easy child acting like difficult child this weekend

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by KFld, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. KFld

    KFld New Member

    O.k., I know I can't handle this the way I would a difficult child because they are wired so different, but my easy child has done a few things this past week, so unlike her, and I'm trying to decide the best way to handle it.

    Few days ago husband and I were going out and easy child asked if she could have a few friends over and we said o.k., just a few, and not even really thinking I needed to say it, I gave the lecture on no alchohol, think about what you are doing, yada yada yada. She looked at me like I had two heads, like why would you even have to say that to me, I would never even think of it!! We were home early, it was a school and work night, and friends were already gone. The next day I go to the shed to get some pool stuff out and behind the house I find a few empty plastic cups that definitley had beer in them. I confronted her and she didn't deny it, said one of the girls brought a few beers over, but she didn't drink, just they did. I laid into her about the underage drinking laws and how her father and I could be arrested if these parents found out these girls were drinking in our house!!!! I also told her I didn't believe that she wasn't drinking, I'm not stupid, I don't believe she sat there and watched, and let her know how upset I was and that I don't like the feeling of not being able to trust her, told her no more friends over when we aren't home and grounded her for a few days. I thought of calling the parents of these other girls, but knowing the laws, I am afraid to bring attention to something that could backfire on us as the way the underage drinking laws go, it doesn't matter if we were home, or didn't know they were drinking, we would still be held responsible. So they won't be allowed here anymore, and I won't have to worry about that again, but I hate this not trusting her.

    O.k., so last night she gets her car back and is going out with her girlfriend's and sleeping at one of their houses. These are her best friends, so I was o.k. with it, she sleeps there a lot, and I told her to think about what she is doing there and to call me from the girls home number when they are in for the night. I called her cell phone around 9:00 and she text messaged me back saying they just got into a movie and she would call me from Chelseas as soon as they got home after the movie. She called me around 11:45 from her house and said they were going to bed.

    This morning I see a message on her myspace from her girlfriend, left yesterday, saying can't wait for the concert tonight. Then I see she went on mapquest and printed out the directions to drive to it herself. She had asked me a few weeks ago if I would let her go to a concert there and I told her only if another parent was driving, because she wasn't, and she said o.k. She is not the greatest driver and this place is over an hour away on highways that she has never driven.

    Well now I know she was at a concert and not the movies and that she drove there!!! I'll have to discuss this with husband, but I'm thinking right now the consequences should be to ground her for atleast the week and only allow her to drive to school and work period, then I will have to treat her like a baby for a while and make sure I call the parents of wherever she says she's going and make sure she is going where she says she is.

    I haven't trusted difficult child for years, so it was nothing I had to get used too. I do not like feeling this way about her. I know, I know, these are probably typical normal teenage behaviors. I guess I'm so used to dealing with over the top difficult child behaviors that I'm not quite sure how to deal with normal teenage behaviors. When I was 17 I drank, smoked pot, went many places I wasn't supposed to. I wasn't a difficult child and I experimented grew out of it all. I have no fear of her becoming a difficult child, but I just want to handle this correctly and get the point across, because I know I don't have to beat her over the head to make her understand what she did was wrong.

    What would you guys do? First of all I can't let her know that I saw this on myspace, so I'm going to tell her it's a small world and somebody told me they saw her at the concert. Where she went it not very big and most of the seating is outside on the lawn, and I do know someone who was going and taking his 2 daughters last night. I have been to this place before and it would be very easy to run into people you know there.

    She should be home soon and husband is working all day, so I think I will go with the consequence I mentioned for now and let her know I will talk to her father when he gets home and we will take it from there.

    :slap:
     
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    My biggest problem would be the lying about where she was going. I would rather you go somewhere against my wishes and tell me the truth than lie and sneak to do it. Did she graduate this year? Is she going off to college? If so, then the way you handle this needs to be different than if she will be home for senior year next year. 17 is such a tricky age. My easy child has been out of high school for a year. She has a year of college behind her. She is considering moving out this summer to experience a little more freedom. Oh...to have them five again.
     
