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Old 09-17-2012, 10:48 PM   #31
tianna26
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I am not a parent so take this with a grain of salt. I can tell you from experience of rough teen yrs & fighting with my own mom. the situations reversed my father married & had a son a week b4 I turned 16. I was feeling inadequate and left out and still do to this day I feel like its my fathers family but i am not included. even when i am around them it feels like i'm a visitor. this is how it feels to me I have no idea what my father or his wife feels. now with that being said this may or may not be how she feels. to find out you and your daughter need to go to counseling with or without the dad (preferably with) maybe even with your husband down the road. you and the father need to be on the same page and consistent with rules and expectations etc... It sounds like he .like to play the good guy and the friend which is enabling your daughter. the adults in the situation needs to sit down and come to an agreement.

as far as the vacation goes idk if its appropriate or not the rest of the family deserves to go and in my opinion should go. the daughter is the one breaking the rules and should receive an appropriate punishment. however if she feels like I felt it would add fuel to the fire and further in her mind that she is the outsider. Again I have no idea if this is how your daughter feels. I really hope it works out for your family.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:27 PM   #32
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This is a hard situation, some thoughts...

Many kids make some foolish mistakes along the way, but your DD seems to be quite troubled. What she did was criminal, and that makes it more serious than some dumb prank or simply goofing off because of "senioritis." Also, since she is 17, time seems to be critical, as you might lose what little control you do have when she turns 18.

I am all for tough love and suffer the consequences, really I am, but I feel when someone is acting out for attention, you need to pay attention, and give them exactly that... your attention.

Now is the time to make sure your actions are the same as your words, and the message should be clear... I love and care about you too much to allow you to throw away your future. She'll act as those she doesn't hear, she'll act as if she doesn't need you or want your help, but trust me, she's listening and somewhere deep down inside, she knows you're right and only want the best for her.

Your trip was scheduled for Feb., which you canceled. Now you have rescheduled a different trip for Nov. Going or not going on the trip doesn't concern me, since if she can't miss more school... she can't miss school, her actions made that decision for her. However, the timing of the trip could be a problem since you don't know what her punishment will involve, community service, probation, etc.

She is in need of some serious guidance right now, from a responsible parent. Taking a trip while she needs your attention may add to her imagined perception that you care more about your "new family" than you do about her. Not the message I would want my daughter to get and I wouldn't want to give her another twisted excuse she can use for her poor choices.

I agree she needs to understand that the needs and desires of all family members are important, so if you take this trip without her, make sure she understands she was definitely included in the original plans, but she blew that, and make sure your have a strong support system in place and strict supervision for her while you are gone.
I Really think this is spot-on. Thanks to your lenient ex- she is testing whether you really love her. Clearly he doesn't love her enough to set boundaries, and you have that 'other' family.

Tough as it is, I'd re-schedule for a time when she can go for part of it (long weekend, spring break). (Why would she need 5 days off from school for a 4 night cruise? Can't that be over a weekend?) Give her some goals and expectations to meet to come on the trip. Nothing too tough, but enough to let her know that she is in charge. Get the ex to back you up. Sure, she may fail. But at least you'd be giving her advance warning, telling her AHEAD of time that she controls her destiny. If your dh really really needs to get away, send him with the younger kids. She's pushing you to choose them over her to prove that she doesn't mean as much to you. Teens are weird. They want to grow up, but they don't. She really wants to be 4 again, when life was good.

You've really got the worst of all worlds going. Over indulgent dad, mom that has to do all the bad guy stuff, who is re-married to stressed guy with young (cute) kids, criminal conviction AND a sleazy boyfriend. I mean, could you find a worse mix?

Worst case, if she ends up going to PR after graduation to be with the sleazy boyfriend, will you still have happy memories of your trip?

(Sorry, my original accidentally deleted, so I had to rush thru this. Gotta get back to my own teen, who's not dealing with all that yours is, but is still pretty much crazy and mixed up!)
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:15 PM   #33
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OP, I was glad to see the update re: your dd's dad and him backing your decision. Honestly, once the two of YOU are on the same page, things will improve. My ex was not a great husband but as a parent, he did very well in making sure that whatever rules were reinforced with him/stepmom. No matter what. If they were on restriction at home they were on restriction at his house, no tv etc. I distinctly remember a time when my ds at 12 thought he knew more than his teachers and decided homework wasn't his thing. When his dad came to get him for his weekend, he pulled both ds and I aside and clearly to ds made sure he understood that he and I were 100% in this together and both of us wanted him to understand that. Ds is 18 now and turned into a great young man. My dd, who by far was the hardest, is now a mom with two young sons and doing very very well. This time is a blip on the radar as long as you and the ex are together in making her understand illegal activity is not gonna fly.

