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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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How do I keep my 17 yr. old daughter from making the same mistakes

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How do I keep my 17 yr. old daughter from making the same mistakes her older sister did. my oldest daughter now 21 ran away at in the state of MO,! moved into drug house long story short we are raising her and her husbands daughter. neither have ever worked, live off of his family both addicts..meth, pills no sign of stopping. that is my 17yr olds big sister. I dont allow them to see each other but they talk and Im terrified Im seeing same disrespect in this daughter

NormanM :

Hello, I'm Norman. Are you ready to chat?

NormanM :

I see that you are still offline, so I am going to switch this to Question and Answer mode, and leave a reply for you there

I can certainly understand how concerned you are about your daughter, given her sister's behavior.

A lot of what you have been doing is excellent - setting standards and boundaries - but I'm a bit concerned about the degree of control and punishment that is going on here.

However, before I say any more about that - can you tell me what the younger daughter has been doing so far that merits, for example, her bedroom door being taken away?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
She retreated to her room every night and was talking to and posting pictures of herself on internet. She began to lead us to believe she was in her room sleeping when in fact she had been sneaking out with her older sister and found herself in some very scary places as well as places where criminial activity were taking place. We understand that Whitney is her sister and it breaks my heart but she is not a safe person for Morgan. We needed morgan to know lying to us in a dangerous situation as this was needed serious consequences. My husband and I believed that it was a statement to her that rights much bigger than a door on a room for personal privacy being taken away when she includes herself outside of the protective boundaries of this home that her father and I cant fix. We wanted her experience in some sort of viable way what it would be like if she had been caught with drugs that night like her older sister and went to jail and stayed in jail for three months awaiting trial. Privacy and the ability for us to say yes as much as possible comes with the character trait of honesty and obedience not in a domineering way but to calmy show her our boundaries are for your safety not ever because we want to "control" you. Safe boundaries explained are what we use instead of "No because we are the parents" We believe lessons learned mistakes that happen are best when they are still within the safety boundaries of our home. Love, grace, mercy is so much more important to us than control. Learn now at this young age that your actions have consequences and they are your consequences because you ultimately made the choice good or bad. We are firm on unconditionaly loving. Even our oldest child Whitney will say I know you love me you always have. I have told them both nothing we cause me to stop loving you because you are my child.....It is the behavior I hate...It is not you being a "bad" person. But the behavior has to be addressed when needed.
Given all of what you have said, youare CLEARLY on the right track.

I think Whitney needs (badly) to be pulled up. What would happen if you told her that if she takes Morgan out again without you express approval, there will be serious consequences -up to and including being told to leave. And indeed telling Morgan that that is the choice you have given Whitney, so that if she does go out with Whitney again without permission, she will be in part responsible for what happens to Whitney.

How do you think that would play?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Whitney has not lived in our home since 2009. She sneaks over and makes contact with Morgan.

I'm sorry, but I misunderstood the situation. Have you considered having Morgan make a contract with you about what you expect and what she will do to meet those expectations?

This can be very effective, especially if Morgan is given the opportunity to have her say in what might be expected and what she might do. Once she has 'signed up' for it, the more likely she is to stick to it.

You might also consider as a last resort taking out a restraining order afainst Whitney, so that she may not come near the house.
Norman M. and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I think a contract is a great idea. A restraining order has been issued at one time about a year ago so she would park as far away as ordered then just walk to house! Our neighbor caught her that time, she was mad at us for "keeping her from her own sister". But I really like the contract with Morgan she deserves all the attention that the drama of her sister has stolen from our family. Going to talk to husband tonight.


Thank you

Heidi Cannon

Thanks Heidi - if there is anything else I can do, just ask!