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#1 of 55 Old 03-14-2012, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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nak, sorry.

my 16 year old is about to freak out bc i want to meet the adults at a bonfire she wants to go to. it's at her boyfriend's cousin's house. now she's saying she just won't go instead of me just meeting the people. this is causing the warning bell to go off in my head bc we've had sneaking/lying issues before. how typical is it to meet the parents/adults in this type situation? how do you handle these types of situations like a bonfire where you do not know anyone except your teenager and her boyfriend you've met once? my 15 year old has had 2 boyfriends and we met their parents. she said it was awkward but no big deal.


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#2 of 55 Old 03-14-2012, 06:58 PM
 
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I would keep insisting on going.  If she's not going now because you want to meet the parents, kind of your right, then she doesn't go.  I've known plenty of bonfires that got out of hand... WITH ADULTS.  I don't know maybe she thinks she'll look uncool.  I always felt that way when my parents met my boyfriends, mostly because they always said the worst things about them later on.

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#3 of 55 Old 03-14-2012, 07:10 PM
 
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My parents always met the other parents for deals like this, and I think it was wise. It let us kids know that our parents were keeping an eye on us, and it let the other parents know that our parents cared. They never stayed. Often, they'd meet beforehand. Sometimes they'd just call and talk to the parents.

 

Could you start with a phone call to the adults and see what the set up is going to be like? (It'd be a good way to find out if the other adults know how many teenagers/young adults are going to be there, whether there will be alcohol, what kinds of safety arrangements are being made for driving afterward, etc.)

 


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#4 of 55 Old 03-14-2012, 08:56 PM
 
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I always approached it the way LynnS6 suggests.  I would call and mention the bonfire, asking if there was anything I could send along (chips, extra hot dogs, whatever) and offering my services in any way.  If invited, I would stop in for a few minutes to say hi and asses the situation.  I don't know that I would thing sneaking and lying right off the bat, more like everyone will think I'm a baby if my mom shows up.

 

As the mother of a son, I can almost guarantee that the boyfriends parents are just as interested in getting to know you.  We worry too!

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#5 of 55 Old 03-14-2012, 10:03 PM
 
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I'll be the odd one out. I would drop it.

 

She's 16. The bottom line is that being overly strict/controlling/involved is, in my mind, linked to teen lying and sneaking around.

 

Send her with a cell phone -- if she needs you, she can call. As another poster pointed out, adults don't keep things under control. Your DD is old enough to make her own decision.

 

Keeping the relationship such that my child would CALL ME if things got out of control would be much more important than the illusion that another adult making pleasant chit chat for 5 minutes meant my kid was safe.

 

What will keep her safe is her own judgment and her having a relationship with YOU where she can tell you the truth, call if things get out of hand, etc. Needing to prove that she was right and you were wrong could get in the way of that.


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#6 of 55 Old 03-15-2012, 01:32 AM
 
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I don't think there is anything wrong with meeting the adults at the bon fire.  I've been to quite a few and most of them had alcohol adults and all.  I would want to check out the situation.  As much as you want your kid to be an adult... I personally would still want to know all was ok.  I only balked at my parents intrusion if I had something to hide. 

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#7 of 55 Old 03-15-2012, 06:16 AM
 
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I would do at least a phone check in, and I would expect that the other parents would be fine with you checking in.  It doesn't have to be a big deal, but it does make you a "presence" in some way, and I don't think that's a bad thing.  I have a younger teen and I am constantly amazed at how easily kids make plans without the parents being involved in any way.  At 16, the stakes are higher in terms of alcohol, driving, etc.

 

I also think it's possible to tell your child that you do trust them, that you will be there if needed, no judgement.  I don't think checking in with the hosts of a teen party precludes that at all.

 

 

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#8 of 55 Old 03-15-2012, 11:05 AM
 
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I'll be the odd one out. I would drop it.

 

She's 16. The bottom line is that being overly strict/controlling/involved is, in my mind, linked to teen lying and sneaking around.

 

Send her with a cell phone -- if she needs you, she can call. As another poster pointed out, adults don't keep things under control. Your DD is old enough to make her own decision.

