18 year old - knows it all!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MDS, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. MDS

    MDS New Member

    I need some objective advice:
    For two years our recently turned 18 year old daughter has been involved with a boy 2 years older. We have heard nothing good about this boy and have had numerous run-in's with him. His parents, however, are very nice people, but he is their youngest child, is over 18 and they have been a bit more open about this situation than we have. After 1 1/2 years of fighting this relationship which involved, numerous arguments, her sneaking and lying constantly about her whereabouts, and family disruption (we have two other daughters now 12 and almost 15) we decided to allow her to date this boy. We had fairly strict rules, but not out of the ordinary, one date night per week, no visits to his apartment, talking on the phone allowed, nothing past 10 p.m. on weeknights. (of course, they have never really adhered to these rules as when I check the phone bill they talk often and late, but we really didn't have a huge problem with it as long as it wasn't a school night - we tried to pick and choose our battles) They were both happy with this arrangement. We've had a little bit of issue with him being controlling and have noticed that she doesn't do anything with her friends any more, but we figure that is something she needs to learn on her own.

    The problem is that since she turned 18 (1 month ago!) she is thinking that she can just go and do what she wants at anytime, with this boy. We have never demanded that she work because of her school/sports schedule, but have always told her that once sports are over she will need to get a part time job for some spending money. Well, now, sports are over, she has a very light class schedule (as do most seniors, though she gets very good grades) she is refusing to get a job (the boyfriend works construction with his dad and they have not worked since before Christmas), wants to run around with the boy all the time and has very little respect for us. She has taken to lying again and sneaking around and when confronted about it becomes defensive and contemptable.
    Last night she waltzed in around 6 p.m. after being told that she needed to go home after school. We spoke to her in civil tones about the rules and that she wasn't going to be running around 3-4 nights during the school week and that she needed to get a job. She proceeded to tell us that we had made her life miserable, we were the reason that she lies all the time and that we were bad parents. I told her that I was ready for her to go to college and find out what it is like to have to be responsible for yourself and not blame others for your actions. I told her that she was visibly unhappy whenever she was home and it was evident that she wanted nothing to do with us and her sisters, it's all about waiting for date night and the next text to come in. In the end (again, no voices were ever raised), she decided that she was leaving our house and had her boyfriend pick her up and she did not return.
    I am so upset with this turn of events. I want her to come home, but am not willing to allow her to dictate what she wants to do. Plus, what type of example does it set for her sisters who have witnessed this turmoil for two years and basically believe that this boy is a loser and that their sister is completely disrespectful as well? I need advice on where to proceed from here!! My husband and I love our kids, they have always come first in our lives, and have sacrificed to make sure they have a good home and educational funds for the future, we rarely miss anything they are in and try to spend a great deal of time with them. We are sick about this whole thing. Help!
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    First, for your sake, I hope she is on birth control. Just putting it out there, no answer needed and no judgement at all.

    Sounds to me like a normal scenario of a teenage girl, that is not strong enough to handle a controlling relationship. Not good! But, I do think it happens more than any of us moms with teen girls would like.

    I do not know how you wake up this girl and get her to see that she is not evening respecting herself, let alone her parents and sisters. I sadly think it will take time and a ton of hard life lessons before she 'gets it'.
    At 18, I can only imagine the fear you have of her being under his roof - especially since he is a controlling boyfriend.

    I hope some members will pop in and share their own experiences with this and maybe what might have gotten them out of this situation earlier.

    For me, I think being as supportive as you can be so that when she does get that sense of something is not right, she KNOWS she can come to you for help.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As a mom who has raised three kids to adulthood and has two more teenagers, I really don't think she is acting that out of the ordinary. The more you criticize boyfriend, the more she is going to be drawn to him. I personally made my kids either work part time or do without once they turned sixteen...perhaps you have spoiled her a bit. At eighteen, I wouldn't presume to tell my kids who to date unless the guy was on drugs or a criminal and, under those circumstances, I'm still not sure I could stop what was going on. You can tell her that s he has to earn her own way to college if she doesn't give him up...but she may choose him over college, depending on how much she likes him. I'm not one to exert too much control over kids that age...in my opinion it backfires. They will cut off their own noses to spite YOU. And she's hardly alone. I think most kids her age are that way.

    If you really want her to get a job and move back home, make boyfriend pay her bills. Cut off the car insurance, the cell phone, anything else you pay for. Once she's gone, in my opinion you no longer support her. Well see how much boyfriend wants to support her! But, again, you may be thinking this is a bigger deal than it really is. It sounds pretty typical teen to me. Also, as stated above, tell her about birth control and try to get her to take it, whether or not she stays overnight with him Unfortunately, the majority of girls her age have had sex.

    Welcome to the board and I hope you can come to some resolution of your problem.
  4. elizabrary

    elizabrary Member

    My daughter pulled an almost identical stunt when she turned 18. They're so naive they think they are grownups when they turn 18. I told her she could do whatever she wanted if she paid x amount of rent and a portion of the bills, as well as her cell bill and car insurance. I wrote it out for her and showed her approximately what it would cost for her. Mind you she had a part-time job, so she was making some money. She looked at it and thought about it and decided it was better to live for free with the rules. Did she follow them all? Not always, but she did settle down a bit. She also threatened to move out with her much older boyfriend, and she did eventually. But right then she was still in school and he barely worked, so I think he told her she couldn't move in with him.