16yr old Daughter left - what now?

Angie - posted on 04/05/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My 16 yr old daugher left home over a week ago, and refuses to come home. The only time she calls is to ask for something, and i have made it clear to her that if she chooses to live outside of our home, she doesn't get the privlidges of our home. She has always been difficult. dis-respectful to me and teachers. She wants to spend the summer with my sister, which i think i will let her do because maybe it will give her a new perspective on life. I have 3 other children (17(step),11 & 1) all girls. how do i move forward so that my other kids can have a stable home to grow up in when i feel like i failed so miserably?

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Laury - posted on 04/10/2011

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Hi Angie,
Let me start with saying you have not failed,I had the same trouble with my daughter who was also 16 at the time last year, I too had another child at home and had to make the same choice that you face now. After a lot of discussion with my partner we came to the conclusion that making her come home would only make all of us miserable so we chose to let her stay where she was and let life teach her a few lessons it took 4 mths before she wanted to come home but I was not ready to have her back in my home at that point as I felt she had learnt nothing and just wanted to come home and have me clean up the mess she had left in her wake, it took 8 mths before I felt she was ready and had learnt to appreciate me as her mum and what I do for her. Only you can make the right choice for you and your family but take it from someone who has been there it will not make you a bad mother and you have no way failed, she is at an age where she thinks she knows what is best for her, a taste of life will give her some perspective, what ever lessons she will learn are for her to learn just be there for her and stay strong..

Laury

Cynthia - posted on 04/14/2011

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i too left home at 15. i felt that no one cared, so why should i. i started having sex and doing drugs. i blamed everything on my mom because she didn't look for me. she didnt call the law or make me come home. i had no idea if she loved me or not. i am 27 now and i havent talked to my mom in 6 years. I am still mad at her for not helping me grow. i was a mad kid. but i was just a kid. I have over come my past and drugs, i even finished school and i have a wonderful life now. It would of been much easier to have her there but what is done is done. i'm still trying to forgive her for giving up on me but i hold my head high and today i stand on my own 2 feet. i didnt have family to take me in. i was 15 living with my 17 year old bf. how crazy is that... i dont think you should make her come back because she is with family and she is safe. but def. dont ever let her feel like you are not there for her. you are doing the right thing. i think it is imporant to help her when she asked because she needs to trust that you are there for her. i wish you luck. thanks for the chance to tell a lil bit of my story. even if its not helpfull to you, it is to me.

Annette - posted on 04/10/2011

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where is she staying? my daughter was not allowed to leave home until she was 18.(and she left a month after her bday). You are the one in control not her. You will only fail if you give up. If she wont come home then she is a run away and report her as such. when she is home.. tough love.. no phone no tv no video games and no friends if you cant be respectful and listen to house rules. counceling will be non negotiable and if you have to get the law involved do it. If you allow her to run her life she will not run it well. she is not old enough. and your other kids are watching closely to what you do. and they will try the same. i left home the first time at 13. i will be 40 in a couple of days and when i think aobut that time and my parents say they couldnt do anything about it i say bs... they didnt love me enough to stop me... i lived with 3 or 4 aunts, countless friends until i was married... teach her now.. that running from what bothers her only changes the colors on the walls not the problems.. email me if you want to talk.. good luck

Tami - posted on 04/07/2011

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Angie, you are doing the right thing in keeping the communication open and it's a little comforting knowing she has a place with relatives to stay and not on the streets. Until she recognizes what she is unhappy about she will find unhappiness isn't just at your home but in her and with her no matter where she goes. Is there any way you can get her to a psycologist for a visit or 2 for her to find out where the unhappiness comes from? If the Dr can pinpoint the issues they can be addressed and put into the open and worked on from there. Good Luck to you and your daughter.

Michele - posted on 04/06/2011

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Hi, I moved out when I was 15! I'm sure my mum felt the way you do now, and I know I may feel the same if my kid did that too.
My Mum helped me as much as she could, if I phoned she came to me, if I used her, she let me, if I came back and forth from home, she let me, if I wanted washing done, she did it. Sounds dreadful, eh? I think was suffering very bad with PMS, possibly depression, but at the time, I had no idea of the hurt I was causing, it never entered my head.
My reason for going was that the fights with my mum were getting bad, to the point where I was lifting my fist to hit her, though I never did, it frightened me that I was losing control.
My advice is to never shut her out of your home or your family. There is a good chance she has no idea of the hurt she is causing and she still needs you.
I have continued to have my ups and downs with my mum over the years, but we are at a stage now (im 30), were we love each other, chat on the phone often, and see each other when we can- so there is hope, don't give up.
My mum found it hard to let go, every time I wanted her help, she couldn't help being pushy to the point of wanting to control me, like she thought her way was best and was going to force me to do it that way.
She did eventually grasp that everytime she did that I distanced myself from her.
Be careful if a dangerous man is involved, if there is one involved, and she loves him, you will be in for a rocky ride, but hopefully your daughter will be guided back home, knowing you'll always be there.
I lived with a relative but it did not help, made things worse really, I met wrong man and it went downhill from there, though I had 2 lovely children when I was 16 and 18 before the man dumped me.
PS. My sis grew up fine and graduated from uni and still lives at home part-time age 26. I did not even pass high school. All children are different, don't stress, not all girls who leave home young turn to drugs and prostitution, I didn't.
Good luck!

9 Comments

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Ranay - posted on 09/28/2013

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ok tough love... im a single mom , have a 16 year old girl. I have to work.... I cant ground her because she leaves. I tell her rules she never fallow . she drinks and stays out all night. has people in the house when Im not home and some are not allowed. they know it and do not leave . my daughter calls me names and just does not listen... then she acks sweet to other people.... I just cant even stand her . I love her and it hurts but I just cant take it.... she thinks she knows it all ....
I hate to argue and fight and I cant deal with this.... I just want her to move out ....

Staci - posted on 04/18/2011

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She is still legally your responsibility. Go pick her up and bring her home. Or have the cops pick her up and bring her home. When they push us away is when we need to be there the most. Try a scared straight program through your local law enforcement center.

Angie - posted on 04/07/2011

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Thank you. My daughter still refuses to come home, but has agreed to go and stay with my sister until the end of the summer, at least that way i know where she is sleeping each night. After talking to her more, i really don't think this has much to do with home, and more to do with her being unhappy overall. I was 16 when i had her, and have tried very hard to do the right thing by her always. I hope that sending her to live with my sister, not as a punishment, but as a chance to clear her head, and decide what kind of life she wants, will ultimately lead to her finding her place in life, and the two of us having a good relationship. It's so frusterating, but i keep telling her that i love her, and she can always come home. Only time will tell i guess.

Jackie - posted on 04/06/2011

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Oh Angie, I am so sorry, it must be so hard. My 15 year old and I went thru some real hard times and many times wanted to move out a couple of times i was tempted to take her up on it. However, I did not let her go. I made sure she knew I loved her too much to give up on her and even tho it was hard to deal with her I would NOT ever give up no matter how miserable she thought she was or I was too for that matter. But ur daughter is gone now. So how long has she been gone? Maybe you could tell her to come home? I dont know all the details of how ur life is but I wouldnt want my other kids to think that this was going to be an option for them tho. I hope you get things resolved. Good Luck Angie.

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