  3. KFld

    KFld New Member

    She is only a junior in highschool. She is usually so responsible, actually more responsible then most 17 year olds I know. Would never think of skipping school. She's worked at the same job for a year now and would never think of calling out sick, even when she is sick. She's been my savior after dealing with difficult child for so long. That is what is upsetting me the most. I don't like the feeling of not trusting her. I guess I never thought I would have to deal with this stuff with her, and that is why I wonder if I'm over reacting to normal teenage stuff that most parents deal with, who don't have a difficult child. Not that I don't think she deserves consequences, but I don't want to get myself so upset over something that isn't really that bad, or think to lightly of it because I'm so used to dealing with huge huge difficult child stuff.
     
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think you are handling it just right.

    Jamie pulled some stunts in high school that caused us to reign him in a time or two. The most glaring one was when he and a few of his friends decided to skip school one day and made the huge mistake of finding themselves at a convenience store at the same time we were! Ooops. His dad dragged his lanky behind out of that car while I was in the store and was yelling at him. The clerk was so worried about what was going on she was about to call the cops. I had to tell her we owned him...lmao. Needless to say, he was relegated to riding big yellow for the next two months instead of being able to ride with his friends to school. Oh well...consequences bite!
     
  5. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Yep janet. That is exactly what I was thinking. Make her ride the school bus for a few weeks. It will definately sink in that the car is a priviledge. I wouldn't let my daughter have the car for anything for a few weeks after she violated the rules and drove her friends around. More passengers than the car would hold and not enough seatbelts. She said that it was peer pressure. I replied that if she couldn't stand up to peer pressure, then she was not mature enough to drive a vehicle that could kill or maime someone if she lost control because she was distracted. -RM
     
  6. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Good advice, RM! Karen, I don't have any real advice but wanted to say I sure understand how you feel about all this. After raising a difficult child you just don't know what is "normal" and what a normal reaction should be. It also is an awful feeling to think you can't trust someone--but I do think she is being a "normal" teen and will be trustworthy again in a few years! I too drank and smoked pot and went places my parents were unaware of when I was 17. I remember getting home at about 4:30AM when I was supposed to be home at 1:00 and making up some lame story. I did feel bad when I realized how worried my parents were--that never occurred to me while I was out with this older guy (another dumb story). It was like I knew they would be mad that I wasn't home on time but didn't understand that they would be angry because they were worried! I thought they'd be mad just because I wasn't obeying their dumb rules. I think when you are that age you think your parents just want to annoy you and control you, you don't realize how much they care about you.

    Gotta go--let us know what happens and take care!
    Hugs,
    jane
     
  7. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #660000"> okay, the lying is the thing that would set my hair on fire & she lied twice....the concert & in all likelihood the drinking.

    i can understand her drinking. she's at that experimental age after all. but lying to your face when confronted would be a huge issue for me. if you did drink, okay, but at least show mom enough respect to speak the truth about it. by the way, i would narc the other girls to their parents. i think they would be less inclined to sue you if they hear it from you rather than someone else. there were no accidents & these things happen. the other girls are responsible for their choices not you. as a parent i'd rather know what my kid is up to.

    the concert....this is probably with-in the realm of fairly normal. since easy child seems to want to start travelling further afield maybe you or husband can take her driving to some of these destinations beforehand so she is familiar with-the route & her driving skills can improve.

    i'd ground her more for the beer than the concert & it would probably be more like a month before she'd be enjoying any freedoms. drinking is a huge, huge issue in my opinion.

    kris
    </span> </span> </span>
     
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Once again there is no ONE answer because all of our PCs are different. Alot depends on personality, peers, patterns, etc.
    I've had alot of easy child experience as a parent and with my PCs I
    usually used a different tactic. Why it worked I'm not sure but
    most of the time it did.

    I never "confronted" one of my teens. I always unexpectedly
    brought up the subject at the dinner table or while watching tv
    etc. Then I would usually start the subject by mildly saying
    "easy child is there anything you would like to share with me?" On more
    than one occasion I was shocked out of my chair..lol..as I was
    told about stuff I didn't have a clue about! Most of the time,
    however, there was a brief look of panic followed by a question
    for me. "What do you mean, Mom?" LOL!

    For instance (in your trip case) I would say "Much to my shock and surprise someone indicated that you may have been somewhere
    other than at XXX's house? Is that possible?"

    With all the PCs the truth, or a close to the truth story, would
    flow including an apology etc. From that point I would add that
    as a parent I deserve to hear the truth from my children. Then
    I often would ask "what do you think is the appropriate punishment?" Once again...many times there version was harsher
    than what I had in mind.