 

Keeping the relationship such that my child would CALL ME if things got out of control would be much more important than the illusion that another adult making pleasant chit chat for 5 minutes meant my kid was safe.

 

What will keep her safe is her own judgment and her having a relationship with YOU where she can tell you the truth, call if things get out of hand, etc. Needing to prove that she was right and you were wrong could get in the way of that.


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#9 of 55 Old 03-15-2012, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok last night my daughter tells me none of the adults who will be there speak any english at all, so why would i even want to meet them if i can't talk to them?

 

the reason i am suspicious is because we have been through some things with her already. she has snuck and lied about things and it's this kind of evasive behavior that tips us off. she came home from school a few months ago telling us how this guy slapped her and was being expelled. i emailed with her teacher(the one who "witnessed" this whole thing) and he had no idea what she was talking about. there was a whole big meeting with the principal to set things straight and she admitted it was all a lie. here i was worried she's being bullied and that *some guy HIT my baby*! she was sneaking out to smoke cigarettes, and once had her 20 year old boyfriend over when we were not homeand lied to me when i asked her if someone was with her(my neighbor called to let me know). she lies alot about things happening that didn't, and has told people that i got drunk a few nights a week.

 

we are not strict and/or overprotective. i learned that lesson from my own strict parents. they've not had any reason to sneak and lie about age-appropriate activities and the only thing i have ever "freaked out" about was when she had that man/boyfriend over.(i have since learned from her that she was actually scared of him that time bc of what he wanted to do and how pushy he was. she was only 15) i just think we should at the least meet the people the kids will be hanging with.

 

it was nice hearing from a mom of a teen boy...i have 4 daughters and no experience with boys besides watching my brother grow up! boys seem to be much freer than girls for some reason.


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#10 of 55 Old 03-15-2012, 03:12 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

Keeping the relationship such that my child would CALL ME if things got out of control would be much more important than the illusion that another adult making pleasant chit chat for 5 minutes meant my kid was safe.

 

What will keep her safe is her own judgment and her having a relationship with YOU where she can tell you the truth, call if things get out of hand, etc. Needing to prove that she was right and you were wrong could get in the way of that.

 

I do not know if you and your dd are ready yet to pull away to this degree but I generally agree with Linda.  Meeting the adults and being a presence not only may not accomplish anything but it also becomes a past tense strategy at some point.  And what if you meet the adults and feel uncomfortable instead of reassured--do you back up and take dd home based on that judgement? 

 

The difference between secrecy and personal privacy is tricky to sort out anyhow when your dd is making a lot of decisions for herself and she does not want to share things you disapprove of with you.  How ready is she for you to back off?  I don't know, but right now you do need to focus on how to begin at least to support her making decisions herself even if they are sometimes wrong and even if you don't get to find out what some of them are/were.  If you're not there yet you probably need to be working on getting there.

 

We have talked a lot about what-if scenarios and such.  I make sure dd knows that safety is a priority.  I expect her to be around drinking, smoking, sexual activity, and untrustworthy people in some situations and I don't think I should try to keep her away from those situations nor do I expect to know the details of what she goes through.  She knows I'd rather end up with an unexpected overnight even if she can't call me to let me know than an unsafe driver and that has in fact happened.  I have sometimes pushed her pretty hard to look at what she has done or wants to do and how it affects herself and others, just to get her to consider my perspective and notice some of the consequences in a bigger context.  Dealing with dd was torture and torment a couple of years ago with plenty of lies and dirty disrespect beyond belief.  Things have come full circle since then, and although it was a wrestling match getting there once I sorted out the essential boundaries and decided that one way or another everything else was her choice as her own person and her right to choose it became 100% better.   I fought her and she fought like crazy too, did everything I didn't want her to do, and learned way too much way too fast.  It was rough for her.  And here we stand looking back and now she listens to what I say, speaks respectfully, and even regularly takes my advice, by choice, the best surprise. 

 

 

All that said, there is nothing wrong or abnormal about meeting these folks so don't let your dd make you feel otherwise.  Since you have already proposed it you may want to just stick with it.  It is reasonable.  Your job is to parent the best you can and there are no perfect and simple answers.  Be careful about letting your dd become a parenting critic and using your uncertainty to push your  buttons.  It can happen.  Anyhow it's your job to do your job as parent the best you can so try not to let her teen ideal of what kind of parent you should be make you feel judged too much.  We're all a little insecure I think when it comes to parenting teens, some will use it against you. 


