Need help with 17 year old step daughter!!

Danielle - posted on 08/10/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have 2 step daughters, 1 is 14 and the other is 17. The 17 year old is in her senior year and is behind 25 credits to graduate and doesn't seem to think its that big of a deal. She also has a boyfriend who my husband and I really like. He's a good kid and he seems to come from a good family. He works and is doing well in school. If only we could say the same for her. She thinks just because she is going with him she doesn't need to tell us when she is leaving or let us know where she is going.



She is allowed to have him in her room, but only with the door open, but thinks it is OK for her to lay in her bed with him and have her leg wrapped around him. Her dad told her hell no and it stopped for a while and just the other day I went back there and she was laying with him so I yelled at her it was inappropriate and this crap is not going to fly and she proceeds to argue with me so I made her boyfriend leave.. she thinks it's OK to have a pair of his boxers in her drawers and wear them to bed. I found them and instead of flipping out I put them with his things, thinking they would get the "hint" and he would take them home. I then see her wearing them and that's when I told her its inappropriate and told her to go over to his house and put a pair of your underwear in his drawer and see what his mom thinks and she responds it's different because they are boxers and I don't think that at all. It's the same thing, I told her.



She doesn't do anything besides sit around the house and wait for him. The whole summer I told her she needed to get a part time job and start helping more (she does help me around the house and keeps her room really clean) with things she wants. We can't keep paying for everything when she is capable of doing for herself now, she really needs to do something. She was never involved in anything at school and she has no motivation.



I will admit I spoiled the kids rotten because I am their step mom and their mom is not around. I loved doing it and I think it has really backfired and now that I have stopped it doesn't even seem to bother her because she finds a way to get around it and she wanted a car at 16, but she didn't do well in school or get a job and when I told her she will have to give up time with her boyfriend and weekends and sacrifice some for a car, but in the end it will be worth it she told me you know I really don't want a car anymore. I don't know what to do??!! I have tried loving and caring talks with motivation, I've taken things, I've yelled and screamed and nothing is working. If I don't give her a ride to school, she doesn't care her boyfriend will. If I don't buy her a new outfit, she doesn't care her boyfriend took her shopping over the summer and took her to the movies and lunch and dinner. So what does she care??!! I have a strong feeling she is betting on him to get her what she wants and out of the house!!! I can't believe it! At 17 to already think like that. Is she really like that? I spent the last 7 years telling her how important an education is and how she needs to work on doing for herself because there are no guarantees in life. I have lead by example. I went to college, work everyday as a Controller, come home and cook, clean my own house, do my own laundry and yard work.



She doesn't want to work at anything and she will be 18 in 9 months.. Am I supposed to support her till she feels like doing something with her life? She has no plans for college or a further education. I have been talking to her and telling her what she needs to do because she hasn't a clue. I'm so scared for her and scared for me and my husband. What this will do to us in the future?

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Aubrey - posted on 08/12/2010

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I too have a spoiled 17 year old daughter. She is very much like yours. It is very hard to deal with the boyfriend in the bedroom thing, bad grades in school, and the no plans for the future. I am not a pro at this but here are a few things that I have done.

I decided to use the boyfriend as a reward/punishment. I school grades are poor then no boyfriend (grounded). If all they are going to do is lay around together in my house then he is not welcome here. Tell her to go lay around at his parents house. This worked for a little bit but then I found out that his parents allowed that sort of thing so that is when I had to pick my battles. I realized that her snuggling with her boyfriend was better then being allowed to be in a bedroom with the door closed with him. Snuggling and hugging never hurt anybody. Sex and pregnancy is not a big worry of mine as I know that she is having sex and I know that there is very little that I can do other then talk to her that is going to prevent her from having sex. I have her on birth control and I have had her on it for a couple of years now. On the other hand I do not want her to base her relationship on sex. One problem I don't have that you do is a 14 year old. Maybe you should tell her that it is inappropriate to allow your 14 year old to see her doing some of those things.
As for her grades and school, i am still having a hard time with this one. What I did was pulled her out of public school, because she treated school as a social event rather then using it for learning, and I put her in online school. She was failing badly in public school and was behind. Now she only needs 4 electives to graduate. Even tho she hates doing her school work she has been able to build alot of self esteem.
As for the job, I am currently working on this. What I have done so far is totally cut her off. I only pay for her needs and not her wants. Her car broke down, I did not get it fixed. She wanted gas money, I said no. She went shopping with me and wanted a pair of shorts I said get a job. It is very hard but I know that this is what I need to do. Now her boyfriend is paying for things. He got her car fixed, He takes her shopping, He does fun things with her. Finally I pulled him aside and explained to him that I was trying to teach her to provide for herself and that he was stepping on my toes and that I was not happy about it. He is now telling her that she needs to get a job and save money for herself. I'm not sure how long that will last or if it will work but I figure either he is going to get sick of paying for all of her things and dump her or he is going to stop doing everything for her and encourage her to get a job.

Please keep me posted as to what works for you maybe we can help eachother. Good luck!!!!

Angie - posted on 08/11/2010

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Angie is right. You and your husband have to make rules and consequence and stick with them. Sit her down together and tell her what you've decided.

I think the privilage of him being in her bedroom needs to end. She hasn't been respectful or responsible with this and there is a consequence to that. Maybe consider a stricter curfew with her boyfriend; he can visit until 6 on school nights, 9 on weekends dates on weekends only and curfew at midnight. Getting a job or education shouldn't be an option. Get her a volunteer job that is hard manual labor and make her go, if even for a day or two. She will quickly learn that an education is important. The most important thing - pray for her.....
Good luck!

Angie - posted on 08/10/2010

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have you talked to your husband about this and if so what are his thoughts.

In my opinion you and your husband need to talk about this situation. Make an agreement and set up consequences for any actions you both feel are not ok in your home. Make sure that you are on the same page and let her know that you are a team and you will not back down.
In my home we have this arrangement. If she does no comply with your rules then she does not get to have her boyfriend over period. She will not have her cell or computer and will not be allowed to have the things she wants or time she wants with her friends.
I will say that this is not fool proof and requires a lot of patience and follow through.
If you do not stand your ground she will only learn that she can get away with her behavior. Hope this helps.

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