My 20 year old daughter

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    Im hoping this is the correct forum to be writing this. I will keep it short. I have a 20 year old that, in my opinion, is out of control. She does have a job as a server at a very popular restaurant in our city. Here are the issues: she drinks too much, smokes way too much weed and is the most disrespectful little person I have ever met. She does live in my pool house because she can not afford to move out. My BF and I just bought a house and we both work offshore. Currently I am away at work and my BF is home. My BF is a recovering alcoholic. We have both asked her not to bring any type of alcohol onto the premises but she continues to do so.. while he is home. I don’t condone the weed smoking and yet for years she keeps bringing it around. Currently she is at my mothers home an hour away. I have had enough and so has he. FYI… they do not see eye to eye and I am stuck in the middle. I honestly, do not want a partying 20 year old living with me. Its a very unhealthy situation. But, I cant just kick her out… she has no-where to go. My BF is convinced that a friend will take her in, but Im not going for it. He absolutely does not want her there. I understand his feelings.

    I just would like some advice on how to handle this situation. Im sorry Im being vague, Im at work but I really needed to get this out.

    Thank you, and I will respond with more details if needed



    I am a 29 year old female. I understand what its like to be in your daughters shoes and I also have the perspective of seeing how complicated this is for you. My Mom had this difficulty as well. My older sister didnt like my Step Dad and she did what she wanted against anyone’s wishes in the home. She was disrespectful to all involved. I understand that it was hard for my mom to choose or feel that she had to choose between her hub/bf and her children. In all honesty, I felt a lot of disconnect with my Mom when my step Dad entered the picture. And, I felt she chose her bf and husband over her children. My Mom was outright disrespected by my older siblings and her bf/hubby was forced to watch it all while adding his supportive commentary when he could without upsetting “the crowd” Addiction is also a rough factor and is a risk for your bf/husband. He has chosen a life path for him that he thought was safe and has been safe for him to heal and work through his addictions…. I see it as amazing. Everyone in the family deserves to feel safe under healthy conditions. This doesnt seem right though. I am sure he bites his tongue to avoid upsetting your daughter. Im sure she is a sweet love bug of a daughter but causes issues with being obstinate. Truth is… From my perspective I can relate to the way she feels or could feel if you put your foot down. Things she would blame and people she would blame… You and your boyfriend. truth is that IS who she is going to blame. Because she IS in the midst of addiction HERSELF. Until she realizes this she is only drowning. I once listened to an NA speech and a guy said, ” IF YOU BABY THE ADDICT, YOU BURY THE ADDICT”. Unf. The support you are giving her bc you love her and want her safe is actually keeping her from making smart choices. Im sorry but I am siding with YOU. Not her. She’s going to need to hit the bottom literally. Even if you see the situation as normal 20 year old behavior.. It will escalate unless someone stops her NOW. And, also lift herself up on her own. This isnt something you can help with other than to sit down with her and give it to her. The behavior and lifestyle is her choice. She knows the rules. The rules are… Not to to bring this home(your home). To her, you WILL be the bad guy. Your boyfriend too. She will lash out. But, she ALSO has ALL the ability and skills that you have given her through the years. She knows how to fix this. its time she stand up and take responsibility for her actions. My Mom talks to me now and my sister as well that she wishes she could have done more for us. She wishes she could have made things easier. At the end of the day… I am so thankful that my Mom took a stand when she did and trusted herself at the time enough to know she raised her kids well. And thankful she played the mean guy.. We NEEDED her to be that. We desperately NEEDED that from her, although we would never tell her that at the time. Now, we have each evaded addiction, trouble, and ruin. She is PROUD of us! The truth is.. We are so proud of HER. We werent easy to handle. We were brats! She saved us. Although it was the hardest thing to go through in life. We had ALL the tools we needed. And it was our time to fly! Its not easy for Mama Birds to push their kids out of the nest. But, as nature proves- its vital for growth. Your daughter is going to be on her way to achieving more than she ever thought possible. She needs one last encouraging push to get her going. She will thank you one day. I promise.

    PS- You may not be ready to do the final push now, but maybe you could sit down with her just you two and explain how much you love her. Have a real heart to heart long talk. Spend time with her. Show her how much you care for her. Show her how much she means to you and explain what is going to happen if this continues a single time ever again. She needs a full few hours of your undivided attention having a good time and enjoy eachother, then slowly bring on “the talk” She will then know you’re serious. And, then you will have your ducks lined up to NOT blame yourself when she stumbles after you push her harder to leave or shape up. She needs to feel like SHE is the important one and its not about the BF. She needs to know YOU love and care and you WILL do whatever it takes to be MOM.

    Maggie Black

    If you have any extra money, you might want to get her an apartment, pay the first month and tell her she is on her own.
    I agree that this is a hard stance but in order for her to “look up” she is going to have to get all the way down first.

    Not only is the enabling you are giving her hurting her, but it is going to affect your relationship and may be hard on your boyfriend who is sober.

