msnyder's picture

15 Year Old Daughter going down bad path

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.

acitez's picture

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.

2xstepmom's picture

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.

msnyder's picture

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.

2xstepmom's picture

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.

SnglDad's picture

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.

msnyder's picture

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.

aunt tessie's picture
aunt tessie

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.

SeniorCitizen's picture

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 [filtered word] 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.

2xstepmom's picture

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.

msnyder's picture

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.