When they tell you the scary stuff... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 09-12-2009, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
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We had one of those talks tonight. :

Where DSD told me all kinds of stuff that would make ANY parent go grey in 15 minutes. From drugs, smoking, drinking, sneaking out at night, to sex, sending naughty pictures on-line, protection and the lack of. I mean EVERYTHING. My head is spinning. 80% of it made me very proud of her, and the 20%... well... oh my GOD! What her friends do, what they asked her to do, what she did and what she refused to do.

Some of those I suspected, others had no clue about. It is SO hard not to mess this up, and to keep the lines of communication open, and NOT to freak out. I just gently tried to let her know the things I'm disagreeing about, but I have a headache right now...

Just speechless... And overwhelmed. I am not at all convinced that we are doing this parenting thing right with DP. The 20% scared the beejebuz out of me.

What do you do with that kind of information??? How do you keep your sanity and let them out of the house ever again??? I'm hyperventilating, and DSD I think has really enjoyed our night. She is still very talkative, and I just smile and nod.

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#2 of 13 Old 09-13-2009, 01:36 AM
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First and foremost...

The fact that she even told you all of this means that you are a great parent.

The fact that it was 20/80 ratio... That sounds like she's grown up to be a pretty smart teen. I mean most don't have a ratio that good (for me it probably would have been 20% good and 80% OMG!)

I might be inclined to let her know that you love hearing about what she has been up too, but making it a marathon can be a little taxing so try to not let it all pile up and dump it on you at once.

ETA: We haven't had any serious discussions like that with DD yet, but so far focusing on the good more then the bad when the good clearly out numbers the bad is working so far. I pray that it continues to work.

Second ETA (brain is only half working apperently): Also good to ask if she thought now (after the fact) if a choice was good or bad so that it opens an actual dialogue where she can voice her opinion and you can voice yours with the stuff you disagree with.

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#3 of 13 Old 09-13-2009, 09:59 AM
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I totally agree. Keep those lines of communication open, keep reinforcing her good choices, invite her to talk about certain choices and allow her to express her views about them even when you disagree. Make the most essential points clearly and briefly and then move on. (I'd probably focus more on choices that can lead to actual physical harm, like using protection or not, rather than things that may be disturbing morally but aren't causing physical harm, like porn. We all have to pick our battles. Of course if the porn involves sending pics of themselves, they have to know why that's dangerous.)

It's good to remember that kids her age do a lot of bragging and posturing, too -- some of what her friends are telling her and possibly some of what she's telling you have probably been exaggerated. She's bouncing these things off of you to get your opinion on them as much as anything. I think it's wonderful that she's talking, so try to keep that line open!

DD1 (Oct 99), DD2 (Sep 02), DD3 (Oct 09)
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#4 of 13 Old 09-13-2009, 12:24 PM
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I'm really impressed that she chose to talk with you--I think in the long run this will likely mean more than anything else. I don't know how you did it-staying calm, being present. We've made the leap to middle school and I swear all I want to do is keep my kid in the house and pretend she's a baby again. I do, seriously, think this sometimes.

Kudos to you for staying with her, in the moment. What a gift.
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#5 of 13 Old 09-13-2009, 12:41 PM
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OMG!! Nothing helpful here but I swear I have to work hard some days to let them talk to me. I know just what you mean about the headaches and stress even with "good kids" and we are just starting the teen years.

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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#6 of 13 Old 09-13-2009, 01:17 PM
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The fact that she even told you says alot.

That being said, think of it this way, by the times kids are teens, they're gonna make their own decisions, whether we like it or not. Hopefully, by that time, all the parents have taught the child to have enough common sense to know when to say no, but they will do what they want to with their friends. Keep the lines of communication open. If you never let her out of the house again, she'll continue to do whatever it is she'll do, only you won't know about it and you won't be able to talk her through it , help her think it over after, know what I mean?

Btw, I was a teen who's Mother gave me no breathing room at all. I mean, in all seriously, I wasn't allowed out of the house, and if I was, even up until I was 17 1/2, she insisted calling my friend's parents and talking to them, making sure they'll be home and supervising the entire time, if I wanted to go somewhere. Did that stop me? Nope. I skipped school to try smoking and pot. I lied that I got detention, so I'd have an excuse to be late coming home from school, in order go to friends houses and walk the train track bridge (the cool thing to do at the time). Later, I lost my virginity when my Mother thought I was at my afterschool job. On sleepovers, me and my best friend would sneak out of her bedroom at midnight and hang out all over town- it was the bad section of town. Heck, when I was barely 15 and my best friend was still 14, we snuck out of her room with two 26 year old guys- they took us about 45 minutes away to an empty house by a lake. My friend and her date were sniffing cocaine, drinking, and "doing their thing", if you know what I mean. My date was a little more tame- we just talked. Thinking back now, I shudder to realize that it was the perfect setup for us to be forced, kidnapped, killed, whatever. If I'd had a Mother to talk about these kinds of things, and the freedome to so SOMETHING, SOMETIMES, I'm pretty sure I would have known better than. Keeping the lines of communication open and giving a little freedom are so important.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#7 of 13 Old 09-13-2009, 01:41 PM
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I know what you mean. Mine is 20, soon 21, so it's been a few years since we were there, but we were.
The most important thing is to keep the communication going. Keep calm and keep listening. That trust is so, so important.
We also talked about the choices, if she thought they were good or bad choices, it gives you a good idea of where they stand. And we also discussed it, where we didn't agree we had a good talk about why where we both prolly learned something.

