could use some advice

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i put a post up about easy child. I need a little input.... i'm pretty sure the direction i want to go in yet i guess i'm just a bit on the fence.

    easy child as you know is now in therapy, on an ssri, was picked up for shoplifting about a mos ago, she;s been exhibiting alot of defiant behaviors past year etc.

    so, here we are doing all we can for her, yet this weekend she chose not to return home even when we asked her nicely she was nasty and defiant. she walked in late tonight after being gone since yesterday morning. had to have cops here again last night, etc. this time i was worried because there was no "lead up" she just flipped the script on me.

    so this is what i've done so far:

    I took her labtop away
    i also told her we are no longer handing her money for lunch or weekend money. she's using it for lunch yet also for alcohol and cigarettes. we got cold cuts and i told her you can make a sandwich.

    i've decided i'll speak to her tmrw. i let her sneak in tonight. i dont' want to stir the pot with difficult child just walking in.

    i think tough love is necessary here. i mean i get she's got problems yet we're doing our job and sh'es just walking all over us and me again.

    so i was thinking i should tell her your grounded
    suspend her cell phone
    not give her any money whatsoever
    not supply her with a car for september college. she can take the bus to get there
    no graduation party; this one kills me because we had something nice in mind for her

    am i overdoing it? it just seems like to me at least if i dont' get very tough on her now she'll walk all over me for years to come. she doesnt' seem to get that telling off your mom and doing what she did and drinking in our home by the way when i was out in the city with a friend just isnt' ok.

    only problem is i can do all that, yet i have to give an incentive to push her to behave? wouldnt' you think?

    all and any ideas are welcome :)

  2. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Laptop taken away - definitely.

    Cell phone - limited to being able to call home or 911 and no texting or internet.

    Car - I don't believe in giving kids cars. We will be helping daughter get one in about a year and a half but that's because she'll be student teaching and she can't get there in the snow on her motorcycle. Oldest boy uses ours for his delivery job. She can take the bus to college, plenty of kids do. I did and lived to tell.

    Graduation party - you still have time on this. Grad is not for 3 months. You might want to wait till things calm down and talk to her about how her behavior is keyed to this one. Let her know that you WILL cancel it at the last minute if needs be.

    Money - if she's using it for cigs and alky, I agree cut it off, bring lunch from home.

    I will say that when I was a HS senior, I ran away from home for a week. I went from friend to friend's house but I often did that so the parents weren't suspicious and I never said I was running away. I just needed a break. I did not drink, smoke or have sex while I was away and one day, I just went home and it was never mentioned again.
  3. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member


    I will let others give you advice on soon to be 18 year olds. But one thing that various therapists have said to me is that there is something wrong when you are working harder on your kids than they are on themselves. What is she doing to earn money this summer? Can you afford to get her a car and pay insurance? I would not feel like I had to provide these things if she is not also working her butt off to earn money this summer. Maybe you can match her earnings in some way if you can afford it.

    My worry if I were in your shoes is that she would just decide to drop out of school if she feels there is nothing to be gained from living at home.

    I think you have a bigger problem coming up in that she is going to be living with you when she turns 18--but will she respect your rules? Are you prepared to kick her out?

    You can take away her laptop--but does she realistically need it for school?

    i think you are right to be thinking about where to draw the line in the sand.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Consequences need to be related to the problem behavior and have immediate impact. So I agree with Sven that you should hold off on canceling the graduation party. That should be tied to whether she graduates and how she's behaving at the time of her graduation.
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    that makes sense with graduation party. i think the concern i have with-the car is sh'es super defiant as is my difficult child. if i say no car, she'll say ok np i won't go to college. than comes into play me sticking to my guns and saying hey this is your life.

    she's drinking. i know she is. i got into her facebook and it's all pics of her drinking quite a bit. so a car plus that no thank you. i wish we had the money for the wilderness camp two years ago when we wanted to put her in. she truly needed a time out
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Car = responsibility. That means a job to pay for insurance, maintenance, gas, etc., as well as an established willingness to follow rules (like say... traffic laws as well as home and school) and fulfill their other duties like homework, chores, work. If she's already proven she's incapable of taking care of a dog, how is she going to take care of a car? I would think she has prove she can and will fulfill her responsibilities and do her utmost to stay within set rules before she could be trusted with a ton of metal capable of going at high speeds.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was going to ask if she's doing drugs on top of drinking.
    For her own sake, I'd absolutely forbid the car. Heck, I'd stop paying car insurance if she's heavily drinking. Are you kidding? Kids are always getting into drunken accidents, at least out here. That would go first. Then with my daughter she had to pay her own bills for anything except bare essentials, so she got a job. I don't know how she worked being high, but she did and at least, for a few hours, it gave her stability. In the long run, it gave her a strong work ethic that she still has today now that s he has quit the drug scene.

