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Old 09-15-2012, 08:24 AM   #1
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DD in trouble WWYD?

Hello, before I get started let me preface this by saying, I don't like to air all of my dirty laundry on the internet, but I need some objective opinions on something, or just some kind words of support right now.

My oldest DD17(from first marriage) and I have been doing battle for years. I tried to chalk it up as teenage mother daughter drama... I realize I was wrong. She spent the entire summer at her dad's (we live about 5 miles apart so there was never any custody agreement or anything, just worked together on getting her where ever she needed to be etc.)for many reasons, but mostly because she did not want to follow my rules, and I did not feel she was ready for a car, which he bought for her anyway.

On the 2nd day of school she got busted for posession of (a small amount) of pot. She was taken from school to the PD, and I had to pick her up there. She was suspended from school for 5 days, and we are still waiting to hear what is going to happen with the judge/waiting on a court date etc.
Ex is comitted (for now) to finally nailing her butt to the wall (instead of letting her walk all over him) and I am assuming (hoping) that there will be mandatory drug testing/counselling and possibly(hopefully) family counselling also. (tried to get us into family counselling 2 years ago but he refused,I figured even though we weren't together, if we went and provided a united front in raising her it would do us all a world of good. Couldn't force her to go with just me without his support, and also because he carries her on his ins. so I couldn't make the necessary arrangements...)

I had a 4 night DCL cruise planned for us (myself, DH, DD17, and DS6,DD4) in feb over my 40th birthday, but realize now my DD17 will no longer be permitted to miss 5 days of school. So I cancelled it.

My dilemma is this: currentDH (who loves my DD17 as if she is his own) still needs and wants to take a vacay, he is burned out from a very long summer. He wants to go Nov1-11th. But I am twisted up inside about leaving DD17 behind, only because I am afraid that she will be petty, jealous and somewhat hurt, even though she has stated many times before that she hates Disney and is never going back, and made our last trip miserable with her jealousy of her little sister and her rude and nasty attitude towards me.

I have decided to go ahead with the vacation, we need it. My DH and youngest kids deserve it, I can't make them put thier lives on hold because of the actions of my 17yo,(am I rationalizing because subconsciously I know it is wrong?)

I am struggling with how to approach it with DD17 and my ex. I am imagining that her court appearance will be way before then, so there will be some plan in place for her punishment and "treatment" but I am afraid that if it doesn't come before my trip, my ex will try not postpone or reschedule just out of his need for posturing and grandstanding, like he is the best Dad in the world...(myriad of issues there, like the car, a tatoo etc all without my knowledge and/or consent)

Uggh, I guess I am not really asking for any help or advice, maybe just some prayers and support, or some "this will get better" type of feelings.

Thanks for listening and not judging.

eta: PS it's kinda funny and ironic(in a sad sorta way) that I just joked a few days ago on another thread about how easy it was to travel with my kids as toddlers as compared to the teenager, and how I was considering leaving her home. Now I feel like I could cry.

Last edited by bankgirl05; 09-15-2012 at 08:33 AM. Reason: to add ps
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:39 AM   #2
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I am sorry you are going through this but if it were me, the rest of the family would go on the vacation - even the cruise you had planned for your birthday. At 17 she is practically an adult and she's about to learn that the things she does have consequences. You going on the trip without her will just be another of those consequences because now she can't miss school. Hopefully this will be a wake-up call for her and being her first offense and her age, she will probably only get probation and a small fine.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:47 AM   #3
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I have decided to go ahead with the vacation, we need it. My DH and youngest kids deserve it, I can't make them put thier lives on hold because of the actions of my 17yo,(am I rationalizing because subconsciously I know it is wrong?)
No you are not rationalizing. It's sad that she can't go, but as the PP said, she is an adult and there are consequences to her actions. Maybe it will be a wake up call. I wouldn't feel guilty over this, you didn't do anything wrong.

I have twin 18 year olds and I understand where you are coming from. These last 2 years have been far harder than early teen years or toddler years. It's hard having to stand back knowing our kids are adults and watching them do something really stupid and childish. You always wonder if there is something as a parent you could have done differently so that they would make better choices.

Bottom line, I think feeling sad about it is normal because you will miss your DD on the trip. No one wants to leave a family member out! But lose the guilt. She did it to herself. If she hadn't gotten busted with pot, she would have been going. Lesson learned.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:48 AM   #4
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I agree. You are making the right choice to go with your family and leave her home. Sounds like she needs a little tough love right now. And she's already stated she doesn't like Disney. Let her get herself figured out and carry on for the sake of your younger kids.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:50 AM   #5
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My girls are only babies. I'm not a mommy to older kids, nor am I intimately in your situation. This sounds tough and I wish your family the very best of luck with this. Thinking back on my own teenage angst, it does pass eventually.

To me, this sounds like a family crisis. I would postpone the trip until everyone can be included (holiday break? spring break?). Don't pick-and-choose. If that was one of my girls, I would want her to look back and say "Mommy always included me no matter what." My DH will tell you something different. He had a horrible relationship with his mother after his father passed when he was 11. Their relationship was scary at best for the first few years of mine and his relationship. It finally got to a point that they stopped speaking right after our wedding. My MiL has never met my kids (the oldest is almost 2!) nor has she ever fetched on them. It's causing my SiL who wants to be very hands-on with my daughters a lot of strife. I believe this is because the situation was never handled properly when DH's father died. DH will still look back now and resent his mother's 'selfishness' during his adolescence. She has said to me, "He was difficult, what could I do?" I hope this doesn't happen to your family. Always try. Always reach out. Always be her mommy. Right now, its tough. But she'll grow up eventually and these memories won't change. DH will now say, "Yes, I was tough but my mother made me that way."

