Subject: Teenage Daughter: curfew + consequences
Question: I need help.
My dauhter is 16 years old. Weekend is always a nightmare. She leaves at home at Friday night and be back Sunday late evening. I do not know her whereabouts.
She doesn’t answer her mobile phone. The situation makes me crazy. My husband and I argue a lot with the situation.
I talked to me daughter & asked why she’s kept on repeating the situation even though I told her not to do it anymore. I told her she can go to parties and have friends. She simply needs to tell me her whereabouts. I so worried whenever she’s not at home. We don’t have any “normal” conversation. She would always shouts at me.
Often, I’m already afraid what to say or tell her because she would at once shout. I so sad with the situation and I miss her so much. What shoud I do? I tried all means … for help, my husband, my mother, friends & the government youth council. Most … would tell me leave her alone … & that I cannot change my daughter. No …!!!! I will not give up. She might be in danger and perhaps she doesn’t even know. Some would say, I should give “consequences”.
What is the appropriate one? Deprive her of weekly money allowance, locked her laptop, not do the laundry ….. What can I do? I’m so helpless. She’s my only child … my one & only. I feel so depressed … and life seems to be meaningless. HELPPPPPPPPPP !!!!!!
Answer: Dear Tina:
You feel depressed and hopeles because you have given your power to your teenager daughter. You need your personal power back. This isn’t just about her it is also about you. You do not deserve to be treated so disrespectfully.
Yes, by all means yank her priviledges until she gets the message that she cannot come and go from her home without abiding by the house rules. I assume you have a reasonable curfew for her say 10 p.m. on the weeknights and 12 midnight on the weekends and that she is allowed to spend the night at friends houses when it has been approved etc….
She has a laptop and a cell phone. Is she paying for this cell phone service? If not then she needs to be any 16 year old who is old enough to blow off her parents like this is certainly grown up enough to pay her own way. She needs to be paying her cell phone bill, paying for her own clothes and entertainment etc…..
Trust me on this the last cord any teen wants to cut is the financial cord. If she wants you to pay her way in life then she needs to abide by your rules or else she needs to pay her own way.
Your friends are correct that you cannot change your daughter at this point the only person you can change is yourself. Take your power back refuse to play a part in her melodrama. Set out the rules and remind her they are there for her own safety and your peace of mind as a parent as all relationships are a two way street.
Then let her know she needs to abide by the rules. If she feels they are unfair be willing to listen to her side of what she considers unfair. Tell her if she shows a pattern of repsecting you and your house then you are willing to negotiate the rules with her as you would any adult living under your roof.
However if this doesn’t work yank the money chain and STICK to it.
I suspect because she is your only daughter she may have had free reign and few boundaries. You will need to be consistent and not waiver however even the most out of control teen responds to the money chain. YANK it hard.
Rule #1 Mom please be ready to listen to your daughter as long as she is not yelling at you. And really listen without interrupting.
Rule #2. Be ready to negotiate wherever you can reasonable negotiate however do not negotiate what you cannot live with or abide by.
Rule #3. Do not lose your temper and yell back at your daughter. Who who yells has lost control and feels powerless.
Rule #4. Give your daughter at a minimum of two choices when negotiating behavior. NEVER give her a choice you do not want her to pick as children at every age have a nose for picking the one you cannot live.
Rule #5. Remind your daughter of how much you love her and that you know she is growing into an adult and capable of making her own decisions. Apologize for not treating her like an adult and expecting her to take responsibility for her life. (Responsible adults pay their own way in life and face up to the consequences of their own actions, hold her accountable and make sure you are living by your own rules.)
M Kay Keller