If you have raised/are raising a daughter - HELP!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by slsh, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    First off, Diva is really a pretty good kid. Great grades, Jr. Honor Society, student council, participates in sports/cheer year round, band, school play, Girl Scouts, etc., etc., etc. She's like the Energizer Bunny when it comes to outside activities. Does homework without prompting 99% of the time. We get nothing but positive comments from teachers, coaches, and other parents about how helpful she is, how mature.

    She's not terribly helpful around the house - part of it is my fault; being the type A control freak that I am, I don't ask the kids to do much. Chores are extremely minimal, but any request for her to do anything (feed guinea pigs/cats, empty dishwasher, take her clothes to the laundry area) is guaranteed to provoke snarky sigh, rolling eyeballs, and borderline nasty response. I also have to ask her many many times to get her to do anything. I can deal with- this without getting too aggravated (thank you, difficult child, LOL).

    She's pretty strong-willed and definitely has her opinions already. We had an incident last year with her planting her little 11-year-old self in front of me and screaming that it was her life, I was ruining it, and I just needed to let her live (all over her wearing leggings and a t-shirt when it was 28 degrees outside - I actually debated with- myself before engaging her on that - logical consequences vs. my responsibility to ensure she was dressed appropriately for the weather. I chose the latter, and all heck broke loose). End result was she ended up losing a lot of her activities, as well as beloved cell phone, before she finally put on appropriate clothes. I *hate* taking her activities away, but it seems to be the only thing that gets her attn.

    She has also turned into a simply stunning young woman. It's actually very alarming. I had promised her 2 years ago that this school year (7th grade) she could start wearing make up. I kept my promise but I really regret having made it. She's tasteful and quite skilled at the make up, but the end result is I have a 12-year-old who easily could pass for 17/18 (she was asked about her college plans by a nurse at recent dr. appointment for Boo). She did not inherit her mother's stick figure physique. She is modest and doesn't want to wear revealing clothes, thank goodness, but she is getting a whole lot of attn from boys, and therein lies my problem.

    Steadfast rule has been for years no dating before at *least* 15. It's not been a problem with- the boys - Boo and thank you for obvious reasons, Wee because he is a rather self-contained kind of kid and is not yet (that I know of) terribly aware of the opposite sex (but can never be sure with- him - he could very well be prom king and we'd never know it, LOL). It's going to be a huge problem with- Diva. We've already had 2 freshman want her to be their "girlfriend". I nixed that fast. So I get a text from her last night that she's been "asked out" and she wants to say yes. She was on a field trip to Springfield so was on a bus at the time. I gave her my standard response - not until she's at least 15 (and even then... well, I'm not thinking about it). And she starts debating me, via text. It's not fair, yada yada yada yada. OMG!!!! This is not negotiable to both husband and me, but given her mopey demeanor this morning, she's going to make us pay dearly.

    Her logic is that we're saying no because we don't trust her. That isn't it. We don't trust the boys, LOL. No, just kidding (kinda) - I just feel in my gut that she is waaaay too young and I'm not going to change my mind on that. We've told her her job right now is to keep on doing all the stuff that she's been doing, that 12 (13, 14, 16, 20, 25, LOL) is just too young to date.

    Where I need help is - I know she's going to escalate this to the point of me having to start taking activities away, which I really really don't want to do. I told husband last night there is not a chance in heck I am going to fight this no-dating battle on a daily basis for the next 2 years (she'll be 13 in Feb). I'm tempted to just buy her a dozen t-shirts that say "Don't ask me out, my parents are intent on ruining my life." I'm also worried because she's strong-willed enough to try to do what she wants without our permission, though she knows the consequences would be catastrophic for her if she gets caught. (Am I smart enough to catch her???)

    There is no room for compromise on this - I feel very strongly about it. She has ample opportunity to interact with- boys at school, in all her various afterschool activities. I know she texts with- several boys and I do spot check her cell phone (have had a gazillion talks with- her about photos, etc.). Anyone have a sure-fire way to convince her that we mean business, the answer is an absolute "no", without me having to resort to start taking stuff away?