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#11 of 55 Old 03-15-2012, 03:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by purplerose View Post

ok last night my daughter tells me none of the adults who will be there speak any english at all, so why would i even want to meet them if i can't talk to them?

 



I think this statement is a little fishy.  None speak English?  None?  That sounds unlikely and fairly unsafe.  If the teens are the only ones who speak English then the supervision probably isn't very careful with that kind of barrier, and it would be a barrier in an emergency as well. 

 

My dd would say anything at all to have her way--her autonomy.  Any lies, any smokescreens, anything.   It was insane and she was making really bad choices at that time. 

 

Just a thought:  Your dd may be using your wish not to be too restrictive against you.  She's arranging it so that you do it her way (no adult-adult contact) or you restrict and say no to the whole thing (including by causing her not choose to go because of your interference--you're still the bad guy who spoiled it--although I think she is bluffing hoping you'll back down).  Unfortunately restricting backfires often so you are avoiding that...  I would be getting really fed up with the sense that I might be getting manipulated with this convenient "reason" to parent her way rather than your way.  My dd may have been more manipulative than yours but from what you're saying there's some similarities so maybe yours is too.


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#12 of 55 Old 03-15-2012, 03:43 PM
 
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IME, not as a mom of a teen, but as an older sister of three teens right now, I would say its not that weird that she doesnt want you to meet the parents. She wants the other people there to think she is grown up enough to just be able to attend a bonfire without her mommy escorting her there and making sure its an okay situation for her daughter. It's not "cool" to have to have approval or permission from your mother when you are 16 years old. Your DD probably fears you being the ONLY parent that insists on meeting the adults, and no one wants to be that kid. Especially if you are going to a place where everyone speaks a different language. I have know knowledge of your daughter's race/boyfriends family's race. I can only speak from knowing that my sister would have freaked out if my white mom walked in and expected to meet the family member's of her Latino boyfriend. She would have felt like my mom was putting her boyfriend's family on the spot and would be afraid that they would feel like they were being judged because of their inability to speak english or cultural differences. So, I dont know your daughter's situation, but the story doesnt sound too fishy to me.

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#13 of 55 Old 03-15-2012, 05:41 PM
 
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OP, meet the adults.  Just do it.  If you have reason to feel it's important than do it.  You're her mother.  Nobody else on this board can possibly have any idea of what is really going on in your lives.  And if your gut says something is not right, then guess what... you need to be sure. 

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#14 of 55 Old 03-15-2012, 06:04 PM
 
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 And what if you meet the adults and feel uncomfortable instead of reassured--do you back up and take dd home based on that judgement? 


 

I'm really curious about this as well. For those who insist on meeting parents *so that you know that adults you feel comfortable with* are supervising your kid, what do you do when you meet the adults and think --"oh dear god'

 

At what point do you let your kid make their own call about what is safe and what isn't, and when to get the heck out? If it's not 16, then when?

 


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#15 of 55 Old 03-15-2012, 07:42 PM
 
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Every kid is different maturity wise.  In your mind is it ever okay to tell your teenager they can't do something if you as a parent do not feel comfortable with it?
 

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I'm really curious about this as well. For those who insist on meeting parents *so that you know that adults you feel comfortable with* are supervising your kid, what do you do when you meet the adults and think --"oh dear god'

 

At what point do you let your kid make their own call about what is safe and what isn't, and when to get the heck out? If it's not 16, then when?

 



 

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#16 of 55 Old 03-15-2012, 08:20 PM
 
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Every kid is different maturity wise.  In your mind is it ever okay to tell your teenager they can't do something if you as a parent do not feel comfortable with it?
 


 

I think that letting our teens grow up forces most parents out of their comfort zone. I know it forces me out of mine.

 

I see my job at this stage to foster my offspring's indepedance and life skills, including decision making ability. So while I do think it is OK for me to say "no" about something, I think that is a power to be used very sparingly.

