General Question

Patty_Melt's avatar

What rights do parents have to discipline their child?

Asked by Patty_Melt (10328points) 1 month ago

My daughter is a teenager.
Nothing works for her.
Laws tell us we can’t spank our kids, starve our kids, lock our kids in a closet..
Not that I am wanting to do any of those things, but why don’t they tell us what we CAN do, when a teen pays no regard whatsoever to home rules?
I have talked at length with her about why this, and the purpose of that.
I took my daughter’s phone once. She tried to grab it from me, and shoved me down. She was so furious she crushed it in my hand, cutting me on the shattered screen.
She then accused me of breaking her phone.

I called her boss and explained the the job was causing her to be more difficult than ever. They agreed to terminate her employment. Now she tells me her hours were increased.
She actually shares an account with a friend so I don’t have any say in how she spends.
I can’t get her to any kind of therapy, unless I hire a strong-arm to drag her there.
She comes and goes any hour of day and night.
School is the one thing she has been responsible about, but I got a text today that she skipped a class.

She makes me think about the moms of school shooters, etc. because I imagine some of them must have struggled with their badittude kid and didn’t feel the had any legal way to control the bad behavior.

I could use some real help here. BS will be flagged.

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53 Answers

kritiper's avatar

Contact a local child psychologist for help/suggestions. Perhaps through your local health department.

Spanking is a relative term. If you start early enough, with the right spanking medium*, I think it would work like it does for your pet dog.
(* rolled up newspaper)
Now stand back while the objections roll in!

Also, if she’s older than 18, kick her out!

Kardamom's avatar

I know you are struggling here, and I sympathize with you, but you are the parent, not your kid.

You need to do several things, which could be called “tough love”. You and your husband need to be a united front, and follow through.

You need to tell your daughter to quit her job. Today. If she doesn’t, then you need to march into jer bosses office, and explain the situation, and tell them to terminate her immediately.

Then you need to take her phone (broken or otherwise) completely away from her, then go to the friend whose plan she is on, and tell them to terminate her plan, immediately, and to give you the policy info so you can call the phone company yourself, and explain the situation as to why she (a minor child) needs to be cancelled.

You then need to contact the bank and the credit card company and explain why your daughter (a minor child) needs to have her access to these accounts cancelled.

Then you need to contact your daughter’s school and demand to speak to her teachers, the principal, and most importantly, her counselor to come up with a plan on how you all are going to solve this problem.

Then you need to speak with your daughter’s primary care physician, and find out how you can mount an intervention, then move forth with finding a therapist to help you mount an intervention with your daughter, and then make sure she agrees to go into therapy, that has been pre- arranged with her doctor, and the therapist.

If she had a car. You need to take away the keys.

You need to speak with the parents of all of her friends and explain to them what is happening, and ask their help in going along with your plans to get help for your daughter, including not letting the friends interact with your daughter (by phone or other electronic devices, until this situation is resolved)

Tomorrow, take the bedroom door off of your daughter’s room. She gets no privacy until this situation is resolved.

Give your daughter a 7:00 PM curfeww until this situation is resolved, and tell her that you will be speaking to the police (and do so) to let them know that you will call her in as a runaway, if she violates her curfew. Then do it, if she is late.

A lot of this is on you and your husband. You have to make some harsh rules, and follow through with them, no matter how much she complains, and cries. If she threatens you, or assaults you, call the police immediately.

Be willing to send her to a therapist, an institution, other relatives, or to consider that she emancipate herself from you.

If you don’t get this situation under control immediately, it will get worse.

Zaku's avatar

Sounds like you’ve been lured into power/authority struggles with your daughter, which hasn’t been working out.

I would try to get clear about what the important issues are, and figure out how to structure things so there are natural consequences, avoid getting into power contests as much as possible, and let go of things that aren’t important.

For example, step back and question your authority decisions, and if you have a well-reasoned adult reason for not wanting your daughter to have access to her phone, instead of physically taking it and wrestling her for it, tell her why and ask for it. If she won’t give it to you, but you own the account with the phone company, tell her you will have it deactivated, and do that if she doesn’t give it to you.

I would try to start be re-evaluating the big picture and reflect on what the most important issues are, and try to address the most important things first. What are the most important issues?

(Getting good professional guidance and counseling for for yourself sounds like a great idea too, if you can find people who are useful to you.)