    She's one of those kids who thinks she knows it all, thinks she's street-smart (NOT), and thinks she can handle everything on her own. We know the next several years are going to be challenging with her, but I am hoping to keep her in check without having to resort to extreme punishments because really, she's a great kid and has the world by the tail.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Can't she do group activities? At that age, she can easily be chaperoned because she can't drive. That way you make sure there really is a group.
    My daughter had the opposite problem--guys would ask her out and she thought they were all nerds. I told her that she wasn't old enough to date anyway, so what was the issue? Just tell the truth. Oh, okay. ;)
    I would sit her down and have a family mtng. Tell her that now she's a young adult, is expected to take on more chores and responsibilities. Being grown up means you get to do more things, but you also have more responsiblities.
    Do not do it when she is running out the door. Set up a real meeting time. Listen to her vent, but don't let her take control.
    One thing we do to keep control and format family mtngs is choose an object, like a dried flower or even a fork, and each person holds it to signify it is their turn. When they are finished talking, they give it to the next person. (I think it's a Native Am ritual but I'm not sure.) They are supposed to stick to "I" statements and not throw out insults. IOW, she could say, "I feel like I am being treated unfairly because I know I'm old enough to do this."
    The you take the object and say, "What would you use as your basis for judging yourself?" and then give the object back to her so she can talk.
    Best of luck. This is a hard age.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Whew! I am right there with ya!

    Here's the thing I have noticed with girls (especially girls) these days in school. As early as 5th or 6th grade - these girls are looking for "boyfriends"...and there is a lot of pressure going on at school to make sure that every girl and every boy is "paired up" with somebody. The kids who don't get a boyfriend/girlfriend are teased for being "gay". No boyfriend? o you're a les-bo. No girlfriend? o you're gay.

    It's definitely scary!

    So you are fighting not only the expected problem of boys "sniffing around" - but you're also fighting the incredible peer pressure to have a boyfriend at her age...even if the boyfriend is just to avoid the horrible teasing about being a probable lesbian.

    My feeling is if you strictly forbid this - Diva is going to get herself a boyfriend behind your back.

    Safer route - why not make a rule "No dating alone until age 15 - prior to that, all dates MUST be chaperoned by Mom and Dad." Invite the young men in question to dinner....or to church....or roller-skating. Anything that allows her to have the "boyfriend", but doesn't allow her to get into any of the situations you are clearly envisioning as unwanted at this age.

    (Just FYI - I know a woman who decided to homeschool her daughter for this very reason....her daughter was experiencing all this teasing and pressuer to get a boyfriend - at age 10!!!! Mom decided to gt her out of that public school setting...and her daughter has been happier, healthier and more confident ever since. That young lady is now 14 years old -gorgeous! Could easily pass for older...but has not had a boyfriend and has no plans to get one until she is a little older. I'm not suggesting that homeschool is the solution - just that the pressure these girls are under is incredible.)

    Good luck!
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OK, I wrote a long response and lost it.

    I think you need to relax your rule. Ban boyfriends and you push her to lie to you, to see boys behind your back. But if you allow some level of relationship, you are far more in control. Girls at this age tend to blow with there wind, a boy they like this week is going to be out of favour next week.

    The bets you can do, is make sure you have given your daughter the best rules and guidance you could have, while she was still young enough to listen. You are reaching the point where she will be more willing to learn from experience than to continue to listen. You have done the best you could, now you have to hope it was enough. When she feels she is ready for sex, you will not be able to prevent. I know! Chastity belts on your child are illegal. The best you can do is hope you have given her enough guidance, to make a wise decision and to delay it for as long as possible. But you need her to be talking to you, not hiding things.

    easy child had her first boyfriend when she was 14. She met him at camp and began a long-distance relationship with him. After a couple of months of this, we made it easier on them and arranged to meet half way, at a museum. We went as a family, we all had fun, he met us and we met him. We let the two of them spend some time together just the two of them, but there was nothing they could get up to in public. Over years, we organised other outings. We realised we quite liked the boy, although he had some annoying habits. She was 16 when she first had sex with him. She is now married to him. Somewhere in there they split up twice, but got back together each time. The last split was when easy child was 17.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 had her first boyfriend when she was 11. We were not happy. He was a few months younger than her, but a good friend of difficult child 1. He was also supplying difficult child 1 with porn, filched from his older brother. We knew that forbidding her seeing him would backfire, so again we organised a family outing - a picnic to a zoo. We had a lovely day although boyfriend spent most of his time with difficult child 1. The romance did not last - it turned out that she only liked him, because she thought he liked her. And he only liked her, because he thought she liked him. In fact, neither of them liked the other much. Not in that way. But they did stay friends. However, this took the pressure off easy child 2/difficult child 2 to have a boyfriend, until she was 17. All that time, if someone said, "Have you ever had a boyfriend?" she was able to say she had, but having a boyfriend was not very impressive. When she did have her next boyfriend, again it was a dead loss. The guy was a creep and the relationship did not last. It was a learning experience, but she had the maturity and self-confidence to make her own, sound decision.

