My 18 year old daughter

Rachel - posted on 07/05/2013 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Hi, I am putting this out there to moms and daughters. Two years ago, my daughter had finally hit and pushed me for the last time (yes, she was in therapy) and I demanded that she go to her fathers. He had months before moved in with his older daughter (single mom of 42) and his grandchildren. I think my daughter was aching in a way to be with them. The divorce between my ex-husband and I was terrible once the Judge would not give hiim 50/50 custody and I know that he was saying horrible things about me to daughter and while we were on the phone and she was in ear shot. So, there was a lot of conflict in my daughter's life. He let her do pretty much what she wanted, and I was not strict (her words) but wanted her to follow some basic rules, the biggest one being respect. I regretted it because my daughter never came back to live with me. I continued to be involved (we were in therapy from September 2011 to June 2012), pay for her private school, provide many opportunities. She even once asked for my forgiveness for her "cruel" behavior, and of course I gave it to her. Since living with him for two years, her grades went down, she was not turning in work, etc., and her school did everything they could to support her. The good news is, she got accepted to college on the East Coast and is planning to go (I worked very closely with her college counselor, yet I tried to stay behind the scenes because my daughter was very resistant to my suggestions and her father had no involvement at all). My daughter wants me to help pay for her college (of course). We came up with an agreement with a few basic things I required (having to do with her being in therapy, signing up for services in college, and giving me online access to her grades when they come out). My daughter agreed easily. She has not followed through with providing my authorizations/access and I am about to remove myself from the picture. So many times my daughter tells me she will do something and does not. She only returns my calls when she feels like it, wants a ride, wants some money. Deep in my heart, I feel that she has not forgiven me for "throwing" her out. I have been told that she thinks she is the boss, feels very entitled, etc. I would love to help my daughter, but I feel that if she can't even return a phone call, let alone stick to an agreement, I am thinking that I just have to stick to my guns...if we both keep up our ends of an agreement, great, if not...there is no longer an agreement. Anyone with any thoughts?

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C - posted on 01/20/2014

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I think we, as parents have to hit rock bottom to "get it".
It is so easy to give advise to others about a teen that bucks the system over and over again, back in my day of teen-hood, I knew the consequences and if I was ok with that, because those consequences were the REAL deal, than I took my leap of faith, but if I wasn't ready to head out and figure it out on my own, I just kept my mouth shut, rolled with the punches, did my part and followed the rules till I was ready to head out on my own.
It is such a different world and in one, such as yours, with an enabling dad, that is tough, however, she won't change over night, and at least if you know she is with her dad, you know that she has a roof over her head, that is at least an ounce comforting. Right, she is not making solid choices, but you will be the role model she will want to be for her kids one day. I guarantee it! My mom and I butted heads, I was shown the door and I took it, and today, my parents are my best friends :)
I struggle all the time with my rulings as a parent, my 18 year old seems to slowly but surely be "getting it", however, I'm ready for some steps backward.
I guess these are not only learning points for our children but definitely tests of our strengths as parents. I just keep hoping and praying and if she has to learn the hard way, I know I did! and it did work.
Now, anytime I talk to my mom about my daughter, when I'm pulling my hair out, she just laughs and says, "My curse worked!"
Man, I really must have put that woman through some kind of hell!