Kids can be a bit manipulative when they want to be. Especially when there are separate households and different parenting styles. A wonderful counselor that my dd and I were seeing at the height of her problems assured me that divorce can either be used as an excuse for everything wrong in their life or children can learn to accept changes when parents make it clear its about their marriage, not about being their parents.

Good luck! Hopefully you are able to get her to a counselor and have a few family sessions with the ex involved so that you are able to get things on the same page. Once she has the same rules everywhere in her life, you may see some changes for the better!

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Old 09-20-2012, 05:12 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by mandynee22 View Post
*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.
Ditto completely. I would explain that since she did this, she lost her 5 days at school and can't be out for the vacation. I think this is a small price to pay at this point in life to recognize that consequences aren't just immediate but can ripple for a while.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:55 PM   #35
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I am so torn...

I am just so torn up about this, and I feel like I am being ripped into two.

I hear EVERYTHING that everyone is telling me, even the stuff my Disney Brain doesn't want to hear, which is that my daughter is going to use this as emotional blackmail over me forever if I go without her, even though: A) she created these circumstances/set of consequences, and B) even without the recent trouble, she has stated emphatically that she hates Disney, never going back, yada yada blahblah yada...

I am going, I am cancelling, I am going, I am cancelling... I am DRIVING my DH crazy I'm sure, (he doesn't say that though) even though he insists, that whatever decision I make he supports fully and completely. I wish someone would just make it for me. (Now who has issues right?)

The last thing on EARTH that I want is to ever add fuel to the teen drama and give her any reason to say "you love them more" etc. I have always gone out of my way to do EXTRA for her just to prevent that. But I feel like at this point I just need to tell her, "suck it up, nothing could be further from the truth, but YOU made your bed, now you have to sleep in it. I love you, I will always love you and I will always be here for you, but I am not going to allow myself or anyone else suffer because of your poor decisions. Grow up, be responsible and then you will get to enjoy things in life that responsible people get to enjoy. Act like a 6 year old, and that is how I am going to treat you, and if that means taking away your toys, and putting you on time out than so be it..." But actually saying the words, and backing them up without feeling guilt and anxiety is easy said than done

Grrrr, I know this is my payback for my torturous teenage years. I call my Mom weekly and tell her how sorry I am... That Karma, she's a real witch isn't she???
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:27 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by bankgirl05 View Post
I am just so torn up about this, and I feel like I am being ripped into two.

I hear EVERYTHING that everyone is telling me, even the stuff my Disney Brain doesn't want to hear, which is that my daughter is going to use this as emotional blackmail over me forever if I go without her, even though: A) she created these circumstances/set of consequences, and B) even without the recent trouble, she has stated emphatically that she hates Disney, never going back, yada yada blahblah yada...

I am going, I am cancelling, I am going, I am cancelling... I am DRIVING my DH crazy I'm sure, (he doesn't say that though) even though he insists, that whatever decision I make he supports fully and completely. I wish someone would just make it for me. (Now who has issues right?)

The last thing on EARTH that I want is to ever add fuel to the teen drama and give her any reason to say "you love them more" etc. I have always gone out of my way to do EXTRA for her just to prevent that. But I feel like at this point I just need to tell her, "suck it up, nothing could be further from the truth, but YOU made your bed, now you have to sleep in it. I love you, I will always love you and I will always be here for you, but I am not going to allow myself or anyone else suffer because of your poor decisions. Grow up, be responsible and then you will get to enjoy things in life that responsible people get to enjoy. Act like a 6 year old, and that is how I am going to treat you, and if that means taking away your toys, and putting you on time out than so be it..." But actually saying the words, and backing them up without feeling guilt and anxiety is easy said than done
Grrrr, I know this is my payback for my torturous teenage years. I call my Mom weekly and tell her how sorry I am... That Karma, she's a real witch isn't she???
OP there is always going to be guilt because you love her, and honestly that is what mom's do. We rationalize and everything else trying to figure out why. The reality is you are not the person who should be stressing and feeling guilty. Your dd should be coming to and honestly looking for ways to make this right and to change her behavior.

