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Problems with my 19 year old daughter
Sex & Intimacy / 9:15 PM - Tuesday October 09, 2007

Problems with my 19 year old daughter

This question was sent out yesterday but I made a mistake and it never went out. So I am gonna attempt to remember everything I wrote.

Last year my daughter attended college out of State. This school year she returned to the local university. One of the reasons was because her on and off boyfriend is attending this university. She claims that the other reason is because it was too far away from home.

Since she returned last May she didn't want to address what she was going to do as far as living on or off campus. We live about a ten minute drive from the University. She wanted to live on campus but realized that it was wasted money. Her next thought was to move in with her on and off boyfriend who was renting an apartment near the university. She said that he would only charge her $100.00 a month for expenses. I expressed my feelings about the possibility of her moving in with the boyfriend. She didn't care of what I thought and said that since she lived for a whole year on her own (campus) it was gonna be hard to adjust living home. She was all excited about playing "wife". I wanted nothing to do with it. My husband on the other hand, went to see the apartment and hung out with my daughter and the boyfriend.

My husband and I are not on the same book, never mind on the same page as far as what parenting is involved. He wants to be the friend, not a parent. I am always the bad guy because I try to set some rules and boundaries. This has never worked because my husband is wishy washy and doesn't back me up. The few times he backs me up he winds up changing his mind.

August came and I approached her and asked what she was planning to do. She said she was not going to move in with the on /off boyfriend but that she was thinking about renting an apartment with some girlfriends. I didn't think it was such a bad idea. The only problem with that was that by the time she moved her a-- to start looking it was too late. There was nothing decent to rent and the rents were very high. Some of the friends she had approached found their own apartments. I guess they got tired of waiting for her to make a move.

All summer she kept saying to be "supportive " because it was a big adjustment coming back home, she was broken hearted about the break up with her boyfriend, she couldn't really decide what she wanted to do etc. I asked her what she meant by "being supportive" to her meant. She didnt' know the answer herself.


As September was approaching i told her that we needed to sit down and talk about what she was going to do with living arrangements before school started. She never had time to talk. She was always on her way out the door.

I finally got sick of waiting and I wrote her a letter stating what was expected of her if she decided to live at home. The following was the letter i sent her with a copy to my husband:


Dear I you several times to make time for us to sit down and talk about my expectations for you to live at home. You left me no choice but to write out what the expectations are.

If you live at home I expect you to follow rules. By living here you are not paying any rent, food or contributing to any other expenses. But, I do not want you to come and go as you please and continue to chose different arrangements whenever you feel like it.

The following are some of the ground rules I expect you to follow:

When your day is over in school I would assume you will do what you need to do to related to school, your job etc.

After your completion of your school/job, library, labs, after hours classes etc. I need to know if you plan to be home for dinner or if you want me to save you dinner.

During the week I expect you to be home for the night at a reasonable time. By reasonable I mean not later than 12 midnight. If you have demonstrations, meetings or whatever else, that will take you beyond midnight, I am sure you know about them ahead of time, I have to know ahead of time also.

It has been your pattern to "disappear for the week end." I am not comfortable with that set up. I need to know where you are. God forbid something happened to you, and your cell is not on, your phone ran out of batteries or you chose not to answer etc. where would I begin to try to find you? I don't know your friends and neither do I have their telephone numbers. It is up to you to keep me posted. You cannot play things by ear. I don't want to be awakened at 2:30 a.m. and told "I forgot to tell you ahead of time or I fell asleep and just remembered to call you." If you cannot be honest with me, I cannot trust you.

Part of living at home is helping out with house work. I don't mean only your room. You and your sister need to be responsible for chores- keeping the bathroom clean and in order, dishes, dishwasher, walking the dog etc. Its only fair. I can only do so much, taking care of a whole house is impossible for me.

If you wish is to be sexually active, you have to be responsible for yourself. That means being careful and providing for your own birth control. NOTE: She wanted me to pay for her birth control. She said you tell me you worry about me getting pregnant and now you are not willing to p ay for me. SHE IS A TOP NOTCH MANIPULATOR.

Issues can be resolved without screaming and yelling, have respect for one another, clear communication and being honest.

You are old enough to take responsibility for your actions. If you live home you have to be able to follow rules.

It is pretty clear that if you are not willing to abide by house rules, you cannot continue to live at home.

I love you ------. I have your best interest in mind. I am not trying to be controlling or hurtful. We all make mistakes but constantly making wrong choices can only lead to trouble. If you want to be an adult and be treated as one, you must be responsible.

