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Daughter wants to live with her 18-year-old boyfriend next summer...

Unfortunately our daughter's biological mother is involved in her upbringing and she is somewhat evil. K___ has been gone for three weeks now and we are doing our best to get her to come home. We have arranged for her to make up the three classes she dropped this school year. She is an honor roll student and she thought she would have to do the makeup work before school was out. That was not the case. She wants a car and to work as well. We are trying to get her to come home to earn those things she treasurers most. Unfortunately, her mother wants to involve law enforcement because K___ has had a few violent episodes. I worked in law enforcement and I don't feel it's good to involve them on domestic issues if you can work them out at home. To me it is a negative introduction. Once you’re in the system you tend to not care anymore. I don't want that for her. We are going to talk to her again tomorrow evening about coming home. She wants to live with her 18 yr old boyfriend next summer. We are NOT for that. Any suggestions? I provided her with a VERY positive goal list last time we met with her.

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I don’t think K___’s biological mother is evil. Everybody thinks they’re doing right. If we think others do bad things because they have evil intentions, we may give up trying to influence them, become afraid of them, get angry with them, seek revenge, etc.

Also, I respectfully disagree that “once you’re in the system you tend to not care anymore” …this has not been my experience. And I also think that parents should involve law enforcement whenever a domestic battery occurs.

Re: living with boyfriend this summer. Remember, one of our major tenets here at Online Parent Support is to “foster the development of self-reliance.” Thus, if K___ lives out on her own for the summer, will this promote or inhibit self-reliance? The answer is clear: it will promote it.

I understand that you can make a good argument for her NOT living with the boyfriend (e.g., may get pregnant), but since “self-reliance” is PARAMOUNT, the recommendation would be to allow her to learn some ‘life -lessons’ away from the nest.

(NOTE: This assumes she is 17-years-old; if she's 16 or younger, then we need to come up with a different strategy.)

Mark Hutten, M.A.

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