Not sure where to start or what to do.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by unknown_chaos, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. unknown_chaos

    unknown_chaos New Member

    Hello, I am writing regarding my daughter who is 14.

    Couple of things going on with her.

    1. Smoking Cigarettes, Drinking and smoking pot.

    2. Told me at the beginning of this week she has been depressed and really extra irritable lately and wanted to go see the doctor to get something to help (which I am glad she did tell me).

    First with the depression, it does run in the family, I think she probably has it to some degree, but I do worry later on she will use that as an excuse not to do stuff (example I can't handle school this week, or do chores or for acting out etc) that is terrible of me to think that way but I do. I do want her to see a counselor but she doesn't trust them because her friend went to one and she told her some stuff and the counselor told the police (she was doing drugs) I can't force her to go.

    Second, the smoking, drinking and drugs (pot) at a loss what to do, I feel like a bad parent.

    My husband does not know about this because he would ground her (not that I am against that) but he would forbid her to ever see her friends again (did this once to one friend)nnd pretty much make her a prisoner (she was grounded last summer like this and trust me she put me thru pure hell) and personally that wouldn't stop her she would get the stuff if she wanted. She would sneak out or have someone bring it to her window. My gut tells me this.

    She has pretty much one best friend she hangs with (she does this stuff too, but she didn't get daughter started on it the one I think she started with she doesn't really hang with her anymore) the girl she hangs with now I don't think is a bad bad kid (I also worry with her depression taking away her best friend will not help, that is who is talks too).

    I feel guilty because I am sure the money I give her for her chores goes to this stuff (so I am pretty much putting it in her hands) she didn't get chore money last week because she didn't do them but she got birthday money and I know probably what that went to.

    I have told her I disapprove of what she is doing and I worry about her over dosing and have talked to her about that.

    This is terrible of me to think this way, I wish she would get caught, I think in her mind no one can stop her, of course would getting caught even help? I also thought (because I am a spineless wimp) of sending an anonymous letter to the police saying to "watch activity" in this area, but as I said before it her getting caught even help.

    Her grades are bad, afraid she will do summer school (she is smart just doesn't want to do the work) she is mouthy at times to the teacher (no complaints from the school but what I have heard her tell her friends how she told this teacher this or that). She does get sometimes mouthy with me and has been cussing more.

    Oh yes alcoholism and drugs run on both sides of the family, my husband was a bad alcoholic he still drinks but not like he used to. He can go weeks at a time with not drinking and only drinks on the weekends if anything. I haven't talked to husband at all about this, daughter and him already butt heads. husband most used comment is "ds wasn't or didn't do or have these problems when he was that age" Well teen boys are different then teen girls (I think) I think teen girls have so much more drama in their lives plus hormones, husband doesn't seem to buy it.

    Thanks for listening to my long post and I am sure I forgetting something but can always add it later.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board. Many of us have been through this, including me. My daughter started smoking pot at 12 and did so much more than pot, although I was too dumb to figure it out until she quit and told me the whole, frightening story. Because your daughter is doing such dangerous things...things that can kill her...I don't suggest being so lenient. I have some suggestions. We couldn't stop daughter from using drugs, but we certainly gave her consequences and I think that our constant vigilance got her to think things over and make her decide that this was not a good life for her. She completely quit, doesn't even smoke cigarettes anymore.


    1/NO money for anything. We cut our daughter off as soon as we knew just that she was smoking cigarettes. She got a part time job at sixteen and that was one bright spot in those drug years. She worked after school and weekends, less time on the street. That was her only way of getting money. We only bought her essentials and clothes from thrift shops or Walmart. She learned a good work ethic that she still has today (at 26).

    2/No chores for no money works for me. And I mean NONE.

    3/No cell phone or, when the time comes, driver's license. If she wants adult things, she needs to behave like one. She can get in trouble on that cell phone and kill somebody in the car.

    4/You have the right, since she lives in your house, to search her room at will. We did and found out a lot about what was going on. Once we found a letter with a phone number that was a plan for her to run away to see some internet boy in Colorado. We were able to call and put the kabosh on that. Turns out he didn't know she was a minor and the phone was his mother's phone. She wasn't happy.

