high schooler1 step forward, 2 steps back

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Seagal, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. Seagal

    Seagal Guest

    I am new here so I'm hoping I'm posting this to the right forum. I have a 17 yo daughter heading for 12th grade - ADHD, Mood Disorder-depression, anxiety, ODD, Learning Disability (LD)'s - who is doing everything to push me, her mom, away. But at the same time she still needs me a lot. In most cases she won't listen to me, won't do as I ask her to do, won't listen to reality and basically thinks I'm the cause of every problem she has. Then on the other hand, she gets mad if I'm not home when she gets home from school, if she has to go somewhere new, she needs me to go with her and so on. We're doing the college thing now and though she says she wants to go away as far as she can, a place I can't just jump in the car and see her (she's eying Hawaii now and we live on the east coast) because she knows she won't get homesick or need us. I tell her what's most important is fit and she says distance. Can't reason with her. Signed her up for 2 programs gthis summer kind of on the academic side and now she's mad she won't have time to do nothing (she spends a lot of time during the school year just watching TV and not doing anything). I could go on and on, but it's way too much. I just want to know how I can get her to listen to reason and reality. Then I'm not saying she'll get homesick, but there is a great possibility. Just wondering if anyone has been there done that because I'm at wits end. Thanks!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to the board. Sorry you have to be here.

    This is what I would do. Not sure what anyone else would do, but this is just me. If I were paying for her education (which I couldn't afford...haha) she would be given a choice of where I wanted her to go. With all her issues, if she were mine, it would be close to home whether she cried, screamed or stood on her head unless she paid for it herself because I would see the day when she would panic and want to come home..like NOW...and I don't want to waste the money that I don't have. I don't let my kids tell me what they are going to do. I am the parent, I pay the bills, I am in charge. I would play the odds and the odds in my opinion are that she won't like it and you will have wasted a lot of $$$ sending her there.

    Are her grades good enough for college?

    Others will come along with their .02
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    If she's got that many issues, and is seeing a therapist and/or psychiatrist weekly, she's going to need to be close to home.
    My easy child roomed with-a young lady who had serious issues, and she was sent home at least twice to have her medications tweaked, and bring home notes from the dr. She did everything from cut her wrists, to OD on antianxiety medications, to purposely get drunk at a party so people would carry her back to the dorm.
    Wouldn't you know that 2 of the 3 roomies were psychiatric majors who thought they could save the world ...

    Anyway, since you're paying, you simply tell her how far away she can go, and give her a list of schools she can go to. Don't they have a counseling ofc at her HS? You can work together with-them on this. They can help you find compatible schools for her interests/potential major, close to home. Even if it's in another part of the state, say, a 4 hr drive, that may be good enough.
    The colleges and Univ. in our state do not allow freshmen to have cars on campus, so if that is the case in your state, and she wants to come home when she's homesick, she won't be able to just at the drop of a hat. Could be interesting.

    by the way, everyone wants to go to school in Hawaii! :D But when we pointed out to easy child that their schools are better for marine biology, she decided she really wanted to go into art, and logic won the day.
  4. Seagal

    Seagal Guest

    Terry I just had to laugh at your ending statement (and boy did I need that laugh). Guess what my daughter wants to major in, marine biology! Anyway, I have mentioned about the money and of course I get the look and then she stamps out of the room mad. The problem is the reasoning, she just won't listen. She thinks she'll be fine and won't listen to anything else. When I do try to make her understand, she thinks I'm saying she has no chance to get into college or do well. Her grades are improving, but between the school not following her 504 (another story) or giving her what she needed and 2 depressive episodes in 10th grade causing her to fail a semester each of 2 classes and forgetting to hand in work or late handing it in (bad executive function) her GPA is pretty low. Since all that happened, I put her in 2 programs this summer, one at a college to see how it would be and the other a marine biology program which I hope would not only help her to decide if she likes marine biology, but also to increase her chances of getting into college. She's mad I did that because it won't give her much time to do nothing this summer (she usually just watches TV on the weekends anyway during the school year and summer). I just can't win and boy does it hurt. Thanks though for your responses which makes me feel better and realize I should be more empowered over her!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think it would be best to start at a local Junior College. It does not sound like she is ready for the rigors of regular college. You would have to also make sure she gets supports in college (they have them).

    If it were up to me, I'd insist.

    Good luck!
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh NO! ROFL!

