14 yr old daughter lied, how should i deal with it? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 51 Old 08-03-2010, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello, i have a 14 yr old daughter who is absolutely beautiful. One of the rules i have is that she is not supposed to date until she is 16. Her father (who lives in another city now) agreed that she would not be allowed to until then, but now said i should let her have a graduation date, hmmmmmm.

Wellllll, you see, she just graduated grade eight, and looked perfect for her grad. I do not allow revealing clothes either. Her choice was a long, sparkly, purple gown. She looked amazing in it, in fact, she looked 20 *sniff* the problem is, after much protest by her, i still stuck to the initial rule of no dating until 16, even for her grade eight grad, where all her friends had dates. She finally stopped protesting and accepted, so i thought.

I found out through a photo leak on facebook that she indeed had a date for her grad.

how should i deal with this? Should i let it go and not tell her I didn't believe that they were "just dancing" like she had told me when i asked about the photo (it was not even taken on the dance floor.) Should i ground her, talk to her, if so, say what? i mean wow, she lied to my face about it. It really is not like her, we have always been very close.

Other people tell me that i should let her date now, all the kids are, and if i don't, she will do it anyway and just lie about it.

I do not want her to lose respect for me, or maybe she already is being that she LIED to me about something so important.

I am new to teenagers, please help!
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#2 of 51 Old 08-03-2010, 11:32 PM
 
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I dunno. . .I kind of feel like she was set up to lie to you. Letting her go to a dance where everybody else is going with a date, but telling her she can't. . .it seems off to me. Maybe it's time to revisted the rule? I dunno. Aside from that, I think it'sabsolutely possible that she was hanging out with a male friend at a dance, maybe even one she had a crush on, without him being her date. Is it just a facebook picture of her and a boy at a dance that is making you think she lied? Because I had plenty of male friends in jr hg and hs that I would hang out with at school events, even throw my arms around and have a picture snapped with, that I didn't have any sort of romantic relationship with - it was just like hanging out with my female friends.

Even if she did, indeed, lie, I don't think punishment is a good answer. It would likely teach her to just to lie more effectively and to keep things from you that you would be better off knowing. I think it might be a good opportunity to discuss what your rules are and why you have them and let her know that if she thinks a rule is unfair or unwarranted, that you will talk with her about it and listen with an open mind to her opinions and actually consider her point of view. You want her to be able to come to you and discuss hard things, and I think coming down hard in this situation would probably push her away.
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#3 of 51 Old 08-03-2010, 11:43 PM
 
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I remember being told by my mother and stepfather that I was not allowed to date until I was 16, when I was 12. At that point, I already had a "date" to a "dance-athon" to raise money that was set up by our school. It was a very innocent type of thing, but it set the precedent. I never ever told my parents if I had a boyfriend, a date, a crush or anything, until I was in my 20s (when I introduced them to a boyfriend), and only really because the boyfriend kept bugging me to introduce him.

By giving me what I felt was a very unreasonable rule, my mother completely ruined any potential for us to be "close" and for me to ever come to her about any relationship-boyfriend-crush issues and it never changed. I still don't go to her for any sort of advice-related stuff.

My story might be a bit extreme, I'm not sure, but already, your relationship with your daughter seems to have headed down that path. If you want to change it, I suggest you start trusting your daughter to make her own decisions, trust that you have raised her well and that she is an amazing person who will make good choices. Perhaps you can reverse the trend that you started and she will one day, feel comfortable coming to you to tell you about her cute little crushes, and about the boys she likes and who asks her to go on dates, and such. Perhaps she was asked to the dance by more than one boy, and if you had been closer and more open-minded, she might have asked your advice.

Personally, I hope that my 9 year old daughter will tell me about these things beforehand, so that I can be involved instead of having her have to hide these things from me. I assume that you would prefer that, too, no?
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#4 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 12:16 AM
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Your rule sounds arbitrary. Why is 16 the magical age?

You can either be a barrier or a door for your children. We don't protect them by forbidding things. They will just find a way to sneak around you to have what they want. They will be better protected by being armed with confidence and information, and the trust of their parents that they are capable human beings who can make decisions regarding their own lives.