Love,
Mom


copy to Dad

She read the letter and seemed ok with it. My husband read it also and said "and now what?" I didn't even bother answering him.

She was calling me and letting me know what was going on. She came home to sleep for two straight nights. On the third night it was back to her old behavior. Sleeping at this friend bedcause she had to study. Sleeping at her on again boyfriend's house so that they could drive together to school the next morning.


I am in therapy for various reasons. One of the topics i speak to my therapist about is the situation at home with my daughters. On my next session with my therapist I was to tell her how it worked out with the letter i wrote to my daughter.

Right off th bat i told her that there was no need to discuss anything . I did all I could to try to set some rules and boundaries and the end result was only arguments and being disrespected.

My therapist asked me if I was ok with letting go and having her take responsibility for her actions. I told her that I had no other choice. She stops by the house to pick up something, sometimes she doesn't even say hello. I am reacting to her with indifference. I refuse to play her games. She sometimes calls me on my cell just to say "what is doing?" I say nothing much what is new with you? It seems like she calls out of guilt. When she feels like it she'll say something like "tonight I am sleeping at so and so house because i want to study with her." Or, tonight i am sleeping at my boyfriends house. I just nod and say nothing.

I would like some feedback . Am i doing the right thing by "letting go and letting God?" I have lots of things on my shoulders right now. One of them is dealing with my mother's terminal illness. I see her every day and that takes lots out of me. This past Sunday I was really feeling exhausted so i called my daughter and asked if she could go and visit grandma for one hour so that I could rest. She told me NO. She was out shopping and then she had to study. She added, no one tells you to go every day. I said thank you and hung up on her. She is very very self centered and selfish.

Your support is greatly appreciated.




Update: October 14, 2007.
Although I am trying my best to keep calm and pray to God that He watches over my daughter, I have a very unsettling feeling. Her coming and going as she pleases makes me feel angry and resentful that she is disrespecting me as her mother. I also can't stop worrying about her whereabouts. This week end she was at her boyfriend's house helping him paint his apartment. She asked my husband to stop by to see the paint job. My husband didn't have an opportunity to go but, it upset me that he would even agree to go. I feel he encourages her to do what she is doing. I noticed in the checking account that he paid for her birth control prescription. When I approached him about it he said "she will give me the money back." The agreement was that she would pay for her own. I know he will let this slide. She makes "stops" to come and get something from home and off she goes. She might stay a little while to do her laundry, possibly eat something, or use the computer. My 16 year old daughter made a remark to me about her sister "making quick stops" and then leaving. What a great example she is setting for her sister. She doesn't want her room to be touched. Her bed is very comfortable and one of us can benefit from sleeping there. She says she doesn't want anyone sleeping in her bed. Is this her house? I think she has it wrong. I try my best to have small talk with her and not argue. I don't feel right with small talk. People tell me that this is the way most teenagers are (especially girls) and that they tend to change in their mid twenties. Is that how long I have to wait? I have the 16 year old to deal with also. Any other suggestions you can offer? Thank you.

- Asked by tobehappy, A Thinker, Female, 56-65

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You articulated your thoughts so well, I had tears in my eyes when I read everything. The reason is because I am much like you and I can relate to everything you did and I think you handled things perfectly. However, the only thing I would do differently now (and this is because I have grown and learned having twin boys who I had to go through this with) is let her make her own choices now, you have expressed you love, concern and the reason for the rules. You have worried about her now and worried about other things that could happen if she does things her way I'm sure. Now you have to realize you can't control their life, you no longer can may them do what you want them to do and what you know is best for them (the hardest lesson to learn) because they are adults and the life lessons are just starting and unfortunately they will learn the most by trial and error and you can only hope the errors won't be big or unreversible ones. You will always worry and feel hurt and not respected. But this is the reality, they are going to do what they want to do with or without your permission. They are little adults now and they know it.) Just keep you repore with them, love them and keep the lines of communications open with them they will still need you and will want to bounce things off of you if you leave the communication lines open and don't act like you are mad at them. It is so hard to let go, but we have to. Just concentrate on your other daughter, your husband, you sick mother and please take care of yourself (all of them need you still). Your daughter will be ok, you have given her the rules, told her you love her, explained your reasoning for how you think. Let her go or you are going to be sick with worry. Also, husbands are no help with these type of things because the accept easier that people are grown and will do what they want. The reason is because they don't spend every minute worrying about what is best for them, what might happen if they don't do things just right (the way you feel is right) and what if she gets pregnant while with her boyfriend, what if the other girls are bad influences, what if, what if, - they don't think that way in other words they don't worry like mothers do. Relax refocus you efforts and let her go, she will come to you when she needs you and you will have the opportunity to talk to her more, be nice and loving, but somethings you may have to give her some 'tough love'. Stay well and good luck - you are a good mother! I will keep your family in my prayers.

