PART TWO: Don't want to think about my daughter having sex(29 Posts)
Hi, this is my second thread.
Had a chat with DD when she got back from college and tried to ask her a little bit about her boyfriend. Didn't go down well that I had found out from her Facebook when we're not friends on there ('ARE YOU STALKING ME OR SOMETHING?') and only managed to get a bit of information out of him like his name, where they met, how old he is....I fear I questioned her a little bit too much about him as it resulted on her storming out of the room. Oops
Managed to talk to her over dinner and told her that I hoped she wasn't staying at his house as it could be unsafe and I didn't like the idea of not knowing where she was- she denied that she had been (lies) and still refused to tell us more about him 'in case the relationship went tits up'...
Fair enough, I read everyone's points and I can't stop her having sex and the most important thing was that she was careful. She responded surprisingly well to this but I fear I fucked it all up horribly by telling her that I didn't want her staying over at her best friend's house (DD's boyfriend flatshares with her) any more as I didn't know the boy. As usual, she flew off the handle and we said a few things that we shouldn't have (her- I'm 18, I can do what I want, me- Not when we're supporting you through university, you can't). I also said that I didn't want her staying out all night any more as I couldn't trust her
Now she's not talking to me, one word answers, general miserable face. I don't know what to do. Sorry if you feel like you're talking to a brickwall MN, but I am just not comfortable with handing over a nice card and box of condoms and saying 'go have fun, kids'...although I know it's impossible to stop her having sex now I don't want to do anything that can help her do it in anyway- it makes me feel like a bad parent.
She's 18? She's an adult, FGS - you have to let go a bit or you are seriously going to fuck up any future relationship you and she will have. I do know where you're coming from - I have a 21 year old DD - and I do have some sympathies, but at the moment you owe her a) an apology, b) some trust and c) the recognition that she can do what she likes.
And she'll make some mistakes and get her heart broken and all the rest of it - but if you want to be the person she goes running to then you need to get your act together. She's an adult, you need to trust her. And the best sort of parent you can be right now is a realistic one - of course 18 year old girls with boyfriends are going to want to have sex. You HAVE to get over it.
She's an adult. She's not a child any more, and you shouldn't treat her as such. She's not doing anything wrong if she's having sex with her boyfriend - not in the eyes of the law, not in the eyes of her peers, not in the eyes of a very large proportion of this country (although I appreciate you're not in that proportion...)
If she's living in your house, of course you can set some rules for her, but make sure they're reasonable and realistic for the adult she is now. Forget for a moment she's your child, and ask yourself 'is this rule I want to impose a reasonable thing to impose on another adult'.
As for getting to have a say in what she does because you'll be supporting her through university, that's the top of a very slippery slope in my opinion; will she go away to uni or live at home? If she's going away, will you feel like you can tell her she's not allowed to stay out at night because you're paying for her to go to uni? If not, try seeing this like something similar. If you do feel like you will have that right, I would suggest, in the kindest possible way, that you rethink that; she will have to stand on her own and learn to be independent.
I'm sorry if I'm sounding very harsh, I don't mean to. But you really, really need to recognise you need to back off some, trust your daughter, trust in the 18 years of good upbringing you have given her, and let go.
why would you want to stop her having sex?
sex is a lovely thing and it's totally normal that she would want to have sex with her boyfriend at her age.
if you carry on like this you will simply push her away
I would suggest another talk. an apology for being too nosy, a re-iteration of the fact that you just care about her and want to know she is ok, and a new invite for him to come over one day so you can get to know him a bit.
OP I have to be blunt, but you do not own her sexuality or have any say in her sex life.
She is old enough to make her own choices, right or wrong.
It is none of your business and your comment about paying for her education and therefore , by implication, having a claim on her sex life is just plain wierd.
When my father found out I was sleeping with my then boyfriend (I was 19) he ranted and raved. He thought I was soiled. He had been ill and said that if he got ill again it would be my fault. It was a hateful time and I lost all respect for both my parents (my mother had taken my father's side). My relationship with my father never fully recovered.