So yes, she lied to you. Honesty would have gotten her nowhere. I don't see her as the problem, to be frank.
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#5 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 12:31 AM
 
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I guess for me, when I think about dating, I think about going out to places like the movies and for dinner and parks... not school functions where coupling up is pretty easy and can even happen THERE at the event without prior plans.

I wasn't allowed to date til 16 but I was allowed to attend school dances with 'dates' simply because its hardly a date when a bunch of young teenagers are all together with teachers around. Friends still spend a lot of time dancing together and talking rather than older teens and adults who would probably spend more time alone.

I agree that punishing her for just one picture online isn't fair and can potentially be damaging (it really could have just been a friend) but I also think you need to revisit your rules and WHY you have your rules. Is there a reason why it is 16 for ALL types of dates, even those with school teachers? or is something else going on? It is definitely a good conversation to have with your daughter. Open lines of communication and having the chance to help make the rules set for her can absolutely help repair any trust/respect issues.
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#6 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 12:44 AM
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OP, so sory for this rough situation you're struggling with. Sadly, my teen years were like the PP's, my mother forbade me to do things I wanted to (date, go to sketchy sounding parties) and rebel that I was I went anyway, snuck out, lied, anything to do what *I* wanted, as her rules had no further info or reason, to me, so defying the was justifiable in my mind. I got into many a bad situation with males on those dates/parties, and couldn't get help because I was still carrying out the lie, kwim?

After I moved in with my father (sadly my mothers rules drove me to leave), he upheld an entirely opposite, do-what-you-feel-is-best policy, and I still made poor choices, but when I was stuck, I could call home and he'd help me. It helped me see the options for what they were, as they were no longer forbidden, enticing things. I began to make far safer choices, and am so thankful I had him to turn to.

I'm not pointing fingers at your rules, but agree that you need to think about why they exist. Were you hurt or taen advantage of as a teen? What do you fear for your daughter (rules help us avoid our worst fears)? Can you talk to her and lay it all out for her, maybe not that you snuck a peek at facebook, but rather start a convo about why you made these rules, what scares you, what your teen years were like. I think if she ralises you are there for her, she'll know she can come to you and realy share her thoughts/troubles, because you're both coming from a similar place. hth.

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#7 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 12:52 AM
 
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Certainly the lie needs to be addressed. Whether you talk or penalize (or the strength of the penalty) depends on how big a deal what she lied about was.

Personally, I agree with your "no dating" rule but I think of that more in terms of going out places alone and such. I'm totally on board for not wanting your 14-year-old picked up in a limo, going to dinner alone and arriving at a dance with a boy. However, meeting a boy at location for a school event... well, not such a big deal to me. That's not really different from a boy simply asking her to dance more than once.

If this is unusual for her to lie, I'd probably just talk it out this time.

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#8 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 12:58 AM
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Yes OP, if it is not usually in her nature to lie, she must have been so conflicted between wanting to follow the rules/please you, and doing what she really wanted to. A good conversation topic right there.

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#9 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 01:00 AM
 
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Maybe she lied...maybe she didn't. Unless she just decides to tell you I don't see how you'll ever have proof she had a date and wasn't just photographed with a boy she danced with, had punch with, stood next to, etc. Was she given a distance she had to stay away from all males? What is a date at a dance? If she didn't go there with him is hanging out a date? Is she only allowed to hang out, dance, drink punch with girls? I'm confused on what you're grasping at here. I, personally, don't like to fight losing battles that undermine me and deciding that a picture=a date=lying is not a battle you're riding anywhere on. I'd try to regain some dignity and let this one go.
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#10 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 01:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
Your rule sounds arbitrary. Why is 16 the magical age?

You can either be a barrier or a door for your children. We don't protect them by forbidding things. They will just find a way to sneak around you to have what they want. They will be better protected by being armed with confidence and information, and the trust of their parents that they are capable human beings who can make decisions regarding their own lives.