    Confrontation doesn't work with me. I see it as backing someone
    into a corner where they have to either fight or submit. I did
    not want submission or retaliatory fighting. I wanted them to
    recognize that I was the parent and deserved respect.

    Perhaps a version of this method might work with your easy child. DDD
     
  9. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Well, my easy child's act like difficult child's at times also. But, they learn from their mistakes quickly I think. I would let her earn back the driving privledge. She went against your wishes, and her trust was lost. I would point out that trust is going to be alot harder to earn back. In addition, I think everything you have done so far is right. You'll have to keep checking up on her, and she won't like that, but she'll learn. Personally, because difficult child was my first child, I give my easy child kids alot of leeway when it comes to everything. (I guess I'm so glad they're not difficult child's that I'm too kind, and forgiving. In other words, they're spoiled. Not good.)-Alyssa
     
  10. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    DDD, I love your answer! I wouldn't have even posted had I seen that. I'm going to try that in the future.-Alyssa
     
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm not saying it will work for others like an "old know-it-all"
    LOL. It just worked well for me overall. DDD
     
  12. Scent of Cedar I

    Scent of Cedar I New Member

    Yep.

    That was a good answer, DDD!

    I like that everyone is taking these issues so seriously, too ~ especially whichever of us it was who brought up the car filled with too many people and the possibility of an accident.

    Also, what was easy child thinking to leave those plastic cups anywhere but in the trash? Or even, to put information about the concert on MySpace?

    Maybe she wants you to know she is getting in just a little too far over her head.

    I think those are the signals you should be seeing, Kfld.

    We missed all those "Help, I'm drowning!" signals with difficult child ~ probably because we wanted so desperately to believe he was fine. At sixteen, he was level headed, had excellent grades, was a great kid, was working, dressed well, and was responsible with his money.

    When the problems started, I just don't think we believed he would do what he did ~ not after everything we had all already been through with his sister.

    So, I would take this seriously, but I would handle it as DDD suggested.

    Barbara
     
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DDD has a point. Doesnt she always? LOL.

    Jamie was always one who pretty much punished himself far more often than we ever had to. He used to eat himself up with guilt when he did something wrong and had to confess to his "crimes".

    Another example from my Jamie files:

    We had been out someplace with Cory and had left Jamie and his buddy at baseball practice at the local elementary school. Practice got canceled due to rain but Jamie and his buddy had to sit there because we were in an appointment with Cory. Well they got bored and decided to go exploring since this was the elementary school they had gone to before. They walked around the outside of the building, looked into the windows, looked at the playground, checked out the cafeteria windows...then they made the inevitable mistake. They found a window cracked open. They decided to go on in and see what had changed since they last went to school there. Little did they know that when they pushed the window up, it set off a silent alarm. While they were browsing the halls the local cops were on their way.

    Now seeing how these were really two good kids with no mischief at all on their minds, the cops found them wandering the halls simply looking at the rooms. They were amazed to find no damage at all and nothing stolen...no candy gone, no drinks stolen, not a mark anywhere on any walls, nor was a thing out of place except for these two idiots wandering the halls!

    When the cop asked them what on earth they thought they were doing their answer was priceless: "We got caught in the rain so we decided to see if the school had changed since we went here and Nope...it really hasnt!" When the cop asked them why they hadnt stolen anything or damaged anything they said "Well, that would be wrong of us and we could get in really bad trouble."

    DUH!

    The cop must have been doubled over in laughter I imagine. These kids were 13. The cop read Jamie the riot act, he told him he could go to jail for xxx amount of time, be considered breaking and entering, yada yada yada, that he would have to talk it over with his superiors but that he would be back...this was all done as he was driving him home in the rain.

    We got home to find Jamie on the front steps of the house bawling like a baby. He was completely inconsolable. He was convinced he had completely ruined his future and that he was going to go to "prison" and that he would never be a Marine and that his hopes of being a cop were now dashed. The boy was in hysterics.

    Oddly enough...the cop never came back...lmao. Im sure the entire police force got a huge laugh out of those two idiot kids. I am also sure the cop realized that Jamie was not some delinquent who was up to trouble. Hmmm...if that cop could see him now!
     