 

Just because something it out of my comfort zone doens't mean that my teen shouldn't get to do it. One of my teens went to the Ren Fest this year with only other teens. A bunch of teens in a car. A 2 hour drive from our town. That was out of my comfort zone. But I think it was the right thing to do. (She had a blast)

 

I don't think it's typical for parents of a 16 year old to go out of their way to meet parents of their kids love interest du jour. Saying "hi" to them if you are all at the same place, like a school event, sure. Driving across town just to see what they look like, no.

 

I also don't think the OP wants to go to MEET the parents. She wants to go to see if her kid is lying. Which is really a different thing altogether, and I honestly don't know what I would do in the same situation.

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#17 of 55 Old 03-16-2012, 05:51 AM
 
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I'm really curious about this as well. For those who insist on meeting parents *so that you know that adults you feel comfortable with* are supervising your kid, what do you do when you meet the adults and think --"oh dear god'

 

At what point do you let your kid make their own call about what is safe and what isn't, and when to get the heck out? If it's not 16, then when?

 


I'm with Linda. I've met the dates, but meeting the parents? Not necessary. And that's for both of my kids (one of each). And believe me - I have heard stories. Like... the father who would not allow my son into their house for *any*thing. Not even to use the bathroom. The mother who spread rumors about my daughter throughout the PTSO. The father who got physical with his son. But... I trust my kids to judge a situation and know when there's a problem.

 

It's my opinion that, if they are old enough to be dating? They are old enough to start making their own decisions and judgments. Our job as parents is to be a fallback.

 

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#18 of 55 Old 03-16-2012, 10:01 AM
 
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Every kid is different maturity wise.  In your mind is it ever okay to tell your teenager they can't do something if you as a parent do not feel comfortable with it?
 



 



With my two, DH and I never told them they couldn't do something unless it was a legal or safety issue.  Plenty of times we told them we were uncomfortable but stopped short of forbidding it.  For background:  We were careful with "no" all their lives and almost never gave them imperatives.  They ended up trusting that it was really warranted the few times we did.

 

And, back to my first sentence, there's a lot of gray area wrt legality and safety, especially with teenagers.  That's why we explained everything from the beginning, so the focus was on reasons for doing or not doing something rather than who was in control of the decisions or information.  Every kid *is* different, and the greatest part of our responsibility as parents is gauging how ours respond to privilege and responsibility.  My earlier post (#8) about sleep-deprived DS2 and his sleep-deprived lab partner?  I could've contacted the other guy's parents and asked that they take his car keys to insure that the kids wouldn't be driving.  But we built something really good with our kids, and DS2 used it.  He's off completely out of my control now, but he knows a little more about gracefully working with his limits or the limits of those around him, and his family knows a little more about trusting him to be careful.


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#19 of 55 Old 03-16-2012, 03:30 PM
 
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Every kid is different maturity wise.  In your mind is it ever okay to tell your teenager they can't do something if you as a parent do not feel comfortable with it?
 



 



I definitely think it is okay.  I think the OP should feel confident that her parenting decision is just fine and she should stand behind it. 

 

I was questioning whether the OP (or any parent) has in mind what their options are if they are "checking out" a situation or people and don't like what they encounter.  How big of a red flag will you tolerate in a first impression and is a first impression enough to decide anything anyway.  If it's sort of sketchy will you really leave?  How?  Are you picturing being already there, greeting people, your teen greeting people, and then stepping aside and telling her that she has to leave with you after all?  Are you actually going to do that, and how will you decide?  That's all.  If you wouldn't do that because it's rude/embarrassing/would backfire horribly, maybe the idea of meeting them only has token value.  (Or it helps you check out your dd's honesty about the situation, which like Linda said is another concern entirely.)  For me it wouldn't help much because I wouldn't know whether I could trust somebody at a glance and I wouldn't make a teen back out on plans unless there was something extreme going on.  And I wouldn't want my brief hello to be interpreted as a stamp of approval on whatever activities are planned when I don't know enough to approve

 

I absolutely think a parent should say no at times when something makes them uncomfortable.  For a while.  How much of that to do when is part of an individual maturity process.  But whatever you do right now, you need to be progressing toward the time when you will not insert yourself and make that judgment even though you worry and even though your teen could really mess up and even though you feel uncomfortable.  There is a time when despite your discomfort you will almost always need to suck it up and deal with your feelings while your teen walks out the door to do her thing her way.  If now is not the time it is around the corner. 

