Unmarried 17 yr. old daughter pregnant


#1

I am at my wit’s end and don’t know where to turn. My daughter is pregnant and while we have not abandoned her, she will not conform to the house rules. She gets angry and swears at us and leaves the house for a day or two and then wants to come back when she has nowhere to sleep. She disrupts the home constantly. She fights with her brother (age 12), has no plan for her future, has quit school, and expects us to foot the bill for everything. She has even blamed me for her being pregnant because I had her!
She says it’s my responsibility to take care of her because I’m her mother. I’ve told her that she is the mother now and has to start thinking of her child. I get screamed at when I suggest adoption. She is very irrational and that could partly be the hormones but I don’t know how much longer I can hold up.
She is completely selfish and unwilling to help out around the house. Wants to do nothing more than lay around the house all day.
She was raised in a Catholic home and everything she is doing is contrary to what she has been taught.
At this point I guess I’m venting as I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. I’ve raised 5 children and don’t want to raise another one which is what will happen if she stays here.
Any sage advice?


#2

Sit down with her and your dh and tell her the house rules and what you expect out of her and then if she still wants to break the rules etc. change the locks the next time she runs away?
Or perhaps put her in an unwed mothers home where she can get the counseling she needs and then the support etc.


#3

Thank you for answering. Every time she runs out, I swear I won’t let her come back but then I go soft. (Her older brother (26) says, “Mom, I love you but you’re a big marshmallow.”) I know I need to be firm but how do I kick her out being pregnant? I am concerned for her baby. I have made sure that she’s getting prenatal care.
I’ve thought about an unwed mother’s home but how do I make her go? She’ll just run away again.
In my more rational moments, I know that I have absulutely no control over the situation and am not at fault. It is her problem and if she thinks she is old enough to be an adult, then she has to pay the consequences.
It seems that all I do all day is repeat, “God, I don’t know what to do. Please tell me what to do.”


#4

well it would seem that your son has you pegged…your too soft.
yes you are concerned, she is your child…but you need to be the parent and take control of the situation if she will not!
as to the unwed mothers home…call them and see what they can do to help you or perhaps if they can not help you they can direct you in a direction.


#5

I know you’re right. I need to take control. My DH and I are constantly verbally abused by this kid and try not to reduce it to a shouting match. This is the hardest thing we’ve ever had to deal with and sometimes it just gets to be too much.
I am going to talk to her about an unwed mother’s home today. Maybe they can help her realize her responsibilities.
Thank you, Karin.


#6

Oh, Moira, my heart aches for you. The only thing I can say is sometimes it takes tough love to turn a child around. It sounds like she is rebeling at everything. You are certainly within your rights to expect better behavior while she lives under your roof and you and your husband are footing the bills.

I wonder if some counselling would help? Perhaps it would be good for her to talk to someone by herself and then have you and your husband involved. It would be good if a counseller could find out why she is behaving the way she is. I think sometimes kids feel so bad about themselves that they think “why try?”

I wish I had better advice. But I will certainly remember you and your family in my prayers. Oh, and I think your son might be right. Your daughter needs to learn that actions have consequences.


#7

Please don’t kick her out without a plan. She is carrying an innocent baby inside of her who, by no fault of his own, is also subject to the whims of your daughter. If she can’t come home and isn’t placed somewhere to help her deal with this situation appropriately, she may be led into choosing things which will harm not only herself but also her baby.

Do you have Birthright in your state? Can you call your family doctor and/or priest to get some referrals as to how to deal with this situation and where to turn for advice, aid and counseling?

You need help dealing with this. Please seek out help for both of you.


#8

This one hits kinda close to home… my Dad (78) and his SO (47 :eek: ) have been battling with her 17yo son.

I don’t want to hi-jack this thread, but I do want to tell a story here about how important it is for both YOU & YOUR DAUGHTER to get some help…NOW. You can’t make this stuff up. There are no embellishments here.

