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Looking for advice!

I am considering taking my 16 yo neice into my home....I have 2 young kids and was dreading the teen years but they may be here a lot sooner lol...long story short...she has an alcoholic father and rebels against the mother with drinking and sneaking out and we are the last resort or she will end up in foster care. Well, being as that I don't have a teenager I am looking for any and all advice if this is the route we choose to take because I will only have about a week left to prepare.... How do I ground her? get her to help out? Cell or no cell? I won't allow internet unless fully supervised. She will be starting a new school in a different state and away from everything she knew so I would like her to get involved in some type of activity. I guess my main concern is punishments....what works for a teen and what doesnt?? Should I buy padlocks for the doors? ( i'd hate to go that far but i just don't know) I do plan to get rid of all alcohol...we hardly drink anyways. Do i give an allowance if she earns it?

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:49 PM on Jan. 4, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (8)
  • A Cafemom member named Corrie Lynne Player has written a great book called "How to Raise your Teen without losing your Mind". It's a very good book.
    One thing I can't stress enough (especially with a 'new' teen coming in to your home), is that you have to sit down and outline what the rules are of your home. Don't assume anything because she hasn't been raised in your home.
    I know a gal in one of my groups that just recently took in a teen who is not related to her. I bet she'd be willing to talk about what she's noticed. Let me know if you would like her screen name.

    Answer by Jambo4 at 2:52 PM on Jan. 4, 2011

  • If she comes to stay then I think you need to have a sit down the very first day, be prepared with all of your rules and the consequences for breaking them. Let her know that these are the house rules and that she must comply, that you want to keep her in your home and as part of your family, and you are willing to make changes to do that but she will also have to make changes. Maybe you can go over everything then and sit down again the next day and ask her for her feedback once she has had time to think it all over. Address any concerns she has, you don't have to negotiate but if she makes a good point about something address it- like if she doesn't want to babysit your kids that is something she should have a say in, but she can't disagree that curfew is 12:00 or whatever. And she probably needs a lot of love and to learn to have some self-respect so try to temper the tough love with some plain old love. (cont'd)

    Answer by MaryMW at 3:29 PM on Jan. 4, 2011

  • Because of the situation she is coming from you will probably need to have a lot of patience and you will need to be consistent. If it comes to a battle of wills you have to be prepared to play hard ball and win. Everyone has something they value- for teens it's usually tv, internet, social time, etc, so that is what you take away of ground her from as consequences for bad behavior. Be clear about your expectations from the get go, and try to keep her busy so there is less time and temptation for trouble. If you can find nice kids to introduce her to that can help, too, to get her in with a better crowd.

    You are a kind aunt to consider opening your home. I wish you good luck.

    Answer by MaryMW at 3:33 PM on Jan. 4, 2011

  • Set the rules early and stick to them. You have to be a hardass for a while until she can earn your trust. And tell her that.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 2:25 AM on Jan. 5, 2011

  • I think you answered your own question already ....... 1. How do I ground her? The same as you would you're own ...... no exceptions! 2. If you're kids have to do chores so does she. 3. Cell or no cell? She has to earn the privilege ..... or you give her one pre-paid and if she doesn't use it as she should take it away! 4. I won't allow Internet unless fully supervised. Great desicion! 5. She will be starting a new school in a different state and away from everything she knew so I would like her to get involved in some type of activity. Great desicion! 6. I guess my main concern is punishments....what works for a teen and what doesn't? How do you punish your own kids ...... same for her only tailored to age. 7. Should I buy padlocks for the doors? NO ....... there should be room for some trust and mess ups, otherwise she won't learn from it! 8. To get rid of alcohol might be an idea .... but I would lock it away!


    Answer by patricia67 at 7:20 AM on Jan. 5, 2011

  • I should also suggest the book...Get out of my life, but take me and Cheryl to the mall first. It is a very funny book about raising teens.

    Answer by salexander at 11:12 AM on Jan. 6, 2011

  • Let me tell you something, the rules we were raised on usually don't work for the kids these days. But, like others, have said, welcome her into your welcome, but sit down with her immeidately and expalin the rules of the house. Chores, OF COURSE. Allowance, every teenager wants some money to spend when they are with their friends. so I would start out small, may be something like 5-10 dollars a week, but do pay her (a small amount) for completing her chores. I know that alot of parents don't agree with this, but teenagers are having a hard time these days finding a job, so if her "job" is doing chores around the house, she should get paid for them. Cell Phone...start out with a pre-paid one, make her earn any extra minutes but you need to know if she does go out, that you can get a hold of her, especially since she is in a new town & be making new friends that you don't know...good luck!

    Answer by 9tigger at 9:23 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • i would take her in and give her a chance bc she is family..but i would sit her down the first day shes there one on one and let her know that your not going to put up with what shes been doing (the drinking,sneaking out,etc..) bc your the last person she has to help her and if she messes this up then she goes to foster care until shes 18yrs old..And hopefully a fresh start away from all the ppl shes been around drinking with etc... will do her some good and she will get on the right path...WISH YOU LUCK!!!! *HUGS*

    Answer by opalmama04 at 12:32 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

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