Online Parent Support Chat

14.7.09

Uninvolved Father

My ex and I divorced over 5 years ago. We're amicable most of the time. We live close to one another and had joint custody until I joined the Army nearly 3 years ago. I'm out now and he still has full custody, although the girls stay with me most of the time. His mother and I are at our wits end with my 13-year-old daughter who lies habitually, is disrespectful, especially to her grandmother and her 9-year-old sister, gets in trouble at school constantly, is SO SMART, but still gets failing grades for not doing her schoolwork, is severely addicted to her cell phone (which gets turned off tomorrow) and who I caught this evening "making out" with a female friend of hers. She's been sexually "curious" since she was 4 years old (but not consistently and always with boys, and she's still a virgin...thankfully) and I have no idea why. It's never been flaunted in front of her. I know children will be curious and will be exposed to things in everyday life if not monitored, which we've tried hard as Christians to do, but it's getting bad. We live in a small town and this behavior, in addition to the constant lying and disrespect to everyone she comes into contact with, is going to ruin her if we don't stop it NOW! I fear it has already started.

Mostly, I'm concerned about the refusal to mind, complete and utter disregard for consequences, lack of respect for anyone, lack of respect for her property (she breaks or loses things constantly and doesn't care), lack of respect for herself and the constant and instantaneous instinct to lying. She acts as though she doesn't have to care that she's been told not to do something...she's going to do it anyway. She's impulsive and angry and she blames everyone else when she does something wrong. She always, and I mean always, plays the victim. It's never her fault. She takes zero responsibility for her actions. (For instance, I caught her and her friend kissing tonight. She claims her grandmother will hate her, but that's because of her younger sister. She blamed the act on the friend, although it was clear she was just as involved. Then, she blamed some friend of hers for moving away last year. I have no idea what any of that had to do with her decision, but that's how it goes with her. And her grandmother would never hate her. Be disappointed in her behavior sometimes, yes...but never hate her. Nor would I or any other family member.)

Her grandmother and I are ready to try anything. We've done all we can do. Any advice on how to get Dad involved? He's just a little too lazy when it comes to the kids. I don't mean to talk badly about him, but maybe you've had experience with this.

I am at my wits end.

My Out-of-Control Teen

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