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13 year old girl playing truant and smoking - help

(21 Posts)
Beetroot Tue 08-Jul-08 08:10:56

My god daughter is 13 looks 16. beautiful.

Her parents are separated

Mother remarried with three younger children (who are hard work)

They live half the week with their dad and half the week with their mum.

Older boy (15) is pretty wild too. Staying out all night etc.


What can I do?

choosie Tue 08-Jul-08 08:31:39

What does she think she should do?.

Good starting point might be the school re truancy.There will be a head of year she should be able to approach.It must be a concern to the school too?!.

As for the smoking.How does she afford it?.Where's the money, coming from or is it the friends?.

lulumama Tue 08-Jul-08 08:33:26

can you take her under your wing for a bit if she is your goddaughter? can she stay with you for a few days.. she might open up to you

do you think it is reacting agains the break up and feeling pushed to pillar and post and pushed out by younger siblings

Beetroot Tue 08-Jul-08 08:33:35

She has been to the school
her work is really suffering

She does not know what to do.

Beetroot Tue 08-Jul-08 08:36:03

lulu - I am going to see her this weekend and will have a chat with dgd. I will offer for her to come and stay, however, it is boring here for her - she wants to be with her mates and talk make up - my daughter is only 9 and my boys are of no interest to her - yet!!!

I suggested to my bessie that she make both older children stay with her full time for the time being as she will have some control then.

BUT she says as soon as she does that both of them are really moody and horrid - My response was so what!

batters Tue 08-Jul-08 08:38:10

moody and horrid is what I think some teenagers excel at. They are going to be moody and horrid whether or not they are getting their own way IME.

lulumama Tue 08-Jul-08 08:38:32

but boring might be good.. you could spend some time with her, she could loll around watching DVDs and eating popcorn and being a child. that might be good for her.

agree so what re moody and horrid, you have to take children in their entirety.

hope she gets sorted, it is a desperately slippery slope.

hope custy sees this thread, she usually has sterling advice re teens.

good she has you , beetroot.

zippitippitoes Tue 08-Jul-08 08:43:26

my dd2 was like this...bsically i would say it was a result of low self esteem, peer pressure and parents splitting up

she also stayed half with dad in former family home and half with mum and new partner

she now says that it was down to her and i was a good mum and not a failure (which is my perception) she is now 23

she did badly in gcses and got in a totalk muddle swapping from school to college and back to school and having a baby just after 18 birthday

so now we agrtee that unconditional love is number one

continuing to try and be firm and consistent

the swapping houses makes it easy to just keep prsying for the "problem " to move away eacvh week and heave swigh of relief

but you do need to act together as mum and dad despite your personal animosity

it is a case of keep focussed on even the small things like expressing your feelings to dd if you are upset with her

showing you do care

not letting her treat you badly

taking sn interest in her life and friends

keeping the communicagtion going

talking to her friends whenb they come to the house and including them

it is a big help if you know who they are and they like you

it will p[ay dividends through the teenage years

choosie Tue 08-Jul-08 08:44:49

Surely the school must have some ideas as to help?.

She may well listen to you, as parents at this age know nothing, and were never young!.

HollyGram Tue 08-Jul-08 08:48:30

Its difficult.

She sounds very much like me at 13.

If anything I would ensure that the dangers of smoking, ie heart attacks at 50, emphysemia (sp) at 55 are told and not glorified.

The going out with boys. [thinks]

Yes could her mum not let the boys come top her house, to listen to music etc. This way it may stop them spending time together all night.

School, I did the same themn regretted so attened college for a few years after school.... and even now even though I am excellent in what I do, I could have done better.....

You could tell her this, might scare her into getting better results.

Beetroot Tue 08-Jul-08 08:49:57

I was there at her birth and she knows my kids really well. So I will offer for her to come and stay - can't make her though.

Zippi - that is helpful stuff

the father does not get home until 7-8 every nights so kids come home from school and do their own thing. At mums house three tiny children - and not the happiest of atmospheres tbh.