So yes, she lied to you. Honesty would have gotten her nowhere. I don't see her as the problem, to be frank.
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Originally Posted by PoppyMama View Post
Maybe she lied...maybe she didn't. Unless she just decides to tell you I don't see how you'll ever have proof she had a date and wasn't just photographed with a boy she danced with, had punch with, stood next to, etc. Was she given a distance she had to stay away from all males? What is a date at a dance? If she didn't go there with him is hanging out a date? Is she only allowed to hang out, dance, drink punch with girls? I'm confused on what you're grasping at here. I, personally, don't like to fight losing battles that undermine me and deciding that a picture=a date=lying is not a battle you're riding anywhere on. I'd try to regain some dignity and let this one go.
Both of these.

Why is it so important that she not date until she's 16? And why is a picture of her with a boy proof that she had a date?

I have a few photos of me with women in situations where people would be on a date (restaurant, club, etc) and I can promise you I have not dated a female since I was 14. We just happened to be friends who were attending the same event as part of the same group and someone took our picture.

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#11 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 01:26 AM
 
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Let's be honest, you did not really think through the 'no dating' rule and wound up feeling lied to when in fact, all your daughter did wrong was fail to understand expectations that were really quite illogical. Does she go to an all girls school? If not--there are going to be boys at the dance and she is going to dance with them. Forbidding her to dance with a boy at the school dance is unhealthy. And that is basically what you expected, if you consider a photo of her with a boy at a dance a violation of your expectations. What exactly did you expect her to do at this dance? Dance only with girls? Not dance? Does that seem healthy? What does the photo prove, other than she was seen at this dance with a boy. So what? You knew boys were there.

I am guessing your no dating rule meant she could not go off alone with a boy until 16. You did not want him picking her up and driving her to the dance. And nobody did.

As you said, you are new to this, we all are. I highly doubt she had a clear conception of your rule, or fully understood what you pictured her doing at this dance, since even other adults find it confusing.

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#12 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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I wouldn't read much into a single photo. Did they dance? Sure. But a photo is a single moment, and it can be very misleading.

I think if you're going to have a rule about no dating, you have to be very specific about what behavior you're forbidding. "Dating" is a vague concept. ANd you have to be specific about why.

My mom wouldn't let me date until I was sixteen, but she wouldn't have had a problem with me having a date at a school dance earlier, especially since, at that age, I'd have been dropped off and picked up by parents, and the entire "date" would have taken place under the supervision of teacher and parent chaperones and in front of dozens of other people. At junior high dance, the purpose of a date was to spare you the humiliation of getting turned down when you asked someone to dance.

My mom was eventually forced to admit that her rule was out-of-date, and to okay group dates when I was about 14. I wasn't allowed to go out on a date with a boy all by myself until I was sixteen, but that didn't do much to slow me down. I will not be using this rule on my own kids, as its primary effect was to assure that my mother had no idea who I was with or what I was doing.
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#13 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 03:15 AM
 
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First it sounds like you were really hurt by this and are genuinely just at a loss as to how to deal with what happened. On the one hand you dont want your rules just ignored with no consequences but on the other you dont want to do anything that would damage your relationship further with your dd.

I also had the no dating until you are 16 rule growing up. I sooo did not follow that rule. I would basically just have guys meet me at places and just not tell my mom about it. If my mom ever found out during that time then she never let me know about it. I can look back on it and see how I was lying to my mom but there were two things that really drove me to not think of it as me disobeying my mom when I was 14 and 15 years old. First since the guy wasn't actually picking me up or anything and we were just at the same place at the same time I really just didn't consider it a "real" date. Second I would always drive my mom crazy with the following line of questioning when I was that age.
Mom - "Sasha you cant do X"
Me - "Ok, why?"
Mom - "Because I said so and that is the rule in our house."
Me - "Ummm sorry mom but if you cant give me a reason than there is no reason so sorry but I just can not follow this rule until you give me a real reason."

I know, I know I would absolutely DIE if my daughter talked like that to me. I think my mom wishes daily for my daughter to stage an uprising on me just so I can see what it feels like from the other side. So my point is that since I never actually agreed with her about the whole not dating thing then I wasn't "technically" lying to her. Hopefully your dd is way less annoying than I was at that age.

