Problems with my 17 year old daughter


#1

Hello all. I'm new to this site and I'm seeking not only fellowship guidance, but spiritual guidance as well. Recently, my daughter ran out of the house and decided to live with my wife's mother.

The other day, my wife's mother confronted my wife about talking to the doctor and putting my daughter on birth control. I have a severe problem with this, not only as a father but as a Catholic.

My wife is almost leaning towards agreeing to birth control. I don't know what to do. Can any of y'all help me, please?


#2

Is your daughter sexually active or is Grandma just convinced that she will be because "all kids do it" so better safe than sorry?


#3

First of all, she’s your daughter and your MIL has no right to attend to your daughter’s health concerns without your permission.

I don’t reallly know what to tell you about your daughter but if she is having sex already then some intervention is needed. I would talk to your priest and better yet, you daughter should go with you.


#4

i hope i can help, since your her father, she should be listening to u, she should not be having sex. Birth control does not make it right, tell her to wait till marriage, well actually if someone is getting married to just have sex, thats sad. The last thing on a persons mind when they truly love somebody is sex, there number one goal should be making that person happy,
Remember In Genesis when God killed Onin(think thats his name) for spilling his seed?
Birth control, contraception are all wrong. i just recently joined this site to, so im new to it and not really familiar with how all the features work such as sending messages, etc
i would be more than happy to talk to u over the phone, about this topic. God Bless


#5

[quote="TXRednexican, post:1, topic:238919"]
Hello all. I'm new to this site and I'm seeking not only fellowship guidance, but spiritual guidance as well. Recently, my daughter ran out of the house and decided to live with my wife's mother.

The other day, my wife's mother confronted my wife about talking to the doctor and putting my daughter on birth control. I have a severe problem with this, not only as a father but as a Catholic.

My wife is almost leaning towards agreeing to birth control. I don't know what to do. Can any of y'all help me, please?

[/quote]

Do you know why your daughter felt it imperative to move in with her grandmother?

It's difficult to decide what to do in this situation until you get answers to this question first. Were I you, and I'm not, I'd start by posing this question to your daughter as calmly as you can and really listening to her answer. You might have to have more than one conversation with her before she'll open up.Once you can get at the true reason she's living with her grandmother, you can your wife can move on from there.


#6

First of all, I would like to thank you for all of your replies and concerns. It helps me greatly knowing that there's a community willing to help me.

To answer some of your questions, I do not know if my daughter is sexually active or not. She stopped communicating to me a few months ago. Now, she will not even acknowledge me or speak to me at all. It saddens me greatly that she has chosen to do this.

Secondly, I believe she ran off to her grandmother's place because her grandmother has no rules whatsoever. I do not allow my children to have facebook profiles, cell phones etc. As, I feel it exposes them greatly to things that they shouldn't be exposed to. However, within the week that she has been staying there, she has opened a facebook account and now has a cellphone. She is also hanging around a boy. Whom, I think she has been hanging around for awhile. I just recently stumbled across some photos that her and the boy took, which apparently took place in our house, when my wife and I were not present. I feel disrespected and betrayed by this.

If I could take her to the priest myself and talk to him about it, believe me, I would. However, she wants nothing to do with me. My wife's mother does not like me. Namely because I'm Hispanic and Catholic. So, I'm sure that my daughter feeds into that and has lied about me to her.

I hope this answers any of the questions. Thanks guys. It's really nice to have dialogue about this with fellow Catholics. I can't express to you how great it feels.


#7

I'm afraid I don't have much advice to give, but as a person close to her age, I just wanted to say that when parents lock down on technology (though I'm sure you have very good reasons for doing so), the kids tend to rebel more. I've found that the kids are more cooperative when you allow them the gadgets, but limit them. It's more effective too, and helps build that trust that's so important in the relationship :)

I'm sorry I don't have anything really helpful! God Bless you sir, and I'll be keeping your daughter and your family in my prayers.


#8

[quote="4everjustjesus, post:7, topic:238919"]
I'm afraid I don't have much advice to give, but as a person close to her age, I just wanted to say that when parents lock down on technology (though I'm sure you have very good reasons for doing so), the kids tend to rebel more. I've found that the kids are more cooperative when you allow them the gadgets, but limit them. It's more effective too, and helps build that trust that's so important in the relationship :)

I'm sorry I don't have anything really helpful! God Bless you sir, and I'll be keeping your daughter and your family in my prayers.

[/quote]

I was going to say something along the same lines.

Teenagers want some sort of independence, and I think that too many restrictions will cause them to go crazy when they leave the house (example: frat parties and drunk college students).

My parents would have never said yes to Facebook, but I don't see why cell-phones should be a problem as long as the privilege isn't abused. Of course, different families have different rules but the important thing is that everyone respects those rules (including the parents).

I don't really have too much insight, other than that, not really being a parent. My recommendation would be against birth control, for medical as well as religious reasons. I have quite a few friends that are doctors, and I've heard too many stories about complications that "only happen to 1% of users" (which doesn't mean much when that's you) and about doctors who push birth control without really giving patients a good look at the side effects.

