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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2003
    Posts
    349

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    I am the culprit. I have been very involved with my daughter's Pony Club for quite a few years. In her younger days, it seemed much more possible to "take it easy." She had care leased horses who happily lived out in our pasture, caught a trailer ride to lessons whenever possible or even rode to them. I volunteered quite a bit and when it wasn't suitable for me, I said "NO."

    Now she's 17 and those days are LONG gone. We have a trailer - in fact it's our 3rd one; a truck to haul it, a nice barn with stalls for her 3 (sometimes even 4) really good horses. Some need "special" care. Not only does she go to all her PC lessons, there are camps, rallies, shows outside of PC. My volunteer responsibilities have grown pretty big; since I've been involved for so long, I know the ropes. I don't have time or resources for my own hobby (which takes a huge committment to be successful) or even my job! At an age in her life when theoretically she should be moving towards independence, she and I are becoming more enmeshed because of pony club and horses in general.

    To complicate matters, my daughter has some learning challenges and has been through several traumatic emotional experiences within the last year. She's proved completely unable or unwilling to function in regular school (believe me, we tried MANY schools and approaches) and now, at the end of her high school years (she'll be in 12th grade), is in a program of "self schooling." She meets with a teacher once a week and they plan her work. She does the bare minimum. I do believe that she will get through high school, but she won't be on track for anything further. She also won't, or can't, submit herself to the "pressure" of getting a driving permit, a job, etc. Despite these problems, she has been a fairly shining pony clubber. She has a gift for teaching which she shares all the time within the organization. She helps others and has grown so much within the structure of the club. In her life, this is the most positive aspect. I have been putting so much into it because it is the most educational and demanding thing asked of her that she's actually stepped up for.

    Pony Club's structure is defined by "ratings." The members are tested periodically to see if they are at a very specific standard of riding, knowledge and horsemanship. She is at a point where it's time for her to take her C3 rating for the second time - last summer she failed it. It is in 2 weeks, and for the entire year we have spent a great deal of time, money and effort for her preparation, including paying for the rating itself, which is not refundable. Now she says that she is not going to do it.

    It is tremendously difficult for me to step aside with any grace at all and quietly allow the "quitting" behavior, which I HATE in anyone. Selfishly, I have a big problem with having put so much into helping her towards a goal that she can easily toss aside because she doesn't handle pressure well enough to "feel like it." I know, it's only gosh darn PONY CLUB, for crying out loud - but it feels the same as her going through a year of school and then REFUSING to take her finals because she doesn't feel like it. I actually fear for her future. I do, however, totally recognize that it is her life and her choice. I can't make her take her rating and I need to back off about the whole thing. I really don't want to be the horrible soccor mom I seem to have become, but I am SO not ready to let her sink or swim either.

    Where I could use input is regarding how much I should continue to support her riding financially and with time if she is not going through with the "program." Even if you don't think much of pony club, it is indeed an educationally based program, and as a parent it seems more justifiable to invest a lot into the pony club program than just for "fun" riding. And if she won't do the ratings, should I be just as supportive of her participation in the activities she DOES want to do, or back off on some of it.

    Well, feel free to let me have it. Nobody likes a pushy or guilt trippy mom. Her dad tells me I've been a door mat. Blech.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2003
    Posts
    349

    Default

    I am the culprit. I have been very involved with my daughter's Pony Club for quite a few years. In her younger days, it seemed much more possible to "take it easy." She had care leased horses who happily lived out in our pasture, caught a trailer ride to lessons whenever possible or even rode to them. I volunteered quite a bit and when it wasn't suitable for me, I said "NO."

    Now she's 17 and those days are LONG gone. We have a trailer - in fact it's our 3rd one; a truck to haul it, a nice barn with stalls for her 3 (sometimes even 4) really good horses. Some need "special" care. Not only does she go to all her PC lessons, there are camps, rallies, shows outside of PC. My volunteer responsibilities have grown pretty big; since I've been involved for so long, I know the ropes. I don't have time or resources for my own hobby (which takes a huge committment to be successful) or even my job! At an age in her life when theoretically she should be moving towards independence, she and I are becoming more enmeshed because of pony club and horses in general.

