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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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my 18 yaer old daughter thinks that we should not limit how

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my 18 yaer old daughter thinks that we should not limit how many nights she can be out without coming home,we said 3-4 nights a week,but be home if you have school the next day.she also has an anxiety disorder,smokes prime time cigars,and picked up herpes 2 months ago.we want her to stay in school,but feels she needs to quit to get another job so she can move out,help.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 4 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

You are on the right track with her. That is, most reasonable parents would allow their daughter to continue to live at home at her age if she is going to school or working full time to save for school tuition. But SCHOOL would be her primary goal and the ONLY reason for her living at home. Furthermore, as an adult living at home, she has a moral or ethical obligation to view herself as a guest and be gracious for what you are continuing to provide her. She doesn't want to be treated like a 'little girl' any more, but frankly, she wants all of the freedoms and perks of being an adult, but none of the responsibilities. Nonsense.

Also, an adult living at home must be required to share in the upkeep of the home, with rent, food cost sharing, utilities; if she is working/saving for school or attending school, these expectations can be set aside a bit; BUT, she should still realize that she isn't a little girl anymore and OWES you compensation now for the priviledge of living at home and not paying rent. This means chores, shared work responsibilities to keep up the home. Also, it means that while parents can loosen rules and expectations, she DOES have an obligation to follow some rules and courteous actions. This means no parties without your permission (it is your home, not hers), and she has to demonstrate ongoing worthiness for support i.e. she studies hard and limits her partying, and proves she can keep her grades up. She is courteous enough to always let you know where she is going, because you have natural, parental worries about her, and she has some obligation here as well. For instance, she has no right to disappear and not lock up the house when she leaves, if she is the only one home. It is normative for people living together to apprise one another of their comings and goings because they share living space and mutual security and safety is just plain "SMART" to agree to and share.

So, the upshot is that if she is living at home, saving money for school, this should be fine, but she really should be working 40-60 hours per week if she NOT going to school, and 10-20 hours per week if she is going full time. If she is partying more than 1-2 nights per week, she is abusing the priviledge of living at home rent-free and isn't being responsible in fulfilling her obligation in the work-go-to-school domain. You are being quite kind with 3. I say this because many late teens spend the 1-2 nights out with alcohol and they are 'worthless' the next day due to hangovers. So this turns a couple of nights of parting into a couple of days of not functioning well. Late teen girls tend to binge drink, of course. Your expectations about church are not out of line, either.

Remind her, "Dear, you are more than welcome to move out any time you want, and pay your own way in life. On the other hand, I'm very sure you can find a good friend who will let you live with them. Just tell them you need them to put you up because you don't have enough money to pay rent or food. But you really dislike and won't do household chores, so you can't help out in that area. I really would love to have you find a best girlfriend who has her own apartment and ask her to take care of you in this way for say 3-6 months, until you can get back on your feet."

Now, of course, she will see how ridiculous it is and that such a request of a peer would be laughable. No one she knows would agree to this. So this is why you can really push it, encourage it. And so I would flat out ask her, "Can we think of someone you can approach to ask about this?"

Now of course much of what I'm telling you represent my personal values and you'll hear many 'counselors' object to the rule-bound nature of what I'm telling you, and that it is too restrictive. But, I've raised 3 kids of my own and have been working with kids and families for 30 years; I'm confident that this approach builds character and personal responsibility, and empathy for others, as well as encouraging responsible, adult behavior patterns.

What do you think?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I'm really encouraged to know that I am not being unreasonable,I sometimes question my judgement regarding parenting her because ,I know she is at times is scared,and won't say so,and,I also know she strugggles with school,but won't admit it or get help.She was such a great kid,and now seems so hardened with her heart.Thank you for your response.I think your right.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 4 years ago.
Good luck with this. Please let me know if I can be of further help.. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.
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