16 Year Old Daughter - Valdosta,GA

Updated on September 20, 2013
M.M. asks from Valdosta, GA
14 answers

Need I say more, I have a 16 yr old daughter who I feel is just isolating us. She comes home from school, goes straight into her room & will have nothing to do with us. She is grounded because on Sunday after ball practice she decided to go see a boy that she is not suppose to be seeing and had us scared and worried to death when she did not get home until 10:30 instead of 8:30. She has never done this before. She is in 11th grade & started a new private christian school. She was in a public one. She has just as many friends in the new school. She plays every sport they have. She will not talk to us. I feel like I am loosing my daughter & I do not know what to do. She is all I have. It's like the last 8 months she has drifted away from us. Any suggestions? I do not want to loose her. She is my life. It's not the school, she is the one that wanted to go there. She hated her old school, said she was not going to play any more sports if she stayed there.

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answers from New York on

Perfectly normal. Just love her, she will be back lol. This is very typical 16 yo behavior. It will get better, I promise.

6 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

I'm going to take a leap based on what you wrote that you're smothering her and she's doing all she can to develop her own identity. Her behavior is normal and age appropriate. Your despair is not. "She is all I have"? "She is my life"? Those are untrue statements and it's not fair to put that kind of emotional burden on your child. Her job is to grow up and leave you and become an independent, functional adult human being who is capable of making her won decisions and taking responsibility for her actions. She isn't your life. She isn't all you have. She's not something that can be owned or contained.

In two years, she will be an adult and will likely leave home for school and a few years later to live on her own. Isn't that amazing? Isn't that the goal? What are you doing to prepare yourself for this separation? What are you doing to show her that you are someone besides mom and that yes, of course you'll miss her but that growing up is good and that you'll be just fine without her?

Please stop being such a drama queen. Be a parent. Give her space. When she behaves in ways that show she is trustworthy, trust her to make good decisions. When she abuses that trust (like coming home late, like she did) let her know that because of her poor choice, her freedom will be curtailed for a while and then give her chances to prove her trust worthiness again.

And that boy she's not supposed to be seeing? Almost always a bad move. Unless he's violent or a predator or something, forbidding a boyfriend is just asking for a house divided. Invite him over. Get to know him. Have him spend time with your family. You know that saying, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer"? Applies to teenage boyfriends as well.

I know that this is hard (my oldest will be 16 in a few weeks and her step-brother will be 16 four months later) but you need to calm down. She'll be fine and so will you.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

She NEEDS to have, at least one parent.... that she can go to and feel comfortable, in talking to and relating to.

I won't get long winded here, but: My late Dad used to say, that a child, especially Teens, NEEDS to have at least one of their parents, that the kid can go to for anything, problems or not. Because, if a child has NO parent they can go to in the home... then WHO, will the child go to? And the answer is: they will go to anyone else outside of the home and outside of the family... and even if those people/friends are bad. And you will not know what is going on, with your child, then.
My late Dad, was the one I could go to. He was not a "friend" parent, but a PARENT. And he was the one, that I could go to for ANY problem or any personal issues. I could not go to my Mom. Because, she was just so rigid and cold and judgmental.

So, reflect.
And, if your daughter has no one at home, not you or your Husband....that she can go to and confide in and trust and tell her heart to or her problems... then, that is when, a child/teen, will drift away.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

What your daughter is doing is exactly what most sixteen year old kids do, to some degree or another. You are not losing her, she is going through a phase that most kids go through while they work towards their independence.

My kids all went through a phase where they didn't want to talk to us. They usually outgrow it somewhere between 18-20. It really helps when they move out. There's nothing better than moving out to make your daughter appreciate you. At sixteen, my daughter didn't like being in the same room with me. At 20, she is taking me to two concerts next month!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

The problem really isn't your daughter but you. She is 16, she is developing her own identity. You say "she is my life, she is all I have". No. Please don't put that on her. It is not her responsibility to give your life meaning.

I don't think my parents saw me from 16 to 20!! I had to have family dinner but then I went back to my room to talk on the phone, listen to music, daydream. Same with my daughter, we expected her to have dinner with us but she did stay in her room some or she was with friends. That is the life of a teenage girl.

At 16, my daughter was dating a boy we didn't approve of. I tried very hard to be around this kid but he just got on my last nerve. DO NOT forbid her. He becomes that much more attractive. Our daughter was a "good girl". He was a "bad boy". She thought she could change him and save him. Good grief! The more I complained, the more she defended him. So I stopped. It was the hardest thing I ever did.

Being the parent isn't easy, especially to a teenager, but you have to be that parent.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

Your daughter is a part of you for a season which usually ends around 18 to 20.

At the age of 16, children start to break away and fight for their own identity from the parents. This time is difficult for both parent as you expressed and child who does not want to associate with family. You could relate this to the baby bird wanting to fly away before the mother bird pushes the baby out of the nest. It is your responsibility to prepare her for life and for her to be able to care for herself once she leaves home to live on her own and live her life.

It sounds like you need to find a job or a hobby to fill in the time you have been spending with your daughter. You should be preparing for her to leave the nest and not keep her in the nest. No one can be or should be another person's whole reason for living. We are all individuals with our own thoughts of how things should work.

If you continue on the path you are on with your daughter, and are demanding she do things, when she does leave the home, she will not be in touch with you. If she does communicate it will be from afar and from a long distance away so that there is much space between you. It may we be that if and when she marries, she will continue to be distant from you because she will recall how you treated her when she grew up and she does not want to repeat that experience with her own children.

Stop living your life through your child! We our responsible for our own life and happiness or sadness.

