29 answers

Seeking Advice for Out of Control 16 Year Old

I am seeking advice for a 16 year old who is out of control. A little bit about our sitation - I am 31 single female (no kids)with a 16 year old sister. Our mother died over 14 years ago, so she was raised primarily by our father. Out of pity for my youngest sister, he let her grow up doing whatever she wanted - no disipline whatsoever. In total, my father father has 4 kids - we are all from the same 2 parents. During these past years, ny father did not want us coming around or trying to disipline the youngest. Now at 16, she is beyond control. She disrespects my father in the worst way, is hardly ever home, goes to school when she wants to, is sexually active...the list goes on. My father is now fustrated and now EXPECTS us to step in but NOT tell her anything?? I have researched boot camps but they are way to expensive. I do not want her to ruin her life, but don't know what I can do. I feel overwhelmed at times because I am expected to step in now as the oldest. Is there anything that can be done?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

This works...www.sosinc.org. Enroll her in Basic 1. It's onlyl $79 if you sign up a week prior (it's offered each month). It might be for 18 and up...if so, there is a teen program. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Here is a webpage that lists a lot of different choices, including the Girlstown USA phone number. Hope this helps and have faith... this too shall pass.

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I'm also a single mom and before you start looking at bootcamps, I would try and be more active with her. My daughter started doing some of the same and I was lost. I tried to think of how I could better monitor her and realized that she wasn't getting any monitoring but somehow a lot of what she was doing I was still finding out about it. It dawned on me that maybe she was wanting to get caught for the attention. When I seeked advice, I was told to laid down the rules and reinforce boundaries but I remembered growing up that when my Dad used to do that with me, it made me want to do it even more. I took the opposite approach. I stopped disciplining and started planning things with her. Going to the movies, shopping, taking her out of school for lunch, sent her balloons. At first, she balked and sulked and acted like she didn't enjoy it and her attitude even got worst. I just never responded. When she got into trouble at school, I would handle it and tell her simply that she knew what she did was wrong and there is nothing else say about it. And then expecting to be grounded or yelled at...I would tell her we were going horseback riding or on a roadtrip. It took a couple months and I almost gave up but I finally saw her respond to me, our outings became more relaxed and we talked more. I know this sounds like parenting fluff but I've found the unexpected gets the point across more often than not. And if nothing else, don't tell her she's ruining her life. It's not great and she'll have to work hard to make up time lost but no one's life is ruined. My daughter had told me that one of things she hated most that I said was "she's ruining her life." She said it made her feel panic and more out of control but when we started doing things together, she felt less pressured and looked forward to things we would do. The biggest thing she shared....she felt guilt when she thought of skipping school and I had taken her to the movies. Guilt is a powerful leverage.

1 mom found this helpful

Girlstown USA in whiteface texas.I was sent there at 15 and it saved my life.They are great and free if they think they can help.All the girls live on campus 50-60 girls in all 10 girls per cattage.They have chores and jobs also lots of activites for positive reinforcement.They attend pulic school in whiteface.While I was there I did rodeo choir and band and showed animals in 4-h.You have what they call status and that is basically how they grade your behavior and that determines your privileges each week.If they decide to graduate from there they give reall good scholorships.They have a program for the seniors call the transistional living program where they teach about budgeting and life in generaal to prepare the girls for life after graduation.There is a chapel on campus that the girls attend wednesday night and sunday morning.I can explain the benfits of sending a child here.It was the best thing that ever happened to me.They will visit about once every month.Minimum stay they reccomend is a year.after my year was up I decided to graduate from there and stayed for 3 years.If you have any questions feel free to email me ____@____.com .

1 mom found this helpful

This works...www.sosinc.org. Enroll her in Basic 1. It's onlyl $79 if you sign up a week prior (it's offered each month). It might be for 18 and up...if so, there is a teen program. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

First let me say that I am praying for you and your sister. I completely understand what you are going through. My daughter was out of control when she was 16. She was skipping school, hanging out with some really scuzzy people. It is so hard to find help. The only thing the school would do to help was threaten to take me to court because she was skipping school. I would drop her off, she would go in the front door of the school and out the back door. They would call my house and leave messages, which she of course erased along with the caller ID. I too could not afford boot camps. A counselor that we were seeing for anger management - she ran away and the police require them to take it, told me about Boles Childrens Home. It is a Christian organization in Quinlan. About 45 minutes east of Dallas. I got her in there and she lived with a wonderful couple and several other girls for about 6 months. It changed her life. She graduated from high school a year early and got an early grad scholarship. She still had some issues to work through, but sending her away broke the cycle that she was in with these friends. The cost is on a sliding scale according to what you can afford. It is a very open place, you can visit and they get to come home quite often and their summer programs are awesome. Here is a link to their website. www.boleschildrenshome.org

1 mom found this helpful

So what your dad is asking for, is for you and the other older sibs to step in and do/say something to set her straight, but do it without "saying anything" to offend her.


I think first you need to do some tough love with Dad - tell him obviously HIS method doesn't work, and if he wants your help, it will be on your terms, with his support. He either agrees that you ALL get tough with her and deal with it as it needs to be, or STOP ASKING for help.

Tell your dad until he is willing to accept that he enables her behavior by tip-toeing around little sis, there is nothing you can do or say. He either gets on board by being willing to get tough and support what you older sibs want to do/say to re-direct her, or he can deal with it on his own and STOP complaining to you.

You can't fix little sis until you fix Dad, which is the source of the problem.

1 mom found this helpful

The State of Louisiana has a program called Youth Challenge and TOTALLY free. I am sure it is restricted to Louisiana troubled youth but you might inquire if the State of Texas has a similiar program. It is sponsored via the Louisiana National Guards/Army. Google Louisiana Youth Challenge to get contact information. I've been exactly where you are at now but only with a step son who's mother was mental and subsequently died and the boy's father now my husband has no testicles when dealing with his child. I could tell you stories that would make you go yep, that's what I'm going through ... Anyways, Good luck and God bless.

I choose change. It is in Allen on Greenville. Ms. Patrice is a wonderful counselor/life coach. I am praying for you.

Watch CMT's "Worlds Strictest Parents". What I think she needs is some seriously tough love. She needs to know there are consequences for her actions. Follow through, and keep it up. So what if she yells that she hates you. I promise you I promise you, she will love you more than you can imagine if you put your foot down and enforce the rules.

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