15 Year Old Daughter going down bad path
01/14/2010 at 16:39 PM

Our daughter is an only child and has always been a great kid. My husband and I have always had a great relationship with her, but a year and a half ago I found out she had tried cutting herself (three times). I was horrified and could not believe that this was going on. I beat myself up over the fact that I did not see it. We got into councelling and seemed to be making progress figuring out her problems. She was depressed and had trouble making friends. This year she made a new friend at the start of school. Things seemed to be going well. I met the girl a few times and our daughter started staying over on occasion. I met the mother and all seemed ok. Then I found out that the mother (single) was allowing the girls to go out at night with older boys and even stay over at parties. When we found this out, we stopped allowing our daughter to go there, but she had already started going out with one of these boys. We find out that the boy is 17, a high school dropout, does drugs, has an underage drinking charge and is very lazy. She says he makes her happy and that she will run away if we do not let her see him. She is becoming lazy, has started smoking and although her grades are still high (she is in all advanced 9th grade classes and has A's) I am worried her school will falter. I need advice. Do we try to ban her from him? Do we wait it out and hope she will figure it out on her own? I just get so tired of arguing all the time about the same issues.

My mother-in-law did this great thing when her kids brought home less desirable friends. She embraced them, fed them, conversed with them, was respectful of them, made every effort to include them in family activities . . . and SUPERVISED them. It was clear that illegal, dangerous, and immoral activities would not involve her children. Some of these less desirable friends cleaned up their acts, some of them lost interest. She had the advantage of being an at-home mom even when her children were teenagers. Don't know how well it would work if a job were in the picture.

cid
17733

Did your daughter try cutting herself or did she actually engage in cutting? Has she cut since then? Is she still in therapy for this and her depression?

Don't just try, ban your daughter from this guy. You state she has begun to smoke cigarettes, he does drugs, and has an underage drinking charge. She will likely pick up these behaviors if she continues to see him. You state your daughter is becoming "lazy" which may mean she already has begun to drink or do drugs. Many young girls start off trying to save a boyfriend and then end up engaging in the risky behaviors themselves.

Is your daughter on birth control? If not, that should occur right away, along with a frank talk by a health professional about pregnancy and STD's. Even if she denies she is having sex with this guy, they may be soon be. As responsible parents, you cannot just hope that at 15 she will figure it out on her own! She obviously does not have the judgement to do so or she would not be with this guy at all. Also, do whatever you have to do to keep your daughter away from this friend and her irresponsible mother.

Do not argue with your 15 y/o daughter. You are the parents and you make the rules. Do not be intimidated by her threats to run away, your fears that her grades will suffer or that she will cut. Get as much professional help for your family as you can and be strong. Your job as a parent is to teach your child right from wrong and you can only do that if you take a strong stance now protect her and let her know how much you care about her.

cid
17734

We were contacted today by the concerned father of one of our daughter's friends. She got off the bus at school and was picked up by this boy AND his mother. She skipped school. My husband went to one of her friends and found several girls skipping school... but not our daughter. He then went o the home of this boy and she was there with him. His parents were home and didn't see anything wrong with what they did. My husband made it very clear that their son was not allowed to see her, call her, or even look at her and he asked the parent to respect and cooperate with out wishes. I disconnected her cel phone and internet. She is so angry. I am at a loss..... I don't even know this child anymore.

cid
17749

The actions of this boy's parents may be criminal. You may want to check to see if it is possible to file charges so they will know you are serious about protecting your daughter, or at the very least a police report should be filed about this incident in case you need to take future action. It is good your husband went to their home, got your daughter and clearly made your expectations known to these people, though since they feel they did nothing wrong it may happen again unless you take official action.

It can be expected that your daughter is angry. Look into getting some professional help and support for your family before the situation worsens.

cid
17750

This new revelation is a serious one. What right does an adult have to take a minor from school without their parents’ permission?

At the very least I would contact the school and inform them that your daughter was picked up from the school without your permission by the parent of a child who does not attend that school. These people should not even be on the school grounds.

Also, I would tell the school that your daughter skipped school and her absence is unexcused and ask them to hold her accountable per the school rules.

Depending on how far the parents of this child want to push the matter, and if they do not learn to control their son, I would consider a restraining order keeping them away from her. This way they could not pick her up, and she could not be at their home.

The nerve of someone to take your child from school without your permission; this is not even my child and reading this makes me furious. Their son, the drop out, drug user is the product of their lazy and negligent “parenting”. It’s no wonder that they see nothing wrong with your child skipping school; misery loves company.

