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    Old 09-17-2003, 06:55 AM   #1
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    Post Help! Need some advice on teenage daughter....

    Hi parents! First off I want to say I am not new to these boards...I am currently suffering from some very painful tmj symptoms which are agravated by alot of stress I have been under lately! Alot of this stress I owe to my (ONLY)16 yr old daughter who is driving my husband and I nuts!!! She is generally a good kid, always been amongst the talented and gifted and is in mostly honors classes at the HS...always been involved in sports, clubs, and well liked by her peers! Last year she got into some trouble hanging with the wrong crowd, a tough boyfriend, and was caught with some drugs and alcohol in her bedroom...her grades suffered through this period, but I feel she learned from this situation and had pulled herself (with alot of our help) out of it! She eventually brought up her grades, played 3 sports, broke up with the boyfriend, and quit hanging with the wrong crowd! She got her license during the summer months and also a new boyfriend who is a good kid, but has some "issues" which I am wondering if they are not rubbing off on her. They really have nothing in common...he is not in any of her classes (actually is in the LD classes), is not involved in any school or outside activities, parents are divorced,has anger issues, and he is on medication for depression. He does, however, sit and talk with us when we have him over to visit, is friendly and fun to be around...but I just can't help to feel that he might to be blame for the troubles we are having now! It seems that since this new school year has started, our daughter will only give as much effort needed to just get her by...not the total effort that we used to see! She is becoming lazy, sulking, disrespectful, and somewhat of a loner...she says she has friends, but from what I can see the "good" ones have moved on! (And this boyfriend of hers DOES seem to want her all to himself!) She got cut from the team of her fall sport this year for the first time...has played since 7th grade! It was a real shocker for all of us as she is a good player, had never been absent, and seemed to really want to play! It has been sadly missed, because not only did it provide "something" for her (and her dad and I!) to be involved in, it was also a good way to keep fit and keep some of the stressfulness of being a teen away! I didn't call the coach to find out why she got cut...just took the answer she gave me, hugged her, and didn't get much sleep that nite...but I am wondering now if she was showing the coach any effort or not! Well, now we are getting ready for her winter sport to she has played since 4th grade and actually is a pretty decent player when she wants to be! She has been "hoe-humming" around about it since the middle of summer, but just last nite told us she hated the game, thought it was stupid, did not want to play and would not unless we forced her to! We had a big family discussion about it and tried to get to the bottom of it, but just can't seem to figure out why she feels this way! She admitted she was afraid of failure and didn't like the coach or the team...but still feel there is some other reason why she is so ready to just give up so easily! One part of me wants to say "okay, so don't will learn a lesson because once you quit you won't be able to change the outcome of your decission" and the other part says to just MAKE her go and play even if she really is miserable just because I am afraid she is learning to give up too easy on things! Another thing is that she was given a car for her 16th birthday...we gave it to her because she had earned it and would need it to take herself to and from all the things she was involved with!(Our rule was: you get the car as long as you continue to get good grades and stay involved in your sports and school activities...this was understood and agreed pon by HER!) She is actually involved with something right now...but it will be over with by the end of this month! Also she is involved in 2- clubs at school and as far as I can tell making the effort to keep her grades up(not as well as I expect, but effort is noted!).....okay, this is the advice part (finally!) what should we do? Should we keep on her about playing basketball...maybe ask for some advice from a caring coach or counselor? Or just accept the fact that she really might just be sick of it and wants to try something new? (This does create a problem, though, as there aren't any other sports she can do in the winter...she has a spring sport, but at this rate she won't be in ANY condition for it by then!) Should we hold to our rule about taking away her car priveledges which would add more stress to my situation...I would still have to be running to school to get her when she has a club meeting or something planned! Eliminate the boyfriend? (this will cause all kinds of problems and I am somewhat still holding my breath as I know she is getting tired of him and feel like if we leave it alone she might make the right choice on her own!)...OMG, this is a novel I have written and I could go on and on...I'll stop for now though and see if anyone can help me out with some advice! I just am getting so stressed out and depressed...hubby is too! We have always prided ourselves on being involved and often would "brag" wayyy to much on her...lately, though, I have nothing good to say about her and that makes me so sad! Okay, I'm done this time (LOL!)HELP PLEASE???

