Reassurance please about 16yo daughter(11 Posts)
Really not sure where to start, or what I expect from this. The shortened version is she is due to start college in September, and wants to go to a college 15 miles away, as opposed to a local college which has equally good reputation, as she wants to go somewhere where no one will know her! She goes to a senior school, where she knew nobody when she started, was bright and in the top set for everything, so is perceived to be a 'geek' or goody-goody. Her friendship group is made up of other similar (mainly) girls who were in a similar position and my daughter has admitted that as she has grown up they are not the people she would chose to be friends with necessarily. She has many friends, but no special friends and has not been able to infiltrate into another group. I have tried reasoning that there will be many many people from other schools going, but I'm not sure if she is just being stubborn now.......she says she doesn't want to start at a college where she will be labelled as something she doesn't think she is......in an attempt to 'fit in' she has probably done some really silly things - relationship with boy who only wanted a physical relationship when he wanted, and not to go out with her. He totally crushed her when he asked out her best friend..........then we have the very inappropriate photos which were sent to a random boy from a social networking site, because he asked........she is currently 'friends' with a lovely lad who doesn't go to her school, but she is putting pressure on him for more from their relationship, which by the sounds of it, is probably going to be the breaking of a lovely friendship (mainly by taking bad advice from a friend she has probably really upset him - she does tend to say things with no regard for the fall out it is going to cause).........she is obsessed with texting, tweeting, facebooking et al. We have spoken about the photos and she appears to be sorry for it, but I know he has recently been trying to make contact again. I think she is desparate for a physical relationship and is very sexually aware and I am just really scared that she is going to do something silly, thinking a physical relationship is going to make someone love her. She is an only child (my husband doesn't know the boy stuff I have posted on here). I just don't want her to get any more hurt, or cause any more hurt to anyone.............She doesn't go out often, but does meet up with friends whenever she wants (it's just not that often, if you see what I mean), she is sporty and has a tiny part time job. She has to buy some things from her own money (though I suspect in all reality she is a bit spoilt). I get really scared about her behaviour as she is very sweet really. But has just been so sad recently......Or is all this just really normal and I need to get a grip myself - I suffered from PND quite badly, and sometimes feel myself falling back into that trap - do I need help, or help for her? Aaaah, thanks for reading.......
I'm not sure that I see the problem in letting her go to the college that she wants. It sounds like she's got enough self awareness to decide that a fresh start would do her good. I have a 16 year old too, so don't take this as a criticism, but you seem a bit too involved in her life. How do you know what she's said and what her friends have said, and that she's desperate for a physical relationship? I think you need to take a step back and support your daughter's choices.
I have a 15 year old and a 17 year old, and your daughter seems really normal to me! They are all boy obsessed, whether they talk to you about it or not. They are all also FB, Twitter, and generally internet obsessed.
I would have a serious talk with DD about contraception though, because, whether you like it or not, she's going to get "physical" with a boy at some point. Maybe offer to go with her to see the doctor or nurse? For a talk, if not for actual contraception yet.
Hard though it sounds, I also think that getting hurt is part of life, and how you learn not to repeat mistakes. I would be there for her to pick up the pieces when she gets dumped (which will happen at some point), but try not to tell her what to do.
If she wants to create a "new image" for herself, by having a fresh start at a new school/college for A Levels, and you can afford the travel, and she doesn't mind the travel, then I don't see why she shouldn't.
AP - fair enough, its just really the logistics and finances of a far away college - she would need to bus and train, then bus again to get there, and she could have a much 'easier' time at the local college, which would just be 1 bus, or a reasonable walk. And I think I probably totally agree about taking a step back, she is pretty open and tells me most things that are going on, and I should probably stand back but don't like to see her getting hurt - I did openly admit the problems could be more me than her and I need to just turn a blind eye - her school work doesn't seem to be suffering, and everyone else thinks she is a sensible well adjustred girl.............
YD - she has suffered badly with her periods since she started so for medical reasons is on the pill, which I also find very scarey.........she does know about the importance of condoms to protect against STD's..........
I agree that it's really hard to stand back and let them make mistakes. It's so easy, with Facebook and twitter, to know exactly what they're up to (regardless of what they choose to overshare themselves!) I was a terrible teenager, by my mum was blissfully ignorant. Still is!
