Parenting --Teens/Niece wants to move

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Question
My soon to be 14 year old niece whom my  2nd husband and I are raising wants to move to Huntington Beach with my 28 Year old niece and her boyfriend.
My mother and I and my first husband whom passed in 2005 have raised her since she was 3 months old, due to drugs and alcohol on her mothers part.
She was devastated when my first husband passed,as he was like her daddy.
I remarried in 2006 and one year after that my mother became ill and I needed to take my niece, which was always the plan however with a new man in her life whom she doesn't  like because it's not her uncle who passed, even though he is totally supportive, and we live 700 miles away from family.
We send her every summer and on school breaks
to be with family. I am 58 and he is 70 and we both have raised our own children and all are good.
This past summer we found out that her uncle,my brother has been molesting her off and on ever since she was six. Took it to the police but it was just he said she said. She has been in counseling.
She feels she is a burden to us and she is NOT. We love her and she can't realize that this is her only home. We are her parents and when she gets moody she hates everything and wants to leave.I am afraid if I entertain this idea she will think she can just leave when things get tough. Not to mention ther is no where to go. Yes everyone loves her but they all have thier lives and familt. She is a 4.0 student and makes good choices. She feels we ar very strict which we are but we are her parents not her friend. She is pretty open with me and of course doesn't always like my answers.
Very concerned

Answer
Amber,

I can hear the concern in your e-mail, I know that you are frightened about what may happen if the right road is presented to your niece.  The age of 14 is so difficult under the best of circumstances, ,mix in grief, molestation plus an absent mother and you have a recipe for an upside down teenager.

There are no easy answers here. It is very apparent that she has a great support system in place. Sometimes, we need to allow our  youth to play out a scenario out loud. It allows us to find out where they are coming from it allows them to find out our concerns. I would utilize her counselor to guide you in exploring her options with her. Explaining to her that at the end, you still have the final say, but want to understand the how's and why of her idea. By doing this you will continue to keep open the lines of communication and maybe guide her to see that she is already part of a family that loves her and has her best interest at heart.

Coming from a family where relatives raised me from a child, I understand the feeling of wanting to belong and be in control (when everything feels out of control). Trust this process, use your resources and bring in your other niece to share the true realities of her moving in with her. At 28, unless they are independently wealthy, they probably have their own family issues they are trying to figure out and finances could be tight. These are things we are hesitant to discuss, but realities of today's world.

I wish you luck, please let me know if I can be of further service.

P

Parenting --Teens

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Penny K

Expertise

I enjoy assisting parents in parenting atypical teenagers that do not respond well to normal parenting techniques. I am able to provide parents with a straight forward behavioral approach that has proved to be successful.

Experience

My husband and I have raised 31 daughters, 29 of our children were foster teens who ranged in age from 11-18. I was a site director for a local group home for adolescent girls, an Executive Director for the Children's Policy Council and the Executive Vice President for a residential treatment facility that specialized in alcohol and drug treatment for adjudicated adolescent males and provided comprehensive assessment to adolescents in the custody of the state. I have been a staff trainer for the Boys Town Model of Care and for the past 10 years I am the lead facilitator for the Parent Project parenting class in my county. In the past 20 years of my career I have assisted over 2000 adolescent youth and their families.

Education/Credentials
Boys Town Behavioral Management Trainer Parent Project Facilitator

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