Need advice about daughter's newfound sexuality - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 10-13-2009, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd who is 13 just started highschool this September and has had a very hard time finding her place in school. She came home very upset a few times saying she doesn't fit in with anyone and doesn't know very many people. I suggested she join some new groups and give it a few weeks so she said she was gonig to join as many new groups as possible. She joined the GLBT support group which I thought was great but within two days of joining the group she has decided she's bisexual.
Now.. I want to support my dd's sexuality but I can't help but think this is an attention seeking thing. First it was Goth, then it was everything to do with being First Nations, now it seems to be bisexuality. We've had many changes happening in our family: my dh and I got married (not her father), I had a new baby and am expecting again and I know she's feeling left out at times. Her father has also decided that he's not going to be actively involved in raising her and will occasionaly visit if she's at her grandparents and I nkow that affects her.
Anyways... what I'm needing advice on is how to handle this all. I have no problem with her claiming to be bisexual. What I don't feel comfortable with is her all of a sudden over the top shout out to anyone who's listening. I also feel that it's a bit offensive to the gay students at her school and in the club to treat it like another fad.
I know i'm rambling here.... but I just need some advice on how to sensitively handle this situation. I want to support her but at the same time I don't care much for the inappropriate comments (at thanksgiving she exclaimed to the family that she'd like to date Katey Perry because she's so hot) and am worried that by her being so OUT THERE in a redneck school that people will harm her either emotionally or worse. I hope I'm making sense.. I'm trying to wrap my head around all of this! I think I'd have an easier time with it had she said she was lesbian instead of bisexual but I'm honestly not sure why....

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#2 of 13 Old 10-14-2009, 01:32 AM
 
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She sounds like many new teens...trying so hard to find the place that fits. I don't think there is much you can do about it but there is no reason you can't expect respectful behavior from her. Sexual comments are inappropriate for a person her age to be making at family events or loudly anywhere it doesn't matter who they are about. I try to humor my daughter and draw her out about the whys without judging her affiliations too much.

Good luck! Maybe she could use some counseling it doesn't always help but it's worth a try.
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#3 of 13 Old 10-14-2009, 10:25 AM
 
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Poppymama gave very solid advice.

Best to shrug your shoulders at a lot of it and then say "That's splendid that you feel so confident about that part of your life.... Now what would you like for tea/did you do your homework/have you remembered to feed the cat?" etc.

Ie, try to just take it in stride, as much as you possible.

Yes it's possible she'll change completely AGAIN, didn't we all try something loopy as teenagers?
I even bought Billy Joel albums, what WAS I thinking?

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#4 of 13 Old 10-14-2009, 10:43 AM
 
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What makes you think she's not really bisexual? I mean, if she's finding herself sexually attracted to members of both sexes, isn't that what bisexual IS? Whether or not she acts on any of these desires is a completely separate issue. Plenty of people who are bisexual choose to marry somebody of the opposite sex and lead pretty much "straight" lives- but still remain bisexual. Even if she settles down with a man someday, that does NOT mean that she's lying right now.

I suspect that you'd feel better about her claiming to be a lesbian because that somehow seems more "real" or "legitimate." If she dates one boy, she's clearly not a lesbian, and she'd be unlikely to make such a claim if she wasn't certain. But a claim of bisexuality doesn't close any doors, it's harder to disprove, and it's an easier label to grab onto if you're just unsure of yourself.

I suggest you stop doubting your DD and stop worrying about "being unfair to the REAL gay kids at school." Take her seriously. And then get to the bottom of the real issue here- her innapropriate, attention-seeking behavior.

What exactly bothered you about her announcement at Thanksgiving that she wanted to date Kate Perry? Do you think you'd have felt as embarrased if she'd said Joe Jonas instead? Was it just an innapropriate sexual comment, or was it innapropriate only because of the homosexual aspect? If it's the former, then talk to her about appropriate behavior. If it's the latter, maybe examine your own attitudes instead of blaming her.

You may benefit from joining PFLAG (or a similar support group) and/or counseling to help you adjust to all the changes in your life and learn how to better support your DD. She may benefit from counseling as well (being careful to get one who will support her and help her find her path, NOT one who wants to "cure her of bisexuality.")

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#5 of 13 Old 10-14-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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What exactly bothered you about her announcement at Thanksgiving that she wanted to date Kate Perry? Do you think you'd have felt as embarrased if she'd said Joe Jonas instead? Was it just an innapropriate sexual comment, or was it innapropriate only because of the homosexual aspect? If it's the former, then talk to her about appropriate behavior. If it's the latter, maybe examine your own attitudes instead of blaming her.

