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Old 08-24-2010, 08:27 AM   #1
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I'm having a really hard time with my niece

My 13 yr old niece lives with our family. She has been with us for 2.5 yrs now. We have had a lot of struggles and issues with her throughout the journey.

But most recently it was brought to my attention that she was meeting up with 16yr old boys. Her and 2 friends were going to the park and meeting with them there. I always limited park time and tried to monitor it as best as I could while working full time, taking care of all 3 kids, and DH being gone a month at a time. But obviously not well enough. She lied to me every time I asked about what she had done that day. Once I found out, I asked her 4 different times anout the lying and sneaking to meet with the boys. She never once came clean. I found texts in her phone asking one of the boys if he was drunk or high. DNi has admitted to other people that they are not good boys, but that she really likes the one. They all are known to hang around with older kids and have been in quite a lot of trouble.

I found out from a concerned neighbor. Not only did she know, but 2 other mothers on our road did. One's daughter was there everytime too. She doesn't see a problem with it at all. Which is her decision. But this morning I went to walk out to the bus stop to tell DNi to have a good day and I hear this mother out there with her daughter and DNi yelling and trash talking me and my decision to ground DNi. She was saying some terrible things about me to these kids. This woman is near her 50's, if not already there. She is constantly in the middle of any neighborhood drama and holds grudges BIG TIME. But I feel it is completely unacceptable for her to behave this way. I tried going to her house to fill her in on the situation last night, and then again this morning after her public display of immaturity. But she won't answer the door. I know she is home...her vehicles are all in the driveway. It's not like I didn't see her walk in and shut the door this morning.

Gah! Thanks for listening to my vent. I am a 26yr old guardian to a difficult 13yr old who had a pretty awful upbringing before she came to live with us. My DH is gone for another 2.5 weeks and I am at my wits end. Most days I am so stressed and frustrated dealing with her that it affects all of us in the house and the little kids get the brunt of it.

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Old 08-25-2010, 12:38 AM   #2
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Re: I'm having a really hard time with my niece

Hey Mama - mean people suck!
I know that it is going to be hard but I would just ignore your neighbour it sounds like she is trying to be the "cool" mom so the kids will like her. I mean really saying things about you is what you would expect from the teens not the parents. I would ignore her and move on. At least you know that you are trying to do right by your neice - it's the best you can do.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:41 AM   #3
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Re: I'm having a really hard time with my niece

Wow, how immature of your neighbor. I"m sorry you are going through all that.
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:48 AM   #4
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Re: I'm having a really hard time with my niece

It is ridiculous that she behaves this way. It's not the first time. And it's not just here. There is another lady down the road (we are pretty rural, and there are 7 of us on the same road) who is really judgemental as well. She forgets to poick up her kids, lies to other parents when she brings their kids home late, steals $ from her kids. And yet she criticizes me for punishing my DNi and giving her chores. I really don't willingly associate with any of them. But it is a small town, and it's hard to distance yourself because everyone knows everything.

I have one very angry 13 yr old now. She is grounded for the lying and has lost her cell phone and computer privledges. She isn't allowed to ride the bus right now either. The driver called me last night and had some issues with her yesterday. She and the neighbor girl were making up mean songs about me and being mean and disrespectful to the other kids.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:49 AM   #5
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Re: I'm having a really hard time with my niece

It sounds like you are doing a great job. I'd try to get her into some counseling if she isn't in some and if she is, reevaluate what she is in and make sure it is meeting her needs. Also, make sure some are joint, where you are involved.

Make sure she always knows you have extra eyes and she will get reported - you know - you have eyes behind your head phrase... tell it to your little ones now. If she has a cell phone - pay the extra few dollars and put the tracker on there. And, pay or how ever it is done so you can read all texts and if necessary block texts from the cell phone and limit calls to you and husband for emergency's only (I worry about taking away a phone for emergency's).

The worst stuff she says about you - take it as a complement - it means you are doing your job as an aunt/mom. Really - that's what teens do. No worries. I know it hurts but its your job to do what you are doing regardless of her behavior and you need to continue for her sake.

Hang in there.

Also, now that school is starting up, talk to the counselor and see what supports they have.
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:19 AM   #6
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Re: I'm having a really hard time with my niece

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcjs View Post
It sounds like you are doing a great job. I'd try to get her into some counseling if she isn't in some and if she is, reevaluate what she is in and make sure it is meeting her needs. Also, make sure some are joint, where you are involved.

Make sure she always knows you have extra eyes and she will get reported - you know - you have eyes behind your head phrase... tell it to your little ones now. If she has a cell phone - pay the extra few dollars and put the tracker on there. And, pay or how ever it is done so you can read all texts and if necessary block texts from the cell phone and limit calls to you and husband for emergency's only (I worry about taking away a phone for emergency's).

The worst stuff she says about you - take it as a complement - it means you are doing your job as an aunt/mom. Really - that's what teens do. No worries. I know it hurts but its your job to do what you are doing regardless of her behavior and you need to continue for her sake.

Hang in there.

Also, now that school is starting up, talk to the counselor and see what supports they have.
We do have a meeting with a counselor next week. Hopefully the one we have the appt with will be someone that DNi can relate to. Her parents are against counseling, and they are telling DNi horrible things and names about people who seek counseling.

As far as eyes in the back of my head...she knows. She just doesn't care. There isn't one move that she makes that we don't know about. Again...small town. Her school counselor, most of her teachers, the office lady, bus driver, soccer coach, and a mediator of some sort were all at a meeting last week for DNi. We are really trying to get through to her and make sure she knows we love her and will always be here. I don't know if it will work though.
And it is taking so much time away from the little kids too. DD is starting to act out now too.

She does still have access to a prepaid phone in case of emergency. But it stays at the house...well, aside from school and anywhere with me, so does she for now. We will hopefully be upgrading her phone in October and will be able to choose a phone that allows us to add tracking to it. The one she has now doesn't have that option.

And I will look into blocking certain numbers. Thanks so much for that information!
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:47 PM   #7
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Re: I'm having a really hard time with my niece

Kudos to you!! You sound like you are trying to do right by her and are a great surrogate mama!
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