19 year old daughter trying to be independant

United States
August 15, 2008 10:38am CST
My daughter is 19. When she was 15 she moved to live with her father one town over. I accepted this because she has always been a daddy's girl and he is a very good father. However, she never really learned to cook or do some of the things that she would have lerned being with Mom. As soon as she graduated she moved about 45 minutes away where she got a job as a CNA and is going to school for her nursing degree. She moved in a boyfriend and although he works too and is going to be going to school this fall, he is very nieve just like her. I should mention that my daughter could have went to scholl and gotten just as good a job living either with her dad or I. She could have moved to an apartment closer, but No---- She moved 45 minutes away. The 2 of them are so nieve and young, they are constantly having problems like running out of gas, getting lost and not being able to fis this or that. Ex: last night she calls because the 2 of them are somwhere and her batter cable is loos and the car will not stop. I tell her that I cannot come there and she gets all upset. I try to tell her how to fix it and she all but refuses saying she has not tools, etc. Now a week earlier I told her it needed to be attended to immediatly,,but she did nothing. She gets off the phone and 30 minutes later calls again. This time I get very upset because I am at the ball park with my 2 younger kids and cannot leave, do not have the gas to go where she is and she refuses to try to fix it herself. After telling her to get a grip and grow up - I again tell her to wiggle the cable and have him to turn the key. I guess he just wouldn't do it.. who knows. They got the car started with my instructions over the phone finally. But the point is- I am upset that she chose to move that far away when she cannot take care of these things herself and expects mew or her Dad to come running up there at the drop of a hat. Gas prices are so high and my time is limited because I still have 2 young kids at home. Her Dad lives even farther away. We both work. She makes more than I do and her bf makes more than her and it is just putting a strain on her father and I that she cannot pay her bills without help from us and is so needy. If she were closer, maybe it would be alot less of an inconvience. I am not an overly protective parent that just wants her closer. I do love her! It might be nice to see her more ofen under better circumstance, but that is not why I tell her to move closer. I know she wants her independance. Am I wrong to feel this way???
4 people like this
14 responses
15 Aug 08
i think that your daughter knows that if she has a problem either you or your husband will bail her out of it. Im 22 and i have 2 children with my husband but when I was her age i believe the same thing. I think once you firmly let her know you cannot help her and that she needs to learn how to take care of herself that she will soon get it. Now that I am my age i understand how much my parents have helped me and appreciate them a lot more. She'll get it once shes behind on something really important and can get no help but it will also teach her to get it together. If she wants to be an adult she now has to act like one. Hope everything works out for the best
2 people like this
• United States
15 Aug 08
I appreciate your response. I have tried to tell her.. and she does ask less, but her less is still to much. lol
1 person likes this
@shooie (4989)
• United States
15 Aug 08
well said desireetoro I just finished responding then looked again and seen yours made it in before mine but kudo's to you.
@palonghorn (5486)
• United States
15 Aug 08
Sounds like it's time to let her learn some hard lessons. I have a 19 year old daughter also, at 18 she moved in with her boyfriend, at 19 she became a mother. She calls me several times a week, just to catch up and talk, I live 1600 miles away. I can say that she does know how to take care of her bills, and the only thing she has had cut off was her cell phone. She also knows how to do things for herself, one thing I taught both of my daughters, was how to be independent. It sounds like your daughter and her boyfriend should be able to pay their bills and not go without. I think you should start 'making' her do so. Don't bail her out, don't be there for her every need or call. She obviously wants to live on her own with her boyfriend, then she needs to learn how to do things for herself. She also doesn't seem to listen to your advice, so, stop giving it. And if she lived closer, I think it would just make her more dependent on you. Let them find out what happens when they don't pay their bills, let them figure some things out for themselves.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Aug 08
Good advise. Thank you. I feel that I did not get to put my final touches on being a mother since she went to live with her Dad at 15. I would have liked to teach her more independance and things that she needs to know like checking the oil in her car and cooking, etc... But, she probably would n ot have listened anymore then than she does now..LOL I think I just realized that. LOL Thank you for your response!
2 people like this
• United States
15 Aug 08
I don't think there is every that time when the 'final touches' are complete. lol I still call my mom all the time asking questions and I haven't lived at home since I was 19.
