Friday, August 24, 2012

Teenage Daughter Chronicles, part IV

The summer was pleasent. Enjoyable, even. Minor arguments here and there about bed-times, but not as much an ordeal as I had feared. We went to the beach. We enjoyed dinner together. We prayed the Rosary as a family. She even acted like a sister to her siblings when we went to the beach. I had such hopes. I was looking forward to trusting her with more and more privileges for her 8th grade year.

And then tonight happened. As my sister tells me, "She's going to test you, that's her job." She's good at her job.

In this case, the test came at the end of the football game. We let her go with her brother to the football game. They were supposed to be home at 7:00. 7:10, she's not home, and we have no notification. So my wife goes to the school to pick her up.

And then the fun starts.

She is going to wait for another friend and then she will walk them home. She is not going in the car. She won't let us drive them home. She is not going in car. So I have to come out and physically drag her into my car. We go home, requisite door slamming and sobbing. Dinner is ready, so I ask her to come downstairs for dinner. She won't come sit for dinner. She gets into a staring contest, loses, and refuses to move. So I literally drag her out of her room to the stairs. She then chooses to walk downstairs.

More sobbing at the table. Obvious silence.

At this point, the question is what do we do? How many privileges does she lose for this one? Not wanting to make a decision in anger, I back off from moving her back to square one, complete lockdown. But what to do? We had discussed letting her take the bus home. Now what?

We trusted her, and she shit all over us. Again. Now what to do? I can't afford to send her to a boarding school, but I am tempted to find a way, because she obviously can't learn obedience here. I am failing in my job as her father, and I find myself blind-sided by this.

St. Joseph, hear my cry.