DSD 16 yo coming to live with us FT - tips please(25 Posts)
I am really scared! DSD cannot bear to see her mum any more - she wants to be with us full time.
I am VERY nervous about this. I love my own company and we have a small house.
Any tips from people who have been there? How to stay sane?
Is this definitely happening, or has she just had a blow up with her mum and is threatening to come and live with you?
We've had lots of blow ups but this is now definitely happening. I think it will be some time before she will see her mum again.
We have had 50:50 care but she has been with us now for two weeks and is refusing to return.
I also have two younger children who are here 50% of the time.
Something similar happened to me when dsd2 was 14.
It was a shock, but it's turned out fine. She's a lovely girl who sees her mum but doesn't want to live with her again. We pushed her to continue contact with mum.
I would say make sure you get ground rules in place now. You need space and time without her but she is likely to be insecure and clingy so be prepared for that.
We have a large house, so that helps but that doesn't stop them following you from room to room.
How likely is your dp to support you in getting your needs met as well as dsd needs?
DP is generally not very good at confrontation or being a 'bad cop'... I have said he is going to have to step up to the plate on this. I have no authority with her at all and frankly she is twice my size and I don't feel I am going to be able to 'parent' her - she is so big!
I have said that I think we need ground rules. We tend to be a bit slack with parenting her but that isn't going to work as we are not going to have our 'weekends off' to recover and let off steam.
She is generally good TBH but is very insecure and clingy and wants to be babied a lot - which drives me crazy. She doesn't help around the house etc. and cries if asked. I tend to avoid her a lot and get on with my own things...
I sort of feel that her poor relationship with her own mother is really impacting on her - but I can't fill that gap (don't want to and haven't the energy - exhausted enough with my own children).
Oh dear OP - she sounds like she's in a bit of a mess. It's good that you are frank you haven't the energy to 'restore' her. I think you'd better have a proper chat with your DH about how much energy he will need to put in. Is he looking forward to it? Tell him these are crucial years. If he doesn't help her be more independent/grown up then she will be living with you until she is 25!!!
I was 16 when I moved in with my Dad. My Mum was physically/emotionally abusive/neglectful. My Dad was single at the time I moved in. It wasn't until a few months later I had a breakdown and confessed just how dire things were at my Mums. He had a rough idea but was very shocked/upset/angry at the full story. He didn't push contact with her after that and let me decided when/if I wanted to go. I have been NC for 8 years with her and almost NC for the 4 years before that.
Not sure where I am going with this! But as that 16 year old myself I would say discuss counselling and be prepped for a bumpy ride. She may well want/need babying if shes been emotionally neglected by her mother, I certainly did.
and still do to a certain extent But I also learned how to do things around the house, and that made me feel better, in terms of being able to cook and my Dad appreciating things that I did even if I was crap at it to start with! many a kitchen disaster
Right- in the nicest way, you're going to have to fill the gap if this is going to work. I am not an expert with teenagers by any means but I would've thought a kid who has decided to leave and come and lives with her dad needs as much love and reassurance as possible and as many boundaries as you can give her. Welcome her lovingly and tell her off when she needs it ( get together with DH and decide what you will/won't accept and what the consequences are).
It's not one of those times when you can say you're too exhausted to deal with it - if you DONT deal with it things will get more exhausting not less.
Op your comment about her wanting to be babied really stood out. Please support her in this she is a child who feels very insecure her life with her mum may not have been great. Babying her to a certain extent is a good thing.
Thanks all. I agree that she needs lots of love and attention and I am happy to do what I can (although I have my hands full with my own and my patience often runs out...). But she does want cuddles and baths which I just cannot give...!!!!
Discussed with DH last night and I said he needed to step up but to me that means giving her all the love he can even though it is really frustrating and hard when she is being difficult.
She wants baths? She's 16 - surely she baths on her own?
Agree your DH needs to tread a careful line between giving her the love and support she needs, but also encouraging her into independence - lots of praise when she does do things independently. I don't think you can really have a parental role with a DSC of that age - I don't with my DSD (17). Instead I try to take a supportive, interested adult role - someone to help mediate when she doesn't agree with her dad on something, and someone who helps out with practical things, offers a female point of view on things, etc but not a parent who sets ground rules. Your DH needs to be the bad cop in that respect.
