AT END OF ROPE, DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO! :(

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
AT END OF ROPE, DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO! :(
21
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 10:31pm

I've posted a couple of times about my sexually active 15 yr old dd, how I recently learned of her and loverboy having sex in my house. And I've also posted about how defiant and disrespectful she is toward me.

Things are getting worse between us, and for her, and I don't know what to do anymore. I can't seem to forget or trust her again (after finding out she had sex in my house while I was home, upstairs asleep). Even her friends tell her they would never do something like that in their parents house, and she doesn't seem to get what she did wrong. (I did take her, by the way, to the clinical nurse practitioner last week, and as soon as her next periord starts, she'll be on the birth control pill. The practitioner discussed everything with her, especially about STD's and condom use, so hopefully she will be smart). I told her I was not giving her permission, or even accepting it, but merely protecting her.

Loverboys mother has told my daughter that if something were to happen, she was welcome to live with them. WTF kind of mother is this!? Does she want my kid? Does she want her son to be a teenage parent just like she was? I am just so pissed, and hurt, and ready to just say... here, take my kid, pay for her education, birth control, clothes, and the baby they will have! I know that sounds selfish on my part, but I just don't know what to do at this point. My daughter and I used to be so close, and now I feel like I've lost her. I don't know where her head is at most of the time. Her grades are in the "D" average right now, and if she doesn't bring them up in the next week, she will be kicked off the varsity cheer team. If that happens, she will have a really had time at school. She is a flyer on the team, and they have no alternates to replace her, so she will be letting down the entire team. When I talk to her about these issues, and ask her if she cares, she says she does, but then when I bring up the consequense, she just replies with, "whatever!"

She eats food, leaves empty glasses and bowls all over the house and counters, leaves her trash all over. I can't seem to get her to clean up after herself... I tell her I'm not her maid, and she says she knows I'm not, and she'll clean up after herself, but she never does. Her bedroom... clothes all over the floor, clean and dirty. And then when I tell her to clean up or I will throw them all out if they're left on the floor, she puts everything in the hamper to be washed (even the clean clothes). She leaves her panty liner papers all over her bedroom. She's too lazy to throw them in the bathroom garbage and she puts them on in the morning in her bedroom. I tell her to put them on in the bathroom, but she won't. She just won't listen to anything I tell her!

She tells me she doesn't drink or smoke, and I do believe her on that. But she also thinks because she doesn't drink or smoke, that she's this great person... like lying constantly, complete disrespect (she even curses at me constantly), slacking, all is no big deal because she's not a druggie or an alcoholic.

Therapy does nothing at all. We go, we talk, she talks, it all seems like it will work out, then we drive away, and all goes back to the way it was. It never gets better. I'm so over all of this, I don't know what to do!! I'm ready to send her away to military school!!!!

Deb

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Fri, 10-12-2012 - 1:13pm
I have no advice, just a hug. I think you have received some sound advice so far!

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Thu, 10-11-2012 - 12:06pm
I wanted to pop in real quick, the others have given you some great advice in all areas, the only 2 things i wanted to hit on were 1, being tired and it being easier to just do it yourself for her, I completely understand how you feel, but believe me, after dealing with a strong willed 5 year old, constantly staying on top of the things like closing cabinets and such, eventually she will want you to stop nagging her and find it easier ON HER to just do as you ask. It may be approaching it just like she is a toddler, and explain it to her that way, its a pain but when you are there and see her leave a cabinet open, ask her politely to come back and close it, and stand there and make sure she does it, and continue to do that over and over again, believe me, it may take a few weeks, and its tiring, but it will eventually work.

And 2nd, the cheer team. I would go in and have a chat, or an email discussion with her coach. Tell her what is going on, I am sure she already is aware of her grades, our coaches get the grades of each student at progress report time as well as report card time and just let her know that while you DD loves cheerleading, she doesn't seem to be getting the consequences of what may happen should she fail any classes. Believe me, having a cheerleader, it sucks for all of the girls that work hard on that team to have one kid that fails and has to sit out. Our coaches are on top of the girls to make sure their grades are sufficient. Is cheerleading a class at school or just afterschool practices? Ours are a class at school and the teacher makes sure to give the girls at least a day or two a week or part of a class period if they don't need to be working on practice or stunting to be working on their homework. They make it a point to tell the girls that grades come first, and that if they don't and they fail, they are letting everyone down. Maybe her coach can be your reinforcement in that area. Use what resources you have available to you as support!
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Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 5:59pm

I had a whole long response to all this yesterday and blew it away by mistake.  Grrr.

