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Would really appreciate some advice on how to handle this - teen DD huge fall out

(53 Posts)
WhatDoYaThink Tue 26-Apr-16 23:20:45

Sorry name hanged as I don't want this linked to me but I am a regular honest

I'll try to brief but not drip feed - DD been moody & full of attitude the last couple of weeks, I've tried to ignore & encourage her to talk but got nowhere. Starting to worry I checked her phone. (she knows a condition of us allowing her free access to Internet & social media is that we must know her passwords so we can check things if we are worried, she is just turned 15 & I haven't felt the need to check up on her for about a year so it's not something I do lightly). I discovered she had sent a naked photo to her boyfriend & had shown it to his friends, and also she has been lying to me (getting friends to text me to lie about stupid things).

I am upset on so many levels. I feel like she's played me for such a fool! She has recently sat discussing one of her friends sending photos to boys, saying she was so worried about her & I was being supportive & offering to talk to her friend for her. At one point I tried to discuss the dangers (we have had the conversation before) and she just rolled her eyes at me & told me she's not stupid. I totally believed her and felt sure she wouldn't lie to me. I've always told my kids I'd rather disagree with them about something than them lie because once you lose trust you have nothing. We have been trying so hard recently to compromise with her and let her grow up. I'm so upset.

We've talked tonight but she's gone comp,etely on the defensive, everything is my fault, I am judgemental and pick on her for everything, all her friends agree and she's moving out when she's 16. Apparently her friends mum has said she can live there. I was trying to explain I'm not cross about her sending the photo (despite it being stupid), I'm upset by the lies.

I honestly thought we had a good relationship, she usually talks to me about everything, we let her have boyfriends back to the house and friends round whenever she wants, give her lifts all over the place so she can meet up with pals or boyfriends. I am devastated. Where to I go from here?

KindDogsTail Tue 26-Apr-16 23:38:40

I am very sorry and can understand why you are upset.

Fifteen is very young and absolutely a child. I don't think it is easy to be a mother and have a good relationship in the same way as you would have a good relationship with a friend, say. You have to put some boundaries out there for her, even if she kicks against them.

She is lying to cover up what she thinks you don't approve of, but it does not seem as though you can compromise even more than you already have. In fact you seem to be allowing her a lot of space to do what she wants already.

Is it all getting out control for her, too much too soon and she is lashing out at you because she trusts you?

Keep telling her you love her, but You think lying is wrong, Keep telling her why it is dangerous to send naked pictures of herself; explain that just because everyone is doing something that does not mean it is a good idea; explain that she needs boundaries around her own body so she is not exploited/expected to do something in her heart of hearts she may think is wrong.

Keep the lines of communication open. Who else is in your family? Could you go and do family things together, let her be like a safe child in the centre of you all?

Her friends mother should not be saying she can go there without having talked to you in my opinion.

WhatDoYaThink Tue 26-Apr-16 23:55:38

Thanks KindDog. She has just come back through & has calmed down & apologised for lying then burst into tears. She has already split up with the boyfriend a few weeks ago & she had told me it was because he was trying to push her into doing sexual things she wasn't ready for but hadn't felt able to tell me about the photo. She had started to think he was going off her because she kept saying no so had sent him a photo to make him like her again. Then saw that he had screen shot it & she panicked. She later found out he had shown it to his friends, I don't know if this is when she decided to end it.

Only at the weekend she was telling me & her Dad she was thinking of getting back with him!! She is now telling me she has been feeling rubbish since it happened, keeps bursting into tears, feeling angry & falling out with all her friends (& I think I've been getting the brunt of it). We've talked & I'm hoping I've made her realise she was feeling bad because she wasn't ready & did something for the reasons, to please someone else instead of herself etc. I went over the dangers of online photos never disappearing & coming back to haunt you maybe even months or years later. Things are slightly better between us. Is there anything else I can say?

I think you're right about a family day, I'm going to plan something nice with her & little brother for this weekend

WhatDoYaThink Wed 27-Apr-16 08:33:10

Just bumping for the day time folk, I'm really at 6s and 7s and don't know what to do for the best. We have confiscated all online devices, including phone & DH is adamant she's not getting them back! I think that's a bit harsh & she should earn our trust back but I'm known to be too soft!

thecatfromjapan Wed 27-Apr-16 08:38:17

Does she/do you want that photo deleted? How old is the bf? Do you want to involve the school?

blearynweary Wed 27-Apr-16 08:38:21

Sorry you are going through this.