    If your daughter goes to college and needs a computer, I'm sure they have plenty of them there or she can go to the library. Or you can give her the laptop for homework only..your call.

    I would not obsess over college. My daughter, after quitting her druggie nonsense, went to college. She is twenty-six now and close to graduating with honors. If your daughter is partying too much...not sure she is ready for college anyway. Some aren't ready right after high school. We were very tough on our daughter and I'm convinced that this is the thing that made her see that drugs was not the way to go. If we had given her money and all the toys and let her live at home, she has told us that she probably would still be using drugs. Of course, all people are different, but she agrees with our uber-tough love approach. And, trust me, I cried myself to sleep many nights...good luck and hugs.
  8. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    The "OK, then I won't go to college" line is pure manipulation and is aimed to hurt YOU! If she doesn't want the college education that has been offered to her, that is ultimately HER loss, not yours. If she doesn't take advantage of it, we all know that she will be kicking herself for it later, but it's HER choice. She's almost a grown woman and way too old to be acting so childishly. If she wants the privileges of adulthood, she needs to start acting like an adult and not a spoiled entitled brat! And I'm sorry, but if this were my kid, her world would come to a crashing halt! You do not OWE her a laptop! Or a cell phone! And, for that matter, you do not OWE her a college education! If she's botching up in high school badly enough that she may not even graduate, what makes anyone think that she will be able to handle college? And you certainly do not OWE her a car! If she wants a car, she can get a job and pay for it herself!

    I guess I was one of those "mean" mothers. If one of them came home with a bad report card, their young hiney was grounded until the grades came up. If they were late coming home, unless there was a darned good reason and they had called me, they were grounded until I was good and ready to un-ground them! And even if I had had the money to buy them their own cars, I wouldn't have done it! They both worked in high school, after school and weekends, to pay for their first vehicles and insurance. My daughter worked as a CNA in a nursing home - feeding and bathing old people and wiping their butts! My son worked in a convenience store every evening and on weekends. The summer between his junior and senior years in high school he actually worked one full time and two part time jobs for the whole summer! But they both knew that school came first, and that if the grades started suffering, the jobs would have to go. And you know, it didn't hurt either one of them one bit! They matured very quickly, they valued what they had, and they learned that if they wanted something, they had to expect to work for it.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    *poke* Dad, is that you? jk

    I graduated early with a B+ average or so, and my choices were laid out for me: I could go to college on their dime (still expected to apply for any scholarships/grants/whatever), or I could get a job. If I wanted a car, I also had to have a job to support that car. I could opt for both (stupid me, I went for job and car). Nevermind that by 17 I had a car and a job, my happy rear end had best be in the house before parental bedtime or I would find myself locked out AND grounded AND minus car. I had no excuse I needed it to get to work because I worked in the same building as Dad, same hours.

    Let her go waitress for husband for a while, she'll learn how to be nice even when you don't want to and appreciate every dollar.
  10. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    My theory was that if the grades were slipping, then their time was better spent at home studying instead of out running around with their friends. And it worked too. They always got those grades back up. I knew that both of them were capable of making very good grades IF they wanted to ... if their grades were slipping, it was because they were goofing off!
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  11. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I'm not as forceful about difficult child's grades as I want to be because he just shuts down and I have decided that him having friends is better than him having top grades. He is in honors/AP's and he will shut down if I push too hard.

    Jena - If she refuses to go to college because she doesn't have a car, then she's not ready for college. I took the bus to college and then the subway into the city for my job. A car was not even a dream for me. If she's drinking and you know it and let her drive, you can be sued for something called negligent entrustment. My friend is going through this now - insurance might not cover everything if the jury assesses punitive damages. in my humble opinion, she has lost the privilege of a car - a car is NOT a right.

