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2 Bumps

Not my responsibility to keep her out of trouble?

My Fiance' and I are 29 and 30, ready at this point in our lives to settle down and spend more time at home and with family rather than going out. His 14 year old sister moved in with us 2 weeks ago and will be here through the summer (long story short, her home life with her mom is not ideal, and this is a better situation for her). I was excited for her to come and for us to do things together. It's been a nightmare so far.
She skips school, leaves a mess, sneaks out at night and then waltzes through the door in the morning like nothing, and has a bottle of vodka under her bed that her friend and her were drinking. Then gets horribly defensive and cops a attitude even you even try and talk to her about it. My fiance' thinks it's a phase and will go away soon. I don't know what to think as I've never dealt with this before. He says it's not our place to make rules and consequences foe her. Okay so I know it's not MY PLACE to do that, but am trying to make him see that it is HIS place to do so. Especially when she's living in OUR home, I feel partly responsible what she does because of this and it makes me uncomfortable. He's 15 years older than his sister so I think he's just trying to be the cool older sibling and act nonchalant about it all even though I know he cares what happens to her.
My question is: Am I totally off base here expecting him to exert some type of authority in this situation? Is he right, it's not his or our place to keep her in check? I am looking for some advice on how to handle this because it's quickly getting out of control and I'm lost here!

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WishyClarkson

Asked by WishyClarkson at 12:39 PM on May. 3, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 9 (305 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • Hell no. My daughter is 14 and that would NOT be tolorated in my home. Its your house too, step up.
    emmyandlisa

    Answer by emmyandlisa at 12:42 PM on May. 3, 2011

  • Thats not just a faze. If shes starting all of that at that age then thats the life style she wants and it needs to change before drugs and everything else get involved. And considering it is your house then IT IS your place to say what is and is not okay in your house. You have to let her know that if shes gonna live there then things need to change because shes bringing a bad name into your own household by letting her do that.
    campbellb3421

    Answer by campbellb3421 at 12:43 PM on May. 3, 2011

  • Actually, it is, or can be your responsibility. But is should be both of you who stand together on this. I have a friend who took in her nieces, and you'd better believe she and her fiance set down some rules before the girls even got there! As long as she is living under your roof, she must obey your rules... period. He isn't doing her any good by playing the cool older brother. If he wants her to be safe, and to have a chance in life, then he'd better step up and take control of the situation.

    I would try to sit down and explain to him that somebody needs to control her, and since she's living with you guys, it up to you two to help her through this. Otherwise, she might end up in a bad situation, and he doesn't want that, I'm sure.
    anime_mom619

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 12:46 PM on May. 3, 2011

  • She is a child and you guys are the adults and her authorities. My oldest dd and youngest dd are 15 yrs apart. My oldest dd is a mom herself and when she watched her sister whose now 6 yrs old you better believe she has the right and authority to punish her in her home. I dont give many people that authority over my kids, but with the age difference it has to be there. Of course I dont spank, my dd does, but she wont spank her sister but she does have rules she expects to be followed. She is an adult and wont be undermined in her own home.
    I can kinda get your husband might want this time to bond more with her. My oldest complains about that with her little sis. But you still have to have a relationship of respect and seems to me his sister doesnt have any for him or you. She is testing you. Lay down the law.
    gemgem

    Answer by gemgem at 12:47 PM on May. 3, 2011

  • lmao you poor thing... you've got a teenager in your house.
    that's like being dropped headfirst into the toughest part of parenting (my kids are still little but i know i was my worst as teen).

    moving past my amusement at your expense (sorry- not laughing at you, laughing at how much it sucks), i'd say that is YOUR house, and he needs to get on board because if he really cares about her he'll come to understand that she's lookin like she's going down a bad path and needs structure. yes she'll cop an attitude- she's a teenager. yes she'll think he's not a cool brother, but there ARE worse possible end results for the way she's acting. you guys are the acting parents in this situation, so sit him down and tell him how it's going to be. look up ways to deal with teens online or from this site, talk to your fiance, then both of you or just him or however you want, talk to her. she may not like it but it's not up to her.
    Mrs.L.Mita

    Answer by Mrs.L.Mita at 12:50 PM on May. 3, 2011

  • this is probably why her mom was having some issues with her. ( either thats where she has learned this from or they fight b/c of it). PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN. It is his job to stand by you in this. (since he wont stand up) YOU cannot allow this in your home. Although you arent the ones providing her with the bottle, you both can be charged with contributing to a minor ( by allowing it) Sneaking out, walking in in the am... thats just wrong on all levels and disrespectful of your home. YOU both can get CPS/DSS called on you for HER NOT ATTENDING SCHOOL!!!! If she is not willing to follow the rules in the house then call the cops, report the bottle, the skipping, the sneaking out, etc.... JUVI doesnt sound too far off for her. Mouthing towards you??? NOPE..... she'd have chores, yard chores, house chores, no phone, tv, radio, no friends over, no going anywhere. SHE'D have to earn it back.
    Nail her window shut...
    kkbird

    Answer by kkbird at 12:54 PM on May. 3, 2011

  • If she lives with you she is your responsibility because she is a minor. No drinking drugs etc. should be allowed. She is drinking to escape the stresses of her life. She is learning this is how you cope with life. It's not going to get better and without help she will do this the rest of her life. maybe you could help her find different coping strategies. Good luck.
    emzmom568

    Answer by emzmom568 at 12:55 PM on May. 3, 2011

  • Ok, YOU choose to take her in. If you didnt know, it is NORMAL for a teenager to snack, want to skip school and question authority. It scares me that you think otherwise! If you find vodka, Pour it out. If you guys cant handle her, she has other family, Grandparents, Aunt/Uncle, cousins, father or if all else fails foster home. Your BF needs to sit down with her and explain his rules of his house. If she doesnt want to change then he can bring up putting her in a foster home. I bet that would shape her right up. If she skips school again, have him threaten to call the police and have her arrested. This really isnt your problem. It is HIS sister. I would never try to run the show with my husbands sister. Maybe rethink your relationship with him. Talk with him, Tell him your feelings. If he chooses not to listen, then why stay with him?
    surfgrl60

    Answer by surfgrl60 at 12:56 PM on May. 3, 2011

  • put double sided deadbolts on the door, where it takes a key to lock and unlock from the inside too..... and IF she sneaks out AGAIN after that...... refuse to let her back in. PERIOD!!!!. She can go back to her moms and act like a wild child if she wants, otherwise she follows rules at your house and gets her shit straight. 14 yrs old,,,,, a yr or 2 later and she's gonna be lost in the system, strung out on drugs or pregnant and uneducated. Good luck to you.
    kkbird

    Answer by kkbird at 12:58 PM on May. 3, 2011

  • First off let me say how brave and cool I think you guys are being. A 14-year-old girl is comparable to a tornado - unpredictable, unstable and very, very messy! LOL. Now: you have every right to say something - it is your house, too. I would approach my fiance first and let him know that no good could come from the present course - something has to change. it's about RESPECT, both for you guys and herself. Then, both of you need to sit her down and just tell her that she can't disrespect your house by drinking in it, skipping school, sneaking out, etc....maybe approach it in a way that isn't so bossy or parental. But you ARE the adults and that necessitates some form of authority - like it or not.
    BryRon

    Answer by BryRon at 1:01 PM on May. 3, 2011

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