Update on 18 Year Old Daughter Who Moved Out

Updated on October 17, 2014
A.W. asks from Atlanta, GA
12 answers

Just wanted to update on the situation with my daughter who turned 18 on Saturday and moved out on Tues. and in with her boyfriend and his family. I can't figure out how to reply to your comments, so I started a new post.

I'm sorry that some of you think I'm being overly dramatic about what has happened. Let me be clear, we have not over-indulged our daughter. Yes, we have provided well for her, but I suppose that I've done with my two girls just as my mom did with me growing up. I appreciated the love she showed me and I grew into a normal, functioning adult who wants nothing but the best for my daughters. We have set limits, taken away priveleges, etc. Sometimes, it's worked...sometimes, it hasn't. That's true of all families. There are no cut and dry answers for anything you face.

OK, so here's the latest. We met with our minister yesterday. He advised us to take our daughter's phone to the high school and drop it off at the front office for her. That's exactly what we did. As soon as we got home, she texted me and thanked me for the phone. She asked if I could bring her work clothes to her after school and I agreed. So, I met her at the school. She walked over and opened my car door. I asked if I could give her a hug and she said I could. It was very stiff on her part. However, I started crying, though I tried hard to hold back the tears. We didn't chat or anything. I asked no questions. I handed her work clothes to her and she was on her way. In the car on the way home, she texted me, "I love you so much!" I said the same back to her and that to remember that our hearts and doors were wide open. She texted me once more in the late evening, "I love you. Goodnight." That was the last I've heard. However, my older daughter and I talked. She had received texts from my daughter, too. We both agree that some of the texts were written in a manner that isn't like my daughter. We wonder if her BF took her phone and texted us as if it were her to see if we would ask any questions or say anything about him, which we didn't.

I noticed that when she came home after the evening of her 18th birthday, she had a different ring on her left-hand finger. She had been wearing an engagement-type ring for awhile, but now has a new one that looks more like the real deal. So, I don't know if she got engaged to him and feels like there's no way out or what. My husband and I aren't going to text her until she texts us and our replies will be short and direct. There will be no pleading or begging for her to come home. We fear that would only cause her to run farther away from us. One more thing, on Wed. night, I saw that my daughter's BF's mom posted on her FB page, "I will NEVER believe some parents who kick their child to the curb and think everything is OK. People are crazy!" She directed that at me, I know it. She's a case in and of herself.

Do y'all think that what has happened in the last day are positive signs with her reaching out to us? Can you think of anything else we might do at this juncture or is it best to wait and to continue to pray for her return?

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So What Happened?

I am not spamming, do NOT have multiple accounts, or anything of that nature! I am new to this forum and have no idea how to navigate it yet. Might be because I'm doing it from my iPad. I just now figured out how to write a reply, so my apologies. Your patience would be appreciated. I simply came to this forum for help and advice, not to be lashed out against. I am a stay-at-home mom, but I do have a job from home, as well.

Let me say, unless you have walked in my shoes, you simply can't wrap your head around the pain that this has caused. Yes, it is devastating to us, but we realize that things could also be a lot worse. Don't pass judgement on me unless you've walked the walk. It' easy for someone to be on the outside looking in to say I did this and that wrong or whatever. You really don't know what YOU would do in the same situation unless it's staring you dead in the face.

OK, so you may or may not agree with my taking her work clothes to her. That might have been an impulsive response on my part. i was just thrilled that she was reaching out to me. Maybe I should have resisted the urge to "rescue" her...that's totally on me and I own it. We opted to give her her phone so that if she needed a lifeline to get out of this relationship, she can contact us. Remember, the guy she's living with has a history of volatile and maniupulative behaviors. He "pretended" to commit suicide a month ago so that she wouldn't enjoy herself while she was spending the night with a friend. Called her on the phone, told her, "YOU did this!" and cocked a gun so she could hear it. She heard gunshots go off (he had uploaded a YouTube video), then the phone dropped. She yelled for him, but no answer. Called 911 and her BF was called. He laughed it off saying that the gunshot sounds came from "The Sons of Anarchy" that he was watching. He, then, called my daughter and chewed her out for calling 911. That's just one of many incidents like that. That's why we have the concerns that we do.