    It's hard to know how much of this is typical teen senioritis angst and how much other stuff is going on. Is she still being shunned by her boyfriend over the shoplifting thing? She could be really scared about graduating. Is she on track? Has she passed all 5 regents? Does she have all her requirements in?
  12. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Sven, is right. If I knew one of mine was drinking, there is no way they would be driving, and they wouldn't be on my insurance either. And the last thing I would do is to go out and buy a car for a teenager that I knew was drinking! If you already know there is a problem with alcohol, you shouldn't play any part in putting her behind the wheel of a car!
  13. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Hm. Given her sister's bipolar diagnosis, is there any chance that what you are seeing is mood disorder stuff kindled by the SSRI?
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont think you are in any financial position to be buying her a car. If she wants one, she needs to work for one and buy herself an old hoopdies as we call them down here. You know, those $500 cars that teens get as first cars because most of them wreck the first one. She should get it after she is 18 though so she can pay her own expenses and nothing falls back on you. None of my kids got a darned thing from me.

    I also wouldnt give her a laptop, she can go to the library or work on stuff at school. Many kids cant afford a laptop. They survive. As far as a cell phone, if she gets a job, she can buy her own. Problem solved. If she tells you she wont go to college if you wont buy her a car, well then it sucks to be her. She will figure out in the next few years she should have done it when she had the chance and she will have to figure out how to do it on her own. In most families, and it should work this way in yours, either you go to school full time to get to live at home, or you go to school part time and work part time, or you work full time and pay rent. Otherwise, move out and dont let the door knob hit you where the good lord split you!
  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Jena - I agree. Don't buy her a car.

    My parents did buy me a car - sort of. It was a 1979 Honda Accord. Copper paint with autumn gold interior. AKA = UGLY. Rust everywhere. It ran well - and was good on gas mileage. As long as I had A's and B's, insurance was on them. One C? I had to pay the whole amount. I had to pay for gas, oil, etc. and oh yeah - it was in my Dad's name. I loved that little thing.

    I did not once get the keys taken away, nor did I pay insurance until I got my next car (in my name).

    If she cannot follow the simple rules you and the school have laid out? How is she gonna make it in real life? Seriously.

    Grad party? Tell her that her behavior for the next 3 months determines a) whether she has one and b) if she does, how much you will do.

    And I agree with no $. Sandwiches sustained us!
  16. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am so sorry this is happening. I have found with Diva that the times when she is most down right nasty is when she is hanging out with certain friends.

    My input on your plans are:

    1. Grounded but make sure there is a reasonable time frame. Sorry, I don't know what that would be.

    2. Money - yes, no more money - also set a reasonable time frame. Don't make anything absolute and forever.

    3. Graduation party? Keep that one on tabs for now - that can be an incentive to straighten up.

    4. Car - Also keep that one on tabs for now. Anything for next fall is too far away to implement now. That one can be an incentive throughout the Summer. (Diva had a friend whose parent's gave her a sweet 16 party the weekend before turning 16 on Monday. It was at a hotel and she was arrested for underaged drinking - she was drunk - then her mom proudly bailed her from jail and marched her down to the driver's place to obtain her liscense - CRAZY - when you have parents like this no wonder our kids are struggling. Harder to work with our kids when their friend's parents are doing stupid things like this.)

    5. Cell phone - I like the idea of setting it up to only be able to call you and 911

    6. The laptop - Yes, go ahead and take it away - it is a way to communicate and stay in trouble with those you are trying to get her away from. She also could get into dangerous trouble through My Space if she uses it and Facebook if she opens it up as a My Space type of site.
  17. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I think that what you need to do is be consistent.

    Last time easy child refused to come home, mouthed off, and got in trouble with the police -

    you took her horseback riding...

    And, as I recall, you felt it helped a lot.

    So....what is different about this time?

    Did you all have a "meeting of the minds" and sit down and go over new rules and new expectations for her behavior since the last incident? If so, what were the consequences for not meeting expectations?

    Whatever those consequences that were decided, THAT is what you need to stick to now.
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Jena, lol, my computer shut down just in time to save you from a long response. Now I have to get ready for work so this try will be much briefer. Fate is on your side this morning.

    In a nutshell I don't think you need to slam shut all the doors. She has been desperate for friends according to your prior posts and she has been rejected by some who found her arrest unacceptable. Seems like she has found a party group that is accepting of her when she will party hearty. Due to her age, her immaturity, the daily stress at home etc. I don't find that too surprising. in my humble opinion repercussions with-o an end date often result in a "why try" attitude.

    So, I think you should not mention or think about a graduation party. Chances are it would not be what you envision and it is costly. If she graduates your family can celebrate with a brunch or dinner out. Something that is shared with family only. the purchase of a car makes no sense. Even if you were makes no sense.

