15 year old lying and sneaking around
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 15 year old lying and sneaking around

Our 15 yr old daughter has been lying and sneaking around and we have just realized it recently.
It all started when we allowed her at age 14 to start dating. He was 16 she was 14.
It was uncomfortable for my husband more than me to allow this relationship to happen in the first place but it happened just the same. They ended up dating for 10 months! During that time we had restrictions on how often they saw each other, how much time they spent on the phone, direct supervision when they were at our house etc...

6 months into the relationship, we found her cell phone with 3 days worth of messages back and forth with explicit sexting going on between them. Our first response was, she needs to get rid of him and end the relationship! After about a week, we conceded and got together with his parents to talk about this whole thing. They seemed to be on board with new restrictions and limits on time they could be together because lets face it none of us wanted to see them go further and have sex with the chance of pregnancy at age 15 (just turned 15) and 17. We did this thinking that by forbidding them to see each other may only push things into a rebellion.

2 months later, after a family arguement she decided to runaway by going out an upstairs window into the arms of her boyfriend who was waiting outside for her. When we realized that she was gone, and that she had gone to his house, we called his mother to make sure she was there and to let her know we would be over to get her. His mother then said that we had no right to come and get her and that it was our fault that she ran away because of all of our restrictions on her! When I showed up at the house to get my daughter, I was told that she(the mother of the bf) was going to call the police because I had no right to be there! The police came and obviously told her that I had every right to be there to get my child!

At this point, my husband and I were at our breaking point and forbade her to see her bf anymore and insisted she break up with him. We restrcted her texting and deleted her Facebook account. They go to the same high school but they don't have any classes together so we wanted as little to no communication with him. Our daughter seemed to be on board with the idea after realizing that he was leading her down the wrong road. She is a very good student and a talented musician with a lot going for her. We don't want to see her throw her entire teenage years away for this one guy!

For the past month she has seemed like herself again. Less irritable, less argumentative, more relaxed.
Just yesterday we found out that she has been using the school laptop to log into some chat room to talk and communicate with him and has been for the past month! We are beside ourselves!
When she was confronted about it, another huge argument ensued and my daughter ended up threatening suicide. We took her in to be psychologically evaluated but was told she is fine and not suicidal. She was just acting out!

My husband wants to take her out of the school and either transfer to another district or home school her. We have completely taken away all electronic communication devices for her. And she is grounded from going anywhere until further notice. I don't know what else to do. This is putting a huge strain on our family and marriage. Are we doing the right thing by running away from the high school and putting her in another school where this could happen all over again or home school her with my husband who she has a hard time communicating with now as it is! Any advice would be helpful.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 15 year old lying and sneaking around

If she and your husband already have communication issues, homeschooling is a very bad idea. I don't know that changing schools is really going to do any good either.

As for her seeming to be agreeable to the new rules and boundaries you set, no 15 yr old is going to come right out and tell you they have no intention of following your rules. They're going to pretend compliance so you'll trust them and then they can break your rules and hopefully get away with it.

There's a fine line between protecting your child and controlling them, and if you cross that line from protection to control, they are going to act out. While I agree she should lose communication methods for a while and be grounded, as a consequence of her behavior, I'm not entirely certain that cutting her off from the boyfriend completely is the way to go.

If he's completely forbidden, he's much more tempting. Even if she really can't stand him, the simple fact that you and Dad said she can't see him makes her want to. So she will continue to look for ways to sneak around, disrespect you and break your rules.

I wonder, instead...you mention restriction on time they can spend together, but nowhere do you mention that they have ever actually been supervised. I kind of think perhaps part of the problem here is that they've been given way too much freedom here. But now, instead of doing what you should have done all along, you're going too far the other way. Don't say she can't see him at all. Don't limit the amount of time she can see him as such ("you can only see him 2 times a week for 2 hours"). Instead limit it to she can see him when there is an adult you trust who can supervise them. Give her a specific list of who those adults are (you, your hubby, his parents {if they are ones you trust}, etc.) so there's no wiggle room of "Well, I thought since Johnny was eighteen, he counted". Make sure the time they spend together is spent doing things other than making out or other activities that could lead to sex. Have him over for dinner, for family movie night in the living room. Take them out to play mini golf, or on a bike ride on a nearby nature trail.

