12 answers

How to Limit My Teen's Time with a "Bad Influence" Friend?

So my teenage daughter's best friend is polite, well mannered, fun to be with - but I've learned that she's "been with" a number of different boys on one night stands to varying degrees and my daughter and she have gotten drunk together while at this girl's house. I knew that the parent's guidelines were much looser than ours but was surprised at how this could have happened - the parents went out for dinner and stayed out for hours when my daughter slept over. The mom told me they were going out to dinner - but I expected it would be 1 or 2 hours - not 5+. I was never a fan of sleepovers and I'm even less now. As far as the sex, I'm not sure why this girl is so willing to allow boys to go so far with her - she has "gone all the way" with one boy recently and has performed oral sex for other boys, etc. I know this becuase my daughter shares it with me when she learns about it - asking my opinion, etc. My daughter has a "boyfriend" at school although she's not allowed to date. He's been to our house to watch movies (in our living room) and she's been to his (I've talked with his mom the one time she went to his house to make sure she'd be home) who is very much on the same page with me - the kids have to stay in the LR, etc. So i don't think my daughter has done any more than kiss - but I can see how she thinks it's not abnormal to go farther - and I really believe that kids this age are just not prepared for the emotional consequences of sex.
I'm tring to encourage my daughter to widen her circle of friends, I think that if I tell her she can't hang out with this girl then she'll want to all the more. It's not that I dislike this girl - it's that I don't want my daughter to think this girl's behavior is the norm and is appropriate for 14 yr old girls. I'm glad my daughter is sharing this information with me - and I think by doing so she subconsciously wants me to limit her time with this girl. Of course, as a result of these revelations I'm also aware that my daughter may be more involved in sexual stuff than I realize but I really can't imagine how or where since I pick her up at school (I only work while the kids are in school) and drive her every where she goes - and I call parents to make sure they're going to be around. I let my guard down with this girls family and the drinking episodes occured - which was before she had this "boyfriend". Also the school posts attendence by class daily - so I can go on to my family's portal and see her attendence so I know she's not cutting classes or school to spend time with this boy.
Any suggestions? she has other friends but I guess they're not as much fun as this girl. I can see cracks in the friendship and I have to say I'd like to find a way to encourage it to fizzle. Any suggestions from parent's who've alreay been through this stuff with their kids? This teenage stuff is so much harder to deal with than I expected!

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

The revelations about the grils drinking was an episode that took place over the summer My DD didn't tell me until months later. I've already cut out any time at this girls house - all socializing must be at our house. I've also stopped all sleepovers - and if/when they begin again it will only be at our hosue. My DD does know about sex and STD's - the health program at our school district is VERY detailed and before any of that I had already had a series of talks about sex, how God intended it as a very special and wonerful thing between married people to bond them together. We talk about sex from time to time as I think it's a constant education process - not a one time thing. We've also talked, many times, about how physcial-ness between a boy & girl bonds them in a way that's never intended an interferes with their ability to see the relationship clearly and to percive when it should end. She's already asked me "how far is too far"? And I've told her that even making out at this age is not a good thing becuase it just "gets the engine started". We've also talked about how one person's germs can be transferred to so many other people through physical contact. I've asked her about her opinion of this other girls' actions, what other people think about this other girl, what do you think the boys who've used her think about her? My DD has a pretty accurate view of the situation - but she feels a loyalty to her and when I've told her I'd like her to limit her time with her - but still be firneds, she has gotten defensive.

Overall I think most of you mamas have helped me to solidify my intent on this. I've shared all of this information with my husband, and we've agreed that we need to make our home the gathering place. We're investing in our finished basement, we spent last weekend cleaning out all the kid toys, etc, and have re-doubled our efforts to make our house the place the kids want to hang out with friends.

Also as it relates to the boy's mom - they live in a very small apartment - she's super conservative like we are and I actually have more confiedence in her parenting skills than this other girls' parents. Also - I'm certain that my daughter hasn't been to this grils house with the "boy who's a friend" since he's been in footbal after school and my daughters been in track - our school district is so large, and they live on opposite ends of the district that they could never walk the distance between the two houses.

As it relates to keeping them busy, my daughter is in sports, she volunteers at church, she's in dance, youth group & a discipleship class at church and is always on the honor roll. My mom who is dying of cancer lives with us and my daughter is often in her apartment, making her bed, helping her do stuff, she also has serious chores around the house (cleans the bathrooms, vacuums and mops the kitcher floor, etc.) So I'm keeping her as busy as I possible can!

