Any Advice?

H - posted on 06/20/2016 ( 35 moms have responded )

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I have a 19 year old Daughter that is ruining her life, and I don't know what to do. She is mean and disrespectful and down right cruel to her Family. She moved into her own apartment last September to go to a private College. This was after refusing to go to either University that she had been accepted to, with scholarships. Her Father and I told her we would help her as long as she got a part time job and was in school. We have always supported her and told her she could accomplish anything. Since then she has done nothing but get meaner and meaner. It has been 10 months, she does nothing to contribute to her own life. I don't even know her anymore.We have been paying for her phone, power, rent, groceries, bus tickets, and spending money. She is on AP and is most likely getting expelled this week for skipping school. She only contacts us to demand more money. We have two other daughters that are 3 and 9. She is horrible to the 9 year old, it's like she hates her. She tolerates the 3 year old. She tells me to F-off if I try to talk to her or reason with her. She barely communicates with my Husband, and they used to talk everyday. I'm a stay at home Mom and my Husband is the only one bringing in an income, so we're struggling to run two houses. She won't do anything to help herself. We were told to take a hard stand with her, I've called Mental Health and they visited her and feel that her problems are behavior, not a mental disorder. She hasn't come home since Christmas, she did not acknowledge her Sister's Birthdays, she didn't acknowledge Mother's day or Father's Day. She stays up all night palying video games and then sleeps all day. We used to be so close, but I haven't had a real conversation with her in months. My heart is breaking. My Husband is ready to cut her off, and I understand that. My biggest fear is what will happen to her, where will she go? She can not move home, she's too abusive. She won't help herself, won't get a job or go to assistance. I just don't know what to do. I'm sad all the time and I worry all the time. What if we cut her off and she ends up homeless or worse? This is killing me. :(

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Sarah - posted on 06/27/2016

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Sorry that this post turned into a bit of drama, you have enough on your plate for sure. Hang in there and the tables will turn, she will come around; stronger and better for it.

Sarah - posted on 06/27/2016

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Sofia, did you read the posts? H, did get social services to visit and the girl refused help.

Sarah - posted on 06/27/2016

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H, you gotta just over look some of the posts. I have been traveling and finally returned home. I was glad to read you took a stand and are sticking to it. This will be hard, it is very hard to watch your child fall on her face and she may be bitter for a time but somewhere along the way she will realize that you saved her from herself when she needed it the most. Hang in there and keep us posted.

Carlos233212 - posted on 06/26/2016

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Please don't keep making the same mistake.. it time you let her pay her own bills and rent. I promise you after 3 months she will get it and say sorry.. she will learn she has no help but yours

She is a grown adult and Needs to learn action has consequences

Ev - posted on 06/26/2016

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Maria--she is an adult aka old enough to make her own choices and live with them. She does not live in the home and even if she did it would be considered an assault and is therefore a crime against an adult. I am not sure what you are thinking but I agree that pro spankers do take things too far.

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H - posted on 06/27/2016

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Sofia...She is no longer a student. She decided that playing video games was more important than going to class. She sleeps all day and plays on the computer all night. She does not ask for help, she demands it. It has been 10 months of complete turmoil for our entire family. My heart breaks for her, she is my child, but at some point she has to grow up and make her own path. I'm finding the strength to stop enabling her, I'm not trying to be cruel. She does nothing, but expects us to continue to pay for her entire lifestyle all the while being nasty and disrespectful to her Father and I. At no point did I say she had to pay anything back, we have never asked her to do that. We have asked her to help herself and she refuses. It is time to make a stand with her, and that is what we are going to do. No matter how hard it is or how awful people may think it is. Until you have walked in our shoes, please refrain from passing quick judgements. Thanks.

Sarah - posted on 06/27/2016

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Excuse me? How is asking if you read the whole post to be clear you were aware that social services were aware making the post about me?
Geez lighten up, sometimes an ad will pop up between posts in a thread and I miss responses.

Sofia - posted on 06/27/2016

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I'm not saying you had abused her but there maybe something horrid she's afraid to tell. I was like that at her age. I'm sorry this is so tough. She will grow out of this. Perhaps take the opposite approach or create some distance. She needed groceries....that's sad that she has to pay it back somehow. Perhaps everyone needs to let it go---being a student is hard enough :-)

Sofia - posted on 06/27/2016

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Sarah E,
I'm not interested in getting into an argument with you. Poster asked for advice. I gave it. This isn't about you. You sure like to make matters worse little miss know it all? Tsk tsk

H - posted on 06/27/2016

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Thank you Sara E. We are doing our best. this is not a case of an abused child. She has never had a serious relationship, and we're certain it is not drug or alcohol related. We have tried to get her to reach out for help, and since she is 19 it has to be her decision. We've put her in contact or supplied her with the phone numbers of EVERY agency that could help her. She is steadfastly refusing to do anything. Her attitude is beyond horrible. This past weekend she went to my brother and manipulated him into giving her groceries. She promised him she would start doing the things she needs to do, and then once he gave her food, she went home and returned to doing nothing. I warned him that she was using him to get what she wanted, but he really thought he could help her. She is capable of getting what she wants, when she wants to be. I just wish she would apply that effort to getting her life on a productive track. This is an honor roll student, she is very capable. She chooses not to be.