  14. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Well, husband and I decided to keep the beer incident and last night as seperate things. We had already grounded her for that and didn't think it was fair to combine the two as she had already dealth with the consequences of that.

    We decided to tell her she was to go to school and work and home for the next week, but we also decided that because boyfriend had nothing to do with either incident, both happened with girlfriends, that he could come over and hang out, but she wasn't allowed to go anywhere, and from now on we would check on where she says she's going for awhile until we feel we can trust her again. Of course by the time she came home she was bawling her eyes out because she had lied to us and wanted to know what would happen to her. We gave her the consequences and she said she was sorry, but that she really wanted to go to the concert but didn't think we would let her. We explained that we probably would have let he go to the concert if she had asked, as long as somebody else was driving, that we trusted, and that we didn't want her driving there and she knew that. Difference between her and a difficult child, she understood why we were mad and was very remorseful. I know it's eating her up because she kept saying, I hated lying to you and crying.

    But let me tell you, girlfriends are brutal!!! She tells her friends about he consequences and they turn it into how I favor boyfriend over her and don't like them??? Hello, where did this come from??? So then she's crying hysterically because her friends think I don't like them and would rather have her hanging out with boyfriend. Then they are trying to make her choose between them and him, like she had anything to do with the consequences and who I would rather she spend time with!! I am really upset with both friends because I have never been anything but nice to both of them and I feel they have been totally disrepectful to me by questioning her as to what my punishment was???

    easy child just walked in, I'll write more later :smile:
     
  15. KFld

    KFld New Member

    o.k. I'm back. Now I'm trying to get her to understand that she shouldn't allow the two girls who are supposed to be her bestfriends, to make her choose between them and her boyfriend. I told her they are 2 differerent relationships and just as she shouldn't have to ever explain to her boyfriend that she wants to spend time with her friends, she shouldn't have to explain to her girlfriends why she wants to spend time with her boyfriend. I told her it's like my boyfriend, remember lucy and ethel :), being jealous of me and my husband. Two different relationships, two different meanings and the fact that they are trying to get her to choose says they aren't being very good friends.

    It has been a very stressful weekend for easy child, and even though I am angry with her, I also feel sorry for her because I know how hard the teenage pressures are and I'm mad that her girlfriends are putting her in the middle of something that she has no say over. And even if I did favor her boyfriend over them, so what?? What right do they have to give her a hard time over it??
     
  16. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Sounds to me like you handled it well. Girls get really weird at her age... Glad she did feel remorse for her actions.....Trust does need to be earned back.....
     
  17. Scent of Cedar I

    Scent of Cedar I New Member

    She sounds like a really sweet kid, Kfld.

    I'm happy for you both that things are working themselves out.

    Is this the girl in the yellow prom dress?

    Barbara

    P.S. Say hi to Ethel for us, okay? :smile:
     
  18. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Yes, it's the girl in the yellow prom dress :smile:


    She is a sweet kid, but just like all of them, I guess she needs to be reminded of her boundaries once in awhile.

    I am really hurt by the way her girlfriends feel I have treated them though, because I can't even see where it came from, and either can easy child. One of the friends is very self centered and I think the othe one was feeding off of it. I told her they are welcome to stop by and watch t.v. with her this week while she's stuck in the house :smile: let's see how many times they show up?? I can guarantee I won't see them once.
     
  19. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sounds like it worked out just right for your family Karen. Over
    the years I have found that the influence of "friends" can be
    downright scarey. In fact, that's one reason I have tried to avoid the confrontational mode. All my children (yes, even GFGmom and the grandsons) have felt free to share with me. My
    husband says "it's not normal for teens to tell their Moms stuff". LOL
    It may not be "normal" but even E.F. has always known not to mess
    with easy child/difficult child's "Mama". Not because I will deck him. How I wish
    I could..lol! Because if easy child/difficult child has to make a choice...he'll be
    on my side, even if he is stoned, drunk etc. If you and husband had
    come down hard on easy child, her dear friends would have really tried to
    sway her to difficult child thinking. You can count on it like death and taxes. Way To Go! DDD
     
  20. KFld

    KFld New Member

    She was on my side, because I heard her telling her boyfriend afterwards the things that the girls were saying and she was telling him she can't believe they would ever feel I treated them with anything but respect and that I'm always nice to her friends :smile:
     
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