YARNLADY's avatar

Learn the emancipation laws of your state. If she is self supporting, you can be relieved of being responsible for her, and she can become responsible for herself

SQUEEKY2's avatar

You never said how old she is?
You did say she is still going to school, but also has a job.
If you are paying all her bills,and she is living under your roof then you have to install in her there has to be ground rules,but it sounds like she is getting to that age where she wants her independence,we all went through that, but independence comes at a price charge her rent.
Explain to her about her coming home at all hours is putting extra stress on you because you worry about her safety and well being and she should know that.
and if she doesn’t and is legal age maybe it’s time for her to move out and face the world on her own.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

The way you explain these things make you come across as over-controlling parent. Why not sit back and let her handle herself first? You might be afraid that she will fall in to a bad hole but there is nothing to prevent if she hasn’t shown a lot of destructive habit yet to condemn that her current activities were the cause of it. She got her school and job so I can imagine that she has been trying to earn money to become independent. Sometimes people, especially teenagers, mess up so don’t expect them to be the perfect children at all times. I find that skipping school once in a while is an ok thing to do for a naturally rebellious teenager. Be grateful that she isn’t in to arson, theft, or similar activities. I imagine that you couldn’t sit down and talk to her heart-to-heart but you can at least support her when she is down in the dump because during this particular time she will realize her own mistake (provided that you didn’t blame her) and grow to trust that she can rely on you with her personal troubles. Believe me, the more you try to control her life the more she will resent you.

MrGrimm888's avatar

First off, sorry Patty.

Decent advice above. I would target Truancy. It’s the law, in most states, for students to attend x amount of days. If you’re having trouble getting her to attend, you could at least log complaints about physical inability to enforce attendance to school. That gets you in a position to work further with state agencies that help with this kind of thing.

I’m sure you have exhausted your options in conversation, but never five up. As you were probably a firecracker, at her age, so is she.

The biggest problem with young girls, that I see, is that there’s always a guy willing to promise to take her away, and change her life for the better. As we all know, that’s not realistic. I would be primarily concerned that I was not pushing her into the arms of a stupid/young, or manipulative/older guy. That could have a less than ideal outcome…

If there are drugs involved, I would consider talking to law enforcement.

I’m sorry Patty. This must be difficult. At least you’re a great, strong woman. I bet you figure out a way to do this…

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Parents can always threaten to erase the teenagers saved games.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I am not able to track down her friends’ parents.
I am unable to drive, and I don’t have the strength to get far with my wheelchair.
I have no way to get any phone numbers, as she won’t tell me any last names.
Truancy is not a problem, at least not yet. I can’t send an officer after her for skipping one class. Considering the time of that class, I am guessing she skipped so she could have lunch with a friend who eats at a different time than her.
If I ask for her phone, or anything else, she looks at me like I’m nuts, and says, uh no.
I have no access to the phone, and so, no access to whatever accounts she has.
I have contacted the VA about an appointment with a therapist to help me deal with her, but they never set an appointment. I have to call them back.
I could maybe manage to get the door off the hinges, but she is the sort to put more effort into defiance than compliance. She would just wait until I am asleep and take the pegs from my hinges to use for her door.
This is a girl who ransacked my room while I was in the hospital for a week and stole over a hundred dollars I had stashed away.
She got a boyfriend who is a year and a half older than her, but a scrawny little thing. She broke up with him two or three months ago, but she still bosses him around, and he takes it.

She is wicked smart, but has the maturity of a sassy twelve year old.
I once sat on her to keep her from running off. She promised to be good, but when I went to the bathroom, she sneaked out.

There is no husband, no SO in my life, not even a maybe.

She is sixteen, and plans to take a train ride halfway across the country during summer break, alone. LIKE HELL! Yet another reason to stop her job.
When I told her there was no chance I would let her go, she looked at me like she would kill me right then.
She acts like little miss Entitlement. She didn’t learn that from me.

Firecracker..
I was, a bit, but with me family still came first. I had a lot of responsibilities. I had two siblings, and after my parents divorced, my responsibilities doubled.
I had paper routes, did babysitting, odd jobs, I worked all the way through my teens.
No matter how I try, I didn’t get her to accept any responsibilities, except the occasional emergency.
She thinks the only reason I try to get her involved with the routine chores necessary to live like humans is because I am disabled. I told her that if I were healthy, I would actually expect her to be doing more.
She uses my frailty as a tool to get pity from people.
Man, I did not raise her to be like this. I am bewildered.

