October 12, 2010,
D.M. asks from San Juan, PR on October 12, 2010
Caught My 16 Yr Old Daughter Sneaking Out with an 18 Year Old Boy!
Hello, i recently found out my daughter sneaking out with an 18 year old boy. She confessed this had been the 3rd time BUT also confessed she had sex with him! Her father still does not know and we (my husband and i) believe it should be her to let him know what she did. I'm afraid of what he might do to both her and this guy! I need advice on how this process can be done in a safer way. I also need punishment ideas. We are considering putting her in a boarding school. Is this too heavy? Need advice desperately! I have no idea of what to do!
I want tomake one thing clear, this guy at his age aleady has 2 babies, does not study or work! This is DEFINITELY NOT the kind of boyfriend I want my daughter. If she is going to have sex, I'm sorry to all of you who think I'm totally out of touch with reality, but it's not going to be with this guy.
T.N. answers from Albany on October 12, 2010
Oh my goodness, D.! She's probably the FIRST 16 year old girl to have sex in the history of time, too!
It's obvious by your reaction that she's sexually active WHY she's sneaking out to do it!
If you haven't already (and really why haven't you?), take her to the OB/GYN, get her some birth control, have her tested, buy her some condoms, right away.
You can use this as a bonding opportunity, she is a young WOMAN now, until we find a way to stop puberty from coming until their 21, they WILL be having sex as teenagers!
Have a (humble, non-threatening) talk with her. Tell her you want to make sure she's doing it for the right reasons, she doesn't feel pressure, she doesn't do it to hold onto her man, etc...
Let her know she can ALWAYS talk to you without fear of getting in trouble about EVERYTHING, especially SEX.
It's clear she doesn't feel safe NOW if she is sneaking out.
It would break my heart if my daughter was afraid to come with me with the big issues in her life, she and I are a TEAM in business of her life. I'm sure there are some things she keeps from me, but overall we have a very open comfortable relationship.
I would be upset if I caught her sneaking out, but it's unlikely that'll happen. She doesn't NEED to sneak out.
Gotta show a non threatening interest in everything she does, draw her out, make her feel safe talking to you.
You think there's no sex at boarding schools?
She's 16 now, gonna have to change the way you motherhood somewhat.
I'm not sure it's anything her father needs to be involved in, unless he too will be loving and listen and guide her gently. Threats and punishments will only force her further away from both of you.
The goal is to keep her close.
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S.W. answers from Amarillo on October 12, 2010
Wow, hold on! I know you are upset about what you found out and how but at least she told you. She may have wanted to tell you all along but was not sure how you would respond. It kind of sounds as if you kept her very tight to the vest. You controlling her every move (sounds like a preachers kid syndrome, sorry ladies). I have a friend who has 4 daughters and they all rebelled in a similar way and three have had kids; the fourth has not. But she and her husband were very strict and had said rules which did not work. She now realizes it was too much and has 4 grandsons; two of which live her and her husband who is now retired. Talk about a strain on the marriage.
I have a grown daughter but found out about her being active in high school. The cat was out the bag but we did go to the doctor and it was the same GYN that I have and he had a good talk with her. She waited until she was older because of the sex classes that were presented in DODDs school system (military, overseas) where they show every disease full blown and they had to watch a birth.
It is hard to realize your precious baby is no longer a little girl but a young woman. You hope that your daughter will wait until she is married before having done the deed so to speak but in this day and age that is not going to happen unless you are in a glass tube somewhere. So sit down calmly and discuss with her her adult options for her future as to where does she see herself in 1, 2, 4, 5 years? Is she going to go to school/college or work or what? If she has a child who is going to take care of it? I hope not you as you did not make it. Do go to an unwed or teen mom's clinic and let her speak to the girls there. The girls there will have an earful for her. Let her make a budget and get a 5 pound sack of flour to carry around for a week and take it to school and be responsible for it as if it were a child. Maybe your school has one of those crying babies she can borrow for a week and see how she feels about the changes in her life. I say this because if the boy has 2 kids now he sure isn't into taking of this one either if it should occur.
I like how one poster mentioned to the young man that you would contact his parents and such and let them know that he would be taking care of this child even if he didn't take care of the others. If he is man enough to put in it someone he is man enough to take care of it. As I told my son, "if you play you pay." And he did play and is taking care of his son (another story).
