Back to Home

Active Questions

18 yr old daughter, senior in high school, moved out because she didn't like my rules!
Family & Parenting / 12:06 AM - Tuesday March 24, 2009

18 yr old daughter, senior in high school, moved out because she didn't like my rules!

My daughter had few rules, a few chores and if she didn't do them....no gas money. Curfew 10 on week days, 12 on weekends. She wanted to spend the weekend with her new BF, I said no, so she moved out and in with him. I was so mad I took her car that is in my name. I tried to convince her to come home. She won't. I've signed the car over to her and told her I would give it to her when she has her own insurance. She's furious, wants me to pay it until she graduates like we planned. I say, I didn't plan for her to move out and I don't want to pay it. I don't agree with her moving in with her BF of two weeks. Her father is upset with me for not giving her, her car and is threatening me with small claims court. So, I'm going to let her have it and it's her choice to get insurance or not. Has anyone dealt with their daugther moving out like this to avoid rules? Or did anyone do this themselves as a teenager? If so, any advice?
I'd sure like her home, but I don't want the drama anymore. I expected her to graduate and save up for a place of her own and maybe stay while she went to college. I'm really disappointed :(. We are also christians, so this is really not OK. A week prior to this guy, she was dating a boy who plans to be a minister and said she wanted to Marry him. He broke up with her :( She behaved so well when they were together. I suppose I have to let her make her choices, however wrong, and just be here for her. (sigh) it's so hard to watch you kid make bad choices!

Update: March 30, 2009.
Hello all, thank you all for so many great responses to my question!! If I could have, I would have given more stars! I see most of you think like I do about the situation. A few things to clarify: My daughter earned and paid for her own car. I registered it, didn't know I couldn't put it in her name without her there, and it was the only day I could do it. The offer was...What ever you earn towards a car, I'll match in insurance, which I did. Then she paid me in advance for HALF of the insurance until she graduated. When she moved, I didn't want to continue to pay HALF of her insurance. AND, I'm not going to. I told her to get her own policy by April 1st. I may secretly keep her on a little longer to protect the PUBLIC. I'm no longer liable for the car. I signed the title over and did a bill of sale report. Her BF has a truck that she used for work and school while she didn't have her car. She said he made her pay for the gas and for a truck it was a lot!! Life lessons! As for our religion, a few said it's tough growing up in a religious house and she may not agree with it. WELL, SHE was the one that went to church all the time (up to 3x,s a wk) she belongs to two youth groups. SHE was the one who pledged purity and gave HER SELF values to follow. I believe and consider myself Christian but I rarely go to church and rarely preach to my kids other than to believe. I'm very private about my beliefs. Many commented on her curfew thinking it was too strict for an 18 yr. old. She JUST turned 18 and is still in H.S. Many of her friends had the same curfew. School starts at 7am. I leave for work at 530am.. I can't sleep if she is still out. ALSO.she agreed to the curfew and we signed a contract! AND, she was allowed to call by nine on weekends and tell me she was spending the night with a friend...Just NOT the BF. I didn't give her much pressure at all about education or rules. I was more of a guide, but firm about the boundaries and rules, which are meant to protect her. I have also NOT allowed her to have whatever she wants. I've made her earn many things! She had a job on a farm for almost two years to pay for her own horse and lessons. She wanted to have fun her last year in school and do every sport she could..so I agreed to help her with gas money etc. if she did chores. She does act like a spoiled brat any way! Ok, this is too long or I would list my favorite comments from you guys! It's a long list. Thanks again for your opinions. Now I know..I am sane!!!!!

- Asked by mommabearx2, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Transportation

Read more about the Rating System


I'd simply write her a letter expressing your concerns. And I wouldn't put anything that she might consider to be you scolding or "coming down" on her.