I don’t control her life. She is constantly trying to control me. When that fails, she flies into a rage.
@kritiper “rolled up newspapers” LOL.

canidmajor's avatar

Oh, @Patty_Melt, I am so sorry to hear about this. A lot of people who have never raised children don’t seem to understand that they are fully-formed persons in their own right, and as teenagers absolutely have their own personalities. Sometimes, no matter how good one is as a parent, there are these problems. At this point, at this age, I think @YARNLADY has excellent advice. At least research it so you are armed with some information.

This may not apply exactly to your circumstance, but this site is anonymous and the people are kind. If your daughter’s attitude is exacerbated by a Cluster B disorder, it may be helpful.

I didn’t have to deal with this with mine, I was very fortunate, but my heart breaks for you and I hope you can have at least a workable resolution.
(((Hugs)))

janbb's avatar

I agree with @canidmajor . Some of the people giving advice on this thread have never been parents and may not realize how little control you have once they are teenagers if there is no respect which it sounds like is the case here. I can’t give you much advice but I have great sympathy for you.

One thing does occur to me. Maybe let her go cross country if she has the funds. Maybe she does need to be out on her own for a time. If nothing else, it might give you a break from the struggle for a while.

Best of luck and I hope you can get an appointment with a therapist who can advise you..

janbb's avatar

One more thing. If she is doing her school work except for skipping the one class and she is doing well at her job, why stop her job? It gets her out of the house, gives her some autonomy and gives her life skills. This sounds like a kid who will be needing to be on her own early and suffer her own hard knocks; a job is a great place to get life experience.

(And skipping one class, if it does not become a pattern, is not a huge deal.)

One more thing I would suggest if you are willing to ease the reins a little is to tell her that but also tell her that you will not tolerate any violence toward you and will call the police if she harms you or the house.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
snowberry's avatar

@Patty_Melt Your daughter says she has more hours than ever, but is that really true? Check with her boss. And if somehow she managed to pick up another job somewhere, don’t under age kids have to have the parents sign off before they work? I’m guessing they do. I’m thinking she’s blowing smoke.

Who pays her phone bill? If it’s you, you can fix that quickly enough, and I’m sure you know how to do that.

You know there’s a law about abusing the disabled. If nothing else works, you could call the appropriate agency and explain how she’s threatened you, hurt you, stolen from you, etc. im sure you have witnesses, so it’s not just your word against hers. I’m no fan of the police or CPS (due to several personal experiences with their illegal and heavy handed tactics), but the idea is they are supposed to help, and lots of times they do help.

Keep us posted.

Hugs sweetie.

snowberry's avatar

I’ll add one more suggestion. If you haven’t started to document, begin it. Worst case scenario, you- or she- may end up in front of a judge. The only thing the judge can know for sure is what you can prove by documentation. So get that journal going. Fill it up with daily notes on who you talked to when about helping your daughter, and keeping yourself safe. Also include any behavior by your daughter that makes you feel unsafe. Be sure to give a thumbnail of the conversation and any follow up plans, (get names of school officials, counselors, doctor visits, police calls, etc.) try to include it all.

I think it also would be helpful to call a domestic violence support center, and get them involved. If you do, be sure to include that in your journal.

Since she routinely goes through your stuff while you’re sleeping, you could keep this all online, and keep it current by sending it to yourself in emails. It’s not the best idea but it’s workable, and it’s free.

johnpowell's avatar

I was in a car with my sister and my mom and they were fighting over stupid shit. It escalated quickly and my sister (16) bolted. Literally at a red light my sister ran off. It took three years before I would see my sister again. My mom wasn’t great but she never hit us and pretty much didn’t care when we came home. So even freedom when living with my mom wasn’t enough to keep my sister from fleeing.

Teenagers are fucking idiots…

I mean like my mom did not give a shit. We did not have to ever be home. My mom did not care because she was on more drugs than us. And that still was not enough freedom for my sister.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Wow.
Every single answer here is great, except for the bot.
There are suggestions which cannot apply to my situation, but every single answer is chock full of ideas, compassion, and serious thought.
All of you have given me chew toys to work on.
Just the compassion alone has added to my strength and resolve.

I am scared for my daughter.
A part of me says to just let her do whatever, and suffer the consequences, but she is a shapely, attractive, energetic girl. I worry so much about the beasts who lurk.

johnpowell's avatar

@Patty_Melt :: That was very much a problem with my sister. She had dudes around her that promised to take care of her. Strings were obviously attached.

