Don't know what to do daughter 18(5 Posts)
First post so be gentle. My daughter and I used to be really close, she confided in me about most things and we spent lots of time together but all that changed when she started going out with her workmates - Who she had previously disliked and told me numerous times about them smoking cannabis. I wasn't happy about her spending so much time with them but I just bit my tongue. The problem came to a head over the Easter holidays, she stayed out almost every night and despite me giving her money didn't do the chores I asked of her. I was coming home from work to find her still in bed and the house an absolute tip. By the Thursday I told her she needed to pull her socks up and do what she had agreed to, she texted me that night to say she was staying at a friends, I told her to come home and get a good nights sleep as she needed to be up and ready to clean her mess. She didn't come home and stayed out til the Sunday, we had a good talk and seemed to have cleared the air.
I had a phone call from her college tutor Tuesday to tell me she hasn't been attending college, I spoke to her told her I don't want her to stay out on college nights anymore and she left and hasn't come home . She's staying with a person from work. I'm devastated, when we do talk it's just because she wants money and I feel guilty saying no so I give it to her. We met for coffee and she said she would come and clean and feed her pets everyday which she hasn't stuck to, she only comes when she wants something. I feel as though I'm grieving I just don't know what I can do to make things better
Your daughter is growing up, fighting for her independence, being a bit immature and generally being a pretty typical 18 year old. She is finding her way in life and is probably going to make a lot of mistakes but that's how she will learn about what is right or wrong for her. As a parent it is very painful to watch. I am going through the same thing with my own 19 year old DD. Your DD is actually an adult now so you need to step back a bit. She has to make her own choices now. She may well not want to continue in college and that's something you can have a discussion about. Perhaps she sees her life going down a different path now. As I said, she does have to make her own choices now and as hard as that is, you need to accept that this is her life and she has to live it as she sees fit regardless of how you feel about her choices. I would definitely say that you are not giving her any more money now until her chores are done and you have to stick to it. If she is so desperate to grow up then she has to face the responsibility of adulthood and that means earning her own money (even if only by completing chores). I know that the closeness I once had with my daughter has gone and yes I am still grieving but they have to grow up. The more you oppose her choices the more she will run to them so just try to have a discussion rather than lecture her. Easier said than done. She's young and is living for today, young people rarely see the bigger picture because they have little life experience to draw on.
In many ways it's a shame she didn't go away from home for further education, because then she could stay out all night, have unsuitable friends, skip lectures and live in messy accommodation, but you wouldn't know anything about it.
As it is I agree that she is being a fairly normal 18yo who is striving for a bit of independence; you are lucky she hasn't given you any worry before now really.
If you really want to foster a good relationship, as opposed to bring her back to what you'd like her to be, then I think you'll have to make compromises and choose your battles.
So, she can stay out late/all night but must let you know. She can neglect chores and pets but won't get money from you, and so on.
College is another issue, and I guess you need to ask her honestly whether she wants to stay on the course, and what she will do instead if she drops out, and what she's going to do to ensure she achieves the sort of life she wants to be living in 3yrs.
Really good advice IMO.
It must be so hard when they're doing the wild student thing but still living at home. If she was living in student accommodation you wouldn't have the option of telling her you want/don't want her to do whatever.
You need to tell her that you've previously acted out of worry for her but you've come to see that she's old enough to make her own decisions now and if she comes home again you won't tell her when she should/shouldn't go out etc. If she's out at night and decides not to come home/be very late she should text you so you know not to expect her back until late or whatever. That's what adults who share accommodation do.
If you let her discover for herself the consequences of neglecting her studying etc she will hopefully decide for herself that she needs to keep better hours etc.
I would also explain that leaving the shared home in a tip is unfair on the other occupants - she can do whatever she wants with her room, but she must stack her dirty plates.
She has two reasons for leaving home
being more independent
and avoiding your open disapproval of her behaviour.
If you can manage to hide your disapproval of the poor choices she's currently making and express your love/support for her whenever opportunities arise she will hopefully come out of this phase sooner rather than later.
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