Mother of a 17 year old daughter

Kim - posted on 12/19/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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Hi All, I just came across this website and thought it would be a great place for me to get some advice from moms who's been there. I have a 17 year old daughter who is so smart and beautiful yet she chooses to make the wrong decisions. She gets really good grades, takes honors classes in school and plays volleyball. The only downfall? Drinking, drugs and does not respect my authority. When she gets in trouble I take everything(phone, car, etc) away from her. She's an angel for about a month or so then it starts all over gain. Her dad and I are divorced but he is in her life and tries to help in any way he can. I even sent her to live with him(only 45 minutes away) last summer but she only lasted a few weeks there as she has no friends where he lives and she has not car. She called me pleading to come back. These past few weeks I have had some, I don't know, I guess you can call it a mother's intuition that something was not right. She went out on Friday night and said she was going to a holiday party with her friends's family. I said that was fine. 20 minutes past her curfew(11PM) I texted her and said she needs to be home. She texted back and said they were still there and they won't leave until 12pm. I said I would go get her. That was the last time I heard from her. Well, to make a long story short, she didn't answer any of my calls or texts and I also got her dad involved. Needless to say she came home at 3:30am. Locked herself in her room. I couldn't get in. The next day she didn't come out of her room. This game me time to make up my mind to send her to her dad's for good this time. I feel like I'm giving up and not sure if that's the right thing to do but there have been issues with her for about 5 years now and I'm getting fed up. Her dad did come to get her yesterday but just for a few weeks to talk about it. I don't mean to ramble but I'm trying to make a long story short. Has anyone gone through this?

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Kim - posted on 12/30/2011

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This aunt is her dad's sister. She has been over there since the winter break. Her dad comes by to see her there. They live pretty close to each other. Her dad doesn't have room right now in his apartment but will be getting a larger place in January. During that time she will come back and stay with me until January 20th. That's when her semester ends then she will move in with her dad in his new place. He lives with his girlfriend and her two kids. Her aunt is ok. She and my daughter get along great. She is a kid at heart so I think that's why they get along so well.

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Kim - posted on 10/14/2013

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This is an update on my daughter after almost 2 years. My daughter has made a complete change. I have my daughter back. It has been a struggle but I think living with her dad really helped and made her realize how good she really had it. She used to call me or text me from time to time and told me she missed me and loves me. It was out of the blue. She graduated high school and got accepted to the University. We are closer than ever now. Her grades are up, her friends are gone and has made new college friends. She calls me often, tells me she loves me and we spend a lot of time together. I can't be anymore proud of my daughter. Thanks for all your prayers. Prayers do work. And for any parent that feels there is no hope, please pray and be patient and be strong.

Kim - posted on 12/30/2011

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Angie, I can't wait to hear those exact words from my daughter(no one in the world will care like I do). I hope it happens someday. Thanks for your encouragement.

Angie - posted on 12/30/2011

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My curiosity was peaked somewhat because my oldest went to live with my sister, his aunt, who is 9 years younger than me and definitely lives and condones a totally different lifestyle. It caused a lot of problems, and to this day, there are many unsaid things between us. I know she did not have a parental responsibility, but where was her adult responsibility? He graduated with a 1.14 GPA, by the skin of his teeth, and she thought I should be happy he graduated, happy his gf wasn't pregnant, & happy he hadn't been shot at. I expect a little higher standards than that and want more than that for my son...anyways like I said, it's amazing how much can change in 2 years, but it was a pretty incredible feeling as a parent when my son finally came home last year telling me he knows no one in the world will care like I do and that he's been spinning his wheels for a year and a half and wants more out of life. It sounds like you got a good game plan together and I sincerely hope it all works out for you :)

Angie - posted on 12/30/2011

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so sorry to hear it was a tough Christmas ~ I missed Christmas with my oldest 2 years ago because of our struggles ~ he wasn't living at home and broke into my garage and stole a bike he felt was his to sell. I needed my space from him; I was so angry with him. Amazing how much difference 2 years make. So she went to her aunt's instead of her dad's? Is this your sister or her dad's sister? Does the aunt have similar home values/ground rules. How is she doing ~ has her behavior been good? As much as you are hurting over this, she is probably hurting as well ~ they say we lash out/hurt the ones closest to us and that was sooo true with my oldest. Prayers for strength and understanding to keep moving forward :)

Kim - posted on 12/30/2011

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So Chrismas has come and gone and it was the first Christmas without my daughter. I didn't force her to spend it with me, her brother and stepdad. Of course I was hurt but I wanted to try to make it a nice Christmas for my 12 year old son. The three of us had a good time together. There was still an emptiness but at least I knew my daughter was safe at her aunt's house. I pray everyday that she will come around. I have other praying for her. That's all I can do for now.