Not sure if you would be comfortable with this or even if my sister would be. But I could ask if my sister would be willing to talk to your daughter through text or phone or something. As someone that has been there.

LornaLove's avatar

I feel so bad for you. Maybe I am overreacting but the theft and going through your personal belongings is not a good sign, as well as the violence towards you. I mean for long-term personality issues. Unless of course, she is on drugs? So many good answers here. You could also buy some books on parenting teens that seems to have ‘anti-social’ traits too. As well as the other things people have mentioned. That way you could read it you know and not have to go out. Might help while you wait for the therapist appointment.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Yes, my main concern is if she has so little regard for my privacy and property, what is that going to lead to?
If she does that to not-the-mama, she will face some brutal repercussions.
She acts a bit like a carney, and the world is her mark.
She is friendly only when she thinks she is grooming me for a favor.
A few days ago she got real sweet, wanted me to let a friend move in with us. As she told it the kid was being kicked out.
I gave her my list of conditions. When I got to the one about meeting the kid’s parents, so I know it is mutual, and not a runaway situation, her lips pursed tight and turned white. Her eyes blazed, and the door slam indicated I should go straight to hell.
She has no hangups about treating me like the supply hut, but as she has told me several times, “I have learned as much from you as I ever will.”

JLeslie's avatar

Oh man, I can’t imagine how difficult it is for parents. You can do everything right, and kids can get out of control. I’m sorry you’re going through this difficult time.

As far as the job, why is it making things worse? If she does well at work and at school I’d be reluctant to not let her work. Maybe she can work fewer hours, or a different job. Working practically saved my life; it brought me out of a depression when I was a teen, but what worked for me doesn’t necessarily work in your situation.

As far as law, I’m pretty sure corporal punishment is still legal in all states, I’m not sure. It’s not legal for schools to do it in all states. I don’t recommend you hit her, I’m basically against corporal punishment, I think she will possibly hit you back, and she might run away.

For a little on the positive side, when a girl stands up for herself, we should be a little happy she is not completely obedient. Parents are a safe authority figure for kids to challenge. We don’t want our girls to be completely obedient, compliant, and complacent, because that can transfer to them being obedient adults with boyfriends, husbands, and bosses, which can sometimes be a bad thing. What is most important is she is safe, and doing activities productive for her and her future. Not that you want a kid who is constantly defiant, obviously not.

I do wonder if she is doing drugs. I missed where you said she stole from you, but in the thread it seems you wrote that she had. That’s a bad sign. I can’t imagine stealing from my parents, but I certainly got frustrated with them at times and had screaming matches. I thought about running away more than once. I never drank or did drugs thank God.

I’m not a parent, but I was a kid, and my recommendation is family therapy, even if it’s just a few sessions, and private therapy for her might be helpful too. You have to find out if she is going drugs or drinking. Do you have any inkling she might be?

Have you tried negotiating with her, and let her win parts of the negotiation? Talk about curfews, and end up later than the time you start at. Explain you are not trying to control her, but worried about her safety, and expect some respect regarding knowing she is safe. Not because she is young, but because this is what is expected of adults. Of all people who share a home. My husband comes home when he says he will, or he calls me. Not because I control him, because it’s not fair for me to have to wonder.

The rules I had as a child, basically were the rules for everyone in the house. If that is not the case for you, I recommend doing it.

For skipping school can you ground her a few days? Did the school give her a punishment? Detention?

Maybe you can tell her you see she is growing up, and that you have been fighting a lot, and you would like to make things better. Ask her what she thinks would work well so you feel she is safe, and she gets to do more things she wants to do. That maybe there are compromises. Give her some control, and some power to come up with solutions. Maybe she will be more likely to follow the rules then.

She can’t wander off at 16 for the summer, I agree, but maybe there is a summer program you would feel ok with—a formal exchange program?? Children are almost always very well behaved with other adults.

Most 14–17 year olds are difficult. It’s a difficult time for parents and children.

I probably didn’t help you a lot. It’s such a hard situation. Hard to know what to do.

snowberry's avatar

Family therapy works only if you can get the people who need to go, to go! But Patty could go just for her own benefit, even if her daughter refuses to go.

JLeslie's avatar

@snowberry Oh, I agree that the OP could probably benefit from therapy, not only to deal with what she is going through, but maybe there are suggestions the therapist has to help get a handle on her daughter. But, most important is her daughter needs some help. She’s probably quite unhappy to lash out like this. Is there an aunt or uncle who can maybe get her to open up?

