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How do I parent a 19 year old?


 thisisterrible (original poster member #24727) posted at 8:12 AM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

My DD is 19. She was a straight A student all through high school and never got into any trouble, although we argue - a lot. She enjoys conflict and will disagree with me on something just for the sake of disagreeing; it's been this way since she was 5 or 6. Despite the arguing, we've always been very close and spend a lot of time together.

She's now in her first year of college, living at home and going to a local school. The first couple weeks were spent with a lot of crying and complaining that she was missing out on the "college experience" because I "forced" her to live at home rather than on campus. In actuality, I gave her advice to live at home to save money since we're fortunate enough to live within a 15 minute drive to her college. It was never even a discussion of her living away until she started seeing people on social media post pictures of themselves away at school - people she literally isn't even friends with, but "follows".

A few weeks ago, DD started making some friends at college, which is great. However, these friends are the type that have parties every weekend - parties that last literally all night long, with drinking. DD went to one of these parties 2 weeks ago. She told me she was going out with one of her high school friends (which was a lie). When I texted her throughout the night asking her where she was, she would respond an hour or so later with"I'll be home in a little bit". She finally showed up at home at 10:00 a.m.

I had never been that mad in my entire life.

In the days that followed there was a lot of arguing, with her claiming she doesn't think she did anything wrong, and me trying to drill into her head that this isn't a hotel and she can't stay out all night. I explained to her the dangers of being somewhere when nobody knows where you're at, dangerous underage drinking etc. I can't say that we ever came to an understanding, other than the fact that she agreed to put Life360 on her phone.

Fast forward to tonight when she suddenly announced at 8:00 and she was going out. I asked her with who and she said "my same friends as last time, but I'm not going to be out all night again" and then she ran out the door. It's now 3:00am and I've texted her asking how she was going to get home, and she responded with "someone will ride me home in the morning". So basically she's staying out again all night, just like I told her she couldn't do two weeks ago.

Sooo, how in the world am I'm supposed to handle this? She's 19, so do I let her just do whatever she wants to do? I know it's my house, bit how in the world do you enforce rules with someone who is a legal adult? I assume most people would say that I should tell her she has to follow my rules or move out, but I don't want to take my child out of my house.

Am I being unreasonable to say that she needs to tell me where she's going, who she's going to be with, and that she can't stay out all night - especially when these new "friends" are all a year or two older than her and are partiers (something she's never been exposed to before, which makes it seem all the more exciting)?

Help. I have no idea how to parent this stage of life.

[This message edited by thisisterrible at 8:16 AM, Sunday, October 10th]

Me:BS Him:WH Two kids
A started 2/09 - S 7/09 - he filed for D 12/09
I wanted to R and he didn't. He never stopped seeing the MOW, who filed for D 11/09. They've since broke up...for now.

posts: 682   ·   registered: Jul. 8th, 2009
id 8692488

WhatsRight ( member #35417) posted at 8:54 AM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

I wish I felt that I could give you good advice. But I believe that I have failed in this area that you are presenting.

I will tell you this. One of my sons, in fact two of my sons, went to a wilderness program. For troubled teens. They educated the parents while the kids were in the program. And one of the books that we read really infuriated me. But after a while I came to believe that it was right on the money.

It’s stated things like it, if your teenager wants to stay out till midnight instead of 11 PM, to consider saying yes. Not because they get to call the shots, but because there was really nothing they could do at midnight that they couldn’t do at 11:30.

But the real point was that it is better to trade some control for the closeness of the relationship.

I totally understand that you’re talking about 10 AM… Not 11:30 PM or midnight. And I understand you not wanting to be a drill sergeant in your home. But I think there is a perfect balance of relationship, your daughter being able to come to you and talk to you about what happens, building trust together... and her understanding that there are "rules" and that you do draw the line in some areas.

I believe the point of the book was that in the long run it’s better for your child to be able to come to you with things they have experienced or are wanting to experience, rather than perhaps the following your rules, but finding ways to behave however they are wanting to even if they have to be home by such and such a time.

