November 19, 2008,
L.W. asks from Cleveland, OH on November 09, 2008
Afraid 12 Year Old Step-daughter Is Sexually Active. What Can I Do?
Here is the situation...my 12 year old step-daughter who doesn't live with us, spends LOTS of time text messaging and no time studying (last report card 2 F's, 2 D's, and a C-). I have been in her life since she was 1 and her mother always dismisses EVERYTHING! No parenting at all, many boyfriends, etc. Anyhow, she is well developed (34C) and she had a friend sleep over this weekend. Well, when her friend left, she told her mom that my SD ignored her, spent most of her time texting her "boyfriend" and when her friend suggested some girl talk, she said she was WAY beyond that and doesn't want her parents to know all about her sexuality. We don't have anything concrete yet, but what should we do? If DH says anything to her mom, she will brush it off and say mind your own business, like she always does! Her phone is dead and she didn't bring the charger so no way to check her text messages. At this point I have no clue what to do...she is headed down the wrong path. She is home with no parent from 3:30 until 6:00 4 nights a week. Lot's can happen in 2.5 hours. We see her 4 nights a month and if her bad attitude continues (forgot to mention that part), then I don't want her here at all influencing my young children. I suggested to DH that next time she comes, he takes her phone for the weekend and "explores" it. Not sure if that is right either. Please help! Don't want to become a step-grandma before 40!
K.V. answers from Indianapolis on November 10, 2008
TALK TO HER!!!! This girl is reaching out for somebody to talk to her. 12 yrs old is way to young for this. You may not feel it is your business to do, but her mother is not handling the situation. My oldest son is 12. Almost everyone tells me he is too young to talk to about sex. BS!! If he can tell me about what boys are talking about at school, he is not too young. I have responded to many, many posts by saying be blunt and honest with your kids. My mom was not with me. I made good grades, so she turned a blind eye. I did not even tell her when I started my period. I first had sex at 14, and regret it to this day. I wish my mom had talked to me. If you are worried about being the step-parent, don't. My step-dad that raised me is no longer married to my mom, but he is still my 2nd dad. I am closer to him than my real dad. He was the one who tried to "lasso me in" but my mom was not on a united front with him. I spent many turbulent teenage years rebelling. You are not replacing her mom by being there for her. You being there, whether it works or not, could change that girls life forever. Be her friend. Take her on a girly date and get her to open up. It may not be easy at first, but she is a little girl reaching out, even if it doesn't seem like it now.
1 mom found this helpful
E.M. answers from South Bend on November 10, 2008
By all means I think Dad should be checking her phone. Check it, tell her why and have a discussion with her about what you find. Even if she hasn't had sex yet it is time for Dad to talk to her about what boys are thinking about at this age. She is thinking about love, sex and romance the boy is thing about how to get in her pants. Especially if he is older and doesn't have anyone who cares at home either. It maybe be best left up to Dad to do this depending on how good the two of communicate. They are looking for love in all the wrong places. I would also see if Dad is willing and her mom to have her come to your house for "dinner" on the nights she is home alone, that will at least keep her from being home alone and she can spend some more family time with the parents that can care. Good luck and pray for her.
M.S. answers from Bloomington on November 12, 2008
talk to her! ask her what is really going on.
J.F. answers from Toledo on November 10, 2008
Ok, I don't have step children, but my kids have a step-dad. In our family, mom and dad (stepdad) are the people responsible for the kids. Not me being responsible for my kids and him needing to ask my permission to take any action with them. If he sees a situation that needs to be dealt with, he deals with it and informs me later. IMO, you should not even be questioning if you are in any position to handle this or not. When you married your husband, you also married his children. It is your RESPONSIBILITY to care for and be concerned about her just as you would your own kids. This idea that you really have no part in this and that you have to take a back seat on this one is absurd! Yes, your husband should absolutely be involved in all of this, but this child needs a mother, and obviously hers is not it. If this was your daughter (fast-forward 11 years), would you even hesitate on dealing with this? I don't think so. Take control of this situation and be the MOM! Your husband obviously trusts your parenting skills, otherwise he wouldn't have married and had children with you!
S.D. answers from Indianapolis on November 10, 2008
A.S. answers from Indianapolis on November 10, 2008
Unfortunately, as a step mom, you don't have much to ay or do. Your husband will have to do the work or the biological mom and since she isn't interested, there isn't a whole lot of wiggle room here. I was in a similar situation for a while until my step kids decided their mothers was a better place to live because they got away with everything and no parenting. Is there any way to get more visitation? Who pays for the phone? If you pay for the phone, then take it away, but since you don't see her that much, it is up to the mom, who seems to be letting her ruin her life.
M.P. answers from Indianapolis on November 10, 2008
Since you are the "step" mom, it would probably be more productive to have your husband step in. He needs to have an open talk with his daughter. Let her know that every time a person has sex there is the potential to have a baby. And also, if she attends church, maybe the youth minister can talk to her.
Hubby also needs to talk to his ex and see if they can work out something so that the girl has supervision 24/7. Taking the cell phone away is a good option also. I don't understand parents letting their kids text all the time. At age 12, she should not be dating. Boy/girl stuff should be school or church functions only.
D.K. answers from Indianapolis on November 19, 2008
At that age, YES, you SHOULD be taking the phone. If she is offended by that, then that tells you something in itself. You need to tell her you're doing it NOT to invade her privacy but rather for her own protection. She is NOT old enough to make her own decisions. If that were so, she could get her own apartment, etc.
NO MATTER WHAT THE OTHER PARENT DOES OR DOESNT DO.....STEP up and be a REAL parent. If you have to try and get custody, do what you have to do for this child. I'm going thru the very same thing right now with a mom who does NOTHING and tries to keep things from dad when they do happen!
Fortunately, she's only six and HOPEFULLY hasn't experienced anything sexually yet. HOWEVER, based on the fact that her mom lets the guy she lives with SLEEP with the daughter...even when she's not around, give her baths, etc....we're not sure. We can only hope, pray and talk to her about what is right and what to avoid. Mom has NO boundaries whatsoever. We're goin for full custody for the protection and best interest of the child!