Why is the daughter refusing to go? I don’t remember reading the reason.

snowberry's avatar

I don’t know that she would. But based on what @Patty_Melt has said about her, she’s only likely to go if she’s sees an advantage to herself.

JLeslie's avatar

@snowberry There is a huge advantage for the daughter if the therapist is good. That is one problem, you can wind up with a terrible therapist.

When I was a teen I asked to go to therapy. A friend suggested it to me, and my dad didn’t want me to go, he wanted me to tell him what was wrong. I didn’t even know really what was wrong. My mom luckily supported it. It was a friend who actually had suggested it to me.

Like I said, my guess is the daughter is in pain. The goal is to make her feel happier, give her purpose in her life so she doesn’t screw it up being self destructive.

It wound up I was mostly depressed because I was lonely. Loneliness is extremely destructive. Kids do all sorts of stupid things to be accepted, or they are on the fringe and lonely, unless they get really really likely and find a group of friends who are wholesome, and fun to be with. The loneliness can be as deadly as caving to peer pressures to be accepted.

Working gave me a place to be where I excelled and my coworkers did not drink or do drugs (I was very very lucky about that) and they became my friends, although not very close friends. We would go out after work sometimes though, and thank goodness my parents gave me a very late curfew to do it. My friends from school had curfews one to two hours earlier, but they were at drinking parties often being broken up by the cops before midnight anyway. I was out at the movies or an arcade. When I was a little older I was out dancing with a fake ID, but we still were not drinking, we were dancing.

@Patty_Melt You said she comes and goes every hour of the day. Does she tell you where she is going? Can you GPS her on her phone?

Patty_Melt's avatar

Hi. I was gone all day because, well, I knew Mother’s Day would be a disappointment for me. I kind of left TV and social media alone.
My daughter is not fooled by reverse psychology or any other psychology. In fact, most anything I do or say she treats with distrust, like I am trying to pull something over on her.

This isn’t lashing out. Lashing out is a sudden angry change in behavior.
She has behaved this way a long time. Over the years, she has stolen hundreds of dollars. To a disabled woman on a fixed income, every dollar counts.
I thought giving her some room and some choices would help, but every little thing done for her or given to her just feeds the greed.
I am at a point where now I’m focused mostly on protecting myself from whatever trouble she causes.

JLeslie's avatar

Stealing from you is just beyond my comprehension. What is she doing with the money? Does she need it to keep up with the other kids? Clothes? Movie money? If you don’t see the material things, then again, I strongly recommend drug testing her. The question is can you get her drug rehab if she is using?

What about the exchange student idea? It can be a little expensive though, the flight cost, etc. I guess you could maybe get some charitable help. She has to be alcohol and drug fee. I have taken in exchange students, and when I have there is a whole group of us exchange parents who help each other, and none of us have ever had students have any inkling of sneaking off to drink or get hi.

I’m still wondering why work is making her worse? Did I miss the answer?

I know exactly what you mean that she feels you are constantly trying to manipulate her, my sister and I feel that way about my dad. It’s a different situation, but I understand the feeling she has. The fact is, you are trying to manipulate her in a way, so it’s not that she is wrong. The big question is why is she so hell bent on doing such disrespectful things?

Of my close friends I can only think of one who wanted to spite her parents, is that what your daughter is doing? I didn’t want to spite them, I just wanted to do what I wanted to do. There is a big difference in my opinion. Spite for my friend was a desperate move from her parents very strict rules, and to get back at them. That never occurred to me as a kid.

snowberry's avatar

I think I understand the situation fairly well, and it doesn’t sound to me like it’s anything @Patty_Melt has done.

My daughter’s first job out of college (as an RN) was working with these type of kids, only in a clinical setting. She said lots of times parents were at fault. They either caused the problem or made it worse, until finally the kid had to be institutionalized.

Other times it was behavior the child has chosen based on the situation and opportunities life had offered them. It sounds to me like this kid is the second type. These are choices her daughter is making. It’s not @Patty_Melt‘s fault.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Patty. Maybe you could talk with a lawyer, or social worker, that could help you with knowing your options…

Patty_Melt's avatar

I haven’t talked with a social worker yet, but I may have to go that route.
I did try to call a lawyer, but didn’t get past the secretary.

