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Where do I go from here?

Started by MomCop4, January 02, 2014, 08:22:21 pm

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MomCop4

Hi there! Just a lil background about me. I'm 38 yrs. old with a daughter, 18yrs. ( from a previous relationship) a 7yr. Old son, 6yr. Old daughter, and 3 yr. old son.  My husband adopted my daughter shortly after we were married when she was 9. He is the  only dad she has known. 
So  my 18yr. Old daughter. Went to live st college in sept. ( she had no choice, we  urged her so she would grow up!)  Now it is Dec. and she tells me she. Went to class 1/2 the time because she overslept ( because she is online all night long writing or posting pics from some tv show that she is obsessed with!)
She never signed her college loan because she just didn't feel like it. She never got a job while st school because the shuttle doesn't come at the right times.. Everything is always someone else's fault!! She's not going back to school, owes 10,000. And has yet to tell the school or discuss financial arrangements! We recently got into an argument because her friend was over and they were both on their iPads not talking to each other! My hubby told her to get out and go something. Well she left to go to her friends house. I messages her from work ( couldn't text because she couldn't pay her cell bill and they shut it off, which doesn't bother her at all!) I asked what time dhe was coming home, this was at 10:00pm and she had been out since 4:00. She said around 2am. I said no, 12:30 because it started to snow and we are getting a snow storm. She was lying about being blocked in at her friends house. ( her friends car was blocked in.. Her car that we bought her started to stall so she just lets it rot in the garage. ) she refused to come home saying she's an adult etc... I told her if she didn't get home. Her room would have  nothing in it! She has no desire to go to school, work , or anything! She is up all night and wants to sleep all day! I wake her up at 8am and tell her to get a job!! I don't know what to do! She was always close with my mom and now she won't respond to her messages. She is still at her friends house ( 45 min.away) and I am ready to tell her to stay there! I am at the end if my rope!!!

luise.volta

Welcome, M - Please go to out HomePage and under Open Me First, read the four posts there for new members. Please pay special attention the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit. We're a monitored Website.

I am so far past where you are that I look forward to seeing what others have to say here. (I have great grandchildren in college!) My initial take is that it seldom works to send someone just out of highschool off to grow up away from home without monitoring them frequently to see how the growing up part is coming along and setting boundaries. If a child heads off to college with a strong sense of responsibility it might work but it sounds like your DD didn't evidence that kind of maturity. Evidently she's been spinning out ever since she left and has created quite a mess that doesn't seem to be bothering her particularly.

All that's left is the 'School of Hard Knocks', as far as I can see. Others here may see more hope. Deciding who's to blame isn't the issue...it is what it is. I would never provide free room and board, a car and maid service but I may have been way too strict. My sons where told when they left home, that the ball was in their court...that we had done out best and never pretended it was perfect. It was just our best. We told them very clearly that they could never come back except as invited, temporary guests. My parents did that with me, and my son did that with his kids. It isn't smooth and it often isn't pretty but it's life. My youngest is 58 and is our Webmaster here. We are great friends but we give each other a lot of space and mutual respect. We're both adults...it's not a parent-child thing any longer. Whew...

That's about all I can come up with the first time around. I may be back after others have given you their 2 cents worth. Hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Stilllearning

Momcop, I cannot help but feel sorry for your eldest.  She was adopted by your DH when she was 9 and two years later you started a new family with your DH.  She has probably been battling feelings of inadequacy for 7 years.  None of this is your fault but children see things through children's eyes and often they interpret them in a completely different manner than their parents do.  All of the symptoms you describe are associated with depression.  I urge you to not kick her out but take her to see a specialist.  I think she needs help.  If the specialist disagrees then you will know you did all you could.  I wish the best for all of you!  Hugs!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown

Pooh

January 03, 2014, 05:37:15 am #3 Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 05:39:47 am by Pooh
I was also from the school of hard knocks from my Mother, and I did the same to my Sons.  There were rules for after graduation.  They had choices to make.  Their options were go to college and still receive as much help from me as I could provide or go to work.  If they chose work, then they had another choice to make.  Living at home was an option, but they would pay rent and were still required to help around the house.  Or they could move out on their own.  I would give them 90 days to save up for deposits and such.

What wasn't an option was sitting on their hineys and sleeping all day, with no responsibilities.  What also wasn't an option if they chose to live at home was being disrespectful.  Yes, they were adults (by age) but they would respect that I also worked and I wasn't staying up all night worrying about them, or being woke up by them coming in at 2 am.  So if they chose to live with me, they had to give respect to get respect.

My personality is one of "talk is cheap".  You can only set boundaries and rules if you are willing to enforce them and follow through.  Although I personally feel that if you haven't treated a child that way their entire life, it's not a lesson that is easy to impose on an adult now.  I had always been a parent that gave them options and followed through with the consequences so they knew I wasn't bluffing.