Basically put something to the extnent of "I know you sometimes don't agree with the rules I have established, but it's not my intention to try and control your life. I simply love you very much and want to keep you safe and protective and feel this is the best way to do it. I'm not a professional mother.. It's not like I've raised hundreds of children before you. I've never done this before, and I don't always have all the right answers. I'm simply trying to do what I think is in your best interest. I know as you get older you feel I'm infringing on your freedom, and I know now that your 18 you feel like you should have more freedom. I know I need to accept this, and maybe I should be less controlling. There are many things I wish and hope for you in your life, and I just don't want to see you make any decisions that could close many of the doors of opportunity that lie before you in the years to come. I do wish you were back home with me, because I worry about you tremendously. And maybe we should discuss changing some of the rules. But if you choose to stay where you are now please take care to keep your future in mind and wise enough to weigh the ramifications of the decisions that may impact the life before you. XOXO I miss you, I wish you were here, in the meantime take care of yourself, and know that my door and heart is always open to you

Love mom


I bet she'll be home within a couple of weeks if you mail her something to this extent.. It will melt her poor little punk azz heart;) Good luck, and just rember things are never as bad as they seem:)



- Response by spanky, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 36-45, Cincinnati, Managerial

Rating Received:



You need to be the parent and not let her steam roll you with tantrum. Your spoiled little princess evidently doesn't understand responsibility nor respect you or your house rules. Why should she be rewarded for that? If her dad wants to take you to court, so what. I will bet that when any judge hears the story how it's in your name, they would support your decision of not letting her have the car .... Especially w/out insurance. If she gets away with this and you do give in and let her have it, what makes you thing she will ever respect you? Hold the line. I bet she will tire of this BF as well.



- Response by singledad281, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Houston, Hospitality

Rating Received:

Community Rating: Community Star

Wow - I will be praying for you and your daughter. Sounds like your in the middle of her and your x. I wouldn't give her the car... Let him take you to court. But sounds like that is already a done deal. Pray, pray, pray. Make sure she knows you love her, but you're not okay with this. This is absolutely outside of God's plan, and remind her He also loves her, but cannot bless her when she is rebelling against Him. Please keep your door open for her - she is obviouly confused. I seriously doubt she'll stay out long. Playing house will wear out real quick and this new guy is crazy to let her move in after a few weeks.

Stay your ground on the rules, stay on your knees, and Lord willing she'll come around. She's obviously rebelling, possibly against the xboyfriend, possibly against God. But remember He loves her even more than you do! I'll pray for you sister.

- Response by vbcoach, A Thinker, Female, 46-55

Rating Received:


Thank You for this post...
I haven't seen my kids in forever...

This makes me feel better for their absence.

I really miss them, and love them...
I only wish that I could know them!

this shows me life isn't so bad for the fact

- Response by geester, A Creative, Male, 46-55, Celebrity

Rating Received:


Yes, I went through this with my daughter. I am sorry, the only thing you can do is sit back and watch. Be there for her when she needs you and yes she will need you often. I would give her the car, though she should pay for her own insurance, or her dad should pay it.

When my daughter left home, I was very worried, I have been there for her when she has needed me. Which has been often, though at the sametime she has had to struggle a lot on her own. She made the decision to be an adult and to live on her own before she was really ready, so I have had to let it be. That was almost 4 years ago, we have a good relationship now. She still struggles and wish she had stayed home longer, though she has learned alot about life and responsility being on her own and she is still with the bf she moved in with.

It's hard I know though it does get better.


- Response by blindshe, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

Rating Received:


oh wow he has been her bf for TWO WEEKS???!!! OMG I completely agree with you. My mom was like you, you know making me pay for my own insurance when I moved out. I think that is 100% reasonable. It does not make sense for you to keep paying it. Does she even have a job? If she chose to go and be an "adult" and pay rent on her own then I think she can afford the insurance! If she moves out she will have more things to worry about besides insurance. If you really have to go to court over the car, I believe the judge would rule in your favor. I don't know why they wouldn't. Good luck!

- Response by luvsdjhtm, A Career Woman, Female, 22-25, Seattle, Who Cares?

Rating Received:


She wants "adult" privileges and "adult" decision making powers then she needs to pay the adult price. I am really going to sound rough, but... If you don't want to live in this Christian house by our Christian house rules, than you can live somewhere else and make up your own rules.