Wanting baths is very odd op I have a 16 year old dd and there is no way she would let me see her naked much less bath her. Tbh I would discuss this with her dad it would concern me a lot. Hugs are fine though. 16 is a difficult age my dd swings from acting like an adult to very much a child, who needs as much nurturing as her much younger siblings.
Thanks - she doesn't want baths (sounded wrong!) but hair washed and stuff like that. Stuff that a normal teen would do themselves!
Purple : I agree that it seems impossible to be a parent figure when she is so old. I do try to be supportive in an adult to adult/teen way. But I don't want cuddles!
Op i do sympathise but she sounds like a lost sole. I don't think it is a lot to ask to help her wash her hair and give her cuddles. She sounds as though she lacks confidence in herself. Can you find time to do something nice eith her on her own, it will probably help your relationship. Soon she will be off on her own and won't need you as much. I would dit down with oh and decide on ground rules,then all sit down together and set them out. Btw not many teenagers like to clean so you are not alone. Maybe ask her to help you and do some tasks together.
Please read the book. Get out my life but first take me and Alex to town. It explains how a teens brain works, how they feel, think and why they do it. It gives good stratagies to deal with teens. This will help you deal with the every day teen stuff easier and not end up going insane. It made a huge difference to me.
Your priority should be leaving her to her father, getting yourself enough space and time alone and letting her and her father sort things out. The baths and babying is very very strange. My 16 year old daughters were as far from that as possible and wanted above all independence and as little to do with parents (except for money) as possible. Is she doing GCSEs this coming summer or has she done them? I would have thought they were the absolute priority over everything - 16 can be an absolutely crucial year for life chances etc.
Wishing you good luck with this. Four years ago my youngest DSS came to live with us fulltime (age 14). He couldn't bear living with his mother either and we had several discussions with him before he finally made the move. He is a wonderful young man and we have had hardly any problems with him at all. However we all had a reasonably good relationship before he came to live here.
Do set ground rules and include her in suggesting what they should be. If she is going to be a member of your household you need to fix ground rules very quickly and be clear on expectations, time to yourself and DH etc. Good luck. It does sound like she will need a lot of help and support - can you get her some counselling or extra support at school for example?
I don't know if I can cope with it! It's been a month. She's had a few days away. I am finding it SO stressful. I don't know what to do.
She was really hard work today. I was physically shaking when she left the room. There is just no respite.
Can you identify which things you are struggling with. Is your DH pulling his weight?
It sounds like your DSD is an emotionally damaged young woman, presumably by her r/ship with her mother. It strikes me very much that there is a big gap between her chronological and emotional age and she may well be a large 16 year old but emotionally she seems to be functioning at a much younger age - certainly not teenage.
Did you day she lived with you 50% of the time before, but presumably you had the other 50% to re-charge your batteries so to speak. I really feel for you as she is clearly wearing you out. Is there any chance you can go back to 50/50 again. What does her dad feel about the way things are going.
Yes, it was difficult but manageable when I had the other 50% of the time to 'recharge'. I was calmer and a better mum to my own children as well.
As it is, I am completely at the end of my tether. I feel trapped and unable to escape. I cannot relax at all, ever. I cannot work from home because she will sit next to me and talk to me all day.
What is difficult is that she needs attention all. The. Time. She also comes into our bedroom at night and says she cannot sleep – so it feels like parenting a small child.
If we have visitors she will just hold court and talk about her bisexuality/depression as small talk. It is deeply embarrassing and inappropriate.
Her father doesn’t know where to start. She is already seeing a counsellor. She has literally no friends. I think this is because she is so demanding.
I feel paralysed with it all.
OMG sounds horrendous. Does she not go to school/college - if not why not? She shouldn't be at home all day should she - all I can suggest is that you are tougher with her and tell her to go and find something to do as you need to work. When you have visitors, I think you should stop her from "holding court" and ask her if she'd mind going to her room as you need time with your friends/relatives. And definitely you need to stop her coming into your bedroom - even if it means a lock on the door though that might be tricky with your younger children.
Does she have LDs? It sounds like she does to be honest.
I think you are going to have to toughen up to change things if you are to survive. Is there no way she can go back to her mom for 50% of the time?
She doesn't have LDs although other people have suggested it too - she is a straight a student. I have wondered about ADHD.
Yes she goes to school but has short terms as it's a private school.
She has tried working but couldn't do it. Ended up coming home.
She doesn't want to go back to her mum.
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