You may benefit from joining PFLAG (or a similar support group) and/or counseling to help you adjust to all the changes in your life and learn how to better support your DD. She may benefit from counseling as well (being careful to get one who will support her and help her find her path, NOT one who wants to "cure her of bisexuality.")
Well, I have some sympathy for the OP, because I know I cringe a little when I hear my 13 y.o. DD, crushing on some guy, announce at a gathering of friends or family how cute some actor is, or gushing about a boy at school. I understand that she's exploring romance and asserting her maturity - not realizing how immature it is, lol! Most mature women don't generally announce their romantic interests to a room full of people.
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#6 of 13 Old 10-14-2009, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyways... what I'm needing advice on is how to handle this all. I have no problem with her claiming to be bisexual. What I don't feel comfortable with is her all of a sudden over the top shout out to anyone who's listening. I also feel that it's a bit offensive to the gay students at her school and in the club to treat it like another fad.
Ruthla, I think you misread my OP or perhaps I shouldn't have made this OP shortly after a heated conversation with my dd about a facebook status saying she's a bisexual beauty. I have no issues with bisexuality at all, nor do I doubt the legitimacy of bisexuality. My issues is with the immature and inappropriate comments to anyone who will listen, including the ones made at Thanksgiving. IMO, it's inappropriate for a 13 yo child to be making comments like that. It's too sexual for a child, imo. And I think it's the sexuality I'm struggling with.. not the BI part of it. Also, I'm not sure why you're suggesting I need counselling to deal with the changes in my life. I do appreciate the suggestion for PFLAG though, I hadn't even considered that.

Thank you to everyone else. We had a talk last night about everything (I realize I shouldn't have made this OP when I did, I should have sat on it for a bit but my dh wasn't home to talk to! lol) and I expressed my concerns over her attention seeking behaviour and her sexual comments at such a young age. I told her I'd support her no matter her orientation but she needs to respect others as well as herself and not treat it like a fad. I know i'm probably not explaining that part very well.. but it's really just OTT behaviour not normally expected from her such as the constant comments, the facebook status, etc. We agreed that she'd tone it down a bit and then we talked about the new baby coming and her feelings around that. I think counselling is a great suggestion to help her cope with all these changes (highschool I think being the toughest for her so far) and I think she'd like having a non-biased person to talk to.

I just keep reminding myself that 13 is a hard age, esp when tehre are big life changing events going on as well. Finding yourself isn't an easy road to go down. And my dd is a great kid, she's open with me which as much as it shocks me the things that come out of her mouth, I really do appreciate it and know I'm pretty lucky.

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#7 of 13 Old 10-16-2009, 12:18 AM
 
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13 is young to you, but it doesn't mean she's not a sexual being experiencing sexual feelings... She sounds like she may be inadequately prepared to handle them, or the appropriateness of them. Give her space to do it, help without judging.

I, too, bristle at your post for the same reasons Ruthla up there said. I identify as bisexual only because there is no classification for what I feel: I feel that finding my true love transcended barriers of sexuality and preference... as he is my exception. As I grow older I only become more aware of and in touch with it.
Even within the gay community, being bisexual (esp. as a teen) is often considered "illegitimate". I'm just as guilty of it myself. Honestly, people like Katy Perry make the "party lesbian" scene something to be admired, and I was taken by young women pulling that stunt more than once in my youth. So it's not hard to see why it could be something others may feel guarded about. Though, I don't doubt your intentions.

If she's attention-seeking: punishing is NOT going to help. She needs attention? Give it to her! Find out what's going on, and ignore your judgments on the rest unless she's REALLY doing something offensive.

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#8 of 13 Old 10-18-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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I think you've already gotten plenty of advice, but I just wanted to say that she may have said she was joining 'as many clubs as possible', and made it sound very casual, when in fact she did question her sexuality beforehand. As someone not very far out of my teens myself, that sounds exactly like something I would have said to my mother to convince her it 'wasn't a big deal.' Then, when she met others who feel the same way as her, she may have gained the confidence to say what she wants to say about how she feels (this makes me think of Harvey Milk, who said to basically shout it from the rooftops if you're gay so that those who know you will realize gay people are real people, not just abstract figures to judge.) I don't know your daughter, but that's the first thing I thought of when reading your post.

Sorry for crashing when I don't have a teen yet

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#9 of 13 Old 10-19-2009, 01:51 AM
 
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Honestly I wouldn't make a fuss over it at all. If she's bisexual then she's bisexual, if not well she'll figure that out too. Plenty of people go through a phase where they examine that possibility.

For the announcing it all, I honesty wouldn't sweat that other then mention that announcing it might make other people feel uncomfortable. Like a PP mentioned, it could be a side affect of finding others like her and starting to feel more selfassured in who she is. I vaguely (or not) remember brief phase where I announced to my moms boyfriend and every woman my dad brought home that I was gay an on my way to being a stepdad. Partly because I liked seeing the reactions I got (mom's BF simply said "Your just figuing this out?" dad's GFs varied from "Um, ok..." to "Uh... Tell your dad I'll call him later." they never did) and partly just because it was finally something I was comfortable saying and wanted to say it.

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#10 of 13 Old 10-19-2009, 10:43 AM
 
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This is a little beside the point but I thought you had to be at least 14 years old to have a Facebook account.
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#11 of 13 Old 10-19-2009, 12:55 PM
 
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This is a little beside the point but I thought you had to be at least 14 years old to have a Facebook account.
I believe it's 13 years old.
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#12 of 13 Old 10-19-2009, 09:54 PM
 
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And either way, we all know how difficult it is to lie on the internet.

malesling.GIFMutant Papa to DD (12)hippie.gif and DS (2)babyf.gif, married to DHribbonrainbow.gif
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#13 of 13 Old 10-20-2009, 05:50 AM
 
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And either way, we all know how difficult it is to lie on the internet.
You mean... people lie on the internet??











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