My 17 year old daughter never comes home

Joanne - posted on 08/18/2013 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi
I'm at a loss as to how handle the situation with my daughter without causing us to become so distant. Im so frustrated that she never comes home she stays with her friend and her family who live up the road. I know that is not a very good environment for her to be in; smoking, drinking etc but she would probably do these things anyway but the thing that I'm concerned about is how her friends 40 year old mum 'leans' on my daughter and talks to her about her recent divorce etc which I feel she should have adult friends for. I honestly do not know how to get Amy back at home and her 9 year old brother misses her dearly. But for some reason Amy cares about her friends family more than she does her own. I get an obligatory text every couple of days asking 'are you ok?' And that's as much as I get from her. I have tried talking to her nicely explaining that her friend is more than welcome to stay at ours and I don't mind of Amy stays there at weekends but it has become like she's us actually living there. I don't know what to do now apart from speak to her friends mum and ask her not to let Amy stay there often but Amy won't be happy with this and I just need to explore my options before I do that as I'm not sure that's the best thing to do. Can anyone help please?

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Jodi - posted on 08/19/2013

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I know it is hard. As a parent, we want out kids to succeed, and we don't want to see them drop out of college, but sometimes we have to give them some tough love. You are not doing her any favours by continuing to allow her to control the conditions of the relationship.

I wish you all the very best! And just remember, she'll most likely be ok. Sure, if she drops out, it will be a huge disappointment, but the chances are that she will decide to go back and complete at some stage in the future.

Jodi - posted on 08/19/2013

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Right now, she has the upper hand in this situation. She is holding you accountable, when in fact, it needs to be the other way around. It may have reached that point where she needs to make her own mistakes. Right now, she knows that you won't cut off her funding because you are concerned about her studies, so she is manipulating that for all it is worth. Personally, if it were my 17 year old, I'd call her bluff. Funding is cut off unless she focuses on her studies and is home during the week. Make a contract with her and your end of the contract is dependent on her end of the deal. She needs to start owning her own behaviour instead of holding it over you.

If her response ends up being 'ok' and then drop out of school, then so be it. There will be consequences to that, and sometimes, kids need to learn the hard way.

Jodi - posted on 08/19/2013

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Cut off the funding. I am a little confused as to what conversations you are having with her about this. I think it is time to be the parent, not her friend. If you are asking her to remain in the family home, and she is refusing to do so, then maybe it is time to let her know that you won't fund the lifestyle she is choosing.

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Joanne - posted on 08/19/2013

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Thank you for your advice it makes sense. I am going to give her a call and say I expect her home all week but weekends are acceptable times to stay at her friends house. I have decided, like you say to call her bluff. And yes I suppose if it goes wrong and she drops out of college then yes there will be consequences and i will have to learn to let her deal with it on her own. Thank you.

Joanne - posted on 08/19/2013

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Yes I agree. I just fear that her response will be 'ok' and then maybe drop out of her final year at college to get a job. The conversations I've had with her are mainly me explaining to her that its important she stays at home and in contact with her family as for all I know she could be doing anything in her friends house. I've explained that she needs to stay focused on her studies and I need to be reassured that she's keeping on top of her coursework when college starts again in a couple of weeks time. She agrees with me every time usually but does the opposite. Occasionally she will have a rant and speak to me with little respect though which she has never done before.

Joanne - posted on 08/19/2013

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Hi
Thank you for responding. This has been going on for the past 6 or 7 weeks and I have been talking to my daughter firstly rather than jumping in and speaking to the other girls parent as I worried that Amy is 17 and would become even more distant with me. I've avoided speaking to the parent because she seems unapproachable and a bit of a different kind of person to myself and I feel she would think I'm being overly protective. But how can I be over protective of my own flesh and blood. I just want to make sure she's safe. I'm not adverse to speaking to the parent I certainly will do if people think that's the right way to deal with it without pushing Amy further away as that's what I am trying to avoid. I am funding Amy plus she has a job during the Summer holidays whilst she isn't at college.

Jodi - posted on 08/19/2013

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You aren't talking to the friend's mum about it because you think your daughter will be upset? How do you expect to be able to do anything about it if you haven't spoken to the other parent about it?

I guess my other question is, who is funding Amy right now? I am assuming she has to be getting money from somewhere?

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