- Response by rainynights, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Columbus, Self-Employed

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Yes, I read every word you wrote. I am in your age bracket, my son is 26. You are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO right in what you are doing. She is so wrong in expecting more out of you than you are doing. Okay, you have to remember they know EVERYTHING after the age of 15 until they finally turn 25.My Dad recently passed away and I was his caretaker. I also have MS to top that. So I know what it is like to care for a parent and then have problems on top of that with people that think you are taking things way too far. Beleive me, you are not crazy, don't let them tell you that. My favorite saying was also told to me by my Dad, "it's my way or the highway." And he meant it. The house is not a stopping off place between places to live. She cannot impose or dismantle your life just because she is not sure where to live or didn't make the arrangements when she should have. I am sure that you are paying for her education. Let her know that if she does not go through with it, then the next time around on the education is on her. (I know you won't really mean it, but she won't know it.) I can't believe that your husband is not putting his foot down more than you are. You know the old saying, "Daddy's little girl", that held true at my house. It was Mom that was always trying to get Dad to let up on us. I am surprised that he is not being more supportive of you instead of trying to "fit in with the college" pace. I really am more surprised at your husband than the way your daughter is acting. I likd the way you wrote your letter. I am a document everything person, so I appreciated it being in writing with nothing left unsaid. I know she is just trying her freedom out, but she does need to have more respect for you two as her parents and understand that it is YOUR house and the rules are "YOUR HOUSE, YOUR RULES." You can't say it any other way that will bring the point across. How about talking to one of her friend's mother and see what you can find out or learn from her? It sounds like she is trying to experience her wild side now, but she needs to realize that experiencing her wild side is not all great as it is cracked up to be.
I hope she sees things your way and you get a litte more respect. She is lucky you are her mother and not me. I have not heard of anything at the college lasting until midnight. That midnight curfew would be a litte more strict with me. She is lucky to have you, but someone needs to tell her.
Please keep me informed of anything I can do.

- Response by dddwaiting, A Cool Mom, Female, 56-65, Who Cares?

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Community Rating: Community Star

DEAR FRIEND; YOUR STORY IS THE SAME PROBLEM THAT APROX. 90% OF THE POPULATION OF THE U.S. IS FACING RIGHT NOW.- (THE OTHER 10% SIMPLY DO NOT CARE WHAT THEIR CHILDREN DO).-
I ADMIRE YOU FOR THE WAY YOU WORRY ABOUT YOUR DAUGHTER, - NO MATTER HOW OLD SHE IS, SHE WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR DAUGHTER, AND NO MATTER WHAT SHE DOES YOU WILL ALWAYS LOVE HER.-
BELIEVE ME I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING THOUGH.- I AM THE MOTHER OF 2 SONS AND HAVE 3 GRANDCHILDREN.- THANK GOD, HIS FATHER AND I DID A GOOD JOB AND NOW THEY ARE TOO BUSSY WITH THEIR OWN FAMILIES.- (THEY LAUGH NOW WHEN I SAY THAT GRANDCHILDREN ARE THE GRANDPARENT'S REVENGE !!!)BUT BELIEVE ME, IT WASN'T EASY WHEN THEY WHERE GROWING UP AND THOUGHT THEY KNEW EVERYTHING ABOUT LIFE. THEY BOTH LIVED WITH US UNTIL THEY GOT MARRIED, SINCE WE HAVE A HUGE HOUSE, AND COLLEGE WAS VERY NEARBY,-BUT THEY KNEW THEY HAD TO FOLLOW OUR RULES OR GET OUT.
IN MY OPINION, WHEN THEY REACH THAT AGE, AND ACT AS YOUR DAUGTHER IS ACTING, THERE IS ONLY ONE THING YOU CAN DO.- PRAY TO GOD THAT NOTHING BAD HAPPENS TO HER.- PUT HER IN "GOD'S" HANDS, AND HOPE FOR THE BEST.- THERE IS NO USE TO TRY TO CHANGE HER, SINCE SHE WILL NOT CHANGE HER HABITS.-
YOU ARE JUST AGONIZING ABOUT SOMETHING YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SOLVE. SHE IS GOING THROUGH THAT STAGE IN LIFE WHERE SHE WANTS TO BE INDEPENDENT, BUT DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT SHE WANTS.-
IT IS TIME TO "LET GO", AND LET HER TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HER OWN ACTIONS. SHE WILL LEARN, SOONER OR LATTER.- AND ONE DAY SHE WILL THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE FOR HER.


