46 answers

18 Year Old Out of Control!

I have an 18 year old daughter. She is in 11th grade, she works part time after school. She has no respect for me or my husband (her step dad). I constantly am doing for her, and she shows no appreciation for me at all.She talks to me worse than i would talk to a dog! She goes to school when she wants to!She does very little chores around the house. She had graduation exams today and she would not go to school because she was mad at me!The school called twice to see if she was comming. they told her it was very important that she went, but she still would not go.I dont no want to do with her.I'm scared to kick her out of the house because she would go to her friends that is very bad influence on her. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I've about gone as far as i can! My nerves are shot!!Somene please help me befor i have a nervous break down! thamks

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So What Happened?™

hi everyone thanks so much for your advice.Just thought i would let you know what is going on up to today. well i tryed to sit my daughter down to talk to her and let her know how things was going to be, but she would'nt listento anything i had to say, all she would say is "whatever mom". So i had no choice but to tell her to back her stuff.She left for school this morning and i havent seen her since. My son said she went in the office this morning and quit school. So i guess all i can do now is pray, pray and pray some more for her and be here for her if she decides she's ready to respect me and my husband and my house. Please keep us in your prayes.and again thanks so much for your prayers and advice.

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I hate to say it but you are going to have to sit down with her and tell her how it is going to be and find out what is wrong with her.. If you can't get through to her by talking then Tough Love is it. She is going to have to respect you and talk with you in order to grow up. Quit doing things for her and let her do them on her own If she doesn't want to do chores then she needs to pay bills as well as do her own stuff, ie laundry, food, utilities, rent, etc...

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I think it is far too late for her to respect you now. I think you should sit her down and let her have two choices, compromise or move out. As in compromise I mean tell her what you expect of her. It sounds like she has had her way her whole life so it is more than likely not going to do any good. If she chooses to move out then she will have to deal with real life and hopefully realize hers is not so bad. I know as a mother I know it would be hard but I would not let anyone take advantage or disrepect me and my husband to that degree. I, in the same respect would not treat anyone like that. I do believe in "tough love". It may not work but you don't deserve to be treated like a door mat. Good luck with whatever you do.

One question where is dear old dady in all of this. Could she live with her father and would she behaver better there.I would think unless he is not much of a father that he would want her to finshed school too. If there are other kids she is being a bad modal for I would think twice about kicker her out. Yes I would not like the idea of her going to her friends but I would not want her to be a modal that would set my other kids up for trouble too.She migh even grown up if she had to do for herself. Do you think her friends would be there for her.

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D., I can understand some of your problems. I have been employed in the school system for 25 years at a middle school. We have 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students here that act like your eighteen year old. They do not want to come to school and even when they do there are accomodations that have to be made just to satify them.

I am a divorced parent with two biological children and two adopted, ranging from ages 31, 29, 21, 20 (all boys). I did not have all the problems you seem to be having with your daughter, but with the few encounters that I've had with my children I came to this conclusion: When I have made all the provision required as a compassionate, loving and caring christian mother and they could not abide by the rules of my home, they were welcome to leave. The other thing that we as parents don't often think about is that the bible states that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. Rewards have to be earned but sometimes we as parents get in the practice of always being the one whose giving, but our children have a responsibility to us as well as to themselves.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers. God bless.

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hi D.
it will get better the same thing happen to me my daughter left she grew up alot now we are all closer than we have ever been and apolized to all the bad she did.
good luck i will pray for you i know u worry idid
T.

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Dear D.,
We had trouble with our son at that age we had to call the cop's and they told us at 18 years old show him the door
that is one sure way for him to grow up. Well he did move out and thing's got better he had to grow up then. He has come a long way since then.

lsd

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I agree that tough love is the best way to go. Tell her what you expect from her, but try not to be confrontational. At 18, she thinks she knows EVERYTHING ( trust me, I was there just a few years ago) and at this point you are going to have to let her learn through experience. My mom told me time and time again that "experience is the best teacher" and boy was she right. I didn't get into any trouble, but I realized that there were so many things I could have just bypassed if only I had listened to my parents. I wouldn't kick her out of the house yet, but if her behavior and her attitude does not get better it may be an option. I always knew that if I did not abide by my parents rules, that I would be out on my behind, but I think you should try to give her time to get it together. Good Luck and I'll be praying for you and your family!

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Hi D.:

Since your daughter is 18 now, I think it would be a "wake-up call" to her if you could bear to let go a little---and then NOT bailing her out when she does slip. I too have a teenaged daughter who has always been rebellious and oppositional like that. (These kids are frustrating and very hard to raise, as you and I both know!) She has always been different from her brother----and the things that worked with him as far as discipline goes---never worked with her.

