New! Help!!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by ravengal, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. ravengal

    ravengal New Member

    Our daughter just turned 18 last month. From 8yo to 14 yo, she was homeschooled, and reentered the p.s. system in 9th grade. Her transition to p.s. revealed a young lady with a weak self-image and poor real-world coping skills. Her teachers and I noticed those same traits when she attended p.s. prior to being homeschooled, but I think they became more entrenched due to my enabling her during her years at home. She's intelligent, but doesn't seem to understand that intelligence must be paired with hard work and delayed gratification. She seems to see herself as exempt from reality.

    Once in high school, the lowest common denominator crowd became irresistible to our daughter in her quest to "fit in". Consequently, she has become increasingly more defiant in her quest to have a "real" social life with these friends who have few or no rules. Thankfully, some of them aren't easily accessible for hanging out with due to being carless and jobless. Several have been eliminated from our lives by being arrested for dumb petty crimes. Most of them are also unwilling to continue to hang out with the girl whose parents ask too many questions.

    Things took a turn for the worse when, last summer, she started staying out all night (sometimes for days at a time), and even left the state, without our permission, for a week's vacation with a girlfriend. She started off this school year well, but signed herself out last month when she turned 18. She claims her plan is to get her GED and enroll in college. My husband (her stepdad since age 3) and I decided that she MUST begin working full-time since she signed herself out of school. A few weeks ago, she was hired at a factory job which allows her to work long shifts with 3 days off at a time. she hasn't been studying for her GED because she spends her days off at her cousin's house (her cousin is a hard worker and will be going off to college next fall).

    She's a very hard worker when she applies herself, but has lost two previous jobs due to irresponsible behavior (failing to present a work permit and failing to report for work when scheduled).

    Because we live off the bus line, we agreed to transport her to and from her last job in order to allow her to earn enough money to buy a car, but she wasted the money on clothes, junk food, and her vacation. Her assertion was/is that she has the right to spend her earnings on what she pleases, and that any money she spends can be reearned. She also says that we cannot supply her with motivation to study, go to college, earn a GED, etc. She has to want it herself, she says. She plans to attend an open enrollment college in January, but is making no effort to prepare herself to do so. We've had so many plans without follow through.

    We would make her move out, but she has no car and the factory job isn't completely stable (periodic layoffs). My husband is taking her to and from work everyday, but we haven't provided any other material perks for the past three years other than food, shelter, and laundry facilities. When at home, she's easygoing and pleasant as long as I'm not "bugging" her, so it's especially hard to justify our decision to ask her to move out.

    Thanks for listening/reading. I'm rambling.
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Welcome ravengal. You have found a place where people are willing to listen and offer advice. Because your daughter is 18, you can't control much anymore. It looks like you have done all you can do short of making her leave the home---and I know how hard that is when your complaint is really over her decisions about her life! You have to let go of what you can't control and turn her life over to her. You may not like her choices, but it is her life. She is now an adult by law---many of our children take a long time to grow up emotionally---it may take her awhile longer. Remember---she's not fully baked yet! for you...let go. Let her make her mistakes and live with the consequences. No car---her problem. No high school diploma or GED---her problem. No money---her problem.
  3. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Sorry you had to find us ~ Bet glad you did!! Welcome

    Rules change at age 18.
    You no longer have to provide for her. You can make the rules and she can live by them or she can live elsewhere.
    If she can do what she wants now and still get food and shelter, What reason would she have to change?

    You said you have only provided food, shelter and laundry for the past three years, does her job pay her enough for all the other things she needs plus savings?

    in my opinion you get to pick who is around your home, but as you have learned, what they do once they leave is out of your hands.

    You are the Parent, you get to set the rules and you deal out the consequences when the rules are broken.

    What did you do when she came home from her week long trip without your permission?

  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    in my humble opinion, either work full time and pay rent and follow the household rules or go to school full time with a part time job.
    If you can not do either of those things - then move out.