    To complicate matters, my daughter has some learning challenges and has been through several traumatic emotional experiences within the last year. She's proved completely unable or unwilling to function in regular school (believe me, we tried MANY schools and approaches) and now, at the end of her high school years (she'll be in 12th grade), is in a program of "self schooling." She meets with a teacher once a week and they plan her work. She does the bare minimum. I do believe that she will get through high school, but she won't be on track for anything further. She also won't, or can't, submit herself to the "pressure" of getting a driving permit, a job, etc. Despite these problems, she has been a fairly shining pony clubber. She has a gift for teaching which she shares all the time within the organization. She helps others and has grown so much within the structure of the club. In her life, this is the most positive aspect. I have been putting so much into it because it is the most educational and demanding thing asked of her that she's actually stepped up for.

    Pony Club's structure is defined by "ratings." The members are tested periodically to see if they are at a very specific standard of riding, knowledge and horsemanship. She is at a point where it's time for her to take her C3 rating for the second time - last summer she failed it. It is in 2 weeks, and for the entire year we have spent a great deal of time, money and effort for her preparation, including paying for the rating itself, which is not refundable. Now she says that she is not going to do it.

    It is tremendously difficult for me to step aside with any grace at all and quietly allow the "quitting" behavior, which I HATE in anyone. Selfishly, I have a big problem with having put so much into helping her towards a goal that she can easily toss aside because she doesn't handle pressure well enough to "feel like it." I know, it's only gosh darn PONY CLUB, for crying out loud - but it feels the same as her going through a year of school and then REFUSING to take her finals because she doesn't feel like it. I actually fear for her future. I do, however, totally recognize that it is her life and her choice. I can't make her take her rating and I need to back off about the whole thing. I really don't want to be the horrible soccor mom I seem to have become, but I am SO not ready to let her sink or swim either.

    Where I could use input is regarding how much I should continue to support her riding financially and with time if she is not going through with the "program." Even if you don't think much of pony club, it is indeed an educationally based program, and as a parent it seems more justifiable to invest a lot into the pony club program than just for "fun" riding. And if she won't do the ratings, should I be just as supportive of her participation in the activities she DOES want to do, or back off on some of it.

    Well, feel free to let me have it. Nobody likes a pushy or guilt trippy mom. Her dad tells me I've been a door mat. Blech.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,536

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    Well, as a mom of three (2 have made it to adult hood, last one is 11) daughters...I can sympathize with what you're going through. Girls try (and sometimes succeed) in ruling the roost at certain ages...and 'with all due respect' yours is ruling the roost.
    IMHO, do NOT step aside and allow her to not take her test. Doesn't matter if it's nerves for her, or fearing failure, or being lazy or having a learning disability....she should take her C3 test whether she wants to or not. She commited not only herself, but you to taking that test with all the prep work for it and she needs to learn when she commits to something, she HAS to follow through no matter what. At 17, she needs to start acting like an adult when it comes to learning and commitment.
    No need to argue with her (arguments with teenage girls are like banging your head on a brick wall...you'll get a headache and it won't stop her from argueing)...just calmly and quietly lay down the law to her...take the test or lose the horses. Even if it's the only thing she excels in or enjoys...it's a privilege and she's using it as a crutch to get ot of doing anything else. Also...while you're laying the law down...I'd mention she gets a job or loses the horses also. You're funding all of this and losing out on your career and your hobbies for her hobby...while she's putting zero effort into any of it, getting a free ride and not having to take one iota of responsibility for anything. Physically caring for the horses doesn't cut it at 17...she needs to contribute financially to them and also needs to show she deserves them with honest to goodness effort and work in other life areas such as schooling and a job.
    Otherwise...you're going to have the boomerang child on your hands and never, ever have a life of your own. A boomerang child is one who will eventually leave the house, then comes back again and again as life is "tough and unfair" and mom takes care of everything for her.
    I went through the same thing with my middle daughter...GREAT kid...had everything handed to her by her father. (She's technically my step daughter...she and I met when she was 10) Finally dad got overwhelmed by her lack of initiative...so we made the plan that our daughter gets a REAL job on summers off from school (high school, the college) and worked full time. Summer's off meant from school, NOT work. So my previous diva got 3 jobs one summer, worked 50 hours weekly and adored it. Really loved having paychecks coming in left and right and having financial independence from us over certain aspects of her life. Took some tough love to get her tuckus in gear...but now she's a 22 year old with 2 jobs, a college degree, going to graduate college and lives on her own.
    It's not easy becoming the heavy...but for the child's future sake...she needs you to come down with both feet on the responsibility issues or she's going to have one miserable time in the "real world." http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c.../icon_wink.gif
    Good luck! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...icon_smile.gif
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2004
    Posts
    2,336