I know from experience that it is the hardest thing in the world to sit back and watch your child walk into mistakes that you could prevent them from walking into! The trouble with this kind of kid is that it takes some hard knocks (and natural consequences) to knock any sense at all into their adolescent brains.

I went through this thing with my daughter back when she was 14 and 15. Her school grades were dismal because she never turned anything in. I tried and tried to tell her the consequenses of this--- and that she would not be allowed to get her driver's permit if her GPA wasn't good enough (naturally she didn't listen to me). I finally gave up and sat back and watched her fail---and then she could not get her permit like all her friends did, then got kicked out of "Honor's English" at school, and also had to go to summer school. Well, low and behold, after that, she hit the books hard and is actually making excellent grades now! (10th grade)

Good luck, hope this helps!

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D., Thank God my son made it past 18 and is now almost 22. I married his dad when Josh was 9 so most would call me Josh's stepmom. We removed the step long ago. Josh did great in school until he turned 13 then he tried our patience, took it to the limit. His birthmom's family let him get away with lieing and telling tall tales about school and family life and he fed on their anger. I on the other hand had to deal with the teachers and school issues. My ancestory is Cherokee and we believe strongly in respect and honor, even from our children. I sat Josh down and told him stories that had been passed down to me by my dad and grandma. Josh called them lectures. I know he remembers these stories now and lives by them so something does get through. We had progress reports that was sent home every 2 weeks. I would review the reports and would work with Josh on things he was having trouble with. I had to ground him a few times which got harsh feedback from his grandparents but I didn't back down. Josh's dad backed me on every issue. Josh's dad is a burn survivor so he can't speak very loud and it was up to me to do a lot of the talking.

Kim, I know first hand that if you get tough with your daughter and not back down, she will get the message. I never backed down with Josh when it came to an education or when I caught him lieing. At 17 Josh came to me and told me he wanted to join the Army Reserve youth program. Josh's dad is a vietnam era vet, my dad is a WWII and Korean Vet so when Josh said he wanted AR, I told him what his life would be like, what was expected of him and asked if he was ready to give all to his country. We allowed him to join the early program and from the first day, we saw a big change in Josh. He found a new form of motivation and drive. He did one weekend a month away from home, training at his unit. While in school, Josh chose classes that would benefit him with the army. His highest marks came from Middle Eastern History and Military History. Kim, we made it and I know you can too with your daughter.

J. Blue Star Mom and Proud Army Mom

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You have my sympathy. I am your age and have step children 17 and 16. The 16yr old is a boy who is quite rebellious. I have little influence over him b/c I don't see him very much and I am a step parent who doesn't know what my boundaries are. One thing I can say is she's got to abide by your rules. It's your home, she's a child, and you may have to start taking priviledges that mean something to her-away. No car, no extra curricular, no dates, no going out with friends, no money, OR you can do the reverse. If you do X, then I will let you do Y or I will get you Y (bribery). She may try to rebel and do things b/c she has been able to before. It is not too late to be the bad guy, be one before she gets in real trouble.

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STOP DOING FOR HER. If she has a car that you paid for or paying for the insurance, STOP. Take the car away, even if it means losing her job. She needs to learn who's buttering that bread. She is 18 so legally she can be on her own. Sometime you have to let them fall HARD for them to learn lessons. Some kids are just hard headed, like mine and have to learn the hard way. She hanging with her friends whether she is living with them or with you. Sorry this sounds harsh but I have learned the hard way.

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Hi D., Girl, you are in a tough place....this situation that has been created over the term of her 18 years is coming to a head....my suggestion? quit doing ANYTHING for her, if she needs clean clothes, let her wash, dry, hang, fold, etc... if she wants a cell phone, let her pay for it, if she wants to go somewhere ask her if she has gas in the car, if not, she can't go......D., you are the mom...she is the child....period....cut her off, shut her down...drive her to school, walk her in, sit in her class.....take away all priviledges...let her go to school and to work and nothing else, it will be hard, but all kids, even 17 year olds have some place that will get results...you just have to dig thru till you find that thing....it's hard, but as long as she lives with you you are the mom and the authority, by you have to command it and take it.....i know this probably sound drastic to you but you've probably allowed her to get to this point and you've gotten tired of it...but it's what she knows...and it' probably what's worked her whole life...so now, you either have to continue to live with it, demand that it changes or let her move out....sorry, R.

