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Teenagers!!! Can I Vent a Little? (actually, a lot)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
My 19 y/o DD is driving me insane. We got into it this morning, and both of us ended up in tears. She started college 3 weeks ago and for some reason assumed all she had to do was party. I overheard her telling a friend the other day "All I do is go to school, go to softball practice, go to work, and go home. I never get to have any fun." Well, that's not true; she's been out twice in the last 5 days. She's worked twice in the last 5 days. I honestly don't know what she's doing the rest of her time besides "hanging with friends".

Her Dad & I tell her she needs to get as many hours at work now as she can; softball starts this weekend and she won't be able to work at all for awhile because of practices and games. We're not telling her she has to work every free minute; we are telling her she can't take off both Friday and Saturday night just to hang out--she needs to work one of them. Is that such a big deal?

She has bills to pay (buying gas for the car we bought her and paying an outrageous amount for the cell phone we pleaded with her not to buy). She didn't gat any kind of scholarship and her Dad & I can't afford the entire cost of tuition so we're paying half and she's responsible for the other half. She's totally p*ssed off that she's attending a community college instead of leaving town. We've told her--"if you can afford to pay for a university education for 4 years, by all means go ahead and do it."

So, like I said, we got into it this morning. I asked what her plans were for this evening; she stood and looked at me. I finally blew up and told her that if she didn't want me to ask questions she could start paying room and board. Then she could come and go as she pleased, no questions asked. She could also buy the car she's using (or lease it, I'm easy) and pay for her own insurance and repairs. She could also pay the entire amount of her tuition, book fees, lab fees, softball expenses, etc. If she didn't feel that she needed to work, DH & I would keep out mouths shut about it.

She got all teary and I felt bad. Luckily, she had to leave for school then. I told DH about it when he came home and he said, "She's been acting like a little turd for weeks. It's about time you said something to her." (not sure why it was up to me, but oh well) DD actually called while I was out & left a message about her plans for this evening, and that she'd be home right after practice so we could talk.

I don't know if I just needed to vent, or if I want advice---so I'll listen to any advice I can get. Are DH & I really being too hard on her? I understand she needs her hanging out time, but she also has resposibilites--homework, practice, bills that have to be paid. I don't ask her to help around the house like she used to because I know she has so much going on. I really don't think we're expecting too much of her; I think I just need someone to agree with me.
post #2 of 16
I have to say that I agree with you I worked full-time when I went to college the first time and I did fine. You and your DH are giving her all that she could ask for and more, but alas, teens never see it that way give her a year or so, she'll start growing up
post #3 of 16
Good for you, mom - someday she will really thank you for this!!! I was much to lenient with my daughter, with disastrous consequences , so I admire those parents who are strict, but loving, just like mine were - keep up the good work
post #4 of 16
I think you're doing the right thing. I was kind of a strict parent. I have to admit, it was much by accident... Or by circumstances, since I was a single mom and didn't have much money to spare. My children had jobs when they were juniors in high school or before and had to pay for a lot of their own things. If they wanted designer jeans, I'd give them $30 and tell them that is what I will pay for a pair of jeans. If you want the designer jeans, you'll have to earn the rest of the money. They paid for their own gas, their own first car and for their senior trip. The two girls went to college and worked while going to school. I often feel guilty that I wasn't able to do more for my children. I wanted to. But circumstances didn't allow it. Funny thing is, they now thank me for not coddling them and giving them everything on a silver platter. Many of their friends to this day, have no idea how to manage money, yet alone have respect for it. And they expect to have everything nice NOW and end up driving themselves way into debt.
post #5 of 16
I know they get a bad rap, but what about student loans for your daughter? They often do not reflect negatively on a person's credit report, and the interest can be held until up to 6 months after she graduates. The rates can be low too (mine is at 3%). This would not only ease the burden of working on your daughter, but ease the financial burden on you and your husband as well.