The school should see this as a serious matter and should relay the matter to their liaison officer if they have one.

cid
17751

Thank you all for your support. I informed the school that she had been picked up by someone. At that time, we did not know who, if it was one of his friends or what. I am to meet with the principal on Monday about her punishment and also to address who picked her up. A lawyer friend of ours that I spoke to today said it is possible that she could be arrested. She told my husband that our daughter said, "it was ok". This is an adult, hearing that from a 15 yr old kid and if it was ok, why did she think they had to sneak to the school in the morning and pick her up there.
Our daughter is now in that state of: we all hate her and we are attacking her, we don't want to see her happy, this boy is the only person who cares about her, she hates us, she is going to make our life living hell for 3 years until she is legal to see him as an 18 year old. She tried to run out of the house last night and when my husband went to grab her, she said "you can't touch me or I will call the Child Services". Our lawyer friend worked in the family court system and he said we should call her bluff... he said spending a few nights in a lockup foster house may open her eyes up a bit.
A little background for those who asked...
She was always a happy kid, very smart in school. This change in her started about a year and a half ago. The cutting was 3 times. She has been seeing a Psychologist for a year. This is the second one. Both said she was extremely intelligent and that they found themselves being "toyed" by her. She is tough.

cid
17761

It is hard but tough love is what being a parent is all about...unfortunately the system today doesn't do too much to help...atleast that has been my experience. You are suppose to be responsible for your child until they are 18 and yet some in the enforcement position feel if I child consents it is ok. It is good that you and your husband are on the same page...united. Kids are tough today and the threat "you can't touch me" alot of them use. It is like the system has taken away the power of parents to enforce the rules in their home. What they should be saying is "if you disobey your parents they have every right to discipline you.

cid
17765

I wouldn't try to "ban" her for she will just want him all the more. My daughter had somewhat of the same problem, cutting and piss poor choice of a boyfriend. We, of course, got her into psychological counceling, alone, as fast as we could for cutting, we later learned, is a cry for help, a form of depression, like those who "try" suicide but fail. (If someone really wanted to suicide there's not a damn thing anyone could do about it).We waited until we could finally intercept the "boyfriend" before our daughter could see him. We told him we would do some very bad things to him and his car (especially his car for a boy loves a car more than a person). If no car then just threaten him with bodily harm. It's your young daughter....protect her, even if she figures it out. You are the parent not her friend. Call her bluff. I am agreeing with the last post. A night or 2 in emergengy foster care, because of her age and lack of EFC in this country, hopefully a few nights in juvenile detention, may just be the thing that opens her eyes. Tell her your her parent and all this is your JOB. If she gives you the "just wait untill i'm 18" or "I'm leaving" reply with a soft voice....After I call the police and tell them your incoragable then I'll help you pack your bags.

cid
17775

So what if preventing her from seeing this guy makes her want him all the more? She is a child and the adults make the rules. It would be unwise to threaten his property, or him with bodily harm as it would get the parents in legal trouble. These parents do not need to lower themselves to that level.

If things get worse, it may come to having to resort to some "tough love" but at this point, taking action through the school and the talk the father had with the parents of the guy should be sufficient. These parents are doing the right thing to protect their child.

cid
17778

I have tried to talk to so many people and unless you find someone who has experienced this stuff first hand, they just don't know. I had one friend say, "Oh I know what you are going through... our daughter tried pot once..." Jesus, I wish our only concern was that she tried pot once! Or then you have the people that have nothing to say and you can see the look on their face and it spells out, "Thank God it's not my kid, that's all I care". Today she threatened that she would find a way to see him and get pregnant because then if she was having his child we would not be able to prevent her from seeing him. That just blew my mind, that a girl as smart as her would consider ruining what should be one of the best times of her life just to see some "loser". I am sorry, but this kid is a loser and I do feel sorry for him and how he has been raised.
I am going to ask this advice of you all...

