loved me and always would welcome me back. I hope yours will be the same outcome. Please be patient with her and supporting and she will come around, especially when those bad times comes and she "needs her mommy".

Sheri - posted on 10/14/2011

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I have actually been where you are, except it was with one of my sons. When they turn 18 there is nothing you can legally do. My son decided within a month of turning 18, that he was dropping out and moving out. The only advice I can give you is to keep communication open. We rarely heard from him at first and our relationship still goes in spurts but he knows he can always call and talk with us. Praying for you!

Shawnn - posted on 10/14/2011

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I agree with Jane. If you are in the US, legally, she's got every right to leave when she's 18.

You cannot force anything, and to do so would be detrimental to your relationship with her. Check out the other family. Make sure that they have your contact info for emergencies.

I'd bet they aren't saying no to her, because she'll be 18, and they don't feel that it is their place to interfere.

I myself have offered room to teens if they feel that their situation at home is unbearable. I always encourage them to try to work things out with their parents, but in the end, I'd rather see them someplace safe (my house) rather than on the streets. I've yet to have one take me up on it, but the offer stands.

Tell her you love her, but that if she leaves, you won't be obligated to support her. That may make a difference, but again, you cannot force a legal adult to do anything. Even if she hasn't graduated yet, she's still going to be 18, which, in the US, is considered adult.

Sherri - posted on 10/13/2011

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Until the day she graduates high school you can most definitely put your foot down and yes you still have a say.

My say would be hell no and until the day you graduate you remain in this house. Period.

Dee - posted on 10/13/2011

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This must be breaking your heart and making you scared for her and mad at her choices all at once ((HUGS))

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