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18 year old unsafe risky behaviours

18 year old unsafe risky behaviours

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Justme2022

18 year old unsafe risky behaviours

I have parented my granddaughter since infancy. She has no contact with her mum , my daughter from choice. My daughter was groomed into the drug world by an older guy when she was 15 , she gave birth to my granddaughter at 16 years old. My daughter relinquished care as she struggled with drug use, my granddaughter came full time into my care through family court.  

My granddaughter requested contact with her mum at around 6 years old which I supported supervised but my daughter did not nurture the opportunity and had given birth to another child by then. So my granddaughter pulled back, hurt I think with a sense of abandonment again. She has no contact with her birth father , he has a history of drugs and violence , many family members in jail etc.   

My granddaughter had a fairly typical happy child hood with a strong close positive family structure around her. She did voluntary work at a farm and at the stables which she asked to do as she loves horses and animals . She has severe dyslexia and struggled at school , she began school refusal in year eight and after two years of support, encouragement, school involved offer of off school work/training she pulled out in year ten and would not go back. 

All good but she had to do something we were in connection with the education dept. She opted for beauty school at TAFE , it cost a fortune , she struggled even with support and pulled out after one semester. I accepted that it wasn't her path and supported her to find employment ,she went on to do part time work in retail stock, casual work in early years and OSHC...

She seems lovely with people outside of home , but is often rude, nasty at times at home. Has refused to eat meals with me for the last three years , takes her food in her room. I have tried to find out why and asked her not to eat in her room , I just get shut the F up , get out my room etc...This has continued ,she will say this is not a home , its just somewhere I sleep... She will not do any thing around the house at all to help, she no longer works other than a rare 3 hour shift in child care.

She seems really unhappy , I have tried to talk to her , offered her counselling , we have over time tried to have her speak to a youth worker, GP, counselor etc.. she refuses but at the same time says Iv told you Im not talking to you about it , so I am presuming something is wrong ...

She will be 19 next Jan , so is well over 18 now and an adult , she enjoys all of the privileges of adult life, coming and going as she pleases, drinking ( the amount is concerning to me but not to her ) vaping and has tried weed ... ) she has access to food , warm nice home etc.. I work from home so she is not left for hours on her own- she can come in and out the office if she likes  

She often sleeps out at mates houses guys and girls mid week and weekends it doesnt seem to matter - most of her mates work , she says she doesn't want to work , says she doesn't see why she should pay any thing to wards bills ( I suggested $60 a week if she was getting enough work it hasn't happened for a long time) 

So she has every thing on tap and expects it without having to take any responsibility or contribute - I have tried putting boundaries in place , no food in room, clear dirty food dishes out , her room and bathroom are filthy with multiple food dishes and dirty glasses and take away cartons in there .. I have disconnected her from the wifi - I am concerned she is on an unhappy downward spiral - you can not talk about her getting work ( I don't care what she does as long as she is happy doing the work -whether that's paid, voluntary - full time part time - any thing just to give her some structure and connection to others in her life) 23 hours out of 24 she can be on her back in bed - which isnt healthy - 

She is a great driver and is ready to do her test - so Im hoping that might help - but she wont organise it or speak to any one !

She is at heart a beautiful girl that had a rough start - however she cant live her life doing nothing - going nowhere for ever .. 

If she was pleasant and open to discussion that would help - but she is the opposite - so you end up walking on egg shells and nothing gets sorted out - Any suggestions to help would be great -- I feel like Im being used and abused - dammed i8f I do and dammed if I dont - but other than draw the line and say - you need to leave - which Im afraid we will get to  I'm not sure what to do and the whole thing is exhausting ...

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Natalie-RO

Re: 18 year old unsafe risky behaviours

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Hi @Justme2022 

Welcome to our online community!

I’m sorry to hear that you have been experiencing this, I can tell how much you care about your granddaughter and how supportive you have been for her. She’s very lucky to have you in her life.

I understand how concerning this must be for you, it sounds like you have been trying really hard to provide support for her and create these boundaries at home. I have included a link to our online coaching service for parents and families that provides professional one-on-one support. I know that you mentioned that it is difficult to communicate with her and have these conversations with her and I thought this article would be helpful to share about effective communication and teenagers

I was wondering if you had any other support for yourself or whether you have considered speaking to a GP or mental health professional? It sounds like it has been a very challenging time for you and it’s important to make sure that you are also receiving support.

Again, I just wanted to remind you that you are doing such a great job and I can tell how much you care and love your granddaughter. Even by reaching out to us shows how much you want to help her and want to support her. She is very lucky to have someone so special in her life.