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Mother Receives an A+

Hey Mark,

I have read the book and think I am learning. However I guess like most parents I am concerned with what the result of my daughter’s action will be. So getting to the point, my daughter is not completely out of control, however I am trying to prevent that from happening, because as I mentioned before I know that she has drank and smoked pot. I TRULY believe that it's recreational and NOT a problem, and as I keep on open mind I am watching very closely to any sign if it should be a problem. However that isn't by main concern right now.

What I am concerned with is her not respecting my curfew and it's certainly not by hours later that she returns but minutes at a time, and to me that is still not respecting what I given her for a curfew. As I mentioned she is 17 and driving (has her own car). She has broken her curfew more than once and I have made her stay in 1-2 days, taken the car away etc... and I thought it was working because when she's able to go back out then she returns when she is suppose to and all seems OK but then maybe a couple weeks later she doesn't return at curfew time.

Now aside from being scared that something could have happened, I am hurt by this. I give her 5 minutes past her curfew and then I call her - "she is always on her way" ???????? and shows up with 10 minutes. I should not have to call a 17-year-old to tell her it's time to come home!!!! So this happened this past Tuesday night I decided that when she got off work at 4:00 pm she was to go straight home and I asked her kindly to clean her room and get rid of a few inappropriate items that I did not want in my home and that she is not to go ANYWHERE for the rest of the night. She did ask if she could go to the gym and I told her that I would pick her up when I leave work and she can come with me otherwise NO. If she did as I asked then Thursday and Friday she will be allowed to go out, however her curfew will be for those 2 nights 11:00 pm (I took 1/2 hour off for every 5 minutes that got her in the situation) so she was 15 minutes late over her 12:30 curfew.

I did tell her that none of this disciplinary action is up for negotiation and if she feels the need to argue with me at all during it then we will start all over to the first day of not going out at all and so on. Hopefully I have made myself clear, however I guess I am always questioning whether or not I am pushing too hard?? Not hard enough??? …and always have that fear of her "losing it". I feel that I have to take baby steps in the disciplinary action steps because I have given her more freedom in the past then I should have but that was because she was trust-worthy then.

Her argument on my curfew time is that is just not late enough and "I am 17-years-old Mom"... and her 2 closest female friends get to stay out until 1:00am??? However I prefer not to compare myself with their Moms (who both live alone with the daughters)???

So do you feel that I am doing the right thing???

Also we have been working on her grades, which improvement from her she is getting there??? However she is a junior and had A LOT of work to do the remaining of the year and senior year to get her credits up - IT IS DO-ABLE. She has an option to attend what her school calls "Horizons" which is from 10:45am-3:15 pm everyday. This program is for 8-10 students at a time and is a (from what I am told) a great program however they will not accept a student in if the students is not willing. She is not willing because she does not want to be in school until 3:15??? Therefore her only other option is to get it together SOONER than later!!!!

Thanks Mark. Sorry so long of email but I guess it's better to tell you as much for now so that you can clearly evaluate this matter :)..

Thanks again.


Dearest P.,

I cannot tell you how proud I am of the job you are doing. I rarely get the opportunity to pay this compliment (as evidenced by most of the emails here on the Emails From Parents Blog).

You are simply doing a bang-up job. You are ON TRACK like there’s no tomorrow. I have nothing to add other than to keep doing what you’re doing.

I would give you a big hug if you were standing in front of me now. You go mom!

Thanks for being such a great “student” (hope you don’t mind that term).


Is your teen "in control" or "out of control"?

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