Witn regard to college - I see the problem now. Could you see how much a monthly student travel card would cost, and then come to an agreement about how much you will pay, and what contribution you expect? Good luck. You sound like a very considerate mum.
I was very shy and studious in school, and got called a geek/swot. I also ended up in college 30 miles from home (bus and train to and from), and found the brand new start brilliant as I was able to make friends on my own terms, I felt much happier and much more secure. No one had any preconceptions (plus it was a college with a rep for ALL the students being swots!) so no one got labelled.
Also, due to the distance and needing to make public transport connections, I ended up leaving the college at latest at 10pm at night, so in fact even though I had a great social life, I wasn't in the bar till closing all the time! (like many of the others...)
So long as she isn't hoping for a magic wand to change her social life for her (i.e. she's prepared to put some effort into making new friends) it could be the making of her. Perhaps get her to talk about what sort of friends she would like - encourage her to pick them rather than just becoming friends with anyone who shows an interest.
Can you give her the odd lift to/from college? The reason I ask is that I have a 20 mile commute every morning and evening, I find that I get lots of chat out of my 16 yr old DD in the evenings, it's a brilliant way to keep up with what's going on in her life. (not so much in the mornings though as she tends to doze...)
I do dread her going off to college though, it is a huge step, so I hope all goes well for you and your DD
(we're in Ireland so she still has 2.5 years of school to go)
Oh when I was in college there was a monthly bus/train pass for the Dublin area that cost ir£26 (showing my age there...) no matter how little/much travel I did.
Is there something similar available in your area?
It might take cost of travel out of the decision.
Gosh she sounds awfully similar to my DD16, and in a weird way its a bit reassuring that perhaps I'm not quite going round the bend and DD's not quite going off the rails. Hope that helps you too, to know its not just you. Think this is one time when the phrase " we're all in it together " might apply.
Re the school/college thing. A life lesson is that you can't always run away from your problems. If the other college offers no other benefit other than not being her current school I'd be inclined to talk it through some more with her with a view to finding some ways to support her to stay local.
There is no guarantee that the other college will provide the new friends and the fresh start she desires. In fact the clunky public transport journey will most likely limit her social life and ability to join in activities in the evening or at weekends just when she needs to be proactive about making new friends (unless you will be able to provide lifts on demand). Then once she's home she'll be out of the loop with the local girls and boys who've been together at college all day. And commuting is exhausting. She'll need to be out of bed an hour earlier each morning and will get back late with homework to finish. The hour earlier would Be a killer for mine!
Lots of new people will join current school and the old cliques and allegiances will change as people start to specialise in arts, sciences humanities etc and socialise with new groups of like minded individuals. DD can completely reinvent herself over the summer and have a head start on the newbies regarding making new friends as she'll know which people to avoid.
With all the emotion and hormones possibly clouding her thinking. If you can help her visualise a new her in the current school, with a clear action plan to reinvent herself and make a fresh start in an old place, she might find that facing up to and working on your problems is a good idea.
My DD is the same age and very similar to your DD from the sound of it though in the scottish equivalent of lower sixth form.
The difficulty, from what I can see is that the best outcome is for your DD to decide for herself that her local college is a more sensible option. If she wants to go to the new one purely to avoid certain people then she's allowing herself to have choices made for her by other people - who don't matter anyway.
Once she starts in sixth form she'll be spending more time with people who've chosen the same subjects as her. Also, the annoying crowd will hopefully be starting to get a bit more mature - my DD commented recently that she's now sitting beside a girl in one class who was quite bitchy before, but is now "less annoying as she's more mature now".
Good advice from OhMerGerd IMO.
Thank you all for your advice - it's nice to know this is all normal (except the over stressy Mum)! She has a college interview today for the more local college. I have looked at a season ticket cost for the further away one. We chose to send her to our not most local secondary school (our local one did not have a good reputation and we were very borderline location wise for where she ended up going), I would have thought 5 years of bussing to school would have put her off the bus/train idea! I do work part time so a regular lift would not be an option, but probably like at the moment (I dropped her to school so we could listen to a new CD in the car this morning), I usually collect her once or twice a week. If she opts for the further away one she would possibly have to give up her little job, as unless that is a day she has no lesson last thing she wouldn't be able to get back in time. Her job is actually next to the local college. Sorry, just thinking out loud here.......some really good and nice advice has been given - thank you all so much.
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