@JLeslie, sorry, I meant to answer your question about the job, forgot.
I was glad she got a job. I thought it would help her in regards to responsibility and maturity.
She claimed that when she got employed she would get internet for us.
She promised to help with groceries.
She mapped out all sorts of things she planned, and it sounded intelligent and fair to us both.
After she got the job, she opened a joint account with her ex boyfriend, tells me she plans to take a train to the west coast, starts shopping like a maniac.
I can understand her wanting to get a few things I can’t afford for her, but she went nuts. I was glad it enabled her to get a prom dress with all the accessories.
The end of March somebody made a clerical error, and my finances got cut off. I was told it would take a few weeks to get reestablished. I told her I would need help with the bills for April. She told me she would see what she could do.
A few days later she asked if she could borrow some money to get a present for a friend!
She also has claimed she was scheduled to work when she was out running around.

I called her boss because she thinks nothing she does has consequences, and I want to prevent her from going on that train.
What her employment has told me is she needs budgeting advice, but she has kept all information about her wages from me.

janbb's avatar

I’m starting to go with those who say getting a social worker involved is necessary.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink . Some things don’t have a solution. Short of calling Dr. Phil there might be nothing you can for your child other than to be there when your kid learns the hard way.

snowberry's avatar

Some people have the mindset that everybody is trying to manipulate them. I think what is more often the case is that they are very immature and use that as an excuse to get around being responsible for their life and instead manipulate everybody around them.

I love this quote. “You teach people how to treat you.”

It’s time this kid learns there are real (and permanent) consequences to her actions, and she cannot blame her mother for everything that is wrong in her life!

LadyMarissa's avatar

This post has been bothering me since it was first posted. I hear the pain & not sure what the answer is. Kardamom has a lot of great ideas. Only problem I see with her suggestions are the ones recommending getting the police involved. That may work in some states; but, here the cops REFUSE to become involved in family matters as they see it as a waste of their time. She hits you & you report her, it’s considered a domestic dispute & IF they do anything it will go to family court where not much happens except keeping the officer off the streets while testifying.They won’t take a runaway complaint unless she’s been gone for over 24 hours; & in your case, they wouldn’t even look for her after the 24 hours because she’d be classified as a “known runaway” who leaves every time things don’t go her way & that’s no longer considered a priority.

She has learned how to push your panic button; so YOU need to learn how to NOT react as she expects you to. Keep her off balance as to how you’re going to react. Don’t give her the power to send you into a rage. Hard I know; but she depends on you raging because you stop being rational when in a rage!!! You’re not allowed to beat your child; but, you are allowed to spank her as long as you don’t do it in public where some ja with a phone can record it. That & don’t leave bruises…spankings should NEVER bruise anyway!!!

In my opinion, this has gone on too long already & I fear that you don’t have it in you to reel her back in. That should have happened years ago!!! When you’re correcting her & tell her what her punishment is going to be; ALWAYS do what you threatened to do. NEVER back down!!! You can’t lock her in her room because it could create a place from where there is no escape in case of an emergency.

Get in touch with your local mental health office.There are so many kids out of control that many have counselors who come out & work one on one with both the parents & the child. They teach the child how to deal with their anger while teaching the parents how not to provoke that anger. Many times these services are free depending on income or at a reduced rate if not free. Some states cover the fee as they see it as pay for help now or prosecute later & keep them in jail. They’ve decided that prevention is cheaper than cure.

I worked with one child where all it took was making him feel that he was being RESPECTED!!! All that child heard from his parents & grandparents was what he did wrong. I changed that to when he did something wrong I didn’t tell him he was wrong but told him it hurt me that he felt it was OK to treat me like that. Then, when he did something right, I immediately told him how PROUD I was og how he chose to deal with it. It wasn’t a quick fix but after several months he had stopped going off on me. Teaching his parents how to treat him with respect took much longer. Your daughter has been grooming you for years & she has you reacting the way SHE wants. So, you need to find a way to shift the power back to you. The boy I was using as an example only ever got hit ONCE & after that it was a consequence & reward game where the adult gets the upper hand.

IF all else fails, you can talk to the state about having her put in a temporary foster home. This gives her a place to live where she’s always being counseled & give you a break to lose your stress. You’re still allowed to have visits & gradually work your way back into being a family. I see the teenage years as being similar to the terrible twos except it lasts longer than one year. You may have survived the worst of her wrath as I hope she’s on her way out of the teen phase. I know that doesn’t help right now!!!