My point in all of that is that maybe, just maybe because of the way teen minds think on a complex level but dont have the life experience to go with it your daughter may fully well not feel like she lied to you at all. Also it sounds like she totally doesn't get your rule and the reason behind it at all.

What I would do in your situation is take dd out for some coffee or something and have a good ol' back and forth over the dating subject. No screaming or threatening, no power struggles. Just a "hey, this hurt me because I thought we had an agreement, tell me what is going on at your end of everything." kind of situation and then just listen. You can articulate to her the reasons behind the no dating until you are 16 rule or if you all end up with a different sort of agreement once you have talked it out then so be it. Just keep the lines of communication open and work through this as a team. Stick together or that normal teen riff could become a uncrossable gap before you know it. At least that is what happened with me and my mom, and that is what sounds like happened with a lot of other PPs as well.

Oh and for the record the dating rule in our house is "Every situation is different we will have to wait and see." I know it sounds lame but we couldn't figure out a better way to get our view across. How old they are before they are allowed to date will very much depend on how long they have known the person, what they plan on doing, and on the individual maturity level of the child. It's what works for us. I hope you and your dd find what works for you guys in the near future.

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#14 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 09:08 AM
 
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Personally speaking, I think there is a HUGE difference between "dating" and having "a" date (aka an escort) to a special event. Especially if every one of her friends was going "with" someone. In your shoes, I'd consider relaxing the rule somewhat - group dates, a "date" to an event... but not exclusive "dating" just yet.

I do agree that the "not til 16" rule seems a bit arbitrary. I left it at "well, let's see when the situation arises and then we'll talk about it." Mostly because I didn't want to put either of my kids in the situation it seems many of us were - be considered weird by my peers or lie to my parents. When the time came, we talked about what they meant by dating, what I considered appropriate, etc. But... both of my kids are very open with me.

We just had a similar discussion, my son and I. He's 18, and off to college in a few weeks. I spent the last two years of my college experience living with their Dad - while maintaining a dorm room so my parents wouldn't know. #1 and I talked about it, and I told him how awkward it was for me to do that - I didn't want to lie, but I also knew my parents would flip. So I lied. Told him that I would rather know (and not pay for a dorm room that's empty!) and carry on an open dialogue and relationship.

Same thing with my daughter (16). I actually do know everything she and her friends are up to - because she knows she can come to me and I'm not going to go ballistic.
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#15 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 09:56 AM
 
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When I was a teen I used to lie to my parents all the time. Why? Because they didn't trust me. If I wanted to go somewhere if I told them it was a bush party they would tell me I couldn't go. So I told them I was going to my friends house and then surprise, surprise I wasn't back yet from the bush party when they came to pick me up and my lie was discovered.

You have to have some trust and faith that you 14 year old is able to make her own decisions. Give her some room to succeed or to fail. Otherwise you will be in for a rough 4-5 years. Trust me I know!
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#16 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 10:22 AM
 
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I guess I don't see the harm in 2 14 year olds being together at a school dance. They were at a safe location, supervised, and together for a very limited amount of time. Beside the fact that one picture on the internet does not prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was on a date. It is quite possible she is telling you the truth. My mother always assumed I was lying to her, and eventually I did.

For myself, I let my daughter begin to date when she started high school. "Dating" meant going out in a large group with her boyfriend (also a high school freshman), going to each others houses to watch TV, and going out to the movies - 1 set of parents would drop them off, and the other set would pick them up. We wanted our daughter to have experience with boys before she turned the magical dating age of 16 and could go out on car dates.
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#17 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 10:30 PM
 
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I learned how to hide EVERYTHING from my parents because of their rules like your's. I'm 30-something now and they still have no clue about who I was then and who I am today. I would suggest a little more openness and understanding. I know I sure don't want my relationship with my daughter to be like my relationship with my mother. Just my 2 cents, anyway...
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#18 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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I dunno. . .I kind of feel like she was set up to lie to you. Letting her go to a dance where everybody else is going with a date, but telling her she can't. . .it seems off to me. Maybe it's time to revisted the rule? I dunno. Aside from that, I think it'sabsolutely possible that she was hanging out with a male friend at a dance, maybe even one she had a crush on, without him being her date. Is it just a facebook picture of her and a boy at a dance that is making you think she lied? Because I had plenty of male friends in jr hg and hs that I would hang out with at school events, even throw my arms around and have a picture snapped with, that I didn't have any sort of romantic relationship with - it was just like hanging out with my female friends.