Boarding school will teach her how to really have fun and do whatever she wants without thinking of any consequences so that is not a good idea. A reasonable grounding of 3 weeks and limited access to ipods, internet, texting would be better and all devices turned into you at certain hour each night. Let her earn her items back so that she knows there are consequences to our actions.
All you can do now is to love her and treat her more as an adult and go from here. The road will continue to be bumpy but maybe the bumps wiill be little and not mountains. Life is what we make it and we have to learn to live and live to learn. Some of us will not touch the hot stove is some one says it is hot and other will touch and burn their hand because they don't believe us.
May you two bridge the gap and come back together as women in a good relationship. You will both be in my thoughts.
The other S.
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L.M. answers from Washington DC on October 12, 2010
I sympathize with you and your situation. I have two daughters and am not looking forward to the issues of the teenage years. I definitely think boarding school is too heavy, though. Think back to when you were her age and things you did, that as a kid did not seem so bad, but now as a parent, seem terrible.
It is actually a blessing that she got caught because now you can educate her on the risks involved with her behavior. I would take her to an ob/gyn and have HER tell the doctor that she needs to get checked for STD's because she is sexually active - that may be a way to get her to learn her lesson. Talk to them ahead of time to let them know that you want your daughter to hear about all of the horrible symptoms of STD's, etc that she could contract and how common they really are, as well as the facts on teenage pregnancy. If she wants to act like an adult, she needs to know the risks that come with that behavior.
I am not sure how your normally discipline her, or what kinds of priveleges she currently has, but she has betrayed your trust by sneaking out. For me, lying is NOT acceptable for any reason. I think she should start back at square one and slowly earn back her priveleges as you see fit. Make her work for earning your trust back!
Good luck and let us know how things turn out,
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K.M. answers from Houston on October 12, 2010
Here's the approach I have taken in matters of trust. That's what this is, a matter of trust and respect.
First, the health issue. Take her to the doctor to be tested for STDs. Use your own judgement about birth control. I have an opinion there but only your opinion matters at this point.
Second, talk calmly with your daughter and explain that we all earn trust through trustworthy behavior. Trust is like a bank account. With dependable behavior the bank account is full. With behavior like sneaking out with a boy the bank account is empty. She went from 100% trust to 0 trust. She can fill up the trust bank account with trustworthy behavior.
Driving a car takes trust. No more car until she has shown that she is trustworthy. Being out without parents requires trust. No more being out without parents until she has earned it with good behavior. You get the idea. Act like a deliquient, get treated like one. Act like a responsible young woman, get treated like one.
You can't lock her in her room and you can't keep her from having sex. You can spend every waking moment letting her know how very much you care about her, and you can tell the boyfriend that you will be his worst nightmare if he comes near her again. I don't know what legal action you can take when they sneak out, but you can find out and let him know that you will take whatever legal action you can. This might be a good time for a man to man (or man to creep) talk between father or step-father and the boy.
Next, please help her to understand that anyone who will come and help her sneak out and violate her parents trust and her own safety is not a good choice of people to be with. He has shown that he doesn't care for her, he only cares about what he wants, which is sex. She needs to see that his behavior was not an act of love for her, but a selfish act. She deserves better. Let her know that you want her to eventually be with someone who will want what's best for her, just like you do.
I wish you well. Parenting teenagers is hard work.
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L.M. answers from Dover on October 12, 2010
Your daughter is now a young woman and it is gonna be tough. She is 16 but he is only two years older; however, depending on the laws in your state he could be in BIG trouble (here in DE since she is 16 and it is only a two-year age difference he would not be unless it was NOT consentual). Check the laws in your state, that may help you have some leverage with her (she probably cares about him and wouldn't want him to get in trouble).
Get her to a doctor for a check up, start birth control (even if you don't want her to be sexual active, it is better than the alternative) and educate her on safe sex (in case she doesn't abstain). Her health is too important to risk.
I would not put her in boarding school for this. She needs to see you love her even though you don't approve of her current choices.
Was she sneaking out because she knew you wouldn't approve of the boy? If so, why? I would suggest that you punish her (ground her) and limit her access to phones/computers, etc for a reasonable amount of time. During this time, you should have the boy over and explain that you do not approve of your daughter's and his actions. If he wants to continue to see your daughter, he needs to show her and your family the respect that is deserved. This includes: honoring curfews and other rules, coming to the door and asking for her like a respectable person, and resisting his teenage hormones. Explain that she is now grounded for x amount of time. After that time, tell him that you want to have him over for dinner and to get to know him better. Then, you will consider allowing him to date her but he needs to know upfront that you are not yet impressed.
