how do you deal with your 17 year old daughter?

Karli - posted on 09/03/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I have a 17 year old who I am having a difficult time with. She is not responsible for anything, still hasn't found a job, crashed her car and thinks she should be able to do whatever she wants when she wants. I love her dearly but whenever I talk to her I feel like I don't even like her. I hate the choices she's making and I know she knows better. We've always been very open and talked about everything. Does anyone have any tips on how to talk to her so she doesn't just roll her eyes and walk away?

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Roxanne - posted on 09/09/2009

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Sometimes dads can talk to their daughters and they will listen. If that is an option you may have her dad (or another man she respects) have a firm discussion and set down the rules. Always stand behind him with his decisions, and follow through.

Bonnie - posted on 09/08/2009

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It was a long time ago, but the greatest advice ever....
Since there are no fighting rules it usually ends up being a shouting match. So for now
whenever a situation occurs set down the rule or expectation and simply say
you must do __________________and if not the consequences are _____________ and walk away. Make sure the consequences are fair as well as the expectations. For example. You can go out but you must be home by 12. If not you can not get a ride for two weeks. The key is to set the limits and not argue over it. Walk away before the eyes begin to roll. As soon as she sees that you mean what you say, she will begin to line up with your expectations. She will always have the right to make choices, but she must also deal with the consequences.

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I went through the same thing with my daughter, trust me it's never easy but tough love is about the only way to go at times, As much as it hurts us to do it sometimes for your own sanity you half to. I'd tell her that she needs to start paying attention to things money doesn't grow on trees and your made of money. If she wants her car back she can go out and get a job and pay for it. I'd also tell her that it's not going to be a free ride for the rest of her life either, tell her she has one year left under your roof and then she is out! She will need to learn to support herself, find a job, pay bills, be an adult! They often take their parents, money, clothes, everything for granted, sometimes they need a huge reality check! I even went to the point of threatening my daughter with putting her into military schools and going to the point of getting them to send me material to proof my point. We are all too soft on our teens from time to time, and I know it's not easy to put the foot down but in the long run it normally turns out for the better. Hope this helps.

Sharon - posted on 09/11/2009

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i too have had quite a difficult time with my 17 year old son. i never thought it would be like this as we had a really close relationship and for a long time it was just me and him but all of a sudden, a monster took hold. The nice kind and lovely son was replaced by a rude, obnoxious, teenager and ive cried many a tears over it. Now i just ignore it. might not be ideal but it gets me through the situation. i even through him out some time back (knowing he would go to my sisters) and i felt so destressed for the 2 weeks he was away. He came back with his tail between his legs but it hasnt lasted. I only wash his stuff if hes put it by the machine and i only give him money if he earns it. my answer to him when he asks is get a job. His full time college course is 2 days which is ridiculous so for the rest of the time hes hanging out or on his game station. I have been told it gets better and i hope so for my sanity!!! i want my child of old back if thats not asking alot. Talking to a lot of parents, a lot of the time, its just teenage emotions and it means riding them out. As for rolling the eyes, my disabled 15 year old step daughter also does this so what does that say lol

Pamelia - posted on 09/11/2009

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Bless you Karl. With seven children (the last one just turned 18), I feel your pain. Each child stepped into this same phase your teenager is at. They all will. By the second one, I was prepared. I went straight old school. This is how it is, until you really feel you can fly solo, this is how it will be. They weren't given cars, they had to earn it. Before they had the keys in hand or even darkened the driver's seat, I was given a signed contract of conduct for the car. They wrote it, and we both signed it. No insurance, the car sits. No money for gas, the car sits. Tickets/bad grades/disrespectful attitudes... yes, the car sits. When they had a lapse in memory, I simply pulled out the contract. Ahhh, how quickly they remember. Every child will test their boundaries, every step of the childhood. They will even roll their eyes from time to time. Roll 'em if you want, but I bet money, there will be no walking away. They are supposed to; however, it is our job as parents to guide those steps and not only guide them but leave a path of respect and responsibility for them to follow. We must stop being "friends" to our children and continue to be their parents. Friendship is a given bond between parents and their children. When things get tough or become overwhelming, who do they run to? When they muscle through that first obstacle victorious, who do the run to? Us parents! Karl, take a deep breath and know... this too will pass.

