Welcome to the
Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum

This is a community where people come in search of marriage related support, answers, or encouragement. Also, information about the Marriage Builders principles can be found in the books available for sale in the Marriage Builders® Bookstore.
If you would like to join our discussion forum, please read the Announcement Forum for instructions, rules, & guidelines.
The members of this community are peers and not professionals. Professional coaching is available by clicking on the link titled Coaching Center at the top of this page.
We trust that you will find the Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum to be a helpful resource for you. We look forward to your participation.
Once you have reviewed all the FAQ, tech support and announcement information, if you still have problems that are not addressed, please e-mail the administrators at mbrestored@gmail.com
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 656
C
cjack Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
C
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 656
Ahh...children! This is mostly a vent, but any insight from people who've survived teenage daughters would be welcome!


I got a call from the XW today, and our 15 year old daughter has her at the end of her rope.

She's being a typical teenager, I guess. Spending as much time with her friends as possible, and trying to get away with as much as possible. Nothing bad...yet, but she's been a handful, as she can be from time to time.

For example, she'll say she's going to one friend's house to spend the night, then going to someone else's house and not telling anyone, etc. Her mom is worried (as am I) that she's hanging around with the wrong people (most of her friends from school are older), and that she's getting involved in things she really isn't prepared for, like sex. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="images/icons/shocked.gif" />


She's also had problems following the "rules" about cleaning up after herself, etc. at home.

So there's been plenty of arguments, to say the least! My XW has a pretty short fuse, and like mother, like daughter...

Anyway, she dropped the bombshell that she wants to move back in with me and go to school down here. (She lives with her mom on the other side of town, about 40 minutes away)

Her reason for moving back here is that she "can't stand" living with her mom anymore. Now, I can certainly see that point <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" /> since her mom is pretty high-strung emotionally, and I'm pretty mellow.

Her reason for changing schools is that most of her friends are going to a different school next year...some sort of remedial school for kids who are falling behind, and she'll be without her friends. She's still got friends down here, and if she can't go to school with her friends up there, this would be the next best thing.


I had a long talk with her tonight. Well, I did most of the talking, because like a lot of teenagers, she answers most questions with "I dunno."

I explained that, while I would love for her to come down here and live with me (and I really would), I didn't think it was a good idea for her to use my house as a place to, in effect, "run away."

I tried to get the idea into her head that whatever problems she had would just follow her down here, and she wouldn't really solve anything by avoiding mom.


Realizing that her mom's argumentative approach wasn't exactly working, I also tried to get her to relate to me on a more "adult" level. I know that she's feeling like she's being treated like a little kid, and (being all of 15) she's feeling like she wants to be treated more like an adult.

I didn't get much of a response, aside from the "I dunno" and "I just want to move, okay?"


Thing is, as much as I would like to have her here, I realize that it would probably be a bad thing to move her AGAIN, and have her change schools again. She's in a good school, they live in a very nice neighborhood in a very nice place, and for a change, it doesn't look like they'll be moving anytime soon...they've moved several times in the past 3 years.

Its funny how time changes things. Three years ago, it tore me apart to see her move out, and would have jumped at the chance to keep her here. Now I'm talking to her on the phone saying "gee, honey, I don't know if that's such a good idea."

The thing is, I want her to have a stable home...even if it isn't in my house.


Thoughts?

Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 2,260
J
Member
Offline
Member
J
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 2,260
Amanda is only 6, so haven't gone thru this as the Mom, but believe it or not - I WAS ONCE A TEENAGE GIRL!

And I lived with my Dad. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

Summer is coming up - fast - why don't you propose a trial deal. If all she is trying to do is get away from rules and regs - she's in for a big shock cause Daddies can be tough too.

If what she wants is a little more face time with you.... she'll get it.

Sometimes we say things... "All my friends are leaving." and it might be interpreted as "I miss you and want to spend more time with you."

Then again... sometimes it means all my friends are leaving.....

If it won't be a huge uproar it might be fine to check it out.

BTW - nice to C you! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Cool]" src="images/icons/cool.gif" />

E

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 460
E
Member
Offline
Member
E
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 460
Thoughts? I think you handled it with incredible foresight and really took a look at the "whole" picture. You demonstrated what a "GREAT" parent is! Although you can see the static between her and mom -- know that it's NORMAL. My youngest is now 15 and have gone through this with our oldest girl. At that age they want things "their" way and will use threats to get their way. The best thing to do is to keep calm and be consistent.

As for hanging with the wrong people -- you can't stop them from seeing their friends. What you can do (or mom can do) is set the boundaries that if she ends up at someone else's house and it hasn't been discussed prior to her going, she's lost the opportunity of going the next time, next time meaning "anywhere". The family rules in our house includes having to answer the questions Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.
Who are you going with?
What are you doing?
Where are you going?
When are you going and when will you be back?
Why are you going? (i.e. mall, school, friends house)
How are you getting there and how are you getting back (makes them responsible for having transportation TO and FROM -- and leaves it open for discussion as to late hours, who will be picking her up).

I remember being at the end of my rope with our son at that age (he was worse than the girls!). I started to attending parenting classes thinking that I was parenting all wrong. The book that we followed was "How to Deal with your Acting-Up Teenager" by Robert T. Bayard and Jean Bayard. It teaches you how to deal with really what is important in life. A dirty bedroom may cause a mom and dad grief, but you can always close the door. The kid with the piercings, dry hacking cough from smoking too much, may not be the type of kid you want your daughter to hang out with, but if you've taught her well, those lessons will come through in the end. If you don't think she's self-controlled enough to stay away from the dangers of teen sex, drugs and the like -- give her the tools and information to learn to make healthy choices. Tell her that although you don't WANT her having sex, you do know the dangers of having sex too young. You're a guy -- you KNOW what teenage boys are like and how they WON"T be thinking LOVE. Tell her exactly what boys are thinking with when it comes to a cute little gal! (My friend just asked me the SAME question about his daughter and his wife was not really saying much to the girl!)