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this is my first time to be on this web-site and it is not typical that I throw in my opinion online. However, after reading about your situation, I felt very compelled to just say a thing or two. First of all, your daughter is lucky that she has a mom that cares enough to be concerned about the current situation. I can't say I am speaking these words from experience, as my oldest daughter is 13, youngest girl two! (boy i'm in for a real treat!) But I gotta say this, and I only want to offer help, not critisize or chop you down for what you may/may not have done in the past, etc.Grab a kleenex.....here we go.....ARE YOU KIDDING ME? SHE TREATS YOU TERRIBLY, YOUR HUSBAND, YOUR ABOUT TO GO COMPLETELY FALL APART, YOU HAVE ANOTHER CHILD WHO IS SEEING THIS BEHAVIOR AND *WILL* CERTAINLY EMMULATE IT AT SOME POINT, BUT IT IS HIGH-TIME FOR *YOU* TO LAY IT ON THE LINE! SHE IS NOT A CHILD ANYMORE, SHE IS 18. Honestly, you really have very little to do with with the choices she makes NOW. BUT while she is in YOUR home, she either abides by YOUR rules and regulations, respecting others, no profanity...etc.,whatever you feel strongly against, or leaves.If I were you, I would just get a cute lil duffel, pack a few things she would need away from home for a few nights, have it sitting in a corner (inconspicuously VISIBLE to her), and when she gets home you sit her down, and NO, she doesn't say 'oh mom, later' you mean NOW! and you have to really feel this to make this work. At that point, DO NOT CRY, do not let her see weakness, YOU tell HER the way it is going to be. I would certainly start with, "(NAME), you know I love you very much and I always will." Let her know she means so so much to you and that is why you have tolerated this behavior, maybe you thought it was just a phase. Well, as it turns out, YOU ARE SICK AND TIRED OF IT. THE BUCK STOPS HERE. She has already been warned about this (I DO HOPE) so now SHE has a choice to make since she is SO grown-up and all about making her OWN choices.YOU'RE MAKING IT SIMPLE, TWO OPTIONS...EITHER YOUR WAY, YOUR RULES, OR SHE CAN GRAB THE BAG AND LEAVE. D., if you love your daughter, DO NOT allow her to stomp all over you, throw tantrums, yell, whatever. Maybe you have dropped the ball in the past, but YOU ARE NOT this time. Forget about 'if I'd done this or that then maybe.....' That doesn't matter now, nothing can unwind the hands of time. But what is key is WHERE DO YOU GO FROM THIS DAY FORWARD? I'm just gonna shoot straight......PUT THE FEAR OF GOD IN HER. YOU LOOK AT HER, STARE HER DOWN, BEAT HER AT HER OWN GAME, AND TELL HER YOU ARE NOT, I REPEAT, ARE NOT PUTTING UP WITH HER OBSCENE AND NASTY ATTITUDE ANYMORE.This WILL work, if you FEEL CONFIDENT and stand your ground!You ARE NOT her friend, YOU ARE HER MOTHER and she WILL abide by your rules or walk out the door. This is the first step in renewing a relationship with your girl that will be fulfilling and nurturing and wonderful. *****WAIT TIL SHE IS OUT THAT DOOR TO BREAK-DOWN.**** DO NOT TRY TO STOP HER, JUST CARRY ON ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS. She is not leaving YOU, she is a teenager who is finding her way. And remember, for your girl...the road HOME will always lead to YOU! Tough love is critical NOW for positive results LATER. I hope the best and can't wait to get through this stage with mine, BOTH of them! BOY OH BOY! Good luck to you and your daughter and God bless.

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I have seen this work befor. One day when she is out of the house clean her room of all of her personal things. bare walls you choose what clothes whe can keep. when you do this you keep in mind your rules and values. when she gets home sit her down and it might help if you have a prepared talk, and thell her she can continue to live in your house but only as a guest. Lay down rules for her that she has to follow, and she will act as a guest she wil not clean her room that you will do that for her.Have the rest of the family be polite yet distant. just treat her and a house guest. It takes almost a year but you will have your daughter back.Remember you are the parent and you will not tolerate bad behavior you will have to change how yo interact with your children.If she starts acting badly just stay calm refuse to participate in a screaming match and talk to her with respect at all times.

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D., I suggest to call upon God for an answer. Today a lot of parents are troubled about their teens future. I've been there myself. But when I go to God in prayer believing that He hears me, I feel the peace in my spirit that all will be well. Your daughter is going through a rebellious state that only God can fix through much prayer. Sacrifice a day out of your schedule just for your daughter, just you and God, and I assure you that things will change. God cares about the things and people that we care about. By giving it to God, He will know that you trust Him to fix it and He won't let you down. Jesus told His disciples that if they had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto the moutain,Remove to yonder place: and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you. So, I'm telling you to give your daughter to God and let Him work with her and you leave it alone and keep praying for her and watch the mircle of God. M.

