We Are Struggling to Parent Our Teen Who Is Also a Parent

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"So I have a teenager (16) who has literally gone downhill since getting with her boyfriend. I trusted his parents were decent people, and I allowed my daughter, 14 at the time to go to their house for a cookout. I later found out he had gotten her pregnant. So fast forward, we decided it may be easier for her to enroll in online school and be able to graduate early/do schoolwork from home to tend to the baby once the time came. So long story short, it has been nothing but a shit show, my child’s father is residential, but she lives with me full time with little communication with him. She is barely doing her school work at this point, and it has been going on since enrolling. I have no control over being able to place her back in brick-and-mortar. Baby is now one, and the child’s father is involved when he feels like it, but since he has been around, he’s undermining mine and my husbands parenting and telling her we’re in the wrong for punishing her to the point she is undermining us, he has had her smoking weed, got her vaping, he’s a dropout, and she’s very much headed down the same road. We had asked her for her electronics since she wanted to spend her time on the phone or Facebook and TikTok, and since he had bought her a tablet, she told us we couldn’t take it because we didn’t buy it (but it would be her lifeline to him and continuing to slack on school) we’ve been battling for about a year and a half now, and anything and everything we have said or done has either been criticized by a child who thinks he knows everything or has been a fight with my child because of being influenced not to follow by our rules. I need any suggestions on how to get her to do her schoolwork and properly care for her child and somehow handle her boyfriend am I in the wrong for trying to take her stuff (that I didn’t pay for) because it’s a distraction since she lives under my roof and is still a minor in the process of getting me a truancy charge?"

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"Your treating her like a regular 16 year old… she isn’t. Let her learn the hard way. She wanted to grow up fast and be a parent. Let her see how hard it is"

"My daughter is 16 and bought her own $500 phone. Best believe I’m taking it when she ain’t acting right. If you are grounded from electronics it don’t matter who paid for the damn thing it’s gone. I would turn the wifi off because she can’t use it without the wifi unless it’s hooked up to a phone plan. But like I said I’d take it. And give her no option. Tell her to get her shit together and until she does so she can’t see/talk to the boyfriend. Homework first"

"What a tough situation. Im sorry, you’re going through this. If it was my house my rules would be followed. If the rules aren’t followed… Time to move out, get a job, and pay their own bills while they still know everything."

"Give her an ultimatum. She plays by your rules if she wants this roof over her & her baby’s head. End of."

"Well first you can start holding your daughter accountable of her actions instead of blaming her child’s father and his parents. Your daughter chose to have sex, get pregnant, smoke weed and vape no one made her do these things… Dropping out of high school isn’t the end of the world either. Sure we all want our kids to graduate but that’s not always the case, people go on to college and to have great lives without graduating. Perhaps look into ged testing and her getting a job. As far as the child’s father goes you’re going to have to let her learn on her own how he is and that he doesn’t have her best interest in mind."

"Boundaries, rules, consequences Or SHUT OFF WIFI"

"Who paid for the electronics? Who pays for the service provider for them? Does she have a job? Is she paying bills? If not, why not?"

"She’s not a regular 16 year old anymore, so time to stop treating her as such. In order to stay under your roof I would put stipulations up such as no school no job no room and board."

"Change the Wi-Fi password and let her keep the tablet. I would also give her an ultimatum: live in you house she must finish school and follow your rules. Or her emancipated and move out. If she wants to act like an adult then she can become one. Don’t pay for anything. Don’t make her meals. Let her see what adulthood is like"

"Don’t take her devices, block the wi-fi to those devises unless actively doing school work."

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