Now I have been married for close to 20 years. I have a 15 year old daughter of my own. There is no way on this earth I would behave as my parents did or to be quite frank the way you are OP. I would be ashamed. It is impertinent. Your daughter is not your baby she is an adult and entitled to courtesy and respect of her privacy.
I have had many conversations with my daughter about relationships in general and her relationship in particular (my daughter has been dating the same boy for a while). Our conversations have covered many topics including sex. However, I think there are other equally important things to talk about:
- respect in relationships, no two-timing
- keeping up with other friends
- if the relationship is over then finish it with goodwill on both sides and generosity on hers
When DD wants to move her relationship on I hope that she is ready. I hope our many conversations have helped. But that is my job, to hope and to try to help.
You say you both said things you shouldn't, but all your dd said was that she's 18 & can do what she wants.
I don't actually see why she shouldn't have said that.
She at 18 is an adult
Seriously get a grip before you destroy your relationship with your daughter.
really? what everyone else on this post has already said - she's 18, an adult.
i bought my first house at 19 and got married.
Everyone is spelling the same message out to you, loud and clear. You risk driving daughter away if you persist with this.
Apart from anything else, I think "Poor kid"! Unsupported and having to make it all up as she goes along... Who's she turning to for advice/ guidance/ reassurance/ information? Probably other kids who are as in the dark as she is.
If you've been there for her all the way so far - holding her hand as she takes her first steps, first day at school, first best friend, riding a bike, first exam etc etc etc now is NOT the time to abdicate your role and leave her on her own with this stuff.
The messages you give her - spoken and subliminal WILL affect how she views sex and the sexual side of herself. It won't stop her doing it but it may cause her to feel that it's a shameful/ sinful/ dirty/ whatever thing and, given that sexual fulfilment can, for women especially, be a fragile and complicated matter, may compromise her chances of being able to have wonderful and satisfying sex all the way through her life.
I'm sorry if this sounds dramatic or harsh but I am taking the time (like all these other Mumsnetter) to post what I sincerely believe you need to hear - in your daughter's best interest and your's too actually.
You know, you might want to spend some time working out where all of your attitudes to sex come from.
What message did your Mum give you about sex?
Is this what you needed to hear?
Is this what you really believe?
Do you feel sexy and enjoy and embrace that side of yourself?
Do you have a fabulous sex life with lots of orgasms?
.... Do you want the same for your daughter?
Until you sort this stuff out and get your head straight, Darla, I think your views, disapproval and judgement will continue to come through in your communications with your DD and she will continue to pull away from you.
I know this is really, really hard for you but please don't give up trying. Your daughter needs you more than ever.
From the thread title I was expecting a 15 year old or similar....18 EIGHTEEN
Sorry but i really think you may have forced her hand and she will be moving out ond in with this boyfriend you don't even know
My parents tried this with me (I was 17) I moved out almost instantly and in with him (him by the way is now my husband and we have been together for 20 years)
Take a step back please before its too late
I know it must be hard when your children grow up and are able to make what are essentially adult decisions. My mom objected hugely to my relationship at 18 with a 25 year old (which I can now understand to some extent as he was manipulative and controlling but I was naive and 'in love' or so I thought), but I'm sure if she hadn't made it such an issue I would have seen sense and ended the relationship much earlier than I did. Part of being a parent is to allow your children to make mistakes and learn from them. As long as you know she is safe then I think you need accept her decisions and be there for her.
No I understand perfectly. She is an adult but OOH the secrecy hurts. I would stay off FB as it makes me unhappy when I see things about DD or her bF on their. He is my 'friend' but his choice not mine from a while back.
My dd is not having sex with her BF. They are both strong christians. I have mixed feelings about it. It probably isn't a bad thing.
Oh god she is 18 you are being really horrible!
I do think it's perfectly normal to feel protective about your children regardless of their age. So I understand that you would like to know more about her boyfriend, but she really doesn't have to tell you. I didn't read your previous thread so don't know the background, but tge more open and non judgemental your relationship is then the more she is likely to open up to you.
