Need some advice regarding my 18 year old (sorry long)
I need some advice from those of you that have raised teenagers and have survived through the "I'm 18 and you can't tell me what to do" stage. Here's some background:
My 18 year old daughter graduated last June and turned 18 on June 24th. The very day she turned 18, she became this "other person". She suddenly demanded to be treated like an adult and said we couldn't tell her what to do because she was an adult. She started coming and going whenever she felt like it and didn't care what her curfew was because she was an "adult". Her dad and I were both in California on business the day after her birthday and her grandmother was staying with us for the summer (she lives in Florida) and was going to stay with her. She lied to her grandmother about where she was going. She was with a friend and each girl said they were staying at the other ones house and proceded to be gone for 3 days. When her dad and I got back from our trip she called home and her dad asked her to come home and she said she would when she felt like it. She didn't come home for another day. To beat all, the vehicle she had wasn't even hers, it was her fathers. She was allowed to drive it back and forth to school. She got a job but didn't show up the first day because she was awol. Luckly, she didn't lose her job. This is just one of the many incidents we have had to deal with.
Her dad travels alot, so I am left to deal with this situation alone. We sat down with her in September and asked her to make a list of her expectations of us and that we would make our list, review them together and come to an agreement everyone could live with. We also told her that if there was a conflict on any of the items, her dad and I would have the final decision. She never did make a list, but we made ours and she agreed to it. It was a very basic list: if you dirty it, clean it, if you take it out, put it back, etc. Common sense things that she should have been doing all along, but was never made to do with Dad or biomother. The first time she broke the agreement, we asked her what the punishment should be and she said that she would clean the garage. Knowing how much she hates to clean, we agreed that that was an appropriate punishment. Since then, she breaks the agreement several times a week. She also lies about everything, so much that, we don't believe her even when she is telling the truth. She always has a reason for being late or not doing something. I have about had it.
She works and goes to school. We are paying for college and she is paying us for the car loan and insurance for it. (the loan is in my name and the insurance is on the family policy since the cost was more than she could afford alone)
Her curfew is 2:00AM on the weekends and supposed to be 12:00 during the week, but lately she comes in whenever. Last night it was 3:30AM, which woke the dogs, which woke me and then I couldn't get back to sleep until 5:00 which made me a very grumpy person when I got up 2 hours later.
I have talked to other people about how they handled it and there seems to be a common answer, "if she lives under your roof, she should live by your rules". I would feel better if I knew she was mature enough to handle all that she "thinks" that she can. She has already dropped 1 of her classes because she couldn't make it up in time to attend a 10:00AM class and she doesn't spend enough time on her homework. We received a letter from the school regarding the class she dropped and that she has poor attendance in 1 other. Her answer is that "things came up" and she couldn't make it to class. She doesn't spend enought time on homework because she can't tell her friends "no". She also was caught on a Minor in Possession of Alcohol. She was walking down the street with a beer in her hand!!!
I just don't know how to allow her to learn from her own mistakes and not feel like her father and I are being taken for a ride. It is not easy paying for her college. We want to do it to help her get a good start in life, but I don't feel like she appreciates the sacrifice we are making for her.
Any advice you can give would be appreciated.