Did I over-react? Teen easy child issue

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by svengandhi, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    My only daughter is 17. She is a easy child, great child whose only shortcoming is that despite an IQ in the gifted range she doesn't give a hoot about academics and will likely have to go to community college (her SATs are in the 1900's but her GPA is below 3.0, she has been deferred at the state schools).

    Earlier this week, she asked if she could attend a sleepover at her friend's house last night. I have known the parents for 10 years so I said yes. Last night, we were at a party and my daughter told me that her friend's parents wouldn't be home because they were out of town. I didn't cause a scene and I let her leave the party to go to her friend's house.

    I told H and he decided that she could NOT sleep over and I agreed. The friend had invited some boys to stay over, although all of the straight boys had parents who refused so only several boys who self-identify as gay stayed over.

    We picked our daughter up about midnight and she was ******. She was yelling about how she is trustworthy and did we really think she and her friends were going to use the host parents' marjuana (yup, it's an open secret - these parents still smoke dope, their child doesn't) or drink their liquor.

    She is a very good kid and I feel badly about pulling her out but I was really concerned about that many teenagers being unsupervised. My other friend, whose daughter was home sick and didn't go to either party, texted the mom but never heard back - they are very good friends, spent Xmas together. The host mom didn't mention she'd be away so either she didn't know her child was planning a party or she did and showed no respect to the rest of us parents - we have all socialized and been friends for a dozen years so I would have expected a call saying we're out of town just a heads up.

    I let my daughter go back this morning and they have since moved on to a home where a parent is present. When I called her, she said "I'm smoking dope and having hot lesbian sex, please leave me alone!"

    Did we over-react? Should I have let her stay overnight?

    Thanks for your input.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This isn't so cut and dried for me. I had a very troubled daughter, but I also had easy child sons and my youngest daughter seems to be easy child-headed too. I would say "no, don't let her anywhere near those parents" except that by 17, she is pretty much the way she is going to be. If she is going to drink, drug it up, have sex all the time, etc. it in my opinion would have already happened. Of course there are exceptions, especially when kids stay at college dorms (which is one reason my child won't unless she pays for it--she can go to college here), however your daughter has been a good kid all of her life. She is almost an adult, and she has resisted drugs before. Trust me, she has been around people who use and has said "no, thanks." All kids are exposed to drugs. I believe I learn toward letting her go. She'll be legal next year anyway, and she has made wonderful choices so far, you are very lucky. I have two twin nieces who are straight A students, never really dated (although they are quite pretty), don't drink, don't do drugs etc. They are more mature than the adults you know who still smoke pot...lol. I really think it depends on the teen. I may get a lot of flack here, but I'm not so sure I'd make my daughter come home if she was that level-headed. Of course, the one down side is that if the police raid the house and she's there, she could get arrested with the other kids, if there is stuff going on. I hope others have more concrete advice. I always go by the child. Each child is so very different. I'd hate for a daughter who earned your trust to think she no longer had it.
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    It is a toughie. If she were 13-14, no question she'd be home in a heartbeat. At 17, the answer isn't that easy. It does sound she has earned your trust. However, there are risks with just teens in a house and you do need to protect her from at least some of those risks.

    It sounds like you were okay with it at first and then decided it wasn't a good idea. I know that had I been 17 and my parents said yes with all the trust that implied and then came and got me, I'd be beyond livid. So, she definitely had a right to be angry. I'm sure she was pretty humiliated that you came and got her. However, when she's calmed down, you might remind her that you weren't the only parent who didn't let their kids stay once they knew it would be unsupervised.

    So, I guess I think you were right to say no even if she is trustworthy, etc. However, I think you handled it poorly. Once I said yes, I would have swallowed hard and let her stay. I don't think she deserved to have her parents come and get her when she was doing nothing wrong and you were pretty sure she wouldn't do anything wrong.
  4. compassion

    compassion Member

    I donot think so. It is my value that a parent be present (that is sober) for uner age 18 y.o. teens. I do my best. Compassion
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member


    No, I don't think you overreacted, you went and picked her up. She is 17 and sleepovers where boys are staying as well, whether their confused about their sexuality or not, well there's no need basically especially with parents out of town.

    Her reaction is just problem because she's really mad at you, and as i have learned it will pass. your just being a mom. Whether she's earned your trust or not, certain things just shouldnt' happen and it's ok for you to have those rules in place.

    so i totally agree with what you did. i hope she calms soon. a unhappy teen is a scary thing :)
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I would not let Miss KT stay somewhere where there were no parents to supervise. If I found out there were no parents after she was there, I'd go get her. Granted, she's a difficult child, but still...
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's not the presence of gay boys that would both me (as far as I'm concerned, they're honorary girls at a sleepover) but the lack of ANY adults present at a sleepover. I think your easy child needs to understand that parental rules are there for many good reasons beyond just that situation and that child. You have other children who need to see the boundaries respected. Their turn will come and they will quote this very situation as justification to do something probably far more risky. Explain this to easy child, also admit that when she's the only girl (and probably the eldest) then you're more likely to err on the side of caution, because she is so very precious to you and you've not had the practice before, of parenting such a precious individual.

