Online Parent Support Chat

8.10.08

I am considering relinquishing my parental rights...

I am the father of a 15-yo girl. We've been having huge problems and it's actually at the point where I am considering relinquishing my parental rights because I can't seem to have any peace in my life when I try to deal with her.

Her mother and I were never married, and separated when my child was two years old. From the very beginning, I willingly took on the roles of father, teacher, nurturer and provider. I took a lot of crap from the family of my child's mother because I was presumed to be "uppity", and that family actually contributed to the breakup.

I dealt with being the weekend dad for ten years. Over that time, I can't remember being aware of much follow-through on my ex's part to help our child grow into a responsible, conscientious person. Her mother would issue discipline and set boundaries in words, but in little action; discussing it with her was moot. It didn't help at all that they also lived with the grandmother, further diluting the idea of just which adult (if at all) was in charge.

My child, by her choice, moved in with me at twelve, just before I remarried. During that short marriage, she stole, she lied about everything, she caused MUCH upset in my home, and very often, attempted to get my stepdaughter in trouble. She didn't respect my wife, and I didn't get much better treatment. Any time my wife and I tried to set boundaries in our home as to what was acceptable and what was not, my child made it apparent that she wasn't going to play by the rules. She was a contributing factor to my divorce.

It's been just over a year since I separated from my wife. I moved to a great neighborhood, with a good school. In the first two months, my child ran my phone bill up an extra $600 (even after stern warnings); I have a camera in my living room to monitor who's in my house (but she insisted on pointing it away from the room as soon as I'd leave the house); I have a rule of no one in my home that she'd break repeatedly; I've had to install two way locks on the bedroom doors to keep her from taking stuff out of my room and to keep her from sneaking boys in the back window. She's been on punishments for up to four months at a time, and it is meaningless.

The mother of my child has told her again and again to stop breaking the rules of my house, and that as her father, I've presented her with a great opportunity to improve her life vs the environment her mom had her in...and it's been useless.

Finally, when my daughter stole the key to her room off my keychain, and the police wouldn't arrest her (even after admitting that it appeared a crime had taken place), I lost it and spanked her good when I got home.

NOW the whole county seems to be involved. I've been to dependency court, and may be looking at jail time, for spanking her. I've tried to stay off the "deadbeat black fathers" list my whole life, but it seems useless to try to continue to help a kid that doesn't want to be helped. The police won't help me NOT be a victim to her messes. If she returns to her mother's, her mother can't keep her away from gangs, drugs, or a teenage pregnancy (I don't think she's active, but we're getting really close)

My child has no consideration at all for anyone; instead of "give-and-take", it's all "take". And despite anything I do to set limits, I think her mother will always be the "pushover" parent, and that effectively negates any work that I do. The county now has our child in custody pending a next hearing, but I don't want her back in my home if it's gonna be the same hell for me again. The courts have her pegged as the "victim", so I don't see a judge helping me much at all to get her to see how damaging her behavior has been.

My Out-of-Control Teen

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