my teenage daughter

Cherese - posted on 02/20/2014 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Where do I begin. I have a 14 yr old daughter who is a hellion..She could be worse, but for years she has hated authority, talks back to her teachers, lies about turning homework in, only cares about herself, very selfish, thinks she's so cute, talks back, never follows my rules in the house. I am a single mother of her and she takes every advantage of it when I'm at work I feel. She wants to become a Biochemist one day and I believe she can do it but how many times do I need to explain to her how important it is just to get her homework in and keep her grades up to even consider getting into a program like Biochemistry. I am so tired of her actions. She also came out last year in 8th grade as being a lesbian, and has a gf this year and I am the only one that has supported her thru all of this. Her dad, nope, her grandparents think its a phase..I've had her in therapy, but the therapist said she was disconnected with her feelings, then she decided she didn't need it anymore(my daughter) so I took her out. I am just overwhelmed. I can't hold her hand in highschool, so what the hell do I do? I have to work, that's a must..

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Ev - posted on 02/22/2014

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I have to agree with Jodi, Linda, and Shawnn here. The single parent card is over used a lot by a lot of people. I know a woman, who has been a dear friend of mine for 23 years. We gave birth to two sets of kids at the same time frame and she had one more after our second set. She is a single mom. For all her kids she has had a set of values, rules, consequences, and learned to talk to them and give them reasons why she had to say no when she did (mostly when they got to teen years and she used a pointed example as to why she did not want them to do certain things or go certain places. She was active in all three. SHe has one that has a genetic disorder that required lots of hospital time and took her away for weeks at a time the first 13 years of his life. But she had friends and family to come in and pick up the pieces while she was gone and keep her rules and values in place. She has also given out the consequences needed and the kids respect her to this day. Her younger two are 16 and 17. The 16 year old is a girl. She is going to be a zoologist after college. She is taking everything she can in high school sciences now that most of her required subjects are out of the way. She has high grades. Her middle son is her hard one but she is handling it and he does get away with it because he has that genetic disorder or and I did not mention is ADHD. Her oldest is 24 and is about to graduate college. I have to agree being a single mom has nothing to do with how you raise a kid and make them mind you.

I do know a woman personally also a single mom. She did not always come through with her consequences often times just letting her daughter do whatever she wanted to do or just did not fight that battle with her child. The girl did not do her homework and turn it in from 5th grade on and what she did turn in barely got her through to graduation with barely a 2.0, this girl was kicked out of a program that would have helped her go to college and worked with kids from freshman year on to senior year because she did not do the work in school as they kept tabs on her grades there and she did not follow through with the programs rules. It never phased this girl. As a teen this girl was all about socializing. Now you also have to take into consideration the mother had also overprotected the girl too and did not allow her daughter to experience things like other kids got to do. She even went to dances with her daughter and was not a chaperone. Senior year, mom and child butted heads worst than I had ever seen. This mom had her rules but did admit by this time she had been too lax but had done the best she could. Yeah, she did the best but could have done better. SHe did not pull the single parent card either. She did what she thought was the best at the time. The girl is now 20 years old, has no job, no desire to go to school to make something of herself, has a boyfriend she barely knows and is expecting their child in few months. Add to that this girl is experiencing a lot of health issues too because she did not eat right nor take good care of herself on doctors orders.

Here are two situations. If you daughter wants to be a Biochemist or what have you she needs to learn to buckle down and do the work because she is not going to make it in the science world without the math and sciences too. SHe is going to have to learn to talk to you and tell you what troubles her too. And you are going to have to make it clear that until she does what she needs to be doing, there is going to be no extra priviledeges until then.
I have not been in your shoes and I am not attacking this but am giving you examples of two single moms who have raised their kids and what the outcomes are. I have had to co-parent with a man who remarried twice after me and that was two step moms in the mix that were not willing to sit back and let me and him parent our two children. And during this time, I had instilled enough in my kids in values and rules and consequences because I did not change up how it was in my house though it did change a lot in dad's. Today, I have a 24 year old daughter who is working on the rest of her college, is married, working, and has one child and another on the way. I have a 17 year old son who has had to struggle to get the grades others do because of a learning delay. He is now wanting to be a mechanic. I feel though that I had to raise my kids from afar because their dad showed more interest in his step kids. And because of my being there for them, lets just say that I have now their respect as a person and as a mom and their unconditional love.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/21/2014

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Now that consequences have been instilled, you must follow through and consistently enforce them. No electronics, computer, television, phones...no socializing...work with the school to coordinate disciplinary measures. There is no reason for you to use the single parent card, if you consistently enforce consequences, and subsequently rewards when deserved.

