I went to bed last night after posting THIS thinking about how it bothered me that my 16yo didn’t want to be home anymore. Then it dawned on me that there is so much more to this than just she isn’t spending time at home. I haven’t posted any of it here to protect the not-so-innocent but I wanted to give you a little bit of insight into why she is NOT allowed to be gone all the time.
She is 16 but hasn’t got her license yet. WE are paying for her car insurance on a car that is just sitting in my driveway because she is not allowed to get her license until she gets a job. She has no job and up until yesterday (supposedly) she hadn’t even tried to get one but a few times over the past 6 months. By the way, we can’t afford to keep paying for her car and she really doesn’t seem concerned about it.
Why doesn’t she have a job you might ask? Well as far as we can see, it is tough to get a job when you don’t try. Besides that, what fun is there in finding a job when you can “hang out” all the time? (can you sense sarcasm here?) Basically though, she hasn’t found a job because she doesn’t want to… she is enjoying having her friends drive her around and having no responsibilities.
Finally, the biggest reason why her being out of the house all the time is such an issue is because we have had some major trust issues the past few months. She has lied to us, acted in a way we don’t approve of, and was with people we did not approve of. We aren’t trying to choose her friends and don’t say she can’t be near someone but when her safety is involved, we do limit how much time she does or where. For example, last year we had some major issues with a girl and her home being unsafe and my daughter was not allowed at her house. We didn’t stop her from hanging out with the girl at school or outside of the house though. This latest one is a boy that we are not at all okay with her being in a relationship with for various reasons. I won’t go into this any further but, trust me, this is a big one. We are working through it but that is hard to do when you never see someone.
She is a good kid… a good kid that has gotten a bit too used to just coasting through her days with no responsibilities. Her grades are decent but would be better if she spent more time on them than on the phone. It isn’t that we don’t want her to have fun. But, with age comes responsibility and she needs to get the job she was supposed to have back in June and concentrate on things that are important. We have already told her that the car is going to be sold if she doesn’t find a job. It is stupid to have a car sitting in the driveway; un-driven.
So you see, I have reasons for not allowing her to be gone every night. I also have reasons for wanting her to be around. With little communication due to her absence, the trust issues we already have are only growing. I need to know that she is acting right and upholding her end of the deals we have. She can’t do that if we never see her and never talk to her. I am not all that mean though. I told her that if she gets a job finally, we will talk about her free time more. School must come first and it isn’t. The job will come second if she wants to have a car and drive. Then comes time for friends. For the time being, she can hang out with her friends a few times during the school week but not everyday.
I remember what it is like to be 16… yeah, it has been awhile, but I remember. The difference is that I had a job. I was focused on school and my job so that I could drive. I was also playing sports and NOT lying to my parents. I was not doing things behind their backs so they wouldn’t trust me. I was respectful of the needs of others.
I can’t just let her blow off everything else to “hang out”. As a parent, that is just irresponsible on my part and not teaching her how to behave in life. She really is a good kid and I can’t complain about most things. She is a different kid from when she moved in with us and that is a wonderful thing. She is kind and generous. She handles her punishments well when she does mess up. She has made me very proud about the person she has become. I just think some face-time a few days a week is just not too much to ask for.