I really could use some advice here. I thought the terrible twos
were the most difficult years in terms of parenting, however, I don't know if I'll make it through these teenage years. I have 2 teenage daughters who I love dearly. We've certainly had our ups & downs....one is 13 and the other just turned 16 and is very far from being "sweet"
When she was 12 or 13 we actually attended some therapy sessions due to her outbursts of anger directed towards me on a daily basis that at times brought me to tears. She fought every guideline there was from movies she wanted to watch, having boyfriends, doing homework....you name it & everything became an issue. AFter a few sessions we came to the agreement that we needed to choose our battles and decide which one was most important to enforce and let others slide (this was the therapists suggestion and sorta went against my principles as a parent but I went with the advice to a certain extent) Anyway....our daughter got her first job a year ago when she was 15 and progressed to working sometimes up to 30 hours weekly during the school year. She took the job seriously to the point that letting her boss down would be the end of the world (can't be a minute late, can't call in sick, can't switch with someone else to accommodate family plans etc) We kept a watch on her schoolwork and told her that as long as her grades didn't slip and she was able to balance a job & school it was okay. When finals & regents exams approached we insisted that she limit her hours to no more than 15/week. She worked 40 hours throughout the summer and has banked most of her earnings towards her first car supplemented by her father and I on her 16th birthday.
We prepared her prior to going back to school this year that it was her Junior year of High School in which she would have SAT's and other priorities to focus on and that her hours would have to be limited in order to balance things. We got into arguments where she would be scheduled to work when other things were taking place and she would refuse to confront her boss because she was afraid she would get fired not giving him eniugh hours. I spoke with her boss telling him that school comes first and that my daughter wouldn't be working as many hours this year as last and he told me he would work it out with my daughter. I told him on a weerk to week basis she would tell him what days she would be available and that for the most part weekends would be out for the most part because we have a summerhome 30 minutes away that we would be using as a family and she would let him know on a weekly basis if she could work that given weekend.
My husband & I informed our daughter that this month for the most part do not schedule weekends because the weather is nice and we'd be spending it at the summer house. She also has Driver's Ed which cost us $400 every Thursday which she begged us to enroll in with her friends. Her focus in life is to get her car & to be on the road ASAP. We have told her that driving is a big responsibility & that she would have to show us that she is responsible enough to drive a car before we actually would feel comfortable having her buy her car & put it on the road & that just because one is a certain age does one earn that privelege.
Well...our daughter came home monday & informed me that she was working Mon,tuesday fri, sat & sun this week. I questioned her as to why she was scheduled on the weekend when she knew we had plans. It has turned into WWIII around here ever since. I calmly told her she would need to talk to her boss (or that I would once again) which she refuses and blatently states, "I'm scheduled and have to work and that's it I can't talk to my boss or I'll get fired...he just fired my friend and I don't want to get fired!!!" I explained that we had our plans and weren't going to change them and that the responsible thing would be to find someone to cover for her and if she couldn't to tell her boss she couldn't work. Each day since I have followed up to see what has transformed...and arguments have ensued to the point she has said "I hate living here, I can't wait to leave, and I don't even like coming home to this house anymore and when I can't wait to get my car so that I can just leave!!!" When I was brought to tears the other day she said to me "Stop being such a crybaby....you think it's gonna make me give a damn but it won't!!!" These are just a sample of the volatile remarks I am getting. She keeps saying..."Don't talk to me...I'm all stressed out and there is no way I'm not working...I'm staying here & working this weekend" My husband intervened and said that she better have off or he would talk to her boss explaining to her that the longer she waits the better the chances she would get fired leaving it until the last minute so that he couldn't get coverage. Well last night our daughter wnet through another of her TTT's (teenage temper tantrums) of slamming doors throwing things in her room and upon the 3rd time of slamming her bedroom door & fearing damage my husband warned her that the next time he would remove it and sure enough when the 4th time came almost immediately he acted upon it and proceeded to do so. My daughter stormed downstairs shouting "you're ruining my life you stupid f***ing b***** and proceeded for the door (a runaway exit which she has done in the past & we've spoken about) and I stated loudly that I didn't deserve the disrespect she had been giving me the past few days and that if she left it would certainly show me that she was not responsible enough to work let alone have the keys to the car and that she wouldn't be driving for a while and to think really hard before she decided to let the door hit her in the behind!!! Well she took the runaway exit....my husband behind her demanding to come back and apologize and be ready for a bar full of soap in the mouth!!! She ran faster and 5 minutes later I was on the phone with her best friends mother where she had run to in the past giving her a warning & asking her to not allow my daughter refuge this time...to call & we'd be by to pick her up. I spent time on the phone expalining a little bit of what went on and 5 minutes later I heard footsteps upstairs knowing that my daughter had snuck through the attic stairway & back into the house. I told my daughter that she ought to calm down & that we would talk about this tomorrow & that perhaps she need some thinking time. Meanwhile, hubby went up & spoke to her despite my saying we need a cooling down period which ended us in an argument which so happened to give our daughter great peasure!!! She came down to say goodnight and tried to get back into the mode of speaking her mind saying, "you don't understand...I need the hours to save for my car and buy Sam a birthday gift etc...." I told her that I knew all along that she purposely scheduled herself & that she ignored what we asked of her & that she would have to take the consequences of her actions either by speaking to her boss or finding coverage" As she continued to argue I told her that I thought we had enough for a day & that we would speak further the next day.
I'm so sorry to have gotten into this at such length.....as I write I don't know of a better way that this could be handled and I lost a night of sleep from the entire thing. I know I'm handling it okay....I do believe in compromise but this time I feel I can't because the tyrant will see it as a message that she can pull things like this and get away with it. There is a good chance she'll lose her job which means everything to her right now...but I still feel that hubby & I should follow through and not give in and let her work this weekend which will disrupt our plans. What do you all think????
Also...I told hubby that when we talk to her tonite that she is not to drive with either one of us for 2 weeks after her behavior and running like she did. He thinks this is too harsh whereas I don't. Help me out here....if it were up to me I'd like to take her out of drivers ed and make her pay for the next session for all she's put me through this week. I deserve better
Thanks for anything you can share in support....I really feel that these 'meanager' years are the worst