View Full Version : needing much advice
05-17-2004, 06:16 AM
Our 14 year old daughter believes she is in love with a boy. They are both in 8th grade, although he could easily pass for 16 (and may be?)! We have been thrust into a foreign world where she, our youngest of 3 girls, has been involved in sexual activity and lying; those being the behaviors we are aware of. Our daughter is involved in church, piano, highly competitive soccer and up until last semester was an A student. Last semester she received B's. The boy is a C, D & F student. His mother had him when she was 14 and he is adopted by a single mom. He has had sexual intercourse twice (he told my daughter) and he has faked suicide threats amongst who knows how many other things I'm unaware of. My husband and I have been seeing a professional counselor for 4 weeks, after we found out our daughter was involved in serious petting and she ran away to a friends home after we grounded her. Her new girlfriends are just as questionable and my daughter has said "everyone is doing it". It seems like even the some of the nice girls she knows are encouraging and intrigued by our daughter's relationship with this boy and we're convinced she gets a lot of status from this relationship. Our daughter didn’t have many friends over this year, even though we would encourage it and now we’re understanding why. Our 2 older daughters were what I would consider your normal teenagers, whose friends for a period of time or their brain deadness were scary but not even close to what we are currently experiencing. Another big difference is they believed in us as parents and knew we were looking out for them, even though they fought our decisions, sometimes vehemently. This daughter thinks she is 21 and should be able to do whatever she wants and she seriously believes she has the capacity to handle doing whatever she wants. She has finally become open to at least being honest about her feelings for this boy and has asked us to give her the freedom to be with him. He broke up with her about 5 weeks ago for the 2nd or 3rd time (our rule has always been, no dating until 16) and he then spread a rumor around school that she performed oral sex with him. She swore this wasn't true but she forgave him for spreading this rumor because he said he was sorry. Friday night she wanted to be with some friends and he told her he wasn't going. When we drove by the home of her friends he quickly scurried off when he saw us. She swore she did not know he would be there and begged us to let her stay. This was a parent-supervised activity and we felt we wanted her to feel we're trying to work with her. He then proceeded, a short time later, to call our home and ask for our daughter. I said "you know where she is" and he said "I know, it's a joke" and everyone laughed in the background. We called our daughter on our cell and she said she understood why we were upset and she had asked him not to call us. By the time she got home she was convinced he was only joking and we were the ones that didn't get it. I've read the suggestion of involving the boy in our lives in a safe, protected environment but to be honest I'm having a hard time thinking our family would be safe doing so. I actually mentioned to our daughter that perhaps we needed to get to know this boy and the time they spent had to be spent in our home on the main level. When my daughter shared this with the boy, he said he wanted to attend her soccer game, as well (he was not invited by me or my daughter). After discussions with my husband we both felt that we couldn't trust him in our home. Please provide some suggestions to a couple of, quite frankly, very scared parents who love their daughter very much.
05-17-2004, 06:03 PM
ARRGGGHHHH! I hate these situations! You must really want to scream and yell. I sure would. But we can't, at least not to our kids. So after you scream in the garage for awhile, here's what to do.
First, run to the bookstore and pick up Jill Murray's excellent book titled BUT I LOVE HIM: Protecting Your Daughter From Controlling, abusive Relationships (Harper Collins, 2000).
Second, see what advice the counselor has to offer. She/he likely has a better handle on the real risk issues here. Your daughter's "Mr. Wonderful" sounds like a real player, a boy who seems much older than 14. Most 14-year-old males would not toy with adults like that.
That being said, the likely best defence is still a good offense, meaning that you want to "invite" Mr. Sweetness into your home or out for meals or whatever, so that your daughter can see him in the light of day. If he continues to be controlling, arrogant and sarcastic with you, your daughter will hopefully be powerfully struck by the contrast between her tolerant, patient parents, and this nasty S.O.B. she thinks she loves. The odds are enormous that he is no physical threat to you, but if you're worried, structure out-of-the-house activities.
Remember, the best lesson your daughter can learn here is by seeing things for herself. Lectures won't get that done. We want to protect her from ALL the S.O.B.'s out there, not just this one.
Keep us posted.