So, all I needed was a place to vent, not to be judged for all the 'wrong' things you may think I've done as a parent.

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answers from San Francisco on

I do think that those are positive signs and I think you should do just as you said - you don't text her - just respond to her texts. Give her the space she thinks she needs. I wonder if she and/or the bf told his parents that you kicked her out and that's why they are letting her stay there. Sounds like to me she threw you under the bus.

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

Making some contact with her is good. Waiting on her hand and foot is not. She is showing you that she is still a child, wanting you to do her errands and make up for stuff she forgot to pack.

Ignore the boyfriend's mother - he probably told her that you kicked out your daughter in order to justify living with an 18 year old who's still in school. Stay off social media and don't air your dirty laundry in public. That mother is being very immature. Keep your head high and trust that the truth will come out at some point. Parents who kick their kids out don't drive clothing and phones to the high school. Anything you would say on FB would put your daughter in the position of defending the boyfriend and his mother, and you don't want to do that.

Try NOT to cry in front of her! That makes her feel bad and may push her further away because she is too young and immature to manage your emotions on top of her own. You have to show her what it means to be an adult - that means taking care of her own stuff, and it also means moving on when things don't go your way. She's got to learn that in this situation and you are the one to show her. So, as hard as it is, find a backbone and show her that adults don't break down over other people's actions - they stand up and do what's right for themselves. Just as you hope she will do when the reality of this relationship she's in dawns on her.

Re the text messages: assume that her BF is writing them himself, or telling her what to write, or influencing her. Absolutely assume that he is reading every single thing that you and your daughter say. (Same with texts to/from her sister.) Keep it short and sweet, only replying to her and not always the exact instant she contacts you. It's okay for her to wait a while.

I'd stop the errands immediately. I can see why you did it the first time, in order to see her. If she's so immature that she thinks she can live on her own and still have Mommy bailing her out, she's got some growing up to do. Your position should be "You're an adult and on your own. I'm not going to interfere." If you don't want her in your house picking up things, then you can pack them nicely and neatly in a carton or a suitcase and leave them on the back porch and then arrange to not be there when she picks up. But put that phone bill in her name right now and give the phone company her new address. If you get a complaint, repeat that she's an adult and what she does about her bills is entirely her business and you respect her privacy as well as her right to her independence, and you are not getting involved.

Keep talking to your minister or any other objective professional to keep your perspective and your resolve.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Your daughter is trying to separate herself from you and dad.

Do not assume those texts are from the boyfriend. I bet they are from her. In her mind she is trying to act mature in her communications with you, even though this whole mess is like a giant tantrum.

Your daughter is also trying to save face with her friends and their parents by saying you kicked her out.

Now keep in mind, IF you gave her the ultimatum of her "breaking up with him or you cannot live here any more", then in a way you made it clear she would have to choose, because you were not willing to find a solution or compromise.

Again, I am trusting he is really no good.

But I warn you, when you make her choose and she sees something different than you do, it makes it very hard for her to confide or trust you.

When my husband and I were dating, his family was not that thrilled. I was not the cute little quiet blonde they had envisioned. I am the Brown girl who spoke her mind. I never sat there quietly while they spoke about politics and religion. I had my own experiences and I was brought up to discuss these things openly. They were not in any way used to this.

When we announced we were going to get married, they told us they did not approve. We told them, we were not asking for their permission, we were informing them and had hoped they would attend.

They told us they would never support us. We told them we did not need their support and so we do not ask for their help. They now get their feelings hurt when we do not ask them to help us during tough times. But they set the tone from the beginning and we have learned their "Help" comes with strings attached.
This month we will have been married 33 years. and there is still a lot of tension.

