Help Disapline/ Definance of a 16 Year Old

Updated on July 20, 2008
T.P. asks from Carmichael, CA
7 answers

I know the teenage years are supposed to be trying and that the closer the kids get to being adults the more they start pulling away from the parents. I just got my divorce finalized after being in the courts for over 2 years every 6 weeks or so. I was hoping that would now allow me to sleep at night again.

Well, I have an issue with my daughter that has been building since the begining of the month and since the divorce came down she had turned even worse. She will not do her chores, I cannot get her to stay home she is out all night at friends houses or activities. Recently, with in the last week we have had two big word fights where she locked herself in her room and then climbed out her window, and would not talk to me anymore. In response, after she went out the window after the first one I have screwed the window shut after the second fight I have taken the door off of it's hinges and hung up a curtian across the doorway. Which is similar to something that was done when she threw this kind of ongoing fit and did not want to resolve them civilly when she was about 10 year old. She got really mad at me over that one as she says "I have taken her privacy away." Last night, I had asked all evening what her plans were for the evening to which I got the response none. As that was the response I thougth that meant that I could go do something with a friend for a couple of hours. I was not gone an hour and she wanted me to come take her to where her friends were. I did not like the location that they were at and the activity could result in trouble so told her she could not go. Well, 20 minutes later she called to say she got a ride and was going. Shortly there after I left where I was and said I was coming to get her because she did not do as I had told her. To make a long story short I could not find her and when I called her again she was very defiant and angry with me. She made threats that she might not ever come home and I could not ground her if I wanted to. I did disconnect the internet at home this morning but I have not seen her yet today. The option of letting her go to her Dad's for a while is not an option. My staying home to watch her is not an option as I have to go to work. This would be easier if it was not summertime and all of her friends were not allowed to be out all hours of night too. I need help with how to proceed and any dicipline ideas that I can actually implament that might be effective or how to get her to know I am serious. Up until this month she has been honest, trustworthy, and we usually had a good talking relationship, she hangs out with a group of really good kids generally but that is not to say that the times are definately different than when I was young.

Thank you for any help you can give.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

I want to thank you all for the support. Friday night we went out to dinner and had a very good talk about 2.5 hours. We came to a new understanding, as consequences she had to stay home all weekend that was very hard for her. She also has to babysit her cousin all week during the day which means that she will not be able to just get up and go somewhere. She has done her chores better and we are talking again. To address the person who got on me for listing my dog's name and not my child's name. My daughter's name is pretty unique for her age group as she is the only one in her school possibly the district with her first name. To help maintain her anonymity I do not think it is a good idea to tell her name to a group that I know by way of e-mail only, it is for her and my safety.

More Answers



answers from Sacramento on

The teen years can be tough. It is nice that your daughter has a concerned mother. My words of advice:
1- Get to know the moms of your daughter's friends. Maybe they are just as concerned about their kids. Just get to know the moms as friends and not necessarily to spy on your daughter. You could give them a phone call and ask how they are feeling about things.
2- Make sure that your motives are always out of love and not control. I find as a mother sometimes I get upset at something that is really not a big deal more because I want to be in control. Sometimes (and you are the judge of this) being in control is knowing what things to let slide and what things are serious enough to confront.
Good luck!



answers from Sacramento on


I am nowhere near your situation as my daughter is only 4, but I DO know that our blessed little angels are a challenge at all ages.

First of all, I am glad you took the door off. I would remove the curtain too. When she complains that you have taken her privacy, simply say, "You will need to earn your privacy back. I love you and I am here for you when you are ready to be honest and respectful. There are no secrets in my home."

Tough love! I have even removed my 4 year olds door because she woud slam it when she was angry. It was off for a week - and she doesn't slam the door anymore! I think it was Vanessa Williams on Oprah that said she went all through high school with no door on her bedroom because of her behavior. It was a mother's day episode and she was on with her mom. Her mom responded by saying, " I am her mother, not her friend. And I don't need to be her friend, she needs a mother. She has plenty of other friends." something to that effect...

Second, make her get a job. 16 is old enough to have one and she will need money to buy her own school clothes, shoes, etc, if she continues the behavior (catch my drift?) - don't provide her with the luxaries that she is used to getting if she is not behaving in a way that warrants having them. Further, take away any materialistic posessions that she can't live without if she keeps it up. Working for a living never hurt anyone!

Lastly, I would tag along with her everywhere she goes. I know it is impossible to keep her home or be home at all times with her, but if you have friends who are understanding, plan your girltime in a location your daughter is. At 16, I am sure she will be annoyed seeing you everywhere she is, but it goes back to earning your respect and trust. You don't need to earn hers!

Counseling probably wouldn't hurt either, if you can get her to go; just remember that these are all things done out of love and concern to keep her on the right path.

And to the mom who responded about your priorites, it was very harsh! Some compassion for another mom would be better received. It's pretty clear that you posted because you are concerned for your daughter and not your puppy!

Best of luck to you all,



answers from Sacramento on

Hi T.,
I'm sorry you are having such a hard time with your daughter. I'm not in your situation, but my sister is with her 14 year old daughter and I was hoping to get some advice for her based on the responses you got. I'm responding to tell you how appauled I am that someone told you to turn in your mom card and your priorities are out of place. I thought the purpose of this site was to give each other constructive critism and advise and be supportive not put mothers down. I did not see anything constructive about that post.

I know from watching my sister struggle with her 14 year old how hard it is to deal with single motherhood. She too is divorced and has 4 kids at home. She works full time and tries her best to make time for her kids. But her oldest is very reblious and making life very difficult not only on my sister, but on her siblings as well. You are already trying things that my sister would never consider (like taking her door off). I plan on passing that one along.

I'm sorry that I have no disciple ideas to offer you. But I just wanted to let you know that by reading your post I can see that you are concerned about your daughter and are trying to make things better. Please keep trying and don't take to heart that other post. Good luck!!



answers from Sacramento on

I hesitated responding, because I'm not sure I have any good answers. But, I'm seeing a couple of things I think may need to be mentioned. First, with your training and experience, I feel you know the answers to your dilema, but are too emotionally involved right now with the divorce situation and your daughter's behavior to clearly deal with it alone. Those who have suggested counseling are probably right, and my suggestion is that if you can't get your daughter to go, at least get some good counseling for yourself.
I am also questioning in my own mind what the father's involvement is in your daughter's life at this time. You said sending her to him for a while is not an option. The reasons for your divorce and the fact that you cannot send her to him are not our business, but I think you may need to do some personal reflection on how those two factors may be affecting your daughter's behavior.
One other thing I picked up on is the fact that you are taking care of your 8 year old nephew quite a bit. Could that also be something that is bothering your daughter in some way? If so, can another option be found for him that would help your situation?
I know from personal experience what a difficult time this must be for you. Our son acted in similar ways from the time he was around 14 years old. That was many years ago, and he is now a middle-aged man doing well in his life. So, I hope that will at least give you some hope that all is not lost for your daughter. We have to do, as one respondent said, the 'tough love' routine, but sometimes that requires some letting go as well as the discipline procedures such as you have been doing. In our case, we had to let our boy go to find his own way in the world. That was the toughest thing I ever had to do with any of my children, and required a LOT of prayer and trust on my part.
I think a good counselor, with whom you can share more details about all that is going on in your life, and your daughter's, will be able to help you sort out how to deal with this situation. If you are involved in any religious group, you may have a pastor or someone there who could help you sort it all out too.
My prayers are with you.



answers from Sacramento on

It's weird to me that before this month, you two had a great relationship and now you don't. I know the divorce must be affecting her... for some reason kids always think it's their fault that you divorced and this could be part of it. One thing you need to remember that no matter what, you are the mother and you are in charge. I understand your need to spend time with your friends too but right now your daughter needs to be your top priority. You need to be on her like a hawk. I always wonder if the change in personality has to do with drugs although you say she runs with a good crowd. I think that maybe counseling for both of you would be a good idea... it always helps to have a fresh opinion in a situation like this.



answers from Sacramento on


I hate to be the bearer of not-so-good-news but if your 16 year old is going out all night and not coming home and you dont know where she is ect.ect. there is no good answer. She is going to do as she wants. unfortunatly she had too much freedom too early I have 4 teens one a 17 year old girl and another a 16 year old girl. They do not go anywhere (just my choice) My 17 year old works and thats it. I take her and I pick her up. occasionally I might let her go to a friends house but I go as well and meet parents and yadda yadda////many moms say I am wayyyy controlling and over protective, but then again, I dont know what your going through. Kids are kids and somehow we have lost that. your the parent you make rules and she abides by them..end of story. You might try the my house my rules thing and make it her choice but it sounds like she would just choose to move out. For now if youre a believer pray for her safty and your peace of mind. I wish I could offer more advice here...I wish you luck




answers from Sacramento on

First your priorities are not screwed up. As a mom, we all need an out at times otherwise we ourselves will go nuts. I have a 4yr, 14yr boy and 16 yr girl. The teens are 'technically' my stepchildren and I have been with them since they were 3 and 1.5 - they are mine as well.
At first they would come to our house like they were visiting and not do a darn thing. Spend all their time on the computer, listening to music. Until they wanted something.
I say this is their house too. They need to start treating it that way. They have to earn luxuries. They have to earn respect. If I was out at a place with friends, I would not have cut my plans short because she wanted to go to where her friends are. They need to plan ahead. We make thekids give us the specifics at least a day ahead. If it is last minute, then they still need all the specifics. I also give them choices. You can go here or there but not both. this way they cannot say that I didn't give them choices.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches