snooping and the consequences(32 Posts)
I am feeling like the worst mum ever! Haven't posted on here for ages but really need some support/advice now...)
My dd is 14 3/4, The last 12 months have been particularly hard but I have tried to understand the 'teenage' thing going on in her head..... Just recently she has been hanging around with a rather rebellious lad who she said was just a friend but who she obviously idolises. He is always leading her on and then letting her down and we have talked about the fact she is worth more than that and I thought she had got the message. However last night I found her in floods of tears and she wouldn't tell me why. I am ashamed to say I snooped at her text messages because it was breaking my heart to to see her like that. (not something I have ever done before!)What I read horrified me and I am now left with a terrible dilemma, if I tell her I snooped she would never ever trust me again but I discovered she had had sex with this lad last week and now he's found himself a new gf!!! I really want to support her in this, what's done is done and I can't change that, abhorrent though I find it at 14. But she could be pregnant or have caught something.... What would you other mums out there do? Should I tackle this head on or try to find another way?
sticky you must be very relieved. I too think you have handled it really well.YY to the next boyfriend being good enough.
Well done sticky, you handled it beautifully. You communicated that come what may, you love her and are there for her even if you don't know all the details. What a rock.
'I told this mum that if my DD did decide to speak to her I trusted her to use her own judgement as to whether she thought it was something I should know'
My two, much older children had this option, one preferred my mother, and the other preferred an uncle. It's hard to trust, but it has proved very useful as an additional support for my children.
Poor little sweetheart, may she find a partner worthy of her.
What a relief, sticky! Fingers crossed it has been a learning experience for her
Just a quick ps to this. DD's period started today (hooray!), so no pregnancy at least! Never been so grateful for the 2 days pmt and grumpy moods! She's not mentioned this boy again and refuses to discuss him if I bring the topic up. As far as I can tell they are not in touch by text or fb, so I am hopeful he at least is off the scene! Thank you all for your most welcome support, you were there when I needed it most
Thank you for your kind words Ujjayi It's so lovely of you to take the time to comment! I don't feel like I handled it particularly well, but what's done is done! Just as a PS I have also made it clear to DD that if she doesn't feel she can speak to me about anything ever, then she should talk to the mum of a friend of hers, who she is particularly close to and trusts. Without disclosing too much to her I have asked this mum if she minded and she was chuffed that my DD trusted her as she didn't think her own did! Maybe we should swap daughters!!! I told this mum that if my DD did decide to speak to her I trusted her to use her own judgement as to whether she thought it was something I should know as I wouldn't want my DD thinking she couldn't trust her. At least I know now there is someone she would go to if she couldn't come to me! I feel much happier knowing that!. Hey ho! Onward and upward!!!!
sticky I have just read this thread and feel compelled to tell you this: during my teens my mother was a regular snooper. However, she would snoop and then confront me in a very aggressive "how dare you" kind of way. I never felt I could tell her anything and felt very alone during my teens. She obviously thought that she was "parenting" but actually when parents treat you this way you end up withdrawing further and therefore potentially being at greater risk.
Your latest update brought tears to my eyes because you handled this so incredibly sensitively and your daughter is lucky to have such a caring and supportive mother. I have been known to snoop at my DS's texts but have handled it in a similar manner to you: they do know that you know but I think in their hearts they are pleased you aren't pushing for specifics and it lets them know that they can open up to you without fear of rejection or judgement.
That sounds really good sticky, like a small bit of progress, but no row or heated discussion x
Thank you so much for asking! I have just got in from a busy day at work, but felt I must reply and update you after your touching concern!
