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Stressed out about 16 year old daughter

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Stressed out about 16 year old daughter


Stressed out about 16 year old daughter


Wondering if anyone is experiencing the same problems that I’m experiencing with my daughter.

She used to be daddy’s little girl. Over the past year, her behaviour has changed so much. She’s in year 11. She’s failing to pass her subjects, which means she has only 2 options. Join the workforce or repeat year 11 but start from year 10 as year 11 only has 3 terms.

She’s been missing school days here and there and its added pressure on her studies as she is struggling to catch up. I’m not in a position to really teach her.

She goes out with friends, often very late at night. Like return home around 1am. Seriously, for a 16 year old this is just not safe at this day and age.

We tried restricting her money and even preventing her to go out. We can’t keep an eye on her 24 hrs a day. It’s putting so much pressure on us as her parents.

Please what advice can you give me?

Desperate parents.

Star contributor

Re: Stressed out about 16 year old daughter

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Hi @Jonnie,

That sounds like a very stressful and tough situation to cope with, especially not understanding why she is acting so differently compared to before. 


Would she be open to talking to someone? A good place to start is to get some help to figure out what is going on for her. Perhaps a first step could be to visit your GP or encourage her to start seeing the school counsellor.


Another good option is Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), if she is open to speaking to someone she could speak or chat online to a counsellor. 


If she is unwilling to engage in these options, its important that you as her parents are getting support during this time. A good place to start could be Parentline, find out more about what Parentline can offer as well as how to contact them here.


I hope some of these options are helpful to you.



Re: Stressed out about 16 year old daughter

as a teenager and 16 I understand why she might be acting out. As this covid year has impacted everyone i can say that school was a big thing for me i used to be a great student but now with online and some in person school the work load has been awful. we miss one day and all of a sudden the work load piles up and then its to hard to catch up so i gave up. i wasnt aloud to go out or see anyone untill they were fixed. some things my mom did to help me was limiting my screen time, only letting me drive to school and other nessesary places. not letting me see freinds. As a teen of course I dont want any of those but trust me if you keep letting her be the parent it will get even worse. Maybe try making comprimises with her, like if she gets this amout work done then she can hangout with friends. Since I struggle with ADHD my mom makes lists of my missing work and i cross them off as i go. then me and her both send an email to my teacher. hope some of this helps a little 

Casual scribe

Re: Stressed out about 16 year old daughter

Good evening,


Oh my goodness, I have a very similar situation. There are times, quite often that I feel I am very alone when it comes to my child and her not so great choices.

My 16 yr old decided to move to the city to live with her father at the age of 15 from the country. Reasons- I was too strict. Yes well that is true to a point. You see my teenager slowing making changes that I knew were off. She was behaving unusual and being caught with things she should not have been.

So..... moved to the city where dad leaves her at home for days at a time. Of course she loves it. Smokes weed, drinks alcohol and having underage sex. 

My ex husband refuses to acknowledge any of her behaviors and refuses to speak to me. I feel my hands are tied.

My daughter lies constantly. Gone from a high achieving student to a failing student. 

I have tried to get her into therapy. Her father does not agree to this. 

Nor does he have rules. She can do whatever she wants whenever she wants.

I guess I am not offering advise as I have no idea what to do anymore. 

If I try my daughter abuses me for being nosey and I get told to mind my own business. 

I just need to remind her that she isnt 18 yet and I will be very much involved.

She often plays the guilt trip so I give her money which I have now stopped and wants me to write her school papers which I will guide but I will not write. Its a battle most of the time. 

I am thinking of you and your struggles. 

Its strange but I actually work in the community services but when its happening to your own child its a different kettle of fish.

What I will not do is change my values to suit hers. I often listen, and support however I feel I get played most of the time. 


Re: Stressed out about 16 year old daughter

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Hey @KristyK 


So sorry to hear about everything you are going through with your daughter, I understand you're feeling really alone and I hope you feel very welcome and supported here Heart

It was very proactive of you to try and get your daughter into therapy, do you think she might be interested in accessing support for herself autonomously online? Services like eheadspace or kidshelpline offer phone and webchat based counselling if she wanted to get some support, she is also welcome to join our youth forum if you think she might benefit from chatting to some like-minded young people. 


What you said about how even though you work in community services, it feels different with your own child really resonated with me. I have certainly found it challenging to support my loved ones through things - even though its my job! 

Sticking to your values is so important, good on you for being assertive with your values. Its very clear how deeply you care about your daughter and that while you don't agree with some of her decisions, you love her so much and want the best for her. 

Could it maybe be an idea to have a chat to her school? Sometimes wellbeing staff are able to provide some extra support or referrals which can be helpful. Is this something you might be interested in trying?

I hope this is helpful, let us know how you're going Heart

Casual scribe

Re: Stressed out about 16 year old daughter

Thank you so much for offered support.

I finally feel there is somewhere I can go where others are experiencing similar life's challenges with their children.

I feel I have no one to talk to about my worries, mainly as I am so embarrassed that we have ended up in this dysfunctual cycle. I do not like to tell close family or friends that things are this bad.


As for my daughter using a service online etc. My daughter did not attend the last support that I had put in place for her. She never bothered to show up. Very common in this age bracket. There has been suggestions to her for online support and/ or school counsellor  but refuses every bit of help. Goes on to tell me that she's the one that has to organise and get there as her father who has narcistic tendencies refuses to help her to her appointments or believe in mental health.

I live 4 hours away from her as she moved to the city to be with her father.

My ex-husband has not put me on the school documents so the principal refuses to speak to me. I am in the dark. 

There was a boy she was seeing a year ago when she just started new school who I found out was supplying my daughter with weed. I phoned the school and passed on this information. The principle turned around and told me that that boy was a good student and had a good family and would not be involved with drugs even though I had txt messages to prove this. I did speak with a police officer who deal with drugs in schools, but he was told by the principle he was a good boy. Very frustrating. 

My ex-husband refuses to speak to me and has done for several years. This makes it hard for both of us to be on the same page with our daughter. Our daughter is very aware of this situation and relies on this so we are both in the dark and she can never be caught out lying due to this non existent communication. 

He refuses mediation, counselling , and form of talking to me about our daughter. 

Super contributor

Re: Stressed out about 16 year old daughter

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Hey @KristyK, we are so glad that you are feeling supported here. I know what you mean about not wanting to let others know how bad things are. Sometimes we feel ashamed, embarrassed or want to avoid judgement. I think most of us have been there before. I am not sure if you'd find it valuable but Parent Line ( is a free counselling service that you could contact if you would like another space to share.

It is upsetting to hear that your daughter has no help with attending appointments or receiving mental health care from her father. As you mentioned, it is definitely common for teenagers to not attend appointments. It makes it exceptionally difficult for parents, who are only trying to engage them in professional support. I feel you, it can be really frustrating and heart breaking at the same tme.

I am sorry to hear that you are locked out of your daughter's life in terms of communicating with her school and your ex. I imagine it must have been really challenging to have that information available but then it was disregarded by the school. I am wondering if you see your daughter often? Do you a notice a difference when you talk to her in person vs over the phone?

Again, thank you so much for sharing. We love having you here! Heart