I do have to chime in with what the others have said.  Pick your battles, let your daughter suffer consequences, and realize that that is how she is going to GROW UP.  While it's tempting to try to keep them close by doing for them, it doesn't help them grow up into adults who can take care of themselves and who other people (including you) will want to spend time with.  It will not help them in relationships if they think other people will do stuff for them. 

My sister booted her good-for-nothing husband when her children were still small.  Since she was working hard during the week, she didn't want to spend her weekends "making them work."  They didn't learn to cook or clean up or take care of themselves.  They are lovely young adults BUT my 27yo niece is worthless as a guest, unless all you want to do is sit and talk, and her 30yo brother didn't become useful until a couple of years ago.  Meanwhile my teenagers have known since elementary school that they should get up and help clear the table without making a fuss.

YES, it's a PITA to nag them to clean up after themselves.  DH, who is a SAHD, is going nuts right now with hovering over our 12yo son to get him to do his homework and practice his instruments every afternoon.  But we all know the payoff is there if DS can get his act together, because he's learning self-management and time-management skills.  We have made our kids redo dishes, refold laundry, help and help and help - even if we had to withhold allowances to send the message - and now as young adults (20 & 17) they know how to contribute to a group, what is expected of them, and what they should expect from others.  Those are adult coping skills that young princes and princesses don't acquire.  Please don't deprive your DD of those skills by trying to cushion her from losses and nagging.

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 3:31pm
Maybe it's time to sit down together and make rules for what has to be done before fun stuff can happen (whether with girls or bf). And have her help so she is part 'owner'. Write them down so there's no arguing later. Define what you mean by 'clean' (I had to with ds; otherwise his definition was way looser than mine!) - specify liners are thrown away, clothes are put away or in hampers, no wrappers/food in bedroom (if a glass of water is ok, put that in the rules too so it's not all 'don'ts'), etc. Have rewards for doing things according to the rules, like getting nails done together or more phone time, etc. Make it a cause/effect thing for both punishment and rewards, start slowly and work up so she sees what positive behavior can mean (don't take everything away at once or give it all back at once, etc.). Best of luck - she does need to learn how to take care of her own things and also help around the house without arguing; it's just part of living together.

Sue
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 1:15pm

<I don't want her to have to be hurt by the consequence of it all. I love my daughter so much, and I never want to see her hurting.>

We all understand that, none of us want to see our kids hurting. And to some degree we all try to protect our kids from hurt, where it is feasible. But the truth is that she is making choices and will have to deal with the outcome of those choices. You cannot control whether she gets hurt by her own choices. She knows that if she doesn't keep her grades at a certain GPA she gets kicked off the squad. She is choosing to risk that consequence by not maintaining the grades. If she is hurt or devastated it is because of her choice in how to proceed. You have already attempted to remind her of the grades requirement. The ball is in her court, so to speak, and you need to let go of her potential problem.

Some kids learn by watching others or hearing stories, and some kids (like my dd) have to learn everything the hard way: by making mistakes, sometimes repeatedly, before accepting that they must change their behavior.

<I'm not up for the fight anymore.>

We all get that too....unfortunately with parenting teens, one does need to stay vigilant regardless of how battle-weary we become. To me, this situation comes back to choosing your battles. You'll need to decide which ones you want to fight, which ones you really can affect the outcome, which ones you should even try to affect the outcome, which ones you can just "let go" and let the consequences play out. Ask yourself the "will this matter" question: will this really matter in 6 weeks, 6 months, 6 years?? Since you have to see the kitchen multiple times each day, and eat off the dishes, that is an area that you probably DO want to stay in the fight. You can close the door to her bedroom so you could step out of that fight.