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    Good grief, I would cheerfully have killed for a mom like you when I was 17!!!!!! What a nice life she has! When I was 17 I had a pasture boarded pony. My parents paid board and I paid for exxtra things with a job. (Not that I am not really grateful that I had that, I count myself lucky!)We sold the pony when I went to college/med school/residency/fellowship (racking up large debt) and now I have a great horse to continue my riding, now that I can afford it.

    I would suggest that when she graduates high school, she needs to get a job and support herself and her horse habit. It appears from your post that she is not going to be a horse professional, nor go to college, so it is time to downsize your financial investment significantly. I agree that pony club is good, and worth an investment, but she seems to have reached the end of her interest in that, and it is not going to provide more tools for future employment- so stop!!!!!!!!! Sell all but one horse, continue to board that one, but anything else should be up to her to fund. And for goodness sake, quit being the chauffer.

    Equally obvious you love your daughter, but enabling her to live a life of leisure with you footing the bill is not going to work in the long run. What will you do 10 years from now? Do you picture her still living at home and you supporting her? Every individual has a different amount of ambition and drive, but we all have to make a living, she should be ready to start.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    922

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    I am the Mom of 2 girls (now 20 and 19). I completely agree with what MistyBlue has said. You must make her take responsibility for her horses. Make her take the test or stop riding. PERIOD. (if she doesn't pass, at least she took the test). I feel for you regarding the schooling. We tried everything to help our older daughter who just couldn't cut it in the mainstream school situation. She ended up spending one year at "environmental school" and one year half way around the world in Australia. Both these things got her through school and I am confident she would not have graduated from high school had she not had those opportunities. She is now on her way to college, which I never ever thought I'd be able to say. Hopefully that will give you some encouragement. On the flip side, this child of mine has (over the years), held up to THREE part time jobs to finance her horsey habit. I've made it clear to her from day one that I finance her educational efforts and MY horsey habit and she is responsible to pay for her own horse needs. This has also helped to keep her on the straight and narrow. Good luck, raising teenage girls is a HUGE challenge. And as MB said, there is no point in arguing, you can't make a teenage girl do anything they don't want to do. You just need to point them in the right direction and offer them many different choices (all of which you personally agree with, but she doesn't need to hear that). As for PonyClub, I think its great. If you can encourage her to stay in it more power to both of you. Good luck. Its so hard when you want the best for them.
    \"Throw your heart over the fence and your horse will follow\"



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
    Posts
    32,552

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    I can only tell you what will happen to you if you on't step up and say *No More!*:

    My sister is 40, fairly smart, with a keen sense for business.

    Though she pays for her owns stuff, she is so Psychilogicly dependend, she has yet to move out of the greater visinity of my parents, dependts on them for mental support (while abusing them verbaly in the foulest way!).

    All would not be so problematic, if there wasn't a three yearold kid involved, who catches hell when her waco mom does not feel well or doesn't get her way!

    She had been supplied with horses, cars, trailers , support, work on her farm since she is 14, she has yet to learn how to apprechiate it!

    She'd whine and carry on untill someone opens the pocketbook (I don't think she ever offers to repay my parents) while having enough money in the bank to shell out four digits for bills, but has mom giving her $$ for her cellphone bill she ran up...

    My mom was pretty worn out when my sister broke up with her BF (Whom she also verbaly abused and kicked out) when she called sever times a day, for hours, and being nasty in general.

    In short, my sister has always been allowed to be this way, partly because of guilt my parents harboured because they got devorced, and she knew perfectly well how to use this for her advantage!

    After my lengthy rant, I'd suggest, you down size, one or two horses are more than enough.

