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Preteens and sex

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
I'm freaking out! I just found out my 14-year-old daughter is 1) sneaking around behind my back, and 2) having oral and manual sex with her 14-year-old boyfriend! Yes, I looked at her journal - I know it's wrong, but I was worried about what I had suspected for a while - and unfortunately, I was right! What can I do to get her to stop this kind of behavior? Or can I? We had always been open and frank about sex with each other, but it seems she's transformed into this person I don't and can't trust. I found out she's been hitching rides with high-schoolers, sneaking boys into our house at night, sneaking boys into other people's houses at sleepovers, participating in foreplay with her boyfriend, and just lying to me all the time. I thought she and her girlfriends were so wholesome! What do I do? We just moved out of state recently, and I'm afraid to take her new friends away from her. I'm really worried, and actually disgusted. And how do I bring this up to my husband? He'll be crushed. HELP!
post #2 of 43
I understand how you feel. I don't have any advce to give you just that I agree this must be shocking and disturbing to you. I don't think you were wrong to look at her journal, kids ae so secretive and are so dead set that adults won't understand so they turn to other people without a clue to guide them. I just don't get that way thinking. I just wasn't so much like that as a teen. I think you should definitely talk to her but this isn't just a phase for her, it is a lifestyle and it isn't going to change unless you at least talk to her.
post #3 of 43

Re: Preteens and sex

Originally posted by orphie
I'm freaking out! I just found out my 14-year-old daughter is 1) sneaking around behind my back, and 2) having oral and manual sex with her 14-year-old boyfriend!

Of course she is sneaking behind your back! Do you thisnk she will come right out with it in the open?

Look. If she is indulging in this behavior of her own volition, then I'd say she is phycologically ready for fore-play. The shock you must be feeling is that suddenly she is not your baby any more.

As for reading her journal, that was a big mistake. The basis of a secure relationship between teens and parents is trust. That is undermined. If you ever let on, you will lose all trust and respect for the rest of her teen ears, and any leverage will be gone.

You may say that you did it to confirm what you already suspected, but then why did you not ask her up front (if you thought is was any of your business)?

The issue now really is how do you get out from the corner you have painted yourself into?

Stay cool.

Be cool.

Teens have huge respect for mums that are cool.

Recognise what are, and are not your responsibilities as a parent.

Generally, by the time the child is 14, I'd say the responsibilities of parents would cover the following:

How aquire and use a condom.
The dangers of intravenous drugs.
The Pill and how to get on it.
What to do if she thinks she is pregnant.
What to do if she is being coersed unwillingly into sexual activity.

Responsibilities do not include:

Who and when she willingly has sex with.

If you think you can bully, coerse, persude, bribe or in any way forcibly alter her current behavior, you are deluded and will fail.

On the other hand, if you support her, love her, be honest, respect her decisions, remain open and be her most loyal friend, she will come to you, respect you, love you, and most important of all, strive not to hurt or disappoint you.

It is in this way that your best shot at influencing her lie. Woman to woman.

I have little information on your family or your ethics, but you obviously love your child. There is perhaps much re-positioning of your role as parent of a child to parent of a young adult to friend of another adult. That is sometimes really hard, and we are never really ready for it.

I wish you the very best of luck.

post #4 of 43
Frankly I do not understand what freaks you out. If I found out foreplay was between a 14-y.o. daughter (mind you mine all still little and may be by the time they are 14 I WILL understand you) and, say, a 44 y.o. guy, then I would think of intervention because of a potential for exploitation in a relationship. But a 14-y.o. BF, this seems a peer relationship and it seems to be she's enjoying it so she's not being exploited. I concur with Alexander on the issues of sex safety, but other than safety why would you think of intervening in her sexual activity?
post #5 of 43
Orphie, I think is it perfectly reasonable to look in your daughter's journal. Just reading it because there is nothing else to read around the house is one thing, but you suspected something was wrong which is a different matter. I would have done it in a heartbeat. Someone else may not believe that your daugher's behaviour is wrong, that's fine for their kid. You believe it is wrong and you do not have to condone it.

If it were my daughter I would probably start by talking to the other parents. They are all going to be embarrassed and hurt and probably blame your daughter for being the instigator. Communication with the boyfriend's parents is a must.

I don't think it is a parent's job to be cool in their kid's eyes. My job is for my kids to think I'm the biggest dweeb there is. My self esteem can take it! But I want my kids to know that they can tell mom because MOM WILL DO THE RIGHT THING - which is different than the cool thing and most kids know this. Your daughter knows that all this sneaking around is wrong because she is sneaking around.