    Well, my easy child wanted to major in marine biology after we took her to swim with-the dolphins at SeaWorld in Fla.
    Then she realized, a yr later, that she had to study starfish and regular fish and microscopic stuff first, way b4 she'd get a crack at studying dolpins, and the glamour wore off.
    Maybe that will happen with-your daugher?

    When I do try to make her understand, she thinks I'm saying she has no chance to get into college or do well.

    That sounds a bit like my son, who is Aspie. Very b&w thinking. Very frustrating. So sorry.

    I agree with-others here, that community college may be a good place to start. That will get her grades up, too, and then she can transfer.
    Tell her that's all you can afford (which may be true at any rate) and she won't have a choice, and can't exaggerate (not the word I want ... I'll think of it later) and she can't possibly think you're saying she won't succeed.
    If that makes any sense.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I doubt she will listen to you. partly it is being 18 and largely it is being a difficult child. With her academic history there is NO way she should be going away to a college. She simply won't be able to cope. She also won't believe this.

    You simply must stop trying to reason with her, in my opinion. It won't work and will just upset you. My great gma used to say that you cannot teach a cow to drink with a straw. It just wastes your time and annoys the cow. While difficult child is NOT a cow, the same thing is going on. Instead of reasoning with her, talk to the counselor at her hs and see what the realistic options are. Then tell difficult child that if she wants one of them that you will help pay for it. Otherwise you wish her the best and will be delighted to watch her prove you wrong as she pays for her choices with money she earns.

    She is old enough that she needs a job. She needs to work for her own $ and needs to pay for her own things. She will not ever appreciate anything unless she works for it. Regardless of how mean she thinks you are, it is time for some real world in her life. In the real world you don't get sent away to school when you have not got the grades to justify it, and when you likely cannot get into a competitive program because your academics are not up to it. She also needs to adjust to paying for her own necessities. with-o some regular bills to pay she will likely use any earned money to do frivolous things. We all need some frivolous things, but we also need to pay our bills first.

    Supports are available in college, but you still have to be mature enough to go to class when you don't want to, to study when you don't want to, and to avoid problems like drugs and booze and boys. She won't avoid those. She is not going to perform well in college. It is very different than high school and even though supports are there she sure doesn't sound like they will be enough to help her. They are meant for students who have difficulty learning but are willing to put in extra hours learning to learn. If she won't even do a summer program in what she "wants" to make her life's work, no way will she manage to even pass the basic general ed requirements. She is expecting to go into a marine biology class and go down to the ocean to play with the animals. The animals will magically trust her and come to her and tell her all about how great she is. She will be instantly transformed into Jacquette Cousteau with funding sources raining down from the heavens to support her while she plays with the fishies.

    There a hundreds of young people who think this. They rarely make it past the first year requirements. Those requirements are heavy on math and science and she is never going to succeed. Not with-o drastic change. But NOTHING will make her see that. If you wanted to be incredibly, undeservedly generous you could offer to split the cost of tuition, books, room and board with her. I am sure that she will not want to put HER money on the line, esp if she pays first.

    Have you thought about what will happen if she doesn't go to school? She may decide that if you won't send her to her dream school then she isn't going to school anywhere. You need to have a plan in case this happens. It should include her paying rent and utilities and even leaving your home if she doesn't pay her way. I would put this in writing because there are some areas where you would have to formally evict her if she doesn't leave willingly. It is not because you want to push her out of your home. It is simply to protect you from decisions that you may not want to support. With her grades she may have a tough time getting into any four year university, much less a highly competitive field like marine biology.

    (out of curiousity, what were her grades like in high school science and math classes? College is usually far more difficult and with-o the right background she has no real hope of succeeding in college courses.

    Anyway, I hope this helps you get a handle on how YOU want to set things up. It is unreasonable to put so much on the line financially for her education if she is not even willing to do summer programs in her supposed field of interest. (FWIW, very few college students graduate with a degree in the field they wanted to study when they went to school. My mother worked on quite a few university committees about this and student retention. Your daughter sounds like she has every risk factor except drug and alcohol problems to indicate problems in achieving her goals for college.)
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board!

    Having been through similar debate last year, I would insist on at least one year of community college. While my daughter did well the first semester, she tanked this spring. Though she's decided she wants to transfer about three hours away this fall, we'll see if they let her in.

    If you are paying for her college, I'd definitely put conditions on where she can go. My daughter has an educational trust her grandfather set up for her before he passed; otherwise, we'd be really hurting. Even so, trying to point things out logically to someone who's illogical is incredibly frustrating.