Sofia - posted on 06/27/2016

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She's clearly screaming for help. Especially if this was sudden. Has she experienced abuse- perhaps with boyfriend or relative, or bullying, an abortion she's not admitting to? These are tough issues but please be gentle with her. I don't think she's doing things against you, she's hurting and angry....best to be kind and help her get to the source of her pain

H - posted on 06/27/2016

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Maria, Please don't comment just for the sake of commenting. I am looking for actual advice and opinions that may help my Daughter. Beating her is not and never will be an option. Thanks.

H - posted on 06/27/2016

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We are taking the tough love approach. She is furious, hateful, and downright mean. It hurts me to know I'm hurting her, but I also know it is for her own good. My reply to her for 3 days has been " You are 19, you are capable. You are responsible for your choices. There are options available to you if you need help, we are not one of those options." It is hard, and I know I'm the "enabler", but I am standing firm this time. Wish me, her, all of us luck.

Michelle - posted on 06/25/2016

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Maria: that is not helpful advice. The daughter lives away from home and is an adult, not a child anymore. Sometimes you pro spankers go way too far.

H: I'm glad you are standing your ground. It will be a lot better for her to hate you for a while and learn to fend for herself than still expect everything handed to her. You will all come out the other side and it will be best for her (and your hip pocket!).

Maria - posted on 06/25/2016

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I know perfectly that she is 19 but if she is taking bad decisions like a little girl maeby a spanking like a little girl would work good on her

Ev - posted on 06/25/2016

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Maria--the girl is 19 years old not 9. She is an adult legally and can make her own choices and live life how she pleases. You did not read the post very clearly.

Ev - posted on 06/24/2016

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That is the way it goes sometimes. And her demand of having it now is a sign that she is very much all about herself. She will have to learn to eat what the food bank gives her or starve I guess. The food banks do not get the gourmet foods like the stores carry. They get a lot of canned, boxed, and plastic bag style foods that can last a while on the shelf. She will have to learn to deal with what she gets. And if she looses her apartment, there might be a homeless shelter in your area and if she ends up there its going to be dorm style and no room of her own and sharing a bathroom with others. She will have to make the effort to look for a job and do chores there. It is not that simple. Once she has lost all her things maybe she will wake up.

H - posted on 06/24/2016

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Thank you Evelyn. This is NOT an easy situation, but it's not going to get better if we don't do something. I guess it will be better for her to hate me and learn to take care of herself, than to keep going the way we have been for the last 10 months. I love her, but I don't like her choices.

H - posted on 06/24/2016

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Ok...so we have taken a stand. After no communication for a week, she texted telling us we needed to give her money. We told her no, that until she started taking care of HER responsibilities, we would not be giving her any money. She got very angry and told me that I didn't understand her situation, that she is starving and we needed to give her more money for food. We gave her $30 one week ago for school and she spent it on groceries. My Brother also gave her food on Saturday, so her claim that she hasn't eaten in 5 days is a lie designed to make me feel guilty. I told her there were options available if she needs help. She said that all the available jobs are "Too far away" and that the food bank would only give her "Crap" that she won't eat. She really feels like we are in the wrong, she said " I need that money, now". We're standing our ground. She has done nothing to help herself, and it is time she learned that. I told her we'd help her once she started to help herself. This is the first time we have taken a stand and said no to her. She is a very entitled and angry young lady. :( We're still waiting to see if she has been expelled from College, but if she has been she'll have to deal with that too. She's painted herself into a corner.

Michelle - posted on 06/21/2016

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I agree with the other ladies.
There is only so much you can do as a Mother, the rest is up to our children. She needs to learn to support herself and you need to learn that she needs to make her mistakes.
The mental health people you sent around were correct, she's an adult and if she refuses treatment, that's her decision.
I will say that the more you push her, the further away you will push her. Step back but let her know that because she won't communicate with you, she will have to support herself.

