My step daughter, 18, is "dating" an 18 year old looser - he has been arrested for stealing Ipods, cameras, laptops etc from people's cars and got suspended from school for pot and now the school is trying to expell him, I don't know why, his mother who is a state trooper has kicked him out of her house I don't know why there either, he is living out of my step daughter's car because we won't let him stay at our house, he sleeps in her car and has his clothes in the back. My children 15, 20 and 22 are very uncomfortable having him in the house at all, the 15 year old knows him from school and says he is a very bad kid and my 15 year old is usually the first one to give someone a break. My 18 year old step daughter graduated from high school in June but she didn't want to go to college this year and she is barely working just hanging out with this looser, we are sending her to Spain next month for two months to stay with relatives (planned before the looser came along). He has been in our house a few times and is pretty rude and disrespectful to my husband and me. How do we navigate this without loosing her?
it sounds like you've got two issues going on here. The first is your obvious disappointment that your stepdaughter is earning any of her own money (AKA, she's sponging off of you and your husband and not doing anything 'productive') Seems a bit strange that you are planning on rewarding her with a vacation in Spain. What's the message you're sending: Yes, we'll gripe about your laziness, because we think you should be working, but not to worry, here's a vacation in Europe!"
THe second issue is your disapproval of the boyfriend. Your stepdaughter is legally an adult. She makes her own choices. it sounds like you don't have much in the way of influence over her, so talking to her about your feelings about the bf probably is a waste of breath. (I'm guessing she knows how you feel about him any way.) If she owns the car, then you cannot dictate who rides (or lives) in it either.
She you're providing her with rent-free housing and food, cell phone, internet access, what incentive does she have to be responsible for herself? None! So there you are... supporting her as if she were a child and yet feeling like your hands are tied because she's associating with a guy whose own mom knows is not worthy of a free-ride on HER nickel!
You need to get real about what you can and can't control in this situation. You don't get a vote on who she hangs out with. The only thing you can control is your financial support of an adult child whose choices you disapprove of. You can also ban the guy from your house as his mom did.) OR you continue to helplessly protest the choices she's making without backing up your words with action.
This situation isn't going to change until you change your response.
So many people assume as soon as a child turns 18 they are adults and "adult like". Quite the contrary. At 18 they are still children, I call them Junior Adults. I actually think people should not be "legal" adults until 21, I've read example after example of why, and here's another. My heart goes out to these parents, I understand how you feel. You want to help your daughter, you know how someone like this could ruin her life, and given her new found "adulthood" she technically has the freedom to do that, as well as bring it to your doorstep which is exactly what she has done. But that does not mean it is okay, or that should walk away from her and let her. This is where you must draw the line and rightfully so. You have the right to protect your property and all of your children at this point, including your junior adult. I'm guessing she'll jump all over a trip to Spain, I say send her, for even longer than two months if possible. Meanwhile arrange to have her car "
worked on" in a shop that will require a few days, then put in "storage" while she's away. The creep will move on to find someone else to live off of, the longer she's gone, the more he'll get tied up with some one else. The longer she's gone, the more likely she'll meet someone else. When she comes back, hopefull she'll have matured a little more, and stay away from him.
There isn't much you can do, she has to make her own mistakes you cant protect her forever. If she doesn't screw up she will never learn and she will just continue to bring home the same type of guy. Unless she is in a life and death situation there isn't much you can do. She has to make this mistake so she can learn and grow up. I know that's hard to hear and its not what you want to hear but its the truth she wont listen if you butt in and she wont learn either.