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DD (12) with much older boyfriend

(42 Posts)
eliza1960 Mon 25-Aug-14 20:50:46

I am worried about my youngest DD. She is only just 12 (August baby) and has finished her first year of secondary school. She settled in well and made lots of friends so we had no worries. I found out this week (from my oldest DD who is 22) that youngest DD has a 'boyfriend' who is much older. He goes to the same school and is 15, going into Year 11.

DD2 has told DD1 about this boy, but has made her promise not to tell me as she's worried I would stop her from seeing him. This is the first I've heard of it and I suspect she's been lying about where she's been going. Since she was in Year 5, she's had a wide circle of friends and often spends days at friends' houses or at sleepovers. We never thought anything of it until now but I'm terrified she's been round this boy's house doing things she shouldn't be. We have always trusted her and never felt the need to check. She walks to her friends' houses alone so she could have been anywhere.

It's not normal for a Year 11 boy to be interested in a Year 8 girl, is it? At that age, most boys would view a girl that young as babyish. DD2 doesn't appear particularly grown up either. She's quite petite and slim and looks her age.

DD1 has managed to get into DD2's phone and says that there are lots of messages from this boy in her inbox. Quite intense things about how much she loves him and can't wait to see him again etc. There are photos in her camera folder of herself in underwear but no evidence of sending these to him. I hope she hasn't. DD1 is currently trying to get into her ipad and email account as she is often on this and it's possible we can find out more from that.

At the moment, she doesn't know I know. I haven't told DH yet. I want this boy to leave her alone as the age difference is too big and it's too grown up for her. At that age, he would want more than just a childish relationship. How do I approach this without upsetting her and making it worse?

aubreye Wed 27-Aug-14 21:47:36

There was a girl in a neighbouring village who went to my DCs primary school and was DSs Junior Partner when he was in Reception and she was in Year 6.

A lovely girl, friendly and from a respectable family who wouldn't tolerate stuff she's too young to do. When she was 12 she had a 17 year old secret boyfriend- he didn't love her, he used her for sex. She got pregnant aged 13, parents were devasted and boy only went to prison for a year as he was an adult having sex with a minor.

I'm not trying to scare you but I really don't think your DD should be seeing this boy. She's not ready and he is much too old.

I would suggest subtly mentioning to her, asking if she has a boyfriend. If she says yes, push further, if no, don't ask her anything but just drop hints about older boys only wanting younger girls to do things. But be subtle.

Good luck and I hope you can eventually talk to your daughter about this and I hope that they don't stay together for her sake.

eliza1960 Tue 02-Sep-14 19:01:31

Thanks for your reply aubreye.

I am so worried about this situation with my youngest DD for the reasons you've mentioned. I sat down and spoke to her about new friends she's made and she didn't mention the boy, even when I asked about boys she had met. I didn't want to push her away so I didn't bring it up. I dropped hints about older boys and talked about a documentary I saw about a case in the media where a young girl was involved with a much older boy and how they got into a lot of trouble. She seemed to listen but she's always on her phone texting someone and is very secretive.

She's gone back to school this week and is already dropping hints about going to a weekly youth disco with 'friends'. I suspect this boy will be going as it's open to under 18s. We've had a few mood swings recently so I don't want to accuse her outright as I worry it will cause an argument and then she'll never tell me anything.

I'm considering speaking to her teacher and asking if she mixes with the boy at school. As they go to the same school, it is likely.

Smartiepants79 Tue 02-Sep-14 19:09:26

I do think you need to tread carefully about how you speak to her at this.
As far as she is concerned you know nothing. If you confront her without her telling you first then it could seriously damage her relationship with her sister.
Also using her sister to check up on her is slightly dodgy ground and could cause no end of grief.
She clearly knows you wouldn't approve as she is keeping it from you.
I agree that it is unusual for boys that age to be interested in such a young girl but do you know anything about him. He may be extremely immature himself. I don't say I think it's a good idea but until she confides in you it's tricky to know what can be done.
Unless you think you could say that you're worried she is keeping something from you and see if you can get her to fess up.

MummyIsMyFavouriteName Tue 02-Sep-14 19:14:21

Don't tar every boy with the same brush! For all you know he could be a lovely person who genuinely likes her. Maybe talk to her, tell her you know and invite him round to meet him. Then you can judge him for who he actually is.

I can understand your worry but don't fall out with your daughter about this. Let it make you closer. If you force them to break up, she won't trust you and will be even less likely to tell you things.

LineRunner Tue 02-Sep-14 19:14:31

No no no.