Also, if she's attending a community college, the overall payback amount would be significantly smaller than a 4 year university (mine was around $16k for Purdue).

Other than that, I think you ARE doing the right thing in the current situation. I've been responsible for many things from the time I was 15, when I got my first job.
post #6 of 16
Okay , i am 16 years old , so im going to give you advice in how she may feel think , because most teens are similar , apart from a few i understand..

First of all you and your husband are doing a grand job with her

Your daughter , must feel like , i have to work , i play soft ball , i go to college , i need my ME time.

And of course she is entitled to time to relax and have fun of her own accord . but also she must learn that life aint fair. It never was , it never will be. She needs to realize , bills need to be paid , and her parents are there for her 100% but she needs to work along side you not against you.

Sit her down and have things written on paper.

Bills- Show her how much you pay for her. Down to the last penny , even include food bills ect.

And then say to her , we help you out more then you relaize , we know you work hard and are very busy , which we are very pleased about. We also understand you want to 'chill out' to... Then show her gently , dont shout and get all in a huff *we teens hate that* and then she should take a long , and it should hit home to her how much you are doing.

Then say to her , ratio things , ratio how much she works/schools and then ratio how much time she should have for herself. Like i go to college 4 days a week , and childmind 2 evenings a week *looking for a stable part time job that will work around my college time table* so i would say i deserve 1 evening , or day a week to myself.. she may need 2 days to chill or evening or what ever..

IF she continues to nag and argue with you , you can say , well i was trying to help you see how much time you need and how much we love are our helping you.. if my mum and dad did that for me*which they do when i need a reminder* i am happier to take advice. and it makes the house get on better ya know?

Hope that helps , sorry if it dont make sense im saying it in my head so it may not come out in words right
Jess x
post #7 of 16
To the OP: I think you've gotten great advice so far. My parents were far too lenient on all of us kids... I wish they'd been a little tougher...

Quote:
Originally Posted by emrldsky View Post
I know they get a bad rap, but what about student loans for your daughter? They often do not reflect negatively on a person's credit report, and the interest can be held until up to 6 months after she graduates. The rates can be low too (mine is at 3%). This would not only ease the burden of working on your daughter, but ease the financial burden on you and your husband as well.
At 19, a lot of how much you get, or even if you qualify, depends on how much your parents make. Over a certain age (22/23, something like that) you're not considered 'dependent' anymore... and thus your parents income isn't counted. If the OP's parents make over a certain amount, she may or may not qualify for the loans... now, this could all have changed since I was in college. When I go back, I'll very definitely be over the age limit... so my income will be the only one used in consideration.

OP: certainly encourage looking into student loans... but consider what her major is/will be and if she'll be able to afford making those loan payments after she's done...

One of the nice things I found with the Loans was that when I took a break between my AA and going back a year later for my BA, once I started school again, the loan payments stopped. While you're in school, they don't ask for any payments... one of the types though, does want the interest paid while in school (non-subsidized, I think)... but that's nominal.

Keep it up, you're doing fine...

Amanda
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubSluts'Mommy View Post
To the OP: I think you've gotten great advice so far. My parents were far too lenient on all of us kids... I wish they'd been a little tougher...



At 19, a lot of how much you get, or even if you qualify, depends on how much your parents make. Over a certain age (22/23, something like that) you're not considered 'dependent' anymore... and thus your parents income isn't counted. If the OP's parents make over a certain amount, she may or may not qualify for the loans... now, this could all have changed since I was in college. When I go back, I'll very definitely be over the age limit... so my income will be the only one used in consideration.

OP: certainly encourage looking into student loans... but consider what her major is/will be and if she'll be able to afford making those loan payments after she's done...

One of the nice things I found with the Loans was that when I took a break between my AA and going back a year later for my BA, once I started school again, the loan payments stopped. While you're in school, they don't ask for any payments... one of the types though, does want the interest paid while in school (non-subsidized, I think)... but that's nominal.