I don’t know if that makes sense, or if it’s helpful. But I wish you all the luck in the world with maintaining structure and discipline in your home, while at the same time realizing that the relationship is changing, and offering her some freedom in order to encourage closeness could be helpful.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 7214   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8692491

secondtime ( member #58162) posted at 1:00 PM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

Why do you want your daughter to stay at home? Do you not trust her? What has she done in the past to indicate she is untrustworthy?

Is it really the finances? Is she having to take loans for all of schooling? Are the no other options to mitigate cost?

Define loving conflict….

My mom absolutely would have said the same thing about me. But our relationship is largely unhealthy. Enmeshment, codependency , etc.

I went through the same stage as a freshman. I was your daughter. It lasted 6 weeks. At 46, I’m fairly accomplished. I have four lovely children. Finishing a second masters. Accomplished at work. Meh marriage, but you can’t have it all. Oh, some days, our house is a hotel. I actually call it a storage until for all our crap. Because we are busy.

Why don’t you want boundaries on your kiddo behavior? Boundaries aren’t bad. They are actually the good choice.

Have you tried natural consequences? If you know where she is and that there’s underage drinking, why not call the cops and let her deal with the consequences. Or I’d save the noisy chores for when she’s trying to sleep.

posts: 1040   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2017
id 8692496

The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 1:37 PM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

She has to stop lying. She has to be truthful.

Set some ground rules - she has to text you as she’s leaving a party and who she is with. Then next morning she texts what time she will be home.

She needs a safety plan. Drunk freshman girls are exploited all too often.

And you need a standard operating procedure for what you can accept and what she agrees to do. She must have some accountability on an adult level.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10736   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8692498

Lionne ( member #25560) posted at 3:49 PM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

The absolute most horrible thing in the world as a parent is to let your kids make mistakes and even fail. Granted, some of the failures are worse than others but unfortunately that becomes the kid's consequence.
She needs to be able to tell you things. Your relationship is becoming more adversarial by the day. That can't be good.
Ask her to sit down with you when there isn't a current crisis. Voice your concerns about young women being victimized, about underage drinking, about all of it. Ask her how she avoids trouble. Does she buddy up with another trusted friend? Does she make sure there is a designated driver at parties, etc.
Frankly, if she's drinking or getting high, NOT coming home is a responsible step.
Negotiate how and when she'll contact you. Allow her to say "mom I'm safe, be home in the morning. " I can't help but think your frequent texts and calls are counterproductive. She's in full blown rebellion.
She'll learn from her mistakes just like most of us did. And we can only pray that her mistakes are ones you don't need to know about.
Maybe, after a year of her living this "stretch her wings" life, you'll be more comfortable with her moving out.
I feel your pain, went through it too.
It's just so hard to stand by. But you are raising a child to leave you. That's when they come back.

Me-BS-65 in May<BR />HIM-SAFWH-68<BR />I just wanted a normal life.<BR />Normal trauma would have been appreciated.

posts: 8408   ·   registered: Sep. 18th, 2009   ·   location: In my head
id 8692513

 thisisterrible (original poster member #24727) posted at 5:19 PM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

To provide more background/answer some questions:

DD will be paying for college with loans. Her major is a 6 year program so it's going to be very, very expensive.  By living at home, she's able to go to school completely free for the first two years, ( thanks to the scholarships I applied for on her behalf, because she simply didn't have the motivation to do it).  I told her I would help by paying for her books, car insurance, and cell phone, and that she didn't need to get a job so she could focus on school provided she maintained the same excellent grades she got in high school.

As for the conflict, DD loves to argue and see people (mainly me) upset. She will hurl horrible insults until she gets a reaction, and then you can literally see a look of calm and satisfaction come over her face.  She will scream that she hates me, that I'm a horrible excuse for a parent, that it's no wonder XH left me, etc. She blames me for everything that doesn't go her way, no matter how illogical it is, for instance, if she would get a big homework assignment, she'd say it was my fault for making her take the class. If she sleeps in, it's my fault for not buying her a loud enough alarm clock.  She will never apologize after the dust settles, never. When the dust settles, she will say "can you stop being mad at me?" and that's her way of trying to make amends....until something else makes her unreasonably mad.

