Help!! My 16 Year Old Has Lost Her Mind!!

Updated on October 16, 2010
M.S. asks from Grand Prairie, TX
8 answers

I have a 16 year old daughter and her behavior has changed within the last year. I have tried to talk to her and she doesnt want to talk (must be the age thing??) Ever since she met this boyfriend she has changed. I have tried to keep her away from him because I know he is bad news. She has been kicked off cheer,grades are bad,and even missing school. I made her take a drug test and it came back neg. (thank God!) She has always been a really good child and then BAMM!!!! She has so many family members on both sides really concerned. Dad,Step-dad,gramdma,grandpa,aunts,even younger brother have all tried to talk to her. I don't know what else to do. She is heading for a road that she has know idea about.

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answers from Dallas on

I have a 16 year old daughter too, and part of it is the age. But, you are still the parent. never forget that. The rational part of their brain is not fully developed until they are in their 20's, so YOU have to guide them.

First off - does she have a cell phone? Do you have possession of it at night? Kids think NOTHING of 2 AM phone calls. I suggest when you go to bed, the house phone and cell phone go to your room with you. Read her texts. (I know I'll get blasted for that - kids earn the right to privacy, it isn't automatic, and she doesn't sound like she's earned it)

Secondly - does she have unlimited internet access? No teen needs a computer with internet in their room. Password your computer and shut it off when you go to bed. If you are brave enough - put a keystroke recorder on it.

Does she have a job? Do you ever randomly check to make sure she is there? Does she have a car? If so, do you have the keys at night so she isn't making late night visits anywhere? Do you ever check to make sure she is where she says she is? We do - and it only takes ONE time of catching them for them to quit sneaking around. We rarely even check anymore because she knows we check. When she goes to a friend's house do you call the parents, and go to the door to make sure they are being supervised?

As far as the boy goes. To forbid it is to make it more enticing. I personally would just make it as tough as possible. Set high standards to enable her to go out. Like "you can go if your grades are all brought up to 78" - or "if your room is clean, your chores done, your homework done, and your laundry done". Make her work for it. That, combined with limited cell phone and internet access may be enough to make it not worth it, or at least run it's course fast. Oh, and of course, invite that boy over, make him and her sit in the living room with the family, play a game of cards, interact. If his motive for seeing her is not good, he'll HATE that, and move on to his next target very quickly.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

this is a VERY critical stage. I wish I had better advice but mine went thru that same thing at 16 and we never got her back. We locked her down, kept her away from the boy, but as soon as he was gone she found another one just like him. The one thing we DIDN'T do that we should have done was get her into counseling so that she could understand the destructive cycle she was putting herself on.

I wish I could be more help.

SAHM of three: 19,18,and 5
Home baker and candy maker(see Member Perk). Married to the same wonderful man for almost 12 years.



answers from New London on

Something is wrong, have you been seperating your self from her? When teens feel that their parents or family members don't pay enough attention to them they seek it from their peers. Drug testing her probably didn't help the situation she probably thinks that you don't trust her. Show her that you trust her, that you love her, that your concerned not mad. As for the boyfriend issue she might be listening to what he is telling her that its ok to do all this stuff, and that it won't affect her. Try talking to his parents and explain what is happening. He deffinatly has influence over her, and right now she doesn't seem to want you to talk to her or even want you to care about what is going on. Show her that you care for her, tell her that she can have friends over to hang out on sertain days and then on other sertain days when you will be home she can have her boyfriend over. Best of luck:)
Im only 16 but i know alot about these im not a mom lol


answers from Washington DC on


I would suggest you focus more on building her personal experiences and less on the shortcomings of her boyfriend (or who she chooses to be you know, they come and go). The situation is not the boy as much as it is the self-esteem of your daughter and her not fully understanding her true value. Family members on both sides add the stress. So you need to try to keep some level of privacy about things as hard as it is and try to work through these deeply emotional times with your daughter. You want her to trust you and you want to be in tuned with her and listen to what she is really saying. As you know, the words coming out of her mouth is not always what she is saying. The more your family is commenting on how she needs to live her life and who she needs to be with the riskier she is likely to get with her behavior (especially dependent on the relationships with the couples in your family). If she believes that there is some level of instability in those relationships, if anything she will feel betrayed that you trust their word over hers. That is why it is important to be neutral.

The more you focus on the boy and taking things away from her and not trusting her the more she is going to focus on the boy and telling lies to avoid you and get around you. She needs to run to things and not from things. You need to be supportive of her and tell her you understand that this is a critical time for her and you are concerned for her well being. Be compassionate. It will take time but she will come around. Tell her heart to heart, you don't want her to throw her life away. And if you have had some similar struggle in your life, share it with her. Tell her that you are there for her and your actions need to affirm that.

Maybe she doesn't necessarily want to spend time with you (sorry, that is how teenagers can be), but maybe she wants to spend more time with her friends. Can you suggest things she can do with her friends and then have dedicated days she can spend with her boyfriend to show that you are open and flexible with the relationship? I think in time she will come around. Have faith and patience.



answers from Dallas on

All I can say is the prior person who responded is RIGHT. This is what works.
Keep in mind...this stage is only temporary until 2 weeks before they turn 18 yrs old...and trust me if she doesn't tell you hundred times that she "hates" you, then you haven't done your job...= 0 )
If she tells you things like "well so-n-so's mom let's them do/go...tell her that so-n-so isn't your child and what other parents do is there business. And you would rather have her there to dispute the issue then her not there at all!
When she says your are treating her like a child, then tell her that when she starts acting more mature then you will treat her like she thinks she needs to be treated & right now the decisions she is making are not good ones and she needs to re-think them.
I am a mother of a 22, 21, & 16 yr old...been there done that...and there will be days when you feel like you can't take it anymore, and somehow something will change. PRAY for her that God will direct her in the way He has planned for her and never let up!



answers from Dallas on

Robyn R. is right-on about this.
When you do all this, stay calm, collected and in control of your voice and body language. Your daughter won't like any of it, and I am sure she will express this to you. During all her expressiveness :) you need to remain 'approachable'...balancing your calm responses with the rightfull expectation to recieve respect from her.
Make sense?



answers from Dallas on

Whatever you do, she need to know how much you love her and are worried for her. The key is to get her to understand that in order for her to be happy now and forever, she needs to make good, correct choices. She's at an age where she wants to make her own choices. She may respond to a loving one on one talk about how much you love her and want what is best for her and for her to be happy. It's HARD to be a teen in this day and age, and it sounds like her emotions are ruling her decisions, especially if she has feelings for a "bad boy." I like the idea of her meeting regularly to a counselor, who can provide unbiased direction for her. Prayer can work miracles, so don't forget to pray.



answers from Dallas on

We are going through this with my 15 year old nephew. Things have just been getting out of control so much that we had not idea what to do. When we would talk with him we thought wow he gets it and will start improving, but by the next day he was getting into trouble. He is very disrepectful to his parents and is getting into all sorts of trouble in school. He was just removed from all his AP courses which is devistating to us. As a family we all sat down and discussed our options for him. We decided to take him into counseling. He obiously has a lot of anger towards his parents right now (always comparing them to his friends parents who let them do anything they want). He has gone to a few sessions not sure if it is working just yet, but he is talking much more open now. I am not sure if it will help your daughter or not, but sometimes a stranger is easier to talk to. It breaks my heart to see my nephew going down this road so I am praying his works. Best of luck and I will keep you and your daughter in my prayers.

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