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    Old 09-17-2003, 07:06 AM   #2
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    Hi, i cant really say anything to help you other than i think by reading your post, that your expectations are too high for her. You cant force her to do things she doesnt want to, and as shes 16 now you will find her interests will change and all these activities are becoming less appealling to her. It doesnt sound to me as though you have a bad daughter, just one thats growing up!!! Let her make some decisions.

    Old 09-17-2003, 08:05 AM   #3
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    lyndsay...whew! Just re-read my post...somewhat of a novel, huh? LOL! Yup, we do expect alot, but only because she has always excelled very well at most things she tries! We know what she is capable of and feel that she is holding back! I know things get tougher as they get older and that maybe one reason why she isn't doing as well as before...I kinda expect that in somethings! Maybe you are right and we should let her make the choice to play basketball on her own... but I feel like we HAVE to stick to our rule about the car priveledges! We will sure be a miserable bunch, but I don't think we are teaching her anything by giving in! And she WILL regret her decission to not play as it has already had effects on her missing out since she got cut from her fall sport! I just don't want her to have my age, I still hate the fact that MY parents didn't make me get more I have nothing to look back upon!

    I guess we need to have another family discussion...or maybe I will just try to talk with her and hope it doesn't turn into a big fight like usual...I just want to make SURE she knows what the outcome of her decission will be!

    Thanks! Anyone else want to add some input on this topic? Anything helps....

    Old 09-17-2003, 10:51 AM   #4
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    Hi, there! I can't say I know what you're going through exactly. I LOVED high school and was involved in almost everything I could be, except for sports (although I consider beign on the dance team a sport). I do have a problem with a lack of effort from my 11-year-old stepson, but that stems from the situation he was in when he was livign with his mom. I don't know what's going on with your daughter or what she is thinking or feeling--I'm not sure anyone would be except for her. Maybe it is the boyfriend, or maybe she's just tired, or maybe she's just confused (as most teenagers are) and may even be confused about why she's confused, which is scary.
    This, I'm sure, is not my business, but I wouldn't have made staying in sports a condition of the car. The grade thing, yes, absolutely, but maybe you're on the right track when you say that she's jsut tired of playing all these sports. I know that sounds unusual since she's always loved them until recently, but sometimes teenagers go through things that we don't understand and even they don't understand. They don't know why they feel the way they do, they just know that's how they feel. Since you did make the arrangement that she had to stay in sports for the car, yes, I'd say you have to live up to it or she'll think that you all don't administer your "punishments" (that's not really the word I want to use, but can't think of a better term) accordingly. But, as I said before, I'm not sure if I would have made that a condition in the first place. Even if she didn't seem to be "in a slump," what if her tastes had simply changed, or she decided she wanted to focus more on her academic clubs, or wanted to quit sports and try dance classes or piano lessons or something like that? I'm sure that would have been an exception, but still, you all said that she had to stay in sports to keep the car. You never know--she may have decided that she'd like to try something else, but is afraid to because she's not quite sure what you meant by "No sports, no car" and is in a slump because she's depressed (not medically speaking) because she really doesn't want to do the sport anymore, but isn't sure how you'll take it. Who knows. I hope this works out for you, though!

    Old 09-21-2003, 09:49 AM   #5
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    You can't choose your 16-yr-old's boyfriend. You also can't choose what activities she is involved in, or her religious beliefs, the electives she takes at school, etc. My parents had me take courses I had no interest in and tried to make me go to their church after I told them at 16 that I no longer shared their beliefs. I got depressed, felt hypocritical, stopped talking to them (then I didn't have the benefit of their advice and support, which I needed...but couldn't risk them trying to control me), and at 17 stopped attending most classes (I was in the National Honor Society) and ended up attempting suicide. They were, of course, trying to do the best thing for me, but didn't understand (then) that I needed more say in my life. We went to a family counsellor, worked hard to learn to communicate again (all of us), and came through it great, thanks to the great love we share. I can't say they respect my (non)religious views, but they accept and tolerate that I am different from them. And we have so much else that's good that our relationship is full and joyous. I am 44 now.