The car stays here, the keys too! You can have the clothes that fit into 2 grocery bags and the rest will go to the thrift store. Any computers, radios, MP3 etc stay here too. They are for my respectful and dependent child, not the grown up you believe yourself to be. You will have to earn these things in the adult world with your adult time and your adult job.

My house, my world, my rules... And yes, I went through this too... At 20 she returned with an 18 month old child and was ready to accept the "house" rules... Tough love, said "nope"... She is 30 now and married with 2 kids and a college degree. Was it tough to watch... Hell yes... Was it necessary... Yes...

- Response by siouxzen, A Creative, Female, Who Cares?, Los Angeles, Self-Employed

Rating Received:


seriously i was definetly spoiled in a sence I had alot of things but I would never have dared to do what your daughter is doing. Yall have allowed her to have whatever she wants in the past and now actually thinks that she has ownership other things you provided for her. Did she pay for the car? If she did sure give it to her if thats her argument but if you paid for it no way! I would honestly not let her take any furniture no sterio (if you bought it) nothing that you have provided her with. I would not in no way shape or form give her the car. Obviously you and her father are divorced and she is meerly using that as her tool to play you off on one another. I would tell her shes eighteen and he is an adult but adults have choices to make and as long as she wants to follow your rules while taking advantage of you bank account its fine but as long as she doesnt she can pay her own way. I wouldnt give her one red cent! not even for school sadly it sounds like her dumbass dad will.. seriously not to be rude but you have allowed your daughter to become a spoiled unappriciative brat and if you truly love her you must teach her respect. She will not make it in the world otherwise. Dont give in . Tell her you love her to much to allow or accept this behavior but that she is an adult who is free to make her own choices but those choices come with concequences!

- Response by bigcat, A Creative, Female, 29-35, San Antonio, Celebrity

Rating Received:


Hang in there Mom, I know this is hard. I left home after a fight with my mom when I was 17. I thought I knew everything. A few months later, after I lost my job, I came home with my tail between my legs. Then my daughter did the same thing to me when she was 19.

All I can say is keep your phone lines open, because she is going to call you crying one day, saying she made a mistake. Be there for her when she does, you guys'll get through this.

- Response by jeezydeezy22, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 36-45, Los Angeles, Consulting

Rating Received:


Didn't you just say you signed the car over to her already? Then legally, she has the car - not you. Whether she's insured or not.

She should've had a job for gas money...

Sometimes it requires tough love - such as allowing them to fall down - before they'll see the light of their ways.

You did say that her boyfriend just broke up with her the week prior. She's obviously rebounding from that relationship and jumping into another prematurely (like, duh).

Yes, you have expectations. But did you ask her what SHE wants for herself? Maybe she doesn't want to go to college. Sometimes teens feel so much pressure from the parents' expectations that they'll basically take the first "out" they see... such as her 2-weeks boyfriend.

Tremendous pressure and strict rules can send a teen into a crazy lifestyle as soon as they break free from the parents' control.

Although - i do have to say 10 o'clock curfew for a 18-year old is... um. She's 18! I wonder how much ridicule she gets for it.

Yes, it's hard to watch. But you can't keep her sheltered forever, and if you do... she's not going to learn a damn thing for herself.

- Response by sassyqt, A Thinker, Female, 29-35

Rating Received:


So sorry to hear all this, I can understand its not a good time u r having, watching your blood doing bad things and specially those in which they will get hurt, and they r not stopping no matter how hard u get, well there is a limit for everything so first I would appreciate whatever u have done till now to keep her on the right path as yes it's a sin to have sex before marriage (as u r religious) but coz she is not the same way and wants to burn her hands to know if fire burns or not and not listening to u as u speak out of your experience of life so I would say, that u have done your best, now leave her on her own, as far as car is concern, if she has not paid a penny for it, then don't give it back to her as she doesn't own that, u gave her when she was living with u and living her life your way, now when she choused a different life, then let her gain things herself, let her know how life is, no one can force u to give her a car, it's a lovely obligation not a lawful.
And don't feel bad as u didn't do anything wrong, u did the best possible for her, u should b proud of urself.