Even if she did, indeed, lie, I don't think punishment is a good answer. It would likely teach her to just to lie more effectively and to keep things from you that you would be better off knowing. I think it might be a good opportunity to discuss what your rules are and why you have them and let her know that if she thinks a rule is unfair or unwarranted, that you will talk with her about it and listen with an open mind to her opinions and actually consider her point of view. You want her to be able to come to you and discuss hard things, and I think coming down hard in this situation would probably push her away.
These are my thoughts as well! Dating is different to me than having a date for a dance (and I'm conservative too!)

Either way, if she lied, it's a separate issue! I would definitely have some sort of consequences, along with said talk. You might need to compromise some but don't compromise the values you are instilling, k!

Consciously mothering 3 girls and 2 boys
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#19 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 11:15 PM
 
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Honestly, I don't think I'd do or say anything. I'd just keep an eye out for this, but I wouldn't even worry about it too much.

Going on a car date with one boy is completely different than having a group date. (in my opinion) If you keep the leash too tight, she might end up trying harder to get away.
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#20 of 51 Old 08-04-2010, 11:32 PM
 
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Another vote for hanging out together at a dance isn't a "date".

I can understand not being okay with your 14 year old going on a traditional date- to the movies or out to dinner alone. However, I'd reconsider what appears to be a "no hanging out with boys" or at least "no preferential hanging out with one boy" even in a group setting. Do you really want a 16 year old to suddenly be allowed to date with no previous experience of interacting with people she's attracted to at all? That's sort of how it was with me- zero to full on dating- and remember, 16 year olds often want to date 17 or 18 year olds with cars and driving and that whole thing. It's beneficial for teens to be able to navigate socially in a gradual way when it comes to relationships that are more than friends. Group outings, group dates, being allowed to have a boy she likes come over to hang out during a Saturday afternoon (with family members present, not behind closed doors, etc) might be reasonable ways of compromising so that she won't feel the need to lie. Not that I think she really lied, anyway.

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#21 of 51 Old 08-05-2010, 01:22 PM
 
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I'm not really understanding how she lied. Was she not supposed to hang out with any boys at the dance at all? I don't consider what you described a date.

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#22 of 51 Old 08-05-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by song_of_the_soule View Post
Other people tell me that i should let her date now, all the kids are, and if i don't, she will do it anyway and just lie about it.

I do not want her to lose respect for me, or maybe she already is being that she LIED to me about something so important.
Which is exactly what happened.

You can tell someone they are forbidden to date until you turn blue in the face, it's really not going to be enforceable.

You'd be a lot better off allowing her to date and have her be open and honest with you.
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#23 of 51 Old 08-05-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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You can either be a barrier or a door for your children. We don't protect them by forbidding things. They will just find a way to sneak around you to have what they want. They will be better protected by being armed with confidence and information, and the trust of their parents that they are capable human beings who can make decisions regarding their own lives.
I love this! You've managed to say exactly what I feel
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#24 of 51 Old 08-05-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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My dd is only 11, but I'm absolutely confident I don't need to set up dating rules for her because she can do it herself. I trust her and her friends, and I know she has the confidence to make choices based on her own needs. And if she runs into a situation she's not comfortable with, I would really like her to trust me enough to ask for advice.

By forbidding things and setting rather arbitrary rules, I'm not sure if your DD feels she's got the space to trust you enough to be confident you give her the space she wants and are there for her when she needs it.

Also, I've never experienced or heard any good coming from grounding a 14-yo, not from the parent's perspective, anyway
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#25 of 51 Old 08-05-2010, 05:44 PM
 
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I understand you being upset about her lying. I'm just not sure that I consider attending graduation as dating, when it could have been just an escort. Was it a friend? Is she secretly meeting up with this person and having a romantic relationship with them or was this someone that just went to the dance with her? What did you think she would do at a dance? Did you not want her dancing at all?
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#26 of 51 Old 08-05-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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To clarify -- is she attending an all-girls school? Are there boys in her classes? Did you know there would be boys at the dance? Were you clear with her about your expectations that she should not dance, nor should she talk to any boys nor stand near enough to be photographed with one?

