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#1 of 15 Old 08-28-2009, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So 14yo DD started HS this week. She called today and said a bunch of kids were going to H's house to hang out, could she please go? The family has a pool in the basement so the kids like to hang out and swim. I asked if a parent was going to be there and DD was honest and said she didn't think so. I said, "No".
I kind of know the mom and kind of know the kid. The mom is very nice, conscientous, etc. I don't have a strong enough impression of the kid. I do know all the other kids quite well and they are a good bunch. It's a mixture of ages from freshmen to seniors. They go to a small school (where I worked for 2 years) of less than 30 HS kids.
Should I consider changing/bending this rule?
I am fine with DD and her best friend hanging out at either house w/out parents. I know her BFF well and am good friends with her mom.
I'm just not sure about a group of kids at a home where I'm not familiar with the rules. I also know what I did unsupervised after school when I was a teen....smoked lots of dope and had lots of sex with my boyfriend. I know my DD is not me but I don't want to put a stumbling block in front of a blind man, ya know?
Help me out mamas.
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#2 of 15 Old 08-28-2009, 01:08 AM
 
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My first thought was about the pool - what sort of safety systems are in place? We always insisted that there be one responsible "adult" to act as lifeguard, similar to a designated driver. That person doesn't swim or take part in the poolside fun - they have a job to do.

Other than that, I suppose it depends on how much you trust your dd. If she's proven herself trustworthy and responsible and able to resist peer pressure, then I think it would be fine.

However, if she wants to avoid finding herself in difficult situations (there are drugs, there is sex), it's handy to have you as an excuse ("Nope sorry, can't come, my mom won't let me").
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#3 of 15 Old 09-06-2009, 07:10 PM
 
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I would say "no" off the bat, without having any more information. ITA about "trusting her and one friend at either home, but not being sure about the group dynamics."

However, I'd want to get more information afterwards, in case this situation comes up again. The first thing I'd like to know is whether or not my child WANTS to go, or does she want to use me as an "out"? It can be much easier to say "Sorry, my overprotective mom won't let me" than "No, I'm really not comfortable with that."

If that's not the case, I'd encourage DD to invite "the group" over to my house when I'm home and get to know the kids, get to know how they interact with one another, etc. If I trusted each group member individually, and generally felt good about the dynamics in this particular group, I'd allow it in the future.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#4 of 15 Old 09-06-2009, 08:36 PM
 
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Sounds like a trustworthy bunch so I'd be inclined to say yes. My big hesitation would be the pool. I would probably want an adult around for my kid to be allowed to use the pool. I just don't fully feel comfortable that kids could deal with a crisis life-and-death situation; and if for some reason there were drugs or alcohol involved, then pools and cars create a lot of danger where it wouldn't naturally exist.

The temptations of drugs, sex and alcohol are ones you're daughter will have to navigate with your support; keeping her in is unlikely to be the key factor.
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#5 of 15 Old 09-06-2009, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So weird that this thread was commented on today...
DD and all these kids are on a 10 day wilderness trip with the school. They carry 50 pounds all day, sleep under tarps, have a solo. Yesterday we received a wonderful note from DD via the dean who did a resupply at a trailhead.
Today, I'm gathering laundry from all rooms and a notebook is lying open on DD's floor. BIG CAPS..."I SMOKED POT TODAY." F#$@K.
I've always had a no-snoop policy with the exception of suspicion of harm to others or self.
My family, including me, has a history of addictive behaviors. Mine being pot. I can deal with alcohol...take it or leave it, but I cannot be around pot. I'd smoke every day all day if it was available. So I consider this to be a harmful behavior.
Took the notebook and read it.
The day she asked permission to go to this kid's house, they all got high.
Next day, she went to BFF's house. The one I know so well. They went to H's house and got high.
I need to state clearly here....I am NOT interested in a debate about pot. This is what so many threads have devolved to.
If you think pot smoking among teens is harmless, please don't bog down the thread. I need support from parents who understgand that it's not inevitable or harmless or a teen right of passagge.
Thanks all!
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#6 of 15 Old 09-06-2009, 10:18 PM
 
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Have you spoken with your DD about your own history with pot, and your fears about her becoming addicted? She might think of it as "harmless fun" (and it may very well be just that for some of her friends) but it sounds like there's a real risk of harm here. Whether or not she's likely to become addicted, the fact remains that YOU are not OK with her smoking pot, and that's reason enough for you to stop her from doing so.

You trusted her and she's violated that trust. Therefore, she's lost some priveledges, such as being at a friend's house without an adult around.

When she comes home from the trip, find a quiet, relaxed time to talk to her. Explain to her that you found her journal and that you found it in an "innocent, honest" way (collecting laundry, journal was open on the floor) and you weren't "snooping around". Explain that, after noticing that page, you read the rest of her journal because you see this as a serious threat to her health, one that warrents the loss of privacy. I wouldn't approach any of this in a "punative" way, but explain that, since she's shown poor judgement and made dangerous choices, you need to restrict her freedoms for her own protection. Emphasize that you're coming from a place of caring and that you're scared for her.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#7 of 15 Old 09-06-2009, 10:38 PM
 
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The notebook was lying open, that's not snooping.

