D.K. asks from Evans Mills, NY on May 08, 2008
Teens!!!!! - Evans Mills,NY
Can someone explain teens minds to me? I am serious. My daughter who is a junior in high school and is returned home after a 1 1/2 stay with her father is going to driving me to the brink of craziness.
1-She cannot go to the prom because she was failing more than 1 class at the end of the marking period (3 weeks ago) I grounded her from week-night activities until proof (in writting) that she is bringing grades up. 1 1/2 weeks later the school sent a leter saying she is doing great (huh) but she still cant go to the prom (their policy) So, she broke up with her boyfriend and is going to go to another schools prom. the prom isnt until mid june. So after this is planned she decideds to go back with boyfriend at her school but still plans to go to prom with other guy. (not my concern, right) She is going to stay at a freinds house and go from there. I wont see her or take pics, grand march (the prom parent stuff) I have told her I am not buying her gown. she has 2 in her closet I have bought at differnet sales (I work in the industry were I hear about gown,tux,flower,sales.) She doesnt like them. She has a fine I am going to have to pay also so I told her she will need to work for the money.(we have a back room at the store that needs cleaned)
2-cerfew is 9 on week nights and 12 on weekends. at first she was always on time. in the last week 2 times she missed. (but it was always someone elses fault.) so I grounded her from week night activities for 2 weeks.
3-With grad parties coming up (her b-friend is a senior) I talked to her and explained that I do not allow underage drinking. If a parent wants to allow a wine cooler in their home thats their business. But the age for drinking is 21. I have head the debated that if a guy can fight fro his country at 18 he should be able to drink. I agree. HE should. So if you are in the military you should be able too! But these high school teens have no reason to drink. Yes, I also know that teens have been drinking for ever, but not one that is living in my house. I think everyone gets my drift. So her thery is that when she turns 18 (in July of this year) she can do what she wants and I cant say anything. This is not the first time Ive heard this or even the first person I heard say it.... why,
M.H. answers from New York on May 08, 2008
All is normal in your world. Teens are just that ! ha ha. At 17, they think they are grown but of course not grown enough to pay bills. One thing for sure is if you let yourself appear visibly rattled, they will press you even more. You have to make it clear that if your daughter is 18 and can do what she wants because she's grown then she has to take on grown up responsibilities like paying rent, buying her own food, clothes etc. She'll quickly realize she is not THAT grown. You have to be serious too and really stick to your guns. I told my 20 year old when he decided he couldn't live by my rules...leave. Bounce. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. So, he's in college (away)now and he quickly realized that I was not the problem. His attitude was. When kids start "feeling themselves", you have to quickly step up and let it be known that you won't tolerate it and if they are so grown they can leave.
As for the military and drinking...no comment.
A Little About me: I own my own business and am a personal business coach providing Free Mentoring to individuals with stay at home businesses, teaching the skills needed for success. I'm available to anyone who is interested.
I am newly married (Sept. '07) but we've been together for 5 years. I have 3 children, 1 is special needs. He's the best little boy! Christopher is 7. My other 2 are 13 (girl) and 20 (boy)
L.M. answers from New York on May 10, 2008
Your daughter is a completely normal teen. It's her job to stress you out and constantly challenge you. It's sounds like she's quite sucessful.
You're also being a great parent. Setting rules and sticking with them can be extremely difficult. YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING.
A quick story-
I've been watching my best friend go through hell the past 2 years with her teen daughters (currently age 19 and 21). My BFF allowed her teen daughter and her boyfriend to live in her house with several rules - get jobs/school, pay minamal rent, do chores. The kids didn't follow the rules and she allowed them to get away with it. It just kept getting worse. The kids took total advantage (only PT jobs, paid rent occassionally, never did all their chores) and she let them stay there because in her heart she wanted her daughter at home. My BFF was always stressed out, her and hubby were always bickering (she's remarried). The kids have moved out, but continue to take advantage because they've learned what they can get away with. My point here is you have to make some tough decissions and be willing to stick with it. If not, you're not teaching your children the difficult life skills, and either way you'll wind up hurt. Of course, it's always easier said than done.
As far as prom goes, tell her she can only stay at the friends house if your allowed to go take pictures before she leaves. If not tell her, she can go to the prom, but can't stay at the friend's house.
You're decission to make her earn money for the dress is excellent. You're daughter will learn so many lessons from this one act.
As far as the when I'm 18... My 12 year old has said the same thing. I don't know where they get it from. My response and theory "When you live in my house, you follow the rules of my house, if you don't like them, you know where the door is, if you leave, you can always come back if you're willing to live by my house rules. When you can afford to have your own house/appartment, you can make your own set of rules".
You're a great mom! Best of luck to you.
J.H. answers from New York on May 09, 2008
Hi, These seem to be toughest years for both sides. But, your going to have obtain what they call tough love. That means being cosistant on what you say. Don't flip flop because they already know what they can get away with when I comes to you. Does she respond to her Dad in the same manner.Find out who her friend are the parents. If she's going to spend the night at who's ever home . Ask for the number at where she's going to be , then call to confirm that she wil be staying there. Speak to the parent.As for boy friends speak to her about self respect ,self value to love herslf.Girls are very hormonal at this age an can be talked into anything if they seek approval of others( their peers or peer pressure).as mom we want the best for our children even though they seem to think we don't.And life experiences given us the upper hand.Teens don't realize that their life can change in a insistence because of poor judgement. When you fail to plan , you plan to fail. Try being two steps in front of her thinking process .Always, give her a choice but where you come out winning anyway. Always remind them that they live with you , but that at the age of eighteen ( nyc) you could legally put them out. The rules you have are to be respected or they have a choice to make 1 there is the door if they feel they are better off by themselves.They can live with you with the knowledge that they HAVE TO FOLLOW THE RULES!!!. Good luck, Be Strong
D.D. answers from New York on May 09, 2008
Yes it's their job to drive you nuts. Your daughter is normal. In my house we always say 'with rights comes responsibilities so if you want the right you have to take on the responsibility.'
Our job as parents is to give them the ground rules of life so that by the time they reach adulthood they can make good choices and be able to analyse situations based on facts and not just emotion.
1) Her prom choice doesn't involve you at this point. You have already told her that you will not spring for another dress. However you should be able to go to the friend's house and take pictures of the kids all dressed up and leaving. Getting dressed as a group and group pictures are common in CT. When my girls went to prom I had a half dozen parents here taking pics.
2)Rethink your curfew. My kids never had a curfew because I found out an interesting tidbit from one of their friends. He had to be home by midnight so he'd stop drinking by 9:30 and would be sober enough to go home by 12. Instead base your when to be home time by what your daughter is doing that night. Homework at Mary Smith's house? Be home by 10. Hanging out after school with a group? Home by 9.
3)Continue to talk with your daughter about underaged drinking but don't get sucked into a debate over drinking at age 18 just because you can join the military at 18. You don't make the rules so 21 is the magic number.