Doing that does several things. It gives them less opportunity to do things you don't want her doing. It also gives her what she wants so she has less reason to sneak around (she still might, but you're making it somewhat less appealing and a lot less necessary). It gives all of you, including her, the ability to really get to know him better, and it's possible that after she gets to know him even better she might realize that she's not as into him as she thought and she'll end things on her own.

Pulling her out of school isn't the answer, though. It'll give her more reason to sneak around to see him. And even if it puts an end to things with him, there'll still be another boy to come along and potentially create the same situation all over again. Do you really want to move to try to get away from it over and over again?
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 15 year old lying and sneaking around

I agree with alot of what truckersgirl says....as the mom of a teenage girl creature myself , I strongly believe it would be a bad, bad idea to change her school-- that is really extreme, will only put a ton of resentment in her, and I am betting will make her want to rebel more...

Its hard when our little girl is no longer our little girl, she is in the process of becoming a woman, alhtough she is not there yet, she needs to be treated less like your baby girl and more like a young woman..

Unless he is getting her into drugs, or beating her, or something that extreme, I would NOT forbid this relationship to her. It would only make her want to run to him even more. Provide appropriate supervision and balance and listen, really listen to her, be there for her so she will confide in you, not sneak around
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Old 11-07-2010, 03:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 15 year old lying and sneaking around

Those who can't be trusted with adult privacy don't get it. If she liked to go out windows, I would but a pallet on the floor of my bedroom and she would sleep there. If she slammed doors, they would be taken off their hinges. Going out one's window and sexting are pretty extreme acts for a 15 year old. Good behavior gets rewarded. Bad behavior gets punished. I would make it clear that I know the grid coordinates to a number of high quality all-girls boarding schools in Montana and I also don't mind home-schooling. If she kept acting out, I would make her envy the lavish lifestyle of the Amish.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 15 year old lying and sneaking around

I think by trying to restrict and control her, she will further rebel. Especially if you pull her from school. I understand the need to protect her (My youngest child and only daughter is her age.)

I have had many talks with my daughter about sex, pregnancy & while I didn't let her watch 'Juno' she has watched '16 & pregnant' and I asked her what she thought the common theme was...to which she said, the guy ends up doing whatever he wants...hangs with friends...stays in school...leaves...doesn't help with the baby but the girls don't have a choice. They have to take care of the baby, miss all the school stuff and have a really hard time graduating...

She has also come to me when a boy asked her out and asked if she could go out with him...this was last year (8th grade) and we had a good talk about what that meant to her...since they sure would not be going out alone on dates....she really only saw him in school and since they didn't have classes together, she broke things off since she said she never really talked to him. I told her what I was okay with at her age & she agreed.

Now she is a freshman & going out with a boy for 2 months now. I did the same thing as you, talked to his mom...so when they are there or here, they are supervised, not allowed to go off into a room by themselves...it helps that I really like the boy.

It's very scary to think all that could go wrong when they start dating, but I also try to remember back to when I was young and the kids with really strict parents managed to find ways to meet up with boys...probably a more risky situation because there was a lot of sneaking around and no talking to their mom.

Since she is doing well in school and involved with music, she sounds like she will make good choices for herself in the long run...but your best bet will be if you can get her to open up to you without fear of being punished or feeling like a disappointment to you.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 15 year old lying and sneaking around

First, the more you control, the more she'll sneak. She just will. That said, you CAN set up rewards and punishments. If she sneaks out, you take her phone. If she does the dishes, she gets Internet time. Like that.

Oh, and get her on birth control because your odds are pretty good she's no longer a virgin.
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Why don't you just build a tower and lock her away? Or how about those things called chastity belts? I hear they work really well. You can get those things with spikes too. Maybe some handcuffing to the bed or wall is in order? And make sure you have a gun ready to shoot the boyfriend should he come lurking around?

