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Daughter Refuses To Work

Hi Mark,

My 16 year old has an opportunity to work as a hostess at the restaurant I work at. They would hire her just because she is my daughter. Here's the problem, she doesn't want it. Her ugly self is out in full force over it. I am 99% sure that the reason she is creating such a fuss is because she is terrified. She cried for hours before her interview. Her self confidence is really, really low. Her dad and I know she can do the job and would do well at it, because when she puts her mind to something she does great. It's just getting her past her fears. My question is... do we force her to go to the second interview? We pretty much forced her into the first one. I have already told her that if she wants a cell phone she has to have a job to pay for it. We also created a contract for getting her driver’s license. I have attached the contract. We have not signed it yet, but knows most of what is on it.

Thanks in advance for your advice!




Hi A.,

No. I would definitely not force her -- BUT stick to your stipulation that she must get a job so she can pay for her own cell phone. Let her take "all the time she needs" to decide when/where she wants to work (a paradoxical intervention). The more responsibility you take for her employment, the less responsibility she will take (that's why you're in the rut you're in now; her work is more important to you than it is to her).


My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents

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The Strong-Willed Out-of-Control Teen

The standard disciplinary techniques that are recommended for “typical” teenagers do not take into account the many issues facing teens with serious behavioral problems. Disrespect, anger, violent rages, self-injury, running away from home, school failure, hanging-out with the wrong crowd, drug abuse, theft, and legal problems are just some of the behaviors that parents of defiant teens will have to learn to control.

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