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So I have posted about my DD before but she went through a terrible phase last year of posting inappropriate pics of herself all over facebook and twitter, arranging to meet up with boys, sneaking out, running away.
We are currently in family counselling which I thought was helping until I discover today that she has a secret twitter account and is doing the same thing, inappropriate pics, chatting to older boys, etc. She hasnt met up with any of them, she hasnt gone out of the house and I only know this as we now alarm the door
But we were just starting to believe her and trust her. To let her go out with school friends. To have her blackberry back. We discussed in counselling that we did not think she was ready to access social media sites as we have tried to let her have a\n account that we monitor but she just did the same thing. And she agreed she was not ready. But all the time she has been doing this. she has been lying to us, she has been using her friends phone at school, using her brothers phone at home. I just dont know what to do anymore.
I feel for you. I haven't had the same experience but have felt the same betrayal, frustration and desolation that accompanies finding your child is deceiving you.
I wanted to say upfront that you must not blame yourself. I have learnt that this can confuse your responses so that you just don't see clearly. Your daughter is an independent human being and you cannot protect her from everything in the world.
Secondly, this is about her, not you. Teenagers just love distraction from the core issue - namely that they are responsible people who have to take responsibility for their actions and self.
So you've been let down. Why is she doing it?
- attention seeking from you? or her father? - attention seeking from her friends? - asserting her authority/power over you as her parents?
I know nothing of your DD, not even her age, but one of these three options will be there somewhere. This is why we feel so bad when we can't protect our little angels, they actually need us more than they can admit.
If you want to explore this line of thinking tell me what you think....
It's horrible when they damage your trust. My DS did something really awful a year ago, and followed it up with a couple of almost-as-bad things over the next six months; but everything has been calm for 4-5 months now, and I still can't entirely trust him.
My DS's behaviour wasn't anything to do with attention-seeking or power games (IMO)... He was simply going after what he wanted, acting impulsively and entirely selfishly, without any thought for any consequences or effects on anyone else. At this age, their egos are large, and their sense of judgement is generally weak.
Don't despair Tantrum. You can discuss it at your family counselling session. Obviously I don't know your DD and what makes her tick, but if she frightened herself with how she was behaving before (and I think teens do often scare themselves) then perhaps she's 'testing' now to see if you're still in control and she's still 'safe'? It sounds to me like she might be - a bit like you might fit a fire alarm after a house fire, then deliberately burn some toast to check if it's working...
Yes, I thought she might be. It's totally bloody infuriating, isn't it?!
I always want to understand why my DCs behave they way they do, but I have learned (over the years) that DS1 himself is not really interested in the 'whys' at all. Rather than analyse and help him 'understand', it works better to focus on very concrete 'facts' and help him notice what effects his behaviour has: "If you do X, Y will happen" and "Look, see, Y happened" and "You did A, so we're going to do B".
That sounds totally trite, but I think the 'impulsive' ones just forget to think and often need really basic reminders. Your DD may need you to tell her (again ) basic facts about internet safety, the risks she's taking, etc.
On the bright side, she's older now than she was last time this happened, and in a year or so, and the older she gets, the less you'll worry about this kind of behaviour. And she hasn't met anyone, so she is taking some steps to keep herself safe, even if she's not doing as much as you'd like.
dont want to be a bleeding heart liberal here but I find that teenagers just cant articulate their feelings or reasons for things. there is often a reason but they cant be bothered to consider it or think it through. and this "being selfish" is just the justification and let out they thrive on.
I tried the "horse whisper" approach with my DS and it worked to an extent. I withdrew my attention from him, didn't ignore him, but kept completely self contained and non judgemental about things. He just couldn't manage with the distance and isolation of it. We were both miserable for a while but it made us talk and reach an agreement on how we would behave with each other. I am closer to him now for sure - he still does stuff I don't like but it isnt dangerous or really bad, just stuff we all did at that age. And there is a language to discuss it.
The fear is that they go off and do something dangerous during this period. I found that the more I withdrew the less he could reallly enjoy doing stuff. In the end I have concluded that he really wanted me to be more engaged with him - not judgemental - but more involved in helping him make sense of what he thinks he wants.
I am not very keen on the family counselling scene. I just don't trust them!