Need some advice regarding my 18 year old (sorry long)

MIStepMomNovember 12, 2002

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.

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Here's the way I see it. Acknowledging that she is an adult (snicker-snicker), inform her that it is now a privilege for her to continue living in your home, not her God-given right. Therefore, she abides by the rules you make, curfews you set, etc. I would even go so far as to say that she MUST go to school, and she should be responsible enough to make a 10:00 a.m. class. If she cant handle that -- and if she wants to do as she pleases -- she can then find a place of her own and become a full-fledged adult with all the bills and stresses that it brings. She can also buy and maintain her own car.

I would even suggest that once the rules are laid down (including no drinking!) and she has a clear understanding of them, you also tell her that the first time she breaks curfew the locks on the doors will be changed and she will have to sleep elsewhere from there on out.

Jeez, I sound like my Dad, who used to tell us kids ÂThis is MY house, and you will live by MY rules. If you donÂt like it, get out  needless to say, we followed his rules, because we knew he was serious!

Good luck  my daughter wonÂt be 18 for another year, but she seems to think this magical thing happens when you turn 18, so IÂm sure weÂll go head-to-head at some point!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2002 at 5:36PM
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My daughter has another year as well. Though she appears so angelic now, I know what happens when you're 18. I'm bracing for it. We have discussed the possibility of this behavior and we every intention to tell her ... if you cannot live by these rules and are such an adult ... you must be adult enough to take care of yourself ... the car is ours until you can either get yourself a car loan or pay for it in full. Insurance is cancelled. Once you leave, the locks will be changed. You are always welcome back here for a visit, but Dad and I go to bed by 10:00 and guests should leave by 9:00". Her education may take a couple of years longer, but this is the more important lesson. Let her quit school and work for $7 per hour and try to keep warm and fed and clothed on that. She may come to a very different realization and appreciation. It is so hard to be a good Mom. It means that WE must give up our plan of how the child's life was going to flow. We will worry about where she's at (not as if you don't already). We lose control in letting them go to make their own mistakes. These are some tough years for parents. I appreciate mine all the more!!!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2002 at 5:01AM
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If your daughter insists that she is an adult, then treat her like one. Let her get her own insurance policy, and if she can't afford it then she can use public transportation. Tell her her room is no longer free and that she must pay a monthly rent on it. Tell her she is now responsible for her share of ALL of the utility bills. She is also responsible for buying her own groceries and doing her share of the housework. Tell her she MUST work a job while she goes to school to pay for all of this. Also since she's an adult she'll have no problem paying her own tuition as well.

Tell her "This is what adult life is all about". "It's about responsibilty, not coming and going as you please"

If she is not willing to do all of the above mentioned things, then tell her she must abide by the house rules.

TOUGH LOVE is in order here. It may get to the point where you have to kick her out and make her make it on her own.

Adult? She's not even close.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2002 at 12:28PM
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I remember what I was like when I was 18. I knew everything.. My first comment is 2 am curfew?? As my dad said..."there is nothing you need to be doing at that time of a night..Home at 12:30" My dad was right (go fiqure). I agree with the person before me. Charge her room and board. MAke her get her own car and insurance. Let her pay for her own classes with the job she has. When I was that young I was made to get a job, my own car and I paid for my own classes..yes all of them...Guess what??? I am doing great. If someone is going to do everything for you..get you a car, pay for school, feed you ect...You better NOT have an attitude...YOu need to take control of this...Good Luck..IF she were at my house....she would think she was a reform camp!!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2002 at 8:50PM
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I agree with the posts before me. I have an 18 year old son who will be 19 in January. When he turned 18, suddenly he thought he could stay out as long as he liked, regardless of school the next day, etc. I have always been very firm with him regarding rules of the house and knows where I stand. If an 18 year old thinks they're an adult, the responsibility comes along with it, which also means how a person acts and reacts in difficult situations. If the pressure gets to be too much for you, she may just have to find a room to rent outside the house and pay her way. This will relieve the pressure of you having to live with so much stress daily. She is going through a rebellious stage and unfortunately, it sometimes takes negative experiences for a young person to wake up and grow up.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2002 at 10:38PM
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Having raised 3 sons (only 4 years apart in age..Oy!) to manhood, my opinion is a little different. The years from 18 to about 30 are important in a person's self-discovery. Rebellion, rudeness, pushing the envelope, experimenting...all these things are part of the natural development of 'trying out' adulthood while still having a safety net at home.

I would suggest she drop school for a while. Working (full time?), keeping a social life going, plus attending's too much to do, and school will be on the bottom of the list while she is learning about life 'out there'. And maybe instead of making arbitrary rules and punishments that keep her a dependent child, why not discuss with her the real adult dangers out in the world...drugs, unwanted pregnancy, STDs, etc?

In my experience, the tougher the parents get, the more rebellious the child gets in response, and that can escalate into something very damaging for everyone. She's already concealing and lying about what she's really doing. It's important that you acknowledge her 'adulthood' in an accepting and supportive way. Yes, she should pay some of her living expenses, which will depend on how much money she makes (probably not a whole lot at her age/education).

And try to relax a little! It can be a relief not to have to be a parent 24/7 anymore. And remember, in a very few years, she'll be caught up in the adult world of work, corporate life, parenting, bills, etc. that we all get sucked into. The years of youth and freedom go swiftly, and are precious.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2002 at 11:13AM
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Thank you all for your advice. I had to laugh at some of the suggestions because, I also heard some of the same statements from my parents and now find myself saying and thinking the same thing!! : ) But I guess looking back we all now realize that our parents were right and we are now here to laugh about it. Her dad has been out of town for the last 4 weeks (I have only seen him 24 hours over the last 4 weeks) so it has been difficult to have any meaningful discussions, but he will be home all day on Saturday before leaving again on Sunday for another week's trip. We are going to sit down with her (after she gets off work) and try to find out what is going on. I think we will try and concentrate on listening to her and not making any final decisions until we can all think about it and resume the discussion sometime during the week of the 25th. She did call her father yesterday crying about school and possibly not wanting to return next semester, but not really knowing what to do. She also said they she didn't tell us about this sooner because she did not want to disappoint us. Her dad told her that we would much rather she tell us that she didn't want to return then to take more classes and fail them and waste our money. She does not have the maturity of an 18 year old so her launch into "adulthood" has been harder than normal. As much as we want to just gather her up and tell her everything will be ok, I think we have to stand back and let her experience "adult moment" on her own, otherwise later down the road it will be just a different topic, different day.
I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again for the suggestions and support.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2002 at 3:57PM
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Well, my worst fears have come to life. My daugher has dropped out of college because she cannot find a balance between her work, school and social life.