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make consequences for her actions... STOP doing for her... if she doesn't appreciate what you do for her, then WHY are you doing it? At 18 she is old enough to know what is right and wrong... Make her do her chores around the house... tell her either she goes to school or she needs to move out ad find her own way and she will very quickly figure out, that life with Mommy and daddy is a heck of a lot easier than trying to make ends meet on her own with no education... kids today have no respect for anyone because the second you try to discipline them, some idiot calls DHS on you... My child will learn respect... I won't let the government tell me what I can and cannot do with my child... I feel for you D., I really do... but you need to put your foot down and let your child know that YOU are the parent and that she is the child and SHE lives in YOUR house and she doesn't like the rules, then don't let the door hit her on the butt on her way out... it's time to get tough with her... tough love is sometimes the best medicine... it may be hard to swallow but it 99.999% of the time cures the problem....

Good Luck

H.

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Hello D.,sorry to hear about your problem.I am a mother who has raised 3 daughters and my motto is "all grown got their own!" You have to decide if you are going to treat your 18 yr old adult like an adult or like the baby she is portaying. She seems to want it both ways. If she is to remain under your roof she should first respect everyone there and obey the rules or it's time to get out and make her own way. There is only one woman of the house,You. I know tough love can be as hard on us as it can on them, but she is counting on you being afraid of taking the needed steps. While you are concerned about the influence of her friends may have on her, what about the influence she is having on her siblings. Please think about the whole family and not just about the selfish adult that seems to want to a free ride. If nothing else start demanding more from her and giving a little less. Sit down with her and your husband, lay down the ground rules and stick to your guns. You and your husband are in control of your home not your child. Hard as it may be you are doing her no favor in life by letting her get away with behaving like this. She is about to face the real world and will not be able to get anywhere if she doesn't get a awake-up call, now. I had to do this, even turning 1 over to the system for acting out, which lasted a month. They are succesful adults,with one having several college degrees. I had to teach them to be independent, we are not promised to them forever, so we have to push them to be adults even when it breaks our hearts. If you are a praying woman pray and God will give you strength for the task ahead. My prayers are with you.

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Repeat Rule ... make simple stright forward rules! Then repeat the rule (she is breaking) over and over do not change your rule do not change your voice! Before you start the Repeat Rule tell her she has a choice it's her life you can not live it for her! She can make the most of it or not! BUT as long as she lives in your house you make the rules and she is to follow them!
You make simple rules and repeat them and repeat them ... do not reason with her ... you make simple rules and repeat them!Once you make a rule do not change it you have to keep it simple and stright forward. THEY hate it when you repeat the same sentence over and over they want you to try to reason with them so they can make you crazy! DO NOT! You make lots of smiple rules and stick with them!
She needs you to be in charge and if you give in she thinks you are weak! Don't tell her you are using the repeat rule just do it!
Good luck!

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I hate to say it but you are going to have to sit down with her and tell her how it is going to be and find out what is wrong with her.. If you can't get through to her by talking then Tough Love is it. She is going to have to respect you and talk with you in order to grow up. Quit doing things for her and let her do them on her own If she doesn't want to do chores then she needs to pay bills as well as do her own stuff, ie laundry, food, utilities, rent, etc...

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Hi D.

My name is M., I am 40 yrs old with 4 children, 19, 18, 12,and 10. I went thru the somewhat the same thing with my 18 yr old. She was skipping school on fridays and only going went she wanted because she knew she could catch up. Little did she know she was really about to fail. I live in Lake Charles, Louisiana and the student is only allowed to miss 20 day per year. Well my child was 1 day away from not graduating. I went to the office to see why, this is when I found out about all the absent days. They allowed me to review her folder and she was signing my name to her excuses. Needless to say I was angry and hurt. She could blow graduation and did not even realize it. I met with the principal and discuss the situation. I told him to tell her she was not going to graduate because of what all she had done. This was a reality check for her. The principal also told her if she missed one more day she had better be in the hospital on her death bed otherwise it would not be excused and she would not graduate with her class.
I came to the understanding through prayer that she is considered an adult and it was now her turn to be responsible for herself. If she decided to miss one more day of school and failed this was her decision and not mine. Although this would effect her the rest of her life, it was still her decision because she IS an adult now.
As a mom it is very very hard to see your children grow up and become adults, but if you have taught her right and she can stand on a firm foundation because of what you taught her, you have done your job. It is now up to her and God. God will guide her where he wants her to go. If He thinks she needs to be shaken, then let Him shake her until she finds her way back to HIM. This is were you will set back, hold your breathe, pray, cry, and thank God he is in control. I sure hope this helps.