- Response by mani99, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 36-45, Glasgow

Rating Received:


Maybe you can try to go to counseling with her. Main topic for the counseling is just trying to communicate to each other. She seems to want to be 21 in a hurry.

- Response by ghpooh, Female, 46-55

Rating Received:


Let the idiot take you to small claim's court. What is he going to claim? What damages can he possibly have? Just how stupid does he want to make himself look? It's bravado.

You sound like good parent now stay the course as you know it's in your daughter's best interest.

- Response by patresi, An Intellectual Guy, Male, Who Cares?, Who Cares?

Rating Received:


quit supporting her. She will realize quickly how tough it is to live on your own. Stop fighting with her. Is it her car or yours? Who paid for it? That is who the car belongs to. If it is yours then you have to make a decision whethter you want to give it to her. If it is hers then she should get it. Do NOT pay for insurance or anything else she needs. You'll see she will be back before you knwo it.

- Response by thomasd, A Player, Male, 29-35, Boston, Technical

Rating Received:


I am wondering if you who I think you are.... Lol Oh well my bff has done exacty that, her mom took her car and pretty its the same situation, with the exception of the ex wanting to be a minister. Any way I disagree with both of them moving out with the boyfriend. The taking away the car wasn't the best idea because she can't work or go to school if she misses the bus. My bff is hurt because her mother made her feel as if she wasn't good enough. Also my bff does have issues with guys, always thinking the one she is with "is the one."Until a fight happens and she is ready to leave. Her and her mother didn't really talk either. I think that was always the main problem. Parents need to listen and so do the children. they also need to comprimise on their differences. I do worry about mistakes that my best friend is making and may make in the future if things don't work out between her and her mother. The best advice I can give you is to call your daugheter, ask if she needs anything, give her the car and don't take it away, she may need money for food, because Im going to guess the bf doesn't have a car. Also she may need clothes. You need to be there for her, talk to her tell her you love her and miss her. DONT PUSH HER to come home. Invite her over, and make a day to spend with her. Tell her about your life and what she may experience, from sex to fights she will have.

- Response by A Trendsetter, Female, 22-25, Who Cares?

Rating Received:


I moved out when I turned 18. I think if your daughter wants to be an adult let her be. That includes the bills. I paid bills before I chose to move out. I left not because I was in dispute with my parents but I had my own plans. But I also had my own money to make those plans happen. If she wants to be an adult then give her the bills that go with it. If my parents were willing to pay for my insurance with a free car, I would of stayed.

Good Luck.

- Response by arielriv, An Alternative Girl, Female, 29-35, Seattle, Technical

Rating Received:


Wisdom doesnt come cheap. it takes years to aquire it but at ge 18, they all think they know it all.Let her experience adulthood and the cost of it .I dont admire your husband going against your wishes. A judge would kick his arse quickly Hope it all turns out right for you, a lot of ppeople are on your side

- Response by duggers, A Guy Critical, Male, 66 or older

Rating Received:


First of all, I'm terribly sorry you're going through this. I can't say much but if I were you I wouldn't give any car to my kid. My rule is simple, you want to use cell phone? Work for it, buy it and pay for it yourself. My 10-year-old daughter came asking for one and I asked her if she had money to buy, that was the end of discussion. Maybe you should give her options? I'd say, talk to her and tell her her hypothetical future if she stays with you and with her BF. And let her choose and if her judgement is poor, so be it. She'll have to pay the price but at least she won't come to you blaming that you hadn't been more strict and hadn't kept her from making bad mistakes. Good luck.

- Response by chichek, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Moscow, Other Profession

Rating Received:


GO MOM !!

Stand fast and be a good mom.

If she insists on being treated like an "adult" then it's time that she learn about the consequences of the adult world.

Parents no longer "give" things to you when you become an adult, you earn it or negotiate for it. If she doesn't want to do either, then SHE has chosen her own consequences.