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E.M. answers from Los Angeles on October 12, 2010
When i was in high school i snuck out to meet my now husband. I snuck out just because my parents wouldn't let me date at sixteen. I was supposed to stay home after school do homework and chores and then find something to entertain myself to sleep. They Rarely let anyone come over. And all my friends were scared of my step father. I turned to books and lived in them my whole high school life. When my parents found out that i ws sneaking out they completely grounded me for six months. No tv no radio, no electronics at all. No phone calls and they stoped allowing me to walk to school (i always walked with a few of my friends and my husband). The rides continued until i graduated.
Of course all this did was make me and him try even harder to stay together. We cut out all our friends and spent all time possible with each other. The only time i hung out with my friends was in classes i din't haves with him.
What I'm saying is whatever you choose don't overdo it because you could end up doing more harm than good.
As for the two kids thing this guy is obvously someone who messes around and doesn't attemp to stay with his girlfriends. But your daughter will not listen to you if you bash her boyfriend. you need to do stuff carefully or you'll have a grandchild in the next couple of years. She has to find out for herself that this guy is a looser. Have her talk with his ex's. Bring them all over and have her watch their kids while all of you talk. You know the ex's will help to steer her away from him.
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L.A. answers from Austin on October 12, 2010
Good advice so far except to do not press charges.. Your daughter was a willing participant and so what legal trouble would you be willing for her to face? Juvenile delinquent? Minor out past City Curfew? How many times? She would also face charges based on her side of the story.
Once you have had your daughter checked by a doctor and placed on Birth Control, Have her boyfriend and her sit down and explain "what their plans are".. This will scare the beegsus out of them.. Let them know if daughter gets pregnant, you will make sure this boy pays child support for the child and that he will need to make the arrangements for the care of the baby, because your daughter will not miss one day of school, till she graduates. Also let your daughter know, you will not be caring for any child that you did not give birth to yourself.
Let them know daughter will be grounded for 2 weeks? Or whatever you feel is fair.. do not go overboard. This means she can not go out on dates for 2 weeks. Will have limited use of the internet and her cell phone during this time.
. And that boyfriend will have to come to the door in the daylight to pick up daughter for any type of date. They will need to tell you their plans and keep you all updated on any changes and that you are going to do surprise check ups on them until you can trust them again.. (And do it) He will need to give you his cell phone numbers and his parents cell phone numbers in case of emergency.. (again, will freak him out).
Let him know you are concerned because if a man really loves a woman he will show her respect and especially respect her parents rules, because he would not want her to get into any sort of trouble. Parents need to know there children are safe and where they are at all times and this young man has now made your security wane.
Then let them know if this happens again, all hell is going to break loose and they will regret that they ever messed with mama..
I am sending you strength. I do think if daughter is old enough to be on Birth Control and having sex, she and her boyfriend also are old enough tho tell her dad about what has been going on. I would mention it to her to see if she is mature enough to handle it.. She may all of a sudden realize she is not as grown up as she originally thought..
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K.H. answers from Dallas on October 12, 2010
Wow!! This is the kind of thing we as mothers always try to prepare ourselves for in case the day comes. I know this must be difficult for you.
From your post, I am assuming that you and your daughter's father are divorced and that you have remarried. I think her father should know about this. But, if you're worried about his reaction being violent, then maybe you should schedule a time where you and your daughter meet him in a neutral location (your church w/a minister or a counselor's office...) to discuss it. Be prepared and be with her. She is only 16 and has proven by these actions how very immature she still is. She needs her mother. I wouldn't send her away. She needs your guidance.
I don't see a possible way to "punish" someone for having sex. Make her understand how disappointed you are in her actions and impose consequences for the rules she broke and for betraying your trust. Setting boundaries with the goal of rebuilding trust and giving her responsibilities to recognize the consequences of these actions would be beneficial though. Have her volunteer at the NICU in a hospital and take her to your dr.'s office for HIV testing. She knows she was wrong or she would've felt comfortable walking out the front door with your approval. She is behaving childishly, so mother this child. Pushing her away and sending her to boarding school would be easier, but not best.
Good luck and know that you will be in my thoughts.
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