It does sound like there are some "letting go" issues at play here. As you said, you may have tried too hard to protect her from pain, and you've been getting support from her as well. Now the dynamic is changing (as is age appropriate) and its uncomfortable for both of you, and she may also feel conflicted about it thus the acting out. Fortunately you have a therapist who can help guide you through this...do you each have private sessions in addition to your joint sessions? 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 11:00am

I think it's a great step that you're not letting her see her BF every day.  As a grown up single woman I would have no need to see a BF every day--because I have a life!  So many teenagers (and even adults) seem to feel that you have to be tied at the hip, then what happenes is that she's totally together w/ the BF and if they break up (or I should say when, because not many 15 yr old relationships end up permanent) then she has nothing because she's spent all her time w/ her BF.  Her GFs are probably mad that she ditched them for him so when she's single again, they got used to doing things w/o her & she might have some trouble getting back into the group.  Plus as we adults know it's always better to have your own friends & interests because it makes you a more interesting person.  If a person stops being "in love" with you because they can't spend every waking minute with you, it surely wasn't love anyway--I know that you know this, but maybe you could convey this message to her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-25-2007
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 10:48pm

FABULOUS post ELC - awesome advice and your story could be a real eye opener to many of these strong willed/defiant teens - if only they would listen lol.  I am so happy to hear you nipped that one in the bud - I dare to consider what the outcome was of this - I am betting it took a long time for her to gain your trust and respect after that stunt?   I would love to hear the rest of the story BTW - FWIW I am hooked on other peoples stories/threads of their defiant/oppositional kids - for the simple reason that it has helped me learn as much as possible in my struggle with my own defiant/difficult one now a just turned 18 senior - see my brief synoposis in the roll call.   anway just wanted to compliment you on this really good advice and post to the OP!!  And thank you for sharing your story - WOW! I know I will be reading your post more than once!  I do hope the OP can use some of these ideas.

mom_uk2socal - Mom to DS22, DS19, DD16

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 9:43pm

Try to use natural or logical consequences whenever possible. For instance, since her grades are so bad, she evidently needs to spend more time on schoolwork whether its studying or doing extra credit etc. So until the grades come back up she doesn't have time to be out with her friends. It may require you picking her up from school or practice, inconvenient I know, but unless she is compliant and comes straight home everytime you will need to enforce this consequence.

Like others said, stop doing her laundry. If she goes out in dirty/wrinkled/smelly clothes it is not a reflection on you or your parenting skills. It is simply a reflection of where her priorities are right now. The natural consequence if she doesn't do her laundry is that if she looks or smells bad her friends will let her know.

Cleaning the bedroom is a control issue for many families. IMO its not "a hill worth dying on". I say just close the door if you don't like the way her room looks. Let her own the problems if she cannot find anything, if her clothes are all trampled, if her friends are so disgusted by her room that they won't come visit. Make a rule that all dishes, cups, etc need to come out of the room every night by dishwashing time. The logical reason for that rule is because if there is food detritus in the room it will attract roaches or ants or even rats. If she refuses to comply you may have to get creative...find a dead roach outside and plant it in her room. I can almost guarantee that she will make sure to remove dirty dishes if she sees vermin in her room, even if the rest of it is a mess.

You have reminded her that she can get kicked off the cheer squad for poor grades. Enough said. Let her take responsibility for HER problem. She knows the rule, she may not believe that it can happen to her because she's the only flyer....let the school handle it, they'll be the bad guy if they decide to follow through. The anger or disappointment of her friends or squad mates or coach will make much more of an impact than 20 lectures from mom. Actually let the school dole out consequences whenever possible. 

As for the bf's mom saying that she could stay there, don't get too mad at the lady until you have all the facts. Maybe she's trying to be a "cool mom", or maybe she's been hearing tales of woe from your dd or her bf. Your dd has decided that lying is a means to an end (more freedom, less getting in trouble) so she may be lying to other people too if she thinks it will get her sympathy or a break of some sort. While she surely knows that lying is wrong, in her mind she has probably rationalized it to be okay somehow in her case. I'm not trying to let her off the hook, but at 15 she may not have the maturity or perspective to totally understand the implications of some of her lies. Here's an example that will chill most parents to the bone: when my dd was 16 she wanted a lot more freedom than we were willing to give her (based on lack of trust and past behavior). She decided to run away, to a shelter for abused teens. She figured that if she lied and said that she was abused at home they would let her live there and come and go at will, like a free hotel or something. Her "plan" was to stay there for a few weeks until we parents had learned our lesson, then she would return home to complete freedom. Fortunately for everybody I figured out that she was up to something and was able to stop her at the last minute. It had not occured to her that, while her parents were being investigated for child abuse, that she might end up in foster care or the juvenile home, possibly until she turned 18---with more restrictions than she had at home. I'm not trying to hijack your post, just let you know that even smart teens can get some incredibly stupid notions because they don't understand how things really work. Also to let you know that some of us have BTDT with our troubled teens...you will get through this but its going to be tough.