    I am sure that is easier said than done! LOL!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I had a very defiant daughter who took drugs. Are you certain she isn't? If you are certain (although it's hard to really know) then I'd make her act eighteen if s he wanted to live at home. I don't know that I'd transport her to and from work. In our neighborhood, a short cab ride is cheap. Or maybe she could find a co-worker and pay for a ride. But that's pretty minor. She's eighteen, but she lives in your house and she follows your rules or you make her leave (in my opinion). She still has a curfew, she helps clean up, she helps cook, she pays rent even if she doesn't make a lot of money. I agree with your difficult child about college. If she doesn't want to go, there's no point in pushing her into it. That's her own personal decision. As long as she worked and paid her rent and other small expenses, I'd be all right, as long as she understood that as long as she lives at home, she still has rules and can not do as she pleases. Making my daughter leave the house was hard. She had no car either (she'd cracked up two and had no license). She had to find a place to live and walk to work. She moved in with my son in his huge house and found a job across the street. She worked her tale off at a Subway and has done well since then and has quit using drugs and hanging with scary friends. She is doing well at 23. It took her a little longer to grow up too, but making her leave was a great thing for her. She never would have grown up with me around. For some reason, she listened to her brothers's strict rules, but not ours. Her brother was tough on her and did not give her rides and made her clean up, cook, smoke only outside and minimize who she invited into the basement (where she lived). He is seven years her elder, but more a peer to her than I am and she respected him. Maybe you have a relative who can help you. If not, I hope your daughter tows the line and all goes well. Welcome to the board!
  6. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with busywend. She should be paying rent if she is working and not going to school.

    You could put it in a special account and let her use it to buy a car once there is enough in the account.

    by the way, welcome!

  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    In my home when a kid turns 18 the rules change. You're no longer a kid in any sense of the word. The govt. doesn't see you that way, so neither do I.

    The 2 kids I have living at home know they have only 2 choices if they're to stay here. School or work full time and pay rent. I have Travis working full time and paying 50.00 a mo rent as he's saving to move out eventually. Nichole is going to college full time.

    I don't bug about grades, getting up on time for work or school, nor how money is spent. Their social life is their business. But if you don't follow the house rules as they apply to an adult living at home, you'll find yourself outta here fast. Not my problem if you've nowhere to go ect.

    New boundries need to be set once a child reaches the adult level. And it can take some getting used to for everyone. She's no longer a child. She can make her own decisions, and you can't stop her. What you CAN do is decide what behavior you will allow, and what behavior you won't allow while she's living in your home.

  8. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm another one who has forced her child to either pay rent or go to school. There are still rules but most of them apply to both of us -- let the other person know where you are going and when you are expected back; help with cleaning the house, taking care of the pets; treat each other with respect.

    Because we just moved to a new state and are still in the unpacking process, I am not pushing her to find a job nor pay rent at the present time. She is, however, making noises about wanting to go to college, which is just fine (well, wonderful!) to me. She has not been helping as much as she should and we had a long discussion/argument about this. Hopefully, she will start pulling her weight. If she doesn't, she knows where the door is.

    The one thing that I've found necessary is to be very clear what the rules and expectations are. I've let her know what will not be tolerated under any circumstances (violence, theft, drugs in the home). The rules and consequences are pretty black and white. This helps a lot when the time comes for "rules are made to be broken" syndrome.
  9. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    The transition from home schooling to public can be a difficult one. It is interesting that she was compliant until that point.

    She's not doing drugs. Not being rude. Not throwing wild parties and destroying your property. All good things.

    I agree with Nomad. Give her a little time to figure things out. I also agree with the work/pay some rent or go to school idea. I might save the rent (not tell her) and allow her to use it in time to purchase a beater vehicle ... save yourselves the hassle of running her to work.

    There are those square kids who just don't fit into the round holes. Not everyone is college bound at 18. Maybe she just needs a few years to grow up and understand the importance of college/hard work.