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You have to stick to your guns. She lives in your house and must follow your rules. She needs to learn the pecking order in the house. It will be hard for you, but you need to make some threats that you will actually follow through on....like going to school with her and staying with her all day, if she doesn't go on her own. Get creative! Or, taking her phone away or her car away. She needs to learn that there are things that she doesn't have a choice to do. It's my opinion that it is very important to teach this to children so that they respect the authority that is placed in their life later on. It's a hard lesson to teach (and one I'm sure is a hard one to learn). It takes committment from both you and your husband to stick together as a team. I have a 21 year old who went through similar behaviour. For several years she would have said that she didn't really like me, however, she has came back since then and actually thanked me for the rules that we set and stuck to.

An example with our daughter is: She didn't want to keep her grades up to A's and B's, which were our rules in order to do extracurricular activities. She was a cheerleader. We had already tried "benching" her for games because of her grades, while she didn't like it, it didn't work. The next time she brought home C's on her report card, we decided that she needed to pay us back the $400 that we still owed on cheerleading. She said ok, but never really took any baby-sitting jobs to earn any money to pay us back. Finally we gave her a date that the debt had to be paid off and told her that if it wasn't, we were adding $50 to her balance for each month that she still had a balance. She didn't believe that we would do it and still didn't pay us back so we added $50. She finally realized that we were serious and she finally paid us back and kept her grades up.

I know that I didn't really give you a quick fix answer, however, I hope you can take some comfort and pull some strength from what I have said.

Subrenia

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Hi D.,
A very depressing situation. I have not read all the responses, but some had it right. I did this when my son was 12. I showed him how the other half survives who drop out of mainstream and rebel. As gruesome as it sounds, we even visited a morgue on the web and why they ended up there. He got the message and does well at 16.

Debbbie, sit down and tell her how much you love her, and how it breaks your heart to be treated this way. Life is short. One day she will resent how she behaved with you. The guilt will haunt her the rest of her life.

Reach out first, look into her eyes. Cry if you must. Beg her to tell you what's wrong. Leaving only encourages her to do worse. She may anyway and you will still have to bail her out. Try a serious talk first.

Therapy will only work if she admits there's a problem. She has to recognize and want help. Good luck and God bless.

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D. Hello
Its hard when you cant take control I understand your pain...
you want to do "tough love" but, sometimes that also back fires. you need to have a (Girl weekend) just you and her
go stay some where fun go to the beach go to the movies go get a pedicure and manicure tell her how much you love her hug her over and over all weekend...and there is CHURCH a good youth group can do wonders. Our youth groups go on trips when these kids come back they are loving understanding, ect...Jesus is in their hearts (____@____.com) email me anytime D. your friend

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I work in a school, and often when parents have the same problems, they have contacted our local police department. The department is so cooperative and sends an officer to get the child and take them to school in the patrol car. This usually does not have to repeated a second time. I'm not sure where you live, but with the Compulsary Attendance Law, most police/sheriff departments are cooperative and supportive. Good luck.

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Tough love is the only way. She is gonna have to learn on her own. Don't bail her out of trouble. We wouldn't put up with being treated like that by strangers... our kids are no different. They can love us later... right now is our time to raise them.

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I think most of us believe an education is necessary in today's world, but maybe she just isn't cut out for the norm. If drugs might be a problem, find out how to get her taken in for testing since she most likely won't go on her own. Call a rehab. facility to ask about this. If drugs aren't the problem, see if she might consider entering a trade school (hair, electrician, etc.). Many skilled jobs make a good living and don't require a college degree. It might be some motivation for her, if not, she'll just have to figure it out on her own. Good luck!

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D.,

The message at church Sunday was "Tell the Devil to Leave us alone". You have to rebuke this spirit and tell him to leave you and your child alone. She has to be a wonderful girl or the devil would not be busy in her life. I communicate with my children through email and text message when we are dealing with a difficult topic or issue, sometimes we have to get on the level of our children in order for them to understand that we understand them. God comes first in our lives and we have to remain in his word to get through all obstacles in life. Your daughter has to understand that she is in the beginning stages of the rest of her life and the decisions she make now will affect her future. I would suggest seeking counseling and to pray over her day and night. You have to remain firm and show her that you are still in charge and you will not tolerate disrespect, it is easier said than done but if you are doing extra's for her and she don't' appreciate them stop doing them and make her earn her extra's in life. She has to get her education and start being responsible for her actions, she shouldn't have a choice on if she goes to school or not. I know at her age you don't want to have to fuss and fight with her but you may have to go back to the old school and whip her butt. They are not too old as long as she live in your house she should abide by your rules. I would talk with the youth pastor and continue to pray for a turn around.

I will pray for you and your family that things get better. send your daughter a text message if she has a phone to encourage her in her journey through young adulthood or write her a letter, leave a card to show that she is loved regardless of her actions.

Hope this helped.