Angie - posted on 12/20/2011

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I promise you it will get better ~ sorry I can't promise you exactly when though..I used to tell my dad the teenage years seem to be missing from my parent manual..lol..The experience with this really helped me grow as a parent and have a lot more respect & understanding for my dad raising me and my sis as a single parent ~ don't think many of us were perfect little angels..lol...and that transition to adulthood is hard, harder for us when they don't do what we've had in our head is the game plan, that's where it becomes really HARD for us accept their decisions. One time I told my son, I can't control your behavior/decisions, but you also can't control mine either. That was a very hard lesson for him to learn because he struggled a lot with I'm an adult, you can't tell me what to do, but you need to do all these parent providing things for me & found out quickly he couldn't control my actions....so they may not show you they realize it now, but they do deep down, 17 years of love doesn't disappear overnight...couple pep talks I give myself is energy to the good, focus on the good, and no expectations, no disappointments....best of luck to you; this site is an awesome place to vent, get opinions, get suggestions, or sometimes just support ~ makes you feel like you're not alone :)

Kim - posted on 12/20/2011

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Kathaleen, I'm so sorry you are going through this. I hope this all gets better for us both. These kids don't realize how much they are loved.

Kim - posted on 12/20/2011

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Thanks Angie. You have no idea how everyone's post on here is really helping me. I think you hit the nail on the head in your first sentence. Her behavior at her dad's is pretty good. She doesn't know anyone where he lives but I don't know how it will be when she starts school there and meet new friends. But he is better at handling her. I can't wait if/when she get to that age where things get better and we have a great relationship.

Kathaleen - posted on 12/20/2011

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17 is a horrible age, these darn laws they made leave us powerless... just keep your head up know you raised her well and dont bend on your rules. She needs to respect them. It will all work out, i know how you feel though i myself am going through my 17 yr old moving out for no reason. Its hard.

Angie - posted on 12/19/2011

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sounds like a 17 year old that feels like she's so close to being out on her own, she's not worried about consequences of bad behavior now. Yes, I went through it with my 20yo & my 14yo is currently in a juvenile drug treatment program after months and months of battles. Only advise is to stay consistent; find the consequence she cares about, drug test her and see if that's what's really going on... if her dad is willing to help, let him, it not like it's forever, maybe for a set time, how was her behavior at her dads ~ other than missing her car and her friends? That doesn't mean you've given up or failed, it means you love her so much that you are willing to accept this is bigger than you and you need help. I wish my kid's dad could have been some help, but no such luck....and when all else fails and you are at your wits end, put it in God's hands and wait 3 days, it's ok to not make that decision today....best of luck to you ~ it does get better, I had resigned myself for it to happen around age 23-25, but my oldest and I finally came to a great relationship again right before he turned 19, he turned 20 a few months ago and he finally realizes where I was coming from..lol

Kim - posted on 12/19/2011

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Thanks for your post, Shawnn. And thanks especially for your prayers. It is amazing how she keeps her grades up. I think school just comes easy for her. She does have some challenging classes but somehow she gets through them. Her teachers say she is a pleasure to have in class. She does have respect for other people. It is only me that she disrepects. The one person who does the most for her. I know when she was younger the divorce effected her. She might even blame me for the divorce. But her dad was always unfaithful but that's not something I'm ready to share with her yet. Not sure I ever will. He is a good dad but not a good husband. She had counseling over the years. Mainly because of her attitude, disrespect, sense of entitlement, drug abuse and bad choice of friends. She never brought up any issues about bullying or molestation or anything like that. I did remarry when she was 10 and she never liked my husband. Her explanation was that she always wanted her dad and me together. Her step dad is only there if she ever needs him, which is hardly ever. They really don't have a relationship. We tried that already, along with counseling and everything else. She resents that I ever got remarried and feels that I should not be married until she and her brother, who is 12, are grown and out of the house. I know, selfish thinking. She really only appreciates her step dad when he buys her the things that she wants. She had many years of counseling. I would hope anything like sexual abuse would come up. I have asked her in the past if anyone has ever been inappropriate with her. I talk to her brother as well. They both say no. My 12 year old son doesn't show any signs of it. He's a very happy kid. I used to say I am raising my daughter to do well in school, to be a good person and have a future and be contribute to society. Now all I say is I'm raising my daughter to make sure survives to be an adult.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/19/2011

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No advice. Just prayers. You have not failed. I just don't understand how she can keep up the honors and the AP classes if she's drinking and drugging, too...she must be a darn good student if she's staying caught up in those...

It does sound to me like you need to get her away from her destructive friends. And if that's dad's house, then that's where she needs to be now. It's great that you two are on the same parenting page with her. That helps.

Something to think about here...has anything happened to her that you may not be aware of? If she's excelling in her studies, and is in honors classes, etc, but still has the destructive behavior, a lot of times it leads back to something that happened...bullying, or molestation...I don't want to heap more on your plate, but I have known girls like that. Super, super bright, on all the honors lists, athletic, and on the weekends binge drinking, drugging, etc...and it was sexual abuse that had been hidden.

I certainly hope and pray that isn't it!

You are not giving up. You just are admitting that you can't do it alone, and fortunately, your ex is there to help. Best of luck.

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