    I have supported my girls by driving them to meet the BFs. That meant I was present - a useful thing. "Let's go for coffee" is a useful tool. Over the years I have got to know a number of young men who hung around my girls. I am on good terms with all of them (except for easy child 2/difficult child 2's no 2, who I never got the chance to meet despite my efforts) and they have often come up to me to speak to me, ask me how things are going and let me know how things are with them.

    At 11, kids should be going out on group dates rather than as a couple. You could organise a group outing and go along as chaperone. Make it a daytime event, something physically active. Invite other kids too, and just be available. No snogging in public, but hand holding is OK. Kids need to not be thrown in the deep end until they have the practice at being in a relationship at a level they can handle. And you the parent cannot regulate when this happens. All you can do is hang on for the ride and do your best to supervise and just be there. Keeping the lines of communication open is vital, more important than any perceived chastity. If you put too high a premium on chastity, you risk losing the vital communication. And if your child insists she has never had sex, you still can never be sure. If you really have forced it underground, you may never know the truth. And that could mean that when she really, really needs to talk to you, she feels she can't.

    It's a horrible time for a parent, especially if your daughter is beautiful. In our case,, easy child 2/difficult child 2 has always had a sensuality about her that scared us. We knew her first sexual partner would be very vulnerable and at risk of being hurt badly. Her husband is actually her second sexual partner. We're also dealing with the fallout of her having HPV and some early cervical changes. Still waiting on pathology results.

    Which brings me to the final point - BEFORE your girl becomes sexually active, teach her about sexual responsibility. This also involves emotional responsibility for the other person. Having sex too readily can harm either partner emotionally. She also needs to understand about safe sex (including the socially acceptable ways to insist on your partner wearing a condom) and also begin to take care of her own sexual health. Regular pap smears, contraception, knowing what to recognise in a male in terms of sexual risk factors - when kids want adult pleasures they must take on adult responsibilities. Your daughter may be too young for this talk now, but she shouldn't be too young for the cervical cancer vaccine. Make sure she has it NOW. It was too late by the time easy child 2/difficult child 2 had it. And it now appears that her current problems were caused by her first sexual partner, who told her he had never slept with anybody else before her. It now seems that at some point, he did.

    So let her have a boyfriend, but make sure you're organising the outings so you can chaperone. If you take them bowling, you can sit in the coffee shop while they play and have fun. A perfect outing, and you drive them there and back. Read your book. They won't get up to anything. And it could be the only outing of the relationship!

  5. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I'm with you. Younger than 15 is too young to date, no matter what the other kids say. I do think she could be part of group activities or go places that you or the boy's parents take them, but no actual dating that young.
    Sometimes you have to be willing to say no and put up with all of the drama to let them know that you mean what you say. You have her best interests at heart; there is no reason to feel bad or mean or anything else. If she chooses to pitch a fit, you just have to stand firm. She'll thank you when she's 30. What she says now doesn't matter. It's coming from a child who does not have the knowledge and maturity to decide for herself.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to teendom with a female child. :tongue:

    Unfortunately just about everything she is doing/attempting to do is normal. From here on out you're pretty much going to be the Bad Guy, the Totally Uncool Mom, and the Control Freak who wants nothing more than to destroy her life and make her as miserable as humanly possible.

    I thank my lucky stars my 1st experience with this came with easy child and not Nichole. lol

    1. Stick to your rules no matter how awful she manages to make you feel. (and you won't believe how awful they can actually make you feel)

    2. From here on out you'll be subjected to bouts (if not constant) major attitude. Yes even from the best easy child in the world. You need to plan for it ahead of time and how you're going to nip it in the bud. Because I warn you now if you don't nip it in the bud it WILL get far worse.

    3. Sure you told her she could wear makeup. But did you think to regulate how much makeup? Some parents can't tolerate the I Just Put On a Mask look. I didn't have much issue with it, I just kept telling the girls what my Grandma taught me........makeup looks best if no one can tell you're wearing it, which takes much practice and skill. And yeah, at this age easy child walked around with a major case of racoon eyes. :rofl: Until this message.......and some people outside of the family gently told her she looked silly. Then Mom showed her the correct way to apply mascara ect. LOL Unlike many of her friends mothers........I never did the You're Not Leaving the House Looking Like That thing with makeup. It's a learning process and I tried to help my girls learn how to wear it correctly. With Nichole this went a bit easier because she was always around during easy child's learning process.