No one can tell you what to do, but my opinion is that you need to give her the options you are willing to live with, and then follow through if she doesn't do them. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Pooh

Also, remember you have 3 other children.  You are setting the example for them of what is expected out of them too as adults.  If not, you may very well be running into these issues again in a few years.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Stilllearning

Pooh, I have had issues with depression.  Real issues where I thought that everyone I loved would be better off if I was dead.  I did not feel like I deserved anything (cell phone for example), I had no energy and I did not care what happened to me.  If she is having a severe depression and her Mom kicks her out she might commit suicide.  I would not wish that on any mother, sister, brother or step father.  So I once again plead for professional help.  The hard love option is still available later if need be.   
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown

Pooh

Yes, people truly do suffer from depression and it's sad.  I get that.  This is just my opinion, but I didn't see anything in her OP that stands out that she's depressed.  She's having friends over, staying out with friends late, staying on her internet and IPad, etc. 


Maybe MomCop4 will come back and fill us in more.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Cranky Pants

Quote from: MomCop4 on January 02, 2014, 08:22:21 pm
So  my 18yr. Old daughter. Went to live st college in sept. ( she had no choice, we  urged her so she would grow up!)  She has no desire to go to school, work , or anything! She is up all night and wants to sleep all day!


Forgive me, MomCop4, but I couldn't help but notice that she went to college because she had no choice, and her family urged her to do it so she would grow up.  Is her behaviour a boomerang back at everyone who tried to make her do what she didn't want to do?  Does anyone know what she wants to do? (notwithstanding sleeping all day and texting all night).  Likely she doesn't know what she she wants to do, so she's digging in her heels and doing everything to sabotage her college attendance and perhaps IMHO retaliate against everyone who made her go to college.

It sounds as if she is depressed, and I think some kind of professional help is advised, and hopefully someone will find out what she wants to do with her life, and once that comes up to the surface and there is a plan to make it happen, you won't be able to stop her from jumping out of bed in the morning to do whatever it takes to go down the path that she wants to go down.

Good luck, you've got 4 kids, so that's quite a handful,
CP




MomCop4

Well.. She is still at her friends house. I'm not sure whether some of you misunderstood me but I told her of she wasn't going to school she needed a full time job. I informed her that I would not let her live here without a job or going to school. I agree that she is depressed and I am searching for a psychiatrist for her to go to but as of now she is still at the friends house. I always tell her to put down the iPad and watch tv with me or go out to the store with me. I have always tried to give each of my kids individual attention. It is hard because I also work full time ( night shift) I am going back and forth with the tough love or be nice because she is depressed. I just want to make the right choice....

luise.volta

I'd be cautious about diagnosing her as depressed. She may just not want to grow up. It happens. Adult privileges but no responsibility has its appeal. Hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

herbalescapes

My first reaction was that you need to institute some tough love and insist she get a job or get out of the house, but reading some of the other replies, I think you might want to consider alternatives.  It could be that she is depressed.  Moving away can be hard on some people and it may be worth having her talk to someone.  Also, she could be reacting to being forced away. Look at things from her perspective.  Had it always been just you and her before you married?  Was her father ever in the picture?  If she spent most of the first nine years of her life just the two of you, having a stepdad enter the picture can be very disconcerting.  She may have acted ok, but she still may have felt abandoned to some extent.  Then she becomes a big sister at 11 - that's a huge change.  Then at the first available moment, she's "booted" out of the family.  Your intentions may have been to teach her responsibility, but her perception may have been "I don't fit in; I'm part of mom's past that they don't want to remember; I'm not really a part of this family; they want to get rid of me."  Again, some counseling could be in order. 

Whether she's just lazy or she has real issues, coddling her won't help.  She needs to be made to be responsible for herself.  Just how tough you need to be, though, can vary on the circumstances.  Would you be ok with her working part time, going to community college or vocational school and living at home? 

Good luck.

MomCop4

You made a valid point. I guess I never thought of it through her eyes. I want her to succeed in life. I told her that I understand she may not know what she wants to do yet. But I do expect her to at least make her own money.

Sarah

From where I'm sitting, it looks like she was told to go to college, sign loans, pay for cell phone, get a job, all overnight?  Those things don't happen overnight.  They happen over time.  If you want her to sign college loans, go with her while she does it and hold her responsible.  If you want her to get a job while going go college, help her with a resume.  You are telling her what to do but not really showing her how to succeed at it.  Sometimes some children do need a little hand holding once in a while.  I'm not saying do it permanently, but it seems she was just shoved out and told to do it.  Help her and be there for her.  I truly think some guidance on your part is what she's looking for.  Good luck.

Stilllearning

I have to wonder what good qualities your DD has.  I think my job as a parent is to find my child's forte's and urge them to pursue a career that lines up with them.  So does your DD love animals? Helping sick people? Working with computers?  Fixing cars?  Cooking?  Sewing?  Photography?  Babysitting? Outdoors?

She needs to have something to be proud of, some area where she shines.  It does not matter where as long as she likes it.  She can volunteer , if need be, in that area.  It will help her figure out what she wants to do with her life.  Once she figures that out I think you will be trying to pull her back instead of pushing her out. 

Good luck to both of you!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown

DixieDarling

Babies are easy!! The young adults is what will stomp on your heart! If they only came with instructions or a one rule fits all p, being a parent would be so much nicer.
My youngest is now 24  & out of the 4 he's the most responsible and has his life on track. You'll make it through this I promise. My 2nd didn't reach it till 28. Hang in there and don't give up. ((HUGS))