DD has never had a lot of friends, so I'm really worried about what she'll do to fit in a be accepted - she's always been this way. For example, she has a friend that likes Diet Coke. DD hates Diet Coke, but she will order it whenever she's with this particular friend just to be the same. Now that she's met these new friends that like to party and drink, I worry that she will do whatever she has to to keep up. We've had many, many, exhaustive conversations about the dangers of alcohol, putting yourself in situations where bad things can happen, etc, and she of course will say she knows better and won't do anything stupid. Yet here we are, with her staying out again all night and crawling in at 11:00am after not responding to my texts. In a nutshell, I think that she's so concerned with looking cool, that she's not concerned with things like being at a party with 5 drinking guys that she barely knows.

I have no idea how to handle this right now. I honestly want to throw her stuff outside and tell her to find somewhere else to live, but how many mom's can do that? I don't know if I should give her the silent treatment for a few days or if I should try to - again- have a conversation to explain to her that she cannot stay out all night and use my house as a hotel.

I also have an impressionable 13 year old watching this all play out, so I need to make sure that she's not taking notes for when she's this age a few years from now.

I'm in tears. I had no idea it was so hard raising big kids.

Me:BS Him:WH Two kids
A started 2/09 - S 7/09 - he filed for D 12/09
I wanted to R and he didn't. He never stopped seeing the MOW, who filed for D 11/09. They've since broke up...for now.

posts: 682   ·   registered: Jul. 8th, 2009
id 8692527

The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 5:35 PM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

Okay patterns are hard to break.

My kids know they cannot scream at me for things. It just doesn’t fly.

It’s time to re-set the playing field.

She acts this way b/c she can. First lie or sign of disrespect - you end the interaction. Leave the room. Lick yourself in your car or bathroom but refuse to engage when she’s irrational.

Keep doing it until she gets the message. Period. Do not backtrack. Do not try to re-start the conversation when she’s irrational.

She wants to liked and included. We all get that. At 18 she has rights that legally you cannot take away from her. Like the underage drinking - it is difficult to stop that behavior b/c she’s going to do it anyway.

But set the ground rules. My kids know if they drive drunk even one time there is no more driving a car unless they pay for it snd the insurance. Period. Zero tolerance.

You need to stop letting her tantrums rule the home. Calmly set ground rules. Get a safety plan in place. State what you expect.

And do not feel obligated to pay for her if she continues to disrespect you.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

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id 8692531

number4 ( member #62204) posted at 7:53 PM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

( thanks to the scholarships I applied for on her behalf, because she simply didn't have the motivation to do it)

Red flag; if she was a straight A student in high school, then she had the skills to do this. Along the way, she's gotten the message that mom will step in and do stuff for her that she can do herself. Maybe that's why she's so openly violating your rules now... she knows if she gets in trouble, you will bail her out.

fwiw... I agree with Lionne, if she's drinking or getting high, not coming home is the responsible thing to do. But she needs to feel safe enough with you to tell you what's going on, and obviously that isn't happening. It's barely a month into her freshman year... she's finding her footing. Since she can't do that off-campus, she's trying to figure out how to do it while living at home.

Honestly, almost an equal amount of learning you do in college, comes from learning to live away from home. There are so many life lessons to be learned that can't be, unless you no longer live at home.

Me: BW
Him: WH
Married - 30+ years
Two adult daughters
1st affair: 2005-2007
2nd-4th affairs: 2016-2017
Many assessments/polygraph: no sex addiction
Status: R

posts: 835   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2018   ·   location: Southern California
id 8692555

sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 8:15 PM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

I went to college in my home town, but scholarships allowed me to live on campus. Scholarships were a lot more generous when I was in school than now.

Gently, your description of your relationship with daughter says concerns me a lot. It is very unhealthy to provoke you the way your daughter does. It's not healthy to accept it. I'm also concerned that you applied ofr scholarships on your daughter's behalf. Did you want her to do this program, or did she? At 17, kids should be responsible for helping finance their education, IMO. Have you considered family counseling?

