09-22-2020 10:30 AM
My daughter has her car and licence. Been working parttime for 18mths - not enough money to move out. But tells her friends that she needs to find a second job to move out so she can have more freedom. My gut feel is she's been a pretty good girl all her life, I'd rather give her freedom and she comes home rather than her to move out.
One of her friends who we don't trust is the one she wants to move out with - so this is another issue.
We have read she'd tried to kill herself in January whether there's truth to this or not we are very concerned and have been speaking with a professional about all of this. My feel is I'd rather her be out later than I'd like than to never see her and spend the whole time sick with worry if she's not at home.
Has anyone been through this - any advice would be great.
09-22-2020 03:42 PM
Hi @treadingwater ,
Firstly, I'm so sorry to hear that your daughter tried to take her life, that must have been so distressing to discover as parents - you say you read it, was that from something that she had written? It's really good to hear that you've been talking to a professional, has your daughter been talking to them, or getting some other professional help as well? It sounds like you've been doing all of the right things in reaching out for help, and it's great to hear that you were able to get some more support.
You say that she's been working part time for 18 months, is she still at school at the moment? Do you think she would be able to balance study with 2 jobs? We often hear from parents about the challenges in setting boundaries with their teens, especially as they move towards adulthood like your daughter is. When your daughter says that she wants more freedom, are there any issues in particular that are causing problems ? You say that you'd rather have her be out later than you'd like, than see her and be sick with worry the whole time and that is totally understandable- as a first step, do you think you could have a conversation with her around her reasons for wanting to leave home? We have some resources on our parents page that may be helpful about setting boundaries with teenagers that you can check out here
09-23-2020 05:14 PM
Hi @treadingwater ,
I can relate to much of what you're saying, although we're a bit behind you at our place. Our son is 16 and our daughter 14. Our issue is more around our 14 year old daughter who hangs out with 16-17 year olds and loves walking around at night and feels invincible. She is supposed to be home by sun set and ring in if she wants to stay out. She isn't allowed to walk around by herself after dark. However, if she's not here, we can't do much. She arrived home at 2 am recently just walking around. She doesn't do drugs and doesn't have a boyfriend yet. She's sporty and feels cooped up I think. Just likes to walk and chat with her friends. Feels invincible, but is reasonably sensible.
Recently, one of her friends left home and has been sleeping on the beach in a tent or couch surfing. On one hand, she sees this as being a bad thing and that the strained relationships with his family aren't a good thing. However, sleeping on the beach has its attractions and he has free wifi at the surf club and can charge his phone at Maccas. There's a big part of me even as a 51 year old who finds this carefree way of life temporarily attractive. He also has his own money.
So, when it comes to trying to reinforce boundaries at home with our daughter, it feels quite challenging when you have this alternative dangling before her eyes. She's also been eating in her room and shut us off lately so communication has been non-existent at times, and exacerbated by the risks posed to me of catching covid.
I've been working slowly to reconnect with her. It's hard as she's an introvert but we're making progress. Talking in the car and I'm trying to get back into family meals.
My recommendation would be to keep your daughter at home until she's 18 and finished school. That said, moving out has it's own difficulties and it might be a very good learning experience where she becomes responsible for herself and rises to the challenge. However, my thinking is that she'll ultimately regret not making the most of those last years of being at home and connecting with you. It's not long to wait and better than taking on a second job and it being too much on top of her studies.