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Old 09-01-2009, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Southwest WA
1 posts, read 2,163 times
Reputation: 11

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I joined City-Data.com because I was googling affective parenting for 17 year olds. I have been reading all that I can find on here. Thank goodness I am not alone... as a single mom of a 17 year old daughter that thinks I know nothing at the age of 50+ years I need some advice.

What should be normal excepted rules of the home for her to follow. I am currently unemployed due to the economy and she holds that over my head. She is 17 and will be 18 in June 2010. Because of her attitude and failure to comply she will be doing High School in 5 years not 4. When she used her cell phone and ran up my bill more than double what it needed to be, I paid it, but put her on a kid plan of 100 minutes per month. A year ago I stripped her room of all but the basics and found she had purchased a wireless modem for her computer and had been on the computer all night without a firewall so she had lots of viruses. She had tried to access my internet information to use dial-up. She tells me how to drive.... and the list goes on. She undermines my authority with her younger brother and sister. When I do not give her things, she calls or writes her dad to get them for her or to send her money for them. This he does. She believes she should have no rules and come and go as she wishes.... HELP I am on a ship going down.....
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,779 posts, read 59,773,480 times
Reputation: 26937
We have some issues with slightly younger uns (14 and 15). We implemented the following rules and it worked:

1. Do your chores or lose your cell phone until you not only do that day's chores, but all other incompleted chores. We have a chore check each night and if they are not done, the cell phone(s) immediately go into my drawer until tomorrow's chore check.

2. No screens of any kind may be used until you have done a load of laundry (wash dry sort, put away) or a load of dishes (same) and your homework is all done. Violate this rule and lose the X-box, television or computer priveleges (except for supervised homework). If someone uses a screen when they have lost the privelege, then I simply unhook the device that they used. That is not fair to their siblings, but then life is not fair. (Why should they even have phones, X-box, computers, etc, when some kid ten miles away does nto even have a bed or food or parents that care about him or her? Sorry, some things just are not fair. It is a fact of life.)

3. During the school year, the X-box and the wireless internet router go into my safe when I leave for work. They come out when I get home. This was necessary. If I just unhooked them, hid them, or simply made a rule, they would be hooked back up when I got home. Usually becuase they convinced Mommy that it was necessary. I am a bit tougher than mommy. We do have a computer that uses 3G if necessary in a pinch for homework that cannot be done after I get home, but everything else gets shut down. No one knows how to open the safe but me (I guess I should leave instructions somewhere in case I die). This only applies during school. Not on weekends or vacation time.

4. Texting at the dinner table = immediate loss of the cell phone for the rest of the day.

5. No phones at dinner, when we go visit grandma and Grandpa, in church. At school, phones go in your locker or you leave them at home. OUr schools are sm all enough that they can find their friends without texting or calling.

6. With our older ones, car use was not an issue, They strictly followed the rules. with the younger ones, it may become a problem. If it does, the keys go in the safe. If you break the rules, you do not use the car again for at least a day for each rule that you broke.

With all of our kids, we found that taking things away worked very well. Our older girls got really willful at about 12 13 or 14. They were mean ot mom, would nto clean their room, woudl nto follow the rules and talked abck about everything. When it got out of control, we simlpy took absolutely everything out of their room. We even took the doors. They had nothing. No bed, no matress, no clothing, no toys or television, nothing. They had to earn back each piece. The first day, they earned back a pillow and a sheet and slept on the floor. The second day one of them earned her matress back and the other one lost her pillow and sheet (they shared that night). Eventually, they earned everything back and we never had any problems after that. Even the younger ones remember that Mom and Dad will actually follow through on that threat and they do not push it.

Generally taking away the offending object works very well. If you slan the door, you lose the door. A few days with no door and they have no problem remembering not to slam the door. Leave a light on, lose the light bulb. Misuse the phone, lose the phone. Hit your brother with a toy, lose the toy (then the learn to hit each other with someone else's toy); throw your shoes out the window (or through the window) in a temper tantrum, lose your shoes. (Call the teacher and tell her what is going on before you send your kid to school barefoot or in pajamas, most teachers will work with you. Some refuse).

Last edited by Coldjensens; 09-01-2009 at 02:41 PM..
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:30 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 14,772,430 times
Reputation: 13621
Hire a teenager while they still know everything

With my kids (now 22 & 28) I used an allowance system. They had an allowance and had to buy clothes, cell phone, etc. out of the allowance. Run out of money and you get a job (or go crying to their mother - my ex - for money).

My son is the fiscally responsible one. He actually saved money on his allowance. My daughter is the spender but, lucky for her, always good at getting jobs.

Both unashamedly got money out of their mother. But that was not my problem.

Both are now through college, both got good grades and neither are my problem any more.
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:39 PM
 
2,002 posts, read 3,992,070 times
Reputation: 1748
Quote:
Originally Posted by beckycat View Post
My daughter is 17 years old. Just recently she has been breaking all the rules in the house. (curfew, using too many minutes on the cell phone, etc) She thinks that b/c she's almost 18 in 6 months that she can handle everything herself. I've tried to do everythong for her and point her in the right direction. All she says is stay out of my business, I can handle it myself. When I do that, she fails. All I want her to do is graduate high school and go to college. She is so close to graduating, but needs a credit or 2 more. She claims she can't take 5 classes at once. It's her fault that she left it to the last minute. I feel like I'm doing a diservice to her if I don't constantly keep up with it. I'm just really frustrated!
If she "can handle everything", she can pay for her own cellphone minutes. Maybe if you just change her actual plan for prepaid phone (so you can reach each other when needed anyway) and make her work for the minutes, she'll realize you're not "being nosy" but trying to help her.

All my life I received everything "for free" at home and some years later living by myself was a really hard experience. It's not just about taking classes but paying rent, taking care of your food, clothing, cleaning and lots of other things.