I know she needs to stand firm, and spend time etc but dear friend is torn so many ways.

Beetroot Tue 08-Jul-08 08:50:52

dear freidn was a tearaway as well!

zippitippitoes Tue 08-Jul-08 08:58:54

basically she considers herself they bothe do boy and girl by the sound of it

as grown up

of course they arent

and they have th emotions of their age but the perception they are old enough

as mum you have to know they are young but respect there idea that they are old enough

the what does it matter no one really cares/loves me attitude is the one to try and continuously undermine

mum does care and however much she has her hands full she must keep her eye on that one

everything she does is an expression of how much she cares

keep focussed on that whatever else happens

once you lose that then you are lost

don't let a day end with you angry with ech other..trite but if you can mostly manage that it helps of course it won't alwys be the case but it's the aim

and as mum don't be the one who follows all the time chasing your tail try and pr e empt look ahead and be pro active and always re open the closed doors

zippitippitoes Tue 08-Jul-08 09:01:55

is she good at anything

and if you can get her doing something hard and challenging like eg my new love indoor climbing or dance or of course drama

preferably something different from school and cool then it could help

Beetroot Tue 08-Jul-08 09:08:49

I asked her what she wanted to do when she left school and she said Ideally nothing!

She does not like anything apart form hair/make up/chat/friends

Beetroot Tue 08-Jul-08 09:51:01


Beetroot Tue 08-Jul-08 12:09:04


Beetroot Tue 08-Jul-08 21:39:18


Tortington Tue 08-Jul-08 23:31:13

I don't really thinkthere is a solution to this one tbh.

I bet your friend thanks god for the break when they are at their dads - and i can't bloody blame her grin, but yesthe firm loving stance as zippi suggested is the way to go - but this has got to behard when splittin them half the wek.

then ther is the friends issue. TBH i think thats pure luck. i consider myself to be v. lucky as the twins have excellent friends and did at that age - however my oldes son managed to find te dossers and potheads!

andyou can't stop them froms eeing their friends.- unless you move!

i try not to fret over schoolwork as life is such thatat some point if you wan to go backinto education we are lucky in tis country that if you want to you can - and if ou want to - you will succeed - so not to much of a worry.

the mony for the fags - where she is buying thm and who is buying them for her couldmaybe be challenged.

i think the biggest thing that you coul do for her right now is get her some hope and some ambition.
kinda sit down with the internet and say - right - you ar going to have to do something - so if you could do anything as a career ( excluding pop star actress) what would it be?
vet nurse
fire service

its at this point once youhave a ting - you can go onto a carers website and get her to see what qualifications she needs to try at.
you could organise a visit to these places - to see if it sparks something or leaves her flat and then you can try with something else - its the finding something thats going to be hard -playing to her strengths
it might be a "no bullshit" start
"look, school is a means to an ends - the ends is getting a job. your mum will not support you, your dadwill not support you, the government willnot support you - so - lets thing about this for a minute - if you don't want to end up on a council estate with three kids by the time you are 17 lliving off benefits and eating rice everyday - what do you want your life to be? becuase honey - youhave shitloads of it left"

the thing that sparks her interest mightn't be at school - think about something such as signing for the deaf - theres something she can do as a night course - a skill that she could have and no-one else.

i do think the crux of the matter is the parental split thng - it might be easier if the dad has them fri after school drops them off at school on mon morn ( or sees them off) then friend has them mon night, tue, wed, thurs fri - to see them off to school. that wayyour friend has the majority of the week - and as they get older all the weekend hassles of staying out and getting drunk etc - can be left to the dad to be primary shouter atter and mum to be backer upper?

good luck anyway - its a hard one

Beetroot Wed 09-Jul-08 08:06:41

custy - thank you for that. I agree it is a hard case adn the parents arenot togetehr on it.

i will suggest again that the kids are with her weekdays - however, i worry about the total freedom they will then get aat weekends as father although great seems to think freedom is fine!

I am seeing her next weekend so will see if I can get through to her.

Beetroot Thu 10-Jul-08 00:08:26


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