    Welcome to our little corner of the cyber world.
  10. Jen

    Jen New Member

    I am sorry but overall not bad, compared to some of the stories you have read here.

    She sounds focused, and at the same time age appropriate for the choices one makes at that age, except for a GED vs. a HS diploma.

    I guess the only other issue if she stays in your home is giving you the respect where staying out all night, nights or weeks, with-o some heads up.

  11. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    just want to welcome you and add that my sons had to work and or go to school once they left high school, they also had to pay their own car insurance and rent.
  12. ravengal

    ravengal New Member

    Thanks to all of you for your words of welcome and advice.

    I don't want to give the impression that I am trying to run daughter's life. I am actually fairly laid-back as a parent, but now realize that daughter needed more guidance and structure. We really dropped the ball during her teen years, so she doesn't believe we would really follow through on setting boundaries because our parenting has been so inconsistent over the past four years. How in the world do you get an 18 year old to accept consequences, boundaries, and expectations when she cashes paychecks and spends them before we can collect rent, and refuses to answer her cellphone when she wants to stay out past curfew.

    I'm willing to leave the GED/high school issue alone. Her lack of completion will catch up with her at some point, I'm sure.

    daughter will be net around $1200/month if she's called in to work every available shift, so I know she can take care of her basic needs without our assistance. She gets paid every week and has already cashed her first partial paycheck. I didn't ask where the money went.
  13. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    For my daughter, it took moving out and getting a very nasty taste of the real world. She has returned and is basically doing much better. She's not perfect, but she's darn good, especially compared to how she was. I'm not convinced she'll ever be able to manage money, but I can dream.

    If she doesn't pay rent, she gets evicted -- just like she would in the real world. That doesn't mean she can't come home at a later date, but not until she understands you now have real rules and real consequences.

    Who pays for her cell phone? I pay for my daughter's. That means it is MY phone that I allow her to use. She doesn't answer when I call, she doesn't have a phone for a few days. If it was her phone, it would go back to the simple courtesy of you answer because you don't know if it is an emergency. If you choose to not answer, I will choose to do nothing for you and that includes giving you a ride anywhere until you treat me with the same consideration I treat you (and, no, I don't believe the phone didn't ring, you didn't hear it or whatever -- there is no excuse).

    My daughter is over 18 and paying rent. I'm not sure I could enforce a curfew with my daughter. I do ask she come home at the time she tells me she is coming home because I truly won't be able to sleep until I know she is home and safe. If she says that time is 3:00 am, I will sleep until 2:00 am and then be awake until she walks in the door. So long as she gets up at an appropriate time the next day, she can come home when she likes.

    You may have been inconsistent in the past but that doesn't mean you can't start being consistent. It's not easy and it means putting up with a lot of battles, manipulations and the like. You and your husband will have to agree what is to happen for various transgressions and you will both have to stick to them. It won't be easy, but is doable.
  14. branbran

    branbran New Member

    You are in a tough situation. My difficult child is 16 and living in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) out of state right now, however I often worry about how life will be when she is an adult and has to fend for herself. I worry about the choices I will have to make in the future with regards to helping her to function successfully as a "grown-up". Of course I still remain hopeful that she will just do the right thing. Not probable. Will I have the courage to make her leave my home? I don't know. Even though I know letting her stay without forcing her to take some responsibility is only to her detriment. The longer you enable a child, the longer it will take for that child to become an adult. That being said, how do you put your baby in the street? My fear is that once in the street, what will they resort to to survive. Tough call. One of the many things I have learned on this site is that I must let go, learn to live not only for my children but for myself as well. We parent's matter too!!!

    I don't really have any advise, for fear I will give the wrong advise. Just wanted to lend some support from one weary mom to another. Good luck. :smile:
  15. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    If I recall you are driving her to this job every day.

    I would make it clear that at the end of week one you will expect a certain amount of money for rent or the first thing she will lose are her rides. And then stick to it. No rent money after week one ... no more rides. Losing her job would be a less traumatic lesson than losing her happy home.