So what do I think? I think you handled it well -- and left the door open to discuss more things with her.

Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 600
B
Member
Offline
Member
B
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 600
cjack,

You are a good Dad and you show excellent parental judgement. The welfare of the child must come first.

I did go through exactly your situation. My daughter thought she could come live with me and do anything she pleased. Long story short, she got involved with the wrong people. And she experimented with sex and drugs, and by the time she was sixteen, she was in extended drug and alcohol rehab.

She did finish high school a year late. Today she has a decent job and is married to a decent man. But she sure did it the hard way.

Stick to your guns. Remember, you are her father, not one of her friends. Sometimes the most loving thing we do as parents is say NO!

Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 656
C
cjack Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
C
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 656
Thanks to all for the responses!

Here's a little update...

She's spent the last 2 weekends down here, and practically begged me to spend this weekend here...well, spend it with her friends!

I know she's trying to wear me down, and I admit that she has got me thinking about it, because she hit her mom with quite a bombshell last week.

See, we tried to give her a stable environment for a change. It was very important to us that she have the same school, same house, and same friends while growing up. Even after the divorce, XW tried to stay in the neighborhood...until she met her BF, who lives up in Scottsdale.


So D hit her with (and I'm paraphrasing) "you took me out of my stable environment!"

<img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="images/icons/shocked.gif" />

She figured out that her mom was being selfish and blamed her for taking her away from her friends that she'd gotten used to.

Smart kid!

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 460
E
Member
Offline
Member
E
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 460
The daughter said "You took me out of my stable environment" -- but still got into trouble?

Wait a second here -- children are responsible for their own actions. We parent them to be responsible for their own actions. What if you were together and you HAD to move for your job. How would you treat the situation of your daughter getting into trouble? Would you move back to the same "stable" environment?

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">She figured out that her mom was being selfish and blamed her for taking her away from her friends that she'd gotten used to.
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">This is your opinion. Although your daughter may be smart, she's just figured out the button to push to get her own way. What she needs to do is be responsible for her own actions. People ADAPT -- people MOVE, every day -- it does not give them the right to behave inappropriately.

Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 656
C
cjack Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
C
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 656
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by Elan:
<strong> The daughter said "You took me out of my stable environment" -- but still got into trouble?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">She is not in trouble at all for saying that. I'm sorry if you got that impression. It was surprising to hear her say it, that's all.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"><strong>This is your opinion. Although your daughter may be smart, she's just figured out the button to push to get her own way. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Actually, it is more fact than opinion. Again, even after the divorce, the XW stayed in this area and seemed determined to keep D in the same school. That all went south (well, north) when the new BF came in the picture. Truth is, XW's work is actually CLOSER to the "old neighborhood."


In any case, I'm still trying to be (as you said) calm and consistent dealing with her. Yes, she can push buttons with the best of them, and I'm not bad at noticing when she's doing it. That's why that comment she made stood out...it was pretty uncharacteristic for her to make that kind of argument.

Anyway, thanks again!

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 460
E
Member
Offline
Member
E
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 460
Cjack -- I'm confused -- therefore sorry if my reply was off. I do wonder though.
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> Her reason for changing schools is that most of her friends are going to a different school next year...some sort of remedial school for kids who are falling behind, and she'll be without her friends. She's still got friends down here, and if she can't go to school with her friends up there, this would be the next best thing. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">then you said
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> See, we tried to give her a stable environment for a change. It was very important to us that she have the same school, same house, and same friends while growing up. Even after the divorce, XW tried to stay in the neighborhood...until she met her BF, who lives up in Scot </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">So it's not ok that mom moves on with her life and moved, but it's ok that daughter moves schools from the area because her friends won't be there -- but her friends are going to a *remedial type school* for kids *falling* behind. Is this the school in Scotsdale where the ex and b/f are? And your daughter wants to move BACK to the school she was in?

As for her mom </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Her reason for moving back here is that she "can't stand" living with her mom anymore. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Realizing that her mom's argumentative approach wasn't exactly working, I also tried to get her to relate to me on a more "adult" level. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Your daughter is 15 -- she is NOT an adult. She is a teenager. Teenagers ARE argumentative, which you do acknowledge. Even if one does make an effort to talk to them as an ADULT, they just don't get it (and before anyone blasts me, yes there ARE exceptions to the rules) -- ask any parent of teenagers and ask how *easy* it is to talk to them or to get them to do anything around the house. This stuff is normal. Your daughter will use the other parent to suit her own needs, so I am glad to hear that you are calm and consistent.

Think long and hard about the *school* decision. She's been moved once already. Though they do *adapt*, it's much harder when they are older (she's in Grade 10 or 11?) -- Senior years are harder for them to adapt and to make friends. Realize that if she does move back, those *friends* she has now probably won't be. Those same friends have already carried on life without her and have made different friends. As for your daughter having most of her friends move to the remedial school, most likely will be a blessing in disguise. Right now she's playing the "what if" game. If she knows that you and mom are on the same page with education, most likely things will calm down and the stress and tension will lessen (notice I didn't say go away? <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" /> )


Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Search
Who's Online Now
1 members (Overcomer4513), 140 guests, and 49 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Overcomer4513, caraduke, Convict20, GTNY, Avianna
71,737 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics133,550
Posts2,322,804
Members71,737
Most Online3,185
Jan 27th, 2020
Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
Copyright © 1995-2020, Marriage Builders®. All Rights Reserved.  |  Web Development by SunStar Media.
Site Navigation
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5