How should I deal with my 18 year old daughter?

I'll start off by saying that I love my daughter very much. She is incredibly smart and kind. Tests and teachers tell me she's intelligent and engaged but she does the bare minimum in school, especially these days, now that she's gotten into her first choice college (due to stellar essays and SAT grades- definitely not an impressive high school transcript).But this is tip of the iceberg. For about a year and a half my daughter has been caught numerous times drinking/stealing alcohol from us. She'll grab a bottle of something while we're out and bring it to friend's houses. We'll go through "good periods" where I won't be suspicious that she's doing it, but then all of a sudden my husband will tell me a case of beer or a bottle of wine is missing, and it's really tiresome. I know that she's 18 and kids do this, but alcohol scares me and I don't want to see her getting hurt. I also have fears about her going to parties- I know that alcohol is being served and as much as I'd like to believe her when she says she won't drink, I know she will.My husband tells me he's seen her carrying cigarettes. I'm not sure whether or not she smokes.What also really bothers my husband is that he has caught her several times sneaking boys out of her room. I am more understanding about this- I know that 18 year old kids are interested in dating and whatnot, so while I don't condone it, it's not the most pressing isue to me. It really really bothers her father though.It's so easy to forget all the trouble my daughter gets into when you talk to her. She is eloquent, charming and intelligent and I really think she's going somewhere in life. But how can I ensure that given all the drama?

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5 Answers to “How should I deal with my 18 year old daughter?”

  1. laryngalgia says:

    Maybe to start you should let her know she doesn’t have to hide things…I know the “fun” of doing the things you mentioned (although I was 13) was the fact that it was a secret from my parents and the rush of getting caught made it exciting esp. the sex ( I know I know but it was only one person & I regret it) My friend and I were allowed to drink and such so when our other friends wanted to “party” it wasn’t fun and we decided not too…I haven’t “partied” since a little before my 15th b-day and I’m now 19 SO I’m sorry I’m not much help but just don’t make it such a big deal and she’ll probably stop…

  2. unwares says:

    you cant. she 18 which means shes a legal adult

  3. derisions says:

    Although I’m only 20, i feel that from your point of view it’s the “sneaking” part of her behaviour that is really eating away at you. If she was truthful about taking alcohol or having a boy in her room, you might feel differently. Worry starts when you become sceptical about her behaviour. I suggest just asking her to be honest with you; then you wont have to be suspicious, you can offer her advice and your mind can rest at ease. Although it’s probably easier said than done.

  4. respirational says:

    Honestly, this might sound like a cop out answer, but I think you should sit her down and simply let her read what you just wrote. It’s concerned, yet it’s understanding. It’s a fantastic post. You sound like a wonderful and understanding mother who wants the very best for her daughter. You should have nothing to fear. All the very best to you..

  5. l'hotel says:

    sounds like a spoilt little rich girl that doesnt get in trouble for what she does! although depends if your in australia or us! if australia shes allowed to drink and smoke and do what she wants