    You pay for the rating, she needs to go! The story about paying the piper...
    I have no ideas on how to get her to do her schooling...in Germany there are schools for kids like that (learning disabled, not spoiled http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c.../icon_wink.gif) where they can learn a trade, some have agricultural jobs, like Hortuculture or equestrian the kids live there in groubs with counselors and do their learning and work...the results are pretty astonishing.

    I have to agree, at seventeen, gaceperiot of childhood is rapidly running out!

    (And no, the soccermom from He** would be the one coaching from the stands, cussing the Refs, getting into fights with other soccermoms...you just fell into one of the traps of parenthood!)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2004
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    2,955

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    That wasn't a long and heinous rant at all...just a description of life with kids.

    A couple of suggestions:
    Have you asked why she does not want to take the test? Maybe she's afraid of failure. My son is 16 and has severe learning disabilities. He found wrestling and had lots of early success. When he moved up to varsity and got beaten badly, he wanted to quit. When I sat him down to discuss it, he admitted that it was just too much for him to "fail at one more thing in my life." He's wrestling again now, and taking the defeats and victories in stride.

    After the conversation, if she still doesn't want to take the test, I'd attach the consequences others on this thread have suggested. No test? No horse. With my daughter, riding is a privilege that has to be earned. It hurts me more as much as it hurts her when I can't hang out at the barn to see her ride, but I have to put my foot down when schoolwork is not up to par...and with really great results. Usually one or two weeks is all it takes for her to snap out of it.

    I also agree on the job after high school. If she is not college bound, why not try my parents' method? "You may live in our house as long as you like, but you will be paying $xxx in rent monthly." Find out what the going rate is for furnished rooms to rent w/kitchen privileges are in your city. Then charge her! After I dropped out of college for a year to ride, it didn't take me long to figure out that I didn't want to pay to live at my parents forever. It was either move to an apartment with friends or go back to school...I chose school. After I graduated, my mother gave me a check for the 11 months' rent I'd paid plus interest. She'd invested the money without telling me. It paid for the first two months' rent in NYC and got me started toward independence.

    Bottom line? Hang in there. It sounds like you're a terrific Mom who is doing her best to raise her daugher in a loving, thoughtful environment. You deserve a big {{{HUG}}}.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2004
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    1,725

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    I'm with whoever suggested selling all but one horse. You said you have 3 (or was it 4?) stalls. You could even take on one or two boarders to help toward the expense of your one horse. I'm only 22 though--so no parenting advice from me! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...on_biggrin.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...on_biggrin.gif



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 17, 2003
    Posts
    1,520

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    i'm not a mom, so take this for what it's worth. the situation you describe mirrors closely the situation that my youngest brother (now 26) and my parents are going through. my brother is a caring, funny, smart guy with a real talent for baseball. the PC support you have given (and continue to give!) your daughter is exactly the same support my parents gave my brother for baseball. that is, unlimited. he did not work through high school (by the way, he only made it through high school because my mother did the schoolwork for him). he started college on a full baseball scholarship. after a month, he quit baseball. just quit. said he was tired of it and didn't want to do anymore. he moved back home and sat around for a few months, unmotivated and unskilled.

    it's been 8 years and nothing has changed. he still does not work. my parents support him (his apartment downtown, his car and insurance, his spending money--an unlimited AMEX card, etc.). to say he's spoiled is not the point. he's a wonderful guy who is significantly smarter than my brother or me. he has a great sense of humor and a gentle way with animals. but the relentless "support" my parents provided him has crippled him, in a way. he doesn't feel that he can do anything without them. he feels inadequate, unprepared for anything.

    if my parents had made a real effort to stop enabling him, i'm convinced things would be different. i hope it's not too late for my brother to find his way on his own.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2004
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    416

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    Ah found memoreies of my daughters teenage years....but , sad to say, yours is taking you for a ride <no pun intended>. I am soooo with MB & Pie on this one.

    But there is a matter I would like to bring to your attention, and I'm going to borrow from John Lyons to do it.