    However you don’t want to enable him either because there are all kinds of negative influences out there and he is going to have to learn how to deal with them anyway.

    But if you value your relationship you are probably going to have to choose. That is sad I know.

    You could try giving your daughter an ultimatum and a specific time for her to get her act together before you do the apartment thing.
    Maybe she would change.

    It is doubtful, but not impossible.

    Most people don’t change until they hit rock bottom.

    I wish you well.


    Thank you both


    Hello Anna!

    I would have to agree with trusttheflow. My brother is now 28. My parents have been divorced for many years, and we always lived with our mom and visited our dad. So when he was 16, my brother decided to go live with my father, which was bad. He then moved out at 18 to live with friends and completely spiraled out of control. He drank, smoked weed and was mostly absent from school. He’s incredibly smart and acutally a loveable person, but got kicked out of high school four weeks before the final exams. Since then, he has never finished or really started anything. At 21, he moved back in with my mom and I. I moved out two years later on a very small wage, because I couldn’t handle it anymore. All she did was enable him, being “understanding” and just feeding him through. Which she still does now.
    I understand as a mother, it must be so hard to be rough. But your daughter is 20, she’s not a child anymore. Tell her to either party outside of the house or she has to find another place to stay. She has a job, if that doesn’t cut it, she has to find another one. Believe me, once she lives on her own, she will see how hard it is to party, drink and smoke and also provied for yourself, going to work every day. She will learn, she will mature and grow up. If she really falls off the wagon, you’re still there. You can help then. For now, you can help her by letting her spread her wings and owning up to her own decisions.

    I hope this helped!


    Yes, it all helps. I am appreciative of all the experiences that you all are sharing with me. She has an interview at Aveda Cosmetology School On Feb. 4th and I am very hopeful that this education will make her feel worthy. Right now she does not feel worthy of anything. Mainly because when she isn’t working she is sleeping. She has no extracurricular activities… no hobbies. Her friends and the drama they create is a hobby. If she continues her education and follows my rules then I have no problem with her staying in my Pool House. I have to allow this opportunity to happen. She hasn’t shown interest in anything in a while and I would like to see how this scenario plays out. I am hopeful. We have had a discussion, much like the million we have had, about her bad habits and choices. I have explained to her that this is the last straw. She says she understands… As far as paying her first month rent at an apt. I actually did try that and within a month her electricity got cut off and she was 10 days late on rent. This was with a roommate. BUT… she had a 24 pk. of beer in the fridge. I should have let her figure it out from there but whats done is done. I know I have been mistreated and I know what my boundaries are.


    Hi Annakcrook,

    OK, at least she’s at your mother’s. And it looks like she is having trouble even there. Maybe it’s a good idea to have her live with ALL her/your relatives for a few weeks each. When she sees that all her cousins, aunties, uncles and grandparents have had it with her maybe she’ll realize that she’s the common denominator.

    Personally, I could see her being disrespectful to your BF. In her mind, he’s just the boyfriend, and you are choosing him over her.
    But explain that his name is on the mortgage so it’s his rules. That he’s not just living with you, it’s his house.

    You should really kick her out of the pool house based on the weed. Just my experience and opine, but it often leads to other things and she’s ALREADY out of control.

    Have a dozen applications to different schools go out at the same time. She needs to be in college. Any college. A community college, a correspondence course, work/study abroad. Her job is not enough for her, so of course she’s going to party in the pool house.

    Someone who Partied in the Pool House,


    • This reply was modified 9 years, 5 months ago by Inky.

    She can’t afford to move out, but can she afford to pay any amount of rent?

    She is basically your tenant, so have her sign a rental agreement and charge her monthly rent. There are plenty of boiler plate formal Owner/Tenant rental agreements to be found on the web, so don’t just make something up. For you, it advances your daughter a step towards independence. For her, this does not seem like such a bad deal, given the alternative of paying a lot more rent to a stranger who will be much less tolerant of her behavior.

    Ashley Arcel


    This is a messy situation and I’m sorry you’re living in this! It’s tough for you as an individual and a mother, certainly, but it is extra tough due to your partner and his history which, understandably, magnifies her actions and renders them extra dangerous. Here’s what I think: Assuming you have spoken to her about the drugs and the booze and she refuses to refrain or at least not bring them in to your home, you are to some extent enabling her. I know this sounds incredibly harsh but if she is taking advantage of you, your home and your partner, something needs to shift in order to make this a healthier situation for everyone. Ask her to pay rent, find her a place and pay the first month, or give her 30 days notice to move out of the boat house on the basis of the fact that she is making your life and home feel very strained and uncomfortable. Tell her, of course, that she is welcome to stay if she alters her behavior, but draw a hard line in the sand. Your sanity is worth something and deserves to be protected. There is a way to do this with compassion and love while remaining firm. I hope you find your way and I wish you all the best.


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