I think your demands are excessive. Certainly your DD owes you some estimates of when she'll get home, and updates if she'll be late. Certainly she owes you and everyone else a commitment to stay out of the driver's seat when she's been drinking. But I didn't think my parents were entitled to know who I was with after I turned 18 - but I wasn't living at home.

If your DD were away at school, you wouldn't have as much visibility into her activities as you do with her living at home. Have you considered - together - your DD moving to campus for the 2nd semester?

I'd have a different view if she was vegetating without a job - but she's at school.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

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id 8692560

zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 8:26 PM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

Personally, I would not fill out a scholarship application for a high school child. Let her do things for herself and take care of all school related things herself. She should be doing things for herself and that way she will learn how to manage things and learn from her mistakes. As an added bonus she will only have herself to blame when things go wrong. Let her pick her own classes.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

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id 8692562

tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 10:05 PM on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

I have read the other responses but....I am a mom of one who went away to school and one that stayed put.

The one that went away was highly driven and does not tolerate alcohol at all, like has an allergy to it. So I wasn't too concerned about her partying too much other than smoking weed. But when she left for school I also promised her I would allow her to act as an adult and I wouldn't drive her nuts hovering and texting daily. After all when I went to school I only talked to my parents one time a week.

My other one is still at home and is 24 and works full time nights. He was making bad decisions im HS and I refused to foot the bill for go away school. So he stayed home and went to JuCo. But as long as grades were ok and he was still working his pt job I wasn't going to be overbearing to him as long as he was respectful to us.
The rule was if he went out and to parties I had him and one other persons contact info. We also needed to know before 9pm if he was staying out all night or not. If he was staying out all night then he wasn't to drink and drive . As an EMT and mom that was a trauma ICU nurse he was good about that one.
He still lives with us and really there are days where we don't see each other or talk. Especially him and his dad. I work from home so I see him lots more. But still rule applies. If he stays out all night that's fine buy tell me before I go to bed so I'm not waking up and checking to see if he is home.

Its not easy but if she can respect that rule and she is still doing ok in school well if she were away she'd be doing the same and you wouldn't even know.

Him: FWS
Kids: 21 &23
Married for 28 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

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id 8692573

NorthernMSB ( member #69725) posted at 11:42 AM on Monday, October 11th, 2021

I am sure this will not be popular but you don’t parent her at 19. I have a 19 year old son and 22 year old son. They live together in an apartment about 5 minutes away, they have great jobs, they make poor and good choices, and they are adults. My oldest is an old soul and has a good maturity level, my youngest is still very much a kid. When they lived here up until earlier this year they stayed out all night many many times. They had to tell me they were staying out or text when that decision was made during the evening. No girls ever slept over here. They had an open call every single time that if they needed a ride home I would get them (never drive drunk). Both drink, sometimes to excess which is legal here at 19 and legal at 18 about 20 minutes away in another province. They did drink underage. Neither does any type of drugs not even pot, my oldest vapes which I HATE. But they are adults.

Your daughter seems to want it both ways, the security and comfort of being at home where everything is taken care of and all the fun and bad decisions of being a college kid. She needs to be respectful of you and let you know her plans as mature people do when the live together. A courtesy. And most of all she needs to stop lying, again not acceptable as an adult. An adult. I get your anxiety and worry, believe me I get it, but whatever she us, she is now. You cannot change who she is now and texting her throughout the night is a waste of time. She is just going to blow you off. Decide if this is the hill you want to die on and then die in it.

I was never a party gal, in university at 16 with my own apartment and parents who left the country. I didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, didn’t do drugs (and it was the eighties!) and did not go to a single party. My husband was the opposite and so was my sister. My boys land more on their side then mine but it seems to be slowing down now with real life responsibilities like rent, jobs, and all that goes along with that. You can step back now and let her know you are there if she needs you, always, but stop calling her. I don’t really have the answer here, but again you cannot parent her anymore or lecture her about what could happen. She knows. I am certain you did not raise a stupid kid, and kids these days seem to know more than us At that age. If you don’t want her staying out all night and that is a nonnegotiable tell her to get a damn job, save some money, and move out. For real. At a minimum she needs to stop lying and let you know where she is…once…and stop texting her. And stop staying up all night. It is hard, I know, but she is an adult.