Don’t know about your situation, but he fell in with the “wrong” crowd, got into drugs & booze, and trouble with the law. He’s been kicked out of (or escaped from) EVERY youth re-hab program in our area and the surrounding counties. Stolen a car, gotten nabbed for possession, and has a quite substantial rap-sheet with the authorities. He’s now a father, with an 17yo gal. No job, and thinks the world owes him everything.
His mother’s hands are tied. He can do anything he wants, up to and including making false statements of abuse, threats, and physical harm, come and go as he pleases, not show up for days, and just walk in when he wants to.

Know why?? The legal system. He is a minor, and knows it:

“Lock me out, I’ll call the cops - you have to let me in.”
“You even poke a finger at me I’ll call the cops - that’s assault.”
“You verbally assaulted me, I’m calling my case-worker”.

My Dad spent the night in lockup because of this very thing. The punk shows up after a 3-day jag, breezes through the door into the kitchen. He SHOVES my Dad away from the 'fridge and starts rummaging. My Dad (showing incredible self-control) grabs him on the shoulder and turns him around (face to face) and asks “Where the H*ll you been for the last three days??”

The reply: “You can’t F’ing touch me old man, that’s assault… get your hands off me” and the kid throws a punch… he was wearing a ring and cut Dads eyebrow (three stitches worth).

My Dad figures enough is enough and *dropped this punk where he stood :clapping: *. What he didn’t know is the little sister is on the phone calling 911.

Who gets hauled out of the house in cuffs & bleeding? Dad. Who’s charged with assault? Dad.
Who spends a night in lockup with $500 bail? Dad
Who has to serve 40 hours community service & 1 year probation? Dad.

This is a 78 year old man - taking care of business that was LONG overdue with a punk kid - the way my Grandfather would have, or I.

They are counting the days. It’s about 3-1/2 weeks until his 18th birthday. At midnight they are moving his stuff to the curb and changing the locks. If he breaks in he is at risk of being shot or Louisville Slugger’d - he is a burglar from that moment forward.

I sincerely hope you don’t have to go through this kind of torture with your belligerent teen. Trust me on this, they KNOW the system and will USE it.


#9

And tough love is what I know she needs. But it’s so hard to emotionally detach from your child. Pray I have the strength to do that.
Sometimes I just want to crawl in a hole.
She has talked to counselors at school when she attended and it all comes back to her blaming me for all of her problems. (An on campus police officer that she’s talked to (and lied to about me and told him what a horrible home life she has), has told her, “You can’t fool me anymore. I’ve met your mother.”) I’m tired of taking the blame. She is totally old enough to be responsible for her own actions.


#10

If she is only 17, you still have legal power over her and could theoretically “lock her up” to make sure she doesn’t run away or do anything to endanger the baby. That may sound harsh, but there are literally places where parents can give permission to have their children kept in and guarded from escape. Some do a better job at preventing escape than others.

A pregnancy center might be able to direct you to one for pregnant teens…but I know such camps, homes, boarding schools, and hospitals exist for kids with drug problems, suicidal tendancies, and anorexia…and I’m sure there are plenty for pregnant teens too, of varying levels of security depending on your needs.


#11

This kind of thing has happened to us, too. She is a minor & I’m
responsible for her but I have no say so in what she does with her child since she is the baby’s legal guardian.


#12

You really have to try to exhaust all your option. Contact the Catholic Charities in your diocese first thing tomorrow morning. They are equiped to counsel your daughter not only for her anger but also for her pregnancy. Your daughter may also have a psychological or mood disorder that may have been minor, but that the pregnancy may have brought out in a major troubling way. I have bipolar family and when the women were pregnant, they acted very similar to how you described your daughter. The issues may be deeper than your family realizes. Don’t abandon her in her time of need. Also, if you’d like, you can pm me and I’ll give you my information if your daughter would be interested to know what to expect (I’m a single mother, and adoptee, have cousins who’ve placed their children for adoption, have a sil dealing with pregnancy and her bipolar issues currently). It may not help, but if she would be interested, I’m always willing to lend an ear(eyes).


#13

I can’t imagine the feelings you must be grappling with right now, but I do want say, don’t kick her out!

She is pregnant right now, which, unless it was a one-time teen weakness, means she has an unreliable mate. She is 17 which means her friends aren’t anymore capable of caring for her than herself. I bet she has no savings? No money? Does she even have a job?

