MY 16 YEAR OLD IS SO DISCONNECTED

Andrea - posted on 01/30/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Time and time again my daughter has hurt me. She never called the hospital after I had surgery and never acknowledged a really heartfelt letter I write to her for her confirmation. Her head is in her cell 24/7 I have her put it on the counter at 9 so she can unwind before bed and you would think I was a monster. Any suggestions I know teens are tough but are they all cold hearted and so self centered? I would love to hear some thoughts

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Laurie - posted on 01/31/2013

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I am not sure all teens are self-centered but a lot of them, particularly girls, seem to be very self-absorbed at ages 16-18. My husband and I live apart much of the time as he is working in the North Dakota oil patch for economic reasons (he works 3 1/2 weeks and comes home the 4th week). My 17 year-old daughter went to live with him this semester. It is the only time she and I have ever been apart for more than two weeks (at a summer camp) and it is killing me. But she was not respecting me or any household rules. Ron said that if she was not going to try to get along with me, she would have to come live with him. She called our bluff. I have only had a few texts from her she since she left.

I have been asking myself what I did wrong? I was involved as a parent, I helped her set goals as a student. I gave her as much household work (at $10 per hour) as she wanted for spending money. I only asked that she give me some notice if she wanted to do something and let me know where she was and what time she was coming home. Once in a while I said no but she got to do most things. She had lots of clothes and material things. She was a good student and never got into any real trouble. I thought up until a year or so ago that we had a pretty good relationship.

I think many kids test their boundaries at ages 16-18. They are trying to transition from living with their parents to being on their own. Sometimes, they overdo by thinking they don't need anyone else. They get so caught up into their own drama and lives that they really don't think about their family and seem uncaring. Mom or dad has always been there and they will forgive them. If the teens are stubborn or headstrong, life at home can seem a series of unending battles over every little thing.

Unfortunately, I don't think there is anything you can do right now except be patient (like me). Your daughter will not always be 16 and someday (age 21, 30?) she will also be an adult and see things more like you. But first, she has to experience the highs and lows of life to appreciate fully what she had. Just remind her every now and then that you love her no matter what she does and that you do care. And realize that there are a lot of other mothers just like you that are disappointed and frustrated with their child. But the future is always filled with hope.

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Patricia - posted on 11/07/2014

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Wow this is extremely helpful to me, thank you for posting the question AND answer, both of you.

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