Advice with my teenage daughters

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Advice with my teenage daughters

Hi all,
We have 3 children girls 17 and 18, boy 16. We have always been a very close family, I still have an amazing relationship with my daughters.
My oldest daughter has always been a very anxious child, very smart and an achiever (whatever that means).
My 17 yo is a beautiful deep thinking soul which has made her vulnerable to suffering from depression. Both are medicated.
In the last 18 months falling into the wrong crowd they have both slowly but surely become addicted to dope. 17 yo is still high functioning but has suicidal tendencies and in under good care now but in fear of losing her completely we did allow for a time her to smoke pot in the shed thinking at least we knew she was home, safe and not hurting herself. Unfortunately this has led to my other daughter and her boyfriend to join her, them ultimately quiting their jobs, laying around the house all day smoking.
Clearly recognising this plan was not working we set down boundaries, no pot in the house and until 18 y.o and boyfriend quit pot, get jobs and start behaving as adults he is not welcome under our roof as the relationship is toxic and we have enough going on! This has led her to lash out against us, be verbally abusive and threaten to move out (with no money etc insert eye roll)
We have told her we love her, there is always a bed for her but while ever her and boyfriend are making such bad choices we need to put these boundaries in place. Have we done the right thing?
Any advice would be great, we are constantly exhausted 😰

Mod

Re: Advice with my teenage daughters

Hey there @amandanw I am sorry to hear you're feeling constantly exhausted, but also very understandable to feel this way! I love the fact that you are quite a close family and I love the way you speak about your children, such adoration echoes through your post.

 

By the sounds of it, these boundaries are very reasonable - you're looking out for their welfare which I applaud. Obviously with change comes backlash at times, especially for our young people, their brains still aren't fully developed (this process actually ends at 25!) and sometimes the cognitive reasoning lags. Have you thought about talking to her regarding the legal implications?

I.e. you're responsible for her until she is 18, if a neighbour were to report the use of cannabis, you're liable etc? I am wondering if a few different angles could assist. Is she close with her 16 year old brother? Perhaps also reminding them he looks to his older sister's for guidance (unsure as to the dynamic between the 3 of them). In regards to the boundaries, it sounds like you have her wellbeing at the forefront of your mind, it must be so frustrating she can't see this. Do you have any support yourself in terms of counselling?

 

We have an amazing, free program - ReachOut parents coaching [click here]. It's suitable for almost any parent and designed to assist with an array of challenges we come across as we raise adolescent's. 

 

@taokat @Zoesplace What do you think? 

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Advice with my teenage daughters

Hey @amandanw, welcome to the forum, and thank you for sharing your situation with us. 

 

I have to agree with @Breez-RO - the love for your teens and their individual qualities resonates throughout your post, it was lovely reading. 

 

My daughter is just 15, and I'm lucky enough that I haven't faced the smoking pot issue with her (yet!). I do completely understand your reasoning behind allowing smoking pot at home, and it's a shame it all went so pear shaped as I get that you would rather know what's happening and know your daughter is safe. I am sorry it all went so pear shaped for you all. 

 

All I can offer is support and say that I think you're doing the right thing with the boundaries you've set. They are very reasonable and as normal as it is that your eldest is reacting the way she is, I know how exhausting it is dealing with a disgruntled and teen. My daughter has bipolar, anxiety and PTSD and it can be very emotionally taxing and absolutely exhausting just dealing with her emotions and outbursts. Sticking with the boundaries you've set while the behaviour remains the same and continuing to tell your daughter that you love her is fantastic. 

 

The only other thing I can recommend is the parent coaching ReachOut offers. The coach will help you navigate your way through this and could be really beneficial for you in finding techniques you can use straight away. Check out the link here to see if it's something you'd be interested in doing. I've done it myself and can highly recommend it. Plus it's free!

 

Hang in there, you're doing an amazing job!

 

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Advice with my teenage daughters

Oops! I see now that @Breez-RO has already recommended the coaching! Sorry for doubling up @amandanw

Community Manager

Re: Advice with my teenage daughters

Hi @amandanw

 

Just following up.  How are you travelling?

Active scribe

Re: Advice with my teenage daughters

Hi there,

Thanks for checking in. Daughter 1 seems to have settled somewhat and my second daughter seems to be travelling ok. Certainly with ups and downs but is talking and engaged. My mental health has declined significantly with carrying the thought every day “what if she tips over the edge and ends her life”!!!
My rational brain knows that I have no control over this and I’m doing everything I can to support her but I’m st the point where every time my phone buzzes I jump, I worry to go to work in case she needs me (I have continued to go to work) I’m struggling with not getting drawn into the second by second, minute to minute assessment of her mood (hovering) and to operate in the bigger picture....
Community Manager

Re: Advice with my teenage daughters

Hi @amandanw - I am really heartened to her that there seems to have been some positive steps recently with your daughters.  That is amazing!

 

It is also great that, hard as it is, you are trying to see the bigger picture and while it is only natural that this is a constant and daily struggle, I am so happy that you are conscious of the impact that these have had on you and your ability to be the best carer you can possibly be. 

 

With all that has happened in your household it is no wonder that all of this has had an effect on your own mental health and it is really positive that you acknowledge that.

 

I was wondering what steps you are taking to look after yourself during all of this.  It might feel selfish at first, but you will be in such a better position to support your daughters when you’re feeling well yourself.

 

Have you got any strategies for looking out for you?

Active scribe

Re: Advice with my teenage daughters

Thank you for all that!!
I’m trying to catch even the smallest bit of time for myself even a couple of times a week!
It’s just hard not to be in bunker mentality waiting for the next issue but hopefully over time when I’m feeling better I can just be business as usual until an event rather than spending every day waiting for it!!!
Although the struggle is real and I have constant concern for my daughters welfare, I feel we’ve never been closer! She has said some days the only reason she doesn’t kill herself is because of me and her father....my response is well if that’s all it takes at the moment that’s ok and let’s build on that??? Never gets less confronting but trying not to be alarmist, particularly with her!!
This forum helps too, knowing I’m not alone xxxx
Parent Community Champion

Re: Advice with my teenage daughters

Hi Amandanw, I totally understand what you mean about the constant worry.  I jump sky high every time I am not at home and my phone rings.  I feel like we all have some form of post traumatic stress syndrome. especially after some other the things I have seen with the self harm, etc.  Images that are hard to live with.  I am a different person than I was a year ago. Any reasons your daughter give to live are great and I like how you are asking her to build on that.  My daughters reason to live was her tiny black dog.  Not even her family which kinda hurt not gonna lie.  Hugs and good thoughts coming your way.

Active scribe

Re: Advice with my teenage daughters

Hugs your way too, I completely agree with the PSTD statement and I have said myself that I’m not the same person I was and I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever be the same!!
And yes some of the images we’ve seen can’t be unseen!!
Are you making any progress with your daughter, how old is she if you don’t mind me asking?