    5/NATURAL CONSEQUENCES: In our case, I turned my daughter in when we found pot. It didn't stop her from using drugs, but it made her watch herself and she had to be in early. I've told my kids (and I have raised five to at least age fourteen so far) that if they do something illegal and I know about it, I will turn them in. I don't think it's good to enable the kids...then they just have an easy time self-destructing and I wanted my daughter to have a good life. I thought the best way to maybe give her one was to make it very hard for her to be a drug user. I do not buy t hat teen girls can't behave because of hormones. I have a fourteen year old daughter who is my best behaved child. It's a poor excuse in my opinion.

    6/You need to get into counseling with husband, even if you don't include daughter because she won't cooperate. Holding things back from husband because he may ground her in my opinion is wrong. I think he's right to ground her. She is not able to take care of herself responsibly. Now if she gets violent or is a threat to you, then perhaps you have to look into something more than grounding as a out of home treatment. It seems you don't want to ground her because she is difficult to live with. Whose house it it anyway?

    Just a few ideas. Others will come alone and welcome to the board (but sorry you had to come on it). :)
  3. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Yup, you need to present a united front with husband or these kids will see that hole and use it to their advantage as much as possible. Been down that road. Now husband knows everything. It sounds like you are afraid of confrontation. If husband has no problem being the disciplinarian, maybe it would be a good idea to let him dole out the consequences with you backing him up. I agree with searching the room - and often!! No such thing as privacy in my house anymore. They earn privacy when they have earned their own place to live. Had I searched my difficult child's room a lot sooner in her life, I would have found out everything she was into and may have been able to do something about it. My difficult child smokes, too, but she was not allowed to smoke on my property or in front of me. I despise smoking. Your daughter is young enough that you may be able to do something about it...
    I'm sorry - been down this road and it hoovers....big time.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I'm chiming in because I totally agree with MWM and PG.

    My stepdaughter is 16. Things are a total mess. We know she has done drugs - by her admission and a drug test through her probation officer. She's been violent. It's not somewhere you want to go.

    You're not spineless... You are just lost and don't know what to do. That's OK. I know so much more now that when I joined this board, when Onyxx was your daughter's age. Now, there are differences, I'm sure. But - grounding is a GOOD THING. Many kids respond to it. If you need a break, tell husband to stay with her and go for a walk, to the library, out for coffee...

    If she is depressed and wants help, she MUST go to a psychologist/counselor/psychiatrist. She cannot get medications to make her feel better without seing a doctor of some sort. An MD *can* rx them, but I would suggest you don't tell her that.

    From here on? Some things I have learned. They're harsh. But... When you are looking at any kind of drugs...

    NO. MORE. MONEY. If - and I mean IF - she does chores? Write it down - like a checkbook register. NO CASH... Then later when she wants something? "You have $X, I'm going to Wal Mart tomorrow, you can go with me then." Don't make a special trip for her. Convince people like grandparents that she really needs... ACTUAL ITEMS. Or to put the birthday money in her bank account. You know, the one you set up for her that requires YOUR or husband's signature for a withdrawal.

    Install window alarms. They're cheap at Wal-Mart. Doors, too. Warning: the GE motion detecting ones? Are set off by lightning flashes... So if your curtains are thin or nonexistent? Aim it a different direction or put it somewhere else.

    Lock your purse and any valuables in your bedroom. Warning: Most bedroom locks are super-easy to get past. Key locks are better. Deadbolts rock. Carry your keys and cell phone at all times.

    If she sneaks out? Call the police. Most towns and cities have curfews. If she leaves without permission? Cops. If she attacks anyone? Cops. I'm sure you see the pattern here. (If you see someone sneaking anything IN her window? Call 'em.)

    Set down rules. Let her know what is non-negotiable (NO DRUGS), and what can be discussed (her curfew with YOU). Give her the consequences ahead of time - before the rules are broken. You find drugs in the house? You call the cops. She comes home late? She has to be that much earlier the next time - or - she cannot go out the next time. And so on.

    For what it's worth... We invested in a small digital safe, which is where our medications and Jett's cash go. Keep in mind that cold medications are abused, too - and they're OTC, so they're seen as "harmless". NOT SO. We have a food cabinet and a minifridge in our bedroom, too.