Sarah - posted on 06/21/2016

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I agree with Evelynn completely. Time to let her sink or swim on her own. Yes, it is hard to watch your child flail about and it is normal to want to help her. The problem is; she does not want your help. So don't send anymore money. If the lease for her housing is in your name, contact the landlord and ask him to either transfer it to her or to agree to end the lease early. She will survive this; it will not kill her to have to figure out how to fix this. If she does come to you for help, then you can agree to help her, but only under strict conditions. Write up an agreement for her to sign and stick to it. If she fails school, does not get a job or violates the terms, then no more help from you.
I do think it is worth considering a drug problem, as many of her behaviors suggest she may be using.

Laurie - posted on 06/21/2016

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I am so sorry to read your post. We have a 19 yr old daughter who had a horrible childhood in Russia and we raised since she was 8 yrs old. Oddly your story is similar to our experience right now. I am just sharing what is going on with my daughter, she has a mood disorder which has been made worse many times due to using pot. She is very disrespectful, tries to provoke her older brother, and did nothing for mothers or fathers day. She has moved out several times to live with her boyfriend who is on probation for drugs. She works in fast food, not college student, but she spends her earnings like water. She just informed me in the psychiatrist office that she doesn't do anything to take of herself at home or financially because she can get me to do it. There was more unbelievable requests involving me spending money on her and she informed me she doesnt like it when I say NO. Opened my eyes to what a brat she is, that she was manipulating me rather than being responsible for herself. I thought she had a problem with her mind but she is acting out as a diva. She already left us but if I could go back in time, I wish I had cut her off earlier as I think she wanted to be pushed out. My husband said she isn't thriving living at home so let her see what being a grownup is really about.

H - posted on 06/21/2016

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I'm going to counseling. Actually, my Husband and I are both going. Tough love is tough!! Sometimes it is helpful to hear from people (Other mother's) removed from the situation, Strangers are a lot more truthful. I know what needs to happen.

Ev - posted on 06/21/2016

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You did not fail her. She failed herself. You have done all you can to teach her what you expect is the right things to do in life vs the wrong things to do in life. At this point since it is "killing you emotinally" is to get yourself some counseling to deal with this. I am sure there is going to come a time when one or even both my kids now adults at 26 and 19 will come to a point they might make a bad mistake and I won't be able to do anything about it. I am just lucky that my kids have actually listened to me when I tell them what the consequences might be if they do one thing or another. Usually kids do not realize that their parents were right until they are much much older...my kids seem to get how right I am in some circumstances now. And this is steams from only being with me for short time frames and keeping open communication.

H - posted on 06/21/2016

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I do appreciate your "harshness" Sometimes it sucks hearing the truth. I feel like I failed her, somehow. I'm working on that.

Ev - posted on 06/21/2016

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This is going to sound harsh but you need to do this. For your sake and hers.


{{They did tell me they found her to be in no immediate risk that would require intervention. They said that she had a lot of signs of slight depression but also that poor choices and behavior were factors. I was told the bad behavior and nastiness would continue to get worse, especially if we do cut her off financially.}}
---I find it hard to believe that any organization would tell you that she would get worse and that cutting her off financially won’t help her. She is an adult and they did go against privacy even mentioning she has depression. Since they did not think she required intervention then there is nothing you can do and you should cut her off from the money. It only enables her to keep doing what she is doing. She needs to learn that you are not always going to be able to help her out with money or even other ways because you have your own young family to think of.---
{{ She is done college, she just stopped going. She sleeps all day and is up all night. She won't get a job, leave her apartment, or try in any way. She has cut off all communication with us.}}
---She cut off communication because this is her way of telling you to leave her be. She does not act like she wants your help at all and there again is nothing you can do about it.
{{ I think she is unbalanced, but I have called every resource in our area and the answer is always the same..she's 19. She has to decide to help herself, and she won't.}}
---You can say all you want about what you think her problems are but until she sees a professional you cannot label her unbalanced or to have a mental illness since you are not a professional in that field. And the other resources are correct: She has to want to change and you cannot make her change. She is an adult.---
. {{She doesn't want to be here anyway, we've become her enemies.}}
---And you said it here…she does not want to be there at your home and you have become her enemies whatever that has come to mean for her.---
{{I can not move her home because I have two small children that I need to think of too. She is way too disrespectful and mean to let her live here with them. We simply can't afford to pay for her to live on her own and contribute nothing. We pay out over $600 a month on her as it is, and that is from a single income. We have bills too. That my Husband works hard to pay.}}
---She does not need to move home as you said with your younger kids and your husband you said expressed the same thing. You can’t afford to pay for her things to live on own by yet you want to get her home and find a way to make it so she is dependent on you. You have your family to think about now to raise. She is an adult. This sounds like a bunch of excuses to me to get her home or to continue enabling her financially. You can not do that anymore. You need to use tough love. She does not need your apron strings any longer. H—you are trying to make her dependent on you for everything still. When are you going to wake up and see the light? You can not force her hand in this and make her do what you want and she does not seem to have the desire to change either. You are making it hard on your family and yourself doing this. I know it is hard to watch a child go through bad times but that is the way it goes sometimes. By you going to these places to have her evaluated for some issue or other tells me that you are still trying to control her too. Do the right thing here and let her sink or swim as she can. She has to learn sometime.---
{{ I don't know where she's going to end up, how do you help someone that refuses to help themselves?}}
---You can’t help someone that does not want to help themselves. It never works.---