God bless!


#9

[quote="PeaceSerenity, post:8, topic:238919"]
I was going to say something along the same lines.

Teenagers want some sort of independence, and I think that too many restrictions will cause them to go crazy when they leave the house (example: frat parties and drunk college students).

My parents would have never said yes to Facebook, but I don't see why cell-phones should be a problem as long as the privilege isn't abused. Of course, different families have different rules but the important thing is that everyone respects those rules (including the parents).

I don't really have too much insight, other than that, not really being a parent. My recommendation would be against birth control, for medical as well as religious reasons. I have quite a few friends that are doctors, and I've heard too many stories about complications that "only happen to 1% of users" (which doesn't mean much when that's you) and about doctors who push birth control without really giving patients a good look at the side effects.

God bless!

[/quote]

I fully understand the insight on the cellphones and what not. However, if I don't have a cell phone, my wife doesn't either, then why should I commit myself to a contract just for my teenagers who aren't even driving? I can't see the rationalization with it, to be honest. I have no problems if they get jobs, and get their own cell phones. But, I have a problem with paying for a service, that I, or my wife, don't use. Just to appease their childish whims.


#10

[quote="TXRednexican, post:1, topic:238919"]
Hello all. I'm new to this site and I'm seeking not only fellowship guidance, but spiritual guidance as well. Recently, my daughter ran out of the house and decided to live with my wife's mother.

The other day, my wife's mother confronted my wife about talking to the doctor and putting my daughter on birth control. I have a severe problem with this, not only as a father but as a Catholic.

My wife is almost leaning towards agreeing to birth control. I don't know what to do. Can any of y'all help me, please?

[/quote]

she is a minor and the custodial parent should be making these decisions. Unless the grandmother is the legal guardian she should butt out. If the daughter is sexually active you have a much bigger immediate problem.


#11

What is going on in the home and your relationship that she clearly not living with you anymore?? That is what I think needs to be addressed first!

Your daughter may have told Grandma more what is going on in her life then she is telling you. While I may NOT advocating putting a teenager on BC you need to work on the line of communications, share your thoughts and beliefs, and put your relationship back together. Considering she isnt that far away from 18 you have a small window to work in. Good luck!


#12

I’m not one to tell other parents how to be a parent but I think the source of at least some of the problem is that cutting a kid completely off of facebook and cellphones. These days these are two very much used social interaction tools for kids and can lead to her being quite isolated from other kids socially.

Not that I think kids should have free reign, but perhaps access to facbook with restrictions and a cell phone if she will work for it would ease some of these issues?

Again, not telling you how to parent because I can see why you are weary of Facebook and why you don’t think you should pay for the a cellphone.


#13

[quote="puzzleannie, post:10, topic:238919"]
she is a minor and the custodial parent should be making these decisions. Unless the grandmother is the legal guardian she should butt out.

[/quote]

Were the girl younger, say 14 or 15, I'd 100% agree; however, she's going to be an adult less than a year, so the whole issue of legal guardianship is pretty much a moot point now. And I suspect that if the parents do nothing more than stand up for their custodial rights, they're only going to further alienate their daughter. It's like when a girl dates the "wrong guy" - the more the parents object and forbid, the more the girl is determined to be with the dude. In this case, the daughter might thoroughly dig her heels in if the parents try to make grandma butt out or force her back into their home.


#14

The two main issues here are not the cell phone and facebook restrictions. They are the temper tantrum from the child (leaving home? really? maybe acting more responsible would be a faster route...) and the non support from the wife.

I am not sure what you can do about it since she is 17 and can legally leave home very soon. How much time do you have? Is she just turning 17 or almost 18?


#15

You haven't just gone and picked her up and brought her back home? I would have. She may be 17 but she is still a minor.

I have a 21 year old daughter myself.


#16

[quote="TXRednexican, post:9, topic:238919"]
I fully understand the insight on the cellphones and what not. However, if I don't have a cell phone, my wife doesn't either, then why should I commit myself to a contract just for my teenagers who aren't even driving? I can't see the rationalization with it, to be honest. I have no problems if they get jobs, and get their own cell phones. But, I have a problem with paying for a service, that I, or my wife, don't use. Just to appease their childish whims.

[/quote]

Well, I hate to tell you this but it is 3 against 1 right now. Your wife, her mother, and your daughter are all siding against you, and you are not going to win this one. It is heartbreaking to see your daughter run away to her grandmother and it should not happen, that grandma would interfere like that, but in your case, what can you do?

You can't just go and drag her back home, not without your wife's support and your MIL's cooperation.

Do you have younger children? In that case, you really must address this or they will watch the whole thing and "learn" that they can get between dad and mom and get what they want from mom. You need to sit down with your wife (is she Catholic?) and get all of this out on the table - what you expect from your kids as they become teens, what about dating, what about sex, etc. and find out if you can agree on anything. If not, there is a lot of trouble ahead. Your kids will all rebel against you if your wife is subtly undermining your discipline.

