Who Is Being Unreasonable?

Updated on January 03, 2018
D.Q. asks from Meridian, ID
23 answers

My daughter is almost 19 years old but she’s a Senior in high school so we apply the rules of a minor on to her. Last night she went to a New Years Eve concert with her boyfriend and a group of friends. My husband and I had no problem letting her go and when we asked her when the concert was going to end so that we know when to expect her, she said that it was going to end at 1ish but that she did not know when it was going to end. The night goes on and we don’t check up on her once, however, when we text her at 3 am because we were angry and worried, she said that she was almost home because it ended at 2ish and the drive back caused her to get home at around 3:10. Her father and I got into a huge argument about how she was being irresponsible and taking advantage of us and long story short, everyone was screaming at everyone. This morning her father and I have decided that as long as she lives in our roof, she cannot attend any concerts and due to her disrespecting us, she cannot go out until we decide that she can. My question is, who was being unreasonable?

Edit:
She has been having issues with her temper with us lately. It appears as if nothing we do will ever satisfy her. We have extended her curfew to 11, however, she went bowling and to the movies with her boyfriend and my husband decided out of nowhere that he wanted her home by 10:30 pm. This night she came home frustrated because she had to leave a movie half way through it and was having an emotional break down saying that she was sick and tired of us. However, the very next day we had no problem having her go get a tattoo on her wrist and shop for New Years. Also, as an adult, we expected her to communicate like an adult should. As a mature adult as she claims she is which is is not, she should have came home at 1 like she had said because coming home at 3 am is not likely. For a concert? Never. She knows us better to know that if we knew the concert was gonna end that late, we would have set a time where we wanted her home.

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K.C.

answers from Anchorage on

Once again, YOU are being unreasonable. You daughter is going to leave and never come back if you keep this up.

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M.E.

answers from Richmond on

You are being unreasonable. She is 19, it was new years eve. She's an adult, even if she's still in high school.

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6 moms found this helpful

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E.J.

answers from Chicago on

Based on what you have written:

You set her up to fail by purposely setting unclear expectations.

YOU are the adult. YOU know what rules you want her to follow, but it is like you purposely leave them vague just so that she fails.

I think you are afraid she won’t need you, and so you keep setting her up in situations where she is wrong. She is never right about anything, but YOU are....how will she ever navigate this thing called life without YOU if she is always making bad decisions (i.e. not meeting your vague expectations)?
This dynamic you are setting up ensures that she always needs you. That she always meets YOUR needs.
You are setting her up to have very unhealthy relationships in her future.
You need to figure out what your motivation is for being so controlling to your daughter before you ruin her and any chance of a relationship with her.

YOU have a problem.

I think it is very good that you are reaching out for help. It shows there is a part of you that knows something isn’t right.
I think you need to examine what need of yours is getting met by treating your daughter this way, and find a better way to meet it.

13 moms found this helpful
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Z.B.

answers from Toledo on

You have very arcane and old fashion ideas about what a "respectable adult" does and does not do. Your ideas are not at all inline with what most of our society thinks. It's very likely that none of her friends have to live by such strict and arbitrary rules, and it's very reasonable for her to be angry and frustrated and resentful.

Instead of a curfew (which a 19 year old is too old for), why not an agreed upon plan each time. If she's going to a movie that's should be done by 11:30, ask her to call you if she won't be home by 12:00. She can the let you know what the new plan is - stopping for ice cream on the why home - and what time she thinks she will be home.

If she's not sure what time a concert will let out, have her call you when she gets to her car.

There is no reason for her to miss out on these opportunities with her friends. She's a senior in high school. She should be going to movies and concerts.

If your daughter goes away to college next year, you will have zeros say in what she does and how late she stays up. Zero.

You really need to lighten up. Your rules have nothing to do with her safety and everything to do with wanting to control her. She's a legal adult. Your days of control are over.