    We went through this with easy child. Because we live in an isolated area and she went to school closer to the city, she often had sleepovers (as necessity - a school function going late, friends would offer a spare bed overnight). There were even times when she wanted to go, but knew boys would be present/parents absent, and actually asked me to forbid her to go rather than her have to say, "I don't feel safe." I happily played along.

    I think you were very generous to let her go at all, and then to take her back next morning. It sends a message to all of them that yes, easy child's parents may be a bit nerdy and overprotective, but also that she is loved, she respects her parents (because she DID come home) and that her parents, despite being so protective, still love their daughter enough to go out of their way to let her be happy and brought her back next morning.

    I think you did really well.

    Gold star from me.


    PS I'd have responded flippantly to her remarks about smoking dope and having hot lesbian sex. Something like, "Make sure there is enough to go around," or "Don't forget the doggy bag, we want some too."
  8. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    I would have allowed it, but of course I am from another culture.
  9. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    I think you did the right thing. I don't think I would be comfortable with it even if my daughter was a easy child. Too many things can happen with unsupervised kids in a house with liquor and parents who smoke pot. Only takes one kid to do something stupid and all follow. Asking for trouble if you ask me. I'm pretty overprotective though.

  10. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    I would have made her come home as well. Even the best behaved kids can (and do) fall prey to temptations when there are not adults home supervising.

    Available drugs, 'mixed company', no adults = potential trouble in the making in my opinion.

    You're the parent. You still call the shots.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think part of my unpopular reasoning is:
    1/PCs are way different than difficult children. I've had both and something about difficult children just invites trouble.

    2/At 17, this girl is going to have the opportunity to take drugs, drink, have sex, etc. in unsupervised places anyway. I would want her to know I appreciate her good choices. My difficult child daughter wasn't allowed to be at homes where parents weren't there, but that didn't stop her from drugging it up, climbing out of her window to hit the town at night, drinking, etc. At 15, yeah, I'd have dragged my kid home. But not at 17. They have to learn by then to say "no" even in the most tempting circumstances as they get ready to spread their wings. Temptation is everywhere. Parent supervision isn't possible at all times when kids are 17/18/up. I would figure that if I can't trust my 17 year old, she's in big trouble in a year because I can't make her come home then and I certainly can't control what she does when I don't see. difficult children tend to find ways to get into trouble even if we keep them under lock and key, even if it's punching holes in the wall and threatening to beat us up. PCs tend to think before they act. If this kid was going to suddenly try smoking pot, and she never did before, or have sex, and she never did before, it was going to happen anyway. And, most likely, she would not become a substance abuser or promiscuous. Our difficult child's tend to start acting out way before 17. And after 17, we can't control them at all anymore. Not that we ever really did! I'm thinking a well behaved 17 year old could start lying about where she is to have more freedom. It's typical teen stuff, just the age. JMO.
  12. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Funny the topics how they bring about different perspectives lately, which i think is so great for many of us to be able to gain different trains of thoughts from different ppl. That's what makes it so great here.

    I think that teens will do what they want to an extent, drugs, sex etc. Yet I for one as a parent am not going to make it easier on them to do so.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sorry I'm so late to this.
    I would have picked her up, too. Your rule is, no parents home, no overnight. It has nothing to do with-trusting her. It's just a rule. Doesn't mean she has to like it.
    I had to chuckle at her comment about smoking dope and having hot lesbian sex. :)
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, I was the same way with difficult child. She always brought cigarettes home that she was "holding for friends" (yeay, right). I hate smoking and the idea of the kid getting addicted so young so I'd go through her purse and toss them in the trash EVERY TIME. I also cut out her allowance so she had no money until she started to work part-time. Did it stop her? No, but she didn't smoke easily. And actually now she's totally quit--hates cigarettes, so maybe the example worked. If I found stashed booze in her room, I'd toss it out too. Any drugs, I called the cops. But I find I trust my young easy child more and that's because she is always where she says she is and she doesn't stare into my eyes and lie to me and she's never in any trouble (yet). When she's 17, if she's still the same kid, I don't know if I'd drag her home after I said she could go because of the reason I stated above. That's so close to 18 and if the kid has been truthful I'd hate to encourage her to start lying. I really don't know. So far I haven't had a easy child daughter. I do know I trusted my sons A LOT by 17 and didn't question them too hard when they slept overnight at that age. And none of them ever did anything I'd consider wrong (at the ages they are now, they would tell me if they did "Hey, Mom, I really pulled one over on you"). Both boys were over 18 before they even had sex (too bad my daughter was 17 :D). I think it depends on the kid. I have found I had to treat all five of my kids differently. I play it by ear. Right now, I'm Mean Mom to twelve year old because she can't go anywhere unless I know exactly where she's going, who she will be with, etc. etc. etc. and I check. But she's only 12. We'll see about 17. ;) JM unpopular opinion.
  15. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for your input. One thing I didn't mention was that the due to the nature of his job, the host dad comes into contact with unsavory people. He himself is NOT a criminal, but does deal with them on an every day basis. His number and address are listed in the phone book.