Jodi - posted on 02/20/2014

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Using the "single parent" card is a cop out. Sorry, but it is.

Can I ask what consequences you HAVE instilled? it would be helpful if we knew what you had in place, it would be easier to give advice.

Basically, what it comes down to, is finding our what is important to her....and using that. Every kid has something that is important to them, so what is your daughter's?

Cherese - posted on 02/20/2014

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Same here, but I didn't disrespect my parents and I'm doing whatever it takes to make sure she doesn't go down the path. So I've instilled consequences and nothing works. So what other suggestions do you have?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/20/2014

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I've known plenty of single parents who have children with behaviour problems that handle them with out bootcamp.

But, whatever, its your kid. I never once told you to quit your job and hold her hand, because that type of 'hand holding' leads to children who think they're entitled to the world, and don't have to work for it. I said, instill consequences, consistently enforce them, and get her back into counseling.

And, don't be surprised if you do put her in bootcamp, for it to backfire...she's at the perfect age to decide that you did that to 'get rid of her' because you 'don't love her'...speaking as a former 14 year old girl, that is...

Cherese - posted on 02/20/2014

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Well as a single parent, I do what I can to raise my child. I can't quit my job and be there for her holding her hand as a freshmen. NO!! She hasn't been getting away with it, if that happened, I'd probably be in jail for beating her so badly. I'm very involved with my child and I am there regardless whatever comes our way because she is mine. If the bootcamp thing can show her how her life could be one day if she stays on the path, regardless of how hard I try as a parent to see her succeed then so be it...I don't foist my responsibilities on anyone..I"m very independent and do what I need to do and its sad its coming to this but not kids are the same. Kids from the best homes have committed some of the worse crimes, so if bootcamp is the way to go to stop her from being one of those criminals then so be it. Walk a day in a single parents shoes and you shall understand if you don't...

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/20/2014

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But these behaviours did not start overnight, as you've stated, she's been this way for years. Fixing this is not going to be an instant thing, and sending her to boot camp is, in my opinion, foisting off your responsibility on someone else, because you didn't want to take the time in the first place to correct the behaviours before they got to this point.

If she 'goes right back to being the same person', then she's getting away with it. You are the parent, and you have the power, but you have to be ready and willing to BE a parent 24/7/365, for 18 years until they're an adult.

Blunt, yes, very much so. But, I've raised my kids, and been a very involved parent the entire time, without doing everything for them, or holding their hands. Did I get attitude? Yep, we all do, at some point, because the kids are human. Did I put up with it? Nope, sure didn't...nipped it in the bud, along with any other undesirable behaviour.

Put on the gloves, mom, and bring out the tough love.

Cherese - posted on 02/20/2014

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Nope, she sure isn't, she is just self absorbed, stingy, and whatever I take away, doesn't work because she goes right back to the same person. She is driving me nuts. I am looking into bootcamp for her that her school offers and hopefully this will get her on the right track.

Jodi - posted on 02/20/2014

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I am wondering about the consequences too. If she has been talking back to teachers and you for years, she is obviously getting away with it.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/20/2014

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Well, I have to ask, if she's been doing this for YEARS, what have her consequences been up to this point?

Stop holding her hand. Stop doing 'her' stuff for her. She wants to be a biochemist? Great! Most graduate programs require a Bachelor's degree, and a certain GPA and GRE score. If she chooses to NOT pursue her education, that's on her.

So, instill consequences for her abysmally poor behaviour, quit 'carrying' her through school, and put her back into therapy for starters.

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