Baffled about 17... lot's of green... looking for ideas


Continuing the discussion from Caregiver plans for the day:

I see myself as a caregiver to a 17 year old kid, (blindingly smart though she is, still 17) and she is a care giver to me. Head of my crisis team and keeps an eye out for day to day difficulties.

As many know she lives with me and qualified for the “Running Start” program. Which means she is taking her senior high school year and her college freshman year at the same time. I know it sounds odd, but Washington state is one of the few “Running Start” states along with Hawaii and I think California.

So we’ve been humming along her in college and working at 17 and me working and trying to stay stable and kick down my SZ and the past year has been an interesting push and pull of "Who is going to be the adult today"
For ages she took care of me and I went to my job and then came home and hid in my room until it was time to go to my job again.

But now that something in my head changed and life changed and I’ve been trying to become more self-supporting… the boat has been rocked. She’s not the adult as much. She hit a patch of bad health and panic about school and a patch of terrible horrid boyfriends and a different brother in rehab and on and on. 17 has been a nasty year for her… I think she wants to revert.

It’s come to her attention that some of her friends from high school are going to the prom. Being in running start, she has been spending time on a college campus not a high school one. She is NOT going to a prom. She is going to graduate with honors, but not be in the graduation ceremony, or the year book, or high school swim team. She’s on city league, not high school league. So on paper she’s still affiliated with the high school, academically she’s a college student, and in reality, she says she’s in no mans land. I really worry for her because her sibling SZ support group split and faded and I have a feeling this is one of her most unsupported times ever.

It’s odd because I hear it when the friends talk, her friends are GREEN with envy that she’s got a job,(as a lifeguard at the pool just across the point) living away from home, has her own car, gets to date college guys, no curfew, no parents all the time.
She is becoming a bit consumed by the green monster by her friends who have their parents taking care of every little thing and just handing them money.

I missed my 17th year and have no idea how to relate. Maybe she grew up too fast? She doesn’t want to live back home. ( :relieved:) but something needs to happen. How would a non-sz parent handle this?


If people don’t know… this kid is my sister and youngest sibling… not just some random 17 year old I lured in off the street… Sorry for not mentioning that.


Is it a choice to not go to prom or is she not supposed to? If she has the option to go then I would suggest that she go.

I’m not sure that there is much that you can do about the friends being jealous. They only see what they want to see and the privileges that she has came with a lot of responsibilities. She is awesome. Just do your best to let her know that.


Hi Surprised, I’m not sure what the question is. Are you asking our opinion on the prom?


You know those problems that might not be problems but they are the gateway to other problems or they mask other problems… I think that is what this prom thing is… The eye opener that she’s not really 17 even though she is. (if that makes any sense.)

She’s not on the campus so she doesn’t talk to any of the boys on campus so no one has asked her and the few she asked said No. It scares my parents because the boys anywhere near her age can’t figure her out. She’s talking bills and groceries, and rent and car taxes and school/work balance.

Guys her age are talking WarCraft and hanging out other 17 year old guy activities.

Guys who know something about car tax rate hikes and work/school balance are about 25-30. She is collecting a large amount of “older” friends. She even went out to coffee at the senior gathering and got along great with them. She says she loves hanging out with young at heart 80 year olds. The new guy she has a crush on is 32 and divorced. He comes to the pool and has impressed her with his art and maturity. Parents are scared. She says they are just friends who talk when she’s off duty during Adult lap swim.


Your right, I have to sort of figure one problem at a time. I think I’m trying to figure how to help her get through 17 with out all the tears. I know you can’t put the genie back in to bottle. It’s not really the prom thing as much as this lost, no connection with people her age, no connection with people older then her and just sort of drifting with no support. I’m here, but you know… I’m the older brother… parent type.

There is a large amount of drift going on and swing. She has been in an adult roll for a long time, I think she wishes she could be in a kid roll, but I know she would never give up the freedoms that she has gained. BarbieBF said it… Those freedoms are hard earned.

All I know is I would LOVE not to loose another shirt to mascara stains. Our next apartment is going to have TWO bathrooms so I don’t have to pee outside if she locks herself in the bathroom to pout.


Identifying with older boys is probably not that uncommon for girls especially given sis’s maturity. My daughter used to complain all the time that the boys her age were too immature. So usually I was getting told about older boys around 21 or older. Maybe she could ask someone from one of her college courses to go with her?


I have to smile… Buy some more shirts. Between hormones and stress tears are to be expected. One: she is still putting on mascara :smile: Two: you are able to provide her with a shoulder to cry on.

My daughter told me yesterday that she had spent most of the previous day in bed crying. Hang in there. Things will work out.


I had a joke fall flat that other day. She cried through both shoulders and I said… “Well your obviously hydrated enough”

Yeah… that joke didn’t work out at all… :thumbsdown: :cry: