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zenele's avatar

Why are 18-year-old daughters impossible? How do you manage to keep them in check? Single parents especially, but all welcome.

Asked by zenele (8242points) July 13th, 2010

We’ve discussed this before, but it begs further discussion I feel. In any case, I need to get some other perspectives on how to raise a teenage daughter single-handedly (pretty much).

How do you find the balance between giving them independance and not being scared shitless all the time and worried sick?

She wants a tattoo, what do you do?

She needs to update her shoe collection constantly.

She talks back, and worse, criticizes me constantly – sometimes openly.

I do love the mutt, though.

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11 Answers

evandad's avatar

It’s the age not the gender. All 18 year olds are impossible.

tinyfaery's avatar

It’s her life now. Not much you can do but try to support her decisions and be there to help her pick herself up when she falls.

Aster's avatar

@evandad All 18 yr old girls are Not impossible! Many are but not all. We barely knew ours was even in the house. She was quiet, an honor student and very popular. Funny, sweet…great girl.
Our Other daughter was and is a total nightmare.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Just count on the efforts you made to help and the lessons you taught her to be there when she needs to draw on them. Learn to breathe, even when worried.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

If she’s 18, there’s not a whole lot you can do. She can get that tattoo without your permission, and she can spend money on shoes – although, you don’t have to give her yours.

llewis's avatar

Yep, 18 is one of those hard ages. I just had to learn to live with the fear – just like when she was an infant and I would wake up when her breathing changed, terrified of SIDS. Don’t know what to do about the tattoo – remind her she will be 40 someday, and what would she think of a 40-year-old with whatever she’s thinking of getting (she’ll probably say that would be cool, but maybe it will make her think about it, I don’t know – my daughter just dropped the idea when I didn’t go ballistic). Make sure she spends her own money on the shoes, and don’t give her extra to fill in for what her shoes keep her from paying for. Don’t have a joint checking account (from experience).

As far as the talking back issue, keep your cool. Don’t accept it – just end the conversation calmly and quickly. If you have to say something to do that, say something like, “well, we can finish this conversation later,” or “I think it’s time we get off the phone now,” or something. Eventually she’ll get that if she wants your attention she needs to be civil. And in spite of her words and actions, she does want your attention. You’re her mom, her stability in a world that is changing fast around her. Always tell her you love her, even when you’re mad at her.

My daughter was hard to talk to until she was about 23, then she started turning human again. She was good at pushing my buttons from the time she was 7, but the teen years were the worst. Now we usually have a good time together. She still sometimes discounts things I say just because it’s me saying them, but mostly it’s good. I was a single mom, too.

Hang in there – it will get better.

zenele's avatar

@papayalily My shoes or my money? ~

Thanks for posts guys – needed to vent. Wasn’t even here since I posted it – to talk.

Anyone wants to talk about their nightmares kids, @Aster et al – feel free. It’s my second favourite topic.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@zenele I meant your money, but also don’t give her your shoes.

zenele's avatar

Shoes should not be shared. I’m an 11 and she a 7 anyway. ;-)

mattbrowne's avatar

Rebelling is a way to become more independent. It’ll pass. My daughter is almost 21. It’s a lot easier now.

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