Keep it up, you're doing fine...

Amanda
When I went through the process in 2000, grants and scholarships depended on my parents' income, but loans are different. My parents made too much for me to qualify for any assistance, but I was able to get student loans for tuition easy (room and board loans were MUCH higher, and in my parents' name).
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Bills- Show her how much you pay for her. Down to the last penny , even include food bills ect.
Great idea; I'm glad that a teenager wrote. Strangely enough, I actually was 19 once (many, many years ago) and I do remember how tough it could be. I didn't attend college, I was married & working full time, taking care of a hubby, an apartment, and a cat, and hoping to be able to pay the bills at the end of the month.

Quote:
At 19, a lot of how much you get, or even if you qualify, depends on how much your parents make
That is, indeed, a problem. DD wasn't eligible for student aid because her Dad makes too much. We didn't think that taking out loans to pay for community college (should total around $8000 for 2 years) was a good idea. DD plans to finish jr. & sr. years at a 4 year college; that's where the student loans will come in. We didn't want DD to be $8000 in debt before she even got to the 4 year college. Plus (and this sounds awful, I'm sure) we just don't know if she'll be able to do the work expected of her in college. She'd been in special ed since 7th grade; not because she can't do the work, but because she doesn't understand much of the work. She was born in Bulgaria and didn't begin to learn English until she was almost 5 y/o) We didn't want her to borrow money, then discover college was just too much for her.

She really is a good kid, 99% of the time I couldn't ask for a better child. Maybe that's why it's so surprising when she gets into one of these snits. She came running in for lunch between class and practice (which she never does) so we could talk. She asked how much I'd want for room and board; I told her $150 a month sounded like a bargain. I'd also lease her the car for $50 a month, again, a real bargain. She decided she wanted to keep things the way they are. She did admit that she's probably jealous of some of the other girls at school--some have apartments, some have parents paying their bills, some come and go as they please. I reminded her that when/if she goes away to school she's still got to have a job to pay her bills---starting with that cellphone. She said," That's what parents are for." *sigh*

She's going out with a girlfriend tonight, doesn't know where, just hanging. This from the girl who never gets any "me" time'; that's 3 nights out of the last 5 that she's done something besides work.

Quote:
I often feel guilty that I wasn't able to do more for my children
This is a big part of the problem, too. I don't know why I feel guilty but I do. Maybe listing all her expenses that we've paid for will help me feel better about this.
I know DH & I are doing right by her; I think I just needed to hear other parents (and teens) agree.
post #10 of 16
You are doing fine , dont feel guilty , my parents dont do half as much with the money do in other ways ..

Make her see she is actually going out loads , maybe she would benifit some indoor me time to , like reading , listening to music , a hot bubble bath and good book.. because she will feel more relaxed doin that then going out.

Keep picking her up and puttin her on track when she slips and falls and she will do great.

She knows you mean buisness now so dont back down, her options have been thrown in front of her.

Maybe speak to her close friend to speak to her and see if that helps , or monitor how she is in the next week , praise the good , pick her up on the bad , it sounds childish but reminders help us see things in a better light,
Jess x
post #11 of 16
Good Job Mom . I think your doing the right thing. Stand firm. She is just behaving like a normal teenager. If she gets everything handed to her, she will have no understanding of real life. I think it is wonderful that you can help her, but she also needs to take some of the responsibility for her own life.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Make her see she is actually going out loads , maybe she would benifit some indoor me time to , like reading , listening to music , a hot bubble bath and good book.. because she will feel more relaxed doin that then going out.
I had to laugh when I read that DD has always thought of reading as a punishment, not something to do because you like it. She absolutely idolizes one of my brothers; he's told her several times the best way to improve her knowledge of the English language is to read. She usually takes anything he says as gospel, but she just won't read. I think it's because there's still so much she just doesn't understand.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by libby74 View Post
Are DH & I really being too hard on her? I understand she needs her hanging out time, but she also has resposibilites--homework, practice, bills that have to be paid. I don't ask her to help around the house like she used to because I know she has so much going on. I really don't think we're expecting too much of her; I think I just need someone to agree with me.
Compared to my teenage years with my parents, you are being lenient. They wanted me to work as long as I could, as many days as i could and go to school to study any day I wasn't working. I don't blame them at all though. I actually owe them a lot. If it weren't for them, I probably wouldn't work half as hard as I do.