One of my best friends in high school moved in with her BF when she turned 18. She moved back in with her parents at 19 to have her baby and then go back to college (paying her own way this time)...

It's all about learning the consequences of our actions.



- Response by cd92835, A Career Man, Male, 46-55

Rating Received:


I'll bet it is a hard one for you.I did the same exact thing your daughter did.It was my last year of high school,did not like the rules at home so I moved out two weeks before I graduated. I did not move in with a boy friend.I moved in with a friend that had a boy friend.And I did not have a car.My parents where worried but let me make my decision.I ended up moving out of the first place and moved in with a very good friend, I went to school with and her dad.Got a job. Them 8 or 9 months later I moved back home.Did not have a curfew any more and rules were really no longer their.Just your typical ones.Clean up after yourself and so on.I paid some room and board.Then about 8 months from that I got a car and a place of my own and have never had to move home since. So my advise to you is let her be.Let her have the car and be responsible for gas and insurance herself.Treat her like an adult,if you can.Let her come to you.I know it will work out for the best.If you have always had a good relationship with her,she'll be back and more mature from her experience of being on her own no matter if it is for just a few months or so.I know I sure was. Don't hold it against her.That will only make matters worst.I know easier said then done.I guess they call it something like tough love.Good luck ,it will work out for you. :)

- Response by roanna, A Hippie Chick, Female, 56-65, Self-Employed

Rating Received:


..let go..and stop trying to control her so much..she doesn't seem like a bad kid..her curfew was 10 on the weekdays and she is 18? Think about it..u would have moved out too..she's only 18 and really doesn't know how easy she has it w/you...she doesn't know that by the time she is 28 she'll be so tired when she gets off from work that she won't even stay out past 8pm..so..untill then..just try to be supportive..

- Response by michellekia, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, St.Louis, Other Profession

Rating Received:


Don't give in to her. If the car is in your name, it's yours. Let her see what real life is like.

- Response by ajeepgirl67, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Medical / Dental

Rating Received:


Sometimes what we expect and what happens with our children, does not always turn out...your daughter sounds like she is going to do whatever she wants, regardless of whether she can make it on her own or not...you need to sit her down, let her know that she can have the car but you are NOT going to pay the insurance and/or help her out unless she continues school and graduates...this way, you will not only ensure that she is going to do what you want her to do but that she won't give up everything she worked for thus far...it may be hard to accept that she is growing up but it sounds like she is trying to test her own wings and make her own decisions...might be hard to accept but she may just be wanting to grow up and start doing things on her own...:D

- Response by fastball, A Cool Mom, Female, 36-45, Edmonton, Self-Employed

Rating Received:


If she thinks she is old enough too move out on her own. Then she needs to support herself. meaning she needs to buy her own car, own insurance and everything else that comes with living on your own.

unfortunately there isn't much you can do, she's of legal age. She's going to do what she wants to do. If you dont support her moving out then you need to not support her in anyway. meaning if it's your car you need to keep it. let her deal with it, explain to her that she is more than welcome to come home when she can follow your rules & the car will be waiting for her.

If you support her by giving her a car or money, she's just going to continue living on her own and wont come home. trust me hold your ground, she'll be home before you know it. As for her father, let him get pissed all he wants. the car is in your name, there is not a damn thing he can do.. so if he want's to waste his time in court tell him to bring it on..

"good Luck"

- Response by aon007, A Guy Critical, Male, 29-35, Salt Lake City, Science / Engineering

Rating Received:


My son did the same thing. As for the insurance and the car, he got both from me. I still pay for his insurance and he has been gone for 1 1/2 and married the girl he moved out for. And he didn't finish High school. He would had graduated this year. Yes it hurt and I still remember coming home after work and half his room cleaned out. I called the cops when he came back and I let him take what was on the porch. His face was Mom the cops. It is sad they have 2 do this and all you want 2 do is protect them 4 they may be legal but not grown up in the minds yet. He knows this now and I help him and his wife out as much as i can to keep them out of trouble and keep seeing my son. A broken heart from your child never really heals. I have not cleaned out the rest of them stuff in his room. I still say it's his.
I have unconditional love for my son. Rules are there to protect and later she will see that and if and when she has kids she will really see she was wrong and maybe you will get I'm sorry mom. My sister did our mom.

