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Dilemma with 17 yr old daughter!(35 Posts)
Over the past year my daughter has been stretching the boundaries to say the least.
She constantly threatened to leave home, go to her dad's or friends or get her own place. So 5 weeks ago she wanted to go to a party (a 21st !) In a place that isn't too friendly and with ppl I don't know. I do try to give her a bit of leeway but in this instance it was a no go. So she blew up. This lead to other stuff being dragged up about how I am trying to control her etc. I have tried to explain to her that she will thank me one day for being concerned but she was won't listen. She is very stubborn and can sometimes be selfish (as are most at that age)
She is my only child,in had her when I was 17, and I don't want her making the same mistakes as me.
Her biological dad wasn't really that interested when she was young and when I was getting married 8 years ago he told her that he wouldn't see her anymore because I gave him too much hassle. He got married again and now has another 2 kids. We never heard another thing from him. And he has never paid child support either. That's a whole other story...
He did pay 50 pm for about 4 years then the csa reviewed our case and said he hadn't been paying enough as his earnings had increased and they then wanted 500 pm plus backdated money.... silly me for feeling sorry for him fone them and told them we were making a private agreement. Which we did for 200 pm. I didn't need any money from him as I have always worked and supported her on my own (until I got married anyway)... as soon as we had any disagreementn (usually because I was being messed about) he would stop coming for her and stop paying hos maintenance. 8 years ago he stopped all contact and never paid a penny more.
So back to present day, she contacted him a few months ago (which I did expect when she turned 16 anyway and always told her I would support her if she wanted to) but since then her whole attitude has changed towards me and her step dad (whom she has called dad for the past 6 years)
So a few weeks ago when we had the argument I tried to call her bluff and told her if she wanted to go then she should go. She fined her biological dad and he came to get her.
Since then I have had 4 hrs contact with her, which was very awkward, and a few txt here and there. My mum has tried to tell her that what she is doin is wrong but she is so stubborn and thinks she knows everything that she won't come home.
She has left college, unknown to me, but is still working
I am ab solute ly devastated by all of this.in feel like all the hard work over the past 17 years has been for nothin. I am blaming myself, I must have done something wrong.
I just really do t know what to do. I am so angry at her biological dad and step mum for not even contacting me to let me know she is okay or anything.
At the very least they should give me my place. And she has kids so I can't believe that as a mother she hasn't even considered my feeling and what has brought us to this. She has told them that I kicked her out. (I did mail them both to set the record straight though )
I know no one will be able to give me the answers and I am trying to just sit it out and hopefully she will come home soon but with Christmas comin (which I am dreading) I don't know how to cope. It really is killing me...
Sorry to have ranted on but thank you for reading and I really would appreciate any comments or experiences
I don't see that there is anything you can do now except wait and see what happens and try to keep the lines of communication open with your dd . Don't expect your ex to call you though because at 17 it's up to her who she wants to talk to and he's probably respecting that . BTW I think your original stance of trying to stop her going somewhere was wrong , at 17 you can advise them and can control what happens inside your house you cannot dictate what happens outside .
but you did kick her out, you told her if she wanted to go, then to go. So she did.
She was 17, you can advise, but to ban her from going somewhere? Nope!
No, she didn't kick her out. The daughter threatened to leave and the OP said she was free to go if she wished...that's very different.
Thanks for the quick reply. I understand that she is 17 and is more than capable of making decisions, right or wrong, she needs to make the wrong choice sometimes to learn! That's why I said I do give her a bit of leeway, we always had an understanding that she needs to be honest and tell me where she is going etc. The problem with her wanting to go to this party was just the tip of the iceberg, the reason I was becoming a bit more strict about where she was going was because I found out she had tried drugs (TWICE, ECSTACY) apart from anything else she is still underage to go to a club to a party (she needed fake Id so that pretty much explains why it's not actually me stopping her going it's the law) ...... I honestly feel like her biological dad has got into her head and is turning her against me, which I don't think I deserve. And the least they could do is just simply let me know that she is okay! ((I know she is Def there because my brother has had contact with her and we have seen pics on social media of her at their house) .... just can't believe this is the girl I raised and how she is totally turning her back on me.
