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Parenting --Teens/18 Yr old Daughter caught into drugs


How do i get my 18yr old daughter to open her eyes to what she is doing, she has only a couple of weeks high school left, she was barely passing, however she was given work to do that can help her bring her grades up to pass. She lied to her stepmother and me. on tues she said she was staying after school to catch up on school work, 5pm she hadnt come yet i called here friend and she said i was picking her up, to make a long story short she is staying a one of her friends house she did do drugs we asked her to come she did but we gave her a choice and she left because she doesnt not want to follow rules. we kept tabs on her during the week because she didnt go to school now she comes home this evening sunday and says she thought about i again and she is moving in with her friend and his family. my wife and i are cutting her out of our medical and dental insurance. we are still hoping she will wake up, because now she is throwing away her education and the family support. What can i do to communicate to her or should i let her fall on her face and hopefully she will realize what she has done.


There are two paths you can go down during this time. Cut off all support (financial, emotional, educational)  and wait until she falls or an oddly supportive stance which can also bring her back.

Let me explain. I have raised some pretty strong, smart and independent young ladies over the years. The down side to imparting all this wisdom on them is they are too smart for the withdrawal of all support stance. It's a challenge to them, they will cut off their noses just to prove you wrong. Often times it's too late if they fail.

So I have learned the second option. The supportive parent approach. It looks something like this,

You to your daughter: Okay, while I do not agree with the path you are choosing right now I know I can't control you any more than my parents could control me at your age. (That sentence is probably the most important one you can say) Therefore, I want to be a part of your solution instead of the problem. Tell me what it is you want to accomplish....Let's write it down and look at it. Nothing is off limits, I'm not here to judge. I just need to know what you need from me and to communicate what you can expect for support.

You want freedom to come and go as you please and still remain here at home right now? Absolutely, I want that for you too. If you would like to live here and have that freedom as an adult here are the things I require:
1) you must graduate from High School (what can I do to help you with that)
2) you must either have a job or be in college (what do you want to do and how can I help)
3) if you are not in college and are working I expect you to pay rent.
4) In order to remain on our health insurance you must be drug free (I will be testing you periodically if you stay here)

You want to leave and go live with your friends that's fine please just let me know how you will pay for the following items that we currently pay for (then list them and how much it will cost). I would still give the option for health insurance with the same terms.  If you fail at this, then these will be the conditions required for us to help you or for you to move back home.

This approach only works if 1) you follow through either way. Keep your word. 2) you don't judge and allow the conversation to happen without criticism or interjecting opinions on what may happen.

Good Luck, Hope this helps.

Parenting --Teens

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Penny K


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.


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.

Boys Town Behavioral Management Trainer Parent Project Facilitator

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