How to deal with the "I'm 18" monster.

Tamara - posted on 07/15/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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We have a 18 year old girl that has changed to this monster over the last few weeks. It has been a ugly change that as a mom that loves her child very much is hurtfull to see. I know that I am not the only one to ever deal with this type of stuff. I have had people say just do the tuff love thing and kick her out. But it just does not feel right to kick out your child when she only has a part time job and can not support herself. she leaves Sep. 6th for basic training for the Army guard. This is going to be a LONG couple of months! Please any advice would be great. Most of my friends have kids that are younger and have not seen this 18 year old monster show up in their kids.

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Neva - posted on 07/15/2011

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In the mean time, when she pulls the I'm 18, I'm an adult then just let her be an adult. Don't do her laundry, don't cook her meals, etc. When she complains, just calmly reply, well you are an adult, right? You can't have it both ways. You are either an adult that takes care of her own things, or you're a child in which case you have to follow the rules. Try not to argue with her, just let her know that you love her, but you are not going to enable her to act disrespectful. I'm sure that after she completes her basic training, her attitude will be much improved.

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JOY - posted on 07/21/2011

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Have you had a close relationship with her up till now?? Open communication, listening to her feelings, without being to critical.?? It does sound to me like she is going through some emotional insecurities and probably fearful about all the changes that are coming in her life. You said her Dad is past away? Did she have a close relationship with him, cause half of her secure feelings she lost when he died. My daughter went through heaps of changes, and I always had a really close relationship with her.When she turned 16, she wnt through a rebellious phase. Started working part-time after school, and hanging out with the wrong kind of kids.She had gone to church with us all the way up till 13. She wanted to date whoever she wanted to, and switched high schools after 2 years at the first one. Then, she dropped out at the end of year 11. She was hanging out with an older girl,(19), from her work, and this girl had parties at her house and gave my daughter alcohol and party pills. I have always taught my daughter how much I'm against drinking. She never got into it seriously,which was a good thing, but she started writing poetry that was scarring the heck out of me. Talking about suicide and saying in her poems she didn't think anyone would care if she was gone. And she knew how much her Dad and I loved her. She's 21 now, and has a beautiful little 3 year old girl. We have a really close relationship, ever since my sweetie grandaughter was born. So, I think your daughter needs to be told that you love her and that God loves her even more, and that you are there for her, no matter what happens. And if she chooses to live with her ex-step-dad, let her, and just tell heryou'd rather she stays with you, but if she does, she has to respect your wishes. I think curfews wouldn't apply to 18 year olds any longer,though.You have to lighten up on some of the rules, appropriatly. Your relationship will really improve when she actually leaves home, and realizes how much she misses you. God bless. Hope this helps. JOY BRYANT, New Zealand

JuLeah - posted on 07/18/2011

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well, right now you are teaching her that 'monster' is behavior you will accept and believe okay.

What you are seeing is fear and who could blame her.

She needs to learn how to deal with fear, big feelings without hurting her family.

I'd approach it from that place. When you are feling fear, you can reach out, ask for help, ask me to listen .... but you are not allowed to ...

Sit her down and tell her you are near your limit. Legally you can boot her out, I understand you don't want to.

Maybe she can talk with someone about what all is going on in her head? Maybe there is a mentor ... older person who is already been through boot camp?

Good luck till Sept

Cynthia - posted on 07/18/2011

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I remember when I wa 18 & I was always frustrated & acted out in so many ways BECAUSE my parents wouldn't LISTEN to me. I was ALWAYS nagged at & nobody likes that either. Treat her the way you'd like to be treated. She'll respect you more & as you show respect to her. She's an adult now. She could be scared, worried or stressed for this next big step in her life of being on her own in a way. At least basic training is only 3 months BUT write each other as much as possible too while she's gone. Do more asking, show interest in what she does & LISTEN. You might not know how to do this either because you weren't brought up that way so tell her you'll try & be specific. She'll probably be more understanding than you think. She respect you for admitting what you're going to try. I hated & felt hopeless everytime I heard my mom's mouth open up & I remember thinking, "Oh great, this will never get better & my mom is never going to change". Don't lead her to think that if you don't want her to. Have some one on ones w/ her. Qaulity time. Invest your time together. Do you remember how you were at 18 or so? This part I find sad too. I'd always tell me mom not to give me clothes for my bdays cause she never got me anything like the style I wore. She continues to buy me clothes still & never gets it right.Talk about not listening & just feeling ignored. That's frustrating. Hope this helps. Sorry so long. Had to make a point.

Tamara - posted on 07/15/2011

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Thank you all. This has been the worse day ever! she told me that she is going to move in with my ex (not her dad he is dead) tomorrow becouse we have rules at our house. That was at about 11am then 4pm she was in a car wreck and was arrested for hit and run becouse she went around the corner to stop and call me. Thankfully it was a parked car and no one was hurt but CRAP what is next! So we had to get her from the jail and her car inmpounded.

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Since she has a plan and leaves in less than 2 months.... I think I'd just let her be. Basic training WILL kick her butt if she tries to keep that attitude. ;)

Jenn - posted on 07/15/2011

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No kidding...basic training will def help you out! Maybe she is getting anxious about going? Or maybe she feels since she is going into the military, she is suddenly all grown up. I wouldnt kick her out. She couldn't treat me like crap either! Not sure how I would handle it other than to keep in mind her world is about to be rocked in two months!

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