Challenging Kids

Worried Mom 123

New Member
My daughter has been difficult since she was 15. She was around drug dealers, older guys, caught an STD, has tested positive for Cocaine and Opiates in drug screens in the past when she was dating an older man of 24 when she was 17. She almost did not graduate high school due to skipping and hanging with the boyfriend. We all counseled her, including the school. Their efforts helped her to graduate, we found out the day of graduation she had a high enough GPA to walk. And the boyfriend finally went away.

She is now almost 19 and has started college, her first class she flunked. She won't tell me her grades from her second semester, so I've learned they can't be too good if it's a secret. She has worked a few jobs part time and most she was fired at (some her fault, some not). I know she is now drinking, but doesn't seem to be high. She is not taking classes winter sememter because she does not have the money for books, and I won't pay (I paid for her tuition via pre-paid college plan years ago). Her low GPA from highschool eliminated her from Bright Futures for college. So the consequence is she now must pay for all miscellaneous expenses for college.

When she keep running up my cell phone bill to over $200 per month I separated her account from me at 18 and she now must pay that bill.

She has had 5 speeding tickets, and two accidents with her car so she now pays for those tickets and her insurance and car payment. The repercussions is her paying for these expenses. Her insurance is now over $5000 per year and her current company may drop her after the second accident. Hello Bus, what little there is! And I hope she can find a job she can walk to.

She decided to take off for spring and summer sessions at college to find a new job so she could save and pay off her debts. She never found that job and really did not try and continued to work the part time job that didn't pay much. So now she could not pay her latest speeding ticket or her cell phone. After pressure from me and realizing that I would not pay for micellaneous charges for her winter semester (so she is not going to school the winter session) she would need that new job. I went on job websites and sent her jobs to apply and she was given 3 offers and she took one. She needs her cell phone for the job.

Another bad decision: She stole my debit card and paid her cell phone without my permission. When she was younger she stole credit cards for gas. And here we go again. I reported the charge as fraud and made her call the cell phone company and take it off my bank charges. She said she did, who knows. But I covered it with my bank....I refuse to pay to enable her again, no matter the repercussion.

I feel she is on the cusp of some reform and change but then she does something like that. As she is almost 19, I want to instill some responsibility in her. She does have a disability with her left eye and visual acuity, however this should not cause her this type of rebellion. I have made the boundaries very clear however she continues to push the buttons to see how far she can go without a wall coming up to stop her. What more can I do to keep her on a path that will help to make her a productive adult and also finish school (I might add with better grades). I'm exhausted and trying very hard to not enable her pushing her into failure. I want a success story!


Well-Known Member
First of all, welcome and you should lprobably post on Parent Emeritus. This forum is for children under 18, which a lot different. You can find the Parent Emeritus forum by just clicking on forums. Also, if this is your real name, for the sake of safety you may want to change it to another user name.

I do have four adult kids and, honestly, you can't make her do anything she doesn't want to do, but you can make strict boundaries for her to be able to live in your house, eat your food, and have the comforts of a good life. Most of us who have had to take this difficult walk insist on no drug use, respectful behavior, doing chores, working full time if not in a school that they are taking seriously and stealing is often the dealbreaker that sends these adult children out of the house. She is too old for you to influence. Your only leverage is that she can not reside in your home unless she follows a certain code of behavior...and then you have to back it up. Did you call the police for the theft? I would have. I hope she no longer has cell service paid for by you. You'd better lock everything up and maybe change your credit card numbers. Get a firebox. Take the key with you. If you can live that way, you are free to try keeping her at home. But don't trust her and be very diligent about hiding your valuables including jewelry and heirlooms that can't be replaced. Many of us have been robbed by our adult kids, usually pawned for drug money. It starts out slow and escalates. Is your daughter willing to get help? I'd make that one condition for living at home...weekly counseling.

In my opinion, and most in the Parent Emeritus phase no longer put up with this behavior in our homes. Period. If our young men and women don't follow our rules, they have to find a place to live or even go to a homeless shelter.

You can not control whether or not she pushes herself into failure and you can't push her into failure. At her age it is all on her. What is going on so far, with her having a nice place to stay while she screws up, is not working. It usually leads to even worse behavior and it is while she lives under your roof, your home, your castle and sanctuary. You should be allowed to have a peaceful life under your roof when your children become adults and adults your daughters age are in full time college, full time jobs, and fighting for our country. She is not thriving. If it is drugs, she needs to put herself in a rehab, in my opinion, to be allowed to live at home. That is one way to motivate her to get help. It may work, it may not, but it is a positive stance to take.

I would read the Parent Emeritus board and post there. We are all moms who have been there/done that/wore the tee-shirt and a ton of experience and much wisdom is written on that forum for those who struggle with adult children who are not growing up the right way.

Maybe you'd like to share more of your story about her. It could help us come up with more spot on possible things that you can do. If not, you don't have to share any more than you are comfortable sharing. Do you have any other kids at home who could be influenced by her? Any SO in the picture?

Welcome again. Really, we are a nice group of folks. We learn to care for one another.
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