 

It's helpful to start picturing yourself doing that and considering what you really need from your teen at that time.  You can also talk about trust and honesty and talk about working toward that point.  We sure did.  Dishonesty means greater intervention from mom in order to parent adequately--  Honesty will help dd get exactly what she wants--freedom and parents willing to "butt out". 

 

Later on you'll need to ask yourself and communicate to her what communication you absolutely require for safety.  For me I didn't have to meet the adults, but I did need a physical location genuinely only for the reason that if we never heard from our dd again we would know where to start looking.  (A lot of places around here cell phones don't work.)  Dd could trust me not to show up just to check or because she was late, and I was confident she was telling the truth because I was no longer a threat.  I never had to "use" an address--they were strictly for an emergency.  You can always punch it into Mapquest though :)


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#20 of 55 Old 03-16-2012, 08:09 PM
 
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If the main reason for not meeting the parents is that child will be embarrassed because she is the only one whose parents have come in to meet the host family parents, then this is all the more reason to go and meet the parents, set a trend so that other parents also get confident to meet the parents.    If you know at least one other parent whose kid is attending, maybe you can both agree before hand to go and meet them.

 

I am not there yet, but I am making a note to myself to meet parents of my dd's friends even before she becomes a teen so that nothing will change at that age.   She is only 8 now, and I mostly know all her friends' parents, but there have been a couple of kids who keep showing up to play whose parents I have never met - I thought it was weird, but now I think I will do something about it.


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#21 of 55 Old 03-17-2012, 08:05 AM
 
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Your daughter sounds just like me when I was her age. And...

 

I did smoke, drink and experiment with boys. But I didn't get pregnant or VDs, and I didn't drive drunk, because I was well-informed.

 

She's probably going to continue to experiment, so instead of fighting it, prepare her for what she's doing.

Supply lots of information on the effects of smoking and drinking - in the form of brochures lying around the house kind of thing.

Make sure she has condoms.

 

She'll come out the other side, and you won't have completely lost communication with her because you kept an open line.

 

 

 


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#22 of 55 Old 03-17-2012, 11:10 AM
 
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I think Imakcerka is absolutely right - you have to go with your gut, and you know your kid better than anyone else, including past history.  Still, since you asked, here are my two cents...

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Originally Posted by littlest birds View Post

I think this statement is a little fishy.  None speak English?  None?  That sounds unlikely and fairly unsafe.  If the teens are the only ones who speak English then the supervision probably isn't very careful with that kind of barrier, and it would be a barrier in an emergency as well. 

 

My dd would say anything at all to have her way--her autonomy.  Any lies, any smokescreens, anything.   It was insane and she was making really bad choices at that time. 

 

Just a thought:  Your dd may be using your wish not to be too restrictive against you.  She's arranging it so that you do it her way (no adult-adult contact) or you restrict and say no to the whole thing (including by causing her not choose to go because of your interference--you're still the bad guy who spoiled it--although I think she is bluffing hoping you'll back down).  Unfortunately restricting backfires often so you are avoiding that...  I would be getting really fed up with the sense that I might be getting manipulated with this convenient "reason" to parent her way rather than your way.  My dd may have been more manipulative than yours but from what you're saying there's some similarities so maybe yours is too.


I think that statement is VERY fishy - I think it sounds alot like she is panicking and spinning her wheels because she is being backed into a corner.  This may be unfairly colored by my own experience, but this was EXACTLY how my younger sister acted when we were growing up.  My sister was never a particularly good liar, but lie she did, whenever, wherever and however necessary to get her way.  She was also very dramatic, causing scenes not unlike what you described with the fake punching incident, that turned out to be completely made up.  Finally, she definitely did (and honestly, still sometimes does) play on my parents' emotions about not wanting to upset her or push her too hard or restrict her too much.  