She asked me the other night if she could spend the night at her mothers, of course I said no problem. Well, I had to drive by their the next morning on my way to take my son to school and her car was not there. The next night, she suddenly was very helpful when I was lugging 10 40lb bags of softner salt from my car to the garage. I thought it was nice, but wondered what was up. About 15 minutes after we were finished, she asked if she could go over and visit some friends. I told her that she needed to say home because she had lied about staying at her mothers the night before. She looked me in the eye and said that "she was 18 and a legal adult and I had no right to tell her she couldn't go out." I told her that if she was such an adult that she wouldnt' have lied and that she would be more responsible and that if she couldn't follow the house rules that she would have to find somewhere else to live and she proceded to leave the house and tell me to F*ck off. I proceded to breakdown into tears. I believe she should move out and find out what being an adult is all about. I love this girl very much, but she is taking advantage of the whole family. She dropped out of college without telling her dad and I and we have now wasted $2500.00 in tuition and books and she has forfeited a $2500 MEAP scholarship. All because she could't get out of bed for a 10:00AM class and wanted to party until the wee house of the morning. I am at my wits end!!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2002 at 6:14PM
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Pack her clothes and put them on the front lawn. Change the locks on the door. When she realizes you are not going to put up with her "cra_" any longer she may change her attitude. Otherwise you are much better off without her being in your home especially if you are not her biomother because she does not have the same respect for you that she would for her own mother. Take a stand and don't back down. This can't be good on your marriage (been there, done that) and your relationship to your husband is important. If she wants to be an adult, show her how adults react to childish actions!
Good luck and keep us posted.
Mother of 1/Stepmother of 4!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2002 at 1:06AM
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I believe we are at that point. My husband was convinced that was the right answer as well, but then she calls and cries over the phone that she is so confused about everything and he backs off. I believe she knows exactly what she is doing and is manipulating her father because she knows that she can. Don't get me wrong, I love this girl and have treated her like my own from the beginning, but I believe she needs to experience life as an adult and then she can tell us how "mean and unreasonable" we have been. The sad thing is that she doesn't treat her mother any better, in some respects worse. They are 2 peas in a pod, take, take, take because that think they are owed, but never feel like they should give anything back. That is the kind of "loving" home her mother was raised in so the cycle continues. I was completely appaled hearing them argue over the phone, sounded like a couple of truck drivers!! So the disrespect is for everyone who won't give her what she wants. Her mother has had a boyfriend for about a year now, they are moving to Utah to be closer to his kids. From the minute she started seeing this guy, she didn't have time for her children anymore and told her daugher that to her face and she was still 17 and in high school!!! When her daugher asked her when they were going to get married, she told her "not until the alimony is over because your DAD owes me"!!

So I am just having to deal with the product of a spoiled child from a divorced family. The marriage was over long before long before the divorce, but my husband stayed because she threatened to keep the kids from him. He slept on the couch the last 8 year of their marriage (this has been verified by his mother since she lived with them most of these years). So during this time, she tried to turn the kids against their father and did manage to turn the kids against each other so that when they did separate, they couldn't even stay in the same house with either parent because they would fight constantly, physically and verbally. Surprisingly enough, they are very close now. I guess it was just more of that "loving" upbringing.

Her father will be home Saturday from his business trip and he will be home all next week!!! I have only seen him 48 hours in the last 5 weeks, so I have taken the brunt of this behavior. Her father has said that he/we are going to tell her she has to move out and experience "adult life" since she can't follow the "very minor" rules in our household. She won't be out on the street as she has many friends that live in apartments nearby that I am sure will take her in. I also believe it has been these "friends" that have helped fuel the fire of "You're 18 and your parents can't tell you what to do".

Thanks for the support and advice, it has helped me realize that I am not a terrible person after all, just a mother and stepmother trying to do the very best thing for everyone. I will keep you posted.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2002 at 9:02AM
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MIS, you are absolutely doing the right thing in giving her the choice of "shape up or ship out". Realize that this would be the right thing to do whether she is your step or bio. Hopefully she won't be able to manipulate your husband into backing down from this ultimatum. She needs to know that you are serious, even if that means she sleeps on a friend's floor for a few weeks or months. Maybe she'll "get it" then.

My sister went through the same thing with one of her sons, who eventually moved back. But during the time he lived on his own as an adult, I happened to be there when he came to visit. He stood in front of the refridgerator with the door open, just staring inside. My sister told him to close the door if he wasn't sure what he wanted. His reply? "Ok Mom, but I'm just enjoying the sight of a fully stocked refridgerator!" That says it all, doesn't it? :-)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2002 at 12:00PM
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Mom 2 4: You are absolutely right, it says it all. I realize that it is very difficult for my husband, but I would do the same thing if it were my biochild. My 14 year old asked me last night what was going on. I explained it to him very matter of factly, without blaming anyone and he couldn't believe she would throw away a free education and he also said he didn't really like the way she treated me either. This led into a further discussion about expected behavior by all the kids in the house and I told him that when he was 18 and out of school that if we had the same type of problems with him regarding the rules of the house, he would be asked to leave as well. He accepted this and asked me if I would help him organize his room and we had a great time. So all is not lost.

I am hopeful that if everything works out all right that she too will see what a great opportunity we were giving her. An apology would be great but if we only get an acknowledgement that it was alot easier living at home and not as bad as she made it out to be; I will be happy.

Thanks for the reassurance.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2002 at 1:15PM
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Hey MIS ...It's been a while since I've been here and I'm wondering how things turned out when your husband returned.

