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Concerned about 17 year old daughter

Concerned about 17 year old daughter

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Concerned about 17 year old daughter

Hi all
I have 3 beautiful children.
My concern is about my 17 year old daughter. She left half way through year 11 due to severe anxiety because of trauma from the past. She started a course that she never finished after leaving school - I tried to support her... maybe too much so. She's looking for work but not really motivated. She's going to start another course and seems motivated. I can't seem to get her to clean her room and after I whine she will do the dishes or bring in the washing. She has had a lot of therapy so her anxiety, depression and eating disorder is so much better. She now has a boyfriend with a trauma history also - he too is unemployed and seems to lack motivation also. He's very kind and gentle natured - but he's almost here at my house full time. I'm supporting both of them financially and I feel used. When I try and raise issues like house work, getting a job etc, she becomes frustrated with me saying she's doing the best she can. I'm a single mum working my butt off in a full time position in mental workload at work and home is getting too much to cope with. Any advice would be so welcome... especially if some one out there has experienced similar.

Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: Concerned about 17 year old daughter

Hi ,

there is hope yet but it needs to be directed to you . Why do you feel you are being used ? Well because you are . You have given  and supported and given again . 

It's now you who is at risk , not your daughter or her nice gentle boyfriend. 

There is a time when I am doing my best just doesn't cut it any more. If these 2 young people don't get off there bottoms and start contributing to the household soon they never ever will. 

You have to to make it crystal clear if they want you to feed and support them provide a roof over their heads , that you too need some love and support as well.

If they are not working to help support the household budget , the very LEAST, they can do is keep the house spotless, do all the chores , laundry and gardening kitchen clean up  vacuuming or floor washing  sparkling bathrooms and show respect by cleaning their rooms as well . So that you dont implode under the stress , because if you do , there will be no house , no food , no life for anyone .. I may sound mean but really you need to get some ground rules down fast or you will end up being the "welfare state'' forever . As to statements like I am doing the best I can , my reply would be thats great but it's really not good enough  darling i need you to actually help not just think about it while I am out at work all day long. This could be terribly politically incorrect thinking on my part ,and i don't know all the facts , but if the theraphy has  helped your daughter now is the time for you to help her with a little tough love . 

Community Manager

Re: Concerned about 17 year old daughter

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Hi @Thereshopeyet , 


Welcome to the ReachOut parents forums, and thanks so much for sharing  a bit about what's going on for your daughter at the moment. I also just wanted to let you know I've moved your post to its own thread, just so it can get the most support from the community Smiley Happy 


You sound like an amazing mum, and it sounds like you've seen your daughter through some really tough times. As someone who spent several years as a sole parent myself , I can really empathise with how heavy a load that you must have been carrying, juggling working in a demanding field and helping your daughter through some tough times with anxiety, depression and an eating disorder. I can hear your exhaustion and frustration, you sound like you have been an amazing support for your daughter and I can completely understand feeling like the workload at work and home is becoming unbearable. 


The period of recovery from serious mental illness can be a difficult one. It sounds like it's been difficult to re-establish reasonable boundaries and house rules with your daughter, is that right? It sounds like she's doing much better, so I think it's completely reasonable for your daughter to start to step up in terms of her contributions to the household, looking for work, and generally contributing as a fellow adult in your household. 


We have a resource here that i thought may be helpful in starting some of those conversations around setting boundaries with your teenager


There's also quite a lot of really practical advice (I suspect you may be familiar with a lot of this already!) about how to actively encourage good behaviour.

Encouraging good behaviour teens 


I am also wondering if your daughter might benefit from some practical support in helping her join the workforce, if that's what her goal is at the moment? Community mental health centres and specialist job seeking agencies for people living with , or in recovery from,  mental illness can offer practical help for her to re-join the workforce. Has she been connected with any services like these before? 


It also sounds like you are, quite rightly, pretty exhausted. I'm wondering if you're able to make some time to do something nice for yourself, or speak to a counsellor if you think some extra support for yourself might be helpful? It can be easy to put ourselves last at times like this I know, but you are also important and deserve support and care. 



Please keep us posted on how you're going, thanks again for joining the community here Smiley Happy 


Re: Concerned about 17 year old daughter


I can understand what's you're going thru and how you feel. However, as an opinion, this is not a set of rules for parents to follow but a set of beliefs about what children need to develop and thrive.
First of all, I'm going to ask you to step outside the traditional box of parental thinking and reframe everything you thought you knew about how kids learn and what they need to grow into mature, responsible adults. This does not require you to abandon all of your parenting practices. Just be mindful as you shift your thinking about what your teenaged child needs and investigate what's really going on behind the behavior. Their immaturity leads them to perceive and respond to the world around them much differently than you. As we mature, we collect, sort, and file away our emotional experiences as reference points.

A foundation of self-regulation, resiliency, and attachment is built - memory after memory - shaping our perspective, beliefs, self-concept, and outlook.

Fill the hearts and minds of your children with acceptance, understanding, and confidence. Try these three conscious parenting tips to start building a more influential relationship with your child so she/he can follow what been told. Be a Conscious Parent and

      - is it harsh, sarcastic, cruel, degrading, impatient, insensitive, or otherwise disconnecting in tone or attitude - verbally or nonverbally, or is it kind, respectful, encouraging, and confident?
      - is your request developmentally appropriate? How can you help your child? Can you control the environment to meet your needs w/out your child's help?
      - is your manner calm and confident? Are your limits set with kindness regardless of how your child reacts? Can you remain composed and non-argumentative even when your child is not?

I want to help you shift from a traditional (power-based) view of parenting to a conscious (relational-based) view, so you can bring the focus back to helping your child self-regulate, build skills - all while building strong bonds between you. Don't always think you are been making use by your child. You should have unconditional care then everything will be fine.I hope this will help you.

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