WWYD- 13 YO daughter and message I "shouldn't have read"

(203 Posts)
over2021 Wed 20-Oct-21 13:41:53

DD is 13 (Y9). Tomorrow her and some friends have arranged something after school that starts at 7pm. DD asked if her friends could come to ours after school before the event starts which is very local to us (not so much for them). I agreed then realised I was working late so said to DD they would need to order pizzas etc as I wouldn't be in- DH would be home from 6ish.

On reflection, I didn't want them walking to event - about 20 minute walk away- in the dark. DH doesn't have a big enough car to take them. So, I've changed my work plans so I could be home. I told DD and she said "a few girls wanted to go to the park first"- I was clear she was not to go to the park in the dark (the park is a wooded area with a pond etc not a playground).

Last night DD was being weird with her phone and when she went to bed I checked her messages. One in their group chat said "guys, my mum is such a buzz kill. She's coming home now so she can drive us but I've told her to drop us at half six so we can still go to the park".

I am fuming at her. I want to ground her and say not only can her friends not come but she's also not going to the event as clearly I can't trust her. DH says I need to back off and she's behaving like a normal teenager plus I shouldn't have read her messages but that I should drop them at the door and watch them go in.


OP’s posts: |
Pricklypear12 Wed 20-Oct-21 13:45:01

You're her mother, you have every right to read your 13 year old daughter's messages whenever you please. I'd be definitely grounding and cancelling all plans.

BeMoreHedgehog Wed 20-Oct-21 13:46:51

Yep, I’d be cancelling the whole thing, plus telling the parents of the other kids.

Flogert Wed 20-Oct-21 13:46:52

I agree with your DH. I imagine plans were made on the realisation of lack of parental involvement which were exciting. I think checking the phone is normal parental behaviour in this modern age (presumably your daughter is aware this is a possibility) but you don’t have to react to it in any way other than scuppering the plans by driving them to the venue for the time that will make a park visit impossible!

Lavender24 Wed 20-Oct-21 13:48:09

I think grounding her is way OTT. Just drop her at the door at 7 and make sure she goes in.

BeanyBops Wed 20-Oct-21 13:48:15

Commenting even though I'm not parent to a teen yet but just because noone else has!

If I've understood correctly that you asked her not to go to the park, she agreed, then secretly planned to go anyway, than YABU to explain its a breach of trust and that you need to be able to trust her for her to start going out and doing things on her own in the evening. Trust has to be earned.

I'd wonder what was going on in the park - maybe meeting others to have a few drinks before the event? I'd want to know what it is that she doesn't want to miss out on

I'd also try not to engage with 'normal teenager' argument because that's not going to get you anywhere I don't think. Teens always seem to think everyone else has it better/easier, but that's not relevant. Your family your rules.

Enko Wed 20-Oct-21 13:48:28

I would not ground i would communicate with her find out why she feels this way. Explain why the park is a no go.

Let her voice her views listen find something you are both happy with


RedHelenB Wed 20-Oct-21 13:48:32

At Y9 and in a group I think they'd have been fine together in the park/walking to the event.

ZandraPlackett Wed 20-Oct-21 13:49:02

Your feelings aren’t unreasonable but you need to think of the bigger picture. Stop the activity and ground her and she will be secretive and not share info with you in the future. Show empathy and understanding and your teen years with her will be much more positive, and safer. I would try to think of some compromise, but not let her know I’d read her messages. It’s a long game!!

RhymesWithOrange Wed 20-Oct-21 13:49:59

I wouldn't be too harsh. Yes she's been cheeky and sly but if you go in all guns blazing she'll just shut down.

girlmom21 Wed 20-Oct-21 13:50:46

I'd drop her at 7pm

Cocomarine Wed 20-Oct-21 13:52:44

I agree with your husband about teenage behaviour, but I disagree with him about no checking messages. My Y8 knows that although I don’t routinely check them every day, I might at any time. So I’d have no issue telling her what I’d seen.

I tell her that I know I’m a buzz kill pita, but that it’s my job to look out for her. It usually helps mine when I remind her that this sort of no isn’t me being an overbearing parent, but the world not being safe. Is there an alternative that you can work out between you? Not the park but someone else, safer, that they could still go to?