    I would also sit her down and tell her what you told us in your last post. "Look daughter ... you are an adult now. We have been inconsistent ... and the rules are going to change ... etc". She's intelligent. It won't take too many reality lessons for her to catch on.
  16. ravengal

    ravengal New Member

    I feel so stupid for posting about this issue again.

    We are taking daughter her back and forth to work with the understanding that the money she makes needs to go toward purchasing a car. This was the deal with her previous job, but she blew every bit of the money she made there.

    She currently has $500 in the bank, a $185 check which we believe she plans to cash, and $160 in her wallet. When we asked her why she was carrying around that amount of cash, "I don't know" was her answer. She said doesn't feel that her spending choices are any of our concern. I expect she'll go clothes shopping, buy a new cell phone, and go out to eat since she will be at cousin's until Sunday night.

    In the meantime, she's no closer to getting a car. Unless....... we sign on for several more months of taking her to work with no guarantee that she won't secretly withdraw and spend money.
  17. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    You've been given some good advice so far. Is there more you want at the present? Just bumping doesn't give us a lot of clues as to what you might want or need. Fill us in and we'll try to help as much as we can.
  18. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> She said doesn't feel that her spending choices are any of our concern. </div></div>

    Well then I would let her know that getting her back and forth to work is not any of your concern either.

    She is 18. Living in your home is now a priveledge, not a God given right. She only gets out of you what you allow her to get out of you.

    Just to refresh your memory: Charge her room and board. Charge her for rides to work ... gas money is very expensive. The result? Teaching her the reality of being an adult.

    Or: Don't charge her room and board. Don't charge her for rides to work. The result? Allowing her to spend all of her money on clothes and her fun and enable her to be an irresponsible adult.

    The ball is in your court really.
  19. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    My 18dd just came home from a short stint with her dad in another state. She had gotten a bit unruly, hanging with losers, no job, barely graduated, etc., made poor choices, you name it.

    We allowed her to come back home with conditions. School or work. If she's in school and gets a PT job, we will not charge her rent and we will support her (just like we do her older sister). If she works full time, she will pay rent. Not a large amount, but just enough to keep her responsible. She chose work over school. She MIGHT take a course or two in January, but for now it's work. She has a car, but lost her license for 30 days so we are her main transportation for about another 2-3 weeks when she gets her license back. I don't mind this temporarily as I know she will buy her own gas and pay for her own insurance. But once she's settled into her new job and making money, she will have to pay us each week. She now does her own laundry and has to care for her room in the manner I LIKE. She also still has a few chores to help out with since she's part of this household. She also has to respect our need for privacy and sleep so we've worked out reasonable curfews and having friends over rules. So far, so good. I don't expect miracles, but the goal is to help her become independent and respsonsible for herself!

    Your daughter has laid all her cards on the table for you. She has no intention of working towards her GED, she will spend her money as she likes without entertaining questions from you and expects you to drive her around indefinitely.

    So, now it is time for you to lay all your cards on the table. Set some boundaries in regards to her responsibility towards her home and family. Pay rent, contribute to your gas bill, do her own laundry, clean her room, be respectful and up front about where she is, especially if she's not coming home so you don't worry. Perhaps even find a more reliable job. You need to sit with your H and decide which aspects of her adult life you need to have boundaries for, what fits your home. And once you do that, you can sit with daughter and let her know. She's old enough, capable enough, experienced enough, and mature enough to take it.

    Hugs and good luck!
  20. ravengal

    ravengal New Member

    I believe that, unless we confiscate her paychecks (they come in the mail every Friday), she will continue to spend her money foolishly. In the past, when we collected gas money, room, and board, she spent the remainder because in her words: "You are taking my money, you don't need my money, and now it will take me months to get a car!" My gut tells me that we should stop investing our time in transporting her to and from work until she shows more serious efforts toward being financially responsible. My other gut tells me I don't want her sitting idly around the house, not working and not attending school.

    I'm thinking out loud here. Bear with me.