    4. Boys. Oh the fun part. :tongue: My girls weren't allowed to car date until 16. Any dating that came before that was only under parent supervision. And yeah I was the overbearing totally uncool Mom and I was ruining their social life. But I'm pretty creative and so are my girls so they could find lots of fun things to do even with Mom hanging around a safe distance away to make certain things didn't get out of hand. But here is the crappy part of this: Dont assume other parents have your standards. Don't assume that they'll be as vigilant with supervision as you will be. I learned this the hard way and that is how grandaughter Aubrey came to us. Nichole's boyfriend's parents aren't bad people.......they just slacked off enough to get us a grandchild. geez.

    5. Dating. Decide the age. Decide the cerfew. Decide how you'll handle it if she brings home the difficult child from hades to meet you while having her head in the clouds from a major crush that has her believing she's in Love. Because odds are it's going to happen at least once during her dating years. And the golden rule with this: If you can't stand him, she'll fall head over heels for him. So it's best to start planning your game face for this situation a head of time.

    6. Remember what it was like to be her age and try to make it easier on her when possible, while also remembering every single thing you or your friends did to dodge parental rules and do as they pleased.........so you can prevent the same sorts of things happening to you. Thankfully I was quite the difficult child as a teen and my kids got away with next to nothing. lol If they "slept over" at a friends I had to know the parents well, and those parents had to call and tell me she had arrived. My girls knew that I could and would call at random when they went to visit a friend just to make sure they were where they said they would be. This doesn't work well with cell phones, the reason why is a lesson for the student. lol

    7. Clothing. This never became a major battle for us with either girl. Mostly because I never let it. I bought Nichole's clothes so she was never allowed anything too short or revealing. easy child did work from age 16 and she did buy her own clothes. But soon discovered that anything Mom disapproved of never made it back to her from the laundry. Instead it mysteriously came up missing.

    8. Humor will be your best friend.

    9. At age 15 you're going to swear your daughter has become possessed. It's the terrible 2's times 1000. At this age girls make you wonder why in hades you ever wanted children. She'll hate you at least 10 times a day, will be mad or crying everytime you turn around and trying to figure out what triggered either is fairly futile.

    10. With all your rules and close supervision there will still be things your daughter will be able to get away with that you may or may not ever find out about until she's a mother herself. It happens, both with easy child's and difficult children. It's part of being a teen to attempt to dodge the rules as much as they can get away with and to do things to rebel against your authority.

    Bottom line: It's not your job to be her friend. It's your job to keep her safe while she learns to become independent from you her parents. You will be her friend eventually, just not while she is under 18. :tongue:

    Both my girls hated my rules. They hated that I caught them at everything they tried to do while their friends seemed to get away with murder. But now they tell me they needed those rules even though they didn't believe it at the time and have actually thanked me. We're super close and we have tons of fun together.

    So sit down and start planning. You're in for one heck of a ride. But it does get better, I promise.

  7. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I agree with the above posts. My easy child daughter is 11 1/2. My former step daughter is 17 now but was quite the little she devil by age 12.

    My easy child? Well I didn't think this would come up for a LONG time as she's a deeply committed tom boy. But as mentioned above, there is a LOT of pressure on girls at this age at school. Even
    amongst my easy child's peers in her hockey league. If not for that, I doubt my easy child would have been noticing boys for a long time. Even last year at 10, kids in her class had "boyfriends or girlfriends". Mostly
    for them it meant they could giggle and pass notes at school, see each other on school grounds at recess and lunch. I couldn't believe it at the age of 10, but at least it was more a "status" thing than anything. This year, the kids are starting to "date". I find it unreal that some of these kids are running around with their best friends and going on group dates, but without anyone to know what is going on or watch over etc. Anyhow, easy child has had male friends for most of her life, being a tomboy. Myself and s/o, along with her dad and stepmom, have always allowed boys to come over. Now she is starting this school year to "crush" on her best "boy" friend. And I'm pretty sure it's reciprocated. She hinted the other night that she'd like to go to a movie or something with him. Until now, we'd just pick him up, take them out to lunch or here for lunch, go to a matinee with them, take him home. It was no different than a girl friend coming over really. With the advent of the whole "crushing" thing, well we've all had to think how to handle things at this young age etc.