I wish you well.

the other S.

PS Life is too short to put such demands on another person. Let's live our own lives and be happy, happy, happy.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Please find a family counselor to help you. Teen years are so tough and you will do well to get outside help; this will open up a dialogue with your daughter and empower her to communicate with you in a neutral setting. Counselors are often considered 'neutral third parties' and for a good reason-- sometimes, having a person validate everyone's feelings and help us to build bridges and listen to each other-- this is so important. You need to find out what your daughter feels is important, how she feels about this boy, how she feels about your rules (and I'm not saying they are wrong, I'd be upset too) and what she is hoping to fulfill within herself when she displays behaviors which are upsetting for you.

This isn't about her doing what you want, nor you being okay with what she wants, but just starting the conversation and building bridges in how to 'do' family time in a way which feels acceptable for you both is so important. It's great that you asked this question--- do not let this go. Let her know you care and that you want to hear what she has to say, even if you don't agree with it. Good luck.:)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Did your daughter want to go through this big move?

"She is in 11th grade & started a new private christian school. She was in a public one."

Had she been with all of her classmates for years and now she is in with a different group of students?

Our daughter had known her most of her classmates since elementary school. We live where not many families tend to move around very often. The schools get bigger in the higher grades so you end up meeting even more people, not less.

A big change like this if it is out of her hands could lead to some depression and some resentful feelings about her situation. Were her feelings taken into serious consideration?

This can even happen if maybe this is not turning out the way she thought it would. She is aware of the money it is costing, so it is going to be a long year if she is not happy.. Again depression makes a person feel isolated and exhausted. You are just trying to get through the day. She may have regrets about changing schools.

Make sure that you let her know you are concerned. That you WANT to know what she is feeling and what she needs.

She is now a young woman and had her own mind. It is time to take her feelings, her thoughts and her needs seriously and at least consider them.

If she is a good student and behaves over all well, then allow her some more freedoms. She deserves them. Brainstorm with each other to make this all work..

Is there a really good reason for her not to see this boy? Wouldn't it make more sense for him to at least be welcomed in YOUR home? Maybe she could have invited him t your home to watch movies or p[lay games with the family..

2 years from now, she will be in college. Not under your roof. If you do not come up with ways to communicate, and to show her some options and some acceptable behaviors, she could just go wild.

I did not always like our daughters friends, but they were always welcomed and encouraged to be come over to our home. Over time our daughter would see the truth about these people, but it was always HER choice who she was allowed to be around. We just made sure to listen to her when she had concerns.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

She is all you have, yet she is "isolating US"? Could she be feeling the pressure of being your life??

When I was 16, I would come home from school and go straight to my room. My parents would let me do it. They'd insist that I come out for dinner or to watch TV (family time), but they let me have my space. Some of her behavior is all about being 16 and branching out. Some of it is likely about feeling smothered by you, and how a 16yo responds to that.

It's a tricky place to be, the line between giving your kid space and staying connected. You might want to focus on that balance. In the meantime, tell her what you expect of her and why, and then back off and let her show you that she hears you.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

I didn't have much to do with my mother from age 16 to 19. I wasn't prone to getting in big trouble or anything, I just wasn't interested. My grades were good and I had extra curricular interests and an active social life.

At 16, I had a job and was frequently arriving home later than 8:30. If I went to a school football game, I wouldn't be home until at least 10. My curfew for prom was "before the sun comes up in the morning".

At 16, I had a boyfriend my parents didn't like. I eventually figured out why he was not a good choice but in the meantime they invited him over for dinner. Forbidding a teenage girl from seeing someone will backfire 99% of the time. It makes you the bad guy in their cheesy epic love scene.

One of your statements bothers me. You said, "She is my life."
Your daughter is not your life. She can't be and shouldn't be. If you're trying to be her clingy and controlling BFF, this would explain why she is starting to rebel and push you away. You need a life outside of being a mother.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You are giving her way too much power. Never let her see you sweat. You can remind her that you love her and want the best for and God put you in charge to see that through. But don't wring your hands over her.

At 16, this is a typical response. My boys came out of their rooms at 18.
It's like teenagers need a cocoon to morph into a human, lol!
Basically, as long as you put reasonable limits on them, let them have some freedom, demand respect and back it up with appropriate consequences, you are golden, but you still won't see them for a while!

If I didn't know where my 16 yr old was for 2 hours, I would ground her, too. But I'm smart enough not to forbid seeing a bf. I would keep him so close that I would know when he changed cologne. Tell her as long as they see each other at your house, she can see him. Try to wrangle an invitation to his parents house. There is nothing so tempting as a forbidden bf and nothing so tedious as seeing him interact clumsily with parents.
It wears all the shiny off of him.

In short, you are loosing her. She is growing up. She needs her space. She needs rules. She still needs parents, too.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Plan a family vacation. Go out to dinner as a family once a week. Does she like theatre? Take her to a show if she does. Ask her if she want to go get her nails done with you. Best of luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I'm sorry you are going through this. I really don't have any advice because my kids are still young. My step son is turning 13 soon. He's the oldest. He spends a lot of time in his room as well, but he generally doesn't have a bad attitude. I think sometimes he just tries to escape the little guys. I do worry about exactly what you describe as they each get older. I hope you get some good ideas.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

She's probably having relations with this boy that you don't want to know about. I'd let her see him but only at your home. Let him come over all the time, every day, they can only be in the common area's. This way she's going to start seeing him for who he is, she'll see him compared to you, how nice you can be to him, how welcoming. Then she'll see him compared to her current life.

1 mom found this helpful
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