I took Corals advice, made her a cake, which at the very least helped thaw the ice she was giving off on returning from School! She went straight upstairs and tidied her room without me mentioning it again! Almost unheard of (shock) After tea I tried the 'general' chat about how she was feeling about this lad etc. She blanked me completely saying she didn't want me to even mention his name and remind her about him! I then tried a general mother/daughter chat about all things relationship/sexual etc. more me talking than her but she did allow me to sit on her bed with her and lay her head in my lap, again not usual for her as she's not a cuddly child! As I say more me talking than her but I hope I got the message across, she didn't admit anything (but then neither did I!) but I felt an unspoken feeling she knew I knew! I've hopefully left the door open for her to come talk to me if she wants to. I don't feel at the moment I can do anymore, but sit back now and hope her period starts on time! And yes I have let her out after school today, with a slightly heavy heart as I don't entirely know what she's up to although she reassures me she's with 'girl' friends! But after tidying her room I couldn't really refuse! I don't think she will come and talk to me about it but I do feel I have done all I can atm. Thank you all for all your kindness and concern yesterday, it was just what I needed to get through the day!
How are you feeling today sticky?
coral, that is great advice - "tell her you've been worrying about her all day because she was so upset last night and that to never ever forget there is nothing that she cannot tell you because you are her Mum and are there for her no matter what ... "
She needs you to keep telling/showing her that you are there for her and will not judge her (at least not outwardly!) and will always be ready to listen/discuss if she needs it. And again. And again!
I too have a DD aged 14 (and a quarter!) and it is so hard to keep communications open, especially when they are doing the usual teenager stuff like not tidying and being grumpy/rude, etc. I couldn't snoop on DD if I tried as she has passwords on everything - she would hate it if I did, so I agree, try to avoid telling her.
Things are better when I ignore/don't rise to the bait with the teenager stuff and keep calm and patient and positive. It's hard though
The whole boy thing is very tricky - DD had a difficult time of it last year, but it wasn't just the boy - other girls wading in.... No
where near any sex, but she didn't really want me to know about it. Her feelings were badly hurt and it was very tricky.
I second the therapist approach which conker advises. In my experience, advice is usually not welcomed. If your DD is not forthcoming with how she is feeling, you can try 'does that make you feel rejected' or something similar. I think at this age it is important that they feel that us mums understand them. Even if my DD is saying something I don't necessarily agree with, I try and understand her point of view. It is difficult at times though. You sound like you have a good open relationship anyway so she may be relieved that you are willing to help her.
Love the cake idea! Just time to get baking before she gets in!
I would make a cake, give her a big long hug when she comes in from school - tell her you've been worrying about her all day because she was so upset last night and that to never ever forget there is nothing that she cannot tell you because you are her Mum and are there for her no matter what ...
My dd at that age hid something from me ... not because she had done anything wrong but because she was scared and frightened about what was happening - probably as sacred, alone and as unhappy as your daughter is feeling at the moment. I found out because she had left the family computer logged in to her account ... so not snooping technically but I could have not read what I did. She had been really withdrawn and scared and giving her a hug and reminding that I was there no matter what made it all come flooding out ... it is not quite sorted yet but we are, fingers crossed, nearly there!
Good luck ... and I can actually say , we have a much more open relationship now (she is 16) and she now asks for my advice and help.
sticky I'm sure you're absolutely right to be critical, but it might serve your purposes to say you might have been wrong, to open up a convo. Generally with teens, everything you say about 'their world' is wrong, so I always stick to the psychotherapist approach, which is whatever she describes, i.e. boyfriend told me he loved me then went off with another girl, is to say, oh. how do you feel about that? How has that left you feeling? without a hint of what you really think or you risk shutting the conversation down, if you see what I mean.
Good idea to offer help, although when that usually happens it means me doing it and her sitting on her bed texting or on fb! Would definitely have to ban phone and laptop whilst we're tidying! I suppose I can accept if she doesn't ever want to tell me after all there are plenty of things I did as a teen that I would never have shared with my mum! as long as she's not put herself at risk of pregnancy or sti...... I would just have to accept that I guess and hope she learns a lesson from the experience. conker I've used the my friends dd topic many times, I am never sure how convincing I sound ...... she probably just thinks I have some friends with very rebellious kids! Thank you all so much for your replies and support I feel less alone now, and stronger to face this
Could you offer to help with the room, and then suggest you do something nice together, after? Paint each other's nails or something? This might be an opener for the chat.
Whatever happens, she may never tell you about it, hard as that may be for you.
