She won't leave home(23 Posts)
I don't know what to do. DD16 has always been difficult and as a teenager I can safely say she makes everyone's life a misery. She is violent, aggressive, abusive and not a day goes by without her causing some kind of fight. We have tried everything with her - treats, punishments, talking to her, even got her a referral to local counselling group, encouraging her interests, nothing makes a difference.
She will walk into a room and just let the tension build up by just death staring people and making aggressive noises until I calmly ask her to go if she is going to behave like that, then she explodes and shouts and pushes her sister. It's just miserable and I almost feel as if I am in an emotionally abusive relationship that I cannot escape.
If I thought that she would do well at school and go on to university/college/work and move out when she turns 18 next year I could manage but she absolutely refuses to talk about leaving school. She does no work, and every day is a battle to get her to do any. She has done abysmally in her mocks and is already only sitting the bare minimum exams as she has done so badly. She is capable but extremely lazy.
She is very very immature and has no social life. I would say she has the maturity of a 11 year old. She shows no interest in boys/girls, going out, seeing friends. All she wants to do is sit in her room on her computer/tablet, eating food (she is overweight). I try to have input in this but she earns money from babysitting and just goes and spends it on crap at the shop then refuses to eat dinner. Then she comes to me crying she is fat and I gently try to suggest she could eat better and she goes mental. I encourage her to have friends over (she does have some but she won't socialise with them) and she just shouts at me.
Anyway she has no idea about what she wants to do when leaving school and says she doesn't care and has no interests and doesn't understand why uni is so much fun. I made her look at the UCAS site the other day and she would only look at courses in our city as she said she is not leaving home and we can't make her. I know that if she stays on with us she will just stagnate in her room and I know none of us can continue with the awful atmosphere and tension and rage that fills the house all of the time. She has no idea about the real world, I have tried to explain to her how hard it is out there and that even graduates struggle to find work. She says if she fails all her exams she will 'just get money from being a photographer' as she quite likes photography(we tried to encourage this more by buying her a nice camera but she lost interest and it's still in a drawer).
I feel I need to give her that push when she leaves school to spread her wings, for everyone's sake. But she actually panics and freaks out at the thought. Obviously I would never actually stand by the door and put her and her belongings out but she needs to grow up and find a life beyond her bedroom walls. Can anyone give me some advice. Please please don't pick apart my thread and criticise/pull apart what I've said, I really have tried so hard and just can't take any more.
Has she ever been assessed by CAHMS or is it just the counselling group? (sorry if you've posted about this before and she has).
My brother was like this, OP, so I completely understand what it's like to live with it. There's no way he would have said anything private (eg about his weight) to anyone, though. That feeling of tension when they're in the room is almost unbearable, isn't it? My mother said a number of times that she prayed for him to have an accident, not a bad one, but one that necessitated a very long hospital stay, just to have a break from him. Like your daughter, he didn't socialise at all, so was at home all the time.
Ironically, after clearly hating everyone in the house (big family) he was the last to leave - I think he was embarrassed when the youngest was about to leave and that was the tipping point for him, though he was about 30 by then.
When I think about it now, I think my parents should have considered the impact on the other children and sent him off to live with grandparents in another city (they would have had him.) Like your daughter, he was intelligent but did absolutely no work at school. He left without qualifications and I don't think he could have stood the pressure of taking exams - he was hypercritical of others and I think he couldn't have stood putting himself in a vulnerable position.
One thing that only occurred to me many years later was how horrible it must have been for him to come into a room where people were laughing and relaxed only to feel the tension ratchet up as a result of his appearance. It must be horrible to have people flinching when they're near you, even if you are the cause of that.
It's obvious something has to change. I don't think you should push university - for one thing she might not want to go simply because you want her to. She's clearly not doing enough work to go at the moment; it's always an option in the future so don't worry about it now.
Could she look for a Saturday job? One advantage is it gives you some breathing space. It gives her a second chance to get things right now that she's messing up in school. You'd probably find she's quite obedient at work, particularly if she goes to work for a large store. It's likely she won't want to draw attention to herself by being late or stroppy. If she could just do one thing well in an environment where nobody's judging her, that will help her a lot. Do any of your friends need babysitters? Even if you pay them to pay her, it could be worth it. Or do you have elderly relatives who would like a cleaner? If it costs you money, it would still be worth it, though of course she mustn't find out you are funding anything like that.
Best of luck - it's awful to think they won't ever leave home, but they all do in the end!
Thanks both. Never been assessed and would refuse to go now. Have tried to persuade her to get a job - she refuses. She gets by on her babysitting money... Your brothers story is sad imperial, I know it must be hard for her but she makes life so hard for herself and everyone else...
Sorry, I didn't notice she was already babysitting.
Does she have any interests at all? Does anything make her laugh?
I think she could probably do with a visit to the doctor, but understand that would be a big problem for you.
