I am 22 and have a 3 year old and am currently 15 weeks pregnant with my second child. Approximately 9 months ago I moved in with my fiancé, his grand mother, mother, and 14 year old cousin.. His cousin and I have had a sister type relationship until recently. When she was less than 6 months old, her mother committed suicide and her dad has been incarcerated her whole life, and her grandmother has been raising her. But about two weeks ago her grandmother was involved in an altercation that lead to her shooting and killing a man, leaving me, my fiancé, and her drunk of an aunt to care for her- so pretty much just ME seeing my fiancé is at work all the time. Since I have lived here I have done so much for her such as buy her an iPhone and take her to get her hair/nails done on a daily basis.. Help her with homework, etc.. And just last week we decided that after the Christmas break we would home school her due to bullying over the incident with her grandma so we bought her a brand new $500 HP Laptop.
She has been slacking with helping around the house and has been quite depressed, but given the situation, I allowed her to slack and gather her emotions. I created a chore list that left me with majority of the responsibilities and her just having to do as least as possible.
Well now she is failing school and being a brat and I'm at my wits end. This morning after I told her to ride the bus, as I am sick and didn't want to get out in the cold to bring her to school, she went behind my back after I fell asleep and had my fiancé bring her to school. I'm so upset and lost because I don't know how to raise a teenager?!
I shut off her phone just an hour again in hopes of it changing her attitude but I'm not sure this will work. I'm worried it will just anger her and make her resent me and not change her behavior... What else should I do?! Please help!!!
You're too young to raise her, Kellyn, so this isn't going to work.
She's hurting terribly - there's no one to mother her - her own mom killed herself, her grandmother is now incarcerated as well as her father, and her aunt's a drunk. She has no mommy.
I don't understand your comment that she "went behind your back" to get your fiance to drive her to school. You usually do it and were too sick this morning, so she asked her cousin instead. I don't see any "going behind your back" there - she found someone who would give her a ride when you wouldn't.
I think the best you can do here is to be a cousin to her, and maybe come up with some "house rules" that everyone has to abide by.
She went behind my back because I specifically told her RIDE THE BUS, Justin has to be at work early and doesn't need to be late by driving you to school... I'm not trying to raise her and I don't WANT to but its been left as my responsibility.. My fiancé and I have been named her legal guardians now. I just wish she could see I'm not the bad guy. I just want the best for her and for her to respect the things we do for her. iPhones and laptops aren't cheap.. And neither is the light bill she's runnin up
Kailyn, I guess I don't know what state you live in, but I'm surprised you two were given legal guardianship of her. I would think at this point, she'd be in foster care. I didn't know an unmarried cousin and his girlfriend could be given legal guardianship of a teenager. Problems are very likely to come up with a virtual peer begin given authority over a teenager.
I also think you really need to pick your battles here, and step back a little. When you said you had a sister relationship with her, that's what it appears to me to be too. Which is very, very different from a parental relationship.
If your boyfriend wants to give her a ride to school, I think that's off the table. I don't see that as "going behind your back" to ask her own cousin for a ride to school, when you wouldn't give her a ride yourself. She was solving her own problem about how to get to school.
In another situation, for example, if she asked you if you would give her a ride to an unsupervised party and you said no, that's not something you're going to do and then she went and asked her cousin for a ride instead, THAT's going behind your back. Finding an alternative solution to get to school isn't like that.
She's not going to be grateful. Fourteen year olds aren't really good at being grateful - she's going to be very resentful in this case, where people who are her peers now have control over her.
I know you're really angry at her, but I think the ball is in your court to try to understand the pain she's in, and try to work out a reasonable solution. The fantasy of a grateful, submissive 14 year old who appreciates what you're doing for her is just that - a fantasy.
I truly don't think the state should have appointed an unrelated person - someone who she sees as a sister and her cousin's girlfriend - to be her guardian. You're both set up to fail here.
BTW, I strongly think this girl needs serious counseling to try to get through all her losses. That's a LOT of bereavement for someone so young - and it's only been two weeks since her world has been turned upside down and her main caretaker is now gone, and now she's facing being taken out of school.
She's really in a vulnerable place right now, and the least of the worries is her chore list and carrying on as if she's grateful.
You may also want to rethink homeschooling. Maybe get her switched to a different school in the district, or get help with the bullying?
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