    One more thing. Counselors are mandatory reporters in many states. If a person (ANY person) is an immediate danger to anyone - others or themselves - or is being physically or sexually abused - they MUST TELL THE AUTHORITIES. I bet her friend's counselor didn't divulge EVERYTHING - just that bit. Drugs are a self-danger... And they're a murky area for counselors.

    Keep coming back. And oh yeah - don't keep secrets from your husband - it will divide you, which is NOT GOOD for any of you. Daughter included.
  5. beachbeanb

    beachbeanb New Member

    Looks like alot of us have been where you are unknown_chaos! It is frustrating, frightening, maddening, sad and more all rolled into one. My 16yo has just started hanging out with some kids that are unfamiliar to me and the other weekend they all came over to watch a movie and one of them was very high. So high in fact that husband and I tried to take him home and he could not remember where he lived. We spoke with our son many times since then about smoking pot and experimenting. It has been tough. I had a long talk with him about this particular kid that was high and my son tells me that it is okay because this kid smokes most of the time with HIS DAD! I remained calm and talked to my son about how sad that was. It was a good talk. But I still worry and I will continue to do so.

    I did have in my arsenal a video from a few months ago that I thought would help. The link is As soon as I have a good moment when I think my son is receptive again - I will show it to him. I think it is powerful and shows the reality of just what can happen with drug use. Who knows if you are one of those people that a switch is flipped in your brain when you use drugs and you can't turn it off. It is a risk I want my son to know about. It is a sad story so be forewarned. And there is a whole other story regarding this family and law enforcement if you care to learn about is complicated.

    I would suggest family counseling if she is willing. It can't hurt. I would suggest drug testing and setting the boundaries with the rules are broken. I sounds so simple but I know with all my heart that it will be the hardest thing you will ever do. I have friends whose lives are over or near over or a complete hell because of drug use. Hang in there!
  6. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Hello and welcome. Every bit of advise you have been given here has been solid. I second it especially:
    1.No money and then lock up valuables because she will go for your stuff if she doesn't have money
    2.Search her room regularly-clean it out if you find anything you dont like as a consequence, it makes it easier to go through (my daughter's room has basics only for last 6 months)
    3.Have her friends at your house and meet the parents, share your concerns. If she only has one good friend- that's a problem and she needs to work through this in counseling (my daughter's one good friend helped her go down a path that has killed the last 2 years of both of their lives!)
    4.I would add that you put the drivers license on the line right now (it didn't motivate my daughter but it did my son)"If you do not qualify for the good student insurance rate, you will not get a drivers' licence"
    5. I would make and post rules and discuss consequences with her- Stay safe is one of those!
    6. No cell phone-chances are it gets used for no good-tell her she'll have to earn it back
    I turned my daughter in for everything she did that was illegal. I did not want her to think breaking the law is ok. I'm hoping she learnes that now as a juvenile because the consequences are dire as an adult if she doesn't. Protecting them is a big mistake. Stay the course it will be long but working together with your husband will help! You will have support here.
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi unknown chaos, and welcome!

    I can only agree with- very strongly what has already been posted.

    She's a 14-year-old girl, smoking, doping, and drinking. She's not going to stop because you disapprove. I think it's pretty unlikely she will stop on her own. You've gotten some excellent suggestions for where to start. The most important thing is that you are going to have to be consistent, firm, and be willing to put up with- some flack from her.

    Glad you found us!
  8. unknown_chaos

    unknown_chaos New Member

    Thanks for all the advice, I know I have to step it up. Just hard to know where to start.

    Few things I have be doing.

    We always have our wallet purses in our room, did that way before this started just because although we knew ds friends once and while he ould have someone we didn't know over so started early on that.

    I do go thru her room, nothing so far or very well hidden, she doesn't have much in their either.

    I did get her on some medication (started today) for her depression, but have found out her birth control (which another to worry about sex) but she was put on it to heavy, irregular and bad cramp periods. Better safe then sorry I guess. But come to find out that brand can cause worse depression so hopefully get that switched.

    I will keep checking in and also enjoy reading other posts and know there is a lot of people that are going thru this too.
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Just an FYI... Most hormonal birth control can worsen depression. From personal experience, I can say this: the lowest possible dose of hormones that works is the best. Usually they are an estrogen/progesterone combination. When the body slows down making its own estrogen, the cramps and heavy periods get better - but the depression creeps in (which is loads of fun when on IVF medications).