I AM A WRITER.- I WRITE ARTICLES FOR SOME NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES, HAVE ALSO WRITTEN SOME BOOKS. THE FOLLOWING IS AN ARTICLE I WROTE ABOUT 6 MONTHS AGO.- I HOPE IT HELPS YOU SOME.
MY VERY BEST RGDS., AND GOOD LUCK.

======================= ======================= ==================


WHAT REALLY "MEANS" BEING A GOOD MOTHER ???
===================== =================

Being a good mother is not only changing diapers and feeding a baby.- This is only the easy stuff,- Anyone can do it., and besides, they are sooooo cute !!!

Being a good mother comes later in life, when the cute baby is no longer a baby.

Being a good mother is understanding that our children "do not belong to us".- They belong to the "World".-
We are only the instrument God chooses to bring them into this world., and guide them safely until they are ready to leave the "nest".-

Being a good mother is gaining your son's or daughter;s trust.

Being a good mother is to listen and understand their points of view.

Being a good mother is placing yourselves in their shoes, unterstanding "peer preasure", living in the present and modern life of this 2nd millennium, and not expect them to live according to our old standards.- Times change, and so must we !!!

Being a good mother is understanding that once they reach "puberty", and sometimes much before that,- they start developing their own personalities, their individual opinions, their instincts, and their concept of what is right and wrong. Their "hormones" start working, and sex becomes a very important part of their every day thoughts.-

The only thing a mother (and father) can do, is try to teach them (not preach to them).- Advice them of the facts of life, talk to them on their own level, as a friend, not as parents.- Do not be afraid to talk about sex and of the pratice of save sex, treat them as if they were adults, not children. Let's face it, sooner or latter they are going to do "it", whether we want it or not.

Explain to them that they are free to do with their lifes as they choose, but make sure they understand what the future will bring if they make the wrong decisions.- Try to explain what is considered right and wrong, and let them know that it will be up to them to either "hold the world in the palm of their hands", or let the world destroy them and crush their future forever.

Being a good mother is understanding their customs and behaviors, and realize that they are no longer babies that we can control like dolls.

Being a good mother is always being there when they need us.-

Being a good mother is understanding their mistakes, no matter how bad they might be., remembering that we are all humans, and humans make mistakes.

Being a good mother is "not judging" after the mistake has been made.- Remembering that only GOD can judge us.- All we can do is try to help, instead of making things worse.-

Being a good mother is knowing that we will love that child for as long as we live, no matter what they do to us.- "and let them know it" !!!!!

Being a good mother is knowing that we must forgive, because in spite of what they might do to you, they will always be a part of you, and when the time comes, you will be ready, willing and able to give your life to save that son or daughter., even if they are no longer children.

All this is what means to me the "proverb" of being a good mother. After all, I was the mother of 2 teenagers.

Maybe, just maybe, if more of us followed these rules, there would be less "Colombine Tragedies", less drugs, less unwanted pregnancies, less violence, and our world would be a better world !!!!!

xxxxxxxxxx





- Response by edi406, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Consulting

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Stick to your guns, you are doing a good job. Remember you are not responsible to change anyone else's life. That is on their own heads to do. In time she will see that you acted out of love for her.

- Response by joepod, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 56-65, Chicago, Self-Employed

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My son is living with my parents out of state while he's in college. He posts his schedule on their refrigerator and tells them when he will be home for dinner, etc. He never stays out all night and he doesn't have a girlfriend. I think its perfectly reasonable to have expectations and you have stated them very explicitly. Your daughter did procrastinate too long about her housing options. My son procrastinates other stuff, like picking his classes, so I do that. (He picked out his major though!) When my son comes home on vacations, he helps about the house. I don't need to ask,he offers. I also trust him and give him freedom to go out. I know I can get him by cell if need be. Oddly, he always comes home every night. I figure we are raising adults and now I view it like my son is on the launchpad to being an adult. Hang in there. I hear girls are more trouble than boys! Sorry about your mom, you do have a lot on your plate.