She is hormonal right now, having serious issues, rebelling and disrespecting you and your home. But what would you do? Toss her on the streets? There are centers and shelters that offer help. I volunteer for one that requires the girl to sign a contract. She has to get a job, take classes, do chores, learn how to care for herself and the baby, learn how to make resumes, etc.

But if she is running away now, what good is it to pass her onto to a center that can’t keep her locked up anymore than you?

What is behind the issues? Why is she running away? What do you mean by breaking the house rules? Is she staying out late? Hanging out with a crowd?

Have you suggested therapy for her? Counseling? What is your attitude to her baby?


#14

She wanted me to kick her out before she became pregnant because she is a rebellious teen and wanted to do things her way. I didn’t kick her out so she got pregnant on purpose so I would. I didn’t then either so she left on her own for 2 months until she couldn’t stand the place where she was living.

My ‘house rules’ are simple. She has to go to school, get a job and make some effort to be responsible, help around the house, clean up after herself, stop swearing at us when she doesn’t get an answer she likes, etc… You know, normal house rules.

My attitude towards her baby is that it is my grandchild but I want to see a good life for it. I don’t think that she can give a baby what it needs at this point in her life. She refuses to consider adoption. And I am not able to raise another child. Physically, mentally or emotionally. I have raised 5 children, I have a job, a husband and one child still at home (12 yr. old son) and am not willing to drop everything to raise another one. Some might think that is selfish of me, but where do you draw the line?


#15

I don’t understand? There must be more going on here. If she wants out of the house, why not just leave? What is this mental semantic of wanting you to kick her out?

Or are you using a figurative description? “Wanted me to kick her out” meaning she was acting wrongfully or “asking for it”?

Sounds like there are other issues in the family dynamic that need to be resolved before the baby comes along.

Also, why must you raise the child? Twice I see a reference of adoption, and twice you say she has refused it. Is there some co-dependency going on here and maybe a bit of a refusal to allow her to have the baby as hers? (Assumption: baby is an extension of her body which is an extension of your body?)

Definitely a situation where outside help would be beneficial. Much is going on here and unless something changes neither she and her baby or you are going to be happy.


#16

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. First of all, you and your husband need to grow some thick skin. Start calling maternity homes in your area, (preferablily two hours or more away would be good). She is out partying…that is what she is doing. Think of the child, and what she may be taking. Think of the bABY only, that is how you will keep your sanity. What is best fot the BABY is what IS best. You and your DH are in NO WAY obligated emotionally or otherwise to raise another child. Stand firm on that one. After you have contacted several homes, ask one of their counselors if they are willing to come to your home to speak with you and your husband. I did, a counselor came, so it can be done. Don’t tell your daughter or she will make sure she isn’t around. If by some miracle she agrees to visit a home, and purposely botches the interiview where they don’t want her…then you kick her out. Yes, I have don’t that. You will cry, you will lose sleep…you will be a zombie. But your daughter will eventually come home, because she has it in her head, that you and your DH have raised her right. Sleeping on sofas and going from friend to friend until she exhausts them all will be the last straw. As long you and your DH do not remain united, she wins, the baby loses. Remind her that she is a minor and YOU are her legal guardian and do everything in your power to get her to a home. If she says, “I’m keeping the baby, say…Ok, but not in this house.” Let her know the name of the nearest welfare agency and take her on a ride through subsidized housing. She’ll get educated real fast. Sounds like a little princess to me. Go with that. She likes her home, it’s her refuge. Take it from her, and she will come to you. Let her know that if she chooses to live on welfare, that DSS will be monitoring her closely as to the care of the child and can and will take the child at their discretion. When she starts with the verbal abuse, do not engage, leave the room. When she is gone, REMOVE everything from her bedroom, except the mattress on the floor, one lamp, and a large cardboard box for her clothes. If she asks, “where’s my stuff”. Remind her that YOU and DH bought the STUFF.