I don't look forward to my girls being moody teenagers and have no idea what the next 2 decades will bring me. Good luck!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:57 AM   #6
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I would continue to go on with the trip. I have a dd, whose late teen years were tough tough tough. In the end, your dd already used up her five days due to bad choices. Having consequences is never a bad thing.

I know, my dd always thought what she did only affected her. Not true with all the stress and drama that could get created. My other children started to feel resentment that there were times that the drama cancelled or delayed something that they wanted to do.

Good luck to you. These years are tough.

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Old 09-15-2012, 09:00 AM   #7
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I think you guys should go on a trip without her. It seems like a logical and natural consequence. If she had missed 5 days of school because she got pnuemonia or had to have emergency surgery, that would be a totally different situation, and I would postpone the vacation. Her choices are what have led her to be unable to join you on your trip.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:11 AM   #8
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*disclaimer- I do not have older teens.. so take it or leave it because, as someone with ZERO experience, I know nothing*
I'm on Team Leave Her Behind
She was doing something illegal and it made it so she can't miss school.
Sounds like a big fat natural consequence to me.
Good luck to you. This sounds pretty tough all around.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:55 AM   #9
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Wouldn't she be off of most of that week for teachers convention? I don't know - I would guess she probably feels a little separate from the rest of the family (siblings have a different father, and are much younger, she moved in with dad). This might be the last time she even vacations with your family (is she planning on going to college, where the breaks are different times?).

Knock on wood, dd16 has yet to get into any trouble, but both DH and I did at this age (DH was the one arrested for pot possession!). Do you travel, as a family, anywhere else but WDW?
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:04 AM   #10
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If your DD really doesn't want to go to WDW, then she won't feel left out if you go without her--she'll feel relieved. However, I wonder if she's just saying that she doesn't want to go to WDW again or if she means it. Only she knows that for sure, but I'm guessing you probably have a good idea of whether she truly means it or not. If she does mean it, then go without her. If she's just testing you, then have a heart-to-heart with her, let her know that she's part of the family and that you love her, even if things are difficult for her and with her relationship with you right now.

BTW--as if you don't know this already--your ex is doing you no favors by disagreeing with your policies regarding your daughter. And he's not doing your daughter any favors, either.

Last edited by Miffy; 09-15-2012 at 10:04 AM. Reason: grammar fix
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:09 AM   #11
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I agree with the PP's when they say to go ahead and go on vacation without her. Why should the rest of your family suffer and miss out because of her bad choices?

My son is nearly 16 and I know that if he did the same thing then we wouldn't hesitate to go without him. It's tough being a parent, but sometimes you have to do the tough thing no matter how bad it might make you feel.

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Old 09-15-2012, 10:15 AM   #12
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It is so much harder to deal with teenagers when there are two different households evolved. I have a very close friend who was in the same situation until her daughter turned 18.

At this point, I would say to schedule the vacation at a time that your DD can currently attend. If the court or school makes it so that she is unable to attend, then that is the consequence of her actions. However, you might want to make it a more low key vacation rather than a Disney trip since that might cause more hard feelings.

Depending on your school district, this offense may get your DD assigned to an alternative school and not be allowed back to her regular school for the rest of the year. You may want to do some investigating on this so it does not come as a complete surprise.

Are you counting down the days until she turns 18? Yes, there are other issues that come up then, but my friend is so happy not to have to deal with her ex directly any longer.

Last edited by clm10308; 09-15-2012 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:49 AM   #13
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If the vacation may need to be postponed for cancelled because of something other than your DD's total irresponsibility and lack of respect for the law I would say that the appropriate thing to do is to cancel until the whole family can attend. However, waiting until DD can go only reinforces the idea that her actions do not have consequences. Your DD will soon be held just as accountable for her actions as you or I would be and it may well be time that she learned this. Also, I would consider the message that it will send to the younger children in the home if you decide to rearrange all of your plans in order to accommodate DD.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:24 AM   #14
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I also agree with pp leave her home I don't have older children but I do have older nephews and my sister left her oldest home and went to Disney, he learned rather quickly that he did not want to be left behind again he understood that those were the consequences for his behavior and that the rest of the family didnt have to suffer because of him go and have your trip....
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:04 PM   #15
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My heart is breaking for you What a hard situation to be in! I also have a DD19 from prev relationship as well as DD3 from current marriage. And while my older DD has (mostly) been a joy, I can sympathize with the turbulent teenage years as well as jealously of younger DD. I really feel that leaving her behind is the right thing. Going on a vacation, even under the umbrella of family/bonding time, is a reward and illegal/irresponsible behavior should never be rewarded. And the rest of the family should not have to suffer because of her poor choices. That being said, I would make it clear to her that you want to vacation with her, that when she cleans up her behavior that a new vacation will be planned in the future that addresses her interests... Beach, historical sites, other amusement ideas, but that this will always be contingent on her doing the right things. Not perfect of course...but in general decent grades, respectful behavior and no trouble with the law. Good luck!
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