1 person likes this
@nicholejade (2430)
• Canada
15 Aug 08
NO you are not wrong for feeling this way. Your daughter needs to grow up if she wants to live on her own. And as far as I am concerned she hasn't. She wanted to move farther away and she can't expect the two of you to coming running everytime something goes wrong. She is very nieve and needs to work that out first. She shouldn't be asking you guys to pay her bills. She wanted to move and if you don't have the money to support yourself you shouldn't of moved out in the first place. She should of saved money before she moved but that was her choice. I think also they need to start budgeting their money as it sounds like they are not doing that as well. Another thing if they are having problems with the car they need to get it looked at ASAP. Most drivers don't even know the first thing about cars and alot of them shouldn't even own one. I am talking knowing the basics like filling up the gas tank, checking the oil and other fluids. Alot of people don't know how to do this and they should learn this before they get a licence. The sad truth is that they don't care to learn either. But there should be a course on before you receive your licence. Don't get yourself down on this. She will have to learn from her mistakes. You can't always go running to save her. She needs to grow up. And with her living on her own she better do it quick.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Aug 08
Thank you. You are right! Before I was allowed to take the car for the first time, my Dad made me show him that I knew how to check the oil and other fluids, tire pressure, tell what to do if it over heats, how to change a tire, etc... My first car was a 5 speed Ford Pinto with no 1st gear. I was lucky it had a seat to sit on and damn proud to have it. This girl has already been through 6 cars! I love her and I know it is hard for her to understand my grief with constantly having to help her. My older son never asked me for anything after he left home. I guess they are just 2 differant people. She is the only girl and I feel guilty for not being able to do all of these things for her, but I just can't. I know also in my heart that she has to learn. It is just hard to watch your child fail and suffer, even if it is to help them.
1 person likes this
@shooie (4989)
• United States
15 Aug 08
lol my dad was the same. Your daughter has gone through 6 cars? Did you guys buy them all? Hope not. Every car I owned I paid for. My mom and dad didn't have a lot of money. I had a real job at 16 in the summers when not at school. Before that at 13 I was help cleaning church ladies homes and getting paid. When parents bail their kids out of everything they basically cripple them for life.
• Canada
16 Aug 08
My god 6 cars. That is crazy and she is only 19? What does she do to them? I couldn't imagine going through all those cars. That's just crazy. I hope that you are not buying these cars for her though?
• China
15 Aug 08
ALL mothers in the world feel the samy way. I am now too young to have a kid.But i can imagine that.I did not make it to be independent until graduation from university.at first it was so hard for me myself to cook,or clean up, or stuff like that.but two years later, that is now, i can control my life basically myself.I mean, maybe what you and your daughter being through is a must experience for everybody. good luck for you and your daughter~~~
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Aug 08
Thank you. Good luck to you too!
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Aug 08
Every mother feels that way. But She is 19 years old a ADULT if you like it or not. Maybe you need to learn how to let go. I have lived with my mom all my life and guess what I dont know how to cook or anything and I am 20 myself. She is 45 min away not a big deal you can go see her anytime you want to and she can come see you. At least she didnt move out of state or something. You try making her saty home with you and go to school and all that you risk pushing her away and who would want to stay with there parents at 19 anways? I didnt and there are a lot of people who dont. The best thing I can tell you is get over it she is an adult now regardless if you like it or not so grow up and leave her alone. If she needs you just be a mom and be there for her.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Aug 08
I fully understand what you are saying. Like I said, I do not have a problem lettig her have her independance, huh. I have a problem with her choosing to put her self in a place that there is not one to help her and then constantly needing and asking for help. I want to be here for her, I love her! I am busy with my life still have 2 young children to raise and I cannot keep putting out money and running there when she calls all the time for little things that an ADULT needs to take care of on their own. I really do NOT want her to live in my house. I have a house full already! Letting go is not the issue for me really. Liek I said she has been out of my house hold since she was 15. I was asking shouldn't I let go more really? LOL I feel guilty for not running up there at her becon call, but it is becoming a huge burden that I cannot bare expense wise and time wise with the rest of my family here. Her Dad feels the same. We are divorced so he is not here at my house and she calls him constantly too.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Aug 08
Yeah, they really are naive. What I don't understand, you say she wants her independence, but what is so independent about calling your parents whenever something like that happens, instead of being independent about it and getting things fixed, bills paid, etc. Living on your own is not really independent- but managing each aspect on your own without those pleas for help, is indeed independent.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Aug 08
You are right! I guess that is just part of her inmaturity to not see it that way. I was 17 when I had my first child and married. I had not phone, now one to call and even if I had I would not have called them to let them know I was not doing damn fine. I never wanted my parents to have the cahnce to say I told you so.