    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> We have a trailer - in fact it's our 3rd one; a truck to haul it, a nice barn with stalls for her 3 (sometimes even 4) really good horses. Some need "special" care <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> She also won't, or can't, submit herself to the "pressure" of getting a driving permit, a job, etc. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    [QUOTE] It is in 2 weeks, and for the entire year we have spent a great deal of time, money and effort for her preparation, including paying for the rating itself, which is not refundable. It is in 2 weeks, and for the entire year we have spent a great deal of time, money and effort for her preparation, including paying for the rating itself, which is not refundable [QUOTE]


    It sure sounds like you and your husband paid (and continue to pay) for the horses, the barn, the truck, the trailer,the grain, the hay, the vet bills, the show clothes, the show fees, the blacksmith, the pony club dues, the pony club non refundable rating test deposit, etc, etc, etc. No one is paying you rent on your barn, no one is paying you lease fees on your horses, no one rents your truck and trailer. Ergo, [I]they are you and your husbands horses, truck & trailer, barn, etc, etc, etc, not your daughters[/] And as they are yours, there is no reason on the face of the planet that things regarding them will not be done the way you want them to.

    I don't see this as a discussion item. There is no free ride in life. It's time your daughter started to grow up

    Besides, you have your own life to live. You have to think of yourself. What about you ?????
    A friend is someone who walks in the door when everyone else walks out.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2003
    Posts
    349

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    Thank you all so much. I am grateful for your input.

    Cindeye, she is in a similar state of mind as your son was. She has always found it much more comfortable to not try at anything than to try and fail. She is the poster child for "under achiever" and passive agressive too, I fear.) And, she DID take this test last summer and didn't pass; it was a bad experience, but she has been to a few preps over the year where she got much positive feedback.

    Things really have been rough for her since last summer - She just had to have her beloved horse put down on Monday - that is one reason for not wanting to take the test, but in truth, she was looking for a way out before he even got sick and I could tell that she was on her way to bailing on it. She has had other losses this year - a very close friend of hers was murdered (by her DAD), my daughter became depressed and even suicidal after that, her grandfather (my father, who I love) died, another friend of hers killed in a car wreck. These things are all serious and awful and I have so much compassion for her - yet I have to say that she would be doing this bailing on the rating regardless of all the tragedies. Those just give her better excuses, and make me more fearful about dishing out the hard consequences.

    Despite all the extra painful things that have happened, I do feel that the only right thing to do is to have her follow through with the committment she made, and that our family has made on her behalf.

    Regarding the job after high school situation - I am 100% there. Pay rent or be in school after high school graduation, those are her options. We still have one more year to get there.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2003
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    CA
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    Your daughter needs to learn to deal with pressure. If she doesn't, she will never be able to function in society.

    Can't take the pressure of a driving permit? Stop driving her places...soon the pressure of getting the permit and then getting the license won't seem as bad as figuring out how to get rides places.

    Won't take her C3? Then no more Pony Club. I'm sure she can ride just fine without rallies, lessons, etc. You shouldn't have to waste your time if she's not willing to progress.

    It really sounds like she's scared of trying and failing, so automatically chooses failure by not trying. Sadly, the only way to get over the fear of failure is to fail and then pick yourself back up and try again until you succeed. It's your job to show her that failure isn't that bad and that not trying really is the worse of two evils. Not an easy thing to do, but she will be a better person for it.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
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    You seem to have a good handle on the situation...you know what needs to be done but may feel "bad" about becoming the Enforcer after such a rough year of deaths for your daughter. I'm sure anyone would feel awful inside over getting tough and layng down the law during such a rough year...but it's probably best you put both feet down and DO lay that law down...a double lesson in learning that when life gets unfair or depressing is no reason to lay down and pull the covers over your head. You have to get out there and live...and live responsibly.
    ((((hugs)))) It won't be easy...and probably will be loaded with tears....but she's old enough to be jarred back into the world of the living by her loving mom who knows what's best for her in the long run. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...icon_smile.gif
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2000
    Location
    The Frozen Tundra
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    3,713

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    Starting when I was about 9 or 10, the deal was that once I'd signed up for something (a season of soccer, a competition, an after school club or class) I had to complete it. I didn't have to continue the activity once the prescribed period was over, but once I'd committed to a particular activity for a finite length of time, there was no backing out unless something unexpected happened.

    That probably kept me in gymnastics for about 3 months longer than I wanted to be, but it also kept me from giving up on other activities out of temporary frustration. It also forced me to really consider whether or not I wanted to take on another activity, because I was "stuck with it" for some time. But it made me understand commitment and seeing things through.