I love my 14 year old dd very, very much but I don't trust anything she tells me about phones or social media. I think their lives on social media are as important if not more so than their real lives.

Interestingly, she lost her phone last month. She panicked at first, begged me to get another. Than after a week with no phone she admitted she was enjoying not having it. She found it again but we now take all phones away at 8.30pm which she's really happy with. She doesn't have any other devices.

buckingfrolicks Wed 27-Apr-16 08:41:07

I found trusting my DD was better than not trusting her. She rose to the trust and pushed against any lack of trust. What I see is a 15 yr old who was shocked and upset and did to ow how to handle it hence arsey attitude then tears. She is still talking to you honestly. You do have a good relationship the point is that she will test that from time to time

She sounds like a good kid

lavenderpekins Wed 27-Apr-16 08:46:57

She's made a mistake and I expect she feels completely humiliated by her boyfriend. She's still a child I think she needs you to show her how much you love her even though this has happened. Because I bet she hates herself right now. Don't let her think you do too.

thecatfromjapan Wed 27-Apr-16 08:52:53

I think lavendarperkins has the gist of it. Your dd has been abused, basically: bullied emotionally - by someone who has diminished her sense of self-worth. You need to work on getting her sense of her own value up. But I'll bet you know that.

Going forwards: do you want to do anything about his having that photo? Or his having pressured her into taking it? His having shown it to friends?

lavenderpekins Wed 27-Apr-16 09:04:33

If the 'boyfriend' (although no way a friend) is at her school I wouldn't hesitate to have a private meeting with the head. This they have to take very seriously and involve 'boyfriends' parents.

YES to empowering also.. Is there a strong adult female friend/relative she could talk to?

WhatDoYaThink Wed 27-Apr-16 09:40:58

Thanks everyone you've made me feel so much better. Boy is at a different school so at least she doesn't need to see him every day, although he had offered to show at least one boy at her school & another boy who is a family friend had a go at him & made him delete it so we 'think' it's gone. I've rid her to try & draw a line under it now. She can't change what has happened, she knows it was a mistake so learn & move on, if people try to talk about it just shut them down. She over thinks everything & is far too worried about being popular & being the same as everyone else, drives me mad but I guess it's typical teenage behaviour. Will shower her with love & keep her away from social media for a bit & see how we get on

WhatDoYaThink Wed 27-Apr-16 09:42:39

Oh and I'm not sure if I can speak to his parents because I don't know that he 'forced' her to send a photo or if she did that off her own back to make up for saying no to other stuff.

leonardthelemming Wed 27-Apr-16 10:35:46

She's made a mistake and I expect she feels completely humiliated by her boyfriend.

Exactly. This is why she made up the story about the "friend". It was her all along and she wanted advice - she was out of her depth - but too embarrassed to admit it.

She's still a child Legally, yes, but that's so she can benefit from child protection legislation, surely? In reality, she's an adolescent. It's different, and one of the problems teenagers have to face is the fact many adults treat them like children at a time when they are trying to make their own decisions. Sometimes they get it wrong, but nobody ever learns from other people's mistakes. But it sounds as if the OP has a pretty good approach to handling it, IMO.

Oh and I'm not sure if I can speak to his parents because I don't know that he 'forced' her to send a photo or if she did that off her own back to make up for saying no to other stuff.

Wise. Sending pictures like this is, sadly, very common, but the authorities take a dim view of it and it can get out of hand far too quickly. Education is better than legislation/punishment, I think.

GinIsIn Wed 27-Apr-16 10:44:18

I think you absolutely should speak to his parents - whether she sent it of her own accord or not, he showed it to all and sundry. If my DS had such a disrespectful attitude to girls I would want to know, wouldn't you?

Hadron21 Wed 27-Apr-16 10:50:52

Just be careful about taking it to the school. They have safeguarding policies to follow and it will need to be reported. If the boy is also under 16 she can be charged with distributing indecent images of children.
You sound like a lovely mum. I hope you can move on from this and your daughter is ok.

KindDogsTail Wed 27-Apr-16 10:52:02

It sounds as though you are extremely good at communicating with her.