    So what we came up with was much the same as above. We'll be not emphasizing the whole "boyfriend" phrase. I mean, these kids will probably be enemies next week then friends the following anyhow. We've decided we wont' stress her using the term boyfriend (so long as it isn't a different "boyfriend" constantly etc). We've also decided that now that she's interested in boys "that" way, that things around her change. Boys aren't off the table, it just seems inadvisable to even try to ban her from nature taking its course. We will however guide her etc. Rather than putting down a list of "do not's", we've given her a bit of a relaxed talk. Told her that since she likes boys, all boys are treated the same if they are just friends or boyfriends now. That she can still spend time outside school with them but differently. If she wants to go to the movies with a boy, so long as their parent is ok with it, we can pick him up and we will attend a movie in another part of the theater while they see theirs. They will not leave the theater, we will watch them go in and be there when they come out. If we decide its ok for them to have food after, we will all go to the same place, sit a couple of tables away and do our own thing. Phone calls with boys are limited to no more than 30 minutes COMBINED per day. That can be adjusted as she gets older. She wants a cell for Christmas. We said sure. With the provision she does NOT pester for more of a plan than we are willing to get her. Which is a plan with a limited amount of texts per month, but also that locks incoming and outgoing texts beyond the limit until the calender month starts over again. We will also be keeping the phone with us after 9p.m. at night until the following morning. We will NOT take the phone as punishment unless she abuses the phone privledges. (In other words, the phone isn't taken for other things, ONLY if she breaks the phone rules). If we have to take the phone, it is for a entire calender month that we will suspend service. Third time, the phone is gone for good until she is old enough for a job to pay it herself.

    My former step daughter had a mother who forbid her from boys etc. She found very creative ways to skirt around the rules, it was incredible that she continued to get away with it too. Kids are so smart these days especially if parents are busy and can't be around all the time to see whats what. By age 14 she had a 20 year old boyfriend. At age 17 now, her boyfriend of the moment is 38. She openly admits she tries to shock her mother because she found her mother too strict. She's talked to me about sex, but won't go to her mom even with assurance her mom would be ok talking to her about this etc. She's just dug her heels in based on resenting the flat out refusal in her mind for her mom to "get with the times" and see that she was growing up etc. Yikes!! I worry for her.

    I wish you luck, every family finds their own way to cope with this stuff based on their own childs personality etc. I feel fortunate that easy child is one of those kids who wants to always be thought of as doing the right thing by myself and her dad and both step parents. I cringe to picture what will occur if she goes boy wild on me lol.
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Oh my, I do not envy you and I thank God those days are behind me, in particular with difficult child.

    By about 11/12, they are usually just hanging around in groups - going to the movies, the shoppes, school events, whatever. They may make those groups smaller once they get there, but they are still in small groups, no one on one dating. Both my girls had friends whose parents allowed one on one dating at the movies for their 11/12 year olds but I was not comfortable with that and even my girls thought it was weird.

    At 14 I allowed a friend who happened to be a boy come over the house to hang out, watch movies or play video games and have meals with us, but no one on one dating until 16. easy child never EVER had a boy over until she was 16. difficult child, on the other hand, always one to push the envelope had a 'boyfriend' at 14 who lived in another town and came over the house almost every Saturday. H once caught them kissing and just cleared his throat. They immediately came into the kitchen looking for a snack - the boy was red faced. It was all harmless. difficult child did get into her first romance at 15 and subsequently, had sex with the boy...at his parents house. I spoke with the parents about allowing them too much time alone, but they defended their allowing their son to entertain in his bedroom in the basement (with a waterbed!). I will admit that I gave up after a few months. My house, my rules, their house their rules and at 15 I had other battles with difficult child. Meanwhile, easy child didn't have her first romance until she was 17 - she was a stickler for the rules, took them very seriously and told me she "wanted to be sure".

    I think you're on the right track in regards to no dating until 15 and I think you're going to have to deal with her debating you over it. Just take a firm stand and be consistent about it. At her age, she should be in groups of mixed gender and that's it. If you feel so inclined, you can put yourself or H out there and offer to be chaperones, but I can tell you that will only become a pita if she has some wise***** boy who takes you up on the offer. Do you really want to be bothered with chaperoning your 12 year old daughter every weekend while she's at the movies with a freshman? Nah.

