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Very worried about dd2 (14)(7 Posts)
I have 3 teenagers, the older 2 are fine (for now!!) but I'm increasingly worried about dd2 and so is dh.
In January she was caught skipping school (twice) for which she was grounded. I know these things happen (former teacher!). She had also stolen some money from us. These things have been sorted out.
She was desperate for a boyfriend and acquired one (friend of a friend) about a month ago. She turned 14 last November, he will be 18 in June. We find the age gap too big and a bit worrying. He has left school but doesn't seem to do anything, no job or college course or anything. We've met him, he comes over as very nervous and young for his age and dd2 has always seemed older than her age - being the youngest, Idk?
Since she met him she wants to spend a lot of time with him. I suspect she is meeting him on the trip to/from school (complicated commute through the city centre) and we have grudgingly given permission for her to meet up with him at the weekend.
Two weeks ago she came home with "love bites" on her neck and so there followed a conversation with her about what had been going on - she said she "didn't know" how things had got to this stage. Big talk about boundaries, she was indignant that we thought that he would behave inappropriately towards her - he's "not like that", of course!
This weekend a friend of the boyfriend was around (I think he's been living elsewhere) and popped up (how?) this morning at the bus stop while all 3 dc were waiting for the school bus. Proceeded to light up a spliff and offer it to dd2. Which means there is a chance she was offered drugs at the weekend. Boyfriend must know about friend's habit!
So many possible problems here!!
I want to ban her from seeing the bf again - its all too much, too young, too big an age gap, too different ways of life, and far, far too many red flags. Whats an almost 18 year old got in common with her? The thing I need help with is how to do this. She has to travel to/from school, I'm not able to drive her (medically unfit to drive) and dh leaves for work way too early and isn't around when school gets out. She will lie and find excuses to see him on the way home. At home theres social media, FaceTime etc. Do I have to take all devices away? It seems impossible and dh says the same. We cant "ground" her indefinitely.
I'm not sure what I'm asking really. I'll try!
1) are we totally overreacting by wanting to stop her seeing him?
2) how can we possibly enforce it without the nuclear option of no phone?
3) how can we maintain a relationship with her if we decide to do this?
Some of you will say the nuclear option is the way to go, others of you will say nothing can be done. I'm hoping theres a third way where we can halt this relationship before anything else happens without an irretrievable breakdown in my relationship with my youngest daughter!
Dd1 (18) and ds (16) also don't like it, they are the reason we know about the drugs at the bus stop. Neither of them like the boy, describing him as creepy.
Why did she skip school and steal money? This seemed to happen around the same time (January) as she met this lad. Does she talk to you, or just shrug and backchat/swear? What is your relationship like?
Gosh, that does sound really tricky. Is there another adult who she likes and respects (eg a grandparent), who could have a chat with her and help her see that this boy is bad news?
She's never really liked school, but we got exactly nowhere in figuring out her truancy - she just goes quiet. The money was the same day as she skipped school, she used it to go shopping! She is paying us back out of her allowance (which is generous).
She apparently met him the following week, I have my doubts on this but she acts very, very hurt if I suggest she's been lying.
Up until now I'd have said we had a healthy relationship. I'm disabled and that has a knock on affect on all the dc, but all 3 of them talk to me quite openly about most things. The sulky silence is a new one, and it drives dh berserk (not that he shows this to her!!!).
Blimey this is tricky. Go too bat shit crazy about it and she'll start be secretive and you won't know what is going on.
But on the other hand, like you say, it's not an appropriate relationship for your DD at that age - older guy, drugs, sounds a bit of a waster.
I know the frustration of a teen DD that refuses to talk/engage, mine walks away during any 'tricky' convos. good luck!
I would ban all devices and pay a taxi to take her home from school until she can show she is responsible.
She also needs protection from this boy, who sounds like incredibly bad news.
No, you are not overreacting OP. You are right to be concerned as there are so many red flags - older BF, drugs, truancy, possible sexual activity. My gut reaction would be to ‘go nuclear’ but as you know this could make things worse. I would maybe make it difficult for her to spend too time with him, say she has to go straight to school and back, curfews ,limit screen time, if she wants to see him he comes to your home no hanging out elsewhere, try to keep her busy at weekends with family stuff. Meanwhile encourage her to keep seeing friends, keep involved in school activities etc. and just hope and pray that it fizzles out.
Is there any way she would listen to advice from your older DCs if they tried to talk to her?