Should we cut off college freshman?
My husband and I have three daughters in college. Of the three we've always had a lot of issues with his daughter (18). In high school she pretty much refused to comply with any rules or bounaries given. She would spend the night with friends for weeks on end refusing to come home (she went to school an hour away and we had to drive her to/from), struggled greatly in school with grades and attendance (once we bought her a car), was financially irresponsible, and would throw tantrums regularly if we tried to keep her home for even a night or told her "no" for any reason. We wanted to ensure that she would be rooted to her schooling freshman year so we kept her car at home (two hours away) (also because she never managed to save a single month's worth of insurance) and told her she had to work on campus. What has happened is that she has managed to take advantage of people to get rides back and forth pretty much on a weekly basis and has been staying with high school friends in the city she used to go to school in. Then she started dating one of her friends' older brothers (20) and is now basically living with him at his apartment or having him stay in her dorm room.. She has also started working at the city 2 hours from campus on the weekends so it's more convenient to stay at her boyfriend's instead of working on campus. Despite spending so much time away from school with friends, she has only visited family once...yet she manages to call or text regularly asking for money, her car, or making demands about transferring schools. The one time she did visit she refused to come without her boyfriend, and has already stated the same for the holidays "if" she comes.
We've just discovered that she's living with this man. She is quite immature and not nearly emotionally intelligent enough to be in a relationship with someone a few years older than her, let alone living together. She has a history of being obsessive over male attention, being impulsive, self harming, and suicidal ideation and has maintained that she wants to kill herself when she's alone so she must be surrounded by her friends at all times (apparently being surrounded by family isn't a treatment). We tried therapy in high school and at first she would attend, but she later refused to get proper treatment for her issues (therapist recommended mood stabalizers) or continue seeing the therapist.
She says that she has good grades now and has suddenly become very responsible so we shouldn't get involved in where or who she is living with. However, 90 days at college isn't our idea of a life changing time period. She claims she's an adult now so she can do what she wants, and I'm not in the business of taking care of adults. The biological mother is a deadbeat and supports her wanting to live with her boyfriend (she also was a HS drop out due to teen pregnangy with THIS daughter, abandoned her kids repeatedly, and has been unemployed since I've been in the picture).
My husband can't seem to pull the trigger on the idea of cutting her off even though he's very disappointed and rightfully angry - she has a history of making him feel like a terrible father when she doesn't get her way so he's terrified that she'll hate him. But this child desperately needs to learn responsibility and right now we're just throwing money at her so she can basically go on a 24/7 sausage fest with her older boyfriend and party with a bunch of high school friends who didn't go to college. I understand that even if we cut her off she will continue living with this man. And she'll probably find a way to pay for school - she is a master manipulator and gets others to do things for her non-stop. In the end we can wash our hands of her antics and save a bunch of money. It's obvious that nothing we do for her will result in her being thankful, respectful, or even get her to visit us without her boyfriend or friends so we're not really losing anything. For what it's worth, we don't pay anything for my two daughters to go to school due to scholarships.
My two college daughters (19 and 17) are behaving well. They visit often, have a lot of money saved up from working, follow our plans for college and discuss any changes with respect and gratefulness, and are living in their dorms (boyfriend free) as planned. They are aware of the situation with their SS and have stated that I would never allow them to behave this way - and they're right. If it were my daughter acting this way I would pull them out of school immediately or cut them off financially. I feel that if I am investing my time and money into my child then if my child deviates from the investment plan I have a right to sell all stock - and my daughters agree. In fact, they think they're being treated unqually since they are held to a higher standard. In any other situation my husband will get enraged if he thinks any of the kids are not treated equally - but this one child of his seems exempt every time.
So here is the million dollar question...do we stop paying her collge bills and keep the car we bought? Or, do we keep paying and "support" her as she makes some major life mistakes (which she'll probably make anyways even if we stop paying)?