I really, really encourage you all to go to family counseling. Then bring in the boyfriend later. You all need to learn how to communicate with each other as adults instead of parents and children.

Your daughter may have to experience what a bad relationship this is on her own. If you keep trying to protect her, she is not going to figure out things on her own,. And Maybe, he will surprise you in the long run.

You have to let her make her own mistakes. You just have to let go at some point. I know this is very, very hard. No one wants their children to have a broken heart. To make poor choices, but for some kids, this is the only way they can learn and then grow up.

I am sending you strength. TRY to keep the communications open, but also stand strong and make her be an adult. That means have her work for what she wants and needs. Make her come to you to ask in an adult way for help. She says she is an adult, have her prove it. She could really surprise you.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

I agree with Diane B. 100%.

And I would not talk about any of this on FB. Resist the urge!

I would continue with counseling to keep myself centered on the "true north" if that makes any sense.

Good luck.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on


This is a sad and tough situation. While dealing with this, always keep in mind that you have to sort the "essential" from the "non-essential."

So, the FB post? Non-essential drama. Don't get side-tracked by stuff like that. Let it go and put your energies toward the relationship with your daughter.

I don't see your daughter's request for her phone or clothes as a sign she's wanting you to do her errands. Rather, it may be the one legitimate way she feels she can have contact with you and still save face (not admitting outwardly that she needs contact with you) and not cause trouble with the boyfriend (who, by what you've posted may give her grief if she says she misses you and wants to see you).

You've got to tread lightly here. I know you are concerned. Any loving parent would be if their child were in this situation. So, take the contact with your daughter however you can get it right now. Be open, but not overly emotional. Relate with her as the young adult that she is and let her know that the door is always open.

In the meantime, I think meeting with a family therapist could help give you more specific guidance and support with this than you will get over an internet forum. This is a transition point, not only in your daughter's life, but in that of your family, and there are many dynamics at play here. If you are in the Atlanta area, you should have many options. Find a good family therapist to help you through this.

Best to you and your daughter.

J. F.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I haven't read the other responses, but I don't think you are doing anything wrong. And yes I understand your pain.

It's a often a really difficult road as kids move out. I think you did the right things yesterday.

DON'T beg her to return -- she will learn more lessons by moving out. It's amazing how after a few months of being on their own they all of a sudden appreciate you a LOT more, and understand things about life. Before that they are too focused on getting out and on how their parents are hindering them in everything.

Yes, I think what happened is positive. If you doubt the texts are hers, comment on them when you see her, and you will know.

The only thing, other than being open and loving, that I would do if I were you is give her really brief advice when you see her: "I know you love Billy, but I'm sorry if his behavior seems somewhat abusive to me. As your mother I have to caution you. I remember being young, and I know you have to learn these things on your own, as most people do. All I want to emphasize is that if you ever feel in danger, please call us and/or the authorities and get out. I hope I'm wrong about Billy and I will try to keep an open mind about him. I love you." Or something to that effect.

The BF's mom is WAY out of line. You keep being normal and it will all become apparent who's the crazy one. Do not respond to her inappropriate comment.

Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


In regards to the post directed at you? I would simply state that "not everyone has all the details. Adult children make hasty decisions and since he/she is an adult, you can't stop them from making a mistake. So you let them go and learn from their mistakes." What I don't understand is WHY you are friends with her on facebook anyway. You don't like her son and feel she's a nut case as well - are you going on the adage to keep your friends close and your enemies closer??

You need to let your daughter know you love her. DO NOT offer any financial assistance. DO NOT do anything for her. She's an adult now and there are consequences for decisions and actions. She HAS to learn that.

You are RIGHT!! DO NOT plead or beg for her to come home. You can let her know that the door is open and leave it at that. But really? If she comes back? IT's YOUR HOUSE. YOUR RULES. She's an adult and can pay rent.