I think you are suffering from trying to control her too much.
But you stopping her going places is not going to stop her trying drugs , if she is the type that is going to experiment with stuff she is going to do it irrespective of what you say/ do . At that age you need to let them make their own mistakes and save the battles for the things you can control ie rules at home .
I don't think I have tried to control her at all. The advice I try to give her is only for her safety. And ur right if she was gonna try stuff she will, I can't keep her cooped up., I get that. I am quite laid back with her, I have always allowed her to do things and make decisions but the rules always have been make a mistake once it's a mistake but do it twice then it's disrespectful. I am sorry but at 17 I think she should have enough respect to realize that when I advise her on something (or curtail something) then it's for her own good. After all she lives here and it's me who will need to pick up the pieces when it all goes wrong, so yeah I should be able to stop her from doing certain things, especially if she is breaking he law! Have I to be irresponsible and just allow her to do what ever she wants???
It's just all a mess, and I really don't know how to fix it. I miss her so much and just keep crying. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
Just reading back on the posts and I feel like some of u are actually condoning her behaviour. I can't control what goes on outside but I can have a say on curfew times, etc..... that is another issue!
Yes some posters are being a bit harsh. Bethie has seen her dd for a total of 4 hours in the past few weeks, misses her and keeps crying. I don't know what the answer is either, but I would be gutted if it happened to me.
Have you actually contacted her - maybe an email - and just told her honestly how you feel. That you really miss her and would love her to come home? If not she may be feeling that "you've got what you wanted" now she's moved out. She's probably missing you too even if she is angry, and I imagine the novelty will wear off soon when her dad stops playing the perfect parent and tells her no at some point.
So we are all supposed to just let our teens go out and take drugs are we? Because we "can't be so controlling"? No wonder the world is so fucked up...
Op I really don't think you can do much sadly as at her age she is free to just leave. All you can do is keep up contact any way you can. Let her know you love her and miss her and your door is open. Also make sure her dad knows exactly why she left and about the drugs etc. If he had her for now he will need to be aware of this.
Hope she comes back soon op. I think you sound like a great mum just unfortunate she has a dad who she an prob wrap round her finger to run off too.
Some posters on here just seem to live in a different world from me. As far as I'm concerned op , if your daughter is living under your roof then she needs to abide by your (totally reasonable) rules.
She's underage for nightclubs and drinking, and drugs are against the law. How is the op being controlling for trying to stop her daughter doing these things?!
op I'm really sorry you're having such a crap time. To me it sounds as if you're trying your very best and not having a lot of support. Keep the channels of communication open. Text your daughter regularly- friendly texts, nothing too 'deep'- just to let her know you're there for her and always thinking about her. She will miss you and come back to you soon, Im sure.
OP I honestly think this will all come out in the wash (eventually). I imagine at the moment they are all in the honeymoon period where your DD is behaving herself and enjoying making links with her bio Dad and stepmum. But it won't take much to upset the apple cart I'm sure and suddenly she will be back in contact again.
So as someone up thread said, a you can do is carry on your life, keep lines of communication open and hope that at some point you can rebuild your relationship.
Btw I left home at 17 over a disagreement. Lived with my sister for a bit until I realised her bf was totally sick of me and she was starting to resent me, then I sloped back home lol.
I would have done exactly what you did.
The only thing that should give you comfort is that pretty soon she and her dad will start to show their true colours and they will piss each other off! She'll be bouncing in late at night and wake them. She'll ask them for money. He'll yell at her for something or other. Suddenly life will be a bit less comfortable for both of them. His wife will get fed up, too - who wants a teenager suddenly flung into the middle of the family, especially one who is thriving off a bit of drama? His wife's probably thinking, "No wonder she tried to stop you going, you idiot, you're underage."
Try to see it as her being on holiday for a while with her dad. Whatever you do, don't beg and plead. She is in the wrong; she made a decision in the heat of the moment and will regret it. Don't make this too easy for her. If she does try to come home, then of course welcome her, but don't text all the time and certainly don't show on social media that you are missing her.
for you - teenagers can be hell at times!
Waow, I am so overwhelmed with the positive responses .... from the first few I was honestly starting to believe that I was to blame for trying to guide her in the right direction.... I have tried keeping the lines open, I text her every night to tell her I love her and I have sent an email letting her know exactly how I feel and that she is always welcome home (but I did say that it won't be a free run if she did!! Dunno if I was right to say that but hey we all make mistakes) ..... just feel totally effed over from all angles, her dad with his history (no contact no financial contribution and now he just swans in like he is the be all and end all) and her for not seeing it....
Thank you again for just reading and reassuring me, sometimes it's all u need to hear
Still dreading Christmas! !!!! Might just take a holiday somewhere lol
Thank you ScarlettDarling, I was starting to think I was the only one thinking this. My house, my rules. Respect for you parents and no illegal drug taking. Simple rules really.
If you think she will definitely be with her dad at Christmas then yes, book a holiday away. Do something completely different.
Perhaps work on the basis that she's going to oppose anything you say, so don't mention college or coming home or anything like that. Stay positive in your texts, just say things like "Hi, hope you've had a good day. We're going to do X, Y and Z tonight. Speak soon xxx" and leave it at that. Play it cool and let her see what she's missing.
Oh and if you're going anywhere nice on holiday, be prepared for her to ask you if she can come with you!
Exactly mrsryangosling. .... that is the exact rules I have...
I have told her, a whlie ago, that I do not envy her.. In the past year she has left school started working and the whole dynamics of life have changed. It's rather shit being that age to be honest ( I remember it all too well, it was only 18 yrs ago, and I was pregnant into the mix!!!)
Would hate for her (or any girl that age)to be in that position.. its tough!!
I don't think anyone up thread said let her take drugs at home , in fact in my posts I made a point of saying you control the bits you have control over which is what goes on in your house . That control doesn't extend to telling them where they can go , unless you want to risk ending up in your current situation .
Sorry floralnomad. ... no u didn't but I do not want to allow or be seen to be allowing her to take drugs at all....
If she lives with me in my house then that is the rules, and the drugs are not even the big issue to be honest. That was just one pint I was making, she wants to do things that 18 ur old arnd 21 yr old are doing and that is where I draw the line.., I do allow her to go to certain parties (with the condition that I pik her up but that isn't good enough)
I am being fair with her , I even paid for her holiday next year with her friends (as I know the group of girls and I know they are responsible) .... so yeah maybe I am bit controlling but in this day and age I would rather that than being a parent who doesn't give a shit and just let her do what she pleases with no concern...
I AM SORRY BUT U SEEM TO BE BLAIMING ME FOR THIS SITUATION AND I really don't think that is fair, all I have done is love and care and show concern for her and her future
I'm not blaming you , everyone parents differently but if you exert control and then say well if you don't like it go live with your father you can't really moan when that's what she chooses to do , particularly when you have no say over what happens in his home . I've also never said not to be concerned about what she is up to , I'm constantly concerned about my older DC but it does get to a point where you just have to advise , worry and pick up the pieces if it goes wrong because whatever you do / say they will do what they want .( out of the house )
Ultimatum was "Live by my rules or move out" so she moved out.
(I did something very similar once upon a time...)
I know it's painful, but you can't have it both ways. Can't say "Why aren't you living here?" when you also feel your rules have to be inflexible. You've made your choices & she's made hers. Consequences go both ways.
Could you offer to buy her a meal out somewhere, sometime between Xmas & New Years?
You can still have a good Christmas, will have to work at it.
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