Your situation is something we all may face when our little darlings turn 18 and "grow up"!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2002 at 9:12PM
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Well, we sat down and talked with her right after Thanksgiving. We told her that she was not keeping up her end of the original agreement which was basically to keep her bedroom and bathroom clean, take care of her pets and come in on time. She admitted that we were right and she said she would do better. We also talked to her about dropping out of school and she said that she just didn't like it. Her Dad told her that she should have at least finished out the semester. She said she was sorry and proceeded to tell us that she was registering for Community College for the next semester and we told her she would have to pay for it herself and when she was through, we would decide if we were going to reimburse her. We also told her that if she couldn't follow the rules than she would have to find somewhere else to live. I explained to her that the flip side of her statement of "I'm 18 and legal adult and you can't tell me what to do" was "You're a legal adult and we don't have to provide you with free room and board, free food, free laundry services, a loan for your car and inclusion on our car insurance policy" She just sat there and looked at me. She was real good for about 1 1/2 weeks and now she is back to not taking care of her chores and coming in whenever she wants.

Of course, that isn't the worst of it. I used the bathroom that is near her room the other day and found the wrapper for a pregnancy test!!! I told here Dad and he about freaked out. We talked to her when she got home that night and she said that it wasn't a big deal, she just wanted to make sure. We told her that that was extremely irresponsible and she better think twice about her decisions because they will effect the rest of her life. We also tried to tell her that the best way to make sure that she wasn't pregnant was not to have sex. She didn't have any thing to say about that.

She just doesn't want to be responsible. She wants to stay out all night and sleep 1/2 the day away and then go to work if she feels like it.

She pays us monthly for her car payment and insurance. Last month, the check came back for nonsufficient funds. We asked her about it and she said that she would get us the money in 2 weeks. We told her after she quit shool that she had to either work 40 hours at her current job or get another one. She hasn't done that either. Now she wants us to buy her new tires for her car for Christmas. I thought that was very inconsiderate.

It was really starting to come unglued about this a few weeks back and I remembered something someone posted on this site sometime back - about separating yourself from the situation. That is what I started to do. I am polite to her, but I try to avoid her when I can. It helped, but it is still very frustrating to see how she is manipulating her Dad and his decisions effect me too!! She mentioned to a friend of mine that ran into her at work that she and I aren't exactly seeing eye to eye these days and that we don't talk much. It really hurts me to have to be like this, but she just doesn't see that what she is doing is wrong. No matter how much we talk to her.

I just don't know what to do anymore. I guess this is just a perfect example of poor parenting by the egg and sperm doners. I hate always seeming like the bad guy to my boys, but I certainly don't want them to turn out like her. I can see how her Dad is struggling with this and it just kills me, but she is his bio-daughter, so I think my place here is limited. I wonder what Dr. Phil would say? LOL

Thanks for asking Mom 2 4

    Bookmark   December 18, 2002 at 10:38AM
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Oh my gosh ... the saga continues, doesn't it? Honestly, though, this would be happening whether you were her BM or SM.

I am so sorry that your husband is buying into her games and manipulation. You and I know that this only makes the problem worse because she knows she can get away with things. Hey, why not act like you're a finance company and reposess her car for non-payment? Would your husband do that? It seems that he's putting down rules for her and not enforcing them.

I must admit that I went thru the same thing with my daughter, between 15 and 16. We'd make rules and then I would forgive her when she broke them. There was always an excuse. During this time, she never fooled my husband. He told me all along that I shouldn't give in. It took a major event for me to "get it" and realize that she WAS playing me like a fiddle. Then I changed the way I did things. I did what I said I would do, no exceptions. When she realized that I was no longer playing with her, she gradually changed and quit trying. Now I find I now have a totally different teenager now. I enjoy being around her! :-)

I guess I'm saying that, like me, it may take something major before your husband realizes that it's time to lay down the law with her. Nothing my husband said swayed me. I thought my husband was wrong -- he didn't know my child as well as I did, right? BUT I WAS WRONG! He was able to see things that I chose to ignore. Hopefully it won't take a pregnancy for your husband to see through the smoke she's blowing.

So, hang in there. And try to have a good holiday despite her issues!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2002 at 5:41PM
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I sat and typed this long response and when I clicked preview, the whole window closed up and disappeared! I'll save you the ramble and talk about my life and tell you something I've learned since graduating high school almost 5 years ago and becoming at 19 (to a wonderful man I'm still with and we're expecting #2).

The biggest lesson I learned in life is that we can sit and plan our lives all we want but they're planned for us and we're not really in control. Our parents and grandparents can have all these wonderful dreams for us but that's all they are...dreams. Just because you don't get there, doesn't mean you failed or made the wrong choice and messed up your life. Where you end up, you end up because that's where you were meant to be. You made that choice because that's what you were meant to do. People may not like the path they're on or others may not agree but sometimes we have to live through that stuff to grow and change and become who were meant to be later in life. So your step daughter may be driving you batty right now and she may end up pregnant and so on...let it happen. You can't stop life. She'll learn to grow and adapt and be a better person. The best thing you can do right now for your step daughter is not to give her everything. Let her do whatever but make her do it on her own. She may hate you for it now, but she'll thank you for it later. It's the only way she's going to learn about life. Helping someone all through their life and paying for their college and free room and board and everything doesn't help them. It makes it harder for them to grow up and move on on their own. I can't tell you how many people my age that work for my mother just work so they have money to go our drinking and to shop with. They're parents pay for everything, sometimes down to the credit cards they buy their clothes and food with. How's that help them? Some of those kids expect to be paid for not even working! They don't care because that's just their temporary job until they get through college and get a "real job"so who cares if they never go in on time or show up hung over or whatever. Nice job those parents are doing teaching their kids about life! I'm glad I was given my space to do whatever and get through my own problems. My parents were there if I needed moral support or for some things but not for everything. It was better to suffer and get through myself then to have help all the time because I learned lessons and made sure the stuff didn't happen again. Even though my parents were scared and shocked that I was a mother and everything that my DF and I went through in the begining, they can at least look at us now and say how proud they are of us. They can even be excited and happy that we're having another child because they know we can make it and we will be fine and wonderful parents to that child like we were with our DS. That's life. It's not about being in control forever of our kids and helping them through everything. There comes a time when you leave them go and let them live their own lives because you're job is done.