Again, thnks mamas for your advice - I jsut never thought that "my daugher" would be faced with this stuff - I don't know what I was thinking - how did I think I could escape this - expecially living in the shadow of NYC in a community that is very liberal? My DD does look older than she is (thankfully she's not busty - so that's not an issue) but she's a tall pretty girl so I'm faced with stuff at 14 that my brother/SIL don't have with their 14 yr old becuas she looks much younger than she is. It's a crazy world - the stuff I didn't deal ith until I was 17 they have to confront at such an early age!

Thanks Mamas!

Featured Answers

As the parent I would limit my daughters time with the young lady. As a parent sometimes i would not believe when another parent tells me that they are just going to sit on the couch and watch tv, i think i would engage a general convo to see what kind of vibe i get from the other parent. I am so done with just going with what people say ecspecially when it comes to the children.

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I don't have a teen, but my husband and I have worked with the teenagers at our church for over 7 years. It is scary all the things that are out there for kids to get exposed to. I would limit the amount of time your daughter spends at this friend's house. I would explain your values to your daughter so she clearly understands them. (I am sure you have done this since it seems she comes to you with things) Tell her she can talk to you about anything without being judged. It is crucial to keep the communication lines open. Also, the next time she talks about what this other girl has done ask your daughter how she feels about it. What does she think of her friend? What would she do in this situation? ect. Getting her talking and thinking about decisions is good. Good luck.

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I don't have a teen, but I'm a HS teacher so I work with lots and lots of them.

I'd do nothing serious. Continue to listen to your daughter. If she wants to end the friendship, she will. Be glad that you are having an open and honest relationship with your daughter. If she feels like she's going to be "punished" by that relationship (i.e. you trying to limit her friendships) she's going to clam up.

If you're uncomfortable with her going over to that friend's house, I'd make sure you make it MUCH more about her parents than the behavior of the girl. Say you're uncomfortable not knowing how long the parents are going to be out, and encourage them to come to your house. Who knows? Maybe her friend is hoping for a little more parental guidance and support, too.

Good luck.

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First of all do not be afraid to speak with your daughter about sex. Let her know how you feel about premarital sex, about the dangers of unprotected sex and be sure to really have an in depth discussion (often) about her future plans and dreams.. Let her know you are not prepared to be a grandmother.

I remember I would speak with our daughter about graduating from high school, going away to college, then getting an exciting job, travel, being able to own her own home, decorate it the way she wanted.. I asked her what color would you paint YOUR living room? What style of furniture do you like? If you could choose you own first pet, what would it be?.. This way she focused on her future , that did not include a baby or a long time boyfriend.. until after she had a chance to do lots of the things she wanted to to..

We also spoke a lot about teen pregnancy, what the responsibilities would be. How it would alter her life and dreams.. When we saw a pregnant teen, we would speak about what she would need to be prepared to experience in her life.. What she was going to miss out on, how much work it was going to take and how she would totally have to step up to give her child everything we had been able to provide to our daughter..

The next thing is to bring in closer the "undesirables".. If they want to hang out, make your home so fun and inviting, they are mostly in your home..

Think of places to all go as a big family, including the friends.. This is what we always did.. I rather have the kids over here, than at a home with shifty parenting.. and the kids loved it over here or going to he fairs, carnivals, movies, Tree lightings, pardes, whatever we included them when possible..

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As the parent I would limit my daughters time with the young lady. As a parent sometimes i would not believe when another parent tells me that they are just going to sit on the couch and watch tv, i think i would engage a general convo to see what kind of vibe i get from the other parent. I am so done with just going with what people say ecspecially when it comes to the children.

1 mom found this helpful

Tough situation, but if I were in your shoes I'd just cut all sleepovers altogether, and insist that all get togethers with friends are at your house and on your terms...no ands, ifs or buts about it!

I think it naive (no insult intended) to believe that your daughter hasn't already done something with her boyfriend at her girlfriend's house. Same goes for visits with the boyfriend at his house. Do you really trust someone else to parent your child they way you would? Let alone care about your kid as you would? If the friend has permissive parents, it's very likely the tom foolery even takes place at her home unchecked. And then it stands to reason, when your daughter is there, she is just as likely to be exposed to, or very well a participant of the tom foolery too. If she hasn't fully gone all the way, she has probably been experimenting. I suspect, she's only coming to you because she probably has guilt and worries about how far things have gone already, and is looking to you to set some boundaries for her. Think about it, she's facing peer pressure from both her girlfriend and even the "nice" boy next door. If her friend's parents are letting anything go at their house, and you're giving them the authority to call the shots when your daughter is over there, then stuff is happening and has been happening for sometime.

If you don't pull the plug, it will be only a matter of time before she's facing the very issues you want to avoid. For all you know, she may already be dealing with adult issues, and is now feeling overwhelmed by it all.