There will be boys at school dances. They may ask her to dance. She may stand near them. She may even talk to them. She probably already has talked to some of them in class or in the hallway, unless it is an all-girls school (you don't say).

If you knew there would be boys at this event and you let her attend, I think I (and most reasonable people) would consider that as constituting the right to speak with, dance with, and generally enjoy the company of boys in public spaces during the evening.

I think it's very important with preteens (and teens like your DD) to be clear about your expectations and what you mean by things like "dating." A lot of those words have different meanings now than they did when we were young -- and honestly, they had different meanings when we were young than they did when our parents were young! If you don't want her "dating" you need to sit down and define the term. Talk about what you do and don't plan to allow, and give some idea of why.

But at root, I think if you let her go to the dance and you knew there would be boys there, to call her out and say she "lied to you" about speaking to a boy -- even if it is obvious in the picture that they are quite friendly -- makes you the one in the wrong, not her.

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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#27 of 51 Old 08-05-2010, 06:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonee View Post
My dd is only 11, but I'm absolutely confident I don't need to set up dating rules for her because she can do it herself. I trust her and her friends, and I know she has the confidence to make choices based on her own needs. And if she runs into a situation she's not comfortable with, I would really like her to trust me enough to ask for advice.

By forbidding things and setting rather arbitrary rules, I'm not sure if your DD feels she's got the space to trust you enough to be confident you give her the space she wants and are there for her when she needs it.

Also, I've never experienced or heard any good coming from grounding a 14-yo, not from the parent's perspective, anyway
Totally OT but, 11? When did that happen? (Liam is almost 10, so it makes sense, but still, 11?)
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#28 of 51 Old 08-06-2010, 02:09 AM
 
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I'll just throw this in there:

Group dates are a wonderful solution! Dating in groups is soooo much fun!

Our kids are allowed to go on group dates until they're 16. Then the single dates can commence.

Mom, this is one of those forks-in-the-road moments with you and your daughter. Look at the situation very carefully. I suppose she may have lied to you. But please be very careful not to blast her for this.

Frankly, how you approach this with her will help her set the tone for keeping it FUN, and happy and a little less intense, less involved at this tender age. If you have a good attitude about her, and demonstrate that you believe she's just a regular gal who has normal crushes and maybe even wants to kiss a guy... well by golly, she might be quite satisfied with just that for a couple of years.

If your fears are subtly communicating to her that you're afraid she's going to go get in trouble with the first boy she dances with, then she might tune you out, dig in her heels, or worse yet, believe it about herself.

I dearly, dearly wish my parents had not assumed I was a hell bent for leather teen when I was all of 14 years old. I really wasn't.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#29 of 51 Old 08-06-2010, 03:47 PM
 
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Have you explained to her why she should not date at such a young age, or just lay down the law, expecting her to follow it? I don't know if you are a Christian, but there are many excellent books for young Christian women about saving oneself for married, "courting" instead of "dating," avoiding emotional promiscuity, etc.. We are very strict and conservative with our children but we always explain WHY and make sure they understand.

You said all her friends are dating-- perhaps the school / peer environment is an unhealthy one-- would you consider homeschooling, or putting her in a Christian school?

Society will tell you to be "sex positive" and allow her "freedom" but if you have strong beliefs on this matter, and know in your heart that your job is protect her, stick to your guns. But you have to do it in a loving, communicative manner, all the while accepting that it may not work and you must love her just as much nonetheless.

hugs {{}}
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#30 of 51 Old 08-06-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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The OP raises some interesting points, and I'd like to revisit those points. Who was the "date"? When was it arranged? Did her dd feel forced into it and why?

Community is a huge part of life, and this MDC community has come down strongly on the side of the dd and going to the dance.

But, does the OP's real life community support their family? I truly believe that real life is much more important than online life, and there may be many reasons for the parents to resist their daughter's decision to have a date.
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