Good luck to you.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2002 at 10:31AM
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MIStepmom, what's new now?
We'd love to hear another update!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2002 at 6:00PM
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Great post Nadastimer...I agree.. My parents did not buy me a car..They made me get a job and buy one. When I was growing up I had to do the dinner dishes. You would have thought they were beating me every night. My mom told me someday you are going to wish all you had to do is the dishes... Gosh, can you imagine getting up and just having to do the dishes?? The only help I received as far as putting myself through school-she paid for my book for one semester. I did the rest..You know why? Because I had to. I am now 35 and have a great career and all that comes with know what my dream is? Not to make more money and have more stuff but, to be a volunteer to help other people.
I recently collected money for someone I knew so her kid could have a christmas. If I could help people all day long I would be so happy. It makes me realize that wow I didnt have it so bad and still dont. Stop giving the kid everything she wont fall over and die.. She will get off her butt and do something with herself. It might not be the next day but, it will come. Giving and giving gets you nothing but a nonfuctional adult. I often tell my b/f that I am excited to have a baby but, not a teenager!! Especially a female luck to you.. Merry Christmas

    Bookmark   December 22, 2002 at 9:14AM
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I could relate stories to you, but I won't. Other than to say my parents made me pay my own way, which straightened my b*tt out fast! Made me a better person for sure! And I know now, being a step-parent (not bio) that my family will have issues going forth now and then. Everyone above has got it right, as do you. You obviously know what is right and where you stand. So I offer my heartfelt support. Many hugs. Many prayers. And all the strength I can give. And besides, this too shall pass!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2002 at 10:39PM
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I agree with the post before me, if she says shes an adult she needs to act like one! Give her other options, like joining the military to put a roof over her head, a place to sleep and pay for her schooling or tell her she can join the job core and then after presenting these options to her, show her your option one final time and ask her to choose what option she would like, being the adult she is now to make her own choices! Then see what she says! In every way, GOOD LUCK to you and your family! My oldest is only 11, youngest is 2 so i still have a ways to go before Im asking for others advice!!!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2003 at 12:37AM
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Well, I thought I would post an update to this saga. Since my last post, things have gone from bad to worse for SD. After dropping out of school she proceeded to work but only part time even though her father and I expressed the need for her to work full time since she was going to have to pay for her schooling if she chose to return. She never did pick up extra hours and proceeded to quit or was fired, we are not sure which came first, after New Years because her job was interferring with the time she wanted to spend with her new boyfriend. She proceeded to tell us on Christmas Eve that she was spending the night at her boyfriends and basically hasn't been home since. We expressed our dislike for this and asked her to come home many times which she always said "ok" but never showed up. Her father and I had many "discussions" about this and he finally admitted that it would be better for all of us if she moved out. Before we had a chance to talk to her about this, she left us a nasty note saying that she was moving in with her boyfriend and cursing me for not leaving any laundry detergent in order to wash her clothes. Her father was relieved that she made the decision and he didn't have to be the bad guy. Well it has taken her 3 weeks to come and get her things. We finally had to tell her that they had to be out by the end of January. We also cancelled her car insurance at the end of January. She has finally gotten a job working part time making $7/hr. She has signed up for 2 credit cards and a cell phone. She didn't have the money to pay the cell phone bill, so they terminated her service. I don't know the status of the credit cards. She started school but dropped out because she didn't have any money for books.
Her father took the bigger items over to the apartment last night and came back almost in tears. He said that the apartment was a total pigsty and he couldn't wait to leave for fear that he would catch something. He kept asking what he did wrong in raising her and I could only tell him that it wasn't what she was taught, but what she wasn't taught. Her mother never taught her anything about keeping a house. She can't cook, clean, etc. It has been a very disheartening experience for her father. I just hope she doesn't do anything more to disappoint him. We are still paying the car payment because we took out the loan since she couldn't get one without a co-signer anyway and this allowed her to only carry PLPD for the insurance. She says she will pay us back, but I am not holding my breath, she is already 2 months behind.
Her mother thinks everything is just great and hopes that she gets married at a young age just like her. So I guess this just shows where the main influence is. Unfortunatly, SD has gone with the side of least resistance and most support for a lifestyle that is headed in the wrong direction.
Thanks for listening and suppporting me during this difficult situation. I hope our family can return to some type of normalcy now.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2003 at 6:33PM
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I'm really sorry to hear that this little girl is breaking her father's heart. I use the term girl, because she certainly isn't acting like a mature woman even though she's of age.

I would recommend that you take some steps to protect yourself, because it sounds like she thinks that the world somehow "owes her".

First of all I would change all of the locks on your house, since she probably has keys. I would hate to hear that things had come up "missing" in your home when she starts running out of money.

Take the car back. It is essentially your car that you are letting her use, but she doesn't seem to be giving the two of you the respect you deserve for providing her with transportation. She can save up and buy herself a car, or she can take the bus.

The sooner she learns about how the real world works, the less grief she will have in her life as she gets older.
She just doesn't understand right now how good she really had it when all she had to do was go to school and come home at a reasonable time.

Sometimes saying "no" is the biggest gift you can give a child.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2003 at 7:14PM
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You are absolutely right. As soon as she has all her things out of the house, we plan on asking her for her key back and when we change the entrance doors this spring, I think we will have them rekeyed as well. She did come into the house a few weeks back and help herself to groceries. Her father did let her know that that was not acceptable that we certainly didn't want her to go hungry, but that she needed to ask, not just take. Her father will never agree to taking her car from her so we will just have to continue paying until the $2800.00 is gone. At least it wasn't a new car. He made that mistake with his son by co-signing for a lease and when SS lost his job, we ended up paying the remaining 22 months on the lease. These were just expensive lessons to learn for both of us. I truly believe she is in for a very rude awakening, but there is nothing we can do but let her live through it. She is the one who made these choices even though we tried to counsel her differently, she was after all a "18 year old legal adult and she could do whatever she wanted" (according to her). I just wish there was something I could do to help my husband understand that he is not at fault here. Maybe time is the only medicine.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2003 at 7:32PM
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Oh MIStepMom, my heart goes out to you. It must be heartbreaking. My daughter will be 18 in 10 months, and she's just told me what she plans on doing when she turns 18. Uh-Uh. Not as long as you are under MY roof! She has definitely developed a wonderful maturity in the past year, but she needs to understand the rules while she still lives here. When I told her "no, you're not", she took it very well. But what actually happens remains to be seen!

She's also asked me why I can't buy her a car ... I got the "you can afford it, why not" guilt trip ... not gonna happen! I'll certainly help her with it, but the majority of the cost will be hers.

Oh the pains of growing up! I hope your SD gets out into the real world and comes back to you with a new sense of appreciation for how good she really had it. The grass is always greener on the other side -- until you actually get there, right?