H - posted on 06/21/2016

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Thank you. I actually called a Mental Health crisis line and had workers go to her apartment to do an assessment. Since she is 19, there is little they could tell me due to privacy laws. They did tell me they found her to be in no immediate risk that would require intervention. They said that she had a lot of signs of slight depression but also that poor choices and behavior were factors. I was told the bad behavior and nastiness would continue to get worse, especially if we do cut her off financially. She is done college, she just stopped going. She sleeps all day and is up all night. She won't get a job, leave her apartment, or try in any way. She has cut off all communication with us. I think she is unbalanced, but I have called every resource in our area and the answer is always the same..she's 19. She has to decide to help herself, and she won't. I can not move her home because I have two small children that I need to think of too. She is way too disrespectful and mean to let her live here with them. She doesn't want to be here anyway, we've become her enemies. We simply can't afford to pay for her to live on her own and contribute nothing. We pay out over $600 a month on her as it is, and that is from a single income. We have bills too. That my Husband works hard to pay. I don't know where she's going to end up, how do you help someone that refuses to help themselves?

Strong - posted on 06/20/2016

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I certainly understand what you’re going through and I know how heartbroken you must be. (Hug) I just said a prayer for God to comfort your family. I‘ll pray for your daughter, as well. Why don’t you speak with a professional who can offer guidance? I know that Focus on the Family can provide a free phone consultation with a licensed counselor if you call this number 855-382-5433. You might also want to check out this book -- Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children, by Allison Bottke -- http://bit.ly/28K4jIr. You may find it helpful. Much love and peace.

Ev - posted on 06/20/2016

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It does hurt. My daughter and I had a couple disagreements but we worked them out.

H - posted on 06/20/2016

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Thank you. I feel very lost and sad. I know you're probably right, it hurts. a lot.

Ev - posted on 06/20/2016

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That is why you need to just cut the apron strings altogether. Your husband and other children do not need to suffer because she is not making good choices. I know it is hard to deal with. My sister has had a lot of the same difficulty with her own child. Her daughter got away with a lot growing up and my sis admits that is her fault but she still raised her daughter with the same values/morals that I raised mine with but her daughter did the total opposite of mine. This girl did poor in school, did not want to do chores unless my sister practically begged her to do so, got to go to all kinds of outings even when threatened to loose them, and so many other things. She got tossed out of a great program to help her get into college, she barely graduated high school and not because of learning issues but being lazy. Now she is a momma herself of a child and works a part time job but still lives off the BF's family. Not a good set up for her. My sis still alot of times takes her to to things but not so much anymore unless my niece pays for gas and other things for that outing.

H - posted on 06/20/2016

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Thank you, appreciate your brutal truths. I guess I have guilt issues. I feel like I'm her Mother and it is up to me to figure out how to get her motivated, to get her to succeed. I thought I raised her to be a strong independent Woman....not this. No, she wasn't handed everything as a child. She had chores and she had to earn things just like any other kid. She has a student loan that only covers her tuition, which is why we've been covering the rest. She is supposed to be looking for a job. This sense of entitlement is completely new. She's a totally different person. I seriously don't know her anymore.

Ev - posted on 06/20/2016

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Okay mom, you need to cut her off. Your husband is right. You guys told her in the beginning that you would help only if she got a part time job and did go to school. She chose her own school and frankly even though she got accepted to others with scholarships does not mean she has to go to those schools--it is the kids' choice to what schools they attend. You did not choose to quick going to classes, play video games, and sleep all day---SHE did. She is also 19 years old and and adult and decided she wanted to do things her way and that was to go off on her own. Paying for her rent, utilities, food, phone, bus tickets, and spending money among other things. You need to quit and take care of your little ones as helping her...no enabling her is taking from them. She made these choices now she needs to learn the lesson that life is not a hand out. So what that she goes homeless? She can go to a homeless shelter or a place that will allow her a bed to sleep in. She can learn to get a new job. She can learn to get assistance on her own. Time to let her be the grown up she thinks she is. And it sounds like maybe she was given everything as a child. I have a 19 year old son who is working a 40 hour week, paying his grandmother room and board, and is saving money to get his own place and at the same time he has bought his own things plus he is a video game freak. But he has learned how to do the same things your daughter should be doing.

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