13 y/o daughter acting inappropriately
My daughter has chosen a group of friends to hang out with that I'm not too happy about. One girl is 14 and already smoking and having sex with her boyfriend. The kicker here is that her mother allows this!
My daughters boyfriend is part of this bunch. My daughter at one point decided that she wanted to have sex for the first time with this guy. I hope she's changed her mind but don't know for sure. My daughter has written in her diary that she "moaned and screamed" for her boyfriend on the phone and that he "liked it."
My daughter thinks that this is the guy she is going to marry and recently made a CD of pictures of herself is sexy lingerie to give to her boyfriend. Luckily I figured this out quickly enough to get the CD back quickly and the boys mom made sure all the inappropriate pictures were deleted from his computer.
My daughter doesn't seem to have the concept of self respect and I don't know how to get it across to her.
I've let my daughter have her boyfriend go places with us when I am supervising but don't let her go to his house or to her 14 y/o girl friend's house where the rules are evidently nonexistent.
How do I get across to my daughter the idea of self respect? She had no problems with the fact that her boyfriend was showing that CD with her pictures on it to another guy. She said she didn't mind - "that this other guy was like a brother to her."
I worry that my daughter has some major issues with her self esteem also.
You need to get your daughter involved with a good therapist, and quickly. Consider a female shrink if possible.
What she is doing is becoming increasingly common these days with young female teens, and these girls tend to have much higher rates of depression, anxiety, and even suicide as young women. They are attempting to rewrite the "rules" of innate female sexual function to sexually act as males, which most experts agree is simply not possible without significant damage to themselves.
Please keep us posted.
Dr. Mike Bradley
Dear Dr. Bradley,
Thankyou for your advice. Do you have a recommendation as to the type of therapist my daughter should see? I have tried to get her in to see a psychologist in the past and they ended up giving me an appointment with a family counselor instead.
I have been trying to let my daughter see this boyfriend of hers under my supervision. In doing this I have learned that my daughter and this boy are going to sneak and participate in inappropriate sexual activities every stolen moment that they can find.
I have also learned from my daughter's diary that this guy has already managed to do inappropriate sexual things to my daughter. He also talks dirty to her on the phone. As you said my daughter writes as if she enjoys and welcomes all this. How do you recommend that I deal with letting her see this guy? I don't even feel comfortable letting her go roller skating with him!
A family counselor is fine, as long as they have experience with adolescents.
You need to simply confront your daughter with what you have learned about her intentions. If you got this stuff by violating her privacy, first you need to apologize for having done that. Allow her to fume and yell, and admit that you did violate her trust. Tell her that it breaks your heart to know that your relationship has deteriorated so terribly that now you must spy and she must lie.
In a separate, later meeting you need to tell her that you guys must now discuss what you did learn in the spying. Pose questions to her about how can you get back to being able to trust each other again. Do this knowing that there are no easy answers, but pondering the question is critical for now.
If you can't resolve this, then you must consider a "lock-down" for now, with no unsupervised time on her part until you can get to the therapist's office. She is clearly in a danger zone.
Keep us posted.
Last edited by Mike Bradley; 11-08-2005 at 10:04 AM.
Dr. Mike Bradley
confess to reading diary
Dear Dr. Bradley,
I have to say that I knew you were going to tell me to confess to my daughter about reading her diary. This was extremely difficult for me. You talk about a window to your child's soul...well this was the only window that I had had for quite awhile. My daughter is not one to be open or honest with me, but maybe we can begin to work on that.
I confessed to my daughter the other night and immediately was wishing I had your book at hand to refer to. (I had lent it to my mom to read while she is out of town for 14 days thinking I could get by that long without it.)
My daughter disolved into tears, screamed that she hated me and never wanted to speak to me again. She slapped me across the face and shut herself in her room. I didn't see or hear from her again that night. The next day she was very hostile and angry. It was hard to deal with. She proceeded to try and make it impossible for me to get into her room.
I did manage to talk to her some yesterday and this a.m. I apologized and told her I hoped that we could begin to build a trusting honest relationship. She was/is rightfully hurt and has lost her trust in me at the moment.
I don't know if I could have told my daughter about reading her diary if the content wasn't so concerning, but now it's all out in the open and I expect that's for the best.
Today my daughter is acting more normal with me, but she has made it clear she has no wish to discuss the contents of her diary with me. She tells me that she wouldn't have done what she did if she hadn't been comfortable with it, and she would do it again. She also says that she loves this guy and they are just showing their love for each other. But I believe she got teased about the sexual things that they did by her boyfriends guy friends. To me that's not OK at all, but she thinks it's all fine and dandy.
How long do I wait to try and get her to talk to me about this stuff more?
I have told her I'm not comfortable with letting her spend time with this guy until we discuss this.
Also, how should I handle the issue of her slapping me?
Thanks for your quick responses to my questions and good advice.
Yes, getting this out in the open is best, even given the chaos that resulted. All of that conflict is really just the honest version of what was hidden between you up to then.
My prior advice stands. If she's unwilling to talk further, then you must go to a lock-down stance until you folks get to the shrink.
Regarding the slap, I'd let her know that it's OK to be furious with each other, but it's not OK for either of you to use your hands on the other. Say that if it happens again, the police will be called, since physical violence means that the family is so out of control that it needs immediate help.
Please get that therapy appointment ASAP.
Last edited by Mike Bradley; 11-08-2005 at 11:15 AM.
Dr. Mike Bradley
Dear Dr. Bradley,
I have made an appointment on Nov. 29th with a therapist for my daughter.
My daughter did agree to talk to me about the things she had been doing with her boyfriend. I asked her many questions trying to get her to think about how she really felt inside about the things she had allowed her boyfriend to do. But even if she did have some negative feelings, she was not going to admit it to me. She continued to tell me that she felt fine about what they had done and thought it was OK for them to do at 13 years of age if they both really loved each other.
I ended up telling my daughter that it was NOT OK at 13 to be participating in any sort of sexual activities. I told her that I could not allow her see her boyfriend any more for the time being due to the unwise choices she was making.
As you can guess, this did not go over well. She stomped off to her room and slammed the door. I soon heard noises coming from her room and thought she was hitting the wall with something or throwing a ball at the wall. I entered her room the next day to find a large butcher knife stuck halfway into the wall. She had stabbed the wall several times with it leaving large gashes. When I asked her about this, she told me that she had been mad at me and so she had pretended that the wall was me and that she was stabbing me.
I'm sure you've figured out by now that the problems my daughter and I are having are not new. They started several years ago. She and I went through a very bad series of events with her dad who has now disappeared from her life completely. My daughter has alot of hurt and anger, and I am the recipient of her anger most of the time. We have been to therapists in the past. They seemed to help some, but not enough. My daughter didn't like the 2nd one. Now we will try again.
I want to thankyou for several things Dr. Bradley. First of all thankyou for your wonderful book for parents. The title caught my eye in the book store. After reading the first couple of pages I knew I needed to buy it. Well meaning, concerned family members have given me lots of support and advice, but none of the advice they had to offer seemed exactly right for my daughter. Your book makes sense and your advice seems right to me. The book has helped me alot already.
Secondly, thankyou for these forums. You've helped me through some tough decisions here and I know you've helped alot of other parents and teens. There aren't too many people out there anymore like you. YOur caring, concern, and true desire to help stand out. Thankyou so much.