I'm so scared!
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29-06-2013, 07:01 AM
RE: I'm so scared!
Please post more details about her when you have them.

Sounds like you and her have a lot in common. Sounds like your family rejected you both because of juvenile behavior?

You know, you can build on that. I wouldn't try to hide it, it just makes you not genuine, and kids tend to be very acute even if they are teens who look like they don't care and don't pay attention.

You were in a similar mess and you made it. That is something to build on, and an example. It can be the basis of a bond.

The right combination of structure, love, and fun (yes, fun) can do wonders. She does need to know that there is fun outside of what she used to be doing. Especially when it's a brand new start, and this is.

You only got two years anyway until she is 18.

What about her education?

I doubt you will have time to miss your trio.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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29-06-2013, 02:03 PM
RE: I'm so scared!
If you niece can be vindictive, then to take her in would be setting yourself up for trouble you don't want. She can tell the police anything and the onus will be on you to clear yourself. The courts may find you not guilty but will the general public? You may be not guilty but that doesn't mean you are innocent. Your girlfriend may be fully aware of this and want to part of it. I've known of good foster parents being hauled in to court and their lives shredded. Two years later family services had placed kids back in their homes again.
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29-06-2013, 05:37 PM (This post was last modified: 29-06-2013 05:57 PM by Scully.)
RE: I'm so scared!
Your niece is 16. She's old enough to have a job or volunteer after school, even if it's just running the cash at the local grocery store. This will be good for her because
(1) she has to learn how to contribute to her upkeep - even if you make her pay $35/week ($5/day) for room and board to help defray the cost of keeping her favorite pizza / yogurt / snacks / breakfast cereal available / covering her electricity needs [tell her if she volunteers, you will count $5/hour toward her upkeep up to a maximum of $35/week]
(2) the experience she earns will be something she can include on a resume
(3) the time she spends working/volunteering is time she can't spend partying (etc) or hanging out with friends
(4) she needs to finance her own social life and personal expenses (including makeup, feminine hygiene stuff, and so on)
(5) curfews are VITAL - establish non-negotiable times for when you expect her to be home, and do not make exceptions - she needs to inform you of her whereabouts, and can expect you to check up on her
(6) limitation of friends in YOUR home - she cannot have visitors in the house while you are not there, and when you are there, maximum 2 visitors, and NO BOYS
(7) no drugs and no alcohol; have random drug tests (you can purchase urine kits for this purpose)

She also needs to be responsible for pitching in around the house, doing her own laundry, keeping her room tidy, putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher, emptying the dishwasher, etcetera.

Tell her this is an opportunity to help her become a strong young adult woman and that these tasks will benefit her in the long run. You don't *have* to take her in - she needs to know this. You're doing her a huge favor and in return, you expect her to do you the favour of turning out to be a decent responsible human being. You don't expect perfection, but you do expect some basic courtesies and effort from her in that direction. She's not a guest in your home - she is a "tenant" and there are rules and responsibilities that go along with tenancy.

I highly recommend the book "Parenting Your Out of Control Teenager" by Scott P. Sells. It has lots of great examples of contracts to draw up for behavioural expectations and helps you learn how to communicate with obstinate kids while not permitting them to manipulate you with your own past behaviours.

If you have resources available to you such as a Youth Services Bureau, you can partner with them for help with job/volunteer placements, coaching through difficult situations and other things that come up.

We've been through the wringer with our youngest. She started hanging around with the wrong crowd at age 12 and before she turned 13 she was running away for days at a time, using drugs and getting in trouble with the police. We partnered with all the available resources at our disposal to learn how to discipline her in a way that was effective. She's still a handful, and she'll be 20 next month, but things have toned down immensely. We've learned what battles are worth fighting, and which ones are not. It's been a long 7 years, and probably one of the most difficult things we've been through as a family, but we weren't willing to give up and throw her on the streets (though it was tempting on occasion).

If you want to chat privately, feel free to PM me.

. . . all the gods were stories we told the children to make them behave. ~ Thoros of Myr (Game of Thrones, Episode 3:06)
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29-06-2013, 06:53 PM
RE: I'm so scared!
Oh, and one more thing: you deserve some kind of support from her parents. You're providing a roof over her head, safety and hopefully she will look to you as a role model.

Don't do this for free; especially since they rejected you however long ago. You don't owe your family anything after the way they treated you, and what they are asking from you is HUGE.