C - posted on 01/20/2014

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I think we, as parents have to hit rock bottom to "get it".
It is so easy to give advise to others about a teen that bucks the system over and over again, back in my day of teen-hood, I knew the consequences and if I was ok with that, because those consequences were the REAL deal, than I took my leap of faith, but if I wasn't ready to head out and figure it out on my own, I just kept my mouth shut, rolled with the punches, did my part and followed the rules till I was ready to head out on my own.
It is such a different world and in one, such as yours, with an enabling dad, that is tough, however, she won't change over night, and at least if you know she is with her dad, you know that she has a roof over her head, that is at least an ounce comforting. Right, she is not making solid choices, but you will be the role model she will want to be for her kids one day. I guarantee it! My mom and I butted heads, I was shown the door and I took it, and today, my parents are my best friends :)
I struggle all the time with my rulings as a parent, my 18 year old seems to slowly but surely be "getting it", however, I'm ready for some steps backward.
I guess these are not only learning points for our children but definitely tests of our strengths as parents. I just keep hoping and praying and if she has to learn the hard way, I know I did! and it did work.
Now, anytime I talk to my mom about my daughter, when I'm pulling my hair out, she just laughs and says, "My curse worked!"
Man, I really must have put that woman through some kind of hell!

Ev - posted on 07/05/2013

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I am sorry you have to deal with this. But the person I know is in a similar situation but she had added to it herself. A lot of kids now expect things to be handed over to them with no regard how much work and effort goes into those things. We try as parents to teach them different to this ideaology but unfortunate for some, the kids just won't listen. Just be there for her otherwise to the money or other similar supports as that. Maybe once she realizes you won't put out any effort towards money or other things like that, she might wake up and think twice.

Rachel - posted on 07/05/2013

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I know...I totally agree. The pink elephant (although not so hidden) is that her father is continuing to enable her. For instance, I have an agreement with her...she does not keep it...she is living with her father (although he is quite cognitively impaired from a prior stroke) and he tells her that she does not need me and "the two of us will work it out"...that being the parental alienation. So, my daughter knows that her father will save her...and he does not get that part of really functioning well in life is to stick to commitments...or, if things change...communicate about it. He himself does not do this, has huge financial issues and debt....and this was prior to his stroke (by the way, he seems to be functioning well enough...although is a teenager himself). The issue is not his stroke...he always made excuses for himself and then our daughter. She is amazing, bright, but feels 100% entitled and "the boss" and he does allow this to go on. What I say or talk to her about has absolutely no impact at this time. I just spoke to the college...they are going to send her another email that she is 100% responsible for her bill -- even if she gets help, the bill is in her name. Don't think she wants to hear that even though I have tried to tell her. She sees herself as an adult, but does not want adult responsibilities, or to even get guidance about them.

Ev - posted on 07/05/2013

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Also, she is 18. Legally, she can make any of her own choices she wants. But you do not have to be a part of them. You also have choices too. You just need to inform her that if she can not agree to commit to anything with you then the bet is off. Tell her to find her own resources for money for school. Tell her is she wants your support otherwise you will give it in other forms. She needs to learn life does not cater to her and its not going to be easy for an 18 year old to figure things out on their own. They are going to make mistakes. They are going to find themselves in the bottom of a well sometimes. But if they can make the choices not to follow through with people they agree to do things with, then they can do things on their own with parents, friends, other relatives, and so on watching from the sidelines.

Rachel - posted on 07/05/2013

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Thank you...I wish it was not so, but if my daughter can't even read instructions re college requirements, not follow thru with any agreement with me (that she was supposedly okay with) and not even call me to let me know what is going on (she's late, intends to fulfill our agreement by such time, etc.), then she is sending me the message that she thinks I will be there, no matter what, and keep chasing her down to do something that is for her benefit. Very, very tough. Her dad will continue to enable and make excuses for her...my daughter will learn from life, I guess, hope it's not too hard for her...she knows I love her, that is for sure...but doesn't respect my limits, as she does not with many others.

Ev - posted on 07/05/2013

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I agree with your thoughts on this. As hard as situations such as this are, sometimes we have to let the kids go and let them figure it all out on there own; its called the hard way. My family has had a few things happen not as rash as this but the kids had to learn for themselves. Right now, there is a family member whose child is nearly 20, and the girl and her mother head butt pretty bad as they are of similar personality. She up and left mom's house one day with no word. After some talking she came back for a week and then left again this time taking stuff and leaving a note. Her mom said that was it; her daughter now has to figure it out.

Its called tough love.

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