Sure there will come a time when she can move out of the house and be responsible for her own actions. Until that time YOU are responsible for her actions. If she crashes a car, gets arested or gets pregnant then, unless you are ready to drop her off in foster care, you are responsible legally and morally.

I do not know a single ADULT who is still mad at their parents for intervening to keep them from getting into deeper trouble when they were teens. But I do know some adults who still BLAME their parents for NOT getting involved when they knew that something was wrong.
post #6 of 43
I came to your thread thinking a 10 year old was up to all of this. 14 isn't a preteen. She is a full fledged teen. This petting stuff is normal but it WILL lead to intercourse. Communication is VERY important right now. I try to talk about EVERYTHING with my 13 year old. I know it is tough. The hardest thing about your situation is telling her that you read her journal. She may get very angry and start hiding everything in her life from you. Once a wall like that goes up it is nearly impossible to break it down. I guess if it were me(and I am not saying this is right) I would let her know about what I think of having sex. Give her my opinions. I would try to get her to share a little about her relationship with the boy. I probably wouldn't let her know about me reading her journal. I think that could be disasterous. Of course if she out and out asked me if I read it I would have to tell.

good luck! We are ALL going to have to go through these kind of things.

Many here do not have a teen yet so they really do not understand why you would go through a journal. It isn't the right thing to do but it is sometimes what a desperate mom does and they do it because they love their child and want what is best for them.

post #7 of 43
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all of you for your feedback. Let me give you an update. First of all, I'm not going to tell her that I looked in her journal. I don't want to break communication with her, and that would do it. But I will look at it again if I feel that I have to. Secondly, I have been on the phone to the mothers of all the people she hangs out with. I have been learning more about what the girls and boys have been up to. One mother even knew about it, but took it upon herself to handle it and didn't think to tell me! (My daughter won't be going there again.) Generally, they are all thankful that someone is being frank and open, and are willing to keep lines of communication open. I haven't talked to the boyfriend's mom yet (she's at work), but I will ASAP. We are also activating our security system to alarm when a door opens. My daughter is going away for the weekend (a chaperoned sports competition), so we will confront her on Monday with our suspicions and the evidence we gathered. She won't be going out unaccompanied by a parent for a while. Wish me luck.
post #8 of 43
Good luck Orphie!!!!!
post #9 of 43
Okay here goes. This may not be PC but, it is not okay for a 14 yr old to be engaging in foreplay. They are not mature enough to handle the consequences. The more sexual activity a teen/child engages in the lower their self esteem goes. As with anything one thing leads to another, nothing is stagnant. If a child is starting foreplaythe next step is sex. If they experience sex so young, what is the next step? This is a risk taking behavior that is not safe. Especially with a disease that will kill you out there, diseases that are not curable and can cause infertility and the very serious consequence of teen pregnancy. Now some may say, there is birth control. Teens can't even remember to take out the trash how can they be expected to remember birth control. This is an activity with to big of consequences. Plus it is also something that is encourageing being deceitful. A child is in no position to accept the consquences of sex, and there for is too young. I agree if your child behavior is causing you concern then reading a diary is the right thing to do. My feeling is if a child has been deceitful then no overnight activities are allowed. Especially if there is not adequate supervision from the adults. Sometimes being a parent means your are not popular with your child. You do what it takes to do the best for them. Side note my mom was the "strict" mom and my friends mom was so "cool" she allowed boys to spend the night and allowed her children to go out as they pleased at night. My sister and I am SAHM of 5 children apiece (even though my mom worked) and my friend has become addicted to hard drugs, her sister had many abusive boyfriends(her age) and married an abusive man, and the boy become very depressed as an adult.Do what you feel in your heart is best for your child. Good luck,
post #10 of 43
Oh, boy.
Funny, I don't worry about my boys nearly as much.
SO glad my older dd was a late bloomer.
Last year I mentioned her secretive relationship with the boy next door, she was shocked that I knew. How did I know? I just knew. Ok with me, perfectly normal in my eyes. She was 15 or 16 when it started. She is a 17.5 year old virgin today.
Of course, I know him and his family well, and I know my dd's intentions and goals. No doubt that it makes things easier and more relaxed. I honestly viewed it as a healthy relationship.
I was actually surprised at how "OK" I was with the situation, I can be such a "prude."

As far as reading your dd's diary, I understand how a mother might need the insight if communications aren't that good at the time, and a teen's well being is the #1 priority. I will admit to snooping at times.
What a transition... they were such beautiful babies!
My best to you,
post #11 of 43

double standard?