    Seriously - do not back down. And keep her medications, don't trust her to take them. AND, don't let her walk away - Onyxx would cheek her medications then spit them out when we were not looking. husband devised a great tactic - making her drink a FULL glass of water with them - she got at least some of the effects that way. Then she started flat refusing, and there's not much we can do.
  10. unknown_chaos

    unknown_chaos New Member

    I called her Dr yesterday as I was reading up about the BC pills, she is researching to see if she can get the lowest dose, she did say all BC can cause it but some less then others. She is hoping the anti-depressant will help counteract and keep the depression away.

    She takes her pills in front of me, never have had a problem with that...yet...she did say she can't wait till the anti-depressant really starts working (can take up to two weeks and Dr will raise her dose probably).

    She did say this morning she was willing to go talk to someone so I am working on that now.
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    THIS, right here, is a great sign!

    Just keep in mind, and let her know - if she doesn't like the first person - keep looking. Not every counselor is a good fit for every person.
  12. HowMuchLonger

    HowMuchLonger New Member

    Welcome to the board :) I have this weird self esteem issue myself where I feel like a huge hypocrite and a fake offering any kind of advice to people as I can barely control my own I don't usually reply to a whole lot of threads...more of a reader/lurker.

    But when I read your thread I felt I could respond with something as I was in this same spot as your daughter once myself. I first tried smoking at 8 and addicted and smoking full time by 13. Marijuana at 10 (luckily never liked the effects and left it and other drugs alone). Drinking by 12 and unfortunately liked that far too much. I was drinking whenever/wherever I could find school, or home alone in my room I didn't care. My parents were substance abusers themselves and it was usually readily available and they were always too drunk or high to care or notice. I thought I was cool and fun and likeable and my friends were all doing it, so I fit in.

    In reality...had my mom EVER even once approached me and asked if I would seek counselling or even just go to a doctor I think I would've broke down and been so grateful for an "out". I hated that I did it, hated myself when I did it, hated who I became and was quickly loosing friends. I was out of control and noone bothered to take the time to help me. When I was 17 I (funny to say) luckily got in trouble with the law. I had been drinking at the time and was sentenced to probation and mandatory alcohol/drug counselling. To this day...20 years later...I KNOW that woman (the counsellor) saved my life. I ended up staying in the counselling LOOOONG after my year probation was up...and later the same counsellor helped my husband and I through some rough patches in our marriage. I can't stress enough how much offering your child an "out" might actually have the opposite effect you think it may.

    Of course there are going to be kids that don't want to quit....but that one in a few, like myself, may just be waiting for the offer to come. Also to note, when I started on the birth control pill (for the same reasons as your daughter), it did quite a number on me. I became extremely depressed which led me to drink more which made me more depressed...extreme vicious cycle. I'm glad you are addressing these things, and so happy to hear your daughter is willing to talk to someone. This may be the chance she needs :)
  13. unknown_chaos

    unknown_chaos New Member

    Thanks for you story HowMuch, I really hope she will, I will make sure she finds on she is comfortable with. At least she is getting on a medication for her depression so that is a good step. It is to bad they take like 2 weeks to get in your system but hopefully soon she will feel a difference.
  14. beachbeanb

    beachbeanb New Member

    Hang in there all of you! This is hard but I know that we will all see something more hopeful soon! Just don't give up!
  15. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Who prescribed the anti-depressant? Did the doctor who prescribed the antidepressant know about the alcohol and drugs?

    I hope you were able to get her in to a psychiatrist for that rather than the family doctor.

    With depression and alcoholism/drugs on both sides of the family tree she is at high risk for a major mood disorder including bipolar or major depression. The fact that she is also using alcohol and drugs makes it even more complicated.

    It is best in that situation to have her carefully evaluated and followed by a psychiatrist. They are the docs that are trained for this. Not general practitioners. The family doctor is fine when you have moderate situational depression for example but serious mental illness needs a psychiatrist. A family doctor rxing psychiatric medications can make things worse I'm sorry to say. Know this from personal experience that led to hospitalization.

    I also strongly suggest you find an Alanon meeting to attend and go tonight.