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Mother daughter disagreements

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I have a 16 yr old daughter that decided to stay with her father. I finally gave in because of all of the arguments. Now she is still angry with me. My question is how to repair this relationship. Every way that I try she finds something wrong with it. Ex. my boyfriend's parents purchased airline tickets as a gift. They expected that she would use it to come visit us or take a trip with us which to me that seems clear. She says she wants to use it on a trip with her father. I pay child support and feel that he should pay for their trips. I am holding the ticket for her, she became angry and refused to say good bye to me over the Christmas holidays and is still angry. Her father encourages her anger by accusing me of taking her ticket (which is in her name)and said he is the parent he could have held it for her. This is how the disagreements have been for the last 15 years. EX. I encouraged her to read biographies on famous people my ex tells her she doesn't have to. Please advise
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First Helper verne01
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replied January 20th, 2013
Extremely eHealthy
Hello,

At 16 your daughter's head could still be in the throes of her puberty brain-rewiring. If this is so and she is being affected averagely for a well-fed western girl it could be another year or even two before her thoughts and feelings settle into those resembling the rational ones of an "adult".

It was generous of your boyfriend's parents to buy airline tickets but it is not helpful "expecting" them to be used for a specific purpose. If the purpose wasn't specified by them at the time as being a condition of the gift then as disappointing as the situation is for you and them, the ticket is morally her property and she is free to use it as she likes. Hopefully her conscience will prick her in the future but this will depend on the values and ethics you and your ex have given her.
Whether it is right for you to hold the ticket or not will depend on any conditions attached to the gift.

Certainly as you pay child support you have every right to expect her father to pay for all your daughter's necessary travel while she is living with him but holiday travel and special visits and expeditions are somewhat different depending on the purpose of such journeys and who will benefit from them: mostly it should mean you and your ex splitting those sort of costs in a mutually fair way.

Reading between the lines of what you have written I detect continuing animosity between you and her father and suspect she has at various times been used as a weapon with which to hurt the other and your daughter has now entered into the spirit of things.
Just now you have dropped out of her favour and you should not be surprised by her attitude...

Encouraging reading in the young is generally a good thing and everyone should feel the rewards of having their imagination stimulated to the point where they can live inside a rivetting story.
The value of reading biographies will be highly variable. It is quite one thing to read the biography of someone who is admired in order to discover more about them in the normal course of life but to encourage the reading of biographies indicates encouragement to read a certain sort of biography as if there is a reading list and when the list is completed the reader will be indoctrinated into or strongly influenced towards certain patterns of behaviour or thought.

This is dangerous territory unless your daughter is free to choose what biographies she reads even if her chosen subjects are such people as Pol-Pot, Bokassa, Idi Amin, Adolf Hitler...
We all deplore the indoctrination of children into a particular belief or way of life unless it happens to be our own beliefs they are being indoctrinated into. Such a selfish and narrow-minded view is understandable and normal and continues everywhere every day and fortunately little harm is done, though sometimes a monster is created!

Your daughter's father has obviously a different set of beliefs from your own and that is causing you some concern. This is understandable but will his beliefs do harm to her or simply result in her being more open-minded with a wider experience and knowledge?
How much of your concern is being generated by your disapproval of your ex?

I feel if your daughter is being encouraged into any way of life it is one where arguments reign and rational compromise is a foreigner. The most important role for a parent is to be a good example and a role model for the child and not simply to provide reading lists or discipline based on feelings.

Mostly after the rebellious stage of their lives have passed children do tend to adopt the standards and ethics their parents have given them - if in retrospective analysis the parents are found to be worthy...

I suggest you try and put your feelings aside and apply some rational thought to your situation and try and be the sort of person you want your daughter to eventually be. Now is important but it is less important than the rest of her life.

Good luck!
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replied January 20th, 2013
Thank you for the feed back. yes, there is still animosity between us despite me trying to be civil toward him. I am also very appreciative of the fact that he is taking good care of her and actually feel that it is very good for their relationship. Yes, it hurts that I am not in her life everyday but I have always believed in raising her for the future by supporting her with lessons for today.

The plane ticket was given to me to give to my daughter and yes when they were given to me they mentioned that it will help her to visit me more often. I pay for all flight arrangements for her to visit me and do not mind my responsibility. We had previously discussed trips to visit other family members together and this would be used for that. My boyfriend is also not in agreement for us to give the tickets to her father for them to take a trip together because he should pay for that. I also did a small pole (to make sure I was viewing this correctly) and 10/10 parents said that they would hold the ticket also.

I have always encouraged my daughter to read and she is free to read books of her choosing. However, I was encouraging her to read specific biographies that supported her history class at the time and I do not see anything wrong with that. Teachers advise additional reading on subjects all of the time and our educational system is influenced by these lessons.

I am working on putting my feelings aside and being rational that is actually why I ask questions to make sure I am viewing things correctly because there are so many angles to an issue and personal views can be skewed.

Thank you for sharing a different perspective, it was helpful.

FindingJoy
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replied October 18th, 2013
I am a parent of a 15 yr old girl that has left home to live with her boyfriend I am against this the mom of the boyfriend is allowing her to be there and is not helpingme she is on the kids side I dont want to get the state involved I wanted to handle this myself but I am getting now were she said the reason she dont want to be home is that she is bored and likes to be a her boyfriends house I use to work nights and I new that was hard on her with me not there so I changed my hours and started working days to be there for her and that didnt change anything with her she does not care I have see the boyfriend get very upset and cry cuz i was tring to get her to come home he was afraid i was not going to let her see him again i told them I wasnt tring to stop them from seeing each other I just dont want to have her sleep over night well nothing has changed she wont come home and wants to stay there I dont know that to do
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