My daughter's friends
I've been dealing with this problem now for a couple months. My daughter is 15. For YEARS my daughter's friends have been terrific, trustworthy, from great families, athletic, etc etc. In the last few months she has moved to a group of friends that are incredibly unstable. One girl has run away on several occasions and it isn't unusual for her parents to have no idea where she is. Another girl has has had several breakdowns and recently swallowed a large number of sleeping pills (she is okay now). Another is a diabetic that has been known to not take her medications. They all have issues with their parents. My daughter has admittedly started smoking pot. She says "everyone" does it. We keep her on a short leash and always try to know where she is, who she is with and when she will be home and for the most part she is complying. Her grades are okay, not great, but again, we track this regularly with her teachers.
Clearly she is trying to assert her independence. She says she likes these girls because she can talk with them and she feels comfortable talking about her problems (she is a bit high drama but doesn't really have any major problems per se). She says her older friends are shallow and she is bored with them. I frankly am very scared. I am concerned that these new girls will bring my daughter down with them. I don't think I can forbid her to see these girls can I? I want her to learn on her own that they are losers but that doesn't appear to be happening anytime soon. I'm concerned about summer when she will have free time and she won't be 16 until the fall so she can't legally work anywhere yet and we can't afford a sleepaway camp.
I appreciate anyone's assistance. thank you.
She views her old friends as boring.
You admit you keep her on a short leash, that's most likely one of the reasons why she's trying to break free from your chains. Try and be less of a nazi and more of an ally, but always assert your discipline, because she's still your child and she's still underage.
You forbid her from seeing these girls and she'll only want to see them more.
You want to teach her about her loser friends? Take her to Walmart and say that with her friends' awful grades and lack of caring about school this is their only prospects, make sure your daughter knows (without you being condescending to her) that you love her and want her to succeed. Kids these days love material possessions and make sure she knows that without college, she won't be able to afford anything fun, she'll be too busy working her butt off to just cover rent.
She may have to learn on her own, but she will. You have to talk to her on her level, making sure she understands or at least tries to. She's acting out, this is a phase, but make sure to be a disciplinarian without being a fascist as that will only push her away further.
trying not to be a nazi
I agree with above and am having exactly the same problems myself with my son. He has now acted so badly at 2 schools that he has got thrown out of both and we now have to send him to the school of his choice which has very little rules,kids running riot, skipping school, doing drugs - you name it. VERY SCARY. I do think that the more you encourage their friends, even if you don't like them, to come over to your place instead of her going to theirs, and getting to know them maybe you can help them and help your daughter at the same time. I think what Dr Bradley says about talking in short sentences and asking questions instead of lecturing is very pertinent."How would you feel if..." "is that the way you would like to be treated...." and so on.
Another thing I've thought about doing (but not done yet) is to take my son to a hospital to see the emphysema patients and a rehab place to see the recovering drug addicts to put him off. Still contemplating about it tho. Good luck - I'm finding it the =hardest thing I've ever had to do and also finding it hard to keep my sanity, so I hope you're managing to hold it together.