I’d certainly have “the talk” about lying. But if she’s generally trustworthy, I wouldn’t treat her like she totally isn’t now. I’d also have the talk about what if she had gone and there was trouble… I always emphasise you mine that if she made a bad call like that, she stood never to scared to call me from where she shouldn’t be. Her safety is more important.

MrsRobbieHart Wed 20-Oct-21 13:55:18

She hasn’t actually done anything wrong yet. Just made plans to. I wouldn’t ground her for acting big for her mates. Just drop them off at 7 and make sure they go in.

over2021 Wed 20-Oct-21 13:59:12

Thanks. Being a parent to a teen is so difficult- I need NCT classes now not 13 years ago!

I will have a chat with her when she gets home. She is generally trustworthy and sensible but this isn't the first time she's lied to me recently.

OP’s posts: |
Qwertyyui Wed 20-Oct-21 13:59:57

I would act like I had not seen it and then find reasons to be later to drop her off on time. Just finishing the washing up. Oh the washing needs hung up. Oh I need a wee before I leave. Then be 'accidently late' and act surprised that she is worried about not being there half an hour early.

fallfallfall Wed 20-Oct-21 14:01:05

Meeting up to drink/smoke prior to the event is the first thing that comes to mind. Somethings going on in the park. If they want to sit about and chat they could do that at yours…that conniving behavior is annoying and leads to trouble trusting.

MyDcAreMarvel Wed 20-Oct-21 14:04:27

I would be annoyed at the deceit but confused as to way a group of 13 year olds can’t walk 20 minutes at 6.30pm?

MyDcAreMarvel Wed 20-Oct-21 14:04:48


Skysblue Wed 20-Oct-21 14:04:52

Right so you changed your work plans around so you could accommodate her social life and make sure she’s safe, and she’s trying to trick you and going somewhere unsafe that you told her not to? I would be livid.

I’m not sure grounding her is the answer though, and I’m no expert on teens.

There are teo issues here thst need addressing:
1. Her lack of respect for you
2. Her lack of concern for her own safety.

I would have a loooong chat with her and then set her a relevant punishment. A problem seems to be that she doesn’t understand why the park is a bad idea. I might tell her she has to research and write an essay on women’s safety, incl statistics on how many rapes and murders there are of females a year in your country, and that she can’t have her phone back or go out with her friends until she’s given you the essay.

I’d also buy her a personal alarm to carry.

bloodywhitecat Wed 20-Oct-21 14:04:57

I would use it as a basis for a conversation with her but I wouldn't ground her or stop her going to the event, You want to keep the avenues of communication open, the last thing you need is to be alienating her she'll shut down and lie even more.

Skysblue Wed 20-Oct-21 14:08:10

@MyDcAreMarvel it depends where you live. Where I grew up (London), a group of 13 yr old girls walking alone at 6.30pm for twenty minutes at dusk would almost certainly get harassed by creepy older men, who would probably be drunk and/or trying to sell drugs.

Actually I now live in a quiet rural village with v v low crime, but I still don’t walk alone to the village centre after dark. Too many creepy drunk men. DH got hassled by a drunk on way home from work recently.

TheTurn0fTheScrew Wed 20-Oct-21 14:10:57

I wouldn't ground her
I would reinforce the boundaries about staying safe when out, and change the arrangement to drop her at the door and see her go in.

Theunamedcat Wed 20-Oct-21 14:11:17

Drop her off then go to the park and see if she actually shows up? it might just be bravado on her part

imnotacelebritygetmeoutofhere Wed 20-Oct-21 14:13:22

You are perfectly reasonable to check a 13 years old's messages, but also I do think she's entitled to rant off to her mates in a group chat. She's annoyed because you've parented her plans. Bring up that you've seen the messy and let her know that it still stands that she can't go to the park and make it clear you'll be dropping them off at the event at 7pm.

TheCrowFromBelow Wed 20-Oct-21 14:13:43

would have a loooong chat with her and then set her a relevant punishment. A problem seems to be that she doesn’t understand why the park is a bad idea. I might tell her she has to research and write an essay on women’s safety, incl statistics on how many rapes and murders there are of females a year in your country, and that she can’t have her phone back or go out with her friends until she’s given you the essay.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in