I have a 18 y.o step daughter who has lived part time with me and her dad for 6 years. She is a beautiful, smart girl, but she is an introvert. At about 13, she joined the “in” crowd. She started to party. From 14 onward, she and her group of friends drink. She has run into some problems. All along, we have not forbidden these friends or parties, she has had to tell us where she is, come home at a certain time etc. We live in an affluent area and it seems many parents are accepting of this party behavior and let their girls go out every night until 2 am. Our daughter knows we don’t like it. We have always had the earlier curfew (midnight–1:00), we always get her to call us, ask how she is getting home etc. but we don’t forbid any of her activites. Of course, she just thinks we are losers who want to control her. We frequently discuss our concerns over drinking in excess. I believe she drinks because it helps her shyness and her lack of self confidence. She has no hobbies but had a part time job in highschool.
She is a good student and just started university and is living in residence (despite the drinking and partying she did well in school). We are paying for residency,tuition, food and books and her cell phone. She is to get a part time job to pay for her own entertainment, travel and clothes. She finds this extremely unfair( but we are not falling for this).
Her own mom has not been very forthcoming with any conversations about risky behavior. Her mom has not spent a lot of time with her. Her mom is sort of practicing the notion that there is nothing you can do about teens so might as well not even try.
Her dad (my husband) is a great dad. I think he has dealt with her entitlement issues, “bitchiness” and general disdain quite well. She knows that he is always there for him because whenever something important is needed–like school stuff–she always turns to him–yet she is quite mean and beligerant.
She has never been rude or a problem for me.
When will she stop treating her dad so badly when he is the one who has always been the stable, consistent adult?
Is there anything more we can do about the drinking?
When will she see that we are doing what we should–letting her make her choices about school etc. and helping with some payment but making sure she has to work for her own goals as well?
You essentially provided no boundaries for this young woman when she was a teen and allowed her to go along with the crowd. This is unfortunate. What it created was a person who will not listen to the parents who are supposed to have provided rules and consequences. Now she is an adult she believes she deserves things when in reality she needs to earn things. The best thing you can do is stop paying for things for her. Attach school payment to a GPA. If she doesn’t meet the GPA then funding is cutoff. The problem is you and your husband enforce things in word only. Thus, I suspect it will be difficult for you to actually put your foot down. Until you are willing to actually put some action behind your words nothing will change, especially now, since she is an adult. She is a spoiled child and you are experiencing the consequences of the choices you made with her when she was a teen.