ATTENTION OTHER "VETERAN" PARENTS: Any thoughts?
05-20-2004, 07:47 PM
Thank you for your prompt reply. My husband and I appreciate the resource of your book. It has helped us in many ways. It is very clear that our daughter IS letting herself be controlled by this boy and yet she thinks she’s in control. This boy is doing at least several of the things we’ve read in Dr. Jill Murray’s book, and as her book states, our daughter is not a victim. She is letting this happen!
I was literally scared to read the chapter in Dr. Murray’s book that addressed family dynamics but completely relieved when we could answer an unequivocal NO to every single question. So of course, this leaves additional questions; the biggest of which, how can we protect our daughter if she doesn’t feel she needs protecting. This boy is saying things to her like “do you love me enough to do anything for me” and she’s responding “yes”.
Everyone she has surrounded herself with and the music she has chosen to fill her head with only encourages her behavior and appears to her to be the norm. Last night she fought me over my questioning the group and lyrics on a CD that her friend wants for her birthday on Saturday. She said she didn’t know the group. When I mentioned that we could buy the CD but, if after doing some research on the web, the words weren’t appropriate, we'd have to return it. She got extremely upset with me because, I believe, she did know this group and the kind of lyrics they sing. By the way, it was album of the year and band of the year in 2001, according to "Alternative Press" (quite an advertisement on the CD). My daughter feels her friend’s mom (who is also a friend of mine though we don't do much together) should be the one to decide. The words were horrible.
I explained that our rules have not changed from when her sisters were 14 and she said “well, I don’t want to be PERFECT like them; I want to live a risky life…”. There was more but I literally think my brain stopped working due to the fear I experienced in what I was hearing. She has written, numerous times, scary lyrics or words on paper such as death, sadness, alone etc….
My husband keeps reminding me she continues to go to church, has read parts of the books we’ve recently purchased for her (particularly regarding dating), sometimes actually listens to “good” CD music/lyrics and she’s still involved in soccer and was, at least, getting her grades back up. I felt we had made some progress because she was spending less time alone and was more involved with all of us again. However, we have quickly realized that she continues to lie and says that if she tells the truth we won’t let her do what she wants to do. We can’t trust anything she says. Even the good times don’t really seem good because we’re not sure if it’s all a game she’s playing. How can we let her go to the movies and other places knowing we could be allowing her to put herself in a potentially dangerous situation? And if we don’t let her go, what’s to stop her from running away again? This morning my oldest daughter found condoms hidden away in the bottom of her closet in her room. Our 14 year-old daughter slept down there while her sister was at college. We haven't brought this one up yet and we're not sure it would matter because we know what her response will be.
The counselor thinks our daughter will come out of this and seems quite confident but I don’t know yet what she is basing that on. I’m scared and would love to be able to experience that confidence. None of what our daughter is doing allows my heart (or stomach) to rest. My husband is very concerned but is able to handle the situation. He, we decided, will have to take the lead on this. I guess we’re going to invite this boy over (we appreciate the suggestion from you) and we plan to call his mom and at least try to connect with her. We’re thinking we need to get some of this stuff out in the open.
Regarding our previous posting to your forum: after Saturday’s phone call from this boy, the parent who was supervising the get-together and her 19 year old daughter told their son/brother how overprotective we were. My daughter told me this and was upset with me for calling his mom that night to get more details regarding supervision. I explained if they had known the reasons for my concern they would get it completely. Should I bring this out in the open to them as well and explain what this boy has done? Her son does quite a bit together with this boy. How much “out in open is o.k.?” At least some, if not many or all, of the soccer parents are probably aware of her running away because she’s bragged to all the girls and to some she has bragged of her sexual experience at the movie theatre.
We wanted to avoid taking our daughter to the counselor because we wanted to be the least intrusive on her but I think we see this is not possible. She’s scheduled for next week and we get to break the news to her tonight. I’m thinking she’s going to flat out refuse and tell us we can’t make her go. My husband is confident he can convince her she needs to go. I'm not so sure. I've wanted to just take her and leave the state as an intervention type of tactic. I'm that scared. I'm pretty sure I know what your response will be to that idea.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. We need all the help we can get! (Do you ever allow questions via email vs. posting on a forum?)
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