Teen Daughter Doesn't Want to Live at Home

A mom seeks advice: I have a 14-year-old daughter who doesn't want to live with me. We were living with my ex-boyfriend who was verbally abusive and an alcoholic. We moved out of that situation and got our own place. She was so excited about that and was eager to just be alone with me. She spends a lot of time with her friends which I know is normal at her age, but she never wants to come home. She has been at a friends house now since the week before Halloween.

She calls me when she wants money and when I tell her I don't have any, she gets mad at me. I tell her I want her to come home and she says, "I'm gonna help her babysit because her mom has to work and she cannot handle her brother and sister by herself." Okay, but what did she do before? She was extremely sick last week with a serious viral intestinal infection and didn't even want me to take her to the doctor--she wanted her friend's mom to take her. When I call her, she never seems excited to talk to me or anything. She doesn't seem like she even wants to come home. I do not know what to do. I want her with me, but I do not want her to be unhappy. When she is with me she lies to me, manipulates me to get her way, lies to me, skips school, gets into trouble and seems to do whatever she can to make me look bad. I have her in counseling, but I can't tell if it's doing any good because she isn't here with me.

Another thing she does when she's with me is locks herself in her room. She doesn't talk to me, won't watch a movie with me, won't play a game with me, won't go for a walk with me, nothing. All she wants to do when she is here is go some place else. What can I do?

Denise's thoughts: She's angry with you and it probably stems from your relationship with your old boyfriend.

It does not seem like she trusts you as her mom, so she has found someone else to do the job.

My advice to you is to be sure she is safe and is being taken care of and keep her in counseling and play as active a part as you can in her life. Then work on being the best YOU you can be. When you are over what happened emotionally with your ex, she may be able to trust that you are there for her and you will be able to repair the relationship. During that time, get the counselors involved in having trial runs at home. Let us know how it goes.

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