    Priveleges are just that - privileges. Remind her of that and ask her if dating is more important than having a cell phone or any other privilege she enjoys. Ask her if she really wants this to become the focal point of every discussion. Remind her that you've set the age and that's that and you will not budge or discuss it again with her and then don't. The more you discuss it with them and/or argue your points, the more opportunities you give her to wear you down. Just don't discuss it anymore. If she wants to carry on about it, let her carry on in her room with the door closed or write about it in her diary or vent to her friends. Menawhile, you can turn up the stereo or go for a walk or sit outside, just get away from her if you need to. Believe me, this is not going to be the thing that A) ruins her social life or B) ruins your relationship with her. Eventually, time passes and they get over themselves and life goes on.

    Keep an eye out. If you suspect that she's sneaking around behind your back, call her on it...or...do what I did, spy on her! Hahaha. Yes, I did that once when difficult child said she was going to the movies with her two girlfriends. In my gut I knew she was lying, so H and I made like we were leaving and then circled back, parked on the far end of the parking lot and that is when we saw difficult child exit the movie house with a boy and walk over to Starbucks instead. We continued onto our dinner plans and came back to pick her up from the movies - EARLY - and called to her as she was walking hand in hand back to the movie house to sneak back in so she could make it look like she'd been in there the whole time. Hahaha - the look on her face was priceless. She lost all privileges for 3 weeks and wasn't allowed on any outings without either me or her sister. That was a pain, but worth it.

    Best of luck - you will survive this.
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Sue, your post caused my stomach to churn since I'm two years behind you and there are a lot of parallels, down to me not pushing the chores and the promise of wearing makeup in 7th grade. I realized this summer that guys were definitely taking notice, but thankfully so far she hasn't returned the interest.

    By no dating do you mean no boyfriend? Would you consider allowing a boyfriend her own age, and only meeting at supervised group activities? For some kids having a boy/girl friend to hang with at school, meet up with activities, etc. is enough.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I agree with a lot of what's been said. Heaven knows we made some mistakes with Onyxx and probably still are. A couple of things we ran into were the following of rules - and doing it her way, anyway. So unless you can see her bedroom from the living room (or wherever you are), keep this rule: she may show boyfriend her room. She has 3 minutes in which to do it, with the door open.

    Too strict doesn't work.

    Group outings are good. WITH a parent chaperone!

    Due to all kinds of garbage, we now only allow sleepovers if we have the parents' telephone number. And we DO call. Almost every time. Onyxx discovered the one time she tried to get around that, suddenly a friend of ours was there to give her and M a ride to M's house... because M's mom didn't know about it - and neither did M. Hee hee!

    We do take away the cell phone when she's grounded. But that's a known thing - everything is taken. Computer, TV, phone, outings, everything. Still, that's pretty major.

    For instance - she has been making late night calls (between 11 PM and 4 AM) on school nights, which is against house rules (we set these in like 2006). So the house phone is off limits to her totally for a week, goes to bed with me at night for a month. Her cell? Is blocked between 11 PM and 6 AM. She understands. She's not happy, but she's not raging... Whew.

    Late for school because friend ran out of gas? Extra day riding the bus. Easy, obvious.

    But then, I am pretty sure that Miss Onyxx is getting into trouble anyway... Just a few hints here and there, like the overnight at M's...

    You can't sit on them forever. But you can discuss reasonable compromises.

    Lastly - GOOD LUCK!!!!!
  11. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    My sympathies. I wouldn't live those teen years with Miss KT over again for anything. The makeup? Basket C. Not my problem if you want to look like a hot mess. It's your face. Hairstyle? Same thing. I insisted on clean body and clean clothes, and she had to follow the school district's dress code, which made it a lot easier for me! I pulled the cell phone, grounded her from the computer and from real life, showed up on campus and surprised her with an appointment for drug/pregnancy testing (since she's hysterically afraid of needles, that was a real treat), volunteered to help serve food to the bandos during Saturday practice so I was obviously involved, and I still wanted to murder her on a regular basis!

    Good luck...
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I only glanced through a few responses. I don't envy you either and I'm only two years behind you also.

    All I can offer is my own personal experience (before my wild child days...ooh la la! and that's all I'm going to say! :tongue::tongue:) The one thing that was the best was the daytime dates.... I went to a matinee with a boy or hung out at the mall or skating at the rink. These were all harmless dates that I had at 12 and 13.

    I would agree that the other dates would probably be better off in groups.

    I also agree that (you know your daughter best) if she is that determined and headstrong it is better to be able to monitor dates than have her sneaking around behind your back or lying to you. (been there done that with my parents also...for details, you can ask..via pm, since I was the queen of sneaking out of my house!)
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    On the subject of parents being very strict and controlling, I need to tell you - my mother was very, very protective. Her favourite phrase was, "It's not you I don't trust, it's others." but it was us she didn't trust.