There have been some other threads about the very great difficulties girls her age have been experiencing from pressures from boys. It is truly shocking. Thank goodness she has the confidence in her family she seems to be showing.

I think she needs what ever sense of security you can give her.

WhatDoYaThink Wed 27-Apr-16 11:16:09

Thank you everyone for reassuring me. Sometimes I feel like I get it all wrong. It really wasn't a made up story about the friend, it is a close friend I know who is a beautiful girl but seems so desperate for a boyfriend she does some ridiculous things, DD talks to me often about it & apparently her & DD were trying to guess what I had found out yesterday, friend said thank gif it's not my mum, I've sent about 16 photos to different boys but luckily none have been screenshotted, then starts worrying that's because they don't like her enough! It is frightening, I want to wrap my little girl in bubble wrap & keep her away from this nasty world but I know I have to let her grow op, make some mistakes & learn how to cope, I feel exhausted today - teen drama, no wonder teenagers are always knackered!

WhatDoYaThink Wed 27-Apr-16 11:18:04

I am thinking about the suggestion of speaking to his mum, I know she was very fond of my daughter for the brief spell they went out. I wouldn't blame her or the boy but I'm thinking someone needs to speak to him about it?

titchy Wed 27-Apr-16 11:18:32

Regardless of whether he coerced her to send the photo or she did it of her own volition, by distributing it HE HAS BROKEN THE LAW. Given that he's at a different school, contacting his school might not have too much fall out for your dd, and may well frighten the life out of him - which would be a good thing.

Agree with others your relationship is fine - though maybe you could have picked up on the 'friend did this, what should she do' conversation. I wouldn't confiscate her phone. You need to trust that she's learnt a lesson, about self worth as much as anything else.

titchy Wed 27-Apr-16 11:20:07

You wouldn't blame him? What?! I bloody well would, he knew exactly what he was doing. You need some anger Op!

thecatfromjapan Wed 27-Apr-16 11:25:17

Learning how to your personal boundaries - learning what they are - is one of life's hardest lessons. Learning who to trust - to help you find and hold your selfhood, your boundaries, your ambitions for you life - is harder still. Sadly, we learn those lessons as much through failure (when we compromise our beliefs; when we have our trust broken; when our trust and love for someone makes us break our promises to ourselves,) as through success.

Your dd has just had an experience where she learnt some important stuff through failure. Your job (you're so lucky!) is, I guess, to help her go on learning through success - through her trust in you, through your ability to help her find out who she is, what she wants, and how important it is to hold on to all that in the face of other people telling her she's wrong: she needs to do this, she needs to be that in order to be loved.

It is great that she is talking to you about it. You're obviously doing a really good job to have achieved this.

Your poor dd: he sounds a bit of a crap boyfriend. Sadly, he won't be the last. But at least she's had a bit of an innoculation against people like him while you're around to help pick her up again.

WhatDoYaThink Wed 27-Apr-16 11:26:38

I'm not sure anger will help. The last thing I want is for DD to stop speaking to me about things and I certainly don't want to do anything that will make her life hell at school. My priority is making sure she is ok

SpongeCakeBigPants Wed 27-Apr-16 11:32:24

So sorry you and your daughter are going through this.

Personally I would speak to the boys mum and fill heron on what's happened (hopefully she'll see sense and ensure the photo has been deleted) and then I would speak to both schools to ensure that 1. No one else has a copy of the photo. And 2. That they again go over the dangers of sharing naked / compromising photos with the whole year group. In light of this the schools might get a police officer in to give the kids a good scare about child pornography / revenge porn etc.

Then, I'd reassure your daughter that the best course of action is always to come to you first before drawing a line under the whole incident.

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 27-Apr-16 11:33:13

In your position I would be very angry with the boy. Yes she was daft to send the photo, but he was malicious to show his mates. She needs to know you have her back, now and always, whatever she does. That's when she will have the confidence to confide in you, whatever sort of mess she gets in.

soapybox Wed 27-Apr-16 11:38:39

I would talk to the mother and say that by distributing the image he is breaking the law and that you would prefer to let them sort it out first, rather than going straight to the police, given his age.

I would think carefully before going to the police as it may be viewed as an offence that has to be disclosed on a DBS search and so may affect his future employment etc.

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