    Sounds to me like you all have the same love, but that she needs more space. Of course, there are other dangers out there. Alcohol is a big one. Cocaine another. But it seems as if she's been responsible and reasonable most of her life. Try to trust her. And try to keep respectful communication going. Have you explained it to her as you did to us? Told her your fears? Validated her replies and opinions? I know this hurts a lot, but keep showing the love and respect, and keep communicating in a non-threatening way.

    Old 09-21-2003, 12:18 PM   #6
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    Hi Backpacker! So sorry to hear your story, but happy for you that it turned out OK!!!

    Everything is going to be OK around here too! I was just freaking out and making things seem alot worse than they really were!(Bad habit!!!!) I do trust my daughter and she usually makes the right decissions...she really amazes me sometimes that she is only 16 and has such common sence! She is showing signs of wanting to get more involved (again!) and keeping her grades up! Also is going to give basketball another year which we are very happy about!

    I know the way my post sounded, but believe me that we DO give her more "space" now that she is getting older! And we are so very proud of her accomplishments and let her know everyday and also that we love her! And she loves us too, we know that...16 is just a really "hard" age...but thank God its not as bad as it could be! When I look at some of her friends and what they are into, I am really thankful!!

    Thanks everyone for your kind replies! I'll have to learn not to freak out so much...but it sure is nice to have this board to vent on sometimes! TC!

    Old 09-21-2003, 12:48 PM   #7
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    please rest assured that everything is going to work out just like you said in your last post. I see so much of myself in your description of your daughter. I did the same things... all the way down to having a b/f who was LD... I got the good grades, was the A student... dropped my extra activities, spent all my time with him, hated my parents... i could go on and on but I would do just as good copy and pasteing your letter... now, I am 23, hold a degree, I am married to my LD "boyfriend" for 4 years and we have a wonderful 22 month old daughter... in the end, everything has its reasons... my brother is 16 and my parents are going through the SAME exact thing with him... but it will turn out okay too... I think being 16 is a stage all of its own, just like infant and toddler and so on... just believe in her, and stand behind her... when she sees how much you care, she will make the right choices. Tanya

    Old 09-22-2003, 02:53 AM   #8
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    Hi mamas-lil-helper,
    First I have one thing to say, I only wish I had had parents like you as a teenager,
    Secondly, speaking as a fellow mother now, although mine are still young,
    It is ok, to want the best for your children, but there has to be ALOT of give and take involved, especially where teenagers are concerned, lol and you did good with the whole car thing, although now it seems as though her interests have changed somewhat,
    you see, the trick is being able to have the infamous heart 2 heart talk with her without seeming like your are prodding or pushing, lol wich in theory is virtually impossible, lol
    Ok, first, one suggestion, look at thw situation, then you need to decide what are the most pressing problems, so far it seems as though they seem to be
    1. Her lack of interest in things she usually excels at, wich could be just that she is a growing and changing human being just like the rest of us, ya know, maybe her interest have truly changed, and if that's the case, maybe try to find out what she now IS interested in doing instead ,
    2. her boyfriend, wich, might be the cause of some stress for her too, not just you, but that fact that he he is kind and considerate to you as parents is actually a positive sign, maybe in truth, he needs that extra parental input he might get from you, but if as you say, she is truly getting sick of the whole thing, then that too might just take care of itself,
    3. her lack of effort in school, this might not be a popular opinion, but it might be that she is just stressed, teenage years are tough even on the best of kids, and most school work loads are pretty large, combine that with whatever other stresses she might be going through and you have a teen dealing with adult like stresses, she is also in the slew of it all, trying to find some of her own independence, and maybe that is why the struggles with you,
    So far, the impression I get is that you have raised a very smart, level headed young woman, and with your help, and love and understanding she will pull through,
    Best of luck

    Old 09-22-2003, 02:15 PM   #9
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