As for your dh and children..again, resentment is a funny thing. It kinda creeps up on people. Right now they may say its ok I understand, but when nothing at all changes and its change after change for them, who have done nothing, there will be resentment and it will be too late. You are feeling guilty wondering what you could have changed and done differently, your family is willing to change/cancel their vacation plans. What exactly is your dd, at age 16, willing to do and sacrifice in this situation. The person who made the choice?

If you can not work through the guilt now, you may have to work more difficult things later. I am going to be honest and say you have to get a handle on this guilt you feel. If you do not hold her accountable at this time and make her understand this was HER choice, HER consequences you will be in for a very long haul and the bad choices will get bigger. And the consequences are going to be the kind you CAN'T help her with.

The right thing is never the easiest thing. I can empathize. A few years of my life with my dd were like waiting every day for the other shoe to fall because I was guilty feeling andi n denial. I could find a thousand excuses for why she did what she did, and usually they were never her fault. While she was sleeping peacefully in her bed, I was up all night stressing and crying and wondering how to fix things. But she never changed until I did and she HAD to feel what consequences were like.

I will be thinking of you OP and wishing you much strength!

Kelly
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:52 PM   #37
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Oh my, I'm torn FOR you! What a difficult situation!

I definitely agree that she needs to face the consequences of her decisions.... I think that much is a given. (And yay that your ex seems to see this now - I hope he sticks to it!)

But I also think it's unfair for your DH & other children to have to make such a huge sacrifice in order for her to learn her lesson. It really seems unfair to 4 out of 5 of the people involved.

I'm trying to think outside of the box here - is there any way she can EARN the vacation back? Get a job to cover part of the expenses, work off her share in chores & babysitting, etc? Something more specific to the charges, like community service? If she earned it back, you could all go & enjoy & maybe even stop the resentments on all sides for a little magical while. (And dump the mommy-guilt )
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:49 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by bankgirl05 View Post
I am just so torn up about this, and I feel like I am being ripped into two.
No one said being a parent was easy. Look, I've denied my kids things when they don't deserve it. I'm not here to win a popularity contest, I'm here to raise good and productive people. I think the lesson for your daughter is this has a ripple effect. Not only is this potentially on your record, not only have you missed 5 days of school, but now you can't make the trip because you can't miss more. Consequences aren't one and done. They can go on. Small price to pay.

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I'm trying to think outside of the box here - is there any way she can EARN the vacation back? Get a job to cover part of the expenses, work off her share in chores & babysitting, etc? Something more specific to the charges, like community service? If she earned it back, you could all go & enjoy & maybe even stop the resentments on all sides for a little magical while. (And dump the mommy-guilt )
And this is where pp has a great idea to kind of meet in the middle. Not for this trip, sounds like that is not doable. But you could sit down with her (and her father) and talk to her about what she thinks she can do to make her believe she is ready for the next trip. Good grades? Do some chores or work? What about volunteer work to understand how good she has it? Maybe she has to contribute X amount. Who knows. But as she is part of the problem, make her part of the solution. That feeling of trust, respect, responsibility and control over this element might help her grow up a little bit. GL!
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:51 PM   #39
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I always tell my young kids that I don't reward bad behavior. If she already says she doesn't like Disney why put yourself through the misery of z moody teen. Perhaps you could take a separate small trip somewhere else if she proves herself.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:55 PM   #40
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I am dumping the Mommy Guilt!!! Well, at least as much as any of us ever really can, and at least over this trip.

I told her today that Feb's Cruise was cancelled due to the fact that she was not going to be able to go, and it was a trip that I had envisioned for our whole family. We had a long talk about that "ripple" effect, and I told her that at some point in the future she is going to feel more consequences, and that I will be in her ear for a LONG time reminding her that bad things happen when you make bad decisions. I told her that we were, instead going to WDW without her, not that it was my origianal plan or desire, but that is just the way it is going to be. Her only comment??? "well we would have just been at each other's throats all week any way."

Well all righty then I'll bring you back a souvenier!!!

Thanks everyone for all of your caring and kindness!!!

Let the (happy) planning begin!!!
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:32 PM   #41
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Meh. I say go. If DD17 gets mad at you, tell her it's too bad. She made the choice to be carrying pot and got busted for it, and now she has to face the consequences...one of which is not vacationing with the rest of the family.

She'll be 18 and making her own decisions soon whether you like them or not. And expecting you to back off and let her live her life how she wants. It's not easy being a mom and letting go of that control you're used to having when your kids turn 18 (I watched my mom struggle with it, and she still struggles with it every now and again, and all us kids are 30 and up).

*hugs*
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