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Old 07-22-2014, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,941 posts, read 17,243,367 times
Reputation: 40965

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
You're making your relatives problems your problems.

I don't see an upside to this for you, your girlfriend, or your cousin. It's a set of responsibilities which you aren't capable or prepared to deal with.

It was nice of you to try to help out, but the parents here need to step up and be parents to their daughter. If there's a family split in the making, it's all theirs to make and they get to deal with taking care of their child who apparently doesn't view your efforts with any appreciation or respect for your kindness.

Time, IMO, for you and girlfriend to get on with your own lives. Kudos for trying to help out, but you've taken on an impossible situation which is detrimental to your interests. There's more here than simply a teenager playing games at your expense.
I totally agree.

It is time for her parents to grow up and act like parents. Whether that means to get a divorce or to stop fighting front of their daughter or to go into marriage counseling together and family counseling with their daughter it doesn't matter, your time as "pretend" parents is over.

BTW, the teens behavior may get even worse for a while when she goes back but that is not your problem and not your responsibility. Her parents caused the teenagers problems (or at least did not try to fix them when they were small) and it is their responsibility to help fix the problems now.
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
3,111 posts, read 4,888,580 times
Reputation: 5429
I am not going to go with the majority on this one.

I think that taking in your cousin was both incredibly nice and incredibly naive, but now that you've done this you have an obligation (yes, an obligation) to help her.

Your cousin is crying out for attention. Did she want to leave, or was this plan created by the parents?

No one seems to have any time for her. Her parents are fixated on their own problems with their marriage, and you and your girlfriend want your life to go on without disruption. She is upset that she has been moved out of her house, and she figures on some level that if she misbehaves enough, she will be allowed to go back home.

You have "parenting power," but parenting is much more than enforcing chores and discipline. Parenting is, first and foremost, about love.

Do you tell her that you appreciate her?

Do you acknowledge the good things that she does?

Do you invite her to go out with your girlfriend and you?

Do you view her and treat her as a valued member of your family or do you look at her as a troublesome roommate?

She is damaged goods. She probably agreed to this because she was hoping to get from you what she isn't getting at home. I don't blame you for wanting to send her back, but that will just be another rejection for her.
,
Ask her what she wanted to get out of this situation, and how she thought things would be at your place. Work to make her life more like what she was hoping for and less like

Hopefully, her parents are giving you money to offset the costs of having her live with you. Use some of that money to take her out. Go to the movies, play miniature golf, etc. Do things with her. Let her have friends over.

You remind me a person who adopts a puppy because it is cute and adorable, but gets upset at the puppy when it exhibits puppy behaviors like chewing on things and having accidents in the house. You train a puppy using positive reinforcement. You set expectations and you reward the puppy when it does what is supposed to do. You don't yell at the puppy for having an accident in the house, you use patience and praise it when it does the right thing.

Children and teens are like puppies. Use praise instead of punishment. Be patient. Let your cousin know you love her.

It is a temporary situation, but you have a chance to make a real difference in her life.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:24 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 58,200,131 times
Reputation: 26518
^^^ All well and good and noble but if the teen is putting a strain on the OP's marital relationship then a family sit-down involving all parties is in order - with a professional counselor as mediator/adviser. The child is obviously torn and confused and with good reason. But her behavior is both self-destructive and destructive to her temporary caregivers and professional guidance is top priority.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:13 AM
 
912 posts, read 1,246,234 times
Reputation: 2275
Put yourself in your cousin's shoes for a minute.

After (presumably) months/years of listening to her parents fight, she is told that she's no longer welcome in her own home. No, I'm sure no one said it that way, but that's how she heard it. You all also (however unwittingly) confirmed a fear that her parents' marriage would be better if she wasn't around.

I do believe that everyone here had good intentions -- but you see how a slight change in perspective can shift this situation entirely? Add that to teenage hormones/drama, and you've got quite a mess on your hands. In her teenage mind, she's a burden to everyone, no one wants her, so she's acting out because what's her motivation otherwise?

It was nice of you to take this on, but she needs to go back home. If the parents can't live together without bickering, then one of them needs to move out, not her.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Dallas TX
15,009 posts, read 21,669,103 times
Reputation: 22127
How awful for the girl to be sent away from her home so her parents can work on their marriage! Of course she is acting up! Imagine how she feels? She is bring punished because her parents don't get along.

Time for her to move home and mom and dad creat a better plan of action.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:24 AM
 
37,951 posts, read 14,800,640 times
Reputation: 24281
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv View Post
I am not going to go with the majority on this one.

I think that taking in your cousin was both incredibly nice and incredibly naive, but now that you've done this you have an obligation (yes, an obligation) to help her.

Your cousin is crying out for attention. Did she want to leave, or was this plan created by the parents?

No one seems to have any time for her. Her parents are fixated on their own problems with their marriage, and you and your girlfriend want your life to go on without disruption. She is upset that she has been moved out of her house, and she figures on some level that if she misbehaves enough, she will be allowed to go back home.

You have "parenting power," but parenting is much more than enforcing chores and discipline. Parenting is, first and foremost, about love.

Do you tell her that you appreciate her?

Do you acknowledge the good things that she does?

Do you invite her to go out with your girlfriend and you?

Do you view her and treat her as a valued member of your family or do you look at her as a troublesome roommate?

She is damaged goods. She probably agreed to this because she was hoping to get from you what she isn't getting at home. I don't blame you for wanting to send her back, but that will just be another rejection for her.
,
Ask her what she wanted to get out of this situation, and how she thought things would be at your place. Work to make her life more like what she was hoping for and less like

Hopefully, her parents are giving you money to offset the costs of having her live with you. Use some of that money to take her out. Go to the movies, play miniature golf, etc. Do things with her. Let her have friends over.

You remind me a person who adopts a puppy because it is cute and adorable, but gets upset at the puppy when it exhibits puppy behaviors like chewing on things and having accidents in the house. You train a puppy using positive reinforcement. You set expectations and you reward the puppy when it does what is supposed to do. You don't yell at the puppy for having an accident in the house, you use patience and praise it when it does the right thing.

Children and teens are like puppies. Use praise instead of punishment. Be patient. Let your cousin know you love her.

It is a temporary situation, but you have a chance to make a real difference in her life.
I agree that doing some fun things with her and loving her to pieces while she's with you and letting her know that she always is welcome is a good move.

But she needs to go home. There are all sorts of issues she needs to work out with her Mom & Dad before she heads out into the world.

They've had their break. The solution to their marital difficulties cannot be kicking their daughter out of her home. She'll go the rest of her life feeling like people don't want her around.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:46 AM
 
3,630 posts, read 7,225,400 times
Reputation: 4874
Quote:
Originally Posted by therapfanatic View Post
We've discussed that, not only between ourselves, but with my parents as well and we came to the conclusion that it's best if she's not in the house with her parent's 24/7 bickering. Why do you think she's acting up? Even when we ground her and give her chores, she just does the chores without any effort put in.
Then let your parents take her if they think it's best she's not with her parents.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Arizona
5,914 posts, read 5,266,472 times
Reputation: 17842
I couldn't imagine how I would have felt if my parents sent me away.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Canada
3,876 posts, read 2,711,707 times
Reputation: 5061
I just noticed that the OP is no longer a City-Data member. Troll thread?
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:27 PM
 
5,413 posts, read 5,120,745 times
Reputation: 9351
How old is she? Also, are you really trying to help her through the issues that are going on with her parents (and they seem pretty serious) or just punishing her when she acts out?
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