Suppose your daughter was a son instead - would you react the same?
post #12 of 43
Thread Starter 
My son is 13. You bet your buns I would!
post #13 of 43


My mother let my brother spend the night with his girlfriend regularly when he was 15, yet I was never allowed to spend nights with boys, not even my gay friends. And yet my mother would talk badly about Harley's girlfriend and her mother for letting him stay there.

That does not make any sense at all, treating children differently based on gender. And he ended up getting a girl pregnant while still in high school - all "her fault", of course. (According to my mother and others like her who believe in double standards.)
post #14 of 43
Boy or girl it matters not. They are too young to be starting this kind of sexual activity. No double standards here.
post #15 of 43
Put the kid in the car, start driving somewhere far! Tell your daughter that you're worried about her behavior (confessing to reading the journal is something you'll have to decide) Let her know you've discovered some of what's going on. GET HET BIRTH CONTROL AND PROTECTION. TEll her you love her. Ask her about her new friends, ask her how she feels about her new school. Don't let her escape and do this often. Get your husband to do the same. Kids will respong to increased parental involvement

If you recently moved she's going through alot. WHile you've probably asked her how it was all going before, it's different when you say, 'I know what's going on'.

I'd be shocked if this was my daughter, too, but she's not too far off the norm, really. Don't panic. Maybe you can get her involved in some activities...swim team or family night with you and hubby at the Y, sewing classes or karate....anything that will keep her busy, and out of mischief.

Ane remember, the best thing about teenagers is that once they're 18, you're not the one who's going to jail, no matter what they do!
post #16 of 43
Originally posted by orphie
. . . so we will confront her on Monday with our suspicions and the evidence we gathered.

Looks like you have made up your mind. I hope it turns out ok. At the eleventh hour though, I'd like to gently suggest you re-consider.

Look at what you have written. You have designed in a confrontation. Is that necessary? Can it not be done on a more woman to woman level. Teens crave respect. If you demote her to "immature child" status, that is the role she will take.

Suspicions and evidence gathered... looks more like the inquisition than love and support.

Anyway, that is how a teen will view it.

Can not a more understanding approach be made to thi young lady?

I fear you may win the battle,

And lose the war.

Please think on it.

post #17 of 43
Thread Starter 
Maybe presentation would be a more appropriate word than confrontation. I feel I can't treat this as a woman-to-woman thing - she is not a woman. She also is not a child, I agree. We are trying to find a middle road. We will not approach her in anger, but we will let her know how disappointed we are with the choices she made. We decided to approach this as two separate issues: a breach of trust (lying, sneaking around), and poor choices regarding sexual behavior. Each issue must be handled differently. The breach of trust will be met with revocation of privileges and freedoms, to be earned back in the future by meeting clearly defined behavior goals. The open communication with other parents will facilitate this. The sex issue will be handled with a frank discussion of what we think is appropriate and inappropriate for a girl her age, and the consequences of her actions (as if she didn't know all of this already). We are worried that all of her support will disappear at once (the boyfriend is already shifting most of the 'blame' to her, her friends may treat her differently), so we are trying to make sure she is confident of our love (even though she will surely hate us). We are grateful that we had a weekend to cool off and get our heads straight before we talk to her. We are also open to obtaining professional help if we feel that it is needed. You know, after all this, she's still my baby.
post #18 of 43
orphie - I do wish you all the best so please forgive me if I'm being nosy. I'm confused - how are you going to tell her you know about all these things that disturb you - if you don't tell her you read her journal? Won't she wonder how you know? Aren't you afraid of alienating her and driving her to be more secretive and risk taking in her behavior? I think thats what Alexander is thinking of (forgive me Alexander if I'm wrong) I do wish you the best in this, its a hard situation, but you know her best.
post #19 of 43
Just wanted to wish you luck. May love and wisdom prevail. It is a rough road we have to travel as parents sometimes.
post #20 of 43
Thread Starter 
Well, we weren't going to tell her about the diary, but we found out that the boyfriend's parents told him about it, so the cat's out of the bag. We will tell her that we only looked after we spoke to her friends' mothers and found out she had been lying to us and sneaking around. Of course, we won't offer this information right away. Either way, we risk alienation, but I'd rather have her mad at me than have her continue this irresponsible, dangerous behavior. She had also been keeping a free email account that we were not aware of, which included a naked picture of her boyfriend. My husband and I agree that we will use any means at our disposal to keep her safe. I feel terrible using gestapo tactics, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Eventually, she'll learn to trust us again, as we will her.
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