Good morning, I would like to help you with your parenting issue with your daughter.
It sounds as though you have been through a lot with your daughter, particularly involving this young man. And from all that you have provided, I more than understand why, and agree that he should not be in her life. Where the problem lies however is with your daughter's age, and her new-found sense of independence (and rebellion, it seems). Your daughter seems to have very little respect for the rules that you put in place, and also seems to be showing disrespect to you as of recently, which is affecting your younger child, and the family as a whole. Considering all of the different issues that you have experienced with her, I also understand how as a parent, it can be very difficult to make tough decisions, such as putting our young adult children out of the home, even though they are of little or no help, and are completely disrespectful to the rules of the home. This is where as a parent, tough decisions have to be made. It sounds like you have already warned your daughter that if she cannot follow your rules, she cannot live in your home, and it also sounds as though she has broken these rules numerous times. I do understand that there is a concern for your daughter keeping her scholarship, and in order to do so she must live with you, and I think this is where you should make your decision. Talk to your daughter about these issues. Let her know that you have given her numerous opportunities to follow your rules, but she has continuously failed, and that now the two of you can take it no more, and changes have to be made. Tell her again that you are worried for her health and safety, sexual and otherwise with this young man. Tell her that you love her, that you only want the best for her, and that he is not the best; she can do better and deserves more. Let her know that you are concerned about her emotions due to the things she has said to you about "ending it all." Also let her know that you realize that your relationship with her is suffering as a result of all of this, and that you want to work to improve your bond, and that you want to continue to support her in her education, but that you cannot do so under the current circumstances.
I think that a good idea for your family is to find a family therapist that can help you all through these issues. Tell your daughter that contingent to her being allowed to stay at your home, she must attend family therapy sessions with the family, as well as follow the other rules that have been put in place. Assure your daughter that you do want to trust her, and give her the freedom that she deserves as a young adult, but in order to get that from you, she has to act like a mature, and responsible adult. She must help around the home, including pitching in financially. Sit down with her, and come up with rules that can be agreed between both parties. Give her the opportunity to provide suggestions for rules, so that she feels that she has some independence and choice. Unfortunately if your daughter is unwilling to accept your request, I think that the best choice would be to put her on her own, and thus she must learn her lesson the hard way by losing her scholarship, and let her know that this is the only other option.
With three more years of co habitation for her to receive her college degree, one would believe there should be a benefit to family therapy and counseling, but our main focus is how to get the rules in place and an appropriate consequence other than the move out and lose scholarship.
I do agree that both rules and consequence need to be discussed but we did this in April of this year, and yet again in July she broke all the rules again, and the cell phone records and facebook posts and pictures led us to know she had been living this double life for months with the fella. Because this issue involves her loss of self esteem by being confused in her self worth as a young woman, we don't want to have her feeling so forlorn that she gives up. This daughter knows she is loved, but pushes the envelope to the borders of rebellion. We do need to solve this failure of the family dynamic before it affects our 15 yr old. but in short she just doesn't care how she makes others feel, just all about her. for her being grown up means being apart from mom and her family. We need some viable consequences which we felt we had, but she finds a way around them.
I truly do not want to control her, but rather guide her with sound healthy rules and boundaries, but how can that happen when she repeatedly rejects both guidance and rules?
The best consequence that can occur when a child is being as stubborn and rebellious as your daughter is tough love; she will have to leave the home, and unfortunately loose the scholarship. Sadly, you cannot force your daughter to behave as you wish, especially not now that she is basically an adult. The best that you can do is work with her to give her some freedom as she follows rules (that you work with her to put in place), yet if she is unwilling to do this, and repeatedly breaks the rules, even if you involve her input, the best thing is that she learns by being on her own.
We tried that and now we are going to the magistrates so she can see first hand and hear first hand what consequence is to come from the fella not understanding that this home belongs to us, not our child, and it's our rules. Hopefully she will see and GET it. The police officer believes it will be a learning experience for her too, although she will not have fine to pay she will be addressed in the hearing and be held to some degree of accountability for her part in the matter. Is it unreasonable to have her block this fella on the cell phone if she cannot be adult enough to ignore or not answer his calls and text messages.
Considering all that you have said, I do not think that it is unreasonable, but I do think that it would be almost impossible to make her block his messages. As she threatened, she'll get another cell phone that you don't know about. You're probably best just letting the phone call and Facebook thing be (unless there is some kind of legal ruling that he cannot contact her), but when it come to him being at your home, this is where the line is definitely drawn.
She does not have to work all weekend. We have resources and she does too to sustain herself again until next summer when weekday work and a day on weekend would help improve her "family" time. She said to me she has emotionally checked out and that she doesn't desire that time. Should we limit that time working if it isn't benefiting the family dynamic in our home, but rather forces the family to lose out by not being able to recreate at our summer place about an hour away. We have friends there and so does our minor child. We ask my daughter to consider summer work near there, but she refused so she could behind our backs lead this double life.
I don't think that you can force your daughter to want family time by limiting her work (if that is the question); This may only cause her to bring a negative attitude to the family time, and rebel even more. What I do suggest is that you make her pay some sort of rent to help teach her what responsibility and paying for herself is like, because it seems that this is near to come.
We believe a strong work ethic is good, and making money is great too, but should not sacrifice the quality of family life. We spoke to her about 10-12 hrs. per week. Like the college limits the kids who do work study program. Do one shift on a day when school is just a few hours and another on friday when she will have still plenty of weekend for her studies and friendships and family…allowing all of us some freedom to be ourselves within the family and friendships.
And I do agree that family time is important, but again, you are dealing with a 19 year old, who obviously feels that she does not have to be involved in the family.
She has managed to put over 4,500.00 in the bank this summer because we do not charge her a penny for living here. I do buy for her special needs for her lunches and also to stay on the weight watcher food program, because she needed to get back on track and feel good about her appearance, but I believe all of what I do is not viewed as any help or support. Including meals, laundry etc..We were walking, and attending meetings together and all was good until the cell phone disagreement. I too believe she is preparing to be out on her own, but the loss of scholarship would be devastating to her finances and future. That i could not live with.
When we were all coming and going freely and spending additional time at our summer place and her here at our home, she complained that she did not feel as though she were part of a family. I believe she just wants to be manipulating all beneficial opportunities towards her good and not the family unit. Is this flip flopping and dip and dodge approach to rules normal for 19 y.o.? It seems to be a very big part of our culture.
It is unhealthy, this I know, and emotionally unbalanced. I am going tomake a dr. appt. to speak about depression because i believe alot of this is because her mood is unstable. I do know she is NOT into drugs or alcohol. So we do have some positives. She is academically above most and deserves to keep the scholarship she worked hard for in highschool. Her dad could be more instrumental, but doesnt want to damage his relationship with her tothe point of her leaving and there be none.
Would move involvement from him help?
I think that her flip flopping and dodging the rules is normal for young adults her age, who are still subject to their parents rules, however she can only dodge the rules if allowed to do so. The consequences obviously have not been enough for her; maybe the threat of loosing her scholarship will be. I know that this may sound tough, but again, your daughter has broken your rules constantly.
Her father definitely needs to be involved. Again, a good way to do this, as well as tackle the emotional issues with your daughter, and work with a professional to help you all get on track would be family counseling.
thank you for your time and answers.