#17

I didn’t want to over dose on the thread, but you need to take action fast. Don’t throw your hands up on this. Think of the INNOCENT…the baby. If she is in a home, she will have regular check ups, nutrition and the home will teach her some basic parenting skills. If she runs away, consult a physician and explain that you are worried that she is a danger to herself and her unborn child. If she is in a place where drug use is going on, call the police and let them know…it’s more leverage to getting her into a home. Do what you can to save that BABY. Cow-towing to your daughter and using the baby as a bargaining chip will not work. Get your parish priest involved and consult adoption agencies.

I did all the leg work when my daughter did the same. My DH and I were a team on this. We did kick her out. She came home within two weeks and was ready to go to a home. We went within days. No time like the present. If you stop to think “that is my grandchild”, you get soft in the head. Think of the baby as a LIFE worth saving.

You owe your daughter NOTHING. You gave her everything, and you have other children to think about. Let little miss stew in her own sauce. Dismantle her bedroom…the law says you have to provide a place for her to sleep, it didn’t include all the “trappings” of a TV, CD player. Now, if you gave them as “gifts”, she can have them. If you bought the bed, the dresser, the tv, stereo as part of her bedroom ensemble, they are yours and DH to furnish or de-furnish at your descretion. Tell her dinner time is at 5 or whatever, if she is here, she eats with the family. If not, she can find other arrangements. You will NOT wash one piece of clothing for her, dry or fold any, nor put any away. NOT your job.

You will take her to the doctor, to a maternity home, to church, to a counselor. Does she have a driver’s license? If so, cancel the insurance on her. In NC you have to have insurance and in most states that is so. If she steals your car, report it stolen. Take your purse to bed with you at night. Visa check cards are easy to forge. Lock the doors promptly at 11 PM. Leave a note telling her that she can go to Aunt Sues, neighbor Mary and Joe to sleep or on the front lawn. Password protect your computer. Anyone that logs on will have to know the password, tell her siblings not to give it to her. Password protect your cell phone.

It’s time to stop blaming yourself. You didn’t do anything, but abdicate your authority. Get it back, you are the parent.

I will be praying for you. PM if you like. I know the pain, the hurt, the disappointment all too well. My saving grace was getting the baby into the arms of two loving parents, and my daughter some serious counseling. In the aftermath, things are 100 percent better. Our relationship is still strained somewhat…but now she knows that her dad and I mean business. And now that she is 21, the law is on OUR side.


#18

Get yourself and that daughter of yours to some Catholic family counselling, please. This is more than you should try to handle yourself. You both need someone outside of your drama to both support you, to do some discernment with the Holy Spirit as your counsellor, and to challenge you to do what you must.

None of us here know you, your daughter, or what has led up to this. You need someone you can tell your story to who can look you back in the eye while they listen, who will hand you tissues and let you each tell your own story without interruption, and who will aim you both in the directions where you might find help…and that is both those places outside and those places inside yourselves.

You need someone other than you and your DH to tell your daughter that you, too, are human beings with feelings. You need someone else to tell her that it is time she starts asking herself what she owes to the world instead of what the world owes to her. Until she does that, there is nothing in the world that will ever make her happy or contented.

You also need someone to convince you not to beat yourself up over this. It is almost besides the point whose fault any of this is. What is needed is healing, and since your whole family is daily being hurt by this situation, it is time you sought help, don’t you think?

Bless you, dear lady, for not throwing your hands up in despair. Look at the crucifix on your wall. The message of the Cross is that, for those who remain faithful, the worst thing in the world can be transformed by God into the best thing in the world. Hang in there. God will not abandon you.


#19

If he calls the police because you locked him out, let him. If he calls his case worker because your dad verbally assaulted him, let him. They will just remove the little jerk from the house. Tell your step mom to dismantle his bedroom, leave nothing but the mattress on the floor. You do not have to provide him with a dresser or bedframe, just a place to sleep. If he pushes your dad again, your dad needs to call the cops and do the “feeble old man” routine, and tell them that his stepson is on drugs and pushed him down. They will haul the ingrate to juvvy and drug test him. Tell your dad to tell the cops that he was in fear of his life, that he is a senior man with health problems. Do what it takes. You don’t have to give him anything that parents bought and paid for, only “gifts”. So please no bed, no dresser.


#20

you seem really hung up on the "no bed or dresser"


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