To not have punished her more?!(85 Posts)
Sorry for the long post, just started rambling a bit.
A little bit of backstory first, me, my partner and our DC moved about half an hour drive from where we used to live and DD and DSDs, both 16, school 18 months ago, we didn't bother moving them to a new school as they only had a year left and were in the middle of GCSEs. As all DDs friends were half an hour drive away, which would take just over an hour on 2 buses when we're not around to do lifts, we encouraged them to make some friends in our neighbourhood. DSD was not interested at all but dd made friends with a girl we will call Emily. Since they left school 2 months ago DD and Emily have got really close spent all their time together and call each other their best friends.
Before DD met Emily she was one of the easiest of my 3 DC and 2 DSC. Since meeting her she has been caught smoking numerous times by different family members, had come home drunk and has been caught shoplifting. She got punished for the shoplifting but I didn't feel the need to punish her for drinking and smoking as I was no better myself at her age, we did have a long talk everytime though.
Last Friday DD got brought home by the police at 2am, Emily had already been dropped off at her house. They had told me they were sleeping over at Emilys and Emily told her mum they were staying at mine when in reality they, and 2 other boys, were at a boys house and his mum had called the police as she wasn't aware they were even there until they had woken her up. She thought her son was out at one of his 2 friends houses. I grounded DD for a week and took away her phone, laptop and iPad.
A week brings us to today. Last night I gave DD all her things back and this afternoon after texting all morning she went to meet Emily. Half hour after she left I get a phone call from Emilys mum saying DD has just turned up at their door and Emily has new rules now and she won't be going out with anyone unless arranged and okayed by all parents involved. She has proved she can not be trusted. Emily was never like this before she met DD. It obviously Isn't helping that DD is never punished for her behaviour.
Obviously DD wasn't like this before meeting Emily either, I do not blame Emily though. It's obvious they both just bring something bad or in each other and with other new friends involved they are experimenting with new things. Emily is a lovely girl and I do like her despite the trouble DD keeps getting into so I don't want to discourage the friendship.
But since the phone call I've been second guessing myself. Was I wrong not to punished DD more for things she has done? Me and DP thought we handled things well but now I'm not sure.
Sometimes the softer approach you mention (ie long practical chats) will work. It clearly hasn't here.
I don't want to say YABU as such as you're obviously doing your best but imo as someone who was a little shit yes you need a much firmer approach if the softer one isn't working...
You need to punish behaviour that you don't want. You can't just think to yourself that you did things like that at her age and that it would be hypocritical to do that.
Do what's right by her and forget the comments of Emily's mum.
I think the other mother was rude to suggest it's your fault as you don't punish Dd. She has no idea what's gone off.
However if my Dd did this I think I would be doing more than a week punishment, then returning to normal straight away. She would need to earn back the trust.
Why did the boys mum call the police instead of you and Emilys mum?
Everyone will punish their children differently. The way you did things was fine IMO. I had a zero tolerance on alcohol when my eldest was younger due to his dad being an alcoholic and would and did go batship back then when he was drinking but I've since changed my views. He is 19 now and my 17 year old isn't into drinking yet so I can't really say honestly how I would react.
If you and your partner are happy with how things were handled then Don't second guess yourself based on someone else.
Out of curiosity, is her dad around? If he is, what does he think of all this?
To be honest I think neither of you want to be to blame, so are taking the easy route of deciding the other girl is a bad influence. In reality they're just teenagers doing daft things.
I don't think it's about punishing her 'more' it's about making the punishment fit the crime better. Emily's punishment is actually going to be more effective - she basically has to re-earn her parents trust. You took her stuff off her but that doesn't really do anything longer term. Can you see the difference?
But all that said, I don't think you can or should compare your parenting with others. You have to do what feels right and proportionate for you.
The talks are more about the dangers with smoking and drinking and her needing to be honest rather that me saying don't do it. She is old enough in my opinion to make decisions for herself. I smoked for 20 years from when I was 14 and my eldest son has smoked since he was 15/16 although we didn't actually find out until last year and he is now 19 so so I know that will get thrown at me if I try stop her. Since we talked she told me twice that she was going out with Emily and others and will be drinking so the talk about honesty did work.
I haven't told her dad as me and my partner dealt with it at the time and didn't feel the need to.
Since we talked she told me twice that she was going out with Emily and others and will be drinking so the talk about honesty did work.
But only in relation to wether she is drinking or not. She wasn't honest about where she was. She planned to be dishonest.
No, maybe it won't do anything long term but I'm not used to having to punish her, I honestly haven't ever had to, so I'm still trying to find what works. I was punishing her for the lying to me and the boys mother, again like the drinking I would've been okay with it after speaking to the boy's mother if I had actually knew.
I don't blame Emily and I did say that.
Just because she has told you she is drinking it doesn't mean that it's ok!
