help! 14 yr old daughter problems - FamilyEducation
help! 14 yr old daughter problems
03/12/2008 at 12:08 PM

I am so lost with my 14 year old daughter. In the past she was caught stealing money. As a consequence she had her pocket money drastically reduced.

On new years eve we agreed where she was going and who she was going with etc, including discussions wth the parents of the friend she was going to be staying with. Instead she went off to a party with and 18 year old and refused to answer txt messages or calls. No one knew where she was. She eventually made contact at about 2.30 in the morning. As a consequence she was given a 7pm curfew - indefinate until we felt that her behaviour had changed and she could be trusted again.

In the past few weeks she has been allowed to stay out later at a couple of events with a strict curfew and being fully aware of any restrictions.

However, we said no to a party the other weekend as it was not appropriate at all for her age. She moaned and whined but we stood our ground making it clear the reasons why. She had a friend over to stay instead. I have recently learned that her and her friend snuck out that night at 2.30 in the morning. As they weren't allowed in to the party for some reason they decided to "hang" around town, coming home at 5.30 in the morning.

I have also learnt that this wasn't the first time she has snuck out.

Then there's the smoking! She has been coming home smelling of cigarrettes lately. Obviously we were suspicious but she insited that it was from her boyfiend and made up many an elaborate story about how she has tried to persuade him to give up or not smoke around her or so on.

I found some loose cigarettes in her bag but again she made up a story about them. Of course I now know tht she has been smoking and continues to do so.

Basically she has been lying and stealing and it doesnt matter what punishments we use she doesn't care. She either steals the money or her rich friends hand it out to her! We've stopped access to the internet, taken away other privalidges such as her mobile phone etc. Nothing has had any effect.

We have raised our children with good morals, we are a good honest and close family. We try to keep the lines of communication open and support our children, so why is she doing all this?

It is breaking my heart. But worse still we just don't know what consequences and punishments to use anymore as nothing works. We have tried many reward systems over the years too beginning when she was younger, but even then nothing ever made any difference to her behaviour.

Please help.


As a step-mom, I have help to raise two girls - one into school and one into trouble. When one was about 14 y/o, she started doing all the things your daughter is doing right now. She was looking for attention, wanted to have fun with her friends and didn't want to attend school. We tried counseling for a while, but she quit going. She found a part-time job and started taking classes at the college for her GED prep at 15 y/o. When she turned 16, she started a full-time job and continued the GED prep class. When she was 17, she because pregnant, moved in with her boyfriend and things have worked out well for them, too. We have learned that it was better to compromise with this daughter than to fight with her. She made her own decisions AND had her own consequences, but our relationship grew into understanding.

My suggestion is counseling first - she has issues that needs to be dealt with - not just home, but school, peer-pressure, ect. Smoking is a 'group' thing ... hopefully, she will quit when the peer-pressure is gone. If she is 'sneaking' out, make that no longer possible at your house. Also, you could place her into a teen-program where is lives in security and you can visit on the weekends. Also, call the police - maybe this will scare her? Finally, you could contact the local 'children-services' in your area for other options ... Good luck to you and your family. Kim in AZ


Hugs Moogirl!  I'm so sorry. 


I too have a 14 year old daughter and in reading your post your daughter has so much more freedom than mine.  My daughter is allowed to do things don't get me wrong we don't keep her prisoner.  We have a lot of rules that are expected to be followed here.


We all eat dinner as a family nightly.  Very rarely do we not.  It isn't something we'll try to do it's something we do as a family.


Our kids are expected to come home from school.  The have a list of things required of them.  It's understood that the family lives in the house together and is expected to keep it neat, clean and the taken care of together.  Our 14 year old daughter is in charge of putting away clean clothes, loading the dishwasher and helping to prepare dinner.  They are expected to have their home work completed before they can watch tv, play video games, use the internet etc.


Our Daughter has all the usual toys including a prepaid cellphone.  Rule is we buy her a 60 minute card every 3 months and if she goes over she has to buy her own.  She earns money babysitting but no allowance.  Everyone lives here and we pay for all necessary items.  They have to pay for extra items.  To earn money our daughter does some babysitting at approved homes, and some odd jobs like hauling in wood for a neighbor.


I really don't think there is an easy answer.  My suggestions are take everything away.  Replace the cell w/a prepaid one, and hand it out when you want her to have it and take it back when she gets home.  Have her earn her items back such as ipod and remove messenger from her computer and put a parental tool on it that keeps her from certain sites etc.


This is going to take a lot of work on your part but will be worth it and hopefully bring you closer to your daughter.  I've had to be creative too.  When my daughter was mad and slamming her bedroom door I took it off the hinges and moved it to the garage, this would help too w/ her sneaking out.  It's harder to sneak out w/ no door.


They also need to know you love them.  When my kids are having a particularly hard time before they go to sleep I'll lay on the bed with them and just talk.  Tell them how much I love them and that I don't like being a mean mom but my job is to be their mom not their friend and to raise the best possible person I can and that I don't want to fail at my dream because they are too important.




Going out at 14 seems kind of young. Especially on a new years eve. At 14 our daughter got to go places with friends, but also with a parent along. Never just with "friends". Always with a parent. She turned 16 a few months ago. And it has only been in the last few weeks that she has been allowed to go places on her own or with "friends" unchaperoned. Not because I don't trust her. Just because thats the rules we set up from the beginning of time. Set boundry's stick to them. Even if she throws a fit. At 14 don't let her out of your sight unless she is at school or with a parent you trust. Talk to her. Tell her she does have a choice in all of this. Her life can be fun and enjoyable but with rules and expectations. If she makes the right choices. If she doesn't the fun and activities go right out the door. But it is her choice. Stick to the rules you set up. Please don't let her go out with "just friends". She's to young. darla

I have a 14 yr old daughter just started high school. We just found out she was caught at school hugging & kissing a guy (oppisite race). She is going to be in ISS for a few days or a day of suspension. She says they are just friends but I suspect more than that. We are just devistated. She has excellent grades, never been in trouble but we are firm on mix relationships. She is a very attractive young lady. Her dad seems to think she should dress differently (redneck style) to make sure oppisite race doesn't want a thing to do with her. Please help!!! This has competely torn us apart!

You said: "But worse still we just don't know what consequences and punishments to use anymore as nothing works." I suggest you send her to a summer boot camp for girls. She need to learn about discipline and responsibility of her own action. Teens now a days are very rebellious, what you tell them NOT to do they basically do it. When you already did everything you could, not its time for the professionals to do it. ;)