Stuck my Foot in My Mouth!! Help!! - FamilyEducation
Stuck my Foot in My Mouth!! Help!!
12/05/2009 at 14:35 PM

Hello. I am a mother of two teenage daughters. One is 13 and the other is almost 16. I think I just stuck my foot in my mouth here this morning regarding my older daughter and 2 of her friends. I need some help. Last night, I found my older daughter crying in her room. When I asked her why, she told me that her friends are really changing and that she is totally left out. She explained that 2 of them in the group have gotten into heavy partying...drinking, smoking, smoking weed. These 2 seem to dictate down to the rest and are now influencing the others through peer pressure. My daughter is the only one standing her ground and not enagaging in the wild partying, booze, and smoking. Because of this, she is being excluded from teen gatherings or any occassion when her friends are all together. Basically, if it's not G or PG rated...they don't invite my daughter along with them.

We talked about all of this and I did give her suggestions on how to handle these issues. However, I was really holding in my anger and disappointment in these girls that have been my daughter's friends for years. What a bunch of morons! Anyway, this morning, like clockwork, 2 of the partying friends from last night texted her to come over. It's daytime and the partying is over so now it's time to allow my child into the mix. As furious as I was, I did take her over to her friends house but as soon as I saw the 2 girls, I felt the sadness & hurt come up into my chest and I said something to them. I just looked at them and said...."You know, I thought all of you were friends and supported one another. I'm a bit mad at you two because it's obvious to me now that you really don't." Their faces were stunned but judging by the last looks, they knew that I KNEW about all the pot smoking, partying, beer, etc. that is now going on and also the crappy way that they don't accept my daughter's choices to refrain from that lifestyle. They KNEW.

About 2 seconds later, as I drove away, I wanted to turn back the clock and kick myself for doing that. I probably should have said nothing and just let my daughter talk to them and handle this her way. I feel 100% TERRIBLE right now. Worse yet, I may have just made it worse for my own daughter. I let my feelings get the best of me and I regret it...bigtime. Can anyone out there give me some advice? I know that parents make mistakes but is what I did the worst or do you guys think it will be okay? I just hope my own child doesn't hate me right now or stop talking to me because I could not control my feelings. I slipped up. I'm human. I'm also feeling like scum. Foot in mouth for sure here! HELP!

My question--did you consider telling the girls' parents that their daughters are using illegal drugs? If you are reasonably sure that your daughter was telling the truth, why would you NOT be on the phone that very minute? As far as your daughter's situation at school, she will probably be harassed and bullied. I'd monitor that situation very carefully. Sign her up for art classes or something so she can make some new friends, the old ones are gone.

Also, your daughter should not spend one minute with people who are using illegal drugs and/or drinking under age. There is the real possibility of police involvement or a drug bust even during the day. Guilt by association, do not allow your daughter to be in that position. I have said exactally what you did many times, and felt good about doing so. Do your job of protecting your daughter, tell her these girls are not people with whom she should associate, no matter how long they have known one another. Though it may be difficult right now, she is going to have to make many tough decisions in her life. She needs to move on and make some new friends. "One is judged by the company one keeps" is a good rule to live by that my parents said when I was growing up and I said many times to my children.

I have not told the other parents about the discoveries of the alchohol, pot, or the fact that they are going to parties where all of this is going on. Some of the parents I know very well...others I do not. I have debated about calling the ones that I know and dropping the bomb but I wasn't 100% sure I should do this. Half of me wants to and the other half doesn't. The fact that these two girls I spoke to today know that I'm aware of the partying was evident by the looks on their faces. These two realize that I could tell their parents at any time and that it will mean trouble coming their way. My daughter is not being harrassed or bullied at school. Far from it. She is extremely popular, a solid 4.0 student, and a member of two Varsity level sports. She has a lot going for her in the social department other than the fact that some of her friends have completely lost their minds and are now party junkies. it's mainly these 2 girls who come from broken homes and think that they have to party to get attention and be noticed. Sad. My daughter doesn't feel that way. These girls used to be wonderful and now they are on "Fast Forward". Do you think I should tell the parents that I am close to about what I know? It is sure to cause a huge uproar and some serious consequences for my own child because she will be guilty by association to me. Back to original point too....did I stick my foot in my mouth today with what I said to my daughter's friends?

Would you want to be told if it were your daughter? How would you feel if an adult knew the information you know and did not tell you? What consequences could be more serious than your daughter possibly being busted while with girls who drink, smoke pot and are "party junkies" at this young age? What do you mean by guilt by asociation to you? Guilty of what, having a mother who cares? From what you say, there is no guilt on your daughter's part. So what if the girls that party shun your daughter. That would be the best thing that could happen from this situation. There is no reason to be concerned about whether you stuck your foot in your mouth, you did the right thing by what you said to those girls. Now do the right thing and let all the parents of the girls who are involved in the negative behaviors know exactally what is going on with their children.

These girls are from broken homes? Like homes where the parents are more concerned about avoiding an uproar than having character? That kind of broken homes? It is easy to get caught up in the emotions and dynamics of high school. Along with the other skills we teach our children we need to reinforce ethical behavior. Your daughter is making good choices, taking care of herself, obeying the law, and involving you in the things that are difficult for her. You need to continue to be an example of good adult behavior, and make the difficult choices.