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

Updated on November 29, 2010
S.T. asks from Huntington, NY
12 answers

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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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!

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answers from Detroit on

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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answers from Youngstown on

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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answers from Boston on

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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answers from Minneapolis on


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answers from Austin on

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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answers from Dallas on

I am speaking as the mother of a 14 year old daughter. I think you are wise to not say she can't be her friend. You didn't mention what her consequence was for getting drunk. I would tell her that since she got drunk when she was left unsupervised, you no longer trust her to be unsupervised and she will have to be at your house when she is hanging with friends for a least the next few months. I would make it unobviously difficult to see her friend. For example, when she asks for a specific date or time, you automatically have a response that the family is going to see grandma or going to a movie or whatever. Encourage other friendships. Keep her busy so she doesn't have much social time. I will be cursed by others for this for sure but if my daughter had a boyfriend, I would put her on birth control, period. He will want sex and she may or may not be willing to have sex with him. I would tell her that you absolutely are not endorsing it and would much rather she wait, but don't want the situation to worsen with a pregnancy. You also will have to be in charge of watching her take the pill EVERY day or it will be pointless because at 14 she just won't remember on her own. Good luck.


answers from Williamsport on

I didn't catch exactly how old these girls are-oh wait-14 yikes!!! I would have a very frank, positive, loving conversation about your fears, which to me would be safety. And you do have the right to some authority. Her little friend does not know about all the diseases passed orally as well as vaginally, and she certainly doesn't care that she's getting an EARLY start to all the disease catching she'll be doing. Like all girls acting this way, she's seeking attention, excitement, and approval from boys. She likes bragging. She doesn't get it that the guys don't really "like" her for it.

Your daughter is a little bit impressionable (and only 14 for heaven's sakes) if she got drunk with the girl and likes her so much etc. That would be the last time my 14 year old was ever at her house. You should encourage her to tell her friend she can get herpes and warts and pretty much any STD by orally servicing guys who love to "put in anywhere" because i'm sure the friend just feels talented for knowing how to do it. Not trying to sound mad, but really, this girl hasn't had good guidance. Give your daughter some news to tell HER for once.

BUT, I think you're right to have confidence in your daughter and keep open. If you have taught her right, (sounds like you have which is why she talks to you) she won't necessarily copy her friend. Several of my best friends were slutty in high school (more like 16, 17 though..) and I was a big prude. But nowadays, the kids are starting so young, and it's so widespread it's harder for girls like your daughter to stand firm for so many years.

Don't do anything rash, but spell out what disturbs you about this girl and how your daughter seems to prefer her. Don't lay down any laws (actually I would though), but let her know how you feel about her choice to spend most of her time with this friend and how you'd LOVE it if she made some different ones, and make sure she knows the dangers involved with the casual sex attitude. Do it in a "Kids are so funny, because sex matters so much to them. Oldies like me have seen and heard it all before and I can't believe she's putting herself at risk like that so young...guys don't like that type, they just use them in high school.....I would be devastated to think you might get loose and uninhibited with her and end up hurting yourself." That's all you can say really. But at 14, you should put down your foot still on hangin gout with that friend. It doesn't have to compromise your relationshi if you're coming from a place of love. I feel for you and in about 10 yearsI'll be in the same boat with 2 daughters...noooooooooo!

Oh, on the side, idle hands are the devil's playthings. Good thing you have close tabs on her time. Depending on her age, it's time to keep her busy with activities to prep her for college, a part time job, a church group of kids wouldn't hurt, etc...Not only was I not allowed to "hang out" with dudes and party girls, I didn't have time in high school I was working so much. Sure, I managed a few social outings where people my parents didn't approve of were around, but not all the endless hanging out I see kids doing a lot. Keep her busy and away from that friend!



answers from Charlotte on




answers from Colorado Springs on

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: and it is on sale right now for 50% off! Best wishes to you! Parenting sure isn't easy, is it?



answers from Columbus on

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....



answers from San Francisco on

It's a good sign that your daughter is telling you this stuff.

For me, I don't believe in limiting their friendships. I believe in teaching them the proper things to do in any given circumstance.

Tell your daughter your opinions on these things (especially giving boys random oral sex - and be sure to tell her about communicable diseases).

Actually, you don't say how old she is but you could probably just show her your post -- it says everything you need to say, and you sound like a reasonable mother.


answers from Norfolk on

The way to limit time with an undesirable friend is to keep your daughter busy in fun activities so she has little free time to spend. Skating, horseback riding, cheer leading, Girl Scouts, dancing, gymnastics, sports, taekwondo, art classes, music classes, cooking classes, scrap booking classes, church activities, etc. When she finishes one, sign her up for another. The friend will find someone else to pal around with sooner or later.

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