12 moms found this helpful

T.D.

answers from Springfield on

If you wanted her to check in you should of stated that. She openly admitted that she was unsure of the end time so this is your mistake.
Make clear expectations and if those are not adhered to then you can take action. But for now? You messed up you can't force anything since she broke no rules. Lighten up momma... Lay clear expectations FIRST

11 moms found this helpful

D.B.

answers from Boston on

I understand about being worried about where our kids are. I understand about having some rules when an adult child lives in the house and is in high school and is dependent on you. My son was 19 for his entire senior year of high school, so I understand this sort of "limbo" you're in about whether she's an adult or not.

But what's unreasonable is your insistence of having her read your mind. So you said you wanted to know when to expect her and she said she didn't know when the concert was over but guessed that it might be around 1-ish. Did you say, "Okay, I know you can't know exactly, but we want you to text us even if it's in the middle of the night and let us know when you've made it out of the crowded parking lot (or city streets) and are en route"? No, you didn't. And you and your husband go in a fight (with each other, or with her? Not clear!) and then swung back to treating her like she is 9 by grounding her from all future concerts. Seriously? You want her to be mature and responsible, and you two cannot be?

In your last post, you said she was home at 2:20 in the afternoon and sat with her boyfriend in the car until 2:36 in the afternoon (yes, you were that precise) and so you grounded her. Really? This is not about knowing she's safe (she was - she was in the driveway). It's about your unreasonable need for total control.

I don't see how she disrespected you. Because she didn't know when a concert would end? Because she didn't wake you up with a text message you never asked for? Because she got in a screaming fight that you yourselves modeled as appropriate adult behavior? I don't think you have a leg to stand on.

The pendulum in your family swings from one extreme to the other. She runs away (last post) and then she comes home, dates a nice boy (per your last post) and you decide to treat her like a child. You're driving her away and your husband is helping you. If you keep it up, she'll run off again and shack up with the first available guy who can pay her rent.

Look, you have raised an adult child. You either did a good job or you didn't. People living in the same house should have some common decency and communication, but if your daughter doesn't have it, it's because she didn't have good role models. We had curfews for our son on school nights and if he was with kids who were not 18, but beyond that, we discussed and agreed on things. If he was on school vacation, our deal was that he told us when he would be home and otherwise he would text us that he would be late or was staying with a friend. Easy peasy. This let him practice for being at college and on his own - when we knew we would have no idea what he was doing or who he was with.

I think you should be THRILLED that she tells you who she is with and where the concert is, and that she's attempting to guess when it will be over. The concert venues near us are always iffy - you don't know if things will start on time, or when they'll end, or whether there will be a 45 minute back-up just getting out of the parking area. My son was watching the Boston Marathon the year of the bombing, so no one needs to tell me the anxiety of wondering where my kid is. That said, my goal was to give him decent skills for adulthood, and that meant experimenting with late nights and tough drives. My goal was that he would let someone - anyone - know where he was. Even now, in his 20s, he gives us flight or vacation info, but he certainly doesn't tell us where he is every second.

I suggest that you get some serious counseling with your husband on how to communicate with an adult child, and work on why you two need to micromanage an adult child to this extent. Then learn how you will cope when she leaves your house and never comes back because you can't communicate reasonably. Your daughter is going to be very tempted to run off with whatever man will take her across the country and keep your grandchildren from you. And while I totally understand your concern for her, part of me can't blame her. I think you're much more interested in control and asserting your authority than you are in competent and effective parenting based on (gasp!) compromise!

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M.C.

answers from Chicago on

Based on this and previous posts, I feel you are alienating your daughter. I think you are being unreasonable, given all you have told us. Telling her she can not go out until you decide she can is over the top. She's 19, not 9. She is a young adult and deserves to be treated like one.

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

It doesn't sound like you are preparing her for adulthood at all. And it's very unfair and inconsistent for your husband to just decide to change her curfew when she's already paid for and started watching a movie. I would be pissed too.

