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Odd 16 year old behaviour and moving out(12 Posts)
I've just joined the site to hopefully get some advice and perspective.
My daughter has always been a bit odd / socially awkward, I say that with a smile. She always seemed a bit unaware of consequences of things and not able to make friends, getting bullied, doing things to get into trouble that seem pretty pointless etc, I could go on
There was never anything major and she didn't get into trouble as such. We had some acting out with a boy when she was 14 but otherwise not active in that regard.
Approx 6 months ago she got a group of friends, some of whom are in care, have their own flats etc and started staying out later and later. Curfew is 10pm. She didn't miss curfews etc. All seemed normal. She became more confident.
However she then started cutting school and lying about it and not really caring what we had to say about it. We pursuaded, cajoled worked it out etc but she was late home one night and it was after an argument about us finding out she had cut school. She finally answered the phone and told us she wasn't ready to come home and would be back when she was ready. 4 days later she asked to come home though a friend and we picked her up. I should say she had just turned 16.
She agreed to stick to house rules, keep room tidy, do dishwasher, go to school and she could have curfew of 8pm school nights and 10pm fri and sat. With extensions if arranged in advance and if we knew where she'd be. Usually this meant 11/12 on a Saturday. But she has and always has been allowed to stay overnight at fiends.
Next time she did the same thing, got into trouble for something minor and decided not to come home. Again we took her back as long as she agreed to the rules. I even allowed her to camp overnight, stay at her friends, go to a party where she would be drinking. I tried everything to show her that I was treating her like an adult because her biggest issue is to be treated like an adult.
Everything seemed fine but out of the blue yesterday her dad gave her a row over the phone about somethjng trivial, she had lied about not seeing a text from her dad and then acted all smart by saying she's not coming home haha and things like that.
We had a few issues earlier this week where she missed her curfew a few nights and we tried to come to a compromise and asked her to speak with us. Turns out she's been seeing a boy that had been her first when she turned 16 and he had messed her about so her head was all over the place and now he was back on the scene.
So she's been away overnight and we can see her Facebook that she's telling everyone she's homeless and looking for places to stay. She slept with a boy last night she didn't even know other than though FB and he is 22. Just because he was in a hotel in the town where we live, here on a course and she needed somewhere to stay.
We've never said she couldn't come home.
She wants me to keep paying her phone and give her money, give her clothes but she doesn't want to live here. She was 16 in September.
This is behaviour I would never have expected of her and am shocked and a bit disgusted because we've always tried to teach the girls to have respect for themselves.
She doesn't want to be at school but has been going and improving, hasn't done anything about getting a job or looking at alternatives, basically sits in McDonald's with her pals and doesn't really do anything and seems quite happy with that.
I'm hesitant to put this down to this but approx 6 months ago he uncle came home drunk and lay down on the couch with her and touched her leg. She freaked and it ended in a police investigation, him being charged with sexually aggravated breach of the peace for causing her fear and alarm as she was 15 1/2 and me braking all ties with my sister and them moving away. My daughter was supported through this, was encouraged and supported in every way we could think of and to be honest within a month or so she seemed fine. I'm sure there are still underlying issues but if I'm honest I'd be hesitant to say this is the cause of how she is acting just now. It's possible of course.
I hope I've given enough background info and would appreciate any shared experiences in what I can do to help her, how to cope myself etc.
She's called me and her dad awful names Over the last 24 hours and I'm just so confused, she's never been like that with us.
Any help or advice would be appreciated.
Wow tough situation! Despite supporting her she must still be very confused and affected by the situation with her uncle
Possibly her trust in the safety of her home and you is damaged.
But now it sounds really fraught. Why not take her away with just you for the weekend? Setting time together, with you or with her Dad? If you need to bribe her by treats, as in cinema or a walk anything. Sounds like you are miles apart and she's totally lost. Just listen to her for some weeks.
We've listened, cajoled, took her to Crete for a girlie holiday in October just me and the girls, she was fine while away but back to this girl I don't know when we came back. She is fine in the house. So polite and mild mannered, a bit of a temper with her sister but you expect that we went to the movies two weekends ago, she knows Santas been delivering, we've cuddled
On the couch on movie nights. I can honestly say she doesn't and can't feel unsupported in the house. We talk about boys openly. I've always thought that the best approach. If I'm making dinner we'll have random cuddles. It's like she turns into someone else when she's out or gets in trouble and usually it's very minor things.
She definitely doesn't feel unsupported over the uncle thing (well my sisters fiancé) she genuinely feels it was weird but seems to have come to terms with the fact that he's what he is. I get the feeling we were building up to this anyway if that makes sense? Little things in her behaviour and attitude just a bit odd. There was no hesitation in our support. She was staying at my sisters and we were in London. We came straight back and she was told 100% it was not her fault and I broke all contact with my sister. My daughter and I have spoken at length about it and she's understands what that means and says she knows I support her even just because of that.
What would be the downsides to letting her learn for herself how tough life is I wonder?
I honestly think pandering to her like we've done each time she's come back (only when she's hungry and no where left to stay) is not helping but I'm scared of the consequences. She seems such a young 16 year old if that makes sense?
I think you need some RL help tbh. I am struck by your words where you say she seems unaware of consequences. It sounds really hard for you, as you know she is vulnerable. What are school doing to help? They can help you access services.
I feel for you. We went through similar with DS1 a few years ago.
He got to 15 and just decided he wasn't going to tell us where he was, stayed out all night, turned up for school when he felt like it and wouldn't answer his phone ever to us. When he was home, he smashed things in the house and was verbally abusive to everyone.
All because, in his words, he wasn't getting the freedom he wanted and wanted to do whatever he liked, when he liked.