1 person likes this
@checapricorn (16069)
• United States
16 Aug 08
Hi sweet, [i]You are not wrong..They need to learn and since they prefer that life, they have to handle it without expecting you and the father to be running and helping them anytime...They will not learn if that is the case! ANyway, they are both young really and will still learn about life..I hope day to day experiences will make them open about what life is![/i]
• United States
16 Aug 08
Me too! Thanks.
@shooie (4989)
• United States
15 Aug 08
There will be a time where you will have to say enough is enough and cut the strings and she will have to stand on her own. Sounds scarey and may be harsh for you. My husbands girls came to live with us were doing good in school and adjusted well. Their mom wanted them back and worked on two of the girls until we sent them home because that is where they wanted to be. Well the oldest turned 16 few years later dropped out of school and got prego. when she turned 18 and was whinning about needing help her dad made her stand on her own feet she made the path she was walking on. He told her he loved her and if she were in danger he would be there but she would have to pick hereself up and dig her way out of the mess she created. Well she got her GED she is married now and working and has another child and is 21 years old and they are buying their own home. Sad thing is yes they are our kids and will always be our babies but parents do hinder the growth of their kids when they bail them out of everything everytime. You said she makes more than you and here boyfriend makes more than her they have the money there should be No reason why they can not stand on their own and should be made to do so. Even the youngest of his kids is finally acting her age 16 instead of 10. Doing well in school. Oh btw the oldest the one that has the two kids and buying the house doesn't know how to cook ....lol her mom never took the time to teach them at a young age. My mom had me in the kitchen with her at the age of 8 stirring things and my dad would let me bake with him so yes I can cook and help her when I can.
• United States
16 Aug 08
My son can cook! We cooked to gether alot as he was growing up and the 2 younger ones love it too. I guess it is just her. lol Thank you for your commet.
@insulin (2483)
• Philippines
16 Aug 08
Well parents just always want the best for thier child..I know that you are just concern about her and I know how much you love her but I guess it's time for her to learn sometimes that just like that so that she will feel what is the feelin without the help of you or parents..Well I she decide to be independent,it means that she is ready to all the consequences that will come but yeah I know the feeling that It is difficult and sometimes we need help about it..:-0 But that just the part of life,having difficulties and problems that will really challenge you..:-0 I myself want to be independent but my mother said that just tell me if your really ready and you can support yourself then I will let you..:-0 I know that parents just want thier child to live a good life..:-0 Well it's nice that my mom trained me already about all the working stuff in the house that one day I need to do..:-0 God bless and have a nice day..;-0
• India
16 Aug 08
In my view you should not feed so. let her take her decisions independently. as she is an adult and you should not interfere in her decisions much. She can judge her good or bad herself.
@roanne05 (1292)
• Oman
16 Aug 08
i am not a parent but i see your point...independence comes with responsibility...and a big one at it! just let her learn her lesson the hard way...
@redchase (347)
16 Aug 08
i think this has nothing to do with your daughter being naive but more with your daughter being irresponsible. if she makes that much money and isnt living on her own, where the hell is all that money going that she cant pay her bills? what in the world does she spend it on. you need to let her stand on her own two feet and learn that she has to take care of herself. im 20 and im still living with my mom because she told me a long time ago, if i ever wanted to move away that i could but i just had to be sure that i could because once i set foot outside the house i was on my own. she wasnt going to be there to help me, she was going to let me live my life however i could, but if in the situation that i was wrong and i couldnt live on my own and needed her help in paying bills or anything, my home would be under her jurisdiction. this means that she would have a key to my place, would be able to come and go as she pleased, she would regulate hours of visits, make sure chores were done and even kick people out if she didnt want them there. now, my mom is a very serious woman when it comes to things like that, so im trying to make sure that i have everything i need so that i dont fail on my own. the whole reason to live on your own is to grow and become more independent and if my mom is basically living in my house, thats not really happening. so you have to tell your daughter that shes a grown up now and she should start acting like it. she isnt playing pretend anymore so she needs to get with the program.
• China
16 Aug 08
at least, in china, it's impossible. it's good for child growing.
@vanities (11343)
• Davao, Philippines
16 Aug 08
i think its a normal feeling for mom's to felt that way..coz im too is very protective to my children..i had a daughter who is working 1.5 hours travel by plane and 3 days by ship or bus...she shows to me that she really can live indenpendently and deserving to be so..and i guess she is doing just fine..and shes 25 years old..compared to yours...well i guess your daughter will learn from every difficulties and naivety ...for your daughter its practically a new experience for her and as a mom you must support her always...and in the long run she will be fine..