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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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14 year old girl. Freshman. Parents divorced. 1 week with dad.

Customer Question

14 year old girl. Freshman. Parents divorced. 1 week with dad. 1 week with mom. At mothers, no parenting, but responsible for 2 young siblings 2 & 7. At fathers; rules, chores, responsibilites & fun. Hates school. Failing 5 or 7 classes because homework not done (Mom won't monitor), Dad requires it caught up & helps before 'freedom'. Daughter doesnt have a good self esteme. Won't participate in school activities. withdrawing. (except for social activities with friends). Father spending nightly quality time with daughter to draw her out; discussing interests, future etc... she can't seem to be ingaged with her own life, cant express anything that is important or of interest. We know drugs are not the issue; random drug testing occurs..... Mother suffers from severe depression. Daughter showing similar signs. Is physician and medication going to be the only answer? Is dialogue and caring just futility?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. Are you the mom or the dad of this girl or just a concerned family member?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am the long time girlfriend. I have a 21 yr old daughter. This young lady has a 15 yr old brother that since Sept. now lives full time with Dad (at sons request because of volitle situation at moms) , and a younger 7 yr old brother that goes back and forth between Mom & Dads, then a 2 year old bother by a different father who only lives with the Mom.

Her Mom is financially & emotionally a wreck, does not stay on medication (depression), moves with kids (within the small town they live) about every 6 mo. Can't hold a job long, only working weekends now, youngst child dad is in prison (no support), recent boyfriend has restraining order against her, had furniture repo'ed last week, alcohol & drugs are ongoing issues and on and on and on. Mother has no family in area. Parents assist a bit, but live 2 states away. They are frustrated with her lack of irresponsibility

We believe she is using 14 year old daughter for companionship ,discussing all her problems and such. Mother has no friends now. We know the daughter is responsible a lot for 2 younger kids and meals. Child protective services have been involved, due to leaving 7 year old at park instead of calling the father when she couldnt afford a sitter. After investigation, CPS did not think they had enough to remove kids.

Father has discussed daughter coming to live with him full time as well as 7 yr old. She says no no no way. We think possibly mom has threatened suicide or something like that to daughter. Daughter won't discuss reasons. Daughter may feel she is responsible for wellfare of 2 year old that has no other adult in picture.


Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for responding. The first step may be to seek professional counseling for this troubled teen. She has many issues that she is dealing with and is headed down the same path as her mother unless some intervention techniques are utilized. She needs to have a neutral party involved like a psychologist with whom hopefully she can express her feelings to. She needs coping strategies of how to deal with her mom and possibly the mom's manipulative ways. Make sure that dad keeps doing his part. The mom may soon slip up and be so neglectful or emotionally abusive that the children will be taken away from her. Start documenting everything in case the information will be needed one day. I commend you for being so concerned about a child whom is not even your biological child!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dad is documenting everything. We are trying to get her connected with someone she feels she can talk to. Dad is persistant and usually very good at helping her learn to deal with issues... but since Sept. is becoming more and more withdrawn from school. I guess I was hoping you might have some thing tangable we could share with her... video, books to read, web site for her to use for help or approach we havn't thought of to get her interested in herself, her own well being, her future, and especially motivated to do better consistantely in school.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
By any chance do you attend church?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
There are many churches that assist at risk youths and you do not even need to be a regular member.

Also, here are some books to help.

Be True to Yourself: A Daily Guide for Teenage Girls
By. Amanda Ford

What Your Mother Never Told You: A Teenage Girls Survival Guide
By: Richard M. Dudum
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Why do you recommend these books specifically? What is the subject & does it relate to the issues we are dealing with here? Have you recommended them before? Do you have feedback from others that they were helpful?
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
The books have been used by previous clients and deal with a variety of issues...including the ones that you have mentioned. The one that discusses daily tips would assist with building self-esteem more than the other one.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Dealing With The Stuff That Makes Life Tough
By Jill Zimmerman Rutledge

That is another excellent resource for teaching teen girls how to cope with the downside of life.

Have a great evening.