Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter

I am so stressed and drained this week. Again.

My daughter will be 18 in 3 weeks but this behaviour has been going on for about 3 years and is getting worse. She now tells me that she is 18 soon and you can't tell me what to do!!! And my response is - yes you will be and if you don't like the house rules then you are welcome to pack your bags and move out!!

Tonight was a perfect example. D18 had asked my 12 yr old daughter if she could get a teacher at school to download something on a usb for her. D12 told her tonight that she spent all recess and lunch trying but was then told the teacher was away for 2 weeks. D18 said it was ok but then when D 12 tried to explain what happened D18 turned on her saying "don't worry because you can't be bothered". The conversation started to get loud and horrible and carried on for a few mins, D12 was getting upset and D18 started interrupting and putting her hand up in D12 face to stop her talking. I eventually went through to protect D12 and it exploded. I did get up close to D18 and when she put her hand in my face, I grabbed it to move it away. I know I shouldn't have done that.

D18 is a bright girl but only graduated high school by the thin of her teeth. She is in college, because she didn't want to get a full time job, but she works 10 hrs a week at a take away place and constantly complains. She is a very negative person, doesn't tolerate many people, belittles them and only has 3 friends, 2 are gay boys. If we have a conversation, somehow it quickly gets personal towards me with put downs and insults, she can get quite nasty. She has physically lashed out at D12 and then told her not to tell me. This really upsets me. She tries to control what we do, when we do it. We don't let her but she will keep trying. She is all sweetness and light when anyone else is around. We don't spoil our kids, they do chores etc, but they have holidays, ipods, nice clothes, good food, etc. Consequences we set don't work.

On the rare good days we have, we chat about this behaviour, she tells me she can't help it, it's her personality and she can't change. Her dad and I are very together in our parenting ways with her but I am the enemy and Daddy is wonderful. She pulls us close and harshly pushes us away on a daily basis.


I am picking H up tonight (works away) and we are heading away on holiday next week with D12. D18 is staying at home. Last year on hols she told us she hated being there/with us and stayed in her room everyday. Didnt join in with anything. We told her that that would be her last family holiday as we were not taking her anywhere so she could just complain and try to make everyone miserable. She has argued that she doesn't want to come but doesn't think it fair to take D12 away to somewhere she hasn't been. Could this be where all the anger is coming from this week? H and I find it hard to be positive about her anymore as the good times with her are very very rare.

Sorry this has become so long. It is really knocking my self esteem at the moment.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 07:12 AM
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Re: Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter

You did the best you could.

What I would do is on her 18th birthday, I would pack all her stuff and have it by the door ready for her to pick it up and move out.

You and your H has to be united in this. I don't tolerate rude, insulting and hateful kids. I am the parent and you live under my roof and my rules.

So, discuss her moving out with your H and make it happen. Or she will continue to behave badly and who know how she will influence the other kids in the house.

You have to be firm. Don't be wishy-washy. Your H and you need to be united. If not she will play you off each other and nothing will ever improve.
Good luck.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 07:23 AM
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Re: Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter

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I am so stressed and drained this week. Again.

My daughter will be 18 in 3 weeks but this behaviour has been going on for about 3 years and is getting worse. She now tells me that she is 18 soon and you can't tell me what to do!!! And my response is - yes you will be and if you don't like the house rules then you are welcome to pack your bags and move out!!

Tonight was a perfect example. D18 had asked my 12 yr old daughter if she could get a teacher at school to download something on a usb for her. D12 told her tonight that she spent all recess and lunch trying but was then told the teacher was away for 2 weeks. D18 said it was ok but then when D 12 tried to explain what happened D18 turned on her saying "don't worry because you can't be bothered". The conversation started to get loud and horrible and carried on for a few mins, D12 was getting upset and D18 started interrupting and putting her hand up in D12 face to stop her talking. I eventually went through to protect D12 and it exploded. I did get up close to D18 and when she put her hand in my face, I grabbed it to move it away. I know I shouldn't have done that.

D18 is a bright girl but only graduated high school by the thin of her teeth. She is in college, because she didn't want to get a full time job, but she works 10 hrs a week at a take away place and constantly complains. She is a very negative person, doesn't tolerate many people, belittles them and only has 3 friends, 2 are gay boys. If we have a conversation, somehow it quickly gets personal towards me with put downs and insults, she can get quite nasty. She has physically lashed out at D12 and then told her not to tell me. This really upsets me. She tries to control what we do, when we do it. We don't let her but she will keep trying. She is all sweetness and light when anyone else is around. We don't spoil our kids, they do chores etc, but they have holidays, ipods, nice clothes, good food, etc. Consequences we set don't work.