    Later, when I was a senior in college and struggling to balance the courseload for a double major, my parents knew they didn't make the rules in the same way. But they applied the same logic, encouraging me not to drop any classes during the semester, and to reevaluate what I wanted to do at the end of the semester before signing up for new classes.

    Sure, I guess I thought my parents were harda$$es when I was a kid. But I appreciated the respect they showed me by treating me as adult who was capable of making big decisions.

    I guess I'm saying I'd make her go to the rating. If she doesn't want to sign up for another one in the future, no problem, you won't make her. But she's committed to doing this one and she has to follow through. Good luck, either way -- Jess



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 21, 2000
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    3,096

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    Nightmare, I sent you a PT.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2002
    Location
    Canada
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    Oh, I meant to add, both my girls were reluctant to get their drivers license. I put them both on 6 months warning - they had 6 months to get their learners permit or at the end of that 6 months, I would not longer be driving them anywhere. Within 6 - 8 months they both had their drivers license. (they knew I meant business). Try that with your daughter.
    The great thing about your teenager riding (if you do too), when you ride with them, they often will tell you whats on their mind - they may not have been so open if they weren't on the back of their horse that they love.
    And I'm sorry about all the deaths in the last year, thats a tough one. The horse my daughter was leasing broke its leg and had to be put down 2 years ago. It damn near broke both our hearts, I was afraid she'd want to stop riding. I suppose it is all part of life and growing up... but it sure it a tough one. Hugs to you for loosing your Dad.
    \"Throw your heart over the fence and your horse will follow\"



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2004
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    NorCal
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by NightMare:
    Things really have been rough for her since last summer - She just had to have her beloved horse put down on Monday - that is one reason for not wanting to take the test, but in truth, she was looking for a way out before he even got sick and I could tell that she was on her way to bailing on it. She has had other losses this year - a very close friend of hers was murdered (by her DAD), my daughter became depressed and even suicidal after that, her grandfather (my father, who I love) died, another friend of hers killed in a car wreck. These things are all serious and awful and I have so much compassion for her - yet I have to say that she would be doing this bailing on the rating regardless of all the tragedies. Those just give her better excuses, and make me more fearful about dishing out the hard consequences.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Wow. Your daughter has had more than her fair share of crap to deal with this year. That said, you're right that those are just "better excuses". Don't waiver from laying down the law. She'll respect you for it when she's 40! Until then, I repeat...HANG IN THERE. You sound like a wonderfully caring Mom who just needs a little help in dishing out the tough love.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2004
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    I don't want to offer any suggestions, because every child and every parent is different. I am blessed not to be in this situation. And I do say blessed, because, though our efforts do help mold our children...they are not the ONLY things that mold them. "Villages" do participate. Every instance in your daughter's life is a brick in her wall. She is what she is, and you have to pick your battles.

    That said, I'm personally an EXTREMELY strict parent. But, I'm constantly worrying what I'll do if/when I hear "I'm just not going to do that" (whatever "that" might be). What will I do? If you draw a line in the sand...they may just turn around and walk the other way. At 17, well, this girl is pretty much "cooked". She'll go through a lot of growing and changing (how many of us keep a very neat house now, but couldn't find a pair of clean socks at age 17?). But...her morals are defined. So, I wish I had a magic answer.

    I do worry we (especially our schools!) burn our kids out early with too much too soon. Maybe she's been run ragged and wants to drop out for just a bit. My daughter often talks about how nice a simpler life would be.

    If she won't get her license...how about then you don't drive her anywhere. If she won't take the rating test...does she get allowance? How about, well...no more allowance until that non-refundable registration is paid for? If she's not functioning in a day school...can I assume you've had testing done for emotional or physical issues? My daughter, at age 11, told me she liked that a friend of hers had a Mom who "let her make her own mistakes". So I let her do it a few times. It was VERY VERY hard to watch her miss out on BIG things because I didn't remind her of something she was supposed to remember herself, etc. But...I think it helped her.

