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5 Bumps

My 20 daughter is acting out.

Just the facts...My 20 year old daughter and I have always had great communication. She has always been respectful and loving. Great grades until High School. Decent grades through High School. Has had a job since 15 and a half. Tried college for about 2 years. After continuously failing... I learned she had not been honest with us when asked about school. Is working partime (about 10-15 hrs/week). She is dating a boy (20) and he is the third unemployed, unmotivated guy she has dated. Found out from him he has been arrested several times and of course claims he was a victim of circumstance each time. Recently had heart to heart with her and explained college may not be for her. She was very relieved and together as a family came up with a plan. Must work full time, until then may go out late or stay out 2 nights/week. The remaining nights must be in by 10pm(she easily falls into a problem of sleeping all day and can't sleep at night) . This allows her to look for a full time job bright and early. Needs to focus on how to get into flight attending which is her goal. Once she has full time work needs to pay rent and help out. Then she will gain her freedom regarding curfew. Boyfriend is not welcome here to protect us and other children. We don't approve of him but can't stop her from seeing him. She won't agree and has since left to think things through for a few days. Keep in mind for the last 4 years she has had a master bedroom with bath (which she cannot keep clean) (therefore moved her out of it and put her a smaller room),, no chores, cosigner for car, education, supportive loving family, etc. is what we are asking unreasonable? When she left she didn't take her car so I am left thinking its on us now because she is not working enough hours. Therefore, I did not let her take anything but some clothes for work. I explained we now have a car loan of 9,500. And that makes her stuff ours. Like if a person gets evicted and stops paying and won't leave...! They are locked out. I hugged her and we cried and I left the door open if she reconsiders our requirements. Oh yeah and she drained her savings without my permission! Ugh. As of now, it's is the toughest thing I have had to do. I absolutely don't want to lose her! Anything, thought, ideas, advice...would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Asked by Bblah at 12:26 PM on Sep. 6, 2012 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 3 (16 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • Well, even someone who's evicted gets their stuff. They get locked out, but they do get to get their things.

    Since you're a cosigner on the car, I agree with keeping the car. And I can understand wanting the boyfriend away with a criminal record, so I see no issue there. But the rest....she's an adult. Let her figure it out. No curfew with instructions to look for a job. Just tell her you expect X amount in rent by X date and leave it on her to find a job and pay it in her own way. If she can't come up with it, then you tell her she needs to find another place to live. It's called tough love. But treating her like a child, which is really what you're doing, isn't going to do anything. You want her to learn responsibility - she won't learn that with you setting rules like she's still a kid.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 1:57 PM on Sep. 6, 2012

  • Wow, that's pretty messed up. You cannot control a 20 year old like that. Back off. It's perfectly ok for you to tell her she needs to move, but rules like you are imposing are way out of bound. I would not give the option to come back. She needs to make it on her own now. But keeping things from her and trying to control her like you are is incredibly dysfunctional. Her stuff is her's with the exception of the car. If she makes the payments she should have the car. Keeping her belongings from her is silly

    Answer by adnilm at 1:07 PM on Sep. 6, 2012

  • I graduated at 17 and moved across the country. I knew I had what I had saved in my savings account to get me through until I got a job...then it was sink or swim. She is 20 and you are treating her like she is 12. Yes, it is your home, but she is an adult and needs to be out of the house if she isn't going to school or working full time. If she wants to be with the boyfriend, it is her choice. I would have NEVER cosigned a loan if I was concerned about her ability to repay it. She did NOT need a car worth 9k+. She would have had it repossessed on her own credit or lived without a vehicle until she could afford to buy it outright. Her savings is hers to blow without your permission. You need to require her to live as an adult, and YOU need to treat her like an adult.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 1:41 PM on Sep. 6, 2012

  • She's an adult, and she needs to make her own mistakes and find out how hard it really is. Keep what you've paid for, or that which would damage your credit, the rest is up to her.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 1:45 PM on Sep. 6, 2012

  • Honestly, I think she'll come to her senses. It sounds like she's a good girl....just confused.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:32 PM on Sep. 6, 2012

  • As once a rebellious 20 year old myself, I can say, you did the right thing. Yu left it open ended, so if she wants to come back she can, but you have also showed her how the real world works. She has never payed rent, or anything else you mentioned... Once she starts crunching the numbers, and realizing she had it easy, she will come back. Stick to your ground, she may fight with you, but in the end, she will thank you.
    My mom gave me tough love, and I despised her. But now that I am a mom, I get it. We are MOMs first, friends later. She knows you will be there if she needs you, thats all you can do.
    Stay strong!

    Answer by Mme.Langley at 12:36 PM on Sep. 6, 2012

  • To add to what the others said, if you allow her to stay providing she pays rent also ensure that chores are part of the agreement. She needs to learn about the realities of life so that she can stand on her own two feet.

    Answer by winterglow at 9:34 AM on Sep. 7, 2012

  • I agree with Wendy!

    Answer by older at 10:07 AM on Sep. 8, 2012

  • Curfews for a 20 y/o won't work. Making helpful suggestions & offering your moral support is about all you can do at this point. Sitting back & watching them make mistakes is one of the hardest parts of parenting. Trust me, been there, still going thru that w/ my middle son. I watched him spiral after his dad died 2 1/2 years ago. I let him know I was there for him & offered suggestions, but couldn't make him follow that advice. Just had to be there to pick up the pieces. The tough love some of the other moms spoke about is really what you need to practice here. She may not understand or will fight you on it now, but she will thank you for it later. Best of luck to you both.


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 6:56 AM on Sep. 8, 2012

  • I cannot thank everyone enough!!!! Your advice has been very eye opening!!! Talking with my daughter today and my husband and I are giving all of her things to her. We agree with all of you that this is hindering our intended goal. We have decided to offer her to stay if she is willing to pay rent and help out around the house. She can have her car if she wants to continue the payments. Unfortunately I fear she will choose the boyfriend but I am willing to follow through. I feel that if I give her the opportunity to "sink or swim" and she sinks then it's on her. If I keep her stuff and impose a curfew and she fails it will only allow her to blame us and will result in a non-relationship between us. I dont want to lose her!! Following your advice will keep the door open for love and communication. Thank you all for helping a stranger through a very tough time!! XOXO wish us luck!! :)

    Comment by Bblah (original poster) at 1:16 PM on Sep. 9, 2012

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