Yeah, this is sarcasm. Holy crap! Nowhere do I see ANYTHING that isn't normal behavior for a 15 year old teenage girl. Weren't you a teenager once? Didn't you date before the age of 21? Did your daughter and her boyfriend even HAVE sex or are you just assuming they did because they were doing some inappropriate "sexting"?

Have you sat and discussed sex and appropriate dating behavior and birth control with your daughter without coming off like a prison warden or storm trooper? You are acting like your daughter is committing a crime by being a normal human being! OF COURSE she is going to sneak around! I'd do the same bloody thing!

Have you actually given her the respect and consideration she deserves as a young adult she will eventually become and given her some constructive guidance as a fellow female and mother, instead of acting like a police interrogator?

Seems like what you've done with your insane behavior is driven her away and now you are here playing "poor poor pitiful parent who has a horrid teenage daughter".

Well, to be blunt, you are pitiful because your parenting skills stink when it comes to your teenager. It's time to stop treating your daughter like she's 3 years old and realize that in a few short years she'll be an adult and when she turns 18 then legally she won't have to answer to you. At the rate your going you'll be lucky if she doesn't come home pregnant! At this point, you've almost assured yourself of having NO real relationship with her other than an adversarial one. Congrats on job well done!

How embarrassing can you get that you are actually having confrontation with the boyfriend's PARENTS? I pray that my son doesn't meet up with a girl with parents like you!

Parenting isn't about running your child's life. It's about teaching your child about proper morals and values and ultimately imbuing them with a sense of responsibility and values so that they can conduct themselves properly and live independently as adults! That is what the REAL and ultimate goal of parenting is, especially during these critical teenage years.

Now your daughter is obviously very attached to this boy, whether YOU like it or not. And if it's not this boy, trust me, there WILL be others! And there will be friends that you don't approve of too. She might even marry a man you don't like as well! THIS is a fact of life that any parent has to deal with and accept unless you actually do plan to lock her away in a cage or drive her away to the point where you don't even have a relationship with her at all.

Your job as a parent is not to dictate with whom she becomes involved. Your job is to raise her properly so that SHE can ultimately make the right choices and decisions about who it is she becomes intimately involved with. Get it?

Do you have respect or regard for your daughter's feelings as an independent human being or do you regard her as an object that you have lost control of and now you are bound and determined to do WHATEVER it takes to "fix" it until she conforms to your expectations and standards?

Ok, before you say blow me off as someone who can't relate to you let me tell you that I am indeed the mother of two teenagers...One is a 16 year old girl and the other is a 13 year boy. Oh my, the troubles I must have, the horrors of it all! Well guess what? I don't seem to be having any such problems with my kids.

My daughter was indeed in the SAME situation as your daughter is now. At age 14 as a freshman in high school, she was dating a boy two years older. She went out with him for over a year. I remember the day he asked her out over Facebook. I was sitting right next to her on my computer (all our computers are in the SAME room) and she was so happy! She kept saying how nice he was. I said "I don't know this boy but I do know you and I trust in your judgement, so I know he must be as nice as you say".

Guess what? He is a great guy. They are still friends and he's was and still is welcome at our house. And you know what?...She's STILL a virgin. She still has a her cellphone and her laptop and is on Facebook (and she often shows me her pictures and friends on it and I do NOT feel the need to be her "friend" on Facebook or check up on her cellphone messages). She is an honor student at her school and every Thursday I drive her to a Christian Youth Group that she loves and wants to go to.

Anyone she dates or is friends with is ALWAYS welcome in our house and they often come here and hang out. Her friends and dates often sit in the living room and watch TV and even go upstairs to her room (with the door open) and play music and hang out. Her old boyfriend and her used to play computer games in our office with both me and my husband there and seemed happy and comfortable with that.