If you don't want her having complicated issues in high school, you need to get tough in the right ways. Saying no isn't the same as being controlling. It is setting safe limits for her to live by, until she is mature enough to deal with certain situations.

Is a social life that important right now? Or is getting a decent education so she can go to college your main priority? Right now it sounds like there is too much of an emphasis on the social aspects of being a teen. Don't put it on her to "widen" her pool of friends. Make it easy for her, and just say no unless you know exactly what she's going to be up to.

If you say no to the foolery enough, the bad influence friend and her may drift apart. Or the friend may wind up benefitting from the example you set versus that of her parents.

Don't be afraid to be involved. Talk to her now and see how much she's wiling to share. Explain to her why you are going to be limiting with whom and how she will be spending her free time. Be sure she understands it's for her own good and that if her friends can't respect that, then they're not that good of friends to begin with and she should let them go.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,
I looked at your other question about this situation, where you said that the mother is often drunk and that she recommends a little cleavage to make their face look prettier. You also said that you are a conservative Christian family in that post, so my response will be based on that info added with what you shared here.
It sounds like you and your daughter have a really good relationship. I think that is so great! But, as a Christian, I am surprised that you have not taken more firm steps as far as this friendship goes. This unstable, out of control girl is teaching your daughter (wrongly) way more about how to live than most other influences in her life. She probably spends much of her time being influenced by her peers at school. Are you bringing the Word of God to bear in her life as you discuss these issues? I would think so as a conservative Christian, which is so important. It is your job to limit the influences in her life that would lead her away from the truth of the gospel and God's law. Have you shared these things with your husband? I want to encourage you to discuss these things with him so that he can effectively lead his family in righteousness. Do not shelter her from her father's influence in this (assuming he is also a Christian) for fear that she won't trust you anymore. I'm not saying that you should freak out and react with anger or anything like that. But, I do think your daughter needs to be discipled by you in the things that are right and good and true. She needs you for this, and God placed her under your care for this specific purpose. You will stand before God, along with your husband, to give an account of the way you discipled the children He gave to you. It is very serious. Your daughter seems to trust you very much. I think that adds to the effectiveness of her obeying your instructions. Do not be lax in your parenting for fear of what she might do wrongly by your action. Your inaction certainly isn't helping to keep her away from this girl.
I know though, it sure is easier to see from the outside than when you are in the middle of it! It's easier to see what might need to be done when you aren't the one having to do it. We see that with our own children. That vision is a bit muddied when you are so close. You might try encouraging a specific friendship more as a bridge to getting this other girl out of her life. You can have her do a word search in the Bible about friends and the company we keep. Bad friends corrupt good morals is one verse that comes directly to mind. Search the Proverbs. They are full of wisdom. Perhaps you two could go through them together and talk about the various verses as they apply to this (and a whole host of other) situations. Another great book that you can go through with her is called Raising Maidens of Virtue by Stacy McDonald. It is excellent. You two can do a chapter a week, reading it and discussing it (it talks about modesty, boys, self-image, etc.). You could have tea together or something like that. Make it special. She's the perfect age for it. You can find it here: http://www.visionforum.com/browse/product/?productid=68538 and it is on sale right now for 50% off! Best wishes to you! Parenting sure isn't easy, is it?

It's time for sex ed to the max, S.. Pictures of STD's, including stuff that happens with oral sex. If your daughter has ever had a cold sore on her mouth, explain that this is a form of herpes, and she can catch herpes from oral sex. She really doesn't want to do that. Plus all the other stuff.

I would no longer allow her to spend the night with this friend. If they want to spend time together, have the girl over to your house and keep them in front of you instead of letting them go off on their own.

Meanwhile, talk to your daughter. You really don't want to be a grandmother this early, so if she admits to having sex, take her to the doctor and get her protection. Knowledge will help put on some brakes, if she will listen.

Best of luck,

Since it sounds like you have an open relationship with your daughter, talk to her about how you care about this friend of hers, but are concerned about the friend's behaviour. Also, ask her, when it comes up, about what the other kids think about this behavior, and what sort of reputation the girl has--and how your daughter feels about it.

Since there was a major instance with alcohol, I would be honest with your daughter and say that sleep overs at the other girls house are off limits for the time being.... unless there it's written in stone the parents will be there and will be responsible...... It does make me wonder--if they were gone for 5+ hours, then chances are that, even if they are home, they don't know what's going on (ie, the girls on the computer, getting into online mischief, etc.) even right under their noses. But I do think that overreacting or being a dictator, without sitting down and going over the concerns and fears, etc. could cause a backlash against you.

One thing to talk about is "earning trust" and "being trustworthy" -- and making sure she knows that no matter what, you'll love her, but that you are also there to protect her and try to help her make good decisions....

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