View Full Version : 13 year old acts "dirty"
03-08-2004, 09:59 PM
We recently discovered that our 13-year-old honor student daughter was having explicit internet conversations with a 15-year-old, who was egging her on pretty strongly. We're also hearing of dirty dancing at the middle school dances, and other behavior and conversations that seem unsafe, undesirable and inappropriate for a 13-year-old.
We finally shut down communications with the 15-year-old, but are worried that our daughter apparently continues to develop unsafe and unhealthy approaches to sex and boys, and is heading for trouble.
What can we do to help her make better choices ?
03-13-2004, 03:54 PM
I've got some good news and some bad news. The good is that what your daughter is doing is not at all unusual in todays's teen world. The bad news is that today's teen world has gone over the edge sexually, particuarly for girls.
The book lays this out in more detail. The short course is that girls are now adopting the traditionally male view of sex as being a harmless, fun, risk-free past time that is cool and adult to do. In fact, girls are becoming the sexual predators at younger ages. We adults are responsible for this in that we let the world around our kids pound them with sexual suggestions 24/7. The kids are just responding predictably.
Simply trying to exclude your daughter from these influences will not work over time. This insanity is so pervasive that it will overwhelm any protection measures that you take, and then she will be even less prepared to deal with it.
A far better response is to keep a dialogue going with your daughter on these sex issues, helping her to develop her own identity and values about sex. Mom needs to talk about how sex is very different for boys than for girls, that most (perhaps all) women need emotional attachment and exclusive commitment for healthy sexual function, and that those things are not possible for folks until they are much older.
Dad needs to have a terrible talk with his daughter about the truth of adolescent male sexual function, namely that boys will lie and manipulate what girls see as "love" to get sex. If mom tries this talk, her daughter simply won't believe her. But with Dad, a daughter's eyes will fly open as he talks about how that game runs for teen (and too many adult) males.
Your own daughter is likely just "playing" with these things now. But you must move quickly before she progresses further. One-third of our 9th grade females are sexually active, with 25% of those having had 4 or more sexual partners in 12 months. Studies tracking "casual sex" teen girls into adulthood are finding that there is long-term damage to these females to include excessive levels of relationship failures, depression, anxiety, and even suicide.
You might also try my personal, unproven strategy that we're using with our 6-year old daughter. We've been touring convents on weekends, and we bought her the video of THE SOUND OF MUSIC. I'll let you know how that works out.
Good luck to us all!
03-15-2004, 07:20 AM
Dear Dr. Bradley,
We've got the book and find it valuable. Thank you.
Our daughter has been extremely difficult to approach on the topic of love, sex, and relationships, especially with Dad. She gets quite annoyed. "Omigosh, don't TALK to me about that." I did try communicating via eMail, and got a response, but unfortunately the response was along the lines of "Oh no, Fred isn't like that at all. He really loves me." She tends to discount our thoughts on the matter as being paleolithic.
Any tips on how to approach the talk ?
Do you have a web address for that convent ?
03-15-2004, 10:09 AM
A couple of thoughts:
-tell her that her explicit E mails show that the two of you need to chat about this sex stuff. If she still refuses, then say that if she wants to be seen as responsible enough to use e mail, then she must also be willing to have these mini-chats. Stress that these talks are not to be lectures, but more an exchange of ideas.
-keep talking, even as she rolls her eyes. The research is quite clear that kids do listen to these thoughts from parents even thought they say that they don't.
-use the book rules on teenspeak: short sentences, no repetition, calm voice. Accept her point of view even as you disagree: "Honey, I can see that you feel Fred truly loves you. I just worry that love from a 15-year-old boy is a very shaky thing."
As she protests, just nod that you hear her point, and let it go. Shortly, your predictions will be borne out. And then earn her respect by never saying "I told you so", but instead by just hugging and loving her when she gets dumped by Mr. Wonderful.
I'm afraid that the convent has stopped taking new applications. They've been swamped ever since I announced that strategey.
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