Dangerous Decision Making by my 14yo daughter?(10 Posts)
My 14yo (15 in December) daughter has a history of depression and Self-Harm since we lost her dad to a heart attack in May 2011. What is worrying me now is that the last few months, she has had 3 boyfriends, all of whom have developed into a sexual relationship extremely quickly. When she told me that she had had sex with the first bf, we discussed the consequences and I arranged with her to visit a drop-in contraception clinic, where she was prescribed the pill. I have since had to remind her to continue the prescription and have taken her to the local clinic for replenishment. As far as I am aware, she is now out of pills again but has this week embarked on a new sexual relationship with the latest bf (this I know from having accessed her fb messages with him - she left it logged in on MY ipad).
So, she is potentially having unprotected sex, has become fairly promiscuous and I'm devastated that I have had my trust in her shattered yet again. She doesn't seem stupid, most people compliment her on what a sensible girl she is (!). So why is she making such awful decisions about her sex life? Can it be linked to the depression and self-harm (i.e.that she has such low self-esteem that this somehow assuages that feeling?). How do I tackle this with her now? My instinct is to 'come down on her like a tonne of bricks - grounding, internet access restriction etc, but does that solve the real issue? How can I get her to understand the danger that she is putting herself in?
I'm at my wits end.......
She is out of pills? Why haven't you ensured she has more and a load of condoms too?
When is she having all this sex? And have you pointed out to her bf's it's illegal?
You are right, you do need to get to the bottom of this and solve the real issue and address her self esteem. (Sorry, I don't have any quick answers for that)
I have made sure of loads of condoms, but I'm not there when it happens so I can't check if he's wearing them can I? The pills...... well, I kept reminding her and reminding her and she said, well I'm not having sex anyway, and I believed her, but we made an appointment anyway, which she then didn't attend.... You can lead a horse to water...
Too upset at the mo to go into the where and when, suffice to say my trust in her has been trampled on again in that respect.
Yes, we told the last one about the illegality of it, and, as he was over 16, threatened to report him - you can imagine how that went down with my daughter.This latest one I have only just found out about and have not seen either of them yet to confront them.
I wonder if the grief has a lot to do with it. You will have been coping with yours and it's very hard and she may feel that this is how she gets love. I know my son developed a very deep relationship with his first girlfriend just after his father died last year. My daughter is away and I really wasn't much use to him as a mum (not that I'm saying you aren't).
Keep the talking and listening channels open.
On a purely practical note, would she consider an implant rather than pills? Condoms are ideal if used right as there are less std risks, but as you say you are not there to make sure they are used.
I would not go in guns blazing personally, you want her to be able to talk to you, and punishments usually lead to rebellion anyway. You do need ground rules though and to try to get to the bottom of the behaviour. Seems like it will be linked to the depression and grief, but only she will know for sure, and even then she might not know outwardly.
I really feel for you.
It sounds like it could be linked to her depression and/or self harm- risky behaviours such as unprotected sex can be a form of self harm. I'd recommend looking up selfharm.co.uk, they can give advice on how to support teens through self harm. Do you know if she has access to other support networks, youth workers etc? As she may find it easier to talk to someone else about it all.
From the outside, it does sound like Valia said - risky behaviour linked to self-harm/depression. But also I wonder if she's looking for a male 'love interest' because she lost the man she loved and who loved her? So trying to replace him in some way? Apologies if off the mark, but grief can make people act in odd ways.
I was thinking that too, bandb.
Has she had any bereavement counselling? Would she consider any kind of counselling?
Thanks for your messages. Yes, we've all had bereavement counselling, not least because we lost my father 4 months before my husband and then my mother-in-law 4 months after. So for my daughter she lost a parent and 2 grandparents in the space of 8 months :-(
We had a chat last night and there is definitely some residual grief that is causing the behaviour - she says she hears the voices of her dad and grandparents and that they say to her to pass on their love to me and her sister, but never to her - so there is definitely a feeling of being unloved.
We are currently coming to the end of some family counselling sessions, but I think that she might need more outside support to deal with her mental health issues. She has a psych assessment lined up in a couple of weeks time.
I'm not sure what more I can do at this stage other than make sure that she is never without adult company to make sure she doesn't put herself into these situations again.
Thanks again for your messages, it helps to see others perspective on these things sometimes :-)
Anon, it sounds like you are doing a great job - it's hard to remember that for all their bluster about being grown-up, they are still needing a lot of being looked-after. I agree that being there for her (and ignoring the low-level rudeness, etc) really helps them to know they are loved.
It sounds like you all have had a hellish time, and hopefully the on-going counselling will help her.
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