This too shall pass and I hope all our kids come out the other side intact, with no criminal records, no long lasting trauma, and an appreciation of the freaking stress they put us through.

Me: BW-52
DDay 1: 2009- ex girlfriend, rugswept
Dday 2: Christmas Eve 2018-Another ex girlfriend-5 week sexting affair
Dday 3- March 21, 2019 Same AP as Dday 1,he never stopped cheating with her-20 years-ended October 31, 201

posts: 402   ·   registered: Feb. 10th, 2019
id 8692622

Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 11:56 AM on Friday, October 15th, 2021

I’m with NorthernMSB on this one. Sorry about this meandering text but here goes…

One of the roles of a parent is preparing the "child" for adulthood. Society defines an adult as someone that has reached the age of 18. Legally you could pack her bags and kick her out. It would probably be immoral – but law and ethics are not the same. She too can go get a student-loan, buy a car, rent an apartment… whatever without your consent. She can join the circus or join a cult. It would be stupid, but legal.

Of course – as LOVING parents – we swaddle our "children" to protect them, only that protection can sometimes place them in a cocoon where they get away with stuff the "real world" wouldn’t allow them. I think that maybe the last important role we have as parents is the one where we unwrap the swaddling and expose our kids to reality.

I think one of the biggest parenting mistakes we tend to make is not allowing our "kids" to face their decisions. To make them aware that they can chose from some options, and their choices tend to have cost and gain, profit and loss, pluses, and minuses.

Like staying at home… The cost is that she’s a bit out of the freedom of the dorm or the privacy of a rented apartment. The cost is having to live by the rules of the owner of the home. The gains are numerous like laundry-service, good meals, warm bed, nice house… The gain is that she can get through a six year college program without being up to her eyeballs in student-debt.

Six year degree? Maybe medical field? I think the average student-debt is way over 150k… and no – there is no guarantee of a wage that makes this amount "worth it". A GP in an inner-city hospital or a physical therapist isn’t making enough to justify that amount.

At the same time you – as a parent – have to realize she is capable of more freedom now than a year ago. However that freedom has its cost. Party too much and you flop your courses. Flop your courses and your access to the college lifestyle is removed. Drop your grades and your cost goes up due to fewer scholarships. She needs to find that balance, and if she decided to find it the hard way… well better now than 10 years from now in some job were doing so doesn’t delay her by a semester, but get’s her fired.

I suggest you sit down with her and explain that the only reason she is at home is because you want her to be there. That’s it. Legally she doesn’t have to be there, legally she can move out, rent a caravan, get a tattoo, and start collecting cats. Nothing you can do to change that.

As part of your willingness to get her through college with as little debt as possible your contribution is the car, food, home… She can decide to do it in some other way but this is the help YOU are offering.

You don’t WANT her to leave, but you want her to show you respect in your home and for her to realize that what you offer isn’t to be taken for granted. I would STRONGLY suggest you remind her that she’s there because YOU want her there and YOU want to give her the best start to her adult life you can BUT that if she behaves in negative ways then it erodes your will in having her stay and erodes your belief that you are really giving her the best start.

Then you ask what she thinks would be reasonable rules. That it’s normal for you to worry if she’s out late and that it’s not unreasonable that she texts or checks in or whatever. What is reasonable? What compromise can you both accept. You too need to be reasonable. MAYBE the best you can get is that she texts you if she won’t be home by midnight and/or again in the morning if she’s not back.

I think it’s also fine to establish rules on chores, expectations, and interaction. This is what I expect from you – this is what you can expect from me.