Have an open, honest, frank discussion with her about it - and tell her that you read her notebook, and how you found it. I'd be tempted to go yank her out of the wilderness trip, but I probably wouldn't do it.
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#8 of 15 Old 09-07-2009, 03:48 PM
 
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When my son started smoking pot and I knew about it I worked very hard to get him back into a hobby he loved as a little boy- fishing. I offered to drive him to the lake, any lake, if I had time, bought him fishing stuff, and my boyfriend even bought an old fishing boat that needs work. I made it clear that now was the time to develop good hobbies and ways to relieve stress. I told him that as a teenager he is developing habits that could be hard to break and that addictions are a monkey on his back. He had to go to court ordered treatment for a time (for something alcohol related) and that turned out to be a blessing in disguise because he was getting pee tests and couldn't smoke. He finished treatment and now he could, but I don't think he does. He'd rather fish, hike, camp, work on our boat, ect.

Hopefully your daughter won't have legal problems like my son, but I really feel that pulling him very close, spending lots of time doing what he wants to do, and not smoking for awhile cleared his head and helped. And keep on talking- I am amazed some of the things Noah has shared with me during our long drives to go fishing and even while I am sitting there reading while he fishes.

Hang in there- I know it's hard.
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#9 of 15 Old 09-07-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mother22boys View Post
When my son started smoking pot and I knew about it I worked very hard to get him back into a hobby he loved as a little boy- fishing. I offered to drive him to the lake, any lake, if I had time, bought him fishing stuff, and my boyfriend even bought an old fishing boat that needs work. I made it clear that now was the time to develop good hobbies and ways to relieve stress. I told him that as a teenager he is developing habits that could be hard to break and that addictions are a monkey on his back. He had to go to court ordered treatment for a time (for something alcohol related) and that turned out to be a blessing in disguise because he was getting pee tests and couldn't smoke. He finished treatment and now he could, but I don't think he does. He'd rather fish, hike, camp, work on our boat, ect.

Hopefully your daughter won't have legal problems like my son, but I really feel that pulling him very close, spending lots of time doing what he wants to do, and not smoking for awhile cleared his head and helped. And keep on talking- I am amazed some of the things Noah has shared with me during our long drives to go fishing and even while I am sitting there reading while he fishes.

Hang in there- I know it's hard.
This is an excellent post---
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#10 of 15 Old 09-07-2009, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really appreciate all the sage advice and having a place to speak about this. You mamas and a close friend from my wild days are the only ones I've told. It's lightened the burden.
I will tell DH tonight. He's been gone, working 13 hour days this weekend. I will inform the other parents shortly after the kids return from their trip tomorrow. I don't want to taint everyone's homecoming. I know 2 of the moms really well and 1 not so well. They should be pretty easy conversations to have.
I will likely enlist the help of my daughter's adviser and hopefully the school can take a more pro-active approach to drug education. They've done a little but the approach has been more along the lines of offering the kids meaningful education and eye-opening experiences so they will be less inclined towards drug use.
Quite frankly, it's been mine too. I've taught my kids about the physiological effects of various drugs and how they disrupt brain development and how that can effect how you are in the world, how you live your life.
It's kind of baffling. DD is really committed to Kung Fu. She tests for her black belt in December. She takes a yoga class 3 days a week. She runs. All her choice.
We are available to her and are not the least bit squeamish about frank discussions around sex, drugs and alcohol. We've told her very little of our own drug use...it never seemed appropriate. I'm still unsure.
I guess I'm just trying to figure out "where we went wrong."
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#11 of 15 Old 09-07-2009, 06:45 PM
 
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I guess I'm just trying to figure out "where we went wrong."
You didn't do anything wrong. Some young people must find their own path the hard way. This doesn't have anything to do with you. What you CAN do is help this to be a "learning experience" for her, and not a "way of life."

(See the excellent post by the mama who encouraged her son to get back into fishing.)