They should be covering the cost of her basic necessities until she is 18. Room and board, a clothing allowance, and daily necessities. Whatever your niece pays you for room and board, open up a bank account and just deposit the cash in there. When she's ready to go to college or trade school, use it to fund her education - at that time you can tell her that the money she paid you went into a trust fund and now she's saved enough to pay for her textbooks or whatever.

. . . all the gods were stories we told the children to make them behave. ~ Thoros of Myr (Game of Thrones, Episode 3:06)
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29-06-2013, 07:26 PM
RE: I'm so scared!
Again, I'll get the full story tomorrow some time, but her father, my older brother, has agreed to pay for everything.
Taking her phone will be a must. Her mother likes to call her up and alternate between telling her she loves her, and that she's worthless. That shit comes to a stop now, along with contacts of any sort with former "friends".
The part that troubles me the most is she's threatened her father with calling child services before. My brother's an asshole, but he never hit her or harmed her any other way. If that happens once, she's gone, but I won't feel any better for it. I just can't turn her away out of hand, though. I've got to give her at least a last chance. She's family; which means a lot to me even if it doesn't anyone else in it, anymore.

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29-06-2013, 07:35 PM
RE: I'm so scared!
(29-06-2013 07:26 PM)TheGulegon Wrote:  Again, I'll get the full story tomorrow some time, but her father, my older brother, has agreed to pay for everything.
Taking her phone will be a must. Her mother likes to call her up and alternate between telling her she loves her, and that she's worthless. That shit comes to a stop now, along with contacts of any sort with former "friends".
The part that troubles me the most is she's threatened her father with calling child services before. My brother's an asshole, but he never hit her or harmed her any other way. If that happens once, she's gone, but I won't feel any better for it. I just can't turn her away out of hand, though. I've got to give her at least a last chance. She's family; which means a lot to me even if it doesn't anyone else in it, anymore.

G, I think you are doing the noble and correct thing by taking your niece in. However this works out, as my moniker states, "A clear conscience is the softest pillow".

You've been given some very good advice (none coming from me I'm afraid) and now you do the best you can. How this all turns out depends a great deal on her.

"Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's." - Mark Twain in Eruption
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29-06-2013, 07:52 PM
RE: I'm so scared!
one thing in life ive learned is that DOUBT MEANS DON"T if your going to feel guilty about not taking her that's the absolute wrong way to start things , or do everything to prepare yourself for the worst i'm sorry I sound like a downer towards your situation but I don't hear you talk about your family offering you support and why should they sleep better at night than you sometimes in life the worst decisions to make are the best ones for you Cheer up she's going to grow up someday lol
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29-06-2013, 07:56 PM
RE: I'm so scared!
(29-06-2013 07:26 PM)TheGulegon Wrote:  The part that troubles me the most is she's threatened her father with calling child services before.

That troubles me too!

What if she accuses you of sexual abuse? You'll be in deep shit!

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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29-06-2013, 07:56 PM
RE: I'm so scared!
I sent ya a PM scully Smile
Where's the stomach ache smilie

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29-06-2013, 08:02 PM (This post was last modified: 29-06-2013 08:12 PM by Scully.)
RE: I'm so scared!
You can't be afraid of her threats to call child services. In fact, get them involved from the start. You'll need all the support you can muster from whatever agencies are out there. If you seek them out for assistance, it takes the wind out of her sails and the threat loses its appeal.

Considering this, my best advice to you will be to document your interactions with your niece, her parents, her friends, her teachers and so on. Make sure to use dates, times, places, direct quotes of what was said and by whom. Document her behaviour, not your assumptions about her behaviour. Do not let her know you are keeping this diary because she will make it her mission to seek and destroy it. Keep it in a private password protected file on your computer. This kind of documentation can literally save your life from going to shit if she ever got it in her mind to try to ruin you.

For example:
Sunday, June 30, 2013, 3 am - [niece's name] failed to arrive home in time for curfew at 11:00 pm. Tried to call her cell phone - no answer. She arrived home at 2:30 am and when questioned, refused to disclose where she had been or who she had been with. Smells of alcohol and marijuana. Aware that consequences will be discussed after getting some rest.

Sunday, June 30, 2013, 12 noon - [niece's name] woke up at 10:00, showered. I had breakfast made for both of us. Reviewed curfew agreement. She stated she lost track of time after consuming alcohol and smoking weed with a friend, hoped I would be in bed when she came home. Consequence for coming in after curfew: cleaning all the bathrooms in the house by 3 pm today. Consequence for substance use: $10 fine or revocation of TV privileges for 1 week - she chose $10 fine.

. . . all the gods were stories we told the children to make them behave. ~ Thoros of Myr (Game of Thrones, Episode 3:06)
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