Teen Daughter wants to live with father
My 15 1/2 yr. old daughter is challenging me in every way. The latest is she now wants to live with her father because she and I argue too much, unlike she and her father.
The problem is, the father is renting a room from another single man in a two bedroom house. She does not have her own space there. She called me just last night and made a comment that she might be getting her own room over there (they are preparing for proving she can live there). What do the courts consider "her own room"? Assuming she must have her own room. Furthermore, there is no reason she cannot live here. She has her own room, good neighborhood, etc. Would a judge let her live with two men vs. her mother?? Does it matter that her father allows our daughter to continue to see a juvenile delinquent that just got off an ankle bracelet and I won't allow it? (cause of our fights by the way). Help!
Before you see a judge perhaps try seeing a counselor with your ex. He doesn't necessarily sound too anxious to have your girl bunk in ("...MIGHT be getting her own room...") and so might surprise you by agreeing to a sit down. If you and he can talk things out your daughter will be much safer regardless of where she lives. Even if you guys hate each other you both likely love your girl, so use this common interest to arrange a meeting.
If it helps you to push hard on this, know that in most states at your kid's age she pretty much gets to pick where she lives, even if it's a pretty bad choice.
Dr. Mike Bradley
Thank you for the reply. My daughter and I have been going to counseling since December and unfortunately since she has been with her father, she has not attended with me. I just heard last night that she feels the counseling has made things worse between us. As far as her father, he doesn't believe in counseling and refuses to go. I have tried talking with him and he feels I am and one that needds to get along with her. He then talks over me and at that point, it becomes the end of the conversation as he will not actually listen to what I have to say. My daughter has way too much power and is using it to the fullest extent. I could enforce the current custody order but feel it will just fuel the current anger she has towards me and can cause further damage to our relationship. I feel like I have my hands tied behind my back. At this point, I am trying to be non-reactive when situations arise and keep attending my counseling sessions. I am in a state of grief and miss my daughter so very much. I suppose I can only hope she will tire of the situation and realize I am not such a bad person. I find it terrible that society has allowed our children to feel so entitled. I find it more in divorced families. The manipulation that occurs. Huh... just at a loss at the moment.
I claim no expertise in parenting teens. We've had some rough spots with my 14 year old daughter and I have turned to this forum in a desperate search for support and solidarity with other struggling parents. So, it is in that spirit that I simply offer my support to you, and let you know that I can see you are doing your best to stay centered within yourself and still connected to your daughter. Painful as it is for you to watch, it may be that you'll have to let her figure things out on her own, in terms of which household she lives in. Of course, if there's obvious dangers (e.g., drugs, unsafe housemates, etc.), you'll need to intervene. Short of that, however, it seems to me that just making sure she knows you're available whenever she needs you is the most important thing you can be doing right now. I wish you all the best.
Thank you for your support Mollie M. I do agree with you...as unnecessary as I feel her actions are, for right now, I need to keep breathing and be patient. Nothing stays the same forever and at some point, I have to believe she will miss and need me. It hurts my heart and someday she will realize. I am thankful for your support and this forum.