We have close friends who had a son into drugs several years ago and we helped them alot and we all got through it. He is now a business owner with a home and wife. They want us to send our daughter to them (she is very close with them too). They can enroll her in school and they are in another country (canada) about 3500 miles from here. About as far away from this kid as possible and they are in a very remote area. But is that us giving up on our child? Is that telling her we don't care and we just want rid of her? I have mixed feeling. I want anyone's honest opinion. Thanks.

cid
17780

The offer from your family friend is a nice one to have, but I would use it as a “plan B”. Personally, and it sounds as if you may be the same way, I am quite stubborn, and would damned if I would send my child away in order to stop this kid. Speak with your attorney friend and see what his/her recommendations are.
I would look in to starting the process of obtaining a restraining order on the parents and if possible on their son as well. I would try as hard as possible to make that family understand that it would be in their best interest for their son to find another girlfriend. How long before prince charming turns 18?
I truly don’t know what these parents are thinking, but I would let them know they have the wrong idea. If one of my sons were to tell me he had a 15 yo girlfriend at the age of 17, I would have a huge issue with that. But, these parents are raising a loser, and seem to be content with that.
I have my own ideas of how to handle this that I won’t share on here, but I would help this boy shift his attention from my daughter, and start him focusing on his own safety. Self preservation is quite a motivator.

cid
17783

Your daughter's threat is the reason for my previous suggestion for you to get your daughter on birth control. You should point out to her that at 15, even if she were to become pregnant you can and will continue to prevent her from seeing this guy.

I have been through a similar situation with my nearly 26 y/o daughter. When she was turning 19, a loser guy attached to her. It took 5 1/2 years for her to get away. Our opinion is for you to continue on the course you are on. Do whatever you have to do to prevent her from seeing this guy. Do not feel sorry for him. Many young perople are raised in less than favorable circumstances and make the choice to do better with their own lives and do not drag others down like this guy is doing to your daughter.

cid
17784

This is a tough call but I do have a friend that did the same thing, (only it was W.VA) to live with an uncle. I can tell you it did not work. She had to sign custody over to them and even though everyone knew why they were sending him away, they still thought they were giving up on him and so did he eventually. He was so miserable even at a new school with people that loved him that he started to spiral downward even further. They moved him back home and are taking it a day at a time with counseling.

cid
18000

I was in the same position with my daughter about a month ago (debating if I should send her with her father), but then I remembered it was just a faze and nothing stays the same forever. I figured that it would due more harm that good to send her away, even though I knew I was sending her for what I thought would be her good, she didn't see it that way....so I decided to always keep it in mind, and take it one day at a time, to try to be the forgiving one and even if she makes me upset and I don't want to talk to her for days I will push my self to make a loving jester. I agree with an above comment, you should put her on birth control (the depo shot this was it is good for three months at a time and there is nothing she can do about missing pills) call her bluff don't allow her to control the situation, don't allow her to threaten you. I mean...what more could she do?? Not too much. You may have to allow her to see for herself that the boyfriend is a looser, some of us learn by our own mistakes, but that does not mean I think you should allow her to go out and see him, I'm sure she will continue to sneek. Just don't push her so far away that when that day comes that she realized how much of a mistake he was that your not there for her to lean on.

cid
18008

Sometimes i think no child is a "loser' (the boy you mention) it is the parents that are the losers as they didnt put in the time to nuture,care and love for a precious child.
Just want to ask, does your daughter want to go if she could be with the people she is also very close too? or another option that for her could be worse.
I dont beleive you are giving up on your daughter, you obviously do care a great deal for the future of your daughter and I am sure you do let her know this and even though she doesnt want to know this now, she may remember this in the future.
It one our our terrible positions to be in and I understand your mixed feelings.
Your daughters outbursts i have experienced with our daughter and i feel it's her threatening to do the worst thing to hurt you and make you suffer as much as she can and yes she may carry out the threat.
As you are aware we all have to make our own decisions, sometimes my husband found time at the dinner table or some quieter time in the car that he could talk to her calmly as i never seemed able too.
I wonder if anything she saw or read about people that have babies while on drugs or partners on drugs would be good to leave on the coffee table. It would show that you are taking the threat seriously that your grandchild could be hurt by someone that is affected by a drug addict.
I have really gone off the track here, so you do not have to continue to read but i just thought i would include this little story.

I had a daughter that at 13 refused to go to School, we asked for professional help and got some .
She began cutting all her arms up and down, it breaks ones heart to know at times that no matter what you do for your child they will do what they want.
We couldnt get our child to school but after 18 months at home she decided on her own that she would begin school again but it had to be in another regional centre. It meant we had to pay for a unit and later to board with other people we did not know.
WE my husband and i did this and had her home on different weekends or would drive and she her and after a year or so my husband was rung up by police and she was living in a city. Our hearts once again was squeezed. Parents are strong and some of us have to be extremely strong, but one day my daughter said to me. 'Well one thing that you did for me is to educate me, that i can read and write, i am grateful for.'
What can i say, hang in there, if you gave them a good foundation they will go through these very difficult hormones and will come back. Take care

cid
18117

Have you tried talking to the counselor at school? There might be some resources that you aren't aware of.

cid
28396