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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

You know the answer right? It's the same as for your last post. You give her a curfew, then while she's in the middle of a movie, you move the curfew earlier so that she has to walk out halfway through? Come on - you KNOW this is totally unreasonable. You caused her and her boyfriend to waste about $50 probably (2 movie tickets plus popcorn and drinks cost that much). I don't blame her for feeling DONE with your rules after that.

Now, for the concert - when was the last time you went to a concert? It's almost impossible to know when they are going to end. The last concert I went to was scheduled for 2 hours starting at 8:30 PM, and it turns out that there was an opening band that wasn't listed on the event ticket. The opener went on at 9PM (30 min late), and the main show didn't start until 11 - which was AFTER the time I thought it would end. These things happen and are impossible to predict, and your daughter wasn't being irresponsible simply because a concert ended later than she thought it would. She probably had no idea it would run that late. And it was NEW YEAR's EVE for goodness sake.

And why didn't she update you when she realized it was running late? First, you didn't ask her to - now you expect her to read your mind? Also, even if she did think you might want an update, she wouldn't because she KNEW, based on the experience at the movies, that if she told you that it was running late, her dad would freak out and tell her to leave and come home. You set her up to fail with your previous unreasonable demands, and she, very understandably, now avoids giving you information that you will use against her.

You have created this situation, and I will not be at all surprised when she continues to rebel because you have created an environment where she feels that her only option is to simply ignore your rules, because trying to have a reasonable discussion with you has been impossible.

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N.K.

answers from Miami on

Yikes. You sound like my parents, and that is not a good thing. Look, it was New Year's Eve. Cut her some slack, she is over 18 too. Concerts, parties and other events CAN and DO go on later than they usually would. Hell, I was at an event with my child this weekend and it took us just 30 minutes to leave the parking garage! There are also insane amounts of traffic, not to mention, reckless drivers, which may mean taking a longer, safer route home.

While I would understand being concerned that she wasn't home yet, once she texted that she was almost home, that should have put your mind at ease. You could have told her in a calm voice that you were worried that almost 2 hours after her expected ETA, you hadn't heard from her and would have liked her to have texted once the concert ran past 1 a.m. and that in the future, she should do that. She was out with a boyfriend you seem to like, and a group of friends, she wasn't out by herself or with strangers you don't approve of. Like Diane B. said below, she could have withheld all this information or done much worse.

Grounding her from all concerts is ridiculous and extreme. Then again, after reading the other post that you grounded her for sitting out in the driveway for 16 minutes, I am not surprised by your irrational punishment. I agree with others that you are pushing her out of your home and into the arms of someone who may be no good for her, just to get out of your controlling household. She may end up pregnant, in an abusive relationship due to her financial dependence on others, or assuming things actually go well for her, she may just not want nothing to do with you ever again. Caution.

10 moms found this helpful

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

What is wrong with you?
Why is this such a problem for you?
What did your parents do to you that you think acting like this now that you are the parent is a good thing?

If she were at college - you would not know nor care when she comes and goes.
My 19yr old son sometimes texts me at 4am that he's having breakfast at iHop with friends before going to bed for the night at college.
It's what they do!
I'm glad he's got such good friends and he's enjoying himself - and maintaining A's in his classes.

She's an adult - and yes she is living at home for now and yes you're worried.
It comes with getting pregnant and giving birth.
That never stops no matter how old they get.
Why is "I was worried" an excuse for being overbearing?

But you need to get a grip and get over this.
You and your husband are being over the top unreasonable.
Please stop.
Stop it now - stop it yesterday.

She does need to respect you - but she doesn't need to kiss your parental behind.
This is her high school senior year.
Quit spoiling it.
Enjoy her while you can because they are grown and gone before you know it.

Apologize to your daughter - rescind all the nonsense you spouted last night.
Tell her you will get some therapy.
And then follow through with getting it.
Your whole family will benefit enormously if you do.