    I KNOW that sleepaway camp helps her. She learns that she has to learn to deal with it if I'm not there to help, as I normally am. It's just me...and her. So I have no other kids to help...so I help a LOT. But, she comes home from camp much more grown up each time. I sit home worrying (as I am right now, she's been away for 5 weeks at horse camp this summer!!!) http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...s/icon_eek.gif. So, if she needs another sweater...too bad, she'll live. If she doesn't like the food...oh well, she'll eat if she's hungry. If she's homesick, I won't know it. Like you, I am very involved in her comfort levels. So this is VERY hard for me. But she WANTS to go away, and it's good for both of us.

    Any chance your daughter could go to boarding school? Culver Military Academy in Indiana (where my daughter is riding/camping right now) has an AWESOME equestrian program and they might whip her into shape? Someone I work with went there. She LOVED it. And the programs they offer and facilities they have are incredible! Of course, very "spendy" too..think $27,000 base for a year. More for uniforms/equestrian participation, etc. But these kids can learn to fly planes and fencing, and have an ice skating rink and a 100 horse barn. Have you heard of the Black Horse Troop that rides in all the Presidential inaugural parades? It comes from Culver and some of the girls ride in it now too.

    Whatever happens, try to BREATHE and think before the big decisions. And good luck.

    Just the Mom



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2000
    Location
    Concord, NH
    Posts
    4,952

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    The only thing I can comment on her is the driver's license. I was afraid that once I got my license my mom would stop going with me to events - not that I would be driving the trailer, but that I'd lose my groom and companion.

    Once that got cleared up, I got my license and drove everywhere, and my mom got to relax in the truck when we went places & I drove.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 2, 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    839

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    Hi. Another heinous mom here. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...icon_smile.gif

    I was very involved in PC with my elder daughter. She quit at 13 and did something else. So, I forced myself to be less involved with my younger daughter. (-:.

    Pony Club stresses 'giving back'. The problem with that philosophy is that the parents usually do the giving back, and the kids usually go along for the free ride. I understand that she teaches, which is great. She should be doing more IMHO.

    Our job as parents is to get them to stand on their own two feet, right? So, you have to figure out how to transfer the jobs and responsibilities and decisions to her plate, off yours.

    My example is, I'd sit down with my younger daughter at the time when you have to re-up for Pony Club, and we'd talk about her goals for the next year. It was her job to decide what she wanted to do (how many events, what ratings or not, whether to do PC camp, etc.) I'd tell her what I was willing to finance, but the decision was hers. And so was the commitment. I was _not_ going to plunk down my money and have her blow off the event, the test, the camp. She had to work toward it seriously, or the flow of cash dried up.

    (Seriously, a friend of mine did this with her kids and college. "I'll pay for college, but if you quit before you get the degree, you have to pay me back." I thought that was a terrific incentive.)

    The decision was hers. She could decide not to show, if she wanted to. (Restraining myself from having an opinion about her choices was really hard!! But I mostly managed to do it.) She could even decide not to take lessons, or to quit Pony Club if she wanted to. But if she said she wanted to stay in the club, that decision covered the entire year, and she had to do it, show up, work hard, volunteer, etc.

    You might find life a little easier if you define what her choices are more clearly, and what the corresponding commitment looks like. (And, of course, what the consequences for ditching a commitment looks like).

    A choice should not be punitive. (i.e., 'If you choose not to rate, we'll sell the horses.' That's punitive.)

    But it should be clear. "If you choose to rate, I'll pay for it, but you have to rice 5X week for the 6 weeks leading up to the rating, and you have to go over your teaching schedule with your instructor, and you have to teach in Pony Club 1X month for 6 months, and you have to practice wrapping every week. If you choose to trail ride instead, I expect the horses to get out 3X a week each."

    The consequences can be punitive. "If you choose to rate, then blow it off, then I'm selling the horses." Link it to the underlying reason: "...because clearly your actions show me you aren't serious about the sport, and it's too expensive to keep horses if you aren't serious about it."

    But tell her before hand. She needs to know the consequences of her choices in order to make good choices.

    And the discussion between you will clarify some of her goals, reasons, fears to you.

    Good luck! Kids sure are a challenge.

    My younger daughter got her C3, then went off to college and I got my wonderful horse back. So I'm happy.
    -- Member of the COTH Appendix QH clique and the dressage-saddle-thigh-block-hating clique.



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