Oh -- on the bright side ... I was putting stuff away in my daughter's room and saw a valentine she had bought for me addressed to the "the most wonderful Mom" ... It brought a big smile to my face, but I resisted the urge to read it until she gives it to me!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2003 at 1:56PM
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Mom 2 4, you sound like you have a handle on your daughter and her approaching "adulthood". There is such a fine line between helping and hurting you children. We certainly didn't want to finance her car, but based on the cost of auto insurance in Michigan, carrying full coverage would have cost her $2400/year. We figured the car payment over a 2 year period to help make it more manageable at $128/mth when you add this to $200/mth for insurance, it adds up to a pretty hefty number. So being the good parents we are (or thought we were) we agreed to finance the car so that the monthly outlay was a more manageable number. So now we are waiting for payments that are 2 months behind and we don't really know whether she has insurance on it or not. Since we live out in the country, taking a bus to work was not an option. We both so wanted to just give her a little boost as she started her college career, (help we never had) we never thought she would drop out and continue on the path that she has. Her father has really had a rude awakening. The daughter he thought he knew, is not the one we see today. I tried to tell him what I saw happening, but like you said in an earlier post, you don't see it in your own children until something big happens to open your eyes. Well his eyes are open now and he is very disillusioned. I really hope she realizes what she has done and at least makes amends with her Dad. I am just the "mean old stepmother" so I am not looking for any acknowledgement whatsoever. Thanks again for your support.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2003 at 4:43PM
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Mean old step mother? Ha! I think not! We try to do the best we can for our kids, give them the advantages we didn't have -- it's only natural to want to do that. But in the end it's up to them to appreciate it or not.

And, yeah, I still do STRONGLY believe that steps can spot trouble from a mile away where the bio can't. And don't think for a second that my daughter hasn't given me huge challenges! She has -- and guess what! It was my husband that picked up on it way before I could acknowledge trouble brewing. As a result, there was a time where I allowed her no social life at all. I consider myself very fortunate that, for now at least, she "gets it" and is planning for her her future and her education. FINALLY! It's more than I could have ever hoped for. Some kids take longer to "get it" than others, and with any luck your SD will realize what she's giving up.

The truth is that a teen's maturity has to come FROM WITHIN for it to be real and sincere. We teach them right from wrong and then give them wings. Then it's up to them, as we step back and watch them fly. Sometimes they bang into a few trees before they learn how to use their wings!

Don't give up hope on your SD. At least she's not doing anything illegal. Perhaps she just wants to get a taste of life before she goes back to school. Keep your door open for her, but don't enable her to make wrong decisions -- and certainly don't support her. You are doing the right thing. Let her test her wings.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2003 at 7:01PM
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Whether you are a step mom or a bio mom .... this is a hellish age. It takes all we have in our souls to deal with what the kids can dish out. If we can hold out ... the rewards will be worth it. If we cave in .. we will be dealing with this for the rest of our lives. Personally ... I would rather stay strong and be done with it.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2003 at 9:18PM
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I check back every day hoping that you'll update everyone on how things are going.. It's been quite some time since you've been here. I hope things are looking up. Please drop a line or two if you have a chance...
Thanks for your advice in my entry from a few weeks back. I appreciated your kind words... They've really helped a lot.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2003 at 10:32PM
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"So now we are waiting for payments that are 2 months behind and we don't really know whether she has insurance on it or not."

GET THAT CAR BACK! If your name is on the title, and she is driving the car with your permission, you are legally responsible for whatever damage that car does ... so make DARNED sure she has insurance or take the car back. This could cost you THOUSANDS of dollars because the victim's insurance company will cover the costs and then will go after you to get their money back.

I know because I was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by a just-turned-18 lad whose parents had let him take one of their cars when he moved out in a snit ... he let the insurance lapse, that triggered a registration revocation, and they ended up paying for two injured people (one of whom required surgery and rehab) and two destroyed vehicles because he wasn't making enough money to handle it. And because he was 18 and living on his own, not even their homeowners insurance would help them out.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2003 at 8:25AM
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Well, she has been moved out for 3 months and I have to admit, the house is returning to some form of normalcy. I know my husband misses her and I do as well, but neither one of us miss the lack of respect and lack of consideration we were receiving from her when she lived in our household.

We have met her boyfriend and he seems like a nice guy. He has a good job and ambitions for his future as well. He is 21 and she is 18 (19 this June). She still just works part time which means she can barely pay her bills (car payment, insurance and rent). She has not been able to pay her credit cards or cell phone bill and we receive daily harassing phone calls from the 1 credit card company. We have told them repeatedly that she does not live with us and does not have a phone (only the boyfriend has a cell phone) and they still hound us daily. Her Dad has asked her to call them and at least try and set up a payment plan and she has not done that. No coping skills, when it comes to anything uncomfortable she just avoids it as long as possible and then procedes to just have a melt down. We terminated her car insurance at the end of January and she didn't get coverage for another 30 days because she didn't have the money. She has paid us all the back car payments and miscellaneous things but she still struggles. She came crying to her father a few weeks back and wanted to borrow some money and he asked her how much and she said she didn't know. He told her to write out a plan on how much she wanted and the schedule of payments. She still has not done that. The ex called my husband the other day and said he needed to start helping his daughter because she had been doing it for the last couple of months. I am sure that she received very little from her mother knowing how tight fisted and selfish she is. The ex owes us $300 from the college incident and my husband asked her when she was going to pay (she has only been promising for 6 months) and she asked him if he would give it to the daughter to help her out.

We are going to try and have them over for dinner whenever we can and allow them to wash their laundry at our house to help save them money.

She still hasn't gotten a full time job or a 2nd part time job, so I have a hard time really feeling sorry for the situation she is in, but I find myself in the position of giving in just to keep the peace in the house.

My husband was really standing his ground about her having to live in the bed she had made for herself, but they were over last weekend to celebrate my son's 10th birthday and she mentioned that they only had $50.00 for groceries and they had bought some spam and found it was pretty good. Well, that was the story that melted her father's heart. He can't stand the idea of his little girl going hungry. Believe me, I can't either, but they spend their money on unnecessary things like a $400 puppy so that is why they don't have money for food. That is also a choice they made.