And, it will end well, she sounds like a good teen. Ours was too, and she is 3rd year med. school now, living on her own since last year and doing great!

-pixie, my dear, and (A-88), N-98, Littlest-06/00-08/00, J-03 & Little Miss Cotton Ball Button-03 (SN), S-05, Hope-loss 09/09, Bean-loss 04/10, and littlePopcorn due feb. 8th -11.
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#8 of 13 Old 09-14-2009, 10:04 AM
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Agreeing with everyone..Congratulations are in order for being the mom whose daughter feels comfortable enough to tell these things. It's wonderful when you can have that kind of relationship! It was difficult for my oldest DD to open up to me and my 17 yr old DD tells me everything. The one piece of advice my mom gave me once is.."never let them see you sweat." Teens are learning to be independent and there will be some experimentation along the way and it's important to not judge them even when they say things that give you that empty pit in the stomach feeling. I think you've done a great job! Barb
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#9 of 13 Old 09-14-2009, 07:02 PM
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I don't have advice, but just wanted to add another good job, Mom! for keeping it together! I'm really impressed and hope if I ever find myself having that conversation with my child that I'll keep my cool as well.


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#10 of 13 Old 09-24-2009, 12:55 PM
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It can be scary to hear, and can keep you up at night, but another "Great job, Mom!" from me, because the fact that you're hearing it at all means that you are doing something right
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#11 of 13 Old 09-25-2009, 09:59 PM
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We had a night like that with my older daughter, 16 She just totally opened up about the beginning of her 9th grade year, a lotta things. I just listened breathing deeply, thanked her for telling me, complimented her on her maturation in judgement, and reinforeced what she told me she has learned from the mistakes she confessed. Told her I want her to feel like she can tell me anything.
(For ex. trying marijuana once) She said she felt a lot of pressure as a freshman not knowing anyone, she didn't like how it made her feel, etc. It made her flunk a test and she wanted it to just relax her. I just affirmed those reasons for chosing to stay clean. She's a junior now so just thanked her for telling me.

Then I asked her if there was anything else she'd like tell me and let me go take a Xanax (Not really) but she thought that was funny cuz she might as well spill it all at once and save me another freak out. A sense of humor always helps. And not yelling no matter what they tell you.

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#12 of 13 Old 09-25-2009, 10:13 PM
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Sorry to crash--my DD is only 4 months, but I am not far out of the teen years so thought I'd put my 2 cents in.

Yay that your daughter is talking to you! I grew up with very strict parents (IE, living at home while in college, I had to sit in the living room with my friends and boyfriends--couldn't go to my bedroom) and it didn't stop me at all. I just did things behind their backs (which they didn't know about until they were shocked that I got pregnant a year ago at 20). I never felt like I could talk to them, and to this day, although we have an okay relationship, I still can't open up to them about ANYTHING.

I'm sure your daughter feels so good to get this stuff of her chest. Being a teenager is such a scary, stressful, crazy, confusing time!! The fact that she came to you about this stuff, and opened up, means she trusts you...good for you for not freaking out! If you had freaked out, that would've been the last time she would have trusted you that way. As for letting her out of the house...I'm not sure what your options are other then trusting her. I know that for me, as a teenager, I thoroughly lived up to my parents expectations of me. They treated me like a screw up and failure long before I made any big mistakes, and they treated me like someone who was going to do 'bad' things...so I did. I hope when my DD is that age, I can trust her, trust that I raised her well, and believe that she will make good choices. The Continuum Concept talks a lot about this, and I could never put words to why I made the decisions I did in high school until I read that (of course, I still take full responsibility for my choices.)

Single mama to S ~ 6/09

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#13 of 13 Old 10-01-2009, 02:04 AM
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What an awesome and strong mama you are that she trusts you to share this stuff!

Keep venting here, and keep nodding and smiling at her. You're doing the right things, clearly! I'm taking notes...keep us posted!

You can do this

GOOD moms let their kids lick the beaters. GREAT moms turn off the mixer first!
Humanist Woman Wife , & Friend Plus Mama to 6 (3 mos, 2, 9, 13, 17, 20)
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