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16 yr old niece moving in

Discussion in 'Parenting Teens and Young Adults' started by DaffodillysDad, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. DaffodillysDad

    DaffodillysDad New Member

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    My 16 year old niece has been having problems getting along with her parents and siblings for the past year. She has repeatedly asked to move in with us, but our response has been no. We believe that she (a) needs to learn to accept and respect her parents' authority over her and (b) needs to cope with her problems, not run away from them.

    Recently her parents have asked us to let her stay with us for a few months. They have reason to believe that she is planning to run away and though they would prefer to keep her with them, they'd rather she stay with our family than do that. I believe they are also totally exhausted and ready for a break from the daily conflict.

    My wife is willing, as is our 15 year old daughter. The girl spends most weekends and school vacations with us anyway, so we've got a fairly good idea of what it would be like to have her live with us.

    I'm concerned about the impact this would have on our family life and on my wife's relationship with her sister. (The 2 are very close - talk on the phone daily and get together several times a week. There is already a bit of tension between them because niece is so difficult at home but fairly cooperative and respectful at our house.) As much as I love my niece and am concerned for her welfare, my first responsibility is to my wife and daughter. I don't want to loose sight of that.

    We're still praying and seeking guidance about this. I'm looking for input from anyone who may have been in a similar situation.
     
  2. smiledaily

    smiledaily Keep smiling!

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    Praying for you and all your family.
     
  3. rocklife

    rocklife Senior Veteran

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    your own daughter will be the one the most influenced by your niece. They will probably be very close since they are about the same age. And unfortunately, the niece will probably be trying to plant bad ideas into your daughter.

    15 and 16 is when I started partying, sneaking out at middle of the night, and I am not the only teen who did that.

    If you bring in this girl, you will really have to supervise them closely. The bad kids go away if their are parents constantly with the kids. But you have to go to sleep, and that is the time they will be trying to do more things, talk on phone to boys you probably wouldn't approve of, and can even make plans at night to sneak out for parties. If this girl is planning to secretly run away already, she may have a secret network of friends for doing that kind of thing. I also ran away from home unexpectedly at age 16, I didn't go back til I was 18 or 19, it was spur of the moment, but I had a hatred for my parents, and had a network of friends my parents didn't know much about. My parents just seemed to care about getting As and Bs and not much else, which I did.

    just things to keep in mind. Your daughter will probably be the most affected. Do you want your daughter copying this girl and getting advice from her? I wouldn't.

    even when she is spending weekends at your house, I hope you are watching them all closely, even checking their internet talks and who they talk with in person too. I hope they do lot of supervised things, teens need adult interaction and activities with responsible people.
     
  4. indagroove

    indagroove Senior Member

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    Running away never solves anything.

    But it does sound like a novel idea. Sounds like fun.

    I give it 5 days before the novelty wears off. Take it from experience. It's a BAD idea. You have your immediate family to worry about. Your daugher is number one priority. If you are like us, you have your hands full getting her to survive her normal home-school life. Adding a full time 16yo, malcontent that already hates and is running from anyone that is trying to help her mature into a responsible mature woman. In my experience = CHAOS

    Are you prepared to discipline this child? How long will she do what you say before she tells you that you are not her father, and makes you powerless. Then what? Will you be able to put her out? Or will you now be forced to live with a descision to let her stay and now everyone will be miserable for the next couple of years.
    This is real life, not a vacation. How much chaos can your family handle?

    It was said above. The person to be impacted the most will be your daughter. She will watch everyhing the older does, and she will want to imitate her, because she is a cool 16yo.

    You need to protect your daughter more then you need to make your neice happy, more then you need to make your SIL happy. Your wife and you really need to play out all possible scenereos. Will it be better if she runs away from your home, or from her current home. Who's fault will it be then?

    My opinion ... Bad idea !

    But that's just my experience in trying to make everyone happy, and blending families.

    Good luck in what ever you decide.

    Pray about it !
     
  5. MidlifeMom

    MidlifeMom New Member

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    What is the girl like when she stays with you on vacation? Do you see a change in your daughter? How respectful of your rules has she been when she stays with you short-term?