    Even looking back now from my perspective as a parent, I realise I spent my teen years looking dowdy, wearing clothes that were not permitted to let me look attractive or even someone with any shape. My clothes were deliberately ill-fitting and shapeless. Even when I was almost 20 and I had bought myself a dress that was cool and pretty (living away from home at college mostly) my mother took to the dress and remodelled it so it didn't show any cleavage.

    At the time I complained that my mother was doing this, and people didn't take me seriously; my complaints were those of every teenager. But in my case, I was not over-reacting. I vowed I would not do that to my girls/ My mother was basically trying to protect my innocence by making me unattractive. And she succeeded. I grew up so unbelievably naive, that when I did eventually leave home to study, I had no idea on how to keep myself safe. I am amazed I didn't get raped or worse. I had a lot of close calls and survived by luck rather than good management. I also can look back and realise I insulted some otherwise very nice young men, purely because they began to proposition me. I had NO IDEA.
    In trying to protect me, and in trying to keep me safe and wrapped up with tules, my mother actually put me in more danger. I was also unable to discuss boy concerns with her, because her reaction would be to say, "Stay away from boys" even after I was 18. She was polite and friendly to boys I brought home, but very controlling. I never went on any dates while I lived at home. Never. I would go out with friends, we would all go out in a group, but the boyfriend thing was not on AT ALL. So of course when I was living away from home and had my first boyfriend, I was in real danger. Because my first boyfriend really wasn't a proper boyfriend, he was just a guy who was on the make and trying to get me alone. I thought he liked me for me; meanwhile he probably thought I was freely available (it was the age of free love and it came in all sorts of unlikely packages).

    I did learn; I had to learn fast. It was rough.

    So please do not drive your daughter's boy interest underground. Control, yes - keep her contact with boys to group outings, chaperoned. But a blanket ban will be ignored, and you won't know until years later. And she will be in far more danger if she, as I had to, works it out for herself in isolation.

  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Not having raised a girl into teendom (yet!) but remembering my own teen years, I pity you...lol. I went from being a nobody nerd at 12/13 to a wild 14 year old overnight.

    I think if I had a daughter I would allow those group outings where groups of kids meet to go skating or to the movies and out to get a bite to eat before or after with parents driving. I certainly wouldnt allow my under 15 into a car date.

    We are telling Keyana she cant date until she is in college...lmao. And even then she has to bring them home to meet her Papa, Daddy and Uncle Jamie. We will all be sitting here cleaning our guns!
  15. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sue, my best advice is to not make any rules that are unbendable. By that I mean, of course you keep her safe - but don't put the line in the sand. Dating before 15 is not as bad as you think - provided there are other stipulations. You do not want to make her stand out too much as different from her peers. Just make sure she knows what the rules are and be sure she can handle herself if a sticky situation comes up.

    I agree with your rule, but unfortunately the kids are way ahead of us timing wise when it comes to the dating thing. You do not want her being sneaky or being forced to lie to you.

    I just think you need to consider being more open minded to what she has to say. Sometimes they surprise us!
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, yeah, the open bedroom door thing.
    Forgot about that.
    We let easy child do that partly because difficult child was such a pest in the LR.
    She'd have lots of people in her room.
    One time, I was in a foul mood and had had it with-her having boys in her bedroom.
    I stormed upstairs and walked into her room, shouting something, and was stunned to see ... a boy sitting at easy child's computer. Alone.
    "Where's easy child?"
    "I don't know. I think she went out."

    OMG. ROFL.
  17. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Just be cautious about even daytime matinees.

    Onyxx went to one with boy and boy's sister and Onyxx's friend.

    Got thrown out because he had his hands on her... well.

    Now, Onyxx is a bit wilder, but... Just be careful...
  18. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I would allow group outings. At that age, my friends and I - and boys - would hang out at the mall. The movie theater was in the mall, so that was an option, too. Sometimes we met there, other times we all went together driven by a parent (usually mine). Other things could be school football games, dances, etc.

    I wouldn't allow one on one dating until at least 15 either. And that would be - is (was) - a hard and fast rule for me. I was totally uncool on that one. Around here, not only are kids dating before 15, they're spending the night with their boy/girlfriend - with parental knowledge. I wasn't having that at all.

