18 yr old daughter just graduated, wants independence but doesn't want to grow up!

C - posted on 08/11/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )




I have 4 kids, my oldest daughter, 2 teenage boys and a 9 yr old boy.
I have a daughter who basically has gone wild with her new-found freedom. I am doing what many other moms of teenagers probably do and just blame myself for everything she is doing wrong. I keep going back and remembering how wild I was at 18, my parents outright showed me the door and I took it, however, my daughter doesn't have a license, no car, has no money, ever, totally irresponsible with money, and doesn't seem to have any common sense.

She used to be more level headed, a little more anyhow, but now, she doesn't think about how her actions are going to affect her and she certainly doesn't care about how we feel about anything... not that I expect her to right now, but I can dream can't I?

I am just so frustrated. My husband and I are arguing constantly about how to handle things with her.
I know it's easy to say, show her the door, and I would but I feel like I would be doing her a TOTAL and COMPLETE disservice. Her head is in the clouds, she doesn't know how to save money, she told me the other day that she can't take being stuck & feeling bottled up, but she is scared of being an adult and wishes she could go back to being a kid. (I'm not sure she really qualifies for adulthood quite yet!)

I am constantly getting into arguments with her. She is always going against me even after saying she is tired of her friends and tired of having no money she will go out and spend it all.

I feel like I need to take control of the situation but I don't know how anymore. I was always a pretty strict parent. No one ruled the roost in my home except me, not even my husband. It is not a trait I'm proud of, I just grew up with a pretty dominant mom and my daughter has definitely inherited that trait. She is seriously strong willed.

As I typed this, my daughter walked in after work, her friends brought her home to change so they could go out. I asked her why she wanted to go against what we had talked about with her staying home, and getting her space/room cleaned before any more hanging with friends. She said, "I have social issues", said "bye, I love you" and then left. Her dad told her that if she didn't have her room cleaned by tomorrow, he would be going in there with a trash bag. She won't have it done.

I really would love to get some tips here. I come from a large family. I have 7 siblings, we were raised strict catholic and I just feel like we had a whole lot more respect for the parents. I know I had my wild-child moment and then I grew up, but my daughter just seems like she is on this spiral.

Her boyfriend just broke up with her so now she is going through her emotional rollercoaster on that end... all around I'm lost on this.

I know, welcome to parenthood. I am not usually a weak person, but here, I feel totally at a loss and could use some ideas.

Like I said, I would show her the door and let her just flounder, but even I, at her age now, had a car, I was more responsible with my money and I was ready to move out at 18... I WANTED to move out.. too many people in my home. I had a roommate lined up, EVERYTHING.
I think I could be doing her more harm than good by throwing her out right now.

Help me please! =)


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C - posted on 08/12/2013




Thank you for your comment Michelle.
We actually have gone that route, we had a lunch meeting with my daughter and thought that getting away from the house and having a one on one approach to putting something in place would help make it more of a contractual agreement. The problem is, I have been second guessing everything lately, so unlike me.
I'm constantly going back and forth with my own self on whether something is going to be helpful to her growth or a disservice.
As mentioned before, I, right now, am my own worst enemy.
I need to stop putting so much into things and how it's going to affect her feelings and follow through.
I hate this age, because as much as she tells me she is 18 and can make her own choices, (outside of my home) she is still so immature, irresponsible, and she still talks with a younger teen mentality.
18 is sooooo not an adult, but sadly, that's what the law books say so we get to kick them into growing up or do as I do and enable the bad behavior.
My change is going to be what will kick the wheels in motion for her, I just, as I say, need to stop worrying about standing my ground.

Michelle - posted on 08/11/2013




I think you should all sit down and write out some "house rules". Put them up on the wall with consequences if they are followed. That way even the younger ones know what's expected.
If her room isn't cleaned then your husband needs to follow through with clearing it all out like he said.
You need to make it clear that her choice is to either stay and live by your rules or move out. Make the consequences clear and follow through with them.

C - posted on 08/11/2013




You are right Evelyn. I think I just have to stop thinking about all of the what ifs and put my foot down.

Like I said, I have never felt so weak in my life!
Her bio dad has never been in the picture so her whole life I have OVER protected with her feelings and that has probably been more of a disservice to her.

One night I told her that she wasn't going to get a ride from me to hang out with her friends. It was 10 at night and I was getting other kids down for the night. We live in the middle of nowhere, basically she said, ok, packed up her bag for the night and set out on foot. That, I couldn't allow to happen, too many things that could happen so the night turned into a major back and forth with her and I, she finally found a friend willing to pick her up.

I have set rules for her, she finds ways to skirt around them or find loopholes.
They are my rules, I need to set them and stick to them.

You are absolutely right though. I think I just need to see it in writing.
I can give everyone else good advice and I can see the forest through the trees when talking about someone else's child, I've just gotten stuck in my own home =(

Ev - posted on 08/11/2013




She is 18 and therefore an adult. You enable her letting her stay with you and letting her do what she wants instead of getting her to at least respect the house rules. She is not showing you and dad any respect by doing what she wants when she wants such as leaving her room a mess. You need to make an ultimatum and force her to choose to stay there at home or move on. You said she has no car or anything like that but she seems able to get around on her own. Let her go out there and see what its like. She is not going to learn if you guys argue but do nothing to stop it.

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