Karli - posted on 09/10/2009

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Thank you to everyone who has responded. It helps to hear other people's perspectives and to know you aren't alone! In reading a lot of these I have learned that maybe I'm not being the parent I should be - maybe I'm scared to because I don't want her (or the other kids) to hate me or something like that. It's irrational I know and my head knows this but my heart breaks when they are mad at me.

Sherri - posted on 09/09/2009

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We love them...yes! My daughter started the same things at 16. She is 20 now and things are "alittle better" Evidently we don't know what we are talking about? I agree with a couple of Mom's on here. Set the plan and follow through. NO EXCEPTIONS. She will probably not change for awhile. Sorry. I had best luck with encouraging the good she did. It made her want to do more good. It doesn't mean the wrong behavior wasn't punished. She did move out at 17 because she wanted to be an adult! Brick wall. She still struggles with wanting to be grown-up. Her responsibilities are VERY little and still expects to get something for nothing. But, I force myself not to put my hand out. While still remaining to be a loving mother. Best of luck! You will do the right thing.

Berta - posted on 09/08/2009

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The best advice I got ..hold on the party has just begun. I did until I could not take it anymore. I took things away, she ran away. She came back and I set down rules, she broke the rules. Until one day I started walking away in the middle of a tirade and said I would not listen until she spoke to me like an adult. Then I gave her a bill, yep that's right a bill for her portion of the house bills...sure changed alot of things.

Lisa - posted on 09/08/2009

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Quoting Karli:

how do you deal with your 17 year old daughter?

I have a 17 year old who I am having a difficult time with. She is not responsible for anything, still hasn't found a job, crashed her car and thinks she should be able to do whatever she wants when she wants. I love her dearly but whenever I talk to her I feel like I don't even like her. I hate the choices she's making and I know she knows better. We've always been very open and talked about everything. Does anyone have any tips on how to talk to her so she doesn't just roll her eyes and walk away?



I am the parent, You are the child. You do what I say not the other way around.

Lisa - posted on 09/08/2009

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My 16 yo jr in high school informed me one time that it was my responsibility to but her her first car! As a mother of five children you can see this would not be possible, so instead I told her..."If you save up half the money towards a car I will chip in the other half. You will be responsible to pay your part of the ins. and reg. " This was a good deal. Then she once asked me for gas money, "after I knew she had just been paid 2 days earlier and had gone for coffe at a high end coffe shop" I said I do not have it. She protested and gave me 100reasons why I should give the money. I simply stated that she could ride the bus to school and I would take her to work. Finally one day she called me because she had to "work late" I found out she was not at work and when she called me to asy she was on her way I confronted her and told her to come straight home and took her keys for 2weeks. I guess what I am trying to say is we have trust our kids but when they act irrisponsibly be the parent and do what you know is right even if they get mad. As my mom told me "You are young and You will adjust" lol

Jos - posted on 09/08/2009

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Hi Karli! As a mom of 5 children and a grandmother to a 3 year old and another on the way! I can say that what worked for me is that if my children wanted to act irresponsible then that is how I treated them. For Christmas one year we gave all the kids iPods. Our 13 year old son lost his and didn't tell us for weeks. He went his everyday as if nothing, when we questioned him he stated in a nonchalant matter that he had lost it. Our response was then he obviously wasn't not responsible to have such a item nor the other items he already had, so we removed items and he had to earn each one back. Whether it was through working around the house or helping his father on our dairy farm. He had to develop his trust and responsibility to us. This may not work for all but it worked for us. Our kids ages are from 28 years old - 12 years old.

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