Amazingly enough my daughter has never felt the need to climb out of windows and run away or lie and sneak around. She is downstairs now doing homework with her girlfriend and they are waiting for the girlfriend's boyfriend and another guy she is now dating to come over so they can go out and get pizza. Life seems rather normal here. How is that so?

I'll tell you how: It's because when MY daughter was starting to get interested in boys (which is perfectly NORMAL at age 14) I sat down with her and talked about dating, boys, birth control and told her what I expected from her and what she could expect from me. I told her that when she decided to become sexual she should let me know and we would make the proper arrangements with regards to birth control. She knows all about communicable diseases, etc, etc.

She is open and honest and we talk about boys, dating and sex all the time together. Dating and sex aren't looked upon as sins or evil but as NORMAL behavior that we ALL engage in. I TRUST my daughter. Shes a great girl. Why shouldn't I? Does we always agree? No, but that's to be expected. I look upon her as a PERSON, not something I own and control.

Oh...She also tells me about all the crazy and controlling parents that her friends have and how they avoid going home and lie and sneak around because they are afraid of their parents freaking out and going nuts about every little thing they do. Does that sound familiar? And where do these kids hang out? Well, I see lots of them until all hours of the night at the park or on street corners but fortunately my daughters and her friends feel comfortable to come here to my house and hang out. They are always made to feel welcome and I do my best to give them the space and respect that they deserve and need.

So you need to realize that it's not your daughter that's the problem but YOU. You need to get with the program and MY ADVICE to you is to cut this crap out and start treating your daughter like a human being and realize that teenagers want and NEED to act independently of their parents.

It's perfectly fine to make REASONABLE rules and restrictions (I myself have quite a few imposed on my kids). If she's doing something you don't approve of you do NOT freak out and act like a crazy idiot but you sit down and calmly and rationally explain WHY you feel as you do and relate to your daughter as a HUMAN BEING..not an OBJECT that you own. Get it?

You are an example of the misguided, overprotective, "helicopter" parents that so many these days have become. It's time to start to get a reality check or else she is going to move so far away from you when it comes time to go college that you'll be saying "Merry Christmas" via email and be lucky if you see her once a year.

If you make some constructive changes to YOURSELF and start to respect her growing independence and you just might be able to salvage a relationship with her. It's up to you. Take a step back, breathe deep and get some oxygen into that brain of yours and chill OUT and stop thinking about doing stupid things like pulling her out of school, homeschooling, etc. Talk about beating a mosquito to death with a sledgehammer.. This is ALL your fault and you have to accept this and fix yourselves and readjust your own attitudes and actions.

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Old 11-14-2010, 05:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 15 year old lying and sneaking around

The world is full of drug-addicted and/or pregnant kids who had really friendly, tolerant parents who encouraged them to be independent. Respect isn't a gift that's linked to a birthday. It's precious because it's earned and it's conditional and revocable. If, as an adult, I have consequences for my actions, then it's not a stretch to assign consequences for the actions of a 15 year old, whom I'm legally responsible for. That's my job. Rules aren't evil or crippling. My rules aren't as confining as a pregnancy or a drug problem or being a drop-out from school. If teens didn't require parental supervision, we could just let them run free. Naturally, I talked to my kids about drugs, sex, and basically everything else. Still, I had curfews and other rules which were obeyed or there would be certain and unpleasant penalties.
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The world is full of drug-addicted and/or pregnant kids who had really friendly, tolerant parents who encouraged them to be independent. Respect isn't a gift that's linked to a birthday. It's precious because it's earned and it's conditional and revocable. If, as an adult, I have consequences for my actions, then it's not a stretch to assign consequences for the actions of a 15 year old, whom I'm legally responsible for. That's my job. Rules aren't evil or crippling. My rules aren't as confining as a pregnancy or a drug problem or being a drop-out from school. If teens didn't require parental supervision, we could just let them run free. Naturally, I talked to my kids about drugs, sex, and basically everything else. Still, I had curfews and other rules which were obeyed or there would be certain and unpleasant penalties.
Not quite sure what you are getting at or who this is addressed to. I have many rules (including curfews) for my kids and they know that if they do not show respect to their parents, teachers, etc and obey those rules then there will be consequences. Believe me, I'm quite aware of the parental role in my child's life. In my house, good behavior is rewarded and bad behavior is punished. Maybe it works for me and my kids because I'm seen not as a tyrant but as reasonable person who respects my kids individuality and encourages them to think and act on their own as long as it's done in an appropriate manner.

