June 08, 2010,
A.R. asks from Orlando, FL on June 07, 2010
17 Yr Old Daughter Moved Out and Doesnt Want to Come Home.
I am a single mom of two teen girls, 17 & 16. My 17 yr.old recently moved out and is staying with my parents. We had an argument and we both agreed that we should take a break from one another for a few days.A few days has now turned into two months! Ive talked with her and have expressed my love to her, I have even gone to therapy with her. She does not seem interested in mending our relationship and wants to continue to stay with my parents. My heart is breaking. I dont know if I should just go get her or just wait it out until she comes around???
So What Happened?™
Thankyou ALL for your wonderful responses. You all have put my mind at ease and I no longer feel like Im a failure of a mother:) I decided to take the overwhelming response of let her be, show support and lots of love. Ive called her and invited her to lunch and well, I got a snippy maybe? I can tell she really wants to:) More importantly is I think from all the responses I have learned something about myself. I think I have been overprotective, slightly controlling and a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to raising my girls and I need to allow her to be her own person. You all made me also realize this situation could be much worse. Shes a good girl but we really are the same person and thats where the arguments start. The whole reason she moved out in the first place was...you ready for this? It was over easter egg dye. She wanted to open( two) coloring kits for (one) dozen of eggs and I said no and a full on power struggle commenced over easter eggs. I know it runs much deeper than that and I think she is enjoying her power right now being with my parents, and thats ok. Sounds like all this is normal and without your responses I would still be looking at this in a different light. Thanks again.
P.M. answers from Portland on June 07, 2010
If she's still feeling that the argument is unresolved, and if she's feeling accepted and more independent in her new living situation, then I can see that as being more attractive for her than coming home. (Hint: She's 17!)
As heart-rending as this is for you, keep in mind it really isn't all about you. Your daughter is reaching into her future, which means she's breaking away from your control. And it's really, really common for kids who are reaching the age of emancipation to find fault with their parents and their home life. It's part of what allows them to break away.
My daughter, just after high school, moved in with my sister and her partner for a few months. It was a wonderful experience for her, in which she had to get a job, pay rent and learn about the obligations and costs of being independent, all while being overseen by a caring relative. From there, she went on to college. All of this gave her a new appreciation of her life with me and her stepdad. When I saw that her primary need was to be independent, I was actually happy that this "halfway house" situation was available to her.
Your daughter knows you love her and are concerned for her. That may be the only thing she really needs from you at this moment. You raised her, taught her everything you know about life, in preparation for the moment she'd fly away. Some kids do this early, some stick around into their 20's. Both approaches are hard on their parent in one way or another. It's hard to get away from the inevitable pains of launching our kids.
If I were you, I would just let her know you love her dearly, want her happiness and success, and are willing to support her in whatever way she finds most positive.
6 moms found this helpful
R.J. answers from Seattle on June 07, 2010
I was on the opposite side of the fence. At 17 I moved out, not by going to gramma's... but by joining the USMC. I even, very deliberately, manipulated them into signing the waiver by laying our relationship on the line. "If you won't sign, fine. I'll wait until I'm 18 and then I'm gone for good. If you want to do that to our relationship.... go ahead." The ink was barely dry before I was out the door.
I had a *brilliant* childhood. Warm, loving, amazing family. But my mum & I were too alike and we fought like cats and dogs. Worse.
It took months and months before I was even able to call her without getting ticked and hanging up. And that was with 3000+ miles of distance between us.
Flash forward to several years ago/ today: My mum is one of my best friends. I talk with her every day, sometimes for hours. I see her several times a week. She has watched my son for me since he was an infant twice a week... and for the past year has him every monday for a "nana-play-date" and once a month he has a nana & papa sleepover. When I say best friends... I really mean it. We talk just to talk, love on each other, help each other out.
But we needed time and space for ME to grow up, and for her to relate to me at a different level.
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M.C. answers from Detroit on June 07, 2010
Give her time and space to figure it out on her own. I had the same problem with my daughter except she was 12 years old when she insisted on moving in with her dad. At first, it broke my heart that she didn't want to live with me. As time went on (it's been 3 years now), it was the best decision that I ever made. There were times when my daughter asked to move back home, but I told her no. She had to learn to work things out with her dad. In the last year, she has matured into a well-adjusted young woman. She has made some very tough decisions on her own and I'm proud of her. We have also become closer and the wounds have mended. My advice to you is to back off. Every time you hear from her ask her how she is, listen to her, and most of all, tell you will always be there for her and that you love her unconditionally. The rest is up to her. Don't worry, she will come to you. When I was growing up my mom used to tell me and this so true: you need me more than I need you. Your daughter will come around--she will need you. Just let her know that you love her and are there for her.
3 moms found this helpful
D.H. answers from Indianapolis on June 07, 2010
This is always tough........Go with her to therapy as often as you can if she doesn't mind. Continue to tell her that you love her. Have you ask her to move home again?
You don't say what this was about, so has the situation been fixed, or handled? If she is 17, she is not legally an adult and you can make her come home..........with that said, if your parents are doing well with her, you might not want to do that...........are they on your side or hers? Are they helping or hurting the issue?
You know you and your daughter best, just keep in touch, let her know you love her and you would like her to come back home........might have her sis talk to her too.....depending on what she thinks..........
Take care and hang in there.
2 moms found this helpful
C.P. answers from Provo on June 07, 2010
This is extremely hard on you as a parent but I think that you also need to look at the benefits. My daughter is 19 now and away at college in a whole different state. Oh I miss her terribly but I also realize that I raised a very productive and well adjusted individual. She is doing great and loves her new place.
I would suggest that you don't pressure her but support her. If you make demands on her it will just damage your future relationship. She knows you love her and I can guarantee that she loves you. Let her have her space.
I was smothered by my mom and our relationship never really repaired. She still wants to live my life. Let her experience life and remember she is with the people that raised you!
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P.W. answers from San Francisco on June 07, 2010
Just let her stay with them for a while. She's on the verge of living on her own as an adult anyway. At 17, just because they don't want to live with you doesn't mean that your relationship is ruined. I have a great relationship with my 17 year old daughter, and she can't wait to leave home.
Peg says it perfectly.
2 moms found this helpful
S.H. answers from San Antonio on June 07, 2010
She's 17... I don't know of many 17 year olds who would consider moving back with their parents once they've left if they have a choice.
I think your parents should be the ones to tell her to go home, for the sake of mending bridges and because she belongs with her mother, but then I don't know the whole story.
I think you have to brace yourself for the fact that she's basically an adult and forcing her to come home if gparents are welcoming her might put a wall between you for many years to come. She might not come home again. This might be it, but you can still grow closer to her. Therapy is a great start.
I know it's no great comfort to hear that, but sometimes just facing things for what they are is a better tactic in the long run.
Hugs to you, mama, I know this hurts.
1 mom found this helpful
D.F. answers from Boston on June 07, 2010
Such a fun age!!! Oh boy......When my daughter moved out we got along so well!! When she was at home we butt heads a lot because I am sort of controlling when I want something done. I do not like to wait and I usually would nag until it was done. So she moved : ( But.......I have to say we get along so well!!! We actually talk all the time and go to lunch. I love her with all my heart. Sometimes two women just cannot live in the same house. Doesnt mean you do not love each other, just means a brake is ok. If she is happy at your parents house and your getting along with her better while she is there. Just call and talk every day.....meet for lunch.......have her over for dinner. She will come around, dont worry.....they always do. At least she is with family that you trust.
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