9 moms found this helpful

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

Based on your previous questions about this child... you are unreasonable.

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S.B.

answers from Houston on

You have got to stop this! I'm serious!

First, your husband changed her curfew after she was attending the event? NO! Just NO!! She left in the middle of a movie? I hope you and your husband paid her back the cost of the ticket. That was a horrible parenting decision. However, for ya'll it seems to be standard operating procedure.

Concert? Hello it was NYE. Of course the traffic was backed up. When we go to Texan games it can take us 45 minutes to an hour JUST TO GET OUT OF THE PARKING LOT! So you would say be home by 1:00 a.m.? for the concert? Have you ever been to a concert? The headliner doesn't get out on stage until at least 9:00 - 10:00 pm. She wasn't sure when the concert was over. If the concert was over at 1, it probably took about an hour to get out of the parking lot and drive home. Yeah, 3 sounds about right. She took advantage of ya'll? Really? I don't think so.

So to answer your question, who was being unreasonable? YOU and YOUR husband. That is who. Talk about unrealistic expectations. Wow!

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D..

answers from Miami on

She is 19. You want to treat her as if she is still a younger teen. You use her still being in school as an excuse.

You expect her to "act like an adult" but you don't treat her as one. You don't give her a chance to learn to be one. Is she going to go off to college? How will she learn to be responsible there if you don't give her the opportunity to practice having to be responsible for herself while she is still at home? You act like it's something that just automatically happens - it isn't...

I don't really know why you wrote about this here. Your edit makes it very clear that you don't care what others think - you're still going to continue to hold fast on your views.

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E.A.

answers from Erie on

You. I bet your daughter can't wait to go off to college.

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A.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

You are. You didn't have a clear plan for communication before she left.

It would have been a better plan, for you to have asked her to text you to check in when the concert actually ended so she could have told you when she was on her way home before she left the concert venue.

When you did text her, she responded right away, which IS being respectful. I'd bet she would have responded to you right away had you texted her to check in at 1, or at 2, but you did not.

Telling her she now cannot go to any concerts because you didn't communicate effectively as a family is unreasonable. Telling her she cannot go out until you say she can is even more unreasonable. I know worry, and you obviously love your daughter, but consider that if this dynamic between you continues, she's going to move out at the first opportunity she can find, and into circumstances you likely wouldn't want for her.

7 moms found this helpful

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

way to infantilize your young adult.

you're on an excellent course to alienate her altogether.
SMH.
khairete
S.

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G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

I'm unclear as to what she did wrong and how she disrespected her. Could you please explain that?

If you were expecting her to call you and she didn't, that's one thing. But if you never told her to text or call you, you don't really have a right to be upset.

You have to make sure she is clear on what the expectations are. Personally, I would have wanted her to call or text when the concert let out and then check in again if the traffic was bad or if anything slowed her down.

6 moms found this helpful

L.U.

answers from Seattle on

Why do you keep asking us these questions about your daughter.
We have all told you that you are being unreasonable.
She goes to school, works, has a social life. And you guys sound scared. Scared of losing control, scared that she will make bad decisions, scared that she will leave.
That's part of raising children. They are SUPPOSED to leave us.
Mom...ease up. You are not going to have a relationship with her if you keep this up.

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E.B.

answers from Honolulu on

"...as an adult, we expect her to communicate like an adult should." Those are your words.

Yet in your previous paragraph, you relate how her father and you got into a huge argument, and eventually everyone was screaming at everyone. So how does that reflect upon YOUR adult behavior?

What you've created is a hostile environment within your home. You allowed your daughter to attend a concert. And both she and you knew that the concert end time was uncertain. Remember, it's a concert. There are potential glitches, where the warm-up band or the main performers might experience a technical problem which delays the show; there are encores which are completely unpredictable; there are delays due to crowds, security, traffic, etc. And you didn't text her at 1 or 2 simply to ask how she was doing. You waited, boiling over with anger, until 3. And then you "adults" screamed at each other.