 

Her classic strategies included 1.) lie, even if it is not a particularly good lie, 2.) when questioned, make up crazy reasons and get defensive, 3.) when that doesn't work, emotionally manipulate parents into feeling bad for even trying to figure out where she is going or what she is doing (i.e., make it all about them, not her).

 

And she got herself into alot of situations she was completely unprepared for with drugs, alcohol, drunk driving and sexual advances as a result of her self-created "freedom."  I don't think my parents approach (turning a totally blind eye to her lies and bad behavior) was effective at all.  She did at least know she could call if she needed them, and she did.  I think that is excellent.  But I think there needs to be a gradual process of independence for every teen, based on their personality and behavior - I don't think you automatically shrug your shoulders and say "oh well, she's sixteen!"  Especially not with a kid that has a history of lying and making less than stellar decisions.  She still needs guidance, whether she thinks so or not.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlest birds View Post
There is a time when despite your discomfort you will almost always need to suck it up and deal with your feelings while your teen walks out the door to do her thing her way.  If now is not the time it is around the corner. 

 

It's helpful to start picturing yourself doing that and considering what you really need from your teen at that time.  You can also talk about trust and honesty and talk about working toward that point.  We sure did.  Dishonesty means greater intervention from mom in order to parent adequately--  Honesty will help dd get exactly what she wants--freedom and parents willing to "butt out". 

 

Later on you'll need to ask yourself and communicate to her what communication you absolutely require for safety.  For me I didn't have to meet the adults, but I did need a physical location genuinely only for the reason that if we never heard from our dd again we would know where to start looking.  (A lot of places around here cell phones don't work.)  Dd could trust me not to show up just to check or because she was late, and I was confident she was telling the truth because I was no longer a threat.  I never had to "use" an address--they were strictly for an emergency.  You can always punch it into Mapquest though :)

 

I think this is key.  As other posters have mentioned, this seems to be about both wanting your daughter to be safe and the fact that you can't quite trust her.  Framing it in this way may help her to see that your trust needs to be earned, and she is at ground zero right now based on past history.  I don't think you have the type of relationship to just step away right now.  I do agree it should be a goal for her to learn to make her own decisions, and that ultimately you want to have the kind of relationship where you can trust her to call you, no matter what.  But you're not there yet.  

 

So for now, definitely do whatever feels right to you, and talk to her about moving forward to a place where maybe you don't have to do this.  Make it less about you being the "evil parent" and  explain to her that her untrustworthy behavior is what has led to you feeling the need to check in on her.  If you put that responsibility on her shoulders, it may start to change things for the better. 


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#23 of 55 Old 03-17-2012, 05:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I'll be the odd one out. I would drop it.

 

She's 16. The bottom line is that being overly strict/controlling/involved is, in my mind, linked to teen lying and sneaking around.

 

Send her with a cell phone -- if she needs you, she can call. As another poster pointed out, adults don't keep things under control. Your DD is old enough to make her own decision.

 

Keeping the relationship such that my child would CALL ME if things got out of control would be much more important than the illusion that another adult making pleasant chit chat for 5 minutes meant my kid was safe.

 

What will keep her safe is her own judgment and her having a relationship with YOU where she can tell you the truth, call if things get out of hand, etc. Needing to prove that she was right and you were wrong could get in the way of that.


I agree with Linda,I trust my almost 17 yr old and she has yet to give me a reason not too. She has a cell phone and checks in often,is allowed to date as in ride in a car with her boyfriend or friends. I have met all of dates/boyfriends (the 4 she has had) and 3 parents because she wanted me too not because I insisted. Unless we are either with them 24/7 or can GPS track them with cell phones they can say they will be in one place but actually be somewhere else so meeting the adult or parent does not always help.

 


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#24 of 55 Old 03-17-2012, 09:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cheery View Post

If the main reason for not meeting the parents is that child will be embarrassed because she is the only one whose parents have come in to meet the host family parents, then this is all the more reason to go and meet the parents, set a trend so that other parents also get confident to meet the parents.  

 

So if a mother's parenting is out of line with the community norms where she lives, and if sticking with her first instinct drives a wedge in her relationship with her child, that's a reason to continue?  Because the goal of parenting is..... what exactly?

 

I do not believe that the reason that more parent opt not to drive across town to meet the parents of their teens' friends is lack of confidence. I think it is more likely because they consider the behavior odd.