    That said, I would be really uncomfortable with my 7th grader dating a freshman - even in group outings. There is a huge difference in maturity levels, plus the freshman is in school with older kids and with older kids expectations, Know what I mean??
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Dating is a big deal for every kid. For the family too, or it should be, in my opinion. It really isn't something to discuss by text, not until the rules are set and everyone knows them. Then a text could be used to ask for permission, or to let you know she will be a little late, etc... Until then, you need to discuss dating face to face, or at least in email where you can send more than just a few words. I would tell her that anytime she asks anything about dating by text the answer will be whatever choice she least wants you to choose. If she wants you to say no, you will say yes.

    Then you and husband need to talk about this, and then all 3 of you need to talk about it. It is a big deal, and you may want to stick with the rules you set years ago. You may want to make it 16 instead of 15, or go the other way with age. A lot of it should depend on her maturity and how she handles things, how much common sense and self awareness she has. Whatever rules you set, you must stick to. You also need to set the consequences that you will impose if she breaks the rules, sneaks out, etc...

    On this subject, and any other rules that she doesn't like, don't debate with her. It takes 2 to debate, and debate is just another word for argue. You don't need to argue with your teenage daughter about the rules. If she has a problem with a rule you are willing to bend on, discuss it with her, let her know if you will bend or change it, and move on. If you won't bend on it, don't respond when she tries to debate it.

    Get a copy of Parenting Teens with Love and Logic and read through it. It will help with a LOT of these issues, and help you handle the debating and attitude.

    Figure out if you and your daughter are talking about the same thing when you talk about dating. It is very possible to mean very different things and not know it. For some people it means only going on 1:1 dates where boy picks girl up at home, etc.... For some it means holding hands at school, maybe going to a school dance, but never seeing each other outside of school. You have to be talking about the same thing for the rules to work.

    Maybe if she wants to date a special boy the date needs to be dinner with the family and then a movie in the living room. They get the room mostly to themselves, but you and husband look in often to make sure they are behaving. she could also have him over to study at the kitchen table after school, or things like that.

    If this is about a boy she feels strongly about, then the "at home" dates will be do-able, once she realizes that you are not going to budge. If it is about status, then it isn't going to happen. At her age a LOT of the s0-called dating that happens is really about status rather than about caring for someone. Dating someone puts you higher on the social ladder and makes you more popular.

    The study and movie dates at home are suggestions from Jessie. She says that if they are at home, even if it is alone in a room and you check on them even so often, your daughter can begin to learn how to date. If her first dates are out with a crowd of kids, who knows what she will think is accepted and expected date behavior? If you do let her do group dating, Jess says to make sure there is an adult that you know well to chaperone. Otherwise you can end up with the chaperone off doing what they want and ignoring the kids for substantial amounts of time. She remembers being at the bowling alley with a friend a few years ago. It was a group date for the older sister of a friend of hers. The friend's dad was the chaperone - and let the kids alone completely after the first 20 minutes. He went into the bar to watch some game on tv in there while he had a couple of beers. Jess remembers getting quite an eyeful as she and her friend spied on the older sister and her boyfriend when they snuck into the coatroom area to make out. We found out a lot of this because Jess refused to get in the car with the dad. We were called because she bit one of the teen boys when he tried to pick her up and put her in the car. She knew the dad had been drinking because he smelled like beer. The dad was very upset with Jess, but we weren't!

    I think Jessie's advice about teaching your daughter how to date rather than just allowing her to go on either group or 1:1 dates at a certain age (any age) is a good thing to think about.

    Regardless of how you handle this, there is going to be a LOT of attitude, of not wanting to talk to you, of pretending not to listen to you. No matter how much she gives you attitude, she is listening underneath it all.

    I was a bit shocked when Jess said that kids need supervised dates, like the study date at home, to learn how to date. She also said that it is important for the boys to meet the family, even though the kids are both embarrassed the first few times. It sends a message to the boys that the girl has people at home who care and will be upset if she isn't treated well. Regardless of how old fashioned or chauvinistic that may sound, it is a message that is somewhat comforting to girls and can help the boy remember to behave. With a daughter who developed early, that can really matter.

    I hope this helps some. I thought asking Jessie about it might bring out some interesting info. She surprises me all the time with her wisdom. Has since she was able to talk.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  20. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I was going to suggest chaperoned group outings or dinner and a movie at your house, too, but only about 700 other peopel already said that! lol

    And someone said "never make a rule that can't bend"...very true. Very, very true.