- Response by jazzercisefreak, A Cool Mom, Female, 46-55, Medical / Dental

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Man I would hate to be in your shoes I too have a daughter like that. She now has five kids but she is married to the best guy in the world, next to my son that is.Seems like you had to do it all by your self be cause your husband didn't help what a sorry bas---td. You should be proud of your self for even trying like you did later on in life she will know that you were the one that really cared. That's the way it turned out with me.As far as your husband goes you need to turn him around a see if he has a backbone because I don't think he does. Good Luck and keep up the good work it will pay of in the long run. Johnny45

- Response by johnny45, A Mr. Married Guy, Male, 46-55, Who Cares?

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In all areas I pray to God and I must trust that He is in control of all things. Setting boundaries with rules and regulations is perfectly fine. Your daughter is behaving like all college girls at her age. How is she spiritually? Maybe there is a church group that she can get involved with and even go on mission trips. That is an eye opener. I really feel that at this time you need to devote your time to your mother though. You may not have her for very long and I do not think that you can afford to have any more guilt that what you are having now. It is ok to not give your daughter so much attention. She may even want to spend some time with her grandmother as well. Sometimes when we do not give our young adult children all our time it helps them to realize how selfish they can be. Sometimes the school of hard knox is what they need. Good luck I hoped I helped. Take care and Giod Bless.

- Response by jgarciajr6317, A Mr. Married Guy, Male, 56-65, Medical / Dental

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wow, that sounds very similar to what my daughter did, except she is gay and got tangled up with a woman 10 years older than her. My daughter is also 19. We had a great relationship until this woman came along (my friend calls her HW for home wrecker). As soon as HW got her own apartment (she was living with her mom and dad until January) she kept bugging my daughter to move in with her. I told my daughter that working 20 hours a week and going to school full time she didn't have the money to move out with HW. We fought about this for 3 months off an on, and then one day I came home to an empty room and she packed her stuff up, moved in with her dad (which her dad and I didn't speak for 3 years at all, he's nasty to me) and she hasn't spoken to me since. Her father dragged me to family court 3 times so far and I have gone through a tremendous amount of stress. I tried to reach out to my daughter with three emails until in August I got the nastiest email from her that made me cry so hard my chest hurt. My daughter didn't like my house rules as well and once that HW came in she dug her claws right into my daughter and our relationship is non existant right now. I cry and pray a lot that one day we can talk again. You are not alone, and I am learning I'm not alone either. Kids that age seem to think they can do whatever they want and its a different generation. I am 43, and I would have never disrespected my parents when I was that age. I lived at home until I was 23, and obeyed their house rules. Keep praying she will come back to you, and keep going to counseling. I go as well.

- Response by debbieblue66, Female, 46-55, New York, Other Profession

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I am a nineteen year old daughter of a wonderful mother. Like all other mothers, she worries about me a lot. The day after my 18th birthday a friend of mine died in a car accident at night, this made it even harder for my mother not to worry.

I am required to be home at midnight on weekends and eleven on weekdays. I am attending college, but living at home to save money.I have two jobs and am a responsible person.

I have made mistakes in my relationship with my mom disobeying her rules, just like your daughter did. I find my self away from home a lot.

Tonight i staid out until 1, an hour later then curfew. I had texted my mom to let her know i would be late. I was at a friends house that lives 2 minutes away. My mother knew where i was at.

My friends have relaxed rules with there parents, friends that are 17 and 18. I am embarassed of my curfew situation some times. I respect my mom, and understand why she made them.
It is hard for me when my friends reply, " how old are you?" (refering to the strictness of the rules) I understand this is because the rules are different at there home, it is just hard to not want that.

- Response by Female, 22-25

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There is nothing wrong in wanting rules for her. I think it is a little strict to want her home by midnight. I understand the time thing but if she wants to stay at a friends, then let her. As long as she is not interupting your household all hours of the night. As far as birth control, there is a lot of free stuff out there. And as far as helping you with your mom, she should and if she doesn't, she should be ashamed of herself. I could not cut my child off like that but have heard it is a good thing. I just have too much guilt and would never forgive myself if anything were to happen to her. And God forbid if she dropped out of school because of it. College is hard and they need support from their parnets to get through it. Instead of holding your feeling in, tell her how you feel. Try to have a "real" conversation with her. Don't argue or yell. Just state how you feel. Don't judge. Don't put her on the defensive with the blame game, just let her know how her actions hurt you. Let her know you are trying to understand her but have so much going on in your own life and could really use her support.

- Response by cruzerladi, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Managerial

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Great job, I think your right on target.

- Response by dambreaker, A Father Figure, Male, 56-65, Retired

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