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Worried about my 19year old daughter(97 Posts)
Please don't judge me as I am at my wits end and really need some advice. I feel too embarrassed to talk to any friends or family about the situation and despite scouring the internet I cannot find anywhere else to turn to for help.
My daughter is away at university and last weekend I used a computer in the house that has her Facebook messenger logged into it, I didn't know at the time. Whilst doing my online shopping on the top right hand corner she started having a conversation with one of her friends. I probably should have turned away or logged out but I didn't and what I read has caused me unbelievable stress. I could only see one side of the conversation (not hers) but I learnt that since losing her virginity last summer she has had full penetrative sex with 8 partners. She has never had a boyfriend and all of the encounters have been casual one night stands.
I understand in this day and age of sexual freedom and liberation people of her age are more casual about sex than I ever was and from what I have ready online the consensus of some is that if she is willing, single and not hurting anyone then why shouldn't she. I am no prude nor stuck in the dark ages but in truth I am honestly horrified and very concerned for her mental and physical wellbeing.
Her first sexual experience was with a boy that she was extremely fond of and had been extremely close to for a few years, though they never went out; without going into detail he hurt her very badly by wining her trust then afterwards told her that he had slept with her for a bet. I am very concerned that she is so damaged by this bad experience that she has gone off the rails and has such low self esteem that the attention she gets during these encounters is a quick fix for feeling wanted.
I would be grateful for any constructive comments on how to handle this situation. Should I tell her what I read and talk to her when she comes home? Should I arrange some counselling for her? Should I try to delete it from my mind and hope that she is using precautions and getting tested? I really don't know what to do for the best and don't want to talk to my husband about it as he doesn't understand emotional issues and I don't trust that he wouldn't refer to it in the future when, hopefully, she finds a different path.
Thank you in advance
It's absolutely none of your business. She's an adult and can do what she likes. I'd had a LOT more partners than that by her age
How dare you judge her like this for something you shouldn't even know. Ugh
I do think you're over reacting. She is 19, an adult and what she does in bed has nothing to do with you. I hope she is using protection against STDs and pregnancy.
I had sex with lots of people at uni 40 years ago and wasn't suffering from low self-esteem or gone "off the rails".
You really shouldn't have read those messages.
And as for arranging counselling
Absolutely NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! In addition what you did was equivalent to reading her diary!
Don't say or do anything.
Is it me or are there a few threads like this at the moment with parents who think they have a right to control their adult children's personal lives?!
No you should not have read her personal emails.
But you did, if this was me I'm afraid I would fess up and have a good chat with her, she's 19 but still in my eyes a child, 8 partners is a lot imo at that age.
The thing is really now, you can't act on it because you broke her trust and read her private messages. She could be absolutely fine and happy she migh have some self esteem issues since her first bad experience but now you've blown it because if you do mention reading the messages, you are the last person she'll want to talk to. I went through being off the rails at that age and had a lot of partners, didn't have anyone to talk to and fortuntely I did get over it and I am fine now.
You have broke her trust now, you can only hope if she does have any self esteem issues she might talk to you but I defintely woudln't bring up the messges. It really isn't your business who she sleeps with at aged 19 not living at home.
Wow - some harshness here.
If it was my DD I would certainly be having words with her.
I hear you OP and I feel for you.
It's not really something you can 'ignore' just because she's an 'adult'.
She is still your DD and you still want to protect her. Nothing wrong with that!
Be open and honest with her and ensure she is using protection.
It is unfortunate that you saw the messages. Although I don't blame you for looking, it was tempting. Of course you are worried, but she will probably work all this stuff out and I don't think you should do anything with this information. Just try to be available and capable of listening in a non-judgmental way in case she wants to talk to you about this or anything else.
She's at university and I suspect she's not the only one to have multiple partners. First year students can be sexually rampant.
None of your business, and you should not have read the messages.
Seeing something by accident is one thing, but you know a lot of detail, so must have read on.
She is 19, and entitled to a private life.