The 15 year old that I see as the subject matter in this thread is supposedly a good student who is not drug addicted and did not get pregnant. She was given permission to date a boy and acted inappropriately with regards to texting. That's when I as a parent would step in and dole out REASONABLE punishment and discuss things rationally and reassert my parental authority. Playing dictator and acting like a child yourself by throwing a tantrum and attempting to make your kid's life miserable, thus making the situation far worse than it had to be is NOT responsible parenting. It's irrational, illogical and based on rampant emotion and fear. It's downright stupid. That's what I see here.

A teenager did something that kids often do these days ("sexting"). Sorry, but it's not "extreme". It's something that kids do and often don't know the consequences of their actions. So what do you do as a parent? You give an otherwise good kid the benefit of the doubt and sit down and explain why it's not acceptable behavior and lay out a punishment that corresponds to the act. Telling the teen to break off the relationship is extreme. So now you have a resentful and angry teen and it then snowballed into having all her communication with her friends cut off, feeling the need to run away, a run in with another set of parents and the police, a visit to a psychiatrist and now they are thinking of pulling her out of school completely. Why? Because she "sexted" with her boyfriend on her cellphone. Imagine what would've happened if she HAD gotten pregnant?

Sorry, but as I see it, the parents are the ones with the problem, not the kid. What you said about something being linked because of age is correct. IMO just because these parents are supposedly "adults" doesn't mean they are acting in a mature manner. They are acting like bratty children who aren't getting their way and are throwing a tantrum in response.

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Old 11-15-2010, 04:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This one's easy.

A very long time ago, I worked at a program for troubled kids.

Low tech solution to trust issues - which invariably focus the point of boundaries, accountability and restrictions.

Take her phone. Teenagers managed to survive prior to cell phones being a must have in the last decade and a half. Can she use a friend's? Of course she can, but you are still taking away something she sees as a birthright.

Take her bedroom door off it's hinges. This is hugely effective.

Take all her shoes. We used to do this when we suspected a kid was going to 'run' from the program.

As trust and accountability works it's way back into the picture, you can stop treating her like the knucklehead she's being.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Am I the only one who doesn't see this as a "troubled kid"?

Taking away her shoes...Oh yeah, that's REALLY helpful. Don't forget the big chain ol' chain and padlock for locking her down to the radiator. Bread and water will work too.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This isn't merely about "sexting" (which, incidently isn't all that innocent). This is about sexting, running away, refusing to comply with restrictions, refusing to surrender herself to her parents when they had to come get her, threatening suicide, etc, etc, etc. This is about a kid who has not learned to respect boundaries or to accept the consequences of her behavior. This is a 15 year old acting like a 5 year old. Respect is earned. She will eventually have to learn these rules. She can learn them at home or she'll learn them from the police or from failed relationships or failed jobs. 14 is too young to date, IMO. Someone who uses their cell phone for sexting is too irresponsible to have one. If boyfriend is preventing her from obeying her parents, boyfriend has to go. No, she's not pregnant or drug addicted...yet. When she is, it'll be a little too late to start being her parent. Witzend asked if she was doing the right thing. IMO, she and her husband are taking responsible parenting measures.
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Freak, do you have teenagers of your own?

Deejo has it right.

Study the brain development of a teenager.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: 15 year old lying and sneaking around

I can only offer my own experiences here, so perhaps a bit of perspective.

When I was in highschool I "fell in love" with my ex. My parents loved him initially too. Then they decided he wasn't worth my time, for whatever reason and the end of my senior year was filled with nothing but fights, threats, punishment, and the like.

