What to do about SD that doesn't live w/us?

gooberdooMay 17, 2010

DH has an almost 12 yr. old daughter. She used to live with us until a year ago when she decided that she did not like our rules and he agreed that she could go stay with his parents for a while. A while has turned into 14 months. I have 2 children from a previous marriage and we have one daughter, 4, together. SD is a 6th grader. Her grades are terrible, she is on the verge of failing 3 subjects. She currently has 3 D's and makes low F's on every test. The only way she maintains D's are due to her daily grades, or classwork. Even though her grades are poor, she continues to participate in a sleuth of extra-curricular activities: karate 2-3 times a week, tennis lessons, and grandparents have recently signed her up for swim team. DH and I feel that her heavy involvement in these activities contribute to her poor grades, but DH will not put his foot down, nor will he have her return to our home.

A few months ago, SD began asking for a facebook account. DH told her no, under no circumstances. He explained that it was not safe, there are predators and she isn't mature enough to deal with things such as this, there's no reason to open that can of worms. There is also the issue of her BM, who has nothing to do with her and that we have terminated parental rights, but ocassionally, she will come around and harass our family. We don't want BM to begin contacting SD. Yesterday, I discovered that SD had a facebook account. She had done what she was specifically told not to do. DH confronted her, gave her 3 chances to tell him about it, she didn't, and had her remove it. He also discovered she had a twitter account,a profile on another social networking site, had allowed a classmate to take her ipod home and download music onto it that he had told her she could not have, and also she had been posting pictures of herself online at midnight. Grandparents claim they were unaware of all of this.

DH discussed the safety hazards with her and said he wasn't saying no just to keep her from having fun. He said no to keep her safe. Her consequence was no computer for a week.


You lie, you go behind your dad's back and deliberately disobey, you sneak and have friend's take your $200 ipod to their home to put music on it that you've been told not to have, and you get one week of computer restrictions? This combined with the bad grades and I don't know what to think. Why wouldn't she do these things when there are essentially no consequences?

And believe me, I am not naive enough to think that when DH is not around Grandmommy won't be letting her on that computer!

DH says she's just acting her age. I disagree. I don't think she's acting like an 11 yr. old, I think she's acting more like a 14/15 yr. old and if this is how she is now, he better get ready for what's to come.

Does anyone else out there think this is as crazy as I do? And a side note, had this been one of the other 3 kids that live in the home, well, there would have been much, umm, let's just say "firmer" consequences.

Thank you for letting me vent. Any feedback is appreciated.

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I think, if DH wants to remain involved in his DD's life, that letting her go live with her grandparents was mistake #1. Why would he let an 11 year old make that choice?

IMO it's no surprise he doesn't known what's going on in her life---she doesn't live with you guys!

I think he should insist on his DD coming back home. It sounds like grandparents are not providing enough limits and supervision, and if DH wants those things back, HE needs to parent his daughter.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 3:18PM
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I agree that mistake #1 is letting a kid decide to go live elsewhere 'BECAUSE THEY DON'T LIKE THE RULES'... I mean duh! what kid likes the rules and wouldn't want to go live where they think they can get away with more? When you abdicate your parental authority to the grandparents and they are not savvy enough to watch her.. or they are older & don't have the energy to keep up with what she's doing or whatever the reason...

I don't get why people think that it's okay to send their kids off to grandparents to raise, especially when they cannot control them themselves. And the he wants to be able to exert some control from his recliner? (Sorry, I just get a mental picture of a guy, relaxing in his easy chair... yelling at kids to stop jumping on the bed.. but he's too lazy to go into the next room and see what they are doing or make them stop. and then gets really mad at them for not listening when someone falls off and gets hurt!)

The only advice I can give is to tell your DH to get off his easy chair and go get his daughter and BE A PARENT to her. It ain't easy and he may not get the results he wants, but if he's going to send her to live with anyone else, he has no right whatsoever to complain about what happens...

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 4:05PM
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why is it 12-year-old allowed to go live elsewhere and why is it grandparents have to have a burden of raising a child. completely unacceptable. no wonder she does poorly in school.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 4:15PM
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I agree with all of this. He needs to make her come home. I was tough on her, she didn't like it. He let her have the option and I think he knows he can't say anything. Grandparents also know he can't say/do anything, so whatever they permit goes.
It's a sad situation. I want to see SD be the best she can be, but I can't force anyone to do anything. She could be the best if HE would be better.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 4:48PM
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Sorry Goober -- But I have to agree with the first three posters. Dad's thrown up his hands and abdicated his responsibility by letting his daughter go live with grandparents. So why does he still think he can be the one dictating rules and punishments that he won't be around to enforce?

Being a good parent is a lot of work.
And it's no popularity contest.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 5:12PM
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