On the rare good days we have, we chat about this behaviour, she tells me she can't help it, it's her personality and she can't change. Her dad and I are very together in our parenting ways with her but I am the enemy and Daddy is wonderful. She pulls us close and harshly pushes us away on a daily basis.


I am picking H up tonight (works away) and we are heading away on holiday next week with D12. D18 is staying at home. Last year on hols she told us she hated being there/with us and stayed in her room everyday. Didnt join in with anything. We told her that that would be her last family holiday as we were not taking her anywhere so she could just complain and try to make everyone miserable. She has argued that she doesn't want to come but doesn't think it fair to take D12 away to somewhere she hasn't been. Could this be where all the anger is coming from this week? H and I find it hard to be positive about her anymore as the good times with her are very very rare.

Sorry this has become so long. It is really knocking my self esteem at the moment.
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Yes, moving her hand from your face was perfectly correct-she is being aggressive and invading your space. She is behaving extremely badly...

OK, bright but lazy. Extreme anger and lashing out at the younger sibling. Her responses to stressors are not appropriate to an 18 year old. There is something festering there and it is possible that she has been molested. (Not necessarily by a parent-don't get me wrong! A babysitter, camp counselor, etc.) I would generally hate to suggest this but you might invade her privacy, find out what the source of the anger is.

Good luck!
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter

Thanks for your reply.

I know raising teens is hard work. I think we are quite firm but fair parents who keep to their word. No means NO. It's the personal attacks that I find really hard and the push/pull behaviour. Also D12 just wants a big sister. I know packing her bags would be hard, but also the best/right thing to do.

H will be home tonight so I will have some support in person, rather than over the phone or skype. We miss the lovely friendly likeable girl she used to be.

She is now trying to justify her behaviour to us from earlier and trying to turn it around to be all D12's fault and is being very patronising. All was calm but D18 will not let it go and is still pushing for another argument. Arrggg!!!!
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 08:01 AM
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Re: Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter

You need to get her to unlearn those behaviors STAT. I would actually suggest some counseling before she hits the real world when it will be too late.

Sending her packing solves the short term problem and sets her up for long term disaster.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter

Molested????? I really don't know how you would come to that assumption.

We moved from UK to Australia when she was 12. She was fine, normal and settled until she reached about 15 and it was like living with an unpredictable psycho. This lasted about 18 months. I understood where her anger came from then, taking her away from friends and family, etc. Things were good, or better, for about 6 months. Since then it has got progressively worse. Not one arguement and done but days of it where she is relentless and will carry on stirring it up, following us to do it or shouting from another room. I/We leave the house sometimes to get away from her.

She wants to be Top Dog and it's like she will do and try anything to get there. She isn't getting to where she wants to be so it's like she is just gradually going up the gears until, in her mind, she gets there. To hell with who is in her way.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter

I suggested counselling to her. She refused saying this is who she is and can't change. When I said it's not changing who you are, it's learning how to deal with who you are. Well....that turned nasty!!!
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 08:34 AM
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Re: Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter

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I suggested counselling to her. She refused saying this is who she is and can't change. When I said it's not changing who you are, it's learning how to deal with who you are. Well....that turned nasty!!!
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Keep asking and draw a line in the sand. Find what triggers her... Here in the USA at least counseling for teens is quite popular.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 09:27 AM
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Re: Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter

I have some similar issues with my 18 YO daughter. She isn't doing so well in college either and will likely be coming back home after 1 year at University.

My W and I are dreading this Summer and debating what we are going to do. She and my W are like oil and water. She disrespects her mom all the time, but normally outside my hearing... I get along with her most days except for the occasional blow-up when she is disrespectful. The past 6 months has been oh so peaceful without her in the house.

We are considering right now giving her a couple of months this Summer to get a job, get herself some money in the bank then giving her the heave-ho.

I think the holiday plans you made were perfect. There have to be consequences for the bad behavior.

The key is coming up with a plan together and having a united front. If your H isn't on board your screwed. If you don't follow through your screwed too.

Where do you think the anger is coming from? Her behavior seems abnormal to me. Goes beyond typical teenage angst.

Could it be hormonal? Depression?

Has she ever been in counseling?
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 10:36 AM
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Re: Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter

I think you should see a family therapist yourself. You need a behavior modification plan. Your daughter is getting some kind of reward for her current behavior, which needs to be removed and replaced with negative consequences.