 

When dropping my 13 year old off for a slumber party at a house where I've never meet the parents, I  go to the door and say Hi, thank you for hosting my child, ect. When I see parents who've I never spoken to but I know that their kid hangs out with mine at school, I go say Hi, my child enjoys your child so much -- blah blah blah.

 

But when she is 16 I will not be following her around on dates. There is line. 

 

I am not there yet, but I am making a note to myself to meet parents of my dd's friends even before she becomes a teen so that nothing will change at that age.   She is only 8 now,

 

So many things change between 8 and 15 1/2 (which is the age of my oldest). My kids worlds are so much bigger, they go so many more places, they know so many more people, they make their own plans, they have friends with cars.

 

Meeting your children's friends now is GREAT idea, I'm all for it. But doing so isn't going to me that she'll be OK with you following her around when she is 16.


 

 


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#25 of 55 Old 03-18-2012, 07:03 PM
 
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Only being 8 years past 16, this is my 2 cents. I wouldn't have minded if my mom wanted to meet my friends parents at a bonfire I was going to IF if wasn't doing anything wrong. Usually I was a good kid, hung out with people my mom would approve of etc. Now there were times I was doing things I knew I shouldn't be and those times I would have freaked out if my mom wanted to meet the parents. Mainly because there probably wouldn't have been parents around like I told my mom. I see no reason for a parent not to be able to check in/on their child whenever. Shes 16, not 18 and for that matter still living in your house. She has the rest of her life to be grown and make her own decisions, now she is still a child who still needs support and guidance from her parent. It doesn't matter if your parenting choices aren't popular, youre her parent and if she wants to go then this is what is expected.


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#26 of 55 Old 03-19-2012, 08:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by hippiemombian View Post

Only being 8 years past 16, this is my 2 cents. I wouldn't have minded if my mom wanted to meet my friends parents at a bonfire I was going to IF if wasn't doing anything wrong. Usually I was a good kid, hung out with people my mom would approve of etc. Now there were times I was doing things I knew I shouldn't be and those times I would have freaked out if my mom wanted to meet the parents. Mainly because there probably wouldn't have been parents around like I told my mom. I see no reason for a parent not to be able to check in/on their child whenever. Shes 16, not 18 and for that matter still living in your house. She has the rest of her life to be grown and make her own decisions, now she is still a child who still needs support and guidance from her parent. It doesn't matter if your parenting choices aren't popular, youre her parent and if she wants to go then this is what is expected.


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#27 of 55 Old 03-19-2012, 05:32 PM
 
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My son is almost 16 and has had a couple of girlfriends now.  He and his current girl have been going together for many months and seem pretty serious.  At some point fairly early on in their dating, I had a chance to introduce myself to her parents and took that chance to make sure they had my phone number should they ever need it--very casual and cool, and let them know that we really enjoyed getting to know their daughter.  A few months later, a minor incident arose where we did need to have a conversation and it opened the door to a more open communication about expectations and limitations.  It was a good check in and positively focused.  

 

We are on the same page about the need for over sight:  not hanging out either home if no adults are present, checking in on a land line or from the parent host's phone when out at a friend's house or going from place to place.  There are also some specific rules we shared-- she is not allowed to ride with any teenage drivers at this point, we do not allow my son to give rides on the back of his snowmobile (a main winter time mode of transportation here) to anyone.   As they mature, this may change, but right now it's just how it goes.  They respect it and seem to find plenty of time to hang out, but within easy oversight of siblings and family.

 

I have made it really clear to both the girl and her parents that a ride from me--for either of them-- is always available if needed, no questions asked right then and there (consequences to follow later, if needed).   Same from her parents to the kids (and me).  I do realize we are lucky that we have the same basic framework and expectations, and I also realize they are likely finding plenty of time to be alone.  It's part of growing up.

 

I'm in a pretty small town/rural area and MOST parents do know each other at least a little. That does make it much easier when dropping my son off at a party or get together to just stick my head in the door to say hi and check in with the adult..  The offer to bring over food or beverages is a good line, and takes the pressure off the kids a little bit.  