I let my husband know that I don't really approve of handing them money primarily because they waste it on things that are not necessary, but once again, I have to bite my lip because it just causes problems between my husband and me. I keep telling him that he needs to keep asking her why she doesn't have a 2nd job or a better one. He agrees with me, but it just kills him to think his little girl is not getting enough to eat.

So we will continue to help her. Believe me, it is not the money that bothers me at all, it really is her continued lack of maturity and acceptance that she is a "legal adult" just like she told us over and over again. If this is the case, then why can't she support herself, why won't she get another job, why did she get the credit cards and they proceed to charge hundreds of dollars when she knew she couldn't pay the bill? Hopefully she will grow up sometime soon.

Thanks for all your continued support.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2003 at 2:50PM
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Wow! Spending $400 for a puppy and then eating SPAM? I agree with you, that stunt would be hard for me to stomache, pardon the pun. I'd have to tell them in a joking manner "That puppy was your grocery money, so eat the puppy" ... (just kidding, of course - so don't flame me!!). But it would make a point about actions and consequences, which she clearly doesn't yet understand.

I would also have a REAL problem with handing her money to compensate for her stupidity, lack of maturity and failure to think of the future! Why is it that Dads are way too eager to bail their little girls out of trouble, even though that trouble is of their own design? Could you suggest inviting them over to eat a few times a week while they do their laundry instead of forking over money to them? Or cooking and freezing some meals for them to bring home for "lean times"? You are still helping, but also demonstrating that she won't get any cold hard cash from you. And she couldn't accuse you of not helping her, even though it is NOT your responsibility to help at all.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2003 at 5:23PM
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The silver lining is that she chose a nice boyfriend with ambition and a job. Perhaps some of that will rub off on her. Could be worse -- he could have been a high school drop-out with no job, no teeth and no place to call home except his car -- but always toting a beer! (Don't laugh -- this really happened with a family friend's daughter.) :-)

Take a deep breath and remember to be thankful for the little things ...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2003 at 5:33PM
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Thanks Mom 2 4. It truly is a very distressing situation. The thing that really grinds me is the advice (if you can call it that) from the mother. She not only doesn't encourage her to get another job, she encouraged her to apply for food stamps!!!!! I have to continually remind myself that this is advice from a woman who 1)gets 5 years of alimony (even though immediately after the divorce she began working 40 hours at $22.00/hr, the reason for the alimony was because she had a note from her doctor saying that she was to depressed to work full time and she refused to work full time the 2 years they were separated before the divorce became final) (the alimony ends next May!!) 2)received child support for her son for a year longer than she should have because she refused to turn in the receipts that she provided to my husband when he was paying her alimony and child support outside of the court system and 3) 2 years of child support for the daughter when she lived with us. She wouldn't sign the papers saying she was not living with her, but she wouldn't spend any of the child support money on the daughter either!!!! This woman also has at least a 1/2 dozen credit card bills from after the divorce that she hasn't paid(we know this because the bills come to our house which she hasn't lived in for over 6 years. I open then and then proceed to rip them up and throw them away.) So I guess I shouldn't be surprised with the advice she gives her daughter or the decisions the daughter makes when she sees that it appears to be working for her mother. Her father and I sat down with her many times and explained how to manage money and told her what we knew of her mother's financial history and practically begged her not to make the same poor decisions. I am still hoping someday that she will remember the advice WE gave her and step over to the "right side of the tracks". I truly believe that the only way she will learn this is by not giving her any money but continuing to push her to get another job. She is currently still under my medical insurance until she is 19. If she enrolls in a college full time, she can remain on my benefits until she is 21. Although she still has $1250 of her scholarship left to use, I don't see how she will be able to afford books and supplies, so her medical benefits are also in jeopardy.

I just don't know what to do. Her father tried to call her, but the boyfriends cell phone has been disconnected - couldn't pay the bill. Her father is out of town for the next 2 1/2 weeks, so this just adds to the complications. I would talk to her, but I feel at this point it needs to come from her father.

Thanks again for the advice and support.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2003 at 4:13PM
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MIStepMom -
It's rough, but with enough time of being hungry, carless, and phone-less she'll catch on. This is the hard part of parenting: watching them flounder. If you keep rescuing her, she'll never learn to take care of herself.

Do not hand over any money - hand over groceries.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2003 at 10:02AM
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I just have to laugh about the "spam" situation.

When I was growing up, Spam was a treat!

I was raised by a single dad, and we never had fancy stuff for food. We ate a lot of rice, beans, hamburger and cheap canned veggies.

There is nothing wrong with allowing adult children to find their own way. Going hungry or having to eat "plain food" temporarily isn't such a bad thing. That is really the only way they will learn to prioritize and budget.

So I would suggest that you invite them to dinner once in a while and every so often drop off a bag of basic groceries. Milk, potatoes, rice, beans, flour etc. That way you know they won't go hungry, but the food won't be fancy.

This is a very important lesson for a child who has been not only indulged, but has a poor role model in her mother.

Good Luck!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2003 at 11:21AM
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Well, my few months of peace in the house are over. Stepdaughter broke up with her boyfriend (actually he broke up with her)and of course she wants to move back in with us. Never mind that her Dad and I were the "bad people" before she moved out and most of the time while she was gone. We are suddenly the only ones she wants to live with. As you can imagine, it was not a happy Easter at our house. Just when I thought my husband and I would have some time to ourselves, when my boys are with their Dad and when he is not traveling, everything blows up in my face. She has only had her stuff out (most of it) for the last 8 weeks. We finally were able to make use of the family room. The house only has 3 bedrooms and 2 of the bedrooms are only 10 x 10 which when we tried putting both the boys in with bunk beds was like living in a closet. She was given the space her brother had before he left for the airforce.
I tried to tell my husband that I didn't think I could handle having her in the house again based on how she had treated me before and he accused me of not having any compassion. I knew then I really didn't have a choice. He said he would make her tow the line and I reminded him that with the little he is at home, it would once again be me having to play the heavy.
We sat down with her without committing to letting her move in (of course she knew all along that her daddy would take her back) and told her what the ground rules would be:
1. in by 12:00 during the week
2. we would be managing her money
She is currently $2000.00 in debt to credit cards and overdraft bank fees. She only works part time and wasn't able to pay all her bills, so she let her car insurance lapse. She doesn't want to get another job, but we told her she had to and we are also going to give her 2 weeks in which to do it. I am so frustrated with her not understanding that she doesn't have a choice about the 2nd job when she owes so much money and barely can pay the other bills. Once again, she gets this from her mother.
3. Since we are not charging her rent, she will be expected to help out around the house.

