P.C. asks from Liberty Hill, TX on March 15, 2007
Pre Teens and Fathers
Well I am having quite a few issues lately. I am a mother of 5 girls and one tough and strict father. It always seems like I'm the in between of them all. The ages of my daughters are 3,6,8,12,13 going on 14. I am a pretty laid back mom that believes that if you give them a little bit of freedom to go to their friends house or hang out with boys their age in the neighborhood, that it's ok. Well of course their father thinks different. It seems like we get along so well. We have been together since 91, but then the kids ask to do something and it never fails that it starts a fight. If it's not him mad because I let them go, it's them mad because he said no and I have to deal with hearing it from them. I feel alot of times that I am just caught in the middle. I have told my husband how upset it makes me but he thinks if we let them do things that they will get hoaxed into doing something they aren't suppose to. I explained to him that our girls are good students and good girls and that as long as the know right from wrong (which we have taught them)that they will make the right choices. I just feel like eventually it's going to come to a point where we end up seperating because of it.My husband is a very wonderful man, he is a very good father and a hard worker, He's everything any woman would want in a man except for the drama with the girls. My girls are very developed (my 13 yr old is in a D bra) and they are very pretty girls. My question to all of you is am I the only one who goes through this? and what would you do if you we're in my possition? I am new at this and i hope to get some feedback from someone other than family. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks, P.
So What Happened?™
All I can say is WOW!! I feel so good to actually hear from other moms. It's usally me giving the advise to all my friends. I feel like most of the times I am the counselor. Everyone always calls me. I have received great responces and have taken that advise and have processed it. I am going to have a talk with my husband and my girls but on a different level. Our house has always been the hangout house. We always seem to have at least a couple of girls here at almost all times. My girls do have cell phones and they know they have to keep in contact with me at all times. I told them I will always be there for them whenever they need to talk. I also explained to them the reason dad is so strict is because he was once a teenager and he knows all he was thinking about with girls were one thing. My girls love their dad very much. I came from a home where my mom and dad divorsed very early and after that they were heavely into drugs. I came from california and have seen it all. Girls over there get pregnant at 12 and they're lives are never the same as if they would have just enjoyed being a kid. I tell my girls to feel lucky that they have someone that care so much about them, and when I tell them that they get emotional and cry. I have been there done that with just about everything, so I tell them they need to understand I see things that they can't even believe I know about. But man I really appreciate all of your help!! It took me a while to join mamasource but I sure am glad I did!! Thank you all!! so much, with love, P. p.s. my husband just went today and reenlisted in the National Guard.
A.S. answers from San Antonio on March 15, 2007
I think maybe you and your husband should sit down and iron out rules that you both can live with, and then sit down with the girls and explaine them. there has got to be some middle ground where you will all be happy with... or at the very least you and your husband will be happy with. The girls will understand eventually. Trusting them is good, but sometimes things happen even to good girls, and it might not even be something they wanted to do. (I guess I am probly a bit over protective too, and I don't have any girls...) but for the sake of all of you I would suggest making rules you can all live with, maybe find out exactly what it is your husband is afraid of that makes him so strict.
1 mom found this helpful
C.B. answers from Abilene on March 16, 2007
I thought I would give you a different perspective from someone who is not in your place as a mother but more so just recently came out of a home where dad was overly strict. I'm 27 and a mother of baby girl who is 8 months old. I've been married almost 4 years. My father has been a preacher for over 32 years, and we were raised very strictly growing up. My 2 olders sister (twins - now age 30) and I were home schooled until high school, at which point we started attending public school. We were VERY sheltered and were great students and had great morals, and still do have great morals and are spiritually in tact with our God. BUT we felt our dad was way too strict with us (at the time it didn't feel fair but now we understand), but looking back I wish he would have been stricter. We were up to no good when we were finally let out of the house and our parents had NO idea. I definetely wish Dad would have said 'no' more - now looking back on all the stupid things we were doing when we had late curfews and were allowed to hang around anybody we wanted to. Even our 'good friends' were not good influences and our parents were clueless. I would say that what we needed in our home was less time out with friends, but more time talking with our parents - safe conversation - about the things we encountered. We were not allowed to talk about kissing, sex, alcohol, drugs, or anything for that matter, therefore we were that much more curious about it. After watching how my parents handled the situation and listening to you I would recommend to you what I plan to do with my girls. Give then strict rules and curfews. Provide a safe place for them to talk freely, and let them b/c they have questions and will come to you if you are a safe place and they will learn so much for that. When dad says no, back him up and make the girls respect his authority as father. It sounds like your girls don't respect him to the degree they should, because when my father told us 'no' if we showed that we were upset about it we were in trouble b/c of disrespect. In the end all three of us girls love our father and think he did a great job raising us, but wish there would have been more strict rules in place. Dad knew what boys were like, and I wish he would have kept that in mind when letting us go hang around them. As women we don't understand the sexual impulses of those boys. But father's do. Just relax and remember that your girls are awesome, great students b/c of good parenting to this point. There is no need to start changing parenting techniques now. Keep doing what you are doing, b/c it sounds like you are doing a great job. Teach your daughters to be respectful of the decisions that their dad makes. And when you do argue with your husband do it in private, out of the girls sight and sound, and continue to fight for what you believe in, but never at the expense of teaching your daughters to disrespect either of you. The world out there is a lot worse now than when I was a child, and when you were a child. Keep that in mind and remember that God gave those 5 girls you and your husband to take care of, and between a good balance of him and you - yall are the parents God wanted for them. I think its easy to want to give your children the things they want and in turn they like you, but we are not called to be their friends but their parents to look over them. They may not understand 'no' now, but the 'why' will come later on when they grow up. I think we have to fight to protect our kids in this day and age. I thougth I'd mention the reason I say very little about my mom is b/c she was an inactive parent, but I do love her dearly. I always remember her saying, "Well if that's what your father said then why are you asking me?" They were like a brick wall together. And I totally respect that now.
