Another Teenager's Problems - Step Daughter

Australia
February 7, 2007 4:26pm CST
Hi everyone, my step daughter who is 18 will begin a bit of a holiday / retreat / repair with us tonight. Even her Dad is a bit nervous. She decided earlier that she would try to support herself out on her own. She lives aprroximately 1000 km away ( about 1 hour air flight). Her Dad was a bit apprehensive and I thought it was great because it was showing independence, some maturity all the popsitive things. Her Dad would ring her weekly to see how things are going. ( he also rings his other daughter weekly too she is 15). Anyway Miss 18 and Dad's weekly conversation has been topsy turvy as you would expect. The communications between my husband and his ex and been always abit hard difficult as his ex has not really listened to any advise or has been forthcoming with information regarding the girls until recently. We only new of a one time when Miss 18 was about to be evicted because she fell behind in the rent. So her Dad told her that we would bring her rent up to date and she could come and stay with us for a bit. Of course she said no. She then got a job and told her Dad that she would be fine. Not long later we find out she has anxiety attacks and was working spadmodically. To cut a long story short, she was evicted, her mother paid what was owed, we now are about to pay her mother 1200.00 for Miss 18's back rent and Miss 18 will now live with us. We know she has problems, and will try to gauge things daily. We probably need to get her help but also know we ca'nt do much if she doesn't want help. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciate even been able to read what others have been through. Thanks everyone who responds in advance
1 response
@Stringbean (1273)
• United States
7 Feb 07
Set some basic rules from the very beginning. If she understands that she is expected to do her part to help with household chores, to be in at a certain time each night, to let you know where she is, and to seek work or attend school, then you won't have these things popping up later to cause all kinds of problems. Anxiety attacks are distressing but not an excuse for anyone to let others take care of her problems. Treat her warmly and as you would your other children, but make sure she knows that you are not creating special circumstances just for her. When an 18-year-old tells you that they are old enough to make their own rules, it's time to remind them that they are then old enough to make their own way in the world. As long as you are supporting them and providing a roof over their heads, then you are in charge. (In that loving way I mentioned, of course.)
• Australia
7 Feb 07
Thanks, I agree . I also suspect there maybe lots more we don't know. My husband and I both agree anxiety attacks is one thing, but when it impedes on making your own way, then something has to be done. She and my Husbands other daughter have always been welcome, we actually asked them about 3 years ago if they might consider living with us. They wanted to and told there Mum who said yes in the beginning and then when they flew home to pick up their belongings she then said No.
@Bizziebod (3526)
8 Feb 07
Absolutely agree with what Stringbean has said, I have a 17 year old daughter, and we've had her ups and downs. Please treat her as an adult though, think how you would feel if you had your independance and then had to go back to live with your parents! Make sure she knows she is loved, try to talk to her on as an equal instead of a child and give her as much freedom as you can allow! Good luck with it all!