We also told her that we would not tolerate the kind of behavior she exhibited prior to moving out. She did admit that she now knew what it felt like to have the person you love not come home at night while you sat home worrying about where they were and whether they were ok. Her father told her that her worrying about where her boyfriend was, did not compare to worrying about your child. She seemed humbled during this discussion on Saturday, but by Sunday, I was seeing some of the old habits and I really had to bite my tongue.
She wasn't pleased with the rules we set down, but she is just going to have to deal with it if she wants to continue to live in our house.
Her mother called last night (I thought I was done hearing from this woman) and proceeded to lecture her on making sure she goes back to school. Of course she is not willing to help out any, but feels she has the right to dictate what her daughter should do. She also would not let her live with her because she is in a 1 bedroom apt and doesn't have the room. This was done purposely so that none of her children would be able to live with her. This women is a real piece of work. She was also the one who told daughter she needed to go back and live with her father because he wouldn't let her be without a place to stay.
Well enough venting I guess. I have always tried to take the higher road when I find myself in situations like this, but you know lately I find myself just being walked all over.
Thanks for listening (again).

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 9:30AM
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"she will be expected to help out around the house."

Make sure this "helping out" is clearly spelled out with task, frequency and standards. Otherwise one load of laundry (left in the washer) may get her off the hook.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 10:44AM
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Gee, I'm sorry to hear about the turn of events. I'm even more sorry that your husband keeps bailing her out over and over again. You know you are right, if he'd only listen to you. SD needs to grow up, and right now she has no reason to since her parents continue to treat her like a kid. They are not doing her any justice by encouraging her to be so irresponsible. You are the only voice of reason in the whole thing! Hmmm ... you were trash when she didn't need you, and now that she does you're suddenly a treasure ...

You know, if you bite your tongue too many times and too often, you will bite it off. Does your husband realize how weary you are of the whole situation? You are, understandably, tired of feeling so helpless. After all, it is your home and your money, too -- and it doesn't look like you have any voice, which is totally unfair to you. I know he wants to help his daughter, but he's allowing her to run all over the two of you with no regard for your ideas or feelings. Clearly, they haven't done such a bang-up job with their daughter, so you would think he'd be open to listening to you -- or at the very least seriously consider your wishes before deciding on a strategy all by himself. A strategy based solely on emotion and his desire to make the world "all better" for his baby girl!

Does he realize that his kid should be mostly flying solo by now -- especially since she's chosen not to go to school? Does he realize that the way he handles his daughter and ignoring your wishes can have a HUGE negative effect on your marriage? Jeez, he's not only damaging his daugher's ability to grow up, but also his marriage.

Just by the fact that she wasn't pleased with the rules tells me it will be same old-same old. I'd make it clear that you will only help her if she exhibits mature behavior, even if it kills her! If she's not mature, PRETEND ... I'd set up a bunch of rules:

1) She needs to pay her OWN bills, on time, even if that means two jobs (wah wah too bad!)
2) No insurance ... no drive. Take the bus. (another chorus of wah wah too bad)
2) She will not be allowed to be disrespectful AT ALL to anyone in the house, not even the dog
3) She will follow every rule put forth ALWAYS. No exceptions
4) She will have regular chores
5) She will have a curfew

I would really force a hard-line stand with your husband. You are making a huge concession in having her live with you again, the least he can do is set limits and guidelines. Agree on the rules and consequences before presenting them to her, so no surprises. And hey, I'd say BREAK A RULE AND YOU'RE OUT. Sleep in your Mom's bathtub if you need to.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 4:07PM
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I have just read this entire thread just waiting to get to the end so I can add my 2 cents, stuff like: "don't give them cash, give gift certificates to the grocery" or "yea, take the car back!". Then I got to the end and none of my comments work now! Darn!! :-)

I just want to chime in and agree with lazygardens and mom_2_4 - stick to your guns. She is irresponsible and needs a job and some guidance. Your husband is a good father who loves his daughter. I am not an advocate of "throw her out into the street", but she needs to follow rules with very very clear penalties for breaking rules. Have scheduled family meetings to discuss her activities.

She may be 18 (almost 19) but she acts like 12!

STAND YOUR GROUND SISTAH, it's your house and your car (you pay the loan), remind her of that daily if you have to!!


    Bookmark   April 22, 2003 at 2:14AM
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I've read all the previous posts with interest. I have an 18 year old son, and a 23 year old daughter who are BOTH driving me out of my mind. I don't even know when the trouble started, but it's been going on for so long now that I can't even remember a time (well, maybe when they were toddlers), where we were a normal family. They are my biological children from previous marriage. Five years ago I met a wonderful caring and loving man who is an excellent father. Problem was--he lived 3 hours away. After three years of long distance dating, we finally married. My daughter then was 18, and my son 16. Daughter had already moved into an apartment with another female roomate, son didn't want to relocate until the school year ended. We consented to let him stay with his Dad until the year ended and he would then come to live with us. He didn't spend a single night with this father--called me complaining about the filthy conditions, and I agreed to let him stay with his sister for the next 3 weeks until summer break. In June, I went down and brought all of his belongings to the new house and moved him into his own room. He had a car, and got a part-time job. Almost immediately he started to show signs of depression--missed his friends and didn't want to live in the new town. Against his wishes, I enrolled him in school. He completed a year here, but it was a constant struggle. He had been the smartest kid in the school he came from--here he was failing grades and getting into trouble. He ended up suspended for having a temper tantrum and fighting with another student. He cried, slept all the time, and was clearly depressed. I took him for counseling and they suggested to me that he would get used to the new surroundings in time. By the end of the school year he was much worse, and talking about having nothing to live for. He stayed in bed, cried all the time, and had fits of rage. To save his sanity--if not his life, I allowed him to move back in with his sister in the town where he was raised. Sadly, she offered a more stable and suitable environment than his own father could give him! He managed to graduate, although his grades were minimally passing. That was this past June. Since then, he has lost 3 jobs. His rage has gotten much worse. He still lives with his sister, who is fed up with his outbursts. He destroys property--runs his fist through the wall, jerks the towel racks off the wall, ripped his turn signal and rear view mirror out of the car I bought for him, and generally acts as though he is losing his mind. Because he's 18, I could not arrange counseling or medical attention for him. I was able to FINALLY get him to make an appointment with mental health professionals, and he did keep his first appointment. The only thing I know (because of privacy/confidentiality) is that they gave him an anti-depressant, and that he was a no-show for his second appointment. I try to go down and check on them every few weeks, and am paying his portion of the household bills, and sometimes hers as well. At least twice a month they get into a fight, he breaks or destroys something else, and she tells him to get out. I worry about them constantly, and am unable to function normally myself. It's been months (maybe years) since I slept without waking in a panic, and feel like I am losing my mind, as well.