The way you describe some of her behaviors… In what scenario do you think her negative behavior will do the least damage. Like if she hurls horrible insults to get a result (your words!):

at a part-time job where her boss could fire her on the spot if she behaved that way and the biggest issue might be that instead of working at a grocery-store she needs to wait tables…

at her first "real" job where she doesn’t get past the trial period (I hire people. At about the 2-month mark we monitor how people are interacting and how they fit. I have fired people for being socially disruptive…)

at her future job where her behaviors prevent promotions or place her on the top of the list when it comes to laying people off.

at her future job were interacting with patients/clients is required

If your daughter has time to party without worrying about grades then she has time to work. What that might help her with is taking that step from being a child swaddled in cotton into a young woman that has to monitor hours and interact with others. All my kids did part-time jobs during college/uni and none of them dropped grades due to it. They all had a healthy social life too (including drinking and partying and doing the stoopid things we all did at that age)

I think it’s also worth it to talk about this enabling her to possibly finish her degree with the minimum of student debt or even none. I’m fortunate to live close to a uni where my youngest is doing his degree at and our contribution to him is the fees, free housing and food, access to a beater-car. He works about 16 hours every other weekend and that pays for his out-of-pocket needs and gas. He will finish his degree with no debt, giving him a big head-start considering the average student-debt in his field is about 60k. Think back to when you were 23-35 and try to recall if you had the money to pay your bills, mortgage, start a family AND your student loans.

And like N_MSB my kids could call me any time of day for a ride home or they could tell a cabby that the fare would be paid by their dad once they got home if they didn’t have cash. The only time I got really angry – like RAGING angry – with my daughter was when she accepted a ride home one night with some guys. Turned out to be real gentlemen and just drove her home but…

Wanted to add:
I interact with a lot of HR people and HR managers. I have heard stories about how they get phone-calls from the moms of 22-25 year old employees with degrees explaining why little sensitive Guido can’t work long hours, can’t handle the pressure of working in groups, can’t be expected to be there by 8 in the morning or why he didn’t get the promotion… whatever.
At 23 Guido better be able to deal with the Real World!

[This message edited by Bigger at 12:04 PM, Friday, October 15th]

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

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id 8693287

BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 10:24 PM on Friday, October 15th, 2021

I would ease up on the reins. I know it's hard. I'm currently watching my older kid excel six hours away at university and my younger one struggle at community college. It's isolating to be a commuter student. I see a big difference in the quality of life between the two experiences.

As sisoon said, you wouldn't be so aware of your daughter's activities if she were on campus. Curfews and rules about you knowing her location make her very different from most of her peers. You may be thinking, "My concern is that those peers are irresponsible and possibly dangerous people," but college is about making choices and learning from them, good and bad. If you try to keep her away from that, then living at home becomes more about control than finances.

I agree that it could be good for her to move on to campus in the second semester. She'll see what it's like to be squashed into a small room with an incompatible roommate, shower in a cold stall with a skeevy floor, and find her wet laundry tossed on top of the communal machine. Maybe it will make her think fondly of life at home. Or maybe, like many of us, she'll feel it's worth it to pay more for an experience that only happens once in a lifetime. If so, encourage her to figure out how to earn some extra bucks so she can live independently.

WW/BW 51 (Me)
BH/WH 51 (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2066   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8693510

EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 11:29 PM on Friday, October 15th, 2021

I was an RA for 3 years in college, so I dealt with a LOT of kids her age. I saw some of them that sowed their oats the first semester or two then straightened out, saw some that sowed then kept on sowing until they wound up flunking out. Saw a whole bunch (including me) that partied like motley crue in year one then figured out a good balance between academics and social life and managed to keep their grades up and graduate with a decent gpa. This is the time in one's life when they should be figuring out this stuff - on their own. It prepares you for being a grup. For entering a working world where mom isn't there to do for you - when you have to make the rules for yourself and follow them. For developing your boundaries and figuring out who you want to be as an adult. And yes, it involves getting way drunk and puking on a dumpster (might have been me), and partying so hard you're still drunk when you show up for your first final (yeah, me - and I got an A on that final too), and winding up stranded at a bonfire at 2am 50 miles from anywhere (definitely me). But all that is valuable life experience and lessons too and it is part of life at this age.

Bottom line - she's 19. You don't 'parent' her anymore. I think it's fine and reasonable for you to have house rules so long as she's still living with you, but the calling/texting all night? Policing who she's allowed to be friends with? I'm sorry, but she's gotta figure it out on her own (and she WILL momma); all you're accomplishing by trying to make her do this or that is making her all the more determined to do what she wants. I get that it's scary and you don't want her hurt or going down a bad path, but there's infinite value in those hard knock lessons too. I learned things the hard way and got myself into scrapes and all and I turned out just fine and so will your daughter. You just gotta have faith that you taught her enough that she can do this.