Much love,

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As tough as it might be, she needs reality to hit her...hard. I would first recommend not "doing" everything for her. She's legally an adult, and you need to start treating her as such. If she wants to be that disrespectful and unappreciative of free room and board (not to mention love and devotion), it's time to pay her own way. You can't make her finish high school, although life will be VERY hard without it. You can't make her respect you. You can force her into compliance (or the appearance of it), but not respect. If she were younger, there'd be more options.

I completely sympathize with your concern about the friends she's chosen, but sometimes people don't see problems until they hit rock bottom. And that rock bottom is different for everyone. When we shield our kids (with the best intentions) from the consequences of their mistakes, they are unable to make the cause/effect connection of their choices, and therefore can't learn from them, allowing them to make responsible choices as an adult. She needs to take full responsibility for her choices, the sooner the better.

And that means you need to stop feeling guilty for her choices! You've done the best job you could, and it sounds like your intentions were in the right place. You can't ask any more of yourself.

I'll pray for wisdom and peace for you as you walk through this season.

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Since she thinks she is grown, you need to really show her that she is not grown. She does not want to go to school she needs to get out and get her own place, second she would not be talking to me like I am a dog, third she has no reason to be disrespectuful, I would not tolerate any of her behavior, She needs tough love, we as parents need to show our teenage kids that we are the parents and that we will not tolerate that type of behavior.

S. Reed

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I feel for you and the stress it seems to be putting on your family and I too have gone thru similar situations , my best reply is ; you are letting your daughter be her own parent and getting away with any and everything ,she is setting the wxample for the 15 yr old to do the same thing , even though you feer her safety of kicking her out enough is enough and you need to put your foot down and turn her safety over to our Lord. You are the parent not her and since she lives in your house there is going to be rules and if she is not willing to live by those rules there are consequences and figure out what those should be , i did and my daughter came back home and did abide by the rules , since then she is getting married to a guy who has plans for them , they are also expecting my first grandchild in October. Hopes this helps-----------M. M.

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When talking to your daughter make sure she understands she is in control of her choices but, she is not in control of the consequences of her choices. Tough love is so hard on any parent but be strong and never forget what is at stake. Your goal must be to help your child change the way she thinks and behaves. You can not be her friend but you can be that one stable person in her life that will not move on what you know is right.

Hi D.,

Do you love her enough to let her suffer the consequences of her behavior? Tough Love is really tough on the parents, too. If you're doing everything for her now, how is she going to cope when she's on her own?

I'm in the same boat. My daughter graduated early, not because of great grades but because the school sent her to alternative school and she finished early. She works p/t, is disrespectful to both me and her step father. She runs with kids who don't plan to further their education, work multiple jobs, smoke pot, drink and do as little as possible. She recently was charged with possession of pot and pipe. I feel I have no alternative but to ask her to move out. She is moving today. I'm upset, cried all day, worried to death but know I can't do anything else. FYI...I have two other children; one graduated from college the other is a junior in college. I will never understand the why?

stop doing for her... when she realizes what it is like to be cut off she will come around... she wants to be an adult well show her what it's like to support yourself on minimum wage.. b/c that is exactly what she will be making if she doesn't finish school.... you deserve to be treated better but you have to put your foot down to get the respect you deserve and until you do this you are allowing this to continue

I think it is far too late for her to respect you now. I think you should sit her down and let her have two choices, compromise or move out. As in compromise I mean tell her what you expect of her. It sounds like she has had her way her whole life so it is more than likely not going to do any good. If she chooses to move out then she will have to deal with real life and hopefully realize hers is not so bad. I know as a mother I know it would be hard but I would not let anyone take advantage or disrepect me and my husband to that degree. I, in the same respect would not treat anyone like that. I do believe in "tough love". It may not work but you don't deserve to be treated like a door mat. Good luck with whatever you do.

I just had to kick my 18 year old son out of the house. He's mentally ill and quit taking his meds, stopped coming home on the weekends, started stealing from us and drinking. He said that he was 8 and could do whatever the _uck he wanted to. It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. However, I always told him that he would not be able to live in my house if he did not take his meds and if he ever started drinking or doing drugs that I would be done with him because that was one hell hole he was not going to drag me through. I did call Adult Protective Services because of his mental illness this is a requirement. They will try to hook up with him but I don't think they will be of much help. If I let him continue to stay in my home he would have stressed the household to the point that the entire family would suffer. I have another mentally ill child at home that is younger and can't cope with my other sons behavior. There is a really good book you should read called "Love and Limits." I have used it and it is the best advice I have received. Keep in mind that I have had my two sons seeing Phschiatrist and Psychologist since 3rd grade and this is the best book I found for dealing with my kids mental illness and it is not even a book about mental illness. Its more about kids that try to take control. My thoughts are prayers are with you.