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#28 of 55 Old 03-19-2012, 05:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiemombian View Post

 Shes 16, not 18 and for that matter still living in your house. She has the rest of her life to be grown and make her own decisions, now she is still a child who still needs support and guidance from her parent.


 

I don't think a 16 year old is a child. And I don't think that magically on one's 18th's birthday, they no longer need guidance from parents. I suspect that my kids will be in and out of my house for a long time because they are planning on graduate school, so I don't buy the "my house, live like you are 7 thing" because I would my kids to feel quite comfortable coming back between semesters when they are in the early 20s. Ego, every rule has to have a better reason than "I"m the mommy and this is my house."

 

I find the idea of meeting other parents to check up on things a creepy and oddly intrusive. I'm sure the parent on the other end will pick up on that energy. It's quite different than meeting other parents in a "it take a community to raise kids, so let's all be community" kind of spirit.  The OPer isn't the least bit interested in meeting or getting to know the other parents, she just wants to know if her kid is lying (again).

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#29 of 55 Old 03-19-2012, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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actually it started out as me wanting to meet the adults at this bonfire, just as i have always met the adults wherever my children were going to be. it turned into suspicion after my daughter reacted the way she did.

 

so what happened is my daughter decided she did want to go after all (it was in our neighborhood). her boyfriend came and they hung out til time to be there, then his sister told him it was "too awkward" for my daughter to be there so he just hung out at our house instead. i have no idea what that was all about. i did not involve myself in any of this except to know which house it would be and tell her what time to come home.

 

those of you who said your daughter/sister was like my daughter, how do you think her behavior could be handled better? i was raised with an iron fist and found extreme ways to sneak around. i ended up running away. i decided not to raise mine like that but apparantly i went too far the other way or something! sometimes i feel clueless. i admit that i am sometimes a crappy mother and have made many mistakes, all in the name of being a better parent than my own were. sigh. a positive aspect though is both my teens have been comfortable enough to come to me with confessions or for advice, so all is not totally lost!

 

sorry for no punctuation, i only am online when nursing so i use one hand.


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#30 of 55 Old 03-19-2012, 06:19 PM
 
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I know a lot of young adults as we live near a College.  A lot of them are sort of immature, and that is okay, but legally they are grownups.  I guess I am used to treating them as though they have every right to live life in their immature ways as adults, and I know that we are moving toward that with dd.  So I have consciously begun to assume that she will account to herself for herself for many things.

 

I go for "my house my rules" pretty selectively, but they are more like the things I would ask of a roommate.  Dd actually even has a curfew before my bedtime which may seem pretty controlling toward a 17yo, but is also allowed to have sleepovers with her boyfriend or request curfew exceptions.  We lock up the house at night and she's supposed to be in before that time because she doesn't remember to lock the doors and we don't want to wait up.  So the curfew is related to household function.  She is expected to do chores and not leave messes behind for others--this isn't because she is a child and I control her but because she lives here and it's the fair way for human beings to live together.  If she uses things that belong to me, I may say how she can use it or not.  And I am pretty pushy about stopping any kind of mean talk because she has had such problems being very harsh toward her siblings.  I would require that respect of anyone, not because she is my child but because I am looking out for the needs and boundaries of my other children. 

 

We have in fact had several conversations in which we talked about the fact that no matter who she lives with in the future as roommates these are the kinds of things people need from each other, and as her family we expect to be treated as well as a friend or roommate living in community with her could expect in the future.  Not worse.  But she can consider it practice.  Eventually I think she saw it that way.   

 

It's not like we are completely permissive because dd is 17yo but we are quite permissive about some things and very clear on our reasons for anything we insist upon.  And sometimes we have had to insist very firmly and repeatedly. 

 

I tried to stop her from smoking for a long, long while because it was a battle worth fighting.  I failed in that.  And it was one of the things she decides for herself now.  And go figure--she quit.  There was a time when her body became her own even on that level and even though I 100% disapproved.  She made and absolute mess of her life, but what she did with her autonomy when I stopped trying to be in control was to clean up that mess.  A lot of things came together to make that the right time though.  

 

Good luck OP and keep an eye toward the future.  I hope it improves over time for you as it has for us.

    

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