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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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I am a divorced father of two teenage girls, 16 yrs and one

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I am a divorced father of two teenage girls, 16 yrs and one who had jut turned 18 and starting college. They split their time with me and my exwife every other week. I had set the rules that on the weeks that they are with their mother, any needs they defer to her. After a few incidents that my daughters, especially the older of the two, would need things at my house, I would allow. After an allowance which on a number of occasions they had left my house unlocked, I had taken their house keys away from them on the weeks that they are with their mother. Now it has become a series of excuses of things that they need at the house. Most frequently on times that they are sleeping at friends house on the weeks they are with their mother. Even after an agreement with both of them that I should be afforded the privacy and security they their mother is afforded on the weeks that they are with me, (and believe me they never ask any of these or defer to her when they are with me) these incidents still happen. And every each time i tell them they need to be responsible and be organized so any need to be at my house is for emergency only. The latest was my 18 year old getting very upset because she needed a list of coworker's phone numbers from my house. I said no either call your work or I can look for the phone numbers in her room and email it to her. Her response was she doesn't know where the list is and she had to look for it. And i said NO! then call your work. I just want to set a standard. She called me a bad father. Is this wrong of me? Please advise, Just want to do what is right for them.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

If they split their time b/w you and their mother, it means that they do not live at one house exclusively. That makes it harder for you to have your privacy even though the two girls are quite older now. Unless there is a definite living arrangement either at your house or at their mothers or else where, they would have to be able to come to you.

It seems that you're referring more to their boundaries of not following your rules and taking advantage of the situation more so than you being upset of the go in between arrangement w/ their mother. The girls have to respect you and follow your expectations. They are still dependent on you and your mother. Even if one is 18 yol, if she does not have her own living arrangements elsewhere (college campus), she is to respect your boundaries. Perhaps you would have to present that to both girls differently. Speak to them about responsibility and come up with consequences if they fail to do what's expected. Living the house unlocked is unacceptable and ought to carry a consequence.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I completely agree with your answer. And they have to respect my boundaries and expectation. They are able to come to me but it has been abused with irresponsibilities and disrespect of boundaries. I have always come up with a solution when they needed something. This is more of an issue with the 18 yol. I had come up with the solution of retrieving her list of phone no's. by scanning and emailing it to her. She wouldnt take that as an answer. Her excuse was she doesnt know where it is and i need to look for it. I had offered to look and her answer was she doesnt know where to start. She interprets this as not being available for her. She is good when she gets what she wants. But when she doesnt all hell breaks loose to the point where she says that as a result of the divorce, i should make it easier on her.
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 3 years ago.
Of course she's making interpretations that suite her. Her younger sister is observing this and getting the wrong example. If she is only good when she gets what she wants, she's being opportunistic. It also tells you that she can be good and choosing not to apply herself at other times. Definitely there should be consequences if that is the way for her to learn the hard way, she's made that decision and you're going to be enforcing it.
Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience: Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.
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