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Dr. Tiye
Dr. Tiye, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 46
Experience:  As a Clinical Psychologist since 2002, I have conducted family therapy and taught parenting classes.
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My 16 yr old step daughter is refusing to stay with my husband

Resolved Question:

My 16 yr old step daughter is refusing to stay with my husband and I for our week. We do not have a formal custody arrangement in place with her mother. She says she hates us. We treat her VERY well but she does not like our rules. She has more flexibility with her mom to go out and party and drink. Do we force her? Do we try tough love? She has never participated in having a relationship with her father.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Tiye replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Tiye : Wow, that's tough! When was the last time she visited and how did that visit go?
Customer:

It was 2 weeks ago and there was a major blow out. She wanted to go to a "keg" party and we wouldn't let her go.

Dr. Tiye : I'm sure your rules include no drinking and partying, but what else is in the rules that she is so opposed to? How is her life with her mom, does she feel at all slighted because her parents aren't together. Have you been able to grasp why she is so angry?
Customer:

Her parents were never really together. It was a one night stand situation. My husband has not always been there but has made huge efforts in the last 5 or 6 years. Life with her mom is probably more comfortable and she is definitely not as strict.

Dr. Tiye : So she visits twice a month? Is it a visit or is your house her other home....I.e does she have a room there, friends in the neighborhood, chores, go to school from there, etc.?
Customer:

Yes she visits twice a month. Yes, this is her other home. She has a bedroom, her own bathroom, and a lovely living room pretty much to herself. She goes to school from here. She has chores and gets an allowance.


 

Customer:

Very normal

Dr. Tiye : Did your husband step up more after you were married? Did you help facilitate the current arrangement.
Customer:

Yes. Right before we were married he went into rehab for drug and alcohol treatment. He has tried to talk about it with her and tried to go to counceling.

Dr. Tiye : How is your relationship with her mom.....sorry so many questions, I just want for us to come up with the best solution.
Customer:

pretty good. Ask as many questions as you need. Thank you

Dr. Tiye : How long has he been playing this active of a roll in her life. Was she ever excited about coming? If so, when did that stop.
Dr. Tiye : When you say it's more comfortable at mom's do you mean she does what she wants or she has a nicer house and nicer things?
Dr. Tiye : Does her mother realize that her daughter may be more prone to addiction because of her father's past? If so why is she allowing her to run free?
Customer:

She has lived with us week on and off for 1 yr. We used to do every second weekend. She says she never has wanted to come here. She says she hates it here. She has so much freedom at her moms house and we are definitely more strict (not unreasonable). More comfortable because she has lived with her mom exclusively for most of her life. We have nicer house and things


 

Customer:

Exactly! We fear she is more likely to be an addict. Her mom says she has rules but I have yet so see them.

Customer:

We talk a lot about the fact that she could be more prone to being an addict.

Customer:

Her mom gives into her fairly easy and works a job that keeps her away from the house from 7pm to 7am. She is a nurse.


 

Dr. Tiye : Ok, here are my thoughts............16 is a very difficult age and it sounds like she has something's going on emotionally that are a lot bigger than not wanting to come to her dad's. Although your home may offer a place of peace and structure in our view, to her it's a jail with a warden that she feels detached from and may even doubt his positive intentions for her. She has been able to live a certain way for several years and is resistant to change, just like most other people. In addition to losing her freedom, she may be troubled with fears that her mother may feel betrayed if she forms a close bond with you. There is a lot running around in her mind.
Customer:

I agree. We feel like we should give her space and let her come to us when she is emotionally ready to have a relationship. Keep an open door.


 

Dr. Tiye : Have you all tried family therapy that includes her mother. She has to get on the same page or your step daughter is going to End up on a path to self destruction. I would not necesarily force her to stay the entire week right now but I do think that some type of weekly activity together should be proposed. That would focus on the relationship and building that is the only way you all will be able to have a positive influence that may change her path.
Customer:

Yes, I agree. Her mom had her when she was 18 and her dad with addiction issues. I have always been worried that she would self destruct. We tried therapy for her early on and her mom "didn't believe in it". I do believe it is our last hope for her.

Customer:

We are both very hurt. We have tried so hard with her and it has never been appreciated. She takes and takes. She shows no remorse for the things she says and does. When asked if she really hates her dad she just shrugs...."I don't know"

Dr. Tiye : Family therapy often works very well. It provides a neutral sounding board who can offer both insight and strategies. In the meantime, tapping into healthy activities that the three of you can do together can facilitate conversation and positive interactions. I hope that my answer has earned your highest satisfaction rating. Please let me know if I can provide any future assistance. I wish you all the best.
Customer:

Thank you! You were very helpful.


 

Dr. Tiye, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 46
Experience: As a Clinical Psychologist since 2002, I have conducted family therapy and taught parenting classes.
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