One warning about taking everything away: sometimes when you take away too much the teen decides that they don't have anything left to lose so they may as well be really bad. So be selective when removing privledges or devices etc. Really try to make it fit the "crime". If she talks on the cell when she supposed to be doing homework, then it goes into your room on the charger and she gets it back when its time to leave for school.

Like others said, if you can get any back up from other adults it would be good. Your dd may be trying to just wear you down so you will give up and give in. (its a stategy that many of my dd's friends in HS used and recommended to her). You will need to be strong, and creative. And if the current therapist isn't working maybe its time for a change?

Good luck, hang in there, one day she will grow up and this will all be an unpleasant memory. When my dd was 21 she apologized for being so awful as a teen!

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 10:58am

She already knows that if she fails, she'll get kicked off the cheerleading team, right?  So let her get kicked off!  That could be the best thing that ever happened because the school isn't going to waffle on that one and if she's the only flyer, then her friends on the team will be mad at her and her social life will suffer.  When you tell her to clean up her clothes on the floor, you say that she puts them in the hamper, which to me means that you are washing them, even the clean ones.  From now on, tell her that she is responsible for doing her own laundry.  My kids all did their own laundry as teens anyway--not as punishment.  If her room is a mess, then fine, let it be a mess--except for the food & dishes.  Right now there is a rule that she is no longer allowed to eat any food in her room---we never allowed our kids to eat in their rooms for that reason.

When you say that therapy is not working, because she just says she'll do something & then doesn't do it--does the therapist give you any suggestions about how to handle her behavior & defiance?  if not, I'd suggest getting another therapist because it seems like this one is doing nothing helpful if there are no suggestions made.  however, what is the purpose of therapy?  if it's her therapist, then the therapist has to keep whatever she says confidential and not even tell you.  If it's a family therapist, he/she should be working together with you. to solve this problem.

I'm sure there are things that your DD wants you to do for her--since she's 15, she's not old enough to drive.  So she must need rides to go to her friend's house--so here's a way to get her to clean up.  Just state "I will not drive you anywhere/buy you clothes/ pay for your cell phone--unless your room is cleaned up."  Then when she doesn't clean her room (which she won't because she is testing you) and wants a ride to her friend's--you say "remember when I told you you had to clean your room" well it's not clean, so you're not leaving the house until it is.  end of story. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-25-2007
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 9:57am
She is testing the boundries big time and it is SO much easier for these teens to do it when there is only one adult and especially if that adult is a femaile with no strong male back up. I know I did it - and have a VERY strong willed DS, now just turned 18. I remember easily how exhausting it is, it still is for me even wtih a strong male around to back me up. I even went so far recently to say it takes 3 parents to parent this one - 2 strong males (bad joke). Is there any good male role model you could call upon who she would respond to that could help you with her?? Grandparent, Uncle, someone at school etc etc??
You desparately need some back up here.

Have you taken away whatever priveleges she has and likes consistently every time - computer, phone, seeing friends, seeing loverboy or what ever she will hate to lose, until she cleans up or does what ever else are your basic requirements. Definately take something major away - friends comes to mind, for defiance and or lying - for a few days - not weeks, make sure she has the end in sight. If she defies you by say going out when shes grounded, then the punishment gets bigger at that point - example - "DD well you were grounded for 3 days for your defiance, but now since you were further defiant there is no phone use for 3 days".in a very calm voice, and every time she bugs you for these back - "you should have thought about that when you did X, you will have them in X days". Just an example - extrememly difficult to implement consistently especially by yourself, this is where you need another adult to help back you up if possible even if its just being there when you implement for a while type thing. It takes a lot of strategizing and thinking I know. BTDT. I am sure others will have some other great suggestions and advice. (((HUGS))

mom_uk2socal - Mom to DS22, DS19, DD16