@Patty_Melt {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ H U G }}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

canidmajor's avatar

There are some here who suggest that @Patty_Melt should have behaved differently in the past to avoid this. None of us know how she behaved in the past! There is an excellent chance that this daughter is behaving like this through no fault at all of @Patty_Melt. Sixteen year olds are volatile, adult size humans, smart, savvy and capable. This is not the case of a “rebellious teen” who just needs to have her mother tell her that some privileges are revoked. Should @Patty_Melt try to chain her daughter to the apartment?
I think @janbb has an appropriate suggestion, to maybe call social services.

There are quite a number of resources listed if you Google “social services out of control teens” from schools to wilderness programs to family services.

It’s clear, especially after reading this thread, that nobody here is qualified to advise you, beyond trying to help you find resources.

chyna's avatar

^Great advice.

snowberry's avatar

@LadyMarissa You sound like you’ve had lots of experience dealing with teens. That’s great!

But this doesn’t sound like a typical “rebellious teen”. And remember, @Patty_Melt is extremely disabled, with limited movement. Physically, she is very fragile and vulnerable, and house bound to boot. It’s been that way for a while. Lots of your suggestions might work for other people.

snowberry's avatar

I do like your idea of a temporary foster home. It certainly would not be my first choice, but it IS an option.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I am grateful for all the suggestions here.
Some don’t apply to my situation, but there they are, possibly helping someone else too.
I do hate the idea of putting her in a foster home.
I would rather have her bound for a psych evaluation, but I’m not sure how to, or if it is even an option.

I am comforted that so many jellies care so much. I have been feeling terribly alone with this.
I keep blinking away tears as I read the responses here. It is a tough situation, and everyone is putting so much thought into their answers.
I feel a stronger sense of community here right now than I have anywhere for quite a while.

Thanks @all!

LadyMarissa's avatar

Some of you misunderstood my intent. I was NOT trying to blame @Patty_Melt. Since I’ve never met her, I was trying to come up with solutions to other problems I have dealt with directly as a way for her to think of how these solutions could work into her life. First off, I didn’t know that she is disabled as with any of our interaction, that never came up. Now to @snowberry I have had my fair share of problems with teens; however, I do volunteer my time & services to one of our local mental health clinics & work directly with “Rebellious Teens” in particular. The young man I referenced had pulled a knife on his Mom, Grandad, & siblings & had been institutionalized 3 times before we were paired up. This boy’s mother was mentally challenged & had her own set of problems including 2 other children that are being affected by his behavior. . His Grandad was so overwhelmed that it only took less than a quarter of a second to send him into a tail spin. One day when he didn’t realize that I had arrived, I saw him try & break the boy’s arm. My job is to fix the child’s problem & although the child IS often the problem, it has been my experience that it takes MORE than one person to get to the rebellious stage. I tend to advocate for the child until I can figure out a way to find a balance between the child & the parent(s). I love @Patty_Melt & in NO way would want to hurt her; so you may retract your claws. IF @Patty_Melt has a problem with what I had to say, I’ll be happy to go into it further with @Patty_Melt. This is exactly WHY I tried to avoid responding to this post; but, it just kept haunting me!!!

Since the daughter is 16 already, she can be asked to leave home at 17 & be responsible for herself. The temp foster placement has saved many a family as once the child is out of the house, they relax & begin to act better & then during the visits, they stop pressing others panic buttons; so everybody gets along better. Then eventually the family is getting back together more & more until everything is more like a normal family!!! Of course, the drawback is that the child will claim that moving them out just proves that they don’t want them.& use that to press buttons until they can get to the place where everybody is getting along. NOT the solution that I prefer but it is still an option!!!

JLeslie's avatar

I know it’s impossible for me to really know what the situation is like after just hearing some details here on fluther, but I have to say, my gut feeling is let her keep her job, don’t ask her for money. You ask her for money, but then want to stop her from making money. I’d bet she sees this as you wanting “her” money, and if you can’t hsve it then you won’t let her have it either. Was she raised in a family and culture where all generations contribute to the household? If not, I think it’s difficult for her to be onboard.

What about seeing if maybe you can get her into a mentoring program. Possibly Catholic charities, or another organization. Someone else besides her mom telling her not to open a bank account with her boyfriend. Does she have career aspirations or hobbies she likes?

She is 16. I finished high school when I was 16, just a few weeks before turning 17.

She’s buying a lot of stuff, well then maybe she isn’t doing drugs, that would be a positive.

Is she going to be a junior or a senior?