    Obviously the phone restriction makes sense but I think it needs an end date if she follows the family rules. Make sure you and husband know what the rules are jointly. Same with the laptop. If she needs computer access for homeowork she can either use your computer or use her laptop with a parent in the room at designated times for academics only. Once again I suggest an end date. Very obviously the use of the car is a valid issue.

    Remember she is a teen. Her Mom is not and can not be her best friend. A parent is someone who loves you, guides you with-o too much talk and provides a safe peaceful environment. She is trying to find herself. It can go either way at this point. She may end up being someone you don't like very much or she may end up being an independent young woman that you are proud of....but the choice is basically hers. Good luck. DDD
  19. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    "i also told her we are no longer handing her money for lunch or weekend money. she's using it for lunch yet also for alcohol and cigarettes"

    Something else I wondered about ... if she's been buying her lunch at school and still had enough left over to buy alcohol and cigarettes, she was obviously getting waaaaay too much money! I don't drink but I know it's not cheap and cigarettes here are $5 a pack, a lot more other places. I'm all for her taking sandwiches for lunch, and if she wants spending money, she can get a job. Nobody deserves money just because they exist! Mine did get a small amount of spending money, not really an allowance, because they were expected to do a lot of chores to earn it. No chores, no $$$. I worked full time then and my daughter helped out a lot around the house. My son did most of the yard work. I was a single mom by then and I could keep them in the basics but if they wanted the "extras" they had to pay for it themselves with after school jobs. And it's amazing how much more careful they were with the money they worked for than they were with the money that I gave them!
  20. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi guys....

    that's alot of great stuff. thanks! i have a team mtg at her school today at 2:00 whereas i've called together the entire lot of teachers, guidance counselor, etc. because sh'es been melting down over school failing, etc. and therapist said shes' basically overwhelmed.

    So, I do not think she has any mood disorder at all, the ssri isn't working because shes' adding alot of alcohol to it and also isnt' taking them daily now and it needs to be titrated up. we started at 25, than 50 now she has to go to 75.

    I did take labtop, we bought it for her for xmas. I will keep it for a while, and return it to her when she has reports to do and only than. she does alot of schoolwork on it.

    for right now there is NO WAY i'm purchasing her a vehicle. she will crack it and herself up. she is drinking every weekend it seems.

    I am not sure about the cell, we were thinking of switching it out to one with-a gps inside of it so we can track her on nights she disappears.

    today she made her lunch for school. that's how it'll be rest of year.

    the only money shes' been handed is 5 bucks a day for lunch in school, and on occassion i'll throw her ten dollars on weekends.

    drinking does occur with alot of kids this age, yet truth is it isn't ok. she is 17 not 18 yet. she drinks and ofcourse doesnt' do it infront of me, yet i know it's going on. not ok. she has claimed that at parties kids do alot of drugs. so she adopted drinking and smoking cigarettes because she feels shes doing right thing by not "using". Yes GREAT, yet alcohol is a drug and she's drinking on a reg. basis with an ssri in place.

    as far as grounding goes i think i'm going to discuss with therapist when she returns next week what we should set up. for this week she's def. in.

    i won't can graduation for now. we dont even know if she'll graduate at this point. thats' what meeting today is about.

    last time she pulled this and the shoplifting she was in the house for a month. i did start therapy and medications at that point and threw in horse back riding. that she quit by the way. she i think didn't think it was a "cool" activity. she also has been looking for a job weekly yet hasnt gotten a call back.

    so i know i've done all the right things, stayed consistent in the grounding when i do it i stick to it. i added in the therapy and the medications and gave her an opportunity to work her junk out.

    i dont want to be her friend, id' love to someday when she's an adult yet now i gotta be the mean mom. there is no other way with this kid. you give her too much rope she hangs herself.

    I def. think whoever mentioned she's trying to find herself is correct. her ex best friend no longer speaks to her. she now she's ganged up with these 3 other girls. one just got her license and has quite the home life story, another is out of high school and older (bad news there) also a bad horrific home life story and some other girl i have no clue who she is.

    yet the 3 of them are on her facebook with them drinking wine, beer, etc. easy child is dressed well nasty, she's got push up bra on and shes' hanging out all over the place with drink in hand. yuck!

    so we'll see what comes of meeting today. i havent' had a "sit down" with her yet. I told myself when she showed up yesterday i wouldnt'. wanted to keep it calm for myself and difficult child last night. plus better to let emotions calm before going into it.

    sorry so long. we'll see what she does. husband was confused and said she was doing so well, you've been excellent with her i dont' get why she flipped the script so suddenly. i said it's time to not wonder anymore and just take action. done figuring her out that's for her to do.