She blames me for everything that doesn't go her way, no matter how illogical it is, for instance, if she would get a big homework assignment, she'd say it was my fault for making her take the class. If she sleeps in, it's my fault for not buying her a loud enough alarm clock. She will never apologize after the dust settles, never. When the dust settles, she will say "can you stop being mad at me?" and that's her way of trying to make amends....until something else makes her unreasonably mad.

As for the arguing and her saying horrible stuff. Listen, teenagers are idiots. I was. You were. She is. Every resident I dealt with for my 3 RA years was. That's part of that time in life too. They think they know all the things (I certainly did), and they just haven't matured enough to realize they don't know shit yet. Don't take her bait when she's being overly dramatic and ridiculous. You're the adult and she's a kid still. Just walk away when she starts her yelling - it ain't worth it getting into it with her and the more you respond, the more she knows that what she's doing is 'working'. I know that's easier said than done for sure. But you hit the nail on the head - she's being completely unreasonable. And while she can kick and scream and get into a knock-down-drag-out with mom.... yeah that shit don't fly in the real world, as any adult knows. And she HAS to figure that out and will one way or another regardless of whether you fight back right now. Cus she'll try this with a professor when she fails a class or with a boss when she doesn't wake up in time for work and she'll have a hard ol lesson learned by suffering a consequence.

Watching so many residents go through this tough age, as well as younger siblings - the best thing you can do for her right now IMHO is to give her the room to learn things the hard way cus sometimes that's the only way to learn it.

And just to give you some hope here - my mom and sis were AWFUL to each other when my sis was this age. My sis would say horrid things to my mom and they got into fights all the time and life was REALLY unpleasant for a while there. But my sis grew out of it and her and my mom are fast buddies now. Your daughter will grow out of it too eventually.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"Being weird is just a side effect of being awesome."– Unknown

posts: 3181   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8693521

Gottagetthrough ( member #27325) posted at 12:30 AM on Saturday, October 16th, 2021

As a 19 year old who didnt do partying in highschool (went to an all girls school, religious) i did party in college. Joined a sorority, drank too much, hung out at frat houses on the weekends.

After the first semester, it lost its luster. I still went out but it wasn’t like that first semester.

I would focus more on keeping her safe (say go out with a girl friend and never leave without each other….). Than parenting like you would a 16 or 17 year old, who you say no way, you are grounded.

posts: 3617   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2010
id 8693540

 thisisterrible (original poster member #24727) posted at 8:34 AM on Saturday, October 16th, 2021

Thank you for all the replies.

I am really not trying to control my daughter, really. I'm trying to find a balance between letting her have the freedom she deserves while still having some respect for the fact that she is living in my home rent and chore free.

After she strolled in last weekend at 11:00am - with no phone call or text telling me she was going to be out all night - we had MULTIPLE talks this week about how that is not ok. Aside from the fact that it's not fair to me to wonder when the hell she was coming home, I explained to her that she is spending the night with people she barely knows in an environment where everyone is drinking (underage), and how this is not the best situation to put herself in. It was met with eye rolls and her telling me how she thinks she is "immune" to getting drunk because she doesn't feel anything whenever she drinks (can you hear my eyes rolling now?).

All of that said, I know that at 19, I can't keep her in bubble wrap and I need to let her make her own choice and mistakes. Long story short, I told her that I needed a text at night to know when she was coming home because it is not fair for her to use our home as a hotel with no respect. She grudgingly agreed. This evening she announced that she was going out. I asked her what time she'd be home, and she said "I don't know; I'm not going to be out all night". I asked het to text me around midnight letting me know when she'd be home and she grudgingly said ok.

It's now 3:30am and I haven't heard a word from her.

Basically, she's getting away with doing whatever she wants to do. Short of kicking her out, I feel like she's calling the shots and I'm honestly pissed off. Like I'm sitting here typing this with absolute rage that she is not doing the ONE thing I ask of her, which is to let me know when she's going to be home.