You just need to keep reassuring her about herself, without mentioning him, otherwise, she will guess you have snooped.
conker It's true I probably have been critical about this lad, although in my more 'sensible' parenting moments I have realised that is the sure way to make him seem more attractive :D Just to add complication to today, she has just rung me from school asking me if she can go out after school to cheer herself up! The problem here is that she is grounded from going out until bedroom has been tidied and dirty washing found it's way to the washing machine etc.... So I have said no but it's not going to pave the way for heart to heart chats later!
I agree then don't do anything that would damage your relationship.
I was an awful teenager and my mum once called my bluff on something (smoking) and a part of me was relieved she new and because of that I stopped smoking straight away and I was able to talk to her about.its going to be tricky to talk to her about it without her knowing you know but I would definitely encourage a gentle chat,see if she opens up about what's going on.
Hi sticky, I echo what the other posters have said. Don't worry about snooping, you are looking out for your DD.
I personally would not say that I have snooped unless I absolutely had no other option.
I might use the 'thing that happened to the daughter of a friend of mine' technique to bring it up. I.e. you wanted to talk to her because a friend's DD has started having sex, and you realise that she might know other girls who are considering it, but that girl ended up feeling really bad about how it happened, etc.
Or perhaps, you have realised that you have been critical of her friendship with X and now feel you may have been a bit hard on him, then ask her to tell you about him.
Good luck, you sound like you've got a strong relationship.
Catnap I have thought about being completely honest and confessing, but I think it would probably damage our relationship permanently. :/
I already feel like I'm walking on egg shells at times, but I do get what your saying that she might be relieved she doesn't have to come right out and tell me. Oh the dilemmas of parenting teenagers!
Oh gosh I thought this thread was going to be about a teenager snooping.i feel so bad for you and your daughter you are both in a very awkward situation.i think depending on how close you and your dd are I would go to her and tell her you did something you were ashamed of but you were worried about her and felt you had no option.just be sympathetic towards her,don't tell anymore lies it will just get very confusing.she may be relieved you know without her actually having to tell you as she may be feeling very embarrassed.im sure she is knowledgeable enough to make sure she was safe but you probably just need some clarification for yourself.
sticky I have a 17yo DD and I understand some of what you are feeling. I too have spent numerous nights awake, literally all night long, as I have been so worried about her. As sparkling says, it is because you care. As mums, if the DC are unhappy then so are we.
You say that you often talk about these things so that is a good thing. It is not as though a discussion on such matters will be right out of character from you. How much has she told you so far about this boy? As far as she is concerned, when was the last time you know she saw him? You could use this as a lead-in to the conversation, something along the lines of 'how was X when you saw him a couple of weeks ago?'. It is possible that she is worried and will welcome a chat with you but may not know how to raise it with you. You are right not to mention that you have looked at her phone, there is no need for you to say.
Good luck, hope it goes well.
I am finding the teen years challenging too sticky, you just have to do your best.
Totally understand your sadness too-you didn't want it to be like that for her.
All you can do now is move forward and try to broach the subject and try and get her to open up to you if possible.
Thanks I guess I will have to try and broach the subject later, I don't even want to consider the consequences of them not having used contraception! I suppose I am also gutted her first time was with such a loser and not even in a proper relationship, (I do know it was the first time from the text!). I hope this doesn't spoil her future relationships. We have always talked about saving yourself for someone special regardless of age and being secure in a relationship and I feel sad for her that she will probably not remember her first time as being special! sparklingbrook, I did find the other thread and read it through, I empathise with that mum so much! Aaagh sometimes I hate being a parent!
I don't think you're mean at all, you only looked because you were so worried. She is only 14,the choices we make at 14 are so often not in our best interests, and as her parent I think you're doing absolutely the right thing to try and protect her however you can.
I agree with the other posters that you should gently try and bring the topic up again without telling her that you have checked her phone.
Tell her again that she can tell you anything at all and you won't be angry. She may be so gutted that he's left her that she hasn't thought about consequences if they didn't use protection.
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