I hope you turned her phone bill over to her. She's an adult and should be responsible for it now. Just like the car payment and insurance. She can't afford it? Guess that's just too bad. If it's in YOUR name. It STAYS in your name and in your driveway until she can afford it. Let her know that. She has options....it's not a bribe. she wants to live like an adult? This is it. Paying bills and learning how far money will go.

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I hate when people claim the appeal to authority, walk in my shoes. I have not walked in your shoes because I did not drive my kids from the home. When they were old enough to support themselves they moved into their own homes. That doesn't mean I don't know squat about 18 year old kids, I means I did something different.

What exactly do you want from us? Do you want me to tell you how to get her to come back? As a former child who was driven from the home there was nothing on earth my mom could have done to get me to come back. My ex may have been toxic but he wasn't as toxic as she was. Are you my mom, no. It is just kids do not leave the comfort of home if it is comfortable. Sorry but "love" doesn't do it. Her home was not comfortable and she would rather go with a loser than stay home.

I am really not trying to be mean, just let you into the mind of someone who's mother drove her away to an abusive man. My marriage was still better than my childhood.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I think you're giving her all the benefits of moving out plus all the benefits of living at home.
Delivering her phone and her work clothes to her? She should have taken them with her or come and gotten them from you.
Are you paying for her phone? If so, you need to stop.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

I'm sorry Doxie, but the whole "rearing this child" ship has long sailed.

I won't go into the things you might've done to prevent this eventuality from happening.

At this point, if you'd like to maintain a relationship with your daughter, you will have to do it under her terms, with the knowledge that "her terms" are a direct result of your parenting. You listen to her, you enjoy her company, you have lunch together, but you are no longer in charge of her. She is a legal adult.

You can help her if you like, provided you are mindful and accepting of the fact your helping her may not result in her conforming to your own requirements of what a dependent child of a parent ought to be.

I am not judging you, I am only relaying truths.

I mean, at this point, you cannot force her to conform to your liking. Your "she's a case in and of herself" statement clearly shows you feel you are actually a victim of your own daughter rather than the other way around.

Accept her terms or walk away. It's too late for any other stance.


ETA: I forgot to mention, I say this as a mother of a daughter who is also currently a hs senior. Whether or not I like her current bf is the very LAST thing on our minds. Our house is full of the normal stresses (but so exciting!) of college apps and SAT scores and her academics, same as the previous 2 kids. I can't even imagine allowing whoever their SO of the moment is (they come and go) effect our life long relationship and our focus on the future.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

This is just weird.
How can you have an account where only one question shows when you've had another question and only one question shows?
Multiple user accounts?


Also, a kid doesn't go storming out to go live with someone else and have the contact you describe only a few days later.
She packed up everything she owned, you checked to make sure she didn't take what didn't belong to her - police were present - but you still have her work uniform?
Oh and now you've given a cell phone back to her and are wondering if she's gotten married or being controlled by her boyfriend/fiance/husband?

Look - if you want to write a soap opera, consider using a pen and a piece of paper.
The drama, the plot twists, the character development - they all need work.
If you ARE a stay at home mom with adult kids (18 and 22 are adults) - you need to get a life, a job, a hobby, etc that doesn't involved spamming/trolling web sites.

I delete hate mail so don't bother.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I think that I'd send her some messages that say positive things about the whole thing and make sure to say good/positive things about him too.


So if he is reading her texts he will see that you're not badmouthing him and putting him down to her. I'd also comment on that post that your daughter packed her bags and moved in with guy and you were trying really hard to get her to stay at home.

Don't respond to the other mom when she rebuffs your comment, don't say anything angry or bossy or mean to the other mom, she's only heard their side of the story and it's a doozy. They've made up a whole story to make his mom sympathetic towards them, helping them in the long run to spend more time together and everything.

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