    We used that as our talking point when we apologized to our daughter for having pulled her out of the party. We said that the fact that the parents keep drugs at home is a fairly open secret in our small town and that someone could have learned that they would be away and would think to come and steal it. Also, if the party got loud and the cops were called and did a search, the drugs might be found (at this point, daughter rolled her eyes and said "You think they left it home? What would they use on their trip?") I also said that I was disappointed that the parents didn't call us and let us know they'd be away and that also gave us pause to wonder if they even knew what their daughter was planning.

    We hope we made it clear to her that she was not brought home because we didn't trust her but because of circumstances that had nothing to do with her. That was why I let her go back the next morning (let her take my car, too). The funny thing is that I call the friend "Alex P. Keaton" because she is so straight-laced, not like her parents!

    She's still angry but I think she will get over it. We have let her stay overnight with another friend when the parents were away but the family situation is different.

    Thanks again.
  16. lillians

    lillians lillians

    every one will always have a different take,, and every child will accept or not,,there are no hard and fast rukes i dont think,, we chase our son down and bring him home,,, if we feel the need,,his sense is we are funny,, and doesnt blow up,,lol,, we have no real rules,, just ,,stop and think-- and remember who you are,, a loved person,,with an obligation to those whom love uy mostly it works,,, every now and then he is out,, and says not tonite please,,i will get home later,, and we let it go,, but our daughter not ever she cannot make decisions and care for hers elf,, so altho the same rules apply they look different,,your daughter will get over it,, and either listen to yu next time or find a way around yu ,,just as we all did at one time--i do not think how ever yu over reacted,, your gut instinct is usually right
  17. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would have picked her up too. The mere fact that the parents have drugs and alcohol in their homes where unsupervised teens can access it is enough for me. There are a lot of easy child's out there who begin drinking and drug use while the parents are out. I don't agree with it and don't want my difficult child or easy child in that environment.

  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sometimes you can't say with any firmness, "This was right," or "That was the correct thing to do," because culturally there are subtleties and variations.

    MWM, you would have done things your way because you see that for you, that would have been the correct decision. And probably it would have been. It's not "unpopular choice" - it's just your considered choice. That's OK. For each of us, our take is going to be subtly different because of other aspects of it and our own slight variations on cultural shifts.

    We've had a few very highly-publicised cases over here in Australia, of teens having parties while parents are away. A boy called Corey comes to mind.

    I'm disgusted with the various people involved especially the media parasites. And this kid most of all. He's been amply rewarded for his bad behaviour.

    Parties can be a big worry, when text messaging has them get out of hand. We've had a few tragedies when gatecrashers turn up and then get violent when ejected.

    However, there is a big difference between a party (as in lots of drinks, lots of kids, lots of loud music) and a sleepover. How do we keep our kids safe? So much of it does depend on how well we know each kid. Even a easy child may need more careful watching, it depends on so many factors. I'm still reeling in shock form easy child 2/difficult child 2 having her drink spiked last weekend with GHB, from what we can work out she is lucky it didn't kill her. And she was in a cocktail bar in Sydney, with friends (including BF2). If she hadn't been with friends then she almost certainly would have become another statistic. If it had been at a private party instead of a public bar, again it would have been much nastier. And she's 22!

    We can't wrap our kids up in cottonwool. easy child 2/difficult child 2 says she's gone this long (from the legal age of 18) without having her drink spiked, because she listened to us and took every precaution. She just let her guard down last Sunday and didn't watch her drink as closely as she should have, even though she didn't let anyone else buy her a drink and made sure she never left it unattended. But she says she forgot to keep her hand over the top at all times.

    Sometimes there is no definitive right answer. There is only judgement. And that is subjective.

    So MWM, don't apologise or feel an outsider because you have a varying opinion. You are just as much entitled to it as anyone else.

  19. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Marg - OMG as to your older daughter. I tell my kids to hold their drinks in their hands and never let go of it. If they lose track of it, get another one. My kids don't go to bars so getting another drink doesn't involve spending money yet. The date rape drug is one of my biggest fears because it can be put in soda or water as well as alcohol.

    Daughter is OK. She and dad went to the music store to get her guitar fixed and she is her usual self.

    One possible crisis averted. Probably 100 more to go before my kids are grown.

    Thanks again everyone.
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sheesh. I hate to hijack this thread, but Marg, that's really scary about your daughter. I've always told my daughter to drink out of a can or bottle but it never occurred to me that if she had to have a cup, to keep her hand over the top. Good idea. I am so happy that your daughter is okay now.