Regarding your belief that you have certain rights over her because you are funding her through university - you really don't. My DD will be 22, maybe 23 before she finishes university and all being well we will be offering her some financial help. I don't think that will give me any rights to control her.
If I were in your shoes I'd be trying to repair the relationship now before it's too late. You can offer her your opinion but you can't make her comply with your (unreasonable) demands.
Sorry to be blunt, but if I were your dd I would look at taking out a student loan and moving away from home asap. It is really not healthy for an adult woman to have her mum making decisions as to whether it is safe for her to stay over at a friend's house or not. And the thought that you will consider this appropriate until she is 22 does not improve matters.
Your daughter needs to grow up- for her own wellbeing and for her own safety. She needs to learn to use her own judgment instead of relying on yours.
But the daughter here isn't being truly independent and adult is she? She is (from reading what the OP says) relying on her parents to support her through university? I do think that gives her parents the right to suggest certain standards of behaviour. - if she wants to be grown up and 'do her own thing' then she shouldn't rely on handouts from her parents. You have my full support DarlaDoll - perhaps I am incredibly old fashioned but I have no intention of subsidising my DS's sex life in the future !
sriously???? subsidising her sex life???
the idea that somehow supporting your child through university gives you carte blanche to tell them how to live their lifes is astonishing
possibly the most bizarre thing I have heard on MN in the last 6 years!!!
Darla - I didn't read the other thread but I have a question.
Why is your DD being so secretive about this boy?
Is it because she knew how you would react?
Think about it.
oh boy sounds difficult. What do you want to happen?
I'm afraid I'm only going to agree with what everyone else says - your daughter is an adult and entitled to do what she wants even if you think she is making a terrible mistake. I can only add my own story to the mix to try to encourage you to reassess your role in your daughter's life before you lose her altogether. My parents had a similar attitude to yours and I didn't manage to have a boyfriend properly before I left home to go to Uni. I met someone on the first day, went on the pill and lost my virginity to him within the first week...all of which I announced to my mother on my first phone call home!
She and my father never had the wisdom and bravery to hear this for the act of self-determination and liberation that it was and spent the next 10 years trying to make me do as I was told as if I was still 6. In the end their attitude became insupportable and in their determination to make me behave they gave me an ultimatum: "Do it our way or we won't speak to you again" I was 36 at this point and finally was able to say "OK then" and put the phone down. As you can probably gather this is still a sad thing for me, but even more sad for them - they have missed out almost completely on their two lovely grandchildren.
I hope you can recover your joy in your lovely daughter now she is entering a successful and happy womanhood.
Helping your daughter financially through university is not 'subsidising her sex life' and does not give you a right to control her. Surely as a parent you want to help her get a good education so she can make the most of her life?
If you start trying to claim control over all aspects of her life just because you are contributing to her education, I think you will very soon find that your daughter will leave home and then presumably drop out of university because she won't be able to afford it without your help. So you will have an estranged daughter with more limited prospects in life who will still be having sex with anyone she wants to.
Is that really the outcome you want?
Ragwort, my MIL helped my 50yo BIL out when he lost his job. Does that give her the right to dictate his sex life?
My brother, who is well off, has kindly been paying some of my parents' bills, does that mean that he can tell them whether they are allowed to stay at a friend's house or not?
A parent may find herself in a position to help an adult child- or vice versa. But that does not take away the fact that once you are adult, you are adult.
If the dd is living in the OPs house then that should give the OP the right to enforce certain standards regarding that house. Because she owns the house. But no money in the world can give her ownership of her grown-up dd.
My mum and dad gave me the "Not when we're supporting you through university, you can't" line when I was 18. I told them to F off, moved out with BF and got a part time job and supported myself through uni. I stayed with the BF (now DH) and barely spoke to them/saw them for about 8 years until I had my own kids and we patched it up.
You cannot control her. She's 18. Do you really want to risk being cut out of her life?
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