+ = (4/97) & (1/99) & (8/99) & (2/01), with , the prettiest pup this side of the Mississippi.
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#12 of 15 Old 09-09-2009, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well it was a wonderful homecoming for my daughter. All the kids were glowing after this trip. DD was challenged physically like she never has been before and came home knowing she can do anything she puts her mind to.
It's so good I had 3 days to process the information, research and get guidance.
After settling back home, eating fruit for the first time in 10 days, and taking a long shower, she and I got on the couch for me to comb the 10 days of knots in her hair.
I broached the subject. She told me everything. She told me how stupid she felt, how there were more kids hanging out with them that refused the pot than smoked it. She had come home that evening and researched pot on Above the Influence and felt even dumber. Said she really didn't feel anything but that it was so hyped, she kind of faked being high.
Sound familiar ?
She just let it out. She showed me part of the journaling she did her solo night on the wilderness trip, reflecting on choosing to smoke pot. If she was going to try pot, I suppose 2 days before this outrageously challenging trip in a stunning part of the country was a good time to do it.
We both shed lots of tears as I shared with her my fears, sadness and disappointment. My own experiences of being molested by the older boys I got high with, my physical and emotional challenges that resulted from long term pot use. Yep. I went from telling her I tried it to letting her know I had been a chronic user. It was the right thing to do. I didn't make it about me but used my experiences to illustrate some real dangers in this drug.
I also acknowledged how fun it looks...stoned people laugh, they tell these jokes noone gets, they are so at ease. It's very attractive.
The main thing I did was come from mt heart and be totally genuine.

So she is grounded. She wanted to set mid-term as the length of time. I told her I didn't think it needed to be that long. She wants to be able to show us that she's serious about school. She feels mid term assessments will be a clear indicator. I said fine. I added that initially, things will be pretty tight but she can loosen her limitations by showing us she's responsible. She can get her cell phone back, start to bike or bus to school again...those types of things.
The last sticking point. Telling the parents. When I broached the subject with her, it all fell apart. I tabled it as my priority in the moment was my daughter.
I initially gave her the option to tell her friends to tell their parents... Freak out no!!!! I said I'd have to....Freak out no!!!!
The boy who provided the pot was picked up by the police the next day for some pot related offense. He was sharing this with the kids as they were prepping for the trip. It seems it's a major problem for their family. Would it rub salt in the wound to call the parents about this? The other one is pretty much left to raise himself. Ya know? I'm not sure his parents would care.
I am very fond of DD's BFF. The hugs between she and I yesterday were just as loving and affectinate as between DD and I.
I'm thinking of talking with her myself and asking her to tell her parents, pointing out that the phone call from another parent often makes the news that much harder. Her parents are loving and quite laid back. I can see them handling it all quite well.
Thoughts?
You all are the best.
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#13 of 15 Old 09-09-2009, 01:44 PM
 
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I would have asked if there were parents there. If I got an honest answer, I probably would have said "yes".

I wouldn't have at nine, but at 14, and in high school, I wouldn't worry too much.

I value honesty and trust, and I will give freedoms where it's deserved.
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#14 of 15 Old 09-09-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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The notebook was lying open, that's not snooping.

Have an open, honest, frank discussion with her about it - and tell her that you read her notebook, and how you found it.
I originally answered before I read the update about the pot smoking.

But, this is how I would handle the pot incident. I still would value trust. But, if she is sneaking off, I'd have huge issues with that. I do NOT support pot smoking at all.
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#15 of 15 Old 09-17-2009, 07:18 PM
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So weird that this thread was commented on today...
DD and all these kids are on a 10 day wilderness trip with the school. They carry 50 pounds all day, sleep under tarps, have a solo. Yesterday we received a wonderful note from DD via the dean who did a resupply at a trailhead.
Today, I'm gathering laundry from all rooms and a notebook is lying open on DD's floor. BIG CAPS..."I SMOKED POT TODAY." F#$@K.
I've always had a no-snoop policy with the exception of suspicion of harm to others or self.
My family, including me, has a history of addictive behaviors. Mine being pot. I can deal with alcohol...take it or leave it, but I cannot be around pot. I'd smoke every day all day if it was available. So I consider this to be a harmful behavior.
Took the notebook and read it.
The day she asked permission to go to this kid's house, they all got high.
Next day, she went to BFF's house. The one I know so well. They went to H's house and got high.
I need to state clearly here....I am NOT interested in a debate about pot. This is what so many threads have devolved to.
If you think pot smoking among teens is harmless, please don't bog down the thread. I need support from parents who understgand that it's not inevitable or harmless or a teen right of passagge.
Thanks all!
This is exactly why I don't let ds, dd and ds2 run around unattended.

With that being said, I have 2 comments:

#1). I know that I cannot supervise forever. DS is 15
#2). I understand that I am coming from a place of extreme behavior (my brother acted act horribly as a teen and was unsupervised)

When I am presented with a question such as the one in your first post - my gut is say no. Then I add in the two caveats. I do think things through. But ultimately - if I don't know the parents and have been to the house - my kid doesn't go. Same as when they were toddlers.

In my experience as a mom - I have come to two conclusions for me as a parent. Teenagers will act stupid when they have opportunity and no supervision. Combine the two and you have trouble.

So far, I have no trouble with a 12, 14 and 15 year old. (i mean other than normal hormonal changes and eyerolling, stomping behavior).

ETA - I just finished reading the rest of my thread and I am so humbled by the outcome.

chiromama - you did such a good job. All around. Raising your dd. Processing this dilemma and even allowing her to go that day. She probably learned more by going than if you had said yes.

Thanks for teaching me!!!!

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
ds20, dd18, ds16

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