What would happen if you said you wanted to get fit and would she be interested in going for a fast walk with you every night for about 20 minutes? It would give her some good energy and make her feel more positive about her body, too. I know you won't want to do that (!) but some one-to-one time under cover of darkness might help.
Could you get her interested in things like smoothies, where she could have some vitamins and something healthy to eat? Or tell her you are taking Omega 3 for weight loss and just leave the bottle on the counter? I bet she'd take some and that might help her mood.
Ok I'm guessing she's frightened of failing and frightened about the future.
You absolutely should NOT be showing her the UCAS website or talking about how much fun students have or how much graduates earn. She is doing a minimal amount of GCSEs and it sounds like she won't be achieving Cs in these - university is simply not an option for her at the moment.
Does she like babysitting? Maybe she could look into a childcare course for next year? Something fairly low pressure might be exactly what she needs right now.
We have tried the exercise thing.... She asked if she could join a gym, went once then has point blank refused to go since. We have a smoothie maker but she has professed them disgusting! She might go for the night walks but is very resistant to being seen in public with us!
To clarify, she is doing the minimal amount of highers not gcses. If she pulled her finger out and achieved c or b grades in them it would be enough to get her onto many courses - I don't think she will though. I have suggested child care to her but she was very scathing.
Can you get her to sit the morrisby psychometric test on line? Might help careers wise.
She sounds very stressed and unhappy and very depressed and very jealous
Are there any books on Amazon you could buy about parenting teens
What about if you both walk for an hot a day together. All adults need to walk 10000 steps daily anyway
Is she in 5th year some schools don't let them stay on for 6th now when is she 17 they mght ask her to leave what about college I would nt bother with ucas just now and dont scare her into thinking she has to move away . Have you spoken to school about her behaviour sounds like you need support
I know you wan to help her but back off a bit and let the school careers service sort out courses
By the sounds of it she's depressed, I would get her to the doctors or get her counselling.
Do you know if she's being bullied at school at all?
She sounds stressed, anxious and depressed. I have a 16 year old dd , it's a difficult time. I imagine if I was encouraging her to move put she would freak out as well.
Parenting teenagers is hard but they need you as much as when they are little.
Sounds awful for you. Can only suggest that you limit access to tablet/internet and she earns back time on that in return for engaging with school and family activities in a civil fashion. She's clearly very unhappy, but not doing anything to help herself. Take back some control while you still can.
I don't know how she would feel about this but put a lock on the front of her door and when she's getting out of hand and storms up to her room you can lock her in, it may sound horrible of me but the longer she's made to stay in there the more she will eventually appreciate you. And take away all the technology in her room, yes she may cry and throw a fit like a toddler would but she will calm down or it might make her want to go out!
rochickbarbie23 - errrrrrr NO. Not sure if you are being serious
Lock her in? Bloody hell - that's advice not to take...
Alternatively given that she's clearly depressed she may well attempt suicide and not come out the other side all appreciative. What an utterly stupid post.
She sounds extremely unhappy. Do you think she would go to the GP and perhaps go on anti depressants? I am not sure how that works for 16 year olds, but honestly everything in your post screams depression and low self esteem to me. Having the interest in photography but not lifting the camera, being capable but not doing school work, and the over eating are all things I can identify with. Looking at this from her point of view, it sounds like she doesn't think she is worth anything, so is stuck in a cycle of self sabotaging behaviour.
She no longer knows how to relate to you all properly because you all (quite rightly) are expecting her to kick off at any moment, so she picks up on that tension and responds the only way she knows how. She lashes out because she is hurting and I would guess that what you are seeing externally is only a fraction of the turmoil she is going through inside.
I can only imagine how difficult she is to live with. It must be so draining. She does need help, so please keep trying to get her to agree to access help, even if at first she refuses.
soz, skipped straight to the end, but a lot of teenagers are vile, she probably should see a doctor, to see if she can talk to someone else, who will give help with diet, so she can lose weight. & like herself better.
For school, try & see what photography type course she could do, & see what exams she needs to get in. maybe that would spur her on ?
I think slice is spot on, I can identify too. I was so unhappy and angry with myself that I lashed out and everyone else. Punishment is the worst way to go.
She sounds seriously depressed and suffering deeply from very low self esteem. Her anger also sounds to me to be connected to being considered the big family problem.
Even if its difficult not to scold react or lecture...you need to step RIGHT back..for a good few weeks..and just try to not react...and just listen. No plans for her future no plans for her diet and no plans to send her out into the big world.
Her weight issue is likely causing her to comfort eat, and at 16 you can't control her eating. But she needs impartial help with it.
She needs to get into counselling and stay in counselling. I would make a deal with her, Internet time, in return for agreeing to receiving help.
Dr. Phil did a show there a while back, where the focus was all on one family member as being the one and only problem. On closer inspection, other family issues/problems ran much deeper.
So it might also be no harm at all to have some 'family' counselling. As this is now a family problem, and not just your daughters problem.
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