My DS is 15 going into Year 11. Just no to him having an interest in a just-turned-12 year old.

Whatever you do, do it as sensitively as you can, but I think you are right to be very concerned indeed.

Vicky5910 Tue 02-Sep-14 19:17:18

This never ends well when the older boys have much younger girlfriends in the school I work. Pregnancy scares in under 14s is the hardest part of my job sad
The girls can be so misled by the boys. The safest way out of it is to stress how he could go to prison and if she loves him she won't have sex with him. If he loves her he will wait until she is 16. If he pressures her he is showing his true motives and he will probably find it elsewhere, leaving her heart broken but safe.
The school should be told they are in a relationship so he can have a chat with his head of year about how serious a situation he could find himself in. Had to give lads that talk myself. They sometimes don't realise how bad it looks!

lunar1 Tue 02-Sep-14 19:18:03

Can you speak to the school, I really wouldn't be happy about this but I don't have any advice on how to talk to her about this.

Pagwatch Tue 02-Sep-14 19:19:59

My dd was given her phone on the condition that I would look at it at times. Reading your post I'm glad we agreed that.

Why don't you ask her if she has a boy she likes - that if she did that would be ok but you would like to think that she could talk to you openly about it. If she were seeing someone and felt she had to be secretive that would perhaps be a sign that it wasn't quite right because if they are hiding away they are not being honest and that's not how it's meant to be when you care about someone.

Personally, if i were as worried as you ound, i would look at her messages. If I thought she was vulnerable to a much older boy I would look. I respect her privacy but I don't accept secrecy.
When I was dating an older boy I didn't tell anyone - I certainly wouldn't have told my sisters. I then told them at exactly the point at which I think I wanted out.

marne2 Tue 02-Sep-14 19:24:57

I agree with mummyis, if you go in all guns blazing you will push her closer towards him, not all 15 year old boys are after one thing but I can understand why you are worried. When I was 14 I started going out with a 22 year old, my parents obviously were not happy but the more they tried to keep us apart the more I went behind their backs to see him, I dated him for a couple years and it ended badly, I do wish I had listened to my parents but when you are young you don't want to think your parents are right.

I would sit her down and talk to her, find out what's going on, if she thinks it's a serious relationship then tell her you need to meet the boy ( then you can judge what his intentions are ), if you play it cool then hopefully it will all fizzle out in a few weeks, don't go begging her to end it or you will push them closer together.

Madratlady Tue 02-Sep-14 19:39:40

While I think that the difference between a 12 and a 15yr old is usually too much in terms of maturity, if he is a summer born boy then the age gap could be 2 years rather than the nearly 4 a yr8-yr11 relationship suggests.

Also, I had a very close male friend who got together with a girl 3 years younger as we were going into year 11. That was definitely not just about sex, and sex wasn't involved for a long time. They were together until he went to university and she broke up with him. They had a 'normal' relationship, if anything she used to manipulate him by having major sulks and refusing to talk to him if she felt he did something not to her liking.

So while I'd be concerned about the age gap, don't automatically assume he's only after one thing and it will end in disaster and teenage pregnancy, it may not.

Selks Tue 02-Sep-14 19:59:57

This is a difficult situation, but I would be very concerned about this. Without wanting to be alarmist, this is bordering on being a safeguarding issue due to the photos - which she may have sent to him, you don't know - and his age, as after all he could equally be nearly 16, as nearly 14. I would also be concerned if any of your DD's behaviours are leaving her open to being exploited...if she is sending photos of herself in her underwear to anyone that is a huge safeguarding issue.

I think you need to seek some guidance on this. Please phone the NSPCC advice line and discuss it with one of the NSPCC workers, you can do this anonymously, and they will help you figure out how to manage this situation and whether anything specific needs to be done to safeguard your DD.

VerityWaves Tue 02-Sep-14 20:43:46

Well I would be absolutely disgusted and furious at this situation. But that isn't much help to you I'm afraid...

I suppose I would be speaking to his parents and seeing they were aware of what was going in.

VerityWaves Tue 02-Sep-14 20:44:18


HumblePieMonster Tue 02-Sep-14 20:52:27

His parents, his behaviour, not your business. If you need to inform the police about abuse, do so, but don't get involved with his parents.

You could speak to the school. If you like. But its not their responsibility, its yours. On a positive note, they could give her a 'safe place' to be at lunchtimes and breaks so she isn't with him.

Ground her completely. She's a child. She isn't safe. And that is down to you.