Do not change your standards though. Tell your daughter that she needs to come home and work these things out with her mother and you, not run away to her grandmother. Tell her that you will listen to her POV and try to make adjustments where you can. The facebook account can be provisional, and you can make sure she friends you, so you can see everything she does on that. I would go halves on a cell phone but tell her you get to check her texts and phone calls at random, no erasing them or she doesn't have the phone.

You see, right now you have no carrots, only sticks. Technology in moderation can be a great incentive to behave well.


#17

My children are all young, so I don't have any experience of these difficulties, but I do think about what I'd do in the situation. I know that until I am in the middle of it, any reasoning and planning is only hypothetical. NOW, to what I think:

I don't know what you can do to encourage your daughter to come home. I imagine there probably isn't anything you really can do, except to make sure she knows that you love her and accept her and when she's ready, she has a home with you.

Pray for her constantly, and don't stop, don't ever give up hope - God works in mysterious ways and can change the heart of even the worst sinner. Also don't compromise yourself for the sake of winning her over. Your first priority is to save your own soul. Therefore you can't back down and give her the birth control, no matter what the consequences.

It's terrible that your mother in law is so against you, and that she has more influence in this matter than she is entitled to. I don't know what to do about that, except to say that you should love her and pray for her. Accept the 'persecution' from her and offer it to God for her salvation. Make her salvation your special mission - I'm sure God specifically wants us to accept and love the "unlovables" that he sends into our lives (I have my own to deal with).

As for the phones and technology, my parents were strict with me, and I hated it, but I could see what they were trying to do. I did things behind their backs sometimes, but never really rebelled. Different circumstances, different people. My own idea about the phones is that when my kids can afford to own one, they can have one. Facebook, I don't know. Haven't thought about it yet.


#18

I'm in no position to give advise, i will however pray for you, for strength, patience and wisdom.
God bless

jesus g


#19

[quote="HouseArrest, post:14, topic:238919"]
The two main issues here are not the cell phone and facebook restrictions. They are the temper tantrum from the child (leaving home? really? maybe acting more responsible would be a faster route...) and the non support from the wife.

I am not sure what you can do about it since she is 17 and can legally leave home very soon. How much time do you have? Is she just turning 17 or almost 18?

[/quote]

Thank you. I think the main reason she split, is mainly because she is involved with this boy now. She wants to live in a place without rules, and under my roof, that simply won't happen. She's 17 now, (will be 18 next Feb), so legally she's old enough to be emancipated. I've tried calling the cops and seeing if they would get involved, but they won't. As I know where she's staying at. It's just a mess.


#20

Your primary problem is with your MIL and your wife. That has to be fixed because that's enabling your daughter's actions.

That your mother-in-law is willing to get between parents and their child. Advice, I can understand, but kidnapping your daughter and keeping her from you?
- I know folks will go through all kinds of rationalizations but they're B.S. (If she didn't move in with gma she'd move in with boy, she's safe with gma-- not one willing to enable sexual activity vice discourage !!...)

And then your wife isn't completely livid with her mother. Really, her mom is interfering with her family in this way, her relationship with HER DAUGHTER and HER HUSBAND!! And your wife isn't foaming at the mouth ready to drag MIL into court at a minimum? The fact your MIL is undercutting your wife with her family. Has her mom always done this, always undermined and undercut you both, manipulated family members against each other?

First, you need to sit down with your wife and talk about your goals as parents. What you both think is best for your daughter. Approach to tech, boys, etc. Obviously, she's far too immature to even be seeing anyone as a friend, she shouldn't be dating at all, much less be contemplating having BC on hand. We all know that stuff fails, is gma gonna take over there too? Help raise a child with a single mom granddaughter? You and your wife need to be united in your approach.

Second, you and wife go over and sit down with gma and the daughter and lay it out. You know the personalities, but I'd lean towards:
- You come home and live by the rules. You want a phone, get off you hindquarters and get a job and stop whining.
- Gma, you knock off interfering in our family or that's the end of it. You will no longer be welcome in our home. Done, your choice. Advise the kids, talk to the kids is one thing. Shelter them as a runaway, different matter entirely.
- Explain to daughter she's an immature mess as evidenced by all this. Not mature enough to discuss things with you, running away and hiding behind gma. Not ready for boys at all. If she were ready, she'd have dragged the boy over to meet you not hid him. Is she ashamed of him? Says a lot about her opinion of the boy.

  • Tell her through her life you've tried to shelter her from harm. Not touch hot stoves etc. This path leads to nothing good and she's gonna get burned, emotionally, spiritually, financially in the long run. Your rules, like God's, are to keep her safe not to spoil her fun.

  • Finally, if she doesn't agree to come home, tell her you'll pack her stuff (not a bunch of stuff you paid for that she considers hers- blow dryers, computer, lamps, furniture etc-- but her actual stuff) and put it on the porch for her to pick up.

I'd recommend reading the story of the prodigal son, then praying and meditating over it. Depending on which path your daughter chooses, she may have a few rough years and then decide to reconcile- be ready.


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