BTW, your description of her behavior is not unusual for teen girls, especially with their mom. Our eldest was much like yours. She and her mom couldn't be in the same room for more than 5 minutes without an argument. The second daughter was much better though she did have her moments. She learned by observing her older sister, so there was less fighting.

Anyhow, it took a year or two away from home and they both turned into amazing wonderful young women. One has now moved her family back into our neighborhood. The other is over frequently and always says ILY to any family member when ending a phone call or leaving our house.

I think a family therapist can help you put together a good plan. Your daughter probably will not attend sessions with you, but it isn't necessary that she does.

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter

Thanks for all your replies.

I am sooo looking forward to getting a break from her. She recently saved and went on holiday with one of her friends and their family and came home with some complaints but seemed to have a good time. Guess what....it was to the same place we went last year with her?????

I have read a lot about teen behaviour and realise a lot of it is "normal". When I pull her up for her behaviour she flips it and says at least I don't steal or do drugs!!! No responsibility. She is behaving like a normal person just now, H arrived home last night, but she treats and speaks to him in a similar way. The calm before the storm again.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2016, 09:53 AM
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Re: Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter

Holy crap - kick her OUT?!?!?! I see this attitude a lot on this board - kids giving you a spot of trouble? KICK THEM OUT. Wow. Although I guess I shouldn't be surprised - most people nowadays also think the first thing they should do when their marriage hits a rough spot is divorce.

You daughter is 18 and still lives at home (I assume because she wants to?), doesn't do drugs, doesn't trash your house, isn't pregnant with her second child, hasn't got a criminal record, etc. She's just becoming a young woman. Her behaviour is unacceptable - you had every right to move her hand away like that - and she needs to know it, but I fail to see what kicking her out will accomplish other than just adding to the homeless issue.

When she behaves unacceptably refuse to engage her. When she verbally abuses your other daughter, leave the room with your other daughter. When she's calm, tell her why what she did isn't going to be tolerated. One thing I had a really hard time doing with my teenagers was disengaging from the verbal battles, but when I did it flummoxed them.

Plan some fun stuff with her. Take her for a pedicure or to a movie.

Assign her chores - does she have daily chores?
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2016, 01:51 PM
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Re: Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter

To be sure, when 18 and putting hands on others is considered assault. Next time she pulls that stunt call the cops. Let her understand she may not have to listen to you when she is 18 but there are other authority figures that can assist with that.

“You're painfully alive in a drugged and dying culture.”
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2016, 02:17 PM
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Re: Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter

Adultery is often discussed on this forum. The consensus seems to be issues are real and need to be dealt with, but the behavior that is adultery is never acceptable. It applies with your daughter. You and your husband need to stabs united, and with teens frankly as the father needing to be point person.

My sister and my mother became entrenched in a viscous cold war for a decade plus starting in her teen years. I suspect it was about men and morals. (had dinner last night with the mother and her daughter who where close to us growing up. They both said she had super model looks, with the daughter saying at times she hated sis for her looks. My baby sis, really). But in the end they became very very close later. I mean can you please stay with me when DD1 and DD2 where born to help. Several calls weekly from her to my mom. Dragging husband (piss ant bastard) on group family vacations etc,

So hang in there, be strong, at least try for a lot of emotional and physical hugs and don't let her wrap daddy around her little finger. That job is all ready taking by you.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-01-2016, 10:54 PM
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Re: Another week of battles with nearly 18 yr old daughter

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I suggested counselling to her. She refused saying this is who she is and can't change. When I said it's not changing who you are, it's learning how to deal with who you are. Well....that turned nasty!!!
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What's missing are boundaries and consequences. What's NOT missing - and should be - is emotions.

Look up Authoritative Parenting. Read every single article you can find on it, become an expert.

It's the preferred method for raising kids, especially teenagers. You set rules, you set consequences, you ENFORCE the consequences, and you keep emotion out of it. You explain the rules ahead of time - for both girls - and you explain to them what the consequences will be for this or that bad behavior. As a unit, you and your husband.

And then, the next time one of the rules is broken, you enact the consequence.

Now, with kids, consequences are a little different than with spouses. With a spouse, you enact the consequence for yourself, because you can't control your spouse. But with kids, the consequences have to be something you do regarding THEM. Something that matters to them. Like if you get physical with your sister, you will lose your electronics for a week. And then you TAKE the electronics away for the week. They HAVE to see you are serious, that the rules are for everyone, that you can't be talked out of enacting the consequences.

That way, she is still free to do whatever she wants. She will just have to suffer the consequences if it's against the rules. And, if she then breaks a rule, it's on HER, not you.
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