Updated

I just had to kick my 18 year old son out of the house. He's mentally ill and quit taking his meds, stopped coming home on the weekends, started stealing from us and drinking. He said that he was 8 and could do whatever the _uck he wanted to. It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. However, I always told him that he would not be able to live in my house if he did not take his meds and if he ever started drinking or doing drugs that I would be done with him because that was one hell hole he was not going to drag me through. I did call Adult Protective Services because of his mental illness this is a requirement. They will try to hook up with him but I don't think they will be of much help. If I let him continue to stay in my home he would have stressed the household to the point that the entire family would suffer. I have another mentally ill child at home that is younger and can't cope with my other sons behavior. There is a really good book you should read called "Love and Limits." I have used it and it is the best advice I have received. Keep in mind that I have had my two sons seeing Phschiatrist and Psychologist since 3rd grade and this is the best book I found for dealing with my kids mental illness and it is not even a book about mental illness. Its more about kids that try to take control. My thoughts are prayers are with you.

Hi D.,
As a single mother of three girls, I am telling you from experience that it sounds like "tough love" is called for in this situation.

It sounds like your 18 year old knows that you won't kick her out so she can do whatever she wants to you without consequence. I say, put her on the street and let her fend for herself. She is old enough to have a job and responsibilities and if she is not willing to help out around your house and accept responsibility for her own actions, then there is nothing YOU can do to change that. HOWEVER, you DON'T have to keep her around for you to be her maid and servant.

At 18, your child is an adult! Make her be one. That is generally the issue with that age group. They claim to be adults and don't want others to hold authority over them; yet, they are unaware of HOW to be an adult and seek the safety net of MOM or DAD being there to pick them up when they fall. In all fairness to her, you owe it to HER to allow her to fail on her own so she can see what it is like to have to BE grown up.

Good Luck!!! I made it through teen years with all of mine and, in spite of some REALLY rocky times, they all turned out really well.
P.

Most of us went thru the rebellious stage when we got close to 18 and considered ourselves an adult! Stop doing for her-it won't matter!!!! Food, Shelter and basic clothing at this point. Stop paying for her to go to the movies, to the mall, gas money until chores are done-period. If you give in once she'll know your words are just that words-no consequences. Strip her room of an item each time she does not go to school and get her in counseling with a women that specializes in teens asap! Most insurance has a behavior section to their contract. (can't find spell check!lol)

I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions, I have 2 teenage boys 17 & 19. They do not want to work. God knows I've tried everything. Good Luck.

The first question I have is where is the father, who is he head of the household. He has rights legally and spiritually to set order in his household. Another thing is to stop rewarding bad behavior by giving things not earned. It seems to me like the household is backward with this 18 year old controlling your behaviour by threatening bad behavior on her part. Where are the rules. How does her behaviour influence your 15 year old?
Mom & Dad need to come together and set boundaries for this 18 year old and stick to them. It does not take long for a child to see who really cares for them if we stand our ground and do not give in to her immature attitudes and behaviours. She is working so let her pay her part of keeping herself until she can see what it really take to live.
Just do it!!!!

First and foremost pray for God's wisedom and guidance. Ask for God to open your mind, eyes, ears and heart to what you need to do. Quite frankly I think tough love is in order here. It is your home and at 18 a child is approaching the magic age where they want and need to spread their wings and fly. Your child is rebellious and is sucessfully hurting your heart but worse than that, she is sabotaging her future. Make it clear that you don't know what she will be doing but it does not include laying up on your couch and doing her own thing while everyone else pays the bills. There are choices in life and she can choose to 1) go to school/college and succeed with your help or she can choose to 2)fail school, get a job down at the burger joint, and pay you room and board. There is no inbetween. IF she decides to exercise her adult rights and feels that going and living with her buddies is the better choice...then let her. She is 18, not 2 and should learn quickly that adult choices have adult consequences. She'll be back soon enough.

Hi, D.. I'm so sorry things are going so badly for you with your daughter right now! You're definitely in my prayers.

Are you able to drive her to school in the mornings and pick her up in the afternoons? If so, then start doing so. Speak to the counselors at the school also, and if she skips class, they should give you a call. Sounds like your daughter is overdue for a good dose of tough love. Stop "doing" for her; if she doesn't start picking up the slack with chores, then take privileges away...cell phone, iPod, TV, etc. If she throws a fit, let her throw it. I wouldn't kick her out of the house, because it sounds like that is what she wants. She is going to have to learn to respect you and sometimes that involves putting a figurative boot up the rear end. So just pull yourself up by the boot straps and let her know she is either going to live by your rules and give you and your husband the respect you deserve, or she can just sit in her room until she decides to become a productive member of the household; there will be no more of the mouth or the laziness.