It destroyed my relationship with my family, it destroyed any and all respect I had for them and I moved out the same month I graduated. You know what ended up happening? After a year of dating this guy, when I finally was able to spend time with him and actually see how he was, I realized he wasn't right for me and broke it off...because I had the space I needed to see things for how they were vs. being told and restricted by my parents.

I don't know how things were when you were in school, and I definately can't keep up with what its like now (I graduated in 2005) But when I was in school, people were having sex in 7th and 8th grade. Any way they could sneak around their bad mean and cruel parents who were out to prevent it, they would. Some of my friends would get dropped off at the skating rink and go across the street in the field to mess around..IN SEVENTH GRADE!

I know your daughters behavior is nonsense and unacceptable, but you also need to have some understanding of where she is mentally and emotionally too. She's learning who she is, what she likes, what she wants and what she isn't, doesn't like, and doesn't want. I can tell you that if you take her out of school, its only going to get worse, she will go from resenting you, to hating you.

So she sexted him. Well, thats unacceptable and you pay for the phone, remove it for whatever time period. Forbidding a relationship is only going to make things worse as you've seen, because she feels like she loves him, and how dare you take away someone she loves. Did you talk with her, explain why its wrong to sext and what is and could happen when he decides to share those sexts?

Get her in for a papsmear. Nothing is more invading and uncomfortable than having to have someone stick a plastic speculum into you and stab you in the ovaries. Explain that this is what sexually active woman have to do regularly to make sure that they're still healthy and have contracted nothing. Then, get her on birth control, and have her go buy herself condoms. There is nothing more humiliating than being a girl that age buying condoms, but again, if she wants to have sex, these are things she has to do to be responsible. And in all honesty, would it not be better to teach her how to do it responsibly, and be able to be open with you about it that be ridiculed, forbidden, punished and forced into a panic/defense mode and have the results you currently have?

It sounds as if you already have a decent child, her behavior is responsive to losing something she cares about, her boyfriend. Yes there are more fish in the sea, yes there are consequences to her curent actions, but she's not going to hear that from you in this manner. She's not going to see that you're doing this out of love and concern, she sees it as you're trying to control everything in her life. If she is a responsible young adult for the most part, teach her further, with nothing but understanding, love, and care, how to be properly responsible in this part of her life too. That is what parents are for, that is what I missed out on, and its why so many of my friends and myself resorted to sneaking around. Because we couldn't "trust" our parents.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:12 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Am I the only one who doesn't see this as a "troubled kid"?

Taking away her shoes...Oh yeah, that's REALLY helpful. Don't forget the big chain ol' chain and padlock for locking her down to the radiator. Bread and water will work too.
It isn't about 'beating them down' or deciding what constitutes a troubled kid. Exactly as unbelievable (whom I believe is a LEO) stated. It's about the choices you make, and being prepared to deal with consequences of those decisions. Many teens simply don't believe there are any consequences. Can't even say they are pushing boundaries, because they simply don't acknowledge boundaries.

Can you keep your kid from having sex? Nope.

Can you send the message that sneaking out of the house or behaving in a way that consistently puts your safety in jeopardy is unacceptable? As a parent, you damn well better.

One of the simplest and most effective means of inflicting the 'pain' of consequences is to take away what they believe is theirs, be it privacy, a stereo, a computer, or their friggin shoes if they are putting them on at night to leave the house.

If your kid chooses to go on challenging you in these kind of efforts - than they are at far greater risk than any of these specific actions would indicate, meaning you are doing the right thing - and it's likely to get worse before it gets better.

I worked with suburban wannabe punks, all the way up to juvenile sex offenders and gang bangers.

There were two classes of kid that were the toughest, the entitled suburban kid with no sense of limits, who for lack of a better description consistently sealed their own fate by refusing to acknowledge how much they were f*cking up.

The second were flat out kids that were hard core. These were young people that had seen family members and friends killed, suffered from PTSD, had only one, or no parents. They had one of two things waiting for them by age 25, a prison sentence or a coffin.
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