Hulababy Tue 02-Sep-14 20:59:41

My DD is 12y, going into year 8. I would be extremely concerned if it was my DD and tbh I would have to speak to her and have to put a stop to it.

If your DD has only just turned 12y then there is at least 3 years between them, and they are at totally different stages of their education, etc to. IME (I was a secondary school teacher) 15y boys don't usually go out with 12y.

Firstly - your 12y is too young to have unmonitored use to the internet and social media. You need to be checking her phone and her tablet regularly, including email, messages and social media. You should have the passwords for them all too. I check DD's every so often, it is a condition of her owning and using these devices.

If she has been seeing this boy outside of school, without telling you, then she has betrayed your trust and, therefore, her ability to be out and about all the time needs stopping for a while. I always know who dd is with and where she is heading, and if she is having a sleepover it is still confirmed with parents.

I also think you need to tell her that you have been told about this boy and whether she can confirm whether it is true or not. And talk more following this, laying down some rules and guidelines.

Hulababy Tue 02-Sep-14 21:01:07

The underwear pictures are a big concern. Even if she hasn't sent these to the boy, why is she taking pictures of herself undressed?

She needs some good e safety awareness chats too.

eliza1960 Wed 03-Sep-14 21:11:55

I feel sick reading some of these replies, I've been near to tears over them. I never intentionally meant to leave my child open to danger. I think we've always let her away with a lot because she's our youngest by quite a few years and the baby of the family. Therefore we haven't been as firm with her as we have our other children, I think we have trusted her too much.

Tonight has been awful. I spoke to DH while DD was at school about what I heard from my older daughter. He hit the roof but I calmed him down and said I'd speak to her.

She came in from school and I asked to speak to her. I said I knew she had been talking to an older boy from school but I wouldn't tell her who told me. I asked to see her phone but she refused. I explained that I would have to take the phone away from her if she was going to be secretive. She then burst into tears, said I don't understand her and this boy was the only person who does.

I told her she was not going to the youth disco and we would be keeping tabs on where she goes from now on. She became angry and was very rude to me. DH got involved and shouted at her for being rude. He took the phone away from her and her tablet. DH said she's not going out with the boy any more. She then stormed out and has shut herself in her room. She is hysterical and upset and I feel so bad. She is usually a lovely, easy going girl and I don't like seeing her like this. She has said she's not going to school tomorrow or speaking to us ever again.

I think I've done the right thing? I've never seen her this upset before though sad

HumblePieMonster Wed 03-Sep-14 21:22:48

in her room alone, without technology, she's not falling prey to an older boy. of course you've done the right thing.

when you can, tomorrow, ongoing, keep talking with her, and listening. she's only a child, no matter how grown up she feels.

MrsDavidBowie Wed 03-Sep-14 21:27:09

You have definitely done the right thing.

CurlyWurlyCake Wed 03-Sep-14 21:32:38

sad it's no surprise that she didn't want you to have her phone due to the pictures and messages.

I think your husband needs to apologise to her for shouting and both let her know you are on her side and here if she needs you.

I would tell her why I am so worried for her but try not to be negative about the boy, she won't accept that now.

I would then email the school and see if they have any advice.

I don't believe you have intentionally done anything wrong and only read love and worry in your posts.

lunar1 Wed 03-Sep-14 21:33:20

You have done the right thing. I think I would let school know in the morning so they can keep an eye on her.

loudarts Wed 03-Sep-14 21:34:28

You have done the right thing, and she will calm down.

LadySybilLikesCake Wed 03-Sep-14 21:38:02

You need to look at her phone, I'm sorry. There's various levels of images which are not acceptable, and images of children in their underwear is one of these. If she has sent them to him and he's sent them on, he's committed a very serious offence. I do agree that it would be wise to speak to someone at the NSPCC, they are best to advise you. Telling her that her boyfriend could be in serious trouble if she carries on seeing him may help. Legally, she's a child and he's not.

AcrossthePond55 Wed 03-Sep-14 21:43:51

I agree, you have done the right thing.

BUT, since they go to the same school you will not be able to keep them completely away from each other.

When I was 14 I became involved with a (wait for it) 20 year old. There was absolutely NO sexual activity involved (well, until I was a few months shy of 18). My parents forbade me from dating him or being alone with him until I was 17, but he was allowed to phone me and to come and see me when my parents were home. They also encouraged and permitted me to see and date boys closer to my own age. By not completely forbidding the relationship but still keeping it under there watchful eyes I came to no harm.

You must of course do as you see fit, but controlling contact may be more effective than forbidding it.

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