Me:BS Him:WH Two kids
A started 2/09 - S 7/09 - he filed for D 12/09
I wanted to R and he didn't. He never stopped seeing the MOW, who filed for D 11/09. They've since broke up...for now.

posts: 682   ·   registered: Jul. 8th, 2009
id 8693583

sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 6:01 PM on Saturday, October 16th, 2021

You're in a power struggle with your daughter. That's really unhealthy. You're focused on what she 'gets away with'. That's unhealthy. She breaks reasonable boundaries and provokes you to get your attention. That's unhealthy.

Yes, if she won't honor your boundary about texting you her ETA, you need to kick her out. That's both urgent and important.

I think finding a good IC is important for you, and the sooner you do it, the better. You owe it to yourself to find some peace.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26161   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8693622

nightowl1975 ( member #32212) posted at 7:09 AM on Sunday, October 17th, 2021

I am in this exact stage of parenting and approach it very differently. It works for us, but it’s hard, so don’t think it’s all sunshine and roses.

I have 20 year old twins who are sophomores in college and a 19 year old freshman in college. I also have a freshman in high school. First and foremost, we all have Life360. Everyone knows it’s not for me to "track" them or anything like that… it’s a safety net and practical. Safety in that there will never be a time they’re laying in a ditch in a wrecked vehicle that I can’t get to them. Safety in that when it’s 3am and they’re not home, I can peek and see they’re at XYZ location. Etc. Practical in that they can peek to see if I’ve left work yet because we are going to dinner as a family when I get home. Practical in that they can see a sibling is about to pass Chic Fil A and they want something from the drive thru. We all honestly love it.

I will say having Life360 has allowed me to "parent" my college aged kids the way I’ll describe next.

They do tell me what their work schedule is for the week, and if they’re going out of town. This is for practical purposes because they help get my youngest to/from places. But they don’t have to tell me what time they’ll be home after work or going out or whatever. Like my 19 year old is at work now. He might come straight home which would be in the next hour or so. Or he might go over to this girl’s apartment and not come home til 10am. Either way, it’s fine because he’s an adult, he uses condoms, and he knows he is to NEVER drink/do drugs and drive or ride with anyone who has. If we have something going on tomorrow that I need him home for or up/awake for, I let him know.

One of my twins drove about 2.5 hours away to visit a friend at her college. She will come home Tuesday evening. I’m sure they drink. Same rules of life apply (use protection, never drink/drive) plus a couple of female rules (always be aware of who you’re with, go with a friend and leave with a friend, etc).

Maybe even more important than our general rules, I’ve always emphasized to my kids that they’re going to make mistakes and choices that they wish they hadn’t. It is ALWAYS ok to pick up the phone or text and ask me for help. No matter what. If they EVER find themselves in a situation where they think… oh crap, I screwed up… I want their first thought to be I need to call mom. I never want them to feel they can’t call me for help or advice during this time of life. They’re learning and making mistakes and growing from it hopefully. I’m not here to micromanage them or tell them what to do and when to do it.

The thing is, if your daughter was living in a dorm, you would have no clue what she was doing or who she was doing it with. I decided when mine graduated high school to treat them living at home as closely as possible to living away at college. It’s worked for us so far. YMMV.

[This message edited by nightowl1975 at 7:10 AM, Sunday, October 17th]

Me: 44
Ex: 52
D Day: 4/2010
Divorced: 7/2010

posts: 779   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2011
id 8693676

annanew ( member #43693) posted at 6:44 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

If she weren't living at home, you wouldn't know that she would be staying out all night.

So you aren't really sticking to the line that she's just staying home to save money. If that were the case, then you need to zip your lips about anything you wouldn't know about if she weren't at home. She's just a renter to whom you've offered free/cheap rent.

Of course, this is going to be near impossible for a parent to do.

But I'd say .... try. Maybe just open the door... "how are these parties? any kids doing stuff that surprises or disturbs you?".

You've got to let her go.

If you can't, then she should live on campus.

(all of the above should be qualified as "within reason"... obviously if you see her getting on meth or something, intervention is appropriate)

Single mom to a sweet girl.

posts: 2444   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2014   ·   location: California
id 8694024
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