Wish you the best.
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,779 posts, read 59,773,480 times
Reputation: 26937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
Hire a teenager while they still know everything

With my kids (now 22 & 28) I used an allowance system. They had an allowance and had to buy clothes, cell phone, etc. out of the allowance. Run out of money and you get a job (or go crying to their mother - my ex - for money).

My son is the fiscally responsible one. He actually saved money on his allowance. My daughter is the spender but, lucky for her, always good at getting jobs.

Both unashamedly got money out of their mother. But that was not my problem.

Both are now through college, both got good grades and neither are my problem any more.
We use allowance for another effort. During church I write a quiz on the sermon and other events that take place in the service. I usually write 12 - 20 questions and they can get $1 for each one that they answer correctly. You can only take the test if you did all of your chores. No one ver gets all of the questions right, but no one ever misses all of them unless they do not go. It not only gets them to actively listen in church, but teaches them active listening for school as well. It works fairly well, Better with some of them than with others. OUr daugther got a birthday card with $50 in it and said "hooray, now I can skip church for a month" .
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:29 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
425 posts, read 651,173 times
Reputation: 404
I really liked coldjensens rules!
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Old 09-02-2009, 02:15 AM
 
5,945 posts, read 12,745,140 times
Reputation: 6677
Quote:
Originally Posted by beckycat View Post
My daughter is 17 years old. Just recently she has been breaking all the rules in the house. (curfew, using too many minutes on the cell phone, etc) She thinks that b/c she's almost 18 in 6 months that she can handle everything herself. I've tried to do everythong for her and point her in the right direction. All she says is stay out of my business, I can handle it myself. When I do that, she fails. All I want her to do is graduate high school and go to college. She is so close to graduating, but needs a credit or 2 more. She claims she can't take 5 classes at once. It's her fault that she left it to the last minute. I feel like I'm doing a diservice to her if I don't constantly keep up with it. I'm just really frustrated!
Actually, you're doing a disservice to her by enabling her.

She should have learned to stand on her own two feet back in middle school, as that is the appropriate time for kids to begin learning how to act like responsible young adults. But, it sounds as if she was never given an opportunity to fall on her face and learn to pick herself back up again - on her own.

Now she's having to learn it in high school, unfortunately, as her high school record matters more than her middle school one as far as colleges and therefor potential future careers go.

The best thing you can do for her, as impossible as it may seem, is to back off and allow her to fail - or maybe not? Maybe she will figure out on her own how to fix things. But whatever happens - let her learn and do things for herself the hard way. You can be there for her for support... to listen, mostly... but let her make her own choices and then stand back and let her feel the full weight of her decisions. If she comes to you with questions, that's your opportunity to interject what you think she should be doing, but otherwise bite your tongue and let her figure it out. Does she want to go to college? If she does, she'll figure it out.

Wanted to edit because I forgot to mention the cell phone - she doesn't have to have a cell phone. You can use that as a parenting tool. If she fails a class, she loses it. Or, if she doesn't graduate high school, she loses it... or whatever you can come up with that seems reasonable for your situation. Don't allow your children to use you. The freedoms that you allow her are privileges and if she's not going to hold up her end of the deal (go to school, get decent grades, obey your house rules, behave respectfully, etc.) you have the power as the parent to take those privileges away.
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Old 09-03-2009, 02:29 AM
 
Location: where the moss is taking over the villages
2,178 posts, read 4,719,232 times
Reputation: 1229
ColdJensens has it down to a science!!! Wow!

Thumbs up to you! You should write a book. I read lots of parenting books when my kids were little. There's a fortune to made with your wisdom!

My original trouble maker is still a trouble maker.

Kate
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:46 AM
 
2,893 posts, read 5,173,828 times
Reputation: 1973
Quote:
Originally Posted by puffle View Post
What do you do if you child is 14, has skipped a few classes, has done poorley on mid-terms and is consumed with his social life/girls and won't listen regarding good advice? He has a cell with unlimited texting and he AIM's. He has had the phone taken away for a month and grounded for a month. Now it is two months later and we are in the same place. He is too young to get a regular job to pay for anything and is excellent at playing with my heart.
Tell him he can stay in your home and you will care for him as long as he is in school. If he drops out, he can live on his own. You take away the phone permanently. You lock down the internet and PC from all unauthorized sites and programs. He is never too young to make a job, mowing laws for *free* for the elderly in your neighborhood might be a good way to earn back some privileges. Lock your heart in a safe and be a parent.
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:38 AM
 
2,222 posts, read 9,160,363 times
Reputation: 3225
Quote:
Originally Posted by beckycat View Post
My daughter is 17 years old. Just recently she has been breaking all the rules in the house. (curfew, using too many minutes on the cell phone, etc) She thinks that b/c she's almost 18 in 6 months that she can handle everything herself. I've tried to do everythong for her and point her in the right direction. All she says is stay out of my business, I can handle it myself. When I do that, she fails. All I want her to do is graduate high school and go to college. She is so close to graduating, but needs a credit or 2 more. She claims she can't take 5 classes at once. It's her fault that she left it to the last minute. I feel like I'm doing a diservice to her if I don't constantly keep up with it. I'm just really frustrated!
Take the cell phone away, and the car, if you provided one. Don't give her any money, don't do her wash or make her meals. Basically, do not provide anything but a roof over her head and food she can prepare herself if she's hungry if she misses mealtimes. Do not make her a plate for later. She wants to be an adult, let her. She may have to pick up the pieces later due to her actions, but life has consequences. Better she learns now than later. Think tough love. You are not helping her by doing for her. She will kick up a big fuss. But sorry, you are the parent, your house, your rules. If she doesn't like it, get a job and move out in 6 months.
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