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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.
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Our daughter just turned 16. She wants a Sweet 16 party.

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Our daughter just turned 16. She wants a Sweet 16 party. My wife and I are not very motivated to have one, at least not one that involves renting a hall and hiring a caterer and DJ. (In other words big bucks). Let me explain why:

Nia is rebellious, oppositional, and defiant. She has an attitude most of the time and treats us w/ disrespect. I (the father) must hide my wallet for fear of her stealing money from it (which does happen). Nia is performing poorly in school due to very little effort and a mediocre approach to life. Nia is the antithesis of perseverance, hard work and striving for excellence. Nia is downright lazy and it shows in several ways.

We have recently received emails from teachers explaining how Nia is not doing her homework and is getting F's on tests/assignments. Nia does not obey, does not follow directions and will not listen. She also does not come home from school on time. We don't believe her stories about her whereabouts.

Nia is also pathological liar. She lies about everything and I mean everything. My wife recently made some chicken salad, and later Nia lied to me and said she made it. There was no point whatsoever! And we know she is lying about where she is after school.

In summary, Nia has been quite a handful for years. As matter of fact, her court ordered probation for stealing a cell phone recently ended. Nia behavior is very bad. She is a troubled teen: poor grades (and does not care), defiance, ADHD (which is being treated), deceitful, disobedient, dishonest, argumentative, and just very rebellious. All more than would be expected with typical teens. Lots of back-talk too. Threats to leave, etc.

So, should we throw this elaborate party? We just do not feel she deserves it. At best, XXXXX XXXXX she should get a mediocre party to match her mediocre efforts in school and lazy approach to life. Perhaps we just take her and a few friends out for pizza.

Good Morning,


You have described in some good detail the behaviors that you are observing in Nia which are something to be concerned about.

Good behavior should be rewarded and undesirable behavior consequented. It does not seem that she had earned the reward of a lavish and expensive party.

One turns 16 only once. You can still have a celebration for her without having to spend a lot of money (it is the though that counts) Perhaps you and her mom can let her know that if she had been behaving more like a 16 yol young woman you could have tried to please her but since she has misbehaved, you feel that the party given is appropriate to her.

With all of the issues that you are describing, counseling may be appropriate if she is willing to give it a try. Sometimes family counseling (where the client and the parents attend together is helpful too because she can still be confronted yet, there will be an objective counselor there to offer feedback and help)

Unfortunately the behaviors you are describing are indicative of Conduct Disorder -





Edited by Dr. Rossi on 10/6/2009 at 12:33 PM EST
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