Teenagers do these things and I think you need to just accept that, the shop lifting is out of order though. You punished how you saw fit and I agree with what you did, the drinking, smoking and hanging out with boys is just part of being 16 I'm afraid and I didn't punish any of my children or stepchildren for that either. Just long boring talks every time.
Maybe it isn't so much to do with the friendship but more to do with the freedom they now have. I assume since leaving school they've been out later, more sleepovers, more going out?
I also understand the not knowing what works best as you've never had to punish her. My 2 sons and my step daughter were up to no good the minute the got more freedom at secondary school so over the years I learnt what works best and how to deal with it. My daughter and step son never did anything they needed to be punished for and I have no clue what the best punishment would be for them.
She gets pocket money for chores she does around the house and her nan gives all my DC a tenner almost every week. I don't think she is actually buying cigarettes, she is just pinching them from her friends.
If I told her not to drink she would go behind my back anyway so I would rather her tell me she is doing it. No, it's not okay but that's what's best and worked with all my children.
If my 16 year old was smoking, they wouldn't get a single penny from me.
I'd tell other family members too, especially her Dad.
What did he say about the shoplifting btw?
He was really angry and annoyed. If she asked either me or him for the stuff she was trying to steal them we would've happily brought it. I have a feeling she had shoplifted more than once though and just didn't get caught.
My mum will always give her money though, even if I ask her not to. The money I give her is for her chores, if she didn't get the money she wouldn't do her chores.
You need to be stricter. If she behaves like a twat then she gets no money and still has to do chores. Toughen up a bit!
Tell your mum that you will give her the money when she deserves it. If your mum can't respect that then she doesn't see her.
Why aren't you telling her dad? It's like you are trying to protect her.
Is your DD spoilt by any chance? Your mum gives her £10 a week, so that's £40 an month just from her, she gets more money for you, how much of you don't mind me asking? And she would get what she wanted if she asked yet she still felt the need to shoplift.
And she doesn't get punished. At least not properly. Talks are not a punishment.
I do slightly agree you can't punish her for drinking and smoking, those are just teenage things and as long as she's being responsible and honest with you. And even harder if you smoked younger than her and also aloud her brother to do so aswell. So why don't you tell her she can smoke all she likes when she gets a job and pays for herself.
Stop the pocket money and make it clear her chores still need to be done if she wants to live with you. Also speak to her dad/grandparents/whoever else she may go live with when she doesn't like your rules and ask the to have the same rule.
Want to do grown up things liek drinking and smoking then you can get a job like a grown up and pay your own way like a grown up.
Your mum would give her grandaughter money to possibly give herself lung cancer?
And you wold too, because she wouldn't do her chores otherwise?
I don't even get why chores are optional here tbh.
Either way, to answer your question - no I dont think you should necessarily have punished her more for what she's done.
But you do need to tell her dad (regardless of the fact you dealt with it) and you do need to put some strict measures in place for the future.
Otherwise you may have to get used to her being returned by the police, or worse still, banged up all night.
It all sounds a bit upside down. You are having to bribe her to do chores, when she's part of the house. How much does she pay you to do chores?
Tell her grandmother you would love her to put that money into a trust fund or something as she is possibly spending it on cigarettes. You are saying what she will "throw" at you if you tell her not to smoke or drink or whatever, so you are adapting your standards to fit her reaction.
Whether or not you would have bought her the items she shoplifted is irrelevant.
I was like this as a teenager. My parents did little in the way of punishment. My Dad got really angry and raged for a while sometimes giving me a slap which just made me want to do more to piss him off and my Mum just gave me long, boring lectures.
Neither tried to find out why I was doing the shit I was doing or tried to engage me in anything else.
She gets £15 a week from me. Perhaps she is spoilt but so are all my DC and DSC, we have the money to do so so why can't we?
I can't stop my mum seeing her, she lives within a 2 minute walk from us. Even if she agreed to stop the money she would only do it anyway and tell DC not to tell me.
I'm not telling her dad becuase I don't think he needs to know every small detail. He only ever speaks to my DC when they are in trouble or he wants something from them. I told him when she was shoplifting as I was furious. She was originally grounded for a month and had everything, including her tv cable(can't take the actual tv as its on the wall) and changed the Netflix,Sky go and Amazon password so she couldn't even watch tv. We gave her a chance to lessen the time for all the good things she did. As she is generally well behaved and helpful she got 3 weeks taken off within the first 5 days.
She is starting an apprenticeship at an estate agents in September which will take her all her time (9-6 6 days one week, 5 the next) so won't be able to have a small job along side that so if I made her go out and get a job now it would only be a month and I doubt anyone would give her a job for that short time.
She was grounded for a month but after 5 days you told her she now only had to do another 2 days, instead of another 26.
Tbf to the other mother, you sound like you have just accepted she will do what she wants. Go though the motions of a punishment, but not prepared to do anything else.
Laid back may have worked for the other kids. It's not working with this one.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.