As a parent, all you can do is be there for her, if/when she asks.
MYOB in a nutshell, I can't believe you read her messages, total invasion of privacy
You have over stepped the mark and infringed on her privacy. Where these messages on the top of the list or did it take some digging? She is an adult at university paying her rent and bills. She is not a kid. I have been a uni student and we experience many life lessons, drinking,causal sex but aslong as shes safe. She does not have to report to you. I would be extremely motified if my mother did that to me. If she comes for advice then give it. In this case forget about it.
I totally get your concern.
It is a mum's job to protect your children, I know my mum still worries about me and I am middle aged with my own kids.
I was working full time and living on my own at 19, I was very mature and yet made lots of mistakes due to the fact I was young and learning. It must be very hard for parents to sit back and watch without interfering.
The problem here is that you read her personal stuff and if you look at it coldly, it is a breach of trust. However, I get why you looked although it wasn't^^ the^ right^ thing to do.
I guess the only thing you can do now is wait til you next see or speak to her, ask her how she's doing and if she has any worries. If you can, give her a big hug and tell her how much you love her and that you're always there if she needs you.
Off, I've been in a similar situation as you....
It's hard to unsee what you have seen or forget the thoughts running through your head.
I handled it not with full discloser, but with a general health chat "now that you are on your own at uni, opportunities may come about that may be hurtful to your self esteem blah blah blah" or what ever your particular concerns are.
Your daughter is 19 and an adult, imagine she read what you have typed.*she has had full piv sex with 8 men*
She is not a little girl, you are telling this public site her intimate details.
OP, she's in her first year at uni. This is in no way uncommon behaviour. I was at uni 15 years ago and this would have been perfectly normal then, that was without dating apps etc.
She is an adult woman, who apparently enjoys casual sex. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and it's none of your business.
If you had noticed a change in her behaviour or thought she was showing signs of being unhappy or depressed, then I would say talk to her. But not just because she's slept with 8 men. It's not even an outrageous number.
Im assuming you talked with her about safe sex and consent when she was younger, in which case sit back and let her make her own decisions, safe in theknowledge that you have given her the information she needs to stay safe.
What Out2Pasture said. Please don't raise your concerns about the number of partners she has had. It will only come across as a criticism of her for being promiscuous.
She is an adult, and doesn't have to have the same values and attitudes as you. She may well have made a rational decision that casual sex is the right thing for her at the moment and be looking after her self-esteem and sexual health perfectly well. Or, she may be acting out, taking risks and need support. I still think you have to wait for her to come to you.
Have a general health chat, ask her how she is doing, remind her that you are always there to talk to. And then leave her alone to get on with it.
Ok well you know she is saying that she has slept with 8 people, via FB, who knows if that's the case or not?
Yea you should have logged out, but I can understand why you didn't.
I would leave it tbh, maybe have a chat with her about safe sex at a point where you can steer a conversation towards it (if you have that sort of relationship with her).
Bacon, recent research suggests the teenage brain isn't fully developed until the age of 24. So times have changed and sadly i'm of the opinion that very very few 19 year olds behave as mature adults. mine still needed A LOT of guidance well into their 20's.
It's not about control it's about personal guidance.
You should have closed the message box and logged out as soon as you realised what was up. She's an adult and it is not your business.
If this was your 19 year old son would you be concerned to same level?
One of the prime rules I had as a parent was if I found something out through eavesdropping or 'snooping' (intentional or otherwise) that I'd better be prepared to keep my mouth shut, unless it was a matter of life or death, addiction, or illegal activities.
Unless your daughter directly asks you about her sex life, keep quiet. If there is an opening to discuss safe sex, discuss condom usage and contraception. But only if she creates an opening. Don't artificially create one yourself.
Yes you are being a prude. It is going to shock you cause most people don't disclose all their sexual antics to your parents. Hopefully she uses condoms.
regarding the esteem issues it's probably doing her her esteem wonders
Counselling? ! she's getting laid not mentally unbalanced. Leave her be.
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