I have a 13 year old and we've had our rounds with the talking-back and rebellion bit already! I was a really rebellious teenager myself and gave my mom a hard time, but eventually I did grow out of it. But my parents also were very hard on me (and also whipped my rear end if I needed it), and now I'm very thankful that they were are tough on me as they were. So try to keep the big picture in view; you may have to be hard on her now, but in the long run she will be glad you were.

Oh, D., how frustrating! I'm a mom of five, from 17 to one, and this is just my observation -- big problems don't occur in a vacuum, they spent sometimes years festering until they become unmanageable.

My first thought -- are you in a good church or faith tradition? You need support.

Secondly, I noticed she lives with a stepfather, and surmise that it is likely that she has had some trauma in her life, a death, or divorce maybe? Could it be possible that it wasn't resolved? If that is a possibility I would drag her by the ears to counseling.

This mama doesn't put up with baloney. If none of the above could be a facotr, She is making her bed. She's 18. I'd let her lie in it.

One question where is dear old dady in all of this. Could she live with her father and would she behaver better there.I would think unless he is not much of a father that he would want her to finshed school too. If there are other kids she is being a bad modal for I would think twice about kicker her out. Yes I would not like the idea of her going to her friends but I would not want her to be a modal that would set my other kids up for trouble too.She migh even grown up if she had to do for herself. Do you think her friends would be there for her.

You've gotten good advice. Quit doing for her; it's clearly not helping her. Some people get worse the more you help or do for them.
Do as advised below, so she has the choices. Tell her she can live with you, finish school and show respect -- those are your rules -- OR she can move out, pay her own way, and fend for herself. Do NOT give her a car. She needs to buy her own if she wants one. If she stays with you & follows your rules, use of a car to finish school and to work could be part of what you provide. But if she wants to be rid of you, let her -- car & all.
However, do let her know that she can always come home if she decides to. If she hits rock bottom, she may come back, but the rules will have to be followed -- respect you and be productive (school or job, pay rent, help out). Let us know what happens.

Ok Mom it's time to take control, I have been down that same road with my son, he is now 28years old. If I had only known then what I know now! First is she 17yrs old or 18years old? if she is 17yrs. old you can make her see a counselor, and be DRUG tested...When my son started acting in this same manner everyone said he was just going through a stage, BULL CRAP!
He was with the wrong people and doing the dope! His friends sounded like used car salesmen when introduced to me saying aLL of the right things to make you think they were something other than what they were. Like I said if she is 17 you can make her see a counselor and be drug tested, this will help you to know what to do, there's know need in you going out of your mind. If she is 18then you can do either, ask her to get tested, and suggest counseling. Or you make her move out and do the hard thing Tuff Love...I have found out you can not make your children change there life style, only they can do that. Being a MOM can hurt, If you need to know about couneling center's email me and I will help you as much as I can. ____@____.com (DON'T LET HER COMMENTS HURT YOU)
because there will be comments. Good luck and God Bless You

My daughter is only 2 so I have not had to deal with this issue yet but I do remember acting this way when I was 17 or 18. I think most of all I was exsausted. I worked after school and weekends then had homework along with all the social pressures you have at that age. It was easy to take it out on my mom because I knew she would love me no matter what but I also needed her guidance and understanding but didn't know how to ask for it. I remember feeling overwhelmed most of the time.

Sounds like family counseling might be of assistance. A high school diploma goes a long way in this world. You can't even join the military without one! College is not free, high school is. Does she act responsible when it comes to her job? Is there a school counselor she might talk to? Where is her father? You have to get to the bottom of the behavior before any of this will go away. Ignoring it is not the solution. But you are her mom, not the maid, cook, etc. so give her responsibilities around the house. Talk with the school college guidance counselor to find out what the repercussions might be for someone who does not take high school seriously. Maybe take her on a trip to a homeless shelter so she can see what can happen to people who don't finish school? Where is your daughter's motivation? Where is her self-esteem? It sounds to me like she is crying out for help.

I'm sorry to hear what you are going through. Don't be afraid of your daughter. She knows she can threaten you (mentally speaking)and she is getting away with it. Stand up to her and be consistent. Your husband should be doing this too. I don't know if you are in the Birmingham area but you can try checking out an alternative school, it's more like a disciplinary control type school. Here in Birmingham, we have one called Crossroads. I thought it was where the "bad kids" got sent to, but after an incident with my own son, I found out that parents who have children with disciplinary problems can voluntarily enroll their children in a school like this. It's very structured, trust me, she can't get away with too much and she wont have any bad influences around her. Every child is different so I can't tell you what to say to her as far as getting her to do anything. I know I get right in my kids faces and even threaten them if I have to, but I cant tell you to do that. Thank God I dont have to do that often, but when I see things arent going my way, i jump on it. Tell her to pay rent, and pay some of the utilities, if she doesn't then she needs to behave.

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