We got the school and police involved but in my case, they were both useless. Because he was 15 at the time, they basically just kept sitting him down and talking to him, he would agree to curb his behaviour and then a week later, it would all start again. He disappeared a few times and we would hear through the grapevine that he was telling friends he had left home and then he would come back again and carry on as usual.
This went on till he was 17 and I had had enough after he threatened me and attacked DH. Then he ran from the house, I called the police and when he came back, I told him he either got his act together immediately or he was going to have to find somewhere else to live. I was absolutely heartbroken but literally didn't know what else to do.
He left but told everyone that we had thrown him out onto the street.
Social services got involved and although they did help him with getting somewhere to live and accessing money to support himself, I felt that they just gave him everything he wanted.
Anyway things were awful for a few years but I think leaving home did finally make him grow up. He is now 21, did an apprenticeship at 18 and is now in a full time job and has his own flat. I was terrified of telling him to leave but in my case, it did get him to sort himself out and I could not go on putting up with his behaviour,
I'm not suggesting you tell your daughter to leave but maybe if she knows you have reached the end of your tether and being alone is what she is looking at without the safety net of you, she might actually realise what she is doing to you.
At wits end tbh the school have done as much as they can. They were ideal with the bullying in the earlier years (peer mediation) but in the last 6 months they've worked with me to reduce her timetable to allow her more study time as she's in 5th year. They have now said though that if she cuts again they will Ask her to leave. In Scotland, I don't know how it is in England) they don't have to provide a school place after 16 so you're essentially invited to be there. They've been more than patient and accommodating. I was wondering if contacting social services would be an option, perhaps if she sees what care is like she might realise how good she's got it at home (for want of a better phrase)?
Yeah that sounds so familiar, I'm sorry to hear you went through this but heartened to know others have and come through the other end! My problem is I don't think she's capable of being on her own. The times she's left before she's borrowed money from friends, ate their food, stayed diff places each night and once that's exhausted she creeps home. I knew she didn't want to be back but had to come back despite her statements otherwise.
My husband and I are a team in everything and this especially. He wants her phone taken off her. We've already blocked calling as the contract is £30 a month and I don't see that we should pay that if she's not living here. But taking her phone doesn't that leave her with no way to contact us if she's in trouble?
He wants to say that she's on her own now and I'm not quite there yet. I think of some of the things parents go through and I think god this is so mild in comparison but the emotional effect is ridiculous. I'm not sleeping and self employed so that harms me trying to make a living during the day. A vicious cycle.
My shining light is my 15 year old. We don't draw comparisons in front of them but she went through a rocky social media patch at 14 and we worked with her and she's come out the end a sensible pragmatic and confident girl. How can the two be so different lol.
What would en the downside p letting her come back when she's ready and then perhaps providing food and shelter only ie eveyrtbtjng else is her responsibility, clothing, washing etc? I've heard a few parents suggest that on other posts. So basically cut off all but he essential.
I am willing to try anything at this stage. even writing these posts is quite therapeutic to be honest.
I think it may be worth contacting social services for advice. Don't know about Scotland, but in England they have a different tier of multiagency workers who may be able to help, eg youth workers/ CAMHS workers who can advise.
CAMHS is for serious mental health difficulties, not issues like this. sorry.
Youth workers might be of help but they would only work with her with her consent.
Best bet is social services IMO.
Are you a CAMHS worker Sealsong? Where I am there are different tiers of CAMHS workers, and it is quite possible through school to access advice.
Yes I am, and yes there are CAMHS tiers, but the difficulties the OP describes are behavioural / parenting (I don't mean that in a judgemental way) and don't appear to have anything to do with mental health from what the OP has said. No CAMHS service - whatever tier - that I've ever worked in would accept a referral for these types of problems (we are snowed under with referrals for mental health difficulties, if we accepted referrals for behaviour problems of this kind the service would collapse).
Perhaps it is different in your area, Meloncoley.
I could have written your post OP, we are also in Scotland, our daughter was 16 in Sept, she has always been difficult. She found a training post at a hair dresser and left school a few months ago as the school had, rightly so, enough of her lies and not turning up ( telling the school DH and I split up/ we threw her out etc ).
She wants to be an adult, yet acts like a child. Only thing she is asked to do is keep her room tidy, she never does. She steals from us and lies, bullies her younger DS/DB, then blames them.
Wish I had the answer to helping them.
I thought I'd post a belated reply on this thread after many months we've finally worked through things. In the end we cut her off completely in the hope that it would act as a bit of reverse psychology but all the time we knew where she was (she stayed various places and ended up at mil's who I don't speak to but she kept me informed). Dd finally got kicked out of there and only option was ours. We said she could come back but we didn't want her back as such so things would be different. We weren't doing it to be cruel but we laid ground rules ie no Facebook no boyfriend anywhere near the house and must find job or go to college (but to find job while doing that).
Well long story short, only a few minor arguments (where we simply said tough, deal with it or get out) and she's been accepted to college for hairdressing but as she's working two part time jobs (one in a sports shop and one as a domestic in care homes) she's decided to pursue a career in care so is putting off college until next year to get a years experience to help with the application.
She's thriving the boyfriend is gone, she's stopped smoking, buying herself things with her wages and paying digs of course. Down side is she has alienated all her friends but I'm encouraging her and doing things with her, we are just back from camping weekend and the likes.
I don't want this to sound braggy but I'm just happy and things have settled down.
I did not see light at the end of the tunnel and I'm still a bit hesitant to say it's all fixed because you never know with teenagers
Thank you everyone who gave advice and support - my mind was all over the place and I was reading but for some reason couldn't bring myself to rely - bit of a funk I think.