Help! 15 year old daughter advice needed(14 Posts)
Please, your advice...
My daughter is 15. She is not the kind of teenager to throw strops or argue back. She is very inward, doesn't express her feelings, to me anyhow. In the last year I have found out she has self harmed, that she has problems with self image, weight etc. She will skip lunch at school, I have found it in her bin at home. And so on and the only reason I know all this is largely down to detective work! We have had chats although I mostly do the talking as she won't. Obviously this has left me not trusting her, she lies. So then I don't know how much freedom I should give her as I don't know whether she is telling me the truth. So now she wants to meet her friend on Sunday, she has gcses at the mo and I'm inclined to say no, not really because of study because she has a lot of study days at school but more so because the friend although the same age, is drinking and seeing boys etc and I think my daughter is lying to me about what they will really do this Sunday so what do I do because if I stop her going out she will be all down which because of past issues I worry but then I worry she is lying to me. I know she is messaging some strange boy on her ipod and I suspect she is meeting him?? I can't remember what I did at 15. Need some advice on what to expect and what I should allow/not allow??
If she's 15 Y10 you say, no, not until she can be trusted.
However, I guess she's a summer born Y11 and that's harder as she'll kick against being treated as younger than her DFs.
I can still say No to DD1, but that's because she always needs a lift (and is usally broke).
You need her to understand that talking to you and being open is part of keeping safe and part of being a grown up member of the family.
How you do it, I don't know.
Thank you for replying, she is year 10, has taken some gcses early which is why it may have sounded like year 11. Arrghhhh I hate this. I have a six year old and a four year old also and am already dreading going through it again twice over!
At that age I think you really are going to have to be firm, because you don't want the same row, next year too.
She is going to push the boundaries at this age. You can try and say no and stop her doing things but if she really wants to do them then she will find a way of doing them behind her back. Perhaps say yes to allowing her to see her friend on Sunday but maybe only for a short period of time, say 2 or 3 hours. If she does not feel part of her peer group then her self image may become worse and lead to more self harming. Why not say she can have her friends come round to her house for the day. Lay on some snack sort of nibbles and let themselves shut themselves away in her room with their music, phones etc. it might be fairly chaotic but at least they will be under your roof so you can keep a bit of an eye on them. Girls are under enormous pressure to be like models nowadays and are terrified of being too fat. It's tough times to be a teenager with so much media pressure. With all the exam pressure she needs to have a bit of fun and chill time too but hopefully in a safe way.
I've just watched this video, it really helps to understand the teenage brain.
The trick is to pick your battles, let her go but at the same time encourage her intuition, so that she can self regulate and not take dangerous risks or damage herself more.
Whatever you do, don't charge in as the disciplinarian.
I understand what it's like though to not know what your child is doing, you feel powerless to help either way. Without access to their online life how do you help them deal with it?
I tell my daughter that the more open and honest she is worth me, the more she'll be able to do. With regard to alcohol, we talk about how vulnerable it can make you and how it can affect your judgement. If she's not prepared to speak to you face to face, try via Facebook messenger without probing too much?
I genuinely don't understand why you won't let her go out, if she doesn't need to study.
Unless I'm missing something the only thing she's done wrong is self harm due to having a poor self image, and lie about skipping lunch at school. I think this requires tlc, not punishment.
Is she lying to you because you react badly to any truth you don't approve of? Or maybe she just suspects that you will?
Messaging a boy, and even meeting up with him, is all normal in Y10 imo.
I don't feel I can comment on the unsuitable friend as your opinion of her seems to be based on suspicion rather than facts. Having a boyfriend and the occasional supervised alcoholic drink at 15 wouldn't worry me, but if you're saying she is regularly brought home drunk or something like that then I can understand your worry.
No she's not lying because I react badly. She's secretive like a lot of teens and like someone said previously I suppose if she was more honest and open then she would have more freedom. I am protective of her which due to previous problems I think I am entitled to be.
I agree with adeucalione.
I'd let her go and wish her a nice time as she goes out the door.
You could agree on a code word for her to text you or say over the phone so that if she ever gets into a situation she wants rescuing from but doesn't want the people she's with to know she isn't happy she can get out of it quickly with no questions asked.
You can protect her in two ways:
by trying to control what she does and who she sees
by influencing her to make good choices for herself.
If she knows that she's loved for herself and hears it regularly she will be more likely to resist unhelpful peer pressure.
Ask her opinions about anything and everything and listen without much comment. Acknowledge the generation gap. Be a good listener and take an interest in her world - even though you might find her interests/obsessions vain/boring/silly/whatever and she will be more likely to confide in you. If she thinks you'll have a fit, she won't tell you anything or tell you what she thinks you want to hear.
Easier said than done of course, and some people are more private than others anyway no matter how lovely their mum is.
OP, I'd recommend reading something about why teens are secretive. Nurtureshock has an interesting chapter on this. Basically it is usually to avoid disappointing you.
If your DD knows you disapprove of girls with boyfriends for example, she's unlikely to talk to you when she finds one.
Could you maybe bring yourself to make the first concession, and start to open a dialogue?
I don't think you need to analyse a teens behaviour too much. Generally this secrecy is her creating her own life away from her parents. She has every right to do this and it would be unhealthy for her not to. She needs people around her she can trust and she will be testing these new relationships. She is building secure attachment away from you. All you can do is encourage her to trust her instincts if things don't feel right.
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