Do I let my 16 year old daughter live with grandparents?

Michelle - posted on 02/04/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have been raising twins girls alone since my ex-husband left me when they were three. I have worked, completed a Master's and raised my kids without any help for thirteen years. They are now 16. One of them has always been very difficult. Tantrums, anxiety,separation issues, and she is a very good manipulator. Whenever I have had friends over, she has managed to embarass me with her behaviour and has alienated most of them. Basically, she is very controlling and if something doesn't go her way she becomes VERY agitated. I have had her in and out of counselling forever, with little progress other than she has anxiety disorder, separation problems and is spoiled from me trying to compensate for her father being absent. She has always been fixated on my, calling and texting me repeatedly at work and on the rate occasion I did anything for myself. Her twin does not have these issues.

About a year and a half ago I started dating for the first time in ten years and about nine months ago I met the man of my dreams. Needless to say, she hates him even more than she hates all of my friends. Trust me when I tell you, if he takes me attention she would hate him even if he were a cross between mr rogers and mother teresa. We are beginning to discuss a future together and she is making no bones about the fact that she will not live with him. She wants to live with my parents (her grandparents). We have all actually been living with my parents for about six months since I was laid off. I have now found a job, and I am starting to plan my future. I feel like if I end the relationship with the man I love over her machinations that not only will I be unhappy, but she will just continue trying to run my life forever. I am actually considering tell her, "I wish you would come with me and you are welcome, but if you want to stay here, then that is your choice".My parents would take her. What do you all think? I love her to death, but she can be very toxic. Her twin sister is frustrated with dealing with her and is fine with my boyfriends. Help!

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Shawnteria - posted on 02/05/2013

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I agree with the others you should allow her to stay with her grandparents less stress for you all and it sounds as if she has some hopes for her father still and may need closure. Is he still around? If not are you still able to contact him?

Mardi - posted on 02/04/2013

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So you have twin 16yr old girls and they are like chalk and cheese.

You dont say what your other daughter thinks of your new man.....

What are your girls plans when they finish high school, will they be going away to college, moving out and getting jobs??? At there ages, this really does warrent some consideration,

Wether that be, the best plan is to work on building your relationship with plans to co-habitat once the girls finish high school, or to try and move forward on that now.....timing can mean everything. Now if you were planning on both girls going to a community college and living at home until their mid twenties, well thats going to take a lot more work and your best option may be to allow the unhappy twin to move into her grandparents. That doesn't make you a bad mother, your making the right choices for your family and their individual needs.

In the end, your the parent and the adult, but they two will both be adults soon enough, and you want to work ona compromise that allows your family to grow and move on without breaking apart.

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Michelle - posted on 02/09/2013

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Thanks for your input everyone. To answer a few questions, my other daughter loves my boyfriend and even goes to him for advice. My boyfriend's daughter, who is 9 and lost her mom two years ago loves me. It is just the one twin who has the problem. And the problems have been there all along with her, it is not specific to my relationship with my boyfriend.

Ariana - posted on 02/05/2013

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I would not do that personally. She will forever think you chose your bf over her even if that is not the case.

Could you go to some family councelling with you your bf and the twin girls to try and sort something out? Maybe you will be able to express what's going on with you in a councelling session in a way she isn't understanding now, or vice versa.

What have you implimented to deal with her tantrums so far? Does she have consequences for it, or for if she tries to do embarrassing things in front of people you have over? I don't know whether you do or don't but I hope she gets a consequence for when she acts out in this way.

You have to try to get her to understand that you loving someone else does not take away your love for her in any way. Could you set up a special 'date night' with her where she gets to have just one on one attention with her. Have you tried to set limits on her attention to you? Like refusing to answer if she's calling/texting you at work or when you go out? Or telling her that she has a limit of this many text messages or a consequence will be done.

You also should try to do things on your own. If you've allowed yourself to be at her beck and call so long of course she will be upset and jealous of a new bf.

Also does she have many friends at school etc? It just seems odd that a 16 year old is so focused on her mother. Could you try to sign her up for a class or course where she can meet other people her age or get out away from you? I would also say YOU should sign up for something away from the home so she can realize you have a life and even if you leave you still come back.

She may be to old for this but I have heard of a technique where the parent tries to see if the childs 'love' meter is full. So they talk to the child about a 'love bucket' and sometimes the bucket feels empty, and sometimes it feels full. Usually the parent would give the child hugs or kisses/cuddles and ask if their 'love bucket' is full. It's a technique to show the child that even when you aren't around you still love them, and even if you're paying attention to someone else you still love them. It is a bit juvinile for a girl at 16 but you may want to talk to her about how even if you aren't right there with her, or even if you're paying attention to your bf or her sister you still love her.

This is probably a mix between actual feelings (jealousy, fear of losing your love etc.) and her trying to control you. I don't think getting rid of her is the answer, especially not at this age.

Although she is already in her own councelling it may be helpful if you take the whole family into family councelling. Moving in with someone, especially with teenagers (even 'average' ones) is a big change for everyone. You may need help with the transition especially with your daughter who is this controlling.

I would start by trying to show her you love her no matter what and try to find some special time or a special datenight for both of you so she knows she's getting time with you. Along with that I would also try to set limits on her control, go out and turn your phone off so she can't text you, don't respond to her messages to your work or limit the amount she can have before she has a consequence.

Start to invite friends and explain the situation to them, that she does things to isolate other people from you, then if she decides to act out she has a consequence (is grounded for a weekend day, so friday saturday or sunday, or loses a privilage for something) or you will all ignore her and/or go into another room by yourselves away from her to show you are not putting up with this behavior.

Definitely do not end a relationship with this man but do consider going into some councelling with all of you to try to help this transition along.

Ashley - posted on 02/04/2013

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One thing I've learned over the years, u can't help anyone it u don't help urself. I would definently be tighting the reins. Let her to but let her make that choice and always welcome her but don't give in or break in front of her. I wish u happiness and do what u must to keep it :-) :-)

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