I don't even know what I can expect to get from this forum, but felt some comfort seeing that others are struggling as well. I have offered my son a stable and nurturing environment. He tells me he's 18 and won't move back in with me because he "hates living in a snobby neighborhood". I don't know what else I can do. I tell myself that as long as he knows I will ante up with the funds when the rent/bills come due--he has no reason or incentive to work. I tell myself that I won't do it--but when the first of the month rolls around and I know he doesn't have any money, I pay the rent to keep him from being homeless and my daughter from losing her apartment. She's fed up, and I understand. He is not her responsibility, and he's not a good choice for a roommate. Trouble is, he thinks he's an adult and can do what he wants. What he wants, apparently, is to sleep his problems away and have everyone else worry.

Is there anybody out there who can offer some kind of options? I know he's 18, but that doesn't make him an adult. Still legally my hands are tied to do anything with him. His biological father lives less than 3 miles away from him, but his only contribution has been to call him on the phone, curse him, and tell him he would have his "crazy a## locked up." His own father committed suicide when the kids were small. This is another thing my son refers to--the fact that his grandfather killed himself, and so my son says it's inherited. Can anyone help me?????


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 12:57PM
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I know it is the year 2008, and these messages were written "years" ago, but I cannot believe what I am reading. Just when I thought that I was alone in my saga with my 18 year old teen (male), I read this. It is my story exactly!!!!!!!! I was searching for a site to read advice on how to deal with an 18 year old(that technically is no longer under your wing) and how to understand what is going on. I cannot believe how i can relate to this.
Is anyone still out there that wants to hear my story? Just put my (bio) son's character into the story, and you got it!!! Just a couple of other issues going on with him, he lost his dad when he was 11. Has had me and step dad in his life and so many other wonderful family members to love and nuture him. He has done the same things with college and getting in to trouble with the law, and has now completely estranged himself from this family.
I read everyone's advice (of course from 2002) but it is what we have done and I am so glad and relieved to see that others give the same advice and feel the way I do!!!!!
Any one like to comment????

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 12:27AM
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Hi Treejf,

Welcome :) I'd suggest starting a new thread. This thread is old and long and may cause confusion.

Looking forward to hearing your story,


    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 1:35AM
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If she wants to come and go as she pleases without any regard for curfew, drop classes without telling you, get poor grades, then you need to start treating her as an adult.

She needs to get her own car insurance policy. Yes, it will be expensive for her...but, she's irresponsible and it will be too unfair for you if she wrecks a car and jacks up everyone's car insurance premiums. I bet she's not concerned about health care coverage either. I assume you provide that as well.

She needs to start paying for college, if she's going to drop classes. Nothing is a free ride. My job will reimburse tuition, but only if I get a B or higher. That's what it's like to be an adult.

Sounds like she is having major rebellion issues. She might drop out of college, but you can't rescue her from that. You can only limit how much chaos she will cause you.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 11:05AM
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I have spent a few days reading these post and here I am, I was surfing the internet for advise on my 18 year old daughter and found this site. If anyone is still out here and wants to listen please let me know I will keep checking back. I don't see anything posted since December 2008.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 5:43PM
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It's an old thread. Why don't you start one of your own? If it's not a stepchild situation there's also the Parenting Forum where you could ask your question.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 8:34PM
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Dear MIStepMom, so I came upon your story by accident and read through the whole thing. In about 8 months I will be turning 18 and I myself cannot believe the disrespect, lack of maturity, and audacity of your step daughter. I honestly don't think your husband should have let her back into the house and really i don't think he should have been the one to make the choice since from what I've read he is rarely home to deal with her. She seems like an out right b**** to me, and if this is how she carries herself through life I doubt she has many good friends that she will be able to rely on. Probably why she instated on moving back in with you. Her experience out side of the house was probably not good enough to wake her up as she had her boyfriend to rely on. I guess enough about me complaining about your daughter I'm sure you've ah enough. Before a few changes in my life I was ready to tell my parents as soon as I turned 18 that I no longer had to listen to them, all my other friends were allowed to go out and stay out late on weekends till like 2am they went to parties ect but by slow introduction to the kind of life I will be living at 18 I didn't have all the rage and anger. When I met my boyfriend whom I've been with For over a year now things started to change I felt more like an adult and I wanted to be out after school everyday till 7-8pm without having to explain myself where I've been to my mother. That was when we first established proper house cleaning chores for me, and she treated me a little bit more like an adult which I appreciated. Recently I've been returning home for about midnight on weekends and before 8pm on school nights, but there wasn't a sudden change more of a unspoken acceptable extension but that is probably because they know I am safe if I'm going somewhere new or to a party I at least tell then where it is so they don't worry and let them know I'm with friends and they understand I will be back later than usual never on school nights tho ( let her know you are fine with her being out as long as you roughly know where she is so incase anything happens they know where to look). My mum realised I was having sex with my boyfriend and even once found a pregnancy test, you shouldnt shout at your daughter in rage which my mum didn't she sat me down and talk me through a few things which I already knew, she accepted that she couldn't be able to stop me from doing it and she said shed prefer if I was doing it safely and she helped me get the birth control pill. I really love and appreciate my mum for that. So for your future 18 year olds I'd start introducing adult expectations before the birthday and allow some slack on old strict rules at the expense of being treated more like an adult (e.g. Cleaning bathroom weekly, picking up household groceries) As for your daughter stop rewarding her bad behaviour by allowing her back into your life when she hasn't upheld any of her promises, I'd stop all help and only begin to slowly start helping her again when it looks like she's really trying up to the point where maybe you can take her back in, by rewarding the positive behaviour maybe you will reinforce it.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 9:48PM
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