    We actually sent our son to stay with relatives out of town this past summer. Their children (ages17, 15 & 12) were a very good influence on him.

    Because he was away from the crowd he was with, and wanted to fit into their home, he reacted very positively. It gave us a MUCH needed break in our own, personal teenage battle and gave our younger children a chance to have a fun summer conflict-free.

    If your children have strong principles and are not normally easily swayed by peer pressure, I think it might be a worthwhile experiment. You could consider setting up a 'trial' period of 1 or 2 weeks, with expectations discussed by all adults before presenting to the troubled teen and your children.

    I know that God was able to use this situation for us very favorably. Although our son came home and got 'right back into' his troubled ways, it gave the rest of our family our summer back.

    I'll be praying for your decision.
     
  6. DaffodillysDad

    DaffodillysDad New Member

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    Although she pushes us a little, for the most part she is polite and respectful when she's with us. We live close enough that the 2 families have always spent a lot of time together. Barb and I are comfortable correcting/disciplining her when needed, and though she doesn't like it she accepts our authority pretty well.

    She's spent a lot of time with us this past year. Weeks at a time, including a 3 week camping/backpacking trip in August. Though she is rebellious and difficult at home, the problems are not all of her making. There are some other significant things going on in her family right now, and there's not a lot of energy left over to deal with an emotional 16 year old.

    I am concerned that bringing her into our home full time may change the dynamics of our relationship with our daughter. She's eager to please and easy to get along with. I worry that she'll be pushed aside a bit and that she'll have difficulty going from being the big cheese at home to suddenly having to share her mom and me 24/7. I also have some personal concerns. Currently our home is calm and peaceful. I am hesitant to change that. One of the things Barb and I are praying specifically for is discernment. I need to know if my reluctance is due to selfishness or if it's the Lord's guidance in this situation.

    I appreciate your willingness to share personal experiences.
     
  7. smiledaily

    smiledaily Keep smiling!

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    You, your wife, and daughter have really big heart's and it's wonderful to see. The love you have for this family member shines bright, keep praying, and God will lead the way. I'm praying for you and all your family member's. God bless you.
     
  8. DaffodillysDad

    DaffodillysDad New Member

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    Well, Jess moved in today.
    Barb and I had all these carefully ordered plans, and were adamant about putting the move off until after the holidays, but a few unexpected things happened and we felt God's leading pretty clearly.

    We're going to stick with the 2 afternoons a week with her family. Schoolwork or not, we intend to make this a time of healing and rebuilding for her family (as much as it's up to us). That means they need to spend regular time together. Her folks will continue to transport her to and from school and of course they'll continue to cover her tuition and other regular expenses. Our families are close and get together at least once a week anyway. No one involved is looking to cut ties - they're just all looking for a little breathing room right now.

    Thanks for your prayers and for your advice and insight.
    I plan to pick up some sheetrock tomorrow and my BIL and nephew are going to help me frame up another bedroom in the basement. Though Joanna's said repeatedly that she has no problem sharing her room with Jess, we think it will be healthier if they each have their own space. I run my business out of the basement and it's pretty pleasant down there. I can manage with a smaller conference room and Barb's willing to give up part of her laundry/storage area so we'll end up with a nice sized room with several (small) windows.

    Barb and I have decided to let the girls figure out who gets the "new room". We assume our daughter will want to keep her current room, but you never know, do you?
     
  9. bliz

    bliz Contributor

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    You sound very wise about this.

    Just make sure that your daughter continues to have a special place and special time. Make sure you keep using her name - it's very easy to slip into "girls" all the time. Her need for fatherly affection is high right now.
     
  10. DaffodillysDad

    DaffodillysDad New Member

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    Thank you. :)
    Things are going really well so far, but it's amazing how many things we haven't thought about yet.
    We can use all the advice we can get.

    David
     
  11. BeanMak

    BeanMak Veteran

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    God's Blessings on you for trying to make a difference in a child's life. You may have saved her from a bad decision with life long consequences. You are a living example of Christ's love.
    I pray God gives you wisdom and his strength.
     
  12. smiledaily

    smiledaily Keep smiling!

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    Continuing to pray for your families. :prayer:
     
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