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18-year-old daughter is threatening to move out...

Question

My 18 year old daughter is dating a 21 year old guy with no job, not in school. He has been on his own since 16 …mom was a drug abuser. My daughter has graduated from high school and is now attending community college and living at home. She says she can't live by our rules anymore. She has already spent 2 nights in the past month with him at a friend's house (he is sleeping on the couch because he has no place of his own.) She keeps saying she wants to be on her own and is threatening to move.

WE have told her that if she moves out she can't take her car. She also will be on her own financially. She says if we take her car, then we are jeopardizing her future b/c she will have no way to get to class! We told her no, she is jeopardizing her future. She suffers from depression, ADD, asthma, irritable bowel. She is on many meds. I can't imagine what would happen if she was on her own. How would she afford her meds? Illegal activity would be a big possibility. I don't want to drive her to this. We have taken her to therapists and then she refuses to go after a few sessions. I feel like I am at my wit's end with nowhere to turn.

Answer

Let her go and learn some valuable life lessons!

Your daughter declares she is going to move out and be on her own. She does not need curfews or your advice. So, what do you do since talking endlessly and arguing has not been productive? You say, "O.K.", and leave her standing mouth agape and in shock. However, you did not arrive at this decision lightly. You and your spouse have discussed this thoroughly and you have agreed on a plan.

Once the initial shock has sunk in, and before the child begins her celebration of freedom, you sit down and lay out the terms of this agreement. This is not a total free-for-all (contrary to her belief). In reality, you are still in charge and she needs to understand that her desire for freedom comes with responsibility. This is the time to draft a behavior contract, which stipulates what you will - and will not - do as the parent, what she is - and is not - allowed to do as the adult-child, and what the consequences are in those cases she violates any terms of the contract.

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2 comments:

Andrew Svensk said...

What? She's 18, she can do what she want's. You're not in charge and she's not a child, or "adult-child," whatever that means...

Sam said...

I have a 3 year old that's always hitting me sometimes it gets worse what can i do

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