unruly teenagers

Cheryl - posted on 11/21/2008 ( 8 moms have responded )

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hi there, im new to this so bare with me, my name is cheryl and im a mum of 4 children 2 of which are teenagers...Im having real trouble with the 16 year old at the moment, as she is hanging out with the wrong crowd, drinking on street corners, smoking drugs, and im frightened that she might try something stronger, as she is a follower not a leader and with all the peer pressure out there..so any advice will be so much appreciated. thank you

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[deleted account]

I have been through this....

Draw the lines. Make sure your husband will back you even if he doesn't agree fully.


Set the limits and expect emotions and even for her to run out for a few days or even a year. If she has slipped over the edge she will need to fall hard to come back around.

Pull her out of school for a year if you need to and homeschool her.

Set strong limits and tell her she has broken your trust and that this is a new era in your lives in which new trust must be established.

Tell her there will be no anything that you do not approve. No cell phones, no phones, no computer, no games, no friends, nothing that does not pass you. If she doesn't want free room and board, car, clothing, and everything else then move out. Help her pack (nothing that she can sell for drugs and change your locks...get an alarm...she will try to steal if she is far enough gone).

She has so completely broken trust with you cannot expect her to do any thing without rigid control.

You will have to sacrifice to pull her back, and that means walking away too.

My two older boys (my step sons) went through this. It was so hard, but right now my 22 year old is home again and in the process of moving into a management position with Publix and moving out of our home. My 25 year who was buried in drugs and crime is now looking at a full time position in ministry and moving home for 2 years to get his feet under him.

It was a hard long 8 years of struggle and protecting the younger children from the vacum of their older brothers, but our love and strength has brought them home again and they are transformed into Godly young men.

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Kathleen - posted on 02/02/2009

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Ms. Deangela,



I can't thank you enough sincerely and I will definately use your words of wisdom.

[deleted account]

Bless you. That is the worst feeling. I hate being the enemy. Just hang on to the anger. You can be justifiably angry and express intolerance with failure to establish self control and respect on their part, but otherwise you must always remain in control yourself and not get into the argument. That is hard.

I have to watch myself with my daughter more because I am closer to her more on a female understanding level (if that makes sense) than with the boys, so I try to keep in mind that I have to maintain the boundaries and keep her as my daughter until she is married or totally self supporting.

If you see the problem early enough and you have the control over the child you can bring them back into line without letting go. I tried, but I had limited control being the step parent with my two older boys. Their mother and father had the authority and I did not.

Use that God given position as parent to mold and train until they leave your home! If pays off! My step sons said I was the anchor that drew them back. You stay stable and strong and you are the platform that your children will launch off of and fly into adulthood.

I am so excited to see the growth of my sons and my young adults (I don't call the teens---I don't want to give them an excuse to be less than mature) are a delight to observe as they prepare to launch out in these last years.

I so wish our culture taught (as they used to) that by the time kids have the ability to have babies they should be called adults and treated as such with all the responsibilities inherent in that label. If we did the testosterone rushes would have direction and the baby desires would be more under control.

Lecture time over. Wishing all the very best in their struggle to produce young adults into the world!

Kathleen - posted on 01/30/2009

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Wow, i'm here to share and after reading Deangela's response I have been shown some light for my own situation surrounding my 16 yr old daughter who is a twin mind you but the other twin is the total opposite with the exception of the bad attitude but I think that is feed from the troubled one.  Mine isn't out there that fair I still have control but the attitude and level of disrespect is almost unbearable.  That is our underlying issue we just seem to growing farther apart and like normal my love to her equals public enemy #1.

Sherie - posted on 01/17/2009

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This is such a difficult situation. I don't know what good my thoughts will do, but you have my prayers and support. Here are my thoughts: drinking on street corners and smoking drugs will lead to something stronger. You need to get her out of that situation. Strong limits are a good way to do that, but if she is used to doing whatever she wants, she will probably fight back...hard. If you can get into counseling with her, that would probably help a lot. I don't know if that is an option. In the mean time you should probably start talking to the other children about how dangerous her behavior is and why they should never do those things. Keep telling your daughter how much you love her but that she can not behave this way. I hope something in this helps you in some way.

Anne - posted on 12/02/2008

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This age is horrible, 16 going on 12 in decision making, Anything to show they are making thier own decisions. My daughter is also 16 while she is an only child my best friend has 7 kids that I help with. the best advice is to use the old standby. "No, because I said so" If she is making poor decisions then eliminate the ability to do so. It will get worse before it gets better but if you don't do it now, over the next two years she will get further away from you and the right path and every day you don't say something says that you are condoning her behavior. Very often kids get in further then they realize and then are too afraid to get out of their situation and they won't say it but they want someone to come along side them and help them get out of the situation, whether it is friendship that are risky or behavior that is one step from illegal or worse. blessings.

Erin - posted on 11/22/2008

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I hve been lucky with my daughter, she is a pretty good kid most of the time. I talk to her alot about what life would be like if she happens to make the wrong choices. I have given her examples of what might happen if she makes a bad choice. We also watch some T.V shows and movies that have out of control teens and I give my opinons and remarks on how I think they behave. So far this has been a good way to talk to her without her feeling like I'm lecturing her. I will say I'm a little worried though, she hangs out with kid's that drink and do drugs. She has a boyfriend who also does these things. But so far I am pretty confident she is NOt doing these things. Until she gives me a reason not to I will trust her. I don't know if this will help but I hope so.

Samantha - posted on 11/21/2008

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While I am a Mom of a single child and do not know the stress of multiple children I still feel for you. My daughter is 17 and fell apart this year at school. Currently she is failing and will not graduate on time. She is on the verge of losing her job and is very, very nasty at time. While she has not (to my knowledge) gotten into drug, alcohol or sex she has been part of some very toxic relationships. I have always stood my ground. I let my yes be yes and my no be no without compromise on the sex, drugs and alcohol stuff. She has hated me on more than one occasion. Including the time I escorted her to her classes at school when she ditched. Much to the joy of her teachers. Being the mom of a teenager is the HIGH SCHOOL of motherhood. It stinks but you need to BE THE MOM. It will take time and energy. I have called into work on more than on occasion to deal with my girl. Bottom line..... you need to make a decision. STAND and chase your girl and be HATED or let her go. 99.9999999% of the time she will hate you, but I bet she is worth every ounce.

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