In my opinion, you are doing the right thing. Keep it up. She will thank you for it someday.
post #14 of 16
You are doing the right thing! "Welcome to adulthood, honey" is what I would say! I think you are better parents for explaining this to her. She will thank you in the end.

FYI for other posters, I am 23 and for most colleges-actually all I think-use your parents finanaces until you are 25! You are considered a dependent until that age. When I went to school last year, I was already living on my own with no ties to mommy and daddy and they still used my parents income. My dad makes too juch so I wasn't able to get grantsJust a little 411.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscarsmommy View Post
FYI for other posters, I am 23 and for most colleges-actually all I think-use your parents finanaces until you are 25! You are considered a dependent until that age. When I went to school last year, I was already living on my own with no ties to mommy and daddy and they still used my parents income. My dad makes too juch so I wasn't able to get grantsJust a little 411.
I knew it was in the mid 20's... 23... 25... I knew it was around there... That was right about when i took a break between degrees...

It's not so much the colleges... it's the Student Loan Corporation... they're the ones you fill out the paperwork with... the school isn't the one who hands you money for those... and the SLC is really a middleman of sorts... all my loans were through Citibank and then someone else bought my loans from them...

Now, grants on the other hand... I'm looking at grants and other ways of getting my bee-hind through Grad School... this won't be pretty. But, God willing, I'll get in, get the funding, and get my degree...

Back to the OP: if you're unsure of how she'll handle college, then it's good to play it safe with loans... as for how she'll do... let's just say I wasn't exactly a good student academically in high school. One of my math profs. was amazed I never had any algebra in high school... I told him why (they didn't consider me 'smart enough' ... for a lot of things) and he helped give me the push I needed to wend my way through it... math, thanks to him, is pretty easy now, even the higher stuff. Let her get used to the structure of it, and if she is struggling, and her learning issues are documented, there should be an office/center on campus that helps with students with all kinds of 'disabilities' even ADD and the like. The school, on general principle, wants students to succeed... and whatever they can do in services to help, they usually do. I've only known/attended one community college that didn't... but we won't go there... really.

With help from those programs and simply adapting to the different structure, I made it... it took me a while, but i made it. Your DD will too.

Amanda
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubSluts'Mommy View Post
Over a certain age (22/23, something like that) you're not considered 'dependent' anymore... and thus your parents income isn't counted. If the OP's parents make over a certain amount, she may or may not qualify for the loans...
when i went to college the 1st time [18-20 years old] my parents made way too much for me to qualify for any assistance of any kind [mom was only a teacher, but dad was a commercial airline pilot].

i returned to college at the age of 32. i'd been working & living on my own for 11+ years at that time, & could not qualify for any assistance [loans or grants] because my income tax return [that's what they looked at] showed that i made too much... even tho there was no way i could work full-time AND attend college full-time [i had been taking evening courses at a community college, tho]. my parents kindly offered [dad was still flying, then] to give me room, board, tuition & books for the 1st year. [i had a car, but had to get a part-time job to keep it, since i would be paying for the gas, insurance & still making car payments.] after that 1st year, i got a couple of grants, plus student loans. everyone knows teachers are one of the lowest paid 4 year degrees [especially in non-unionized Texas] - my loans were still paid off w/in 3-4 years of graduation [& this was with a 6-8 month hold at one point]. there are lots of 'mini-grants' out there for specific degrees/majors or candidates - worth looking for!

as far as the OP original topic - i do NOT feel you're being too hard on your DD.
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