Maybe @YARNLADY didn’t have such a bad idea.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Seriously?
Bills before frills.
Sixteen year olds don’t get to make the rules just because they have a job.
MY job is to make sure she learns intelligent choices before she is out on her own.
I never said I thought she should turn every cent over to me.
My income was delayed, not stopped.
She definitely has no business buying a train ticket I will not let her use.
Man. I’m glad you don’t have kids.

chyna's avatar

When I had a job at sixteen I had to give my mom 100.00 a month. My dad had died and she could only get a minimum wage job. I would like to have kept that money for me, but we needed a roof over our heads.

JLeslie's avatar

@Patty_Melt Like I said, I do not think she should be on a train! I told you other suggestions like exchange student programs, mentoring programs, or therapy, or something to compromise, and be a great learning experience for her.

I’m not talking about her letting you borrow money, I thought you also wanted her to pay for some things aside from that. I might have misunderstood.

I’d appreciate you not being so insulting.

@chyna My point was, the OP wants to make her daughter quit, but also needs the money. I’m trying to explain how I think the kid interprets that.

I don’t see anything wrong with helping the family afford a roof over its head. I worked at 14 years old, and at that point started paying for almost all of my clothes, and when I went out with friends. I didn’t pay rent, but my parents had less expense regarding my spending. They didn’t need it, but I took that on myself. Although, they would not have bought me as much stuff as what I bought. Not that I was a really big spender. I didn’t make enough to be a big spender anyway.

Patty_Melt's avatar

My money came three weeks late, so my bills got paid, but I was told it could take up to three weeks more. At that point, stuff would have been disconnected.
The thing was, just after I told her about the financial emergency, she asked to borrow money from me. My point was she has no regard for priorities. That disregard is why I want her to lose her job.
Being cut off is my one form of discipline. If I ground her, she just takes off. I don’t want her to have enough money to run off and meet with disaster.

JLeslie's avatar

@Patty_Melt I don’t fault you for trying it. I hope it works.

I don’t judge your parenting at all. Parents can do everything right and teenagers can screw up. It’s incredibly difficult to be a parent. I hope she buckles down and changes the path she is on. I’ve seen it happen. Suddenly, the kid gets an epiphany of some sort, and gets a healthier focus on the future, and what needs to be done to be successful.

Maybe you can send her to a boarding school since she has good grades. The problem is that won’t help you with the summer train problem.

YARNLADY's avatar

How about getting other family involved. I homeschool my grandsons because the schools and their parents couldn’t handle them.
Do you have grandparents or aunts/uncles who can help.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I asked about the aunts and uncles also. Thanks for bringing that up again, I had forgotten about it.

Patty_Melt's avatar

No family I can turn to.

canidmajor's avatar

@JLeslie, how on earth would a boarding school help???? Aside from the cost, which can be dramatically out of range for most people, boarding schools are not prisons.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor Depends on the school. I think many are more regimented than not. In some major cities there are public boarding schools, but difficult to get a spot. I was thinking private, and maybe scholarships are available like other private schools, I don’t know. More than anything, she wouldn’t be at her mom’s house, and kids tend to be more obedient and respectful to other adults, but no guarantee of course. She would be out of her current environment, which seems to not be doing well for her. Children at boarding school are more likely to be either higher income and/or very dedicated to schoolwork, and that should be a positive.

I do not mean the OP is a bad mother, all I mean by environment is that her current school, work, boyfriend, and home environment seems to not be working well at this moment, she’s a little out of control and driving her mom ‘round the bend. The dynamic between the two of them might need a break.

It might be a bad idea, but I was just throwing out suggestions.

Maybe some sort of camp this summer? She could be a camp counselor and earn money.

It’s not like teenagers having bad behavior is a surprise. Some is to be expected. I am assuming this situation is fairly extreme. Maybe it’s just typical. Pretty much every girl became a pain in the neck at the bewitching age of 14, and it lasts until they finally leave the house for college.

snowberry's avatar

That’s a great idea, @JLeslie How do you propose funding this?

JLeslie's avatar

@snowberry It’s only a great idea if the OP likes the idea. Some parents wouldn’t fathom sending their child away to school to live outside of the home. I’m not pushing the idea at all, it’s just brainstorming.

Since her daughter does well in school, maybe try to research a school that has some specific curriculum for her, and then see if scholarships are available.

Another is the public schools, but I don’t know where the OP lives. Public schools the tuition is free. Here’s a website. https://boardingschools.us/public-boarding-schools/

I like the camp counselor idea too. That would be just a summer gig and she would have some supervision, and make some money.

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