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My daughter's friend recently got invited to the park by a boy two years older than her and asked my daughter to go with her. My daughter agreed, telling me that she was going to the park with a couple of friends. The boy was bringing one friend. My daughter is one year older than her friend and one year younger than the boys.
I read all of her texts after getting a call from her friend's mother, and the fact that they were using occasional profanity astonished me. I am furious about this. I had my husband set up a bunch of stuff on her iPad that disabled YouTube, iMessage, social media, and most websites. I now get screenshots of all of her emails and look at her Internet history daily. Am I going overboard?
I also discovered her diary and read it. She had a lot of information about trying to find ways to meet a certain boy and how insecure she is and how awful my husband and I are and how flaky her friends are being. I tried to speak to her about this and she broke down. She was acting like I was accusing her of things. I never feel bad for anything I do, especially not this. I think it's for her own safety. This is hot is her age and we know the family very well. He is a very nice boy, but he gets in trouble a lot. I don't mind her talking to him, but she isn't allowed to date until she is 16. I'm really worried she is going to lead herself toward harm.
Kudos to you, Bridgeybee, for being so involved! Your daughter may not appreciate it, but she's not the adult in the room. That said, I'm betting you've done a great job raising her (despite her current behaviour) and perhaps it's time to put a little trust in not only your parenting skills but also your daughter. If you try to restrict her overly much, she may very well become even more rebellious.
What do you think about sitting her down for a serious talk about becoming an adult and recognizing consequences?
Being beset by hormones is not fun! Remember?
Talk to her about trust, perhaps? That you trust her to not have sex until she's ready, no matter what boys say, no matter what she hears from other girls at school?
And please, please remind her (as often as you can), that she's beautiful, terrific, smart, talented and has a whole life ahead of her to meet boys and make intelligent decisions.
With luck you'll all get through this with only a few grey hairs.
"She had a lot of information about trying to find ways to meet a certain boy and how insecure she is and how awful my husband and I are and how flaky her friends are being."
First of all, occasional profanity is perfectly normal when kids this age are without parental oversight. It's just a way of asserting independence. Besides, it isn't really dangerous or harmful. I swear to you, a puppy doesn't die every time a teen says (or texts) the f-word.
Kids under the age of 16 tend to be bad at social media and use it to bully their friends, try to share porn, or do other stupid things. Don't prohibit it completely, though. It's considered normal for kids now to have a social media account, just like reading books or having a telephone in your day. So if you stop this she'd have a real right to complain. ONE account like Facebook would be okay. Set it so you can see it and review it and set the privacy so others can't access it.
I wouldn't review your child's texts daily. And don't read her diary! This just proves to your child she has no privacy. Kids need a way to blow off steam at the pressures they face from school, teachers, parents and society, and they need to know their every conversation isn't being censored and judged.
For example: Imagine if you lived in a country where your every conversation with your coworkers and your best friend, your every text, and every email, even your private diary (!!!) were read and scrutinized by government censors for hints you might be a dissenting citizen. You'd want to either escape or...worse. So, don't overdo this. At least you HAVE a child...don't make her want to change that! You could lose her by holding on too tight.
It is okay to do "surprise" checks of her texts and internet history. It's like surprise dorm inspections. Let her know you might do this, because you're a parent and that's your job. But also let her know you won't be watching her every move, so it's all the more important that she learn to judge her own behavior.
Think about it- in a few short years she may be out on her own, at college or elsewhere. She can't learn to control herself if her parents are always there doing it for her. If you tell her who she can see, text, talk to, and what to even talk about, she'll never learn the internal controls she'll have to learn in order to do any of that on her own.
You don't say, but- is there any real reason you have to believe that she's intending on jumping into bed with this boy she's pursuing? Girls often have fantasies about boys they have a crush on or barely know. That is also perfectly normal. Has she actually said they've gotten that far? I don't really find it a big deal that he's a year older than she is. He's still actually considered her age. Keep an eye on it, but I wouldn't panic.
Good job!!!! Great parenting!!! We have to keep our kids safe bc these days you can never tell who is walking around packing a gun ready to start killing people!!!