M.W. answers from Killeen on March 16, 2007
I am the mother to 5 as well. Mine are a mix of both boys and girls though (boy 13, girl almost 12, boy 7, boy 2 and girl 7 months.) First of all, what I'm about to tell you is only my own beliefs and system of doing things. I do NOT let my 12 yr old daughter or 13 year old son cruise the neighborhood unsupervised with other children of the opposite sex. They are allowed to play and visit other kids in the neighborhood, provided that they stay on our street, and that I know who they're with, and that I know the parents. My daughter is very beautiful too (I'm not just biased, people constantly tell us she should model, and always have told us that since birth.) However, because of this, both my husband (who is her step father) and myself are concerned, yet we have an understanding with all of our children...if they want the privelage of going to friends houses or chaperoned school parties/dances, then we MUST know who they're hanging out with, when, where and which adults will be there (and we ALWAYS talk to the parents first, before allowing them over.) I guess, my advice to you is to know who, when, where, what, etc. when it comes to your kids. I'm not naive, I know that as they get older (and some things now) I will never know/hear about. Although, we try not to be judgmental about everything (sometimes it's hard) and keep the lines of communication open between us and our kids. Also, marriage is a partnership, even after your kids move away, you and your husband are all that's left. A good, strong marriage with support and communication are keys to a successful life together! I suggest that you know where each stand on these issues and compromise. You don't have to follow everything each of you wants, but if you both give in a little it could go a long way. My husband and I try to compromise on everything that we disagree about (sometimes it's hard when you both want it your way) but if you keep working at it and try to look at things in another perspective, you might realize that the other way or a comparable way is even better! Good luck!
L.C. answers from Abilene on March 16, 2007
I dont have teenagers yet, but I was on just a few years ago. I understand your position very much as my mom was like you and my father well not some much. The first thing you need to do is talk to your husband very seriously, and explain this. If you keep your girls locked in their rooms until they go to college, when they do go and get a little freedom its going to be all over they will and I promise you they will go wild!!! And try everything possible from sex to drugs because they didnt have any freedom at home...Continue to let them go out and stay at friends houses hang out with boys and go to the mall....ITS NORMAL!!!! That way they have some life experiences before they go off into the real world without you or her father to tell her NO!!! Believe me in the long run your girls will be better off, letting them have some freedom is a good thing, they need to have a life outside of there home. Good luck with your husband, I hope he can understand this.
J.R. answers from Austin on March 16, 2007
P.- Moms get in a tough spot when it comes to Daddies and their Daughters.
One thing that you can do - although with your home situation, this may be tough in terms of space and adding any more people into the mix - is to make YOUR house the place where the neighborhood kids WANT to hang out. That way, your kids still have an opportunity to be with THEIR friends, and you and Dad will have a way of keeping tabs on WHO they're spending time with, and WHAT they're doing. Maybe a "movie nite" - let your 2 oldest invite a friend or two apiece, pick up a rental movie, and microwave popcorn...
For sure, though, you and your husband need to get on the same page and present a UNITED front in FRONT of the girls. Even if you disagree privately on how much flexibility and freedom they should have. Once the girls realize that you are divided, it will be divide and CONQUER!
Good luck to you!
S.S. answers from Wichita Falls on March 16, 2007
I agree, a lot, with your husband. I was a good girl, good student (valedictorian), not a speck of trouble that you could see. But for the grace of God and luck I could have been pregnant by 15, I experimented with smoking and drinking before I got out of high school - I stayed away from drugs out of sheer fear.
I think that parentally supervised group activities are awesome, but letting girls your daughter's age hang around in groups and with boys is asking for and inviting trouble.
J.A. answers from Amarillo on March 19, 2007
When you figure out the answer...please let me know :)
M.P. answers from Killeen on March 16, 2007
My husband and I have the same issues with our kids. I have a 17(son) 15(daughter) 14(son) 9(daughter) and my husband allows my 17 year old to have sex (not in my house), purchases condoms for him and allows his little girlfreinds to come over. My 15 year old daughter he has a fit when she talks to boys but when my son was my daughters age he allowed him to talk to girls. I told him its wrong regardless of there gender if one did it at 15 the others should be allowed. It took some time but I kept doing what you are doing as far as telling him we taught them to be responsible, give them a little freedom or they will take it and start doing stuff behind our backs or skipping school. So I put it on paper.
I would encourage you to make up a plan with your husband about at what age can they talk on the phone, have company over, or play with boys. Then negotiate and have rules in place. I finally got my husband to agree by putting it in writing. So now my daughter can talk on the phone, watch tv, and have internet privileges Friday- Sunday with 6pm cutoff time on Sunday. Monday - Thurs(focus on school, read a books, etc.) She can only have boy company when we are home and only in our livingroom or yard. We have the younger kids sit with them and report back and we check on them often as well. She is not allowed to go to any boys house at all, if she does she looses all privileges. This has really worked. Any boy she talks to we talk to there parents to let them know about our rules. Anytime the boy comes over we talk to his parents and make sure its ok, that way no one is in the dark and she can't sneak over to his house because his parents know we do not allow it and will report it to us.