Easy Child is starting to spiral

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by dstc_99, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Bug my Easy Child has me concerned. First of all lets start with the fact that Easy Child in my case stands for less volatile than Difficult Child. Bug is 15. She has very few friends. I don't want to be "that" mom who judges people by their race, house, clothing, or sexuality but man oh man can she pick some real doosies. We have the girl who dated and slept with Bug's boyfriend while they were dating. We have the girl who is dating Bug's ex boyfriend even though Bug told her she wasn't ok with it. We have the girl who stayed with us as a foster who was a total mess. We have the lesbian, who I will call K, who has attempted to (and succeeded) seduce half the girls at the library. Did I mention every one of the girls above also dated K from the library. Did I add that K from the library lives across the street and smokes pot like a chimney. Did I add that K's dad works all the time and is never home so the girls are all welcome in the apartment all the time.

    Before everyone gets up in arms about the lesbian thing let me state that I could care less about the sexual orientation issues. I live near freaking Seattle WA people! LOL Sexual orientation is the least unusual thing I deal with around here. I'm generally just happy when I don't get accosted by the hippies who don't wear deodorant and have piercings that could put my eye out.

    Anyway the point of the info above is not about the sexual orientation it is about the general lack of self esteem someone would have to have to continue to be friends with these individuals. I would have dumped these girls like a hot potato back when I was 15. First of all they broke the cardinal girl rule of never sniping a friends ex boy friend. Second they have more drama than I even want to discuss here. Not just girls being girls drama but threatening to harm themselves because of something somebady said or did drama. K is constantly threatening to harm herself because Bug wont return her calls or says something she doesn't like.

    My problem is that I need advice on ways to teach Bug self esteem and to get her off of that rollercoaster of drama. She needs GOOD friends. I've tried the quality vs quantity talks and Difficult Child tells her to burn those bridges all the time. I'm not moving her from the school because she has moved too many times as an Army brat already. She refuses to take part in any of the activities on post and we have some awesome activities here. I am to the point of making her do it.

    Any advice?
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    She sounds like the female version of my Difficult Child. I have tried everything under the sun just to have it backfire. If you find the magic formula, send some my way.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry you have to go through this. My oldest daughter did this (her friends, girls and boys, were lowlives) and, of course, she got involved with drugs. She was offered every activity that existed, but didn't like activities and we couldn't get her to go to any. I think it makes a big difference if they ARE in activities that they love--to this day Jumper has never gotten involved with any of t hat stuff, including girl drama, but she has strong interests and was always in sports.Jumper, if she hadn't been so much younger than Princess (12 years) would have thought Princess's friends were all "losers."

    I'm not sure we can force our teens to do activities. Princess was shy and just would wander outside and find those w ho took drugs and were also forced to go. We tried a church youth group and she walked out when the preacher spoke against gays. In fact, she stood up before she left and, shy or not shy, that bothered her enough for her to make a speech t hat shocked everyone. Then she left and called and told us s he would never go back again. Princess is not gay and has never been with a girl, but s he has a strong social conscience and has had gay friends and was just furious.

    Girl Scouts when younger? Boring.

    Sports? Didn't like sports, didn't like jocks, girls or boys.

    Art classes? She liked them, but it was pretty solitary.

    The things she loved to do--draw, cook, anything creative...there weren't many social groups for.

    I hope you have better luck with Bug. Sometimes I think shy kids are drawn to whoever will accept them.

    Wishing you lots and lots of luck!
  4. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    your post about not wanting to be "that" mom made me burst out laughing...I hear you, completely.

    at 15 its hard to socially organize them--you can make suggestions, but we can no longer make the playdate with the "nice" kids to manipulate the situation. i'm sure you can suggest activities and maybe she'll be open to them but in my experience, there are losers in the pot smoking group as well as the honor society, just as there are nice kids in both groups.

    I think the reason some of the more socially awkward kids or lower self esteem type kids gravitate toward the less desirables is because they tend to be more accepting. some of the "nice kid" groups are terribly demanding socially--the list of what you can and cant do is a mile long (you DONT have jack Rodgers sandals? you cant afford to go to hibachi every Friday night?? you didn't realize your faux pas by sitting next to the bff of the bff of the head cheerleader???). it can be hard to navigate--especially if you have moved a lot.

    I'd probably just keep complimenting her when she makes a good choice and talking about the value of real friendship and what that looks like for her. it might help to find out, from her perspective, what she likes about these girls--if she's honest, her answers might surprise you.

    but if it helps any, I was you last year....

    and mine figured it out finally.

    so there is hope!
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm with confuzzled; social circles of well presenting kids can be really complex and difficult to navigate if you are an outsider (moved around etc.) or if you are not socially talented.And the scene can be very unforgiving if you are not in crowd or deemed cool. Kids presenting less well are often more flexible when it comes to others.

    I'm socially capable, not super talented like my hubby, who can sniff workings of any group in minutes and always tell people what they want to hear, but capable. I moved around really a lot as a kid and making new friends was something I had to do often couple times a year until I really put my foot down as a teen and demanded I was let to stay with grands, when my mom was having another short term move out of the area from which I could stay at the same school. I was mostly very proper, did well at school, I was ambitious and I made sure I didn't get caught doing things I was not supposed to do. However depending the place I navigated at times to well presenting crowd and the loser crowd. In some places it wasn't even much of the choice, when getting along with well presenting crowd required understanding what someone's great grandparents had done or not done, it was totally impossible for outsider to manage (I mean, when someone presenting every way proper and average is considered odd bird and to be avoided based on their greatgreatgranddad empting a cart of cow faeces to someone's driveway circa 1890 it is totally impossible for new comer to navigate the social games. It is not like anyone will straight out tell about that ancestor, you should just know that the whole family is considered being 'a bit weird.') And unfortunately, in social games, you do not get a fresh start if you screw up your first try.

    Keep in mind that your Easy Child most likely has much more accurate picture of social atmosphere around her and her options than you have. A new activity is not likely to give her that fresh start with 'the good kids', but she will come to that crowd with the baggage (whatever that may be, and often it is not anything too concrete or much of importance but can be quite a social stigma.) Kids in that activity may not know her well, but they likely know someone who knows about her. Social games of teens, especially teen girls, are cut throat.

    What you can do as a mom is to listen her. Talk with her. Try to sneak 'lessons' about good friendship and peer pressure to your talks using for example movies or tv shows she is interested in as a material or talking point. And be there for her and try to make her believe that she can actually always come to you and tell you when she gets herself into too deep water.

    It is frustrating but parenting a teen tends to be like that.
  6. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    So far we are slowly but surely working on the making "Good" friends part of life. I have talked with her and made it clear who I will and will not tolerate. I gave very valid reasons why and she seems to understand. She may still be on the phone with them but no physical contact is happening and to me that is a good thing. Kids who never see each other tend to get bored with one another.

    New friends are being given the benefit of the doubt until I see or hear something bad enough to warrant a change. Being military I don't have that social circle to help me find out who the bad ones are so I just have to try them out and see how it goes. Thankfully I am very open minded so I tend to give just about anyone a chance. She does too.

    In the long run I feel like she is learning to listen to our advice but also learning what we will and will not tolerate. I advise against bad friends, I cut off really bad friends.

    Now on to the plan to find her an activity of some sort so she stays occupied and meets new people.