You change her curfew without warning or reason. You scream at her when she comes home. You're deciding her tattoos, entertainment, her life. You're dictators without reason.

We all gave you sound advice previously which you ignored. You'll probably ignore this too.

STOP. Show your daughter the respect you want her to show you. Listen to the good advice you've been given. Or lose your daughter forever.

The answer to your question is: You and your husband are completely unreasonable, unfair, unpredictable, unkind, untrusting.

ETA: why would you decide how to treat your daughter based on the fact that she's in school? That is assuming, of course, that she is not still in high school because she's failed grades continuously, or got suspended for a year. If her age simply determines the fact that she is in high school at nearly 19 (which isn't that abnormal), maybe because she was born late in the year, or you didn't start her in kindergarten until she was 6, and if she is doing her best at school (grades, performance, behavior), then you should treat her as a young adult, ready to graduate in a few months, ready for independence.

You say because she is in high school, regardless of the fact that she's over 18, you're treating her as a minor. By that logic, say you had a child who was a prodigy, with an extremely high IQ, who skipped some grades and was now in high school at age 11. It happens. There are some children who have finished college by age 15 (rare, admittedly, but possible). So would you treat your 11 year old freshman as a high schooler? Would you let him do everything that a typical freshman does? Would you try to help him get his learner's permit? Would you give him the freedom that most freshmen have? No, you'd say, he's 11. We'll treat him as an 11 year old, although with a superior intellect. So in the same way, you don't parent based on school grade. You parent based on your child;s (or young adult's) responsible behavior, school performance, capabilities, and age.

Unless there's something you're not telling us, and your daughter probably won't graduate, repeated 11th grade twice, and barely passes every subject, while being late for almost every class. In that case, you parent based on your daughter's irresponsibility and unreliablity. Stop tying your parenting into an arbitrary school grade.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

Edited:

Read through the responses and then saw your edit.

Ok - so from what I read and knowing you posted under a different name (chacha mentioned in last question) with same weird type scenarios where you posted weird curfews etc.

Your husband seems to be controlling and have anger issues.

For him to change her curfew in the middle of a movie? Is this all about her having a boyfriend? Seems to involve the boyfriend a lot.

I think you should get some counseling. Blaming her emotional breakdowns and acting like she has emotional problems is cruel. She sounds like a typical 19 year old.

Your husband sounds like he has the issues and you sound like you know this and aren't standing up to him. So I'm guessing he treats you like he treats your daughter.

Sorry if that's not the case at all - but why else do you keep trying to see who is being reasonable? Nothing about this is reasonable. So someone is messed up. I think it's your husband.

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

I am sorry but you are the ones being unreasonable plain and simple, she is an adult. Yes she lives in your house so there can and should be some rules to enforce respect, like making sure she is not waking people up on work evenings when she gets home, but especially on the weekends or special nights like new years she should not have a curfew at all. If you want her to act like an adult you have to stop treating her like a child. I stopped having a curfew at 16 because my job kept me out later many nights then my previous curfew had been and I spoke to my mother like an adult, explaining that I was not drinking or doing drugs, that my grades were good, and that if I was to learn to function in the world as an adult she had to give me room to grow up and become one. It is time to realize your daughter is not a baby anymore, all you are doing right now is pushing her away and the first chance she gets she will run for freedom.

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

She's an adult. You need to consider that she could pack a bag and walk out tonight and never speak to you again. You need to get her to understand you're worried but you also need to understand that in a couple of months she is gone, out on her own at college or moving in with a boyfriend or something.

Find a compromise and most of that is going to have to come from you. She doesn't have to live with you anymore. Trying making home a pleasant place for her and where she feels safe and loved. Then she'll want to let you know if she's running late.

No more curfews or anything. Some night she'll be out and just decide to not come home and she might or might not even finish high school.

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