- Response by toujoursseulement, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Cincinnati, Administrative

Rating Received:


Her "boyfriend" will get her pregnant, then ditch her.

"Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long."

- Response by thundermist04167, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 46-55, Who Cares?

Rating Received:


Her "boyfriend" will get her pregnant, then ditch her.

"Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long."

- Response by thundermist04167, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 46-55, Who Cares?

Rating Received:


I feel for you! I was once that girl! My advice to you is to hold your "values"...sign the car over into her name-then you are not liable if an unfortunate situation occurs-better yet, sign it over to her Dad and turn the responsibility onto him! i promise you-your daughter will come back to you some day and tell you how much she loves you, and wishes she had learned that you only wanted the best for her! No matter what...just be there when that day comes. As far as small claims court...Judges love Moms who have rules and standards..tell him to bring it on! I learned the hard way-that I love my Mom more than anything in this world-and I Thank God everyday for letting me be her daughter! She use to tell me,"I may not like you right now-but remember, that I love you always!" I hope this helps you...God Bless You!!!

- Response by lynnerlicious, Female, 46-55, Other Profession

Rating Received:


I am really sorry for your situation. I know you're hurting. I don't understand why she would do this, but perhaps the breakup with the other guy hit her really hard and she is acting this way to deal with the pain?

Why did you sign the car over to her? Well, since you did that, it's now hers... so give it to her. However, make sure you have no liability if she gets insurance. Pray for her. Make sure she understands how to use birth control, because the last thing you need is for her to move back in with a baby. In fact, tell her that - that if she has a baby with this guy, she's on her own, and she'd better understand that.

You sound like a firm but not overly strict parent, and she's gone off the deep end, but she's 18 and there is not much you can do except pray and protect yourself from the possible consequences of her actions.



- Response by curvysmartgirl, A Creative, Female, 36-45, Dallas, Artist / Musician / Writer

Rating Received:


Amm. Don't take it the wrong way, I'm not trying to tell you how to parent or anything (especially since I'm not much older than your daughter and long ways off from having kids [much less teenagers]) but curfew at 18? And that curfew being 12 on weekends? Where I live I've never heard of ANYBODY still having curfew as soon as they reach 15-16 years. Actually, there are urban legends about someone that knew someone whose best friend's boyfriend's cousin's girlfriend actually had a curfew at 16 but...

I know that after I turned 15 my mother (single mom) simply said something like "you're old enough to know what you're doing so if you want to stay out all night, OK, just don't get in trouble". Well, I didn't back then and still don't. I've been brought up in a permissive system and it worked perfectly (never had any problems with anyone).
Here also at 18 most kids move to another city for university and a lot of them move in with their bf/gfs. I don't really see why that's so bad. OK, it's a BF of 2 weeks but that actually works in your favor in a way. The chances of her getting fed up with him are much higher if they're together all the time and then she basically won't have any place other to go than home so...

Now as for the car, I don't know about the US but here you can't even legally drive a car without insurance. If the police catch you, you're in for a hefty fine and god-forbid you actually cause an accident so nobody drives around uninsured.

Don't take it wrong but from reading your post I got the feeling that perhaps it didn't make you as angry what she actually did but rather the fact that you lost your "power" over her when she moved out. The ancient "my house - my rules" system is seriously flawed in the regard that it sometimes makes house-owners feel entitled to control the lives of everyone under their roof and sometimes it goes on not only during the teens but much much longer. That's another debate though.

Anyway, I would say that you should leave her to make her own decisions, as bad as they may be. If you think back, you probably wouldn't be the person you are if it weren't for all the times you made the wrong decision. Just watch over her that she doesn't do anything "fatal".

And good luck :)

- Response by windlord, A Guy Critical, Male, 26-28, Who Cares?

Rating Received: