13 yo dsd and language

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2007
13 yo dsd and language
Mon, 07-26-2010 - 2:07am

I have a 13yo step daughter who is in a big hurry to grow up. Her biomom is not the best influence and we often struggle with what is appropriate behavior. for the last year or so the language she uses to post on myspace and facebook is appalling to me. I know her mother sees it and doesn't seem to have a problem. Her postings are peppered with the b word and ho. Her current screen hame contains the word ho. Now personally, I don't think nice girls do things like that. When my kids were 13 I wouldn't tolerate things like that but stuff is different for my husband and his ex. He is tired of always being the bad guy so has stopped lecturing on appropriate behavior.

I don't know, my youngest is 18 so maybe I'm just old fashioned. I really don't feel that nice girls put stuff on myspace talking about getting drunk, going to parties and using the b word to describe herself and her friends and calling herself and her friends a ho.

She is not allowed to drink at home at all. Her mother allows her to drink at her house and parties that they go to. Mom thinks it's ok to let them drink as long as she is getting drunk too.

Anyway, my question is, do soon to be 8th graders all talk like that? Maybe I'm just getting bent out of shape over nothing. Maybe they all say stuff like hey bitches, lets all go get drunk and be hos. We also live in a very rural town, not a big city. Most of the kids I know would say a bitch is a female dog and a hoe is something you weed with.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Mon, 07-26-2010 - 6:01am


Ha! I volunteered at my DS' last school which went up to grade 6. It was a good school, with most of the kids coming from at least middle-class neighbourhoods. You would have died if you'd heard the language that filtered in through the windows during recess.

My DS is 13 also. He doesn't swear around me (other than cr*p or the occasional "blaspheme" but we're not religious so it's not the end of the world for us), but I've overheard him on the phone with his friend and he uses ALL the swear words. And I mean ALL. I call him out for it, and advocate a better, more intelligent vocabulary, but it's pretty much par for the course for kids his age.

If I were you, I'd concentrate your efforts on making sure that she "knows her audience" when speaking. IOW, that she knows that she should use clean language with teachers, elders, younger children, and future employers. Honestly, if you are only coming to find this out through her Myspace and FB, then she probably already knows when it's really not appropriate.

You mention drinking. Is she drinking? That's a waaaayyy more worrisome situation than swearing online. If she's drinking, then I'd get her into counseling, if not rehab.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-26-2010 - 7:20am

I agree with this post.

If the mother is drinking with the child(and yes, this is a child), I would be renegotiating the custody agreement pronto.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 07-26-2010 - 11:25am

I do think teens today and sadly, even young teens, do use bad language because it's all around them. I talk to my 14 yr old DS about the fact that when we were teens, radio stations didn't have to worry about playing certain songs because entertainers just didn't use bad words in their songs. Plus w/ cable TV they are just exposed to all these things. I think that dad should tell her, though, that it's one thing to use these kind of words in conversation between her friends, but another thing to post on FB or MS--whatever is on the internet never goes away completely and in the future, it could come back against her, whether it's a job application or whatever. I remember that there was a politician running for office here and the reporters looked on FB and found a picture of his underage DD drinking. I do not think it's appropriate for her to be referring to herself as a Ho--does she even know what that means and how degrading it is to women? Is that the kind of impression she wants to give to the boys she knows, that she's a ho? I think dad should be very concerned about this. And too bad that he's always the bad guy--since mom is apparently totally abdicating her parental responsibilities, someone has to take charge.

If her mom is actually letting her drink alcohol at 13, then I think he should be going back to court to get custody and only having mom get supervised visitation. Now I come from an Italian family and drinking wine w/ dinner was normal. So was allowing kids who weren't of legal age to have a drink. My dad would even order me a drink in a restaurant if I was 16 or so because in those days, the restaurants looked the other way. The difference was that people had a drink w/ their dinner--the purpose was not getting drunk and our parents weren't drinking to get drunk either. Alcohol in young children kills brain cells--I just had a chat w/ a neurologist about that since my DS has epilepsy. She said the brain doesn't fully develop until about age 25 so that's why it's more dangerous for young people to drink. I think a mom who allows a 13 yr old to drink because she's getting drunk (and then probably not supervising how much the child is drinking) is totally out of line & this is not normal behavior.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2007
Mon, 07-26-2010 - 1:31pm

I guess I would worry less about the language if it were just swearing type. Instead she refers to herself as a ho. Her mom is really gangsta and likes to wear revealing clothes and such. she really wants to be like her mom. Her mom is really fun and takes her to parties (not like our family bbq type parties) where there are drugs, bands, and drinking. We don't approve but there isn't much we can do.

DH actually has custody of the kids so they live with us for the most part. They spend every other weekend and a couple months in the summer with her. Since she doesn't live far from us they kind of go back and forth between houses.

We can't afford to change the custody agreement so we're sort of stuck with it.

I guess I feel the ho and slut references are indicative of other problems. DH doesn't like to think there is a problem. We have a problem with her drinking but she isn't doing it a lot. She is having problems in school. She has a lot of social problems. I just don't know what to do with her. I'm boring and mean and our relationship isn't very close. You know, I'm mean because I expect her to do her homework, clean her room etc. Not like her cool mom.

I think I just have to wait until a time that a lot of this behavior blows up into something big. She almost got an MIP last school year, I'm actually not happy that the school let her off since it would have been a way to get her some help.

I feel like things don't bode well for her to straighten up her act soon. Her mother eggs her on and tells her we're stupid and old fashioned and don't know how to have any fun. Wish there was something I could do to intervene but I'm not sure what to do except to pick up the pieces when things blow.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Mon, 07-26-2010 - 2:03pm

If your DH is the custodial parent, then I suggest that he gets her into some counseling, even if it's just with the school counselor.

BTW, I've heard of parents who handled filing and court appearances without a lawyer. If you can afford the filing fees, then there should be no other financial burden. I've also heard that many family court clerks will help with figuring out which forms need to be filed if you are nice to them.

And maybe a call to CPS is in order regarding the drinking at mom's. If nothing else, it will send a clear and serious message to mom that it's not ok with dad, and mom may think twice in the future about being so permissive.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 07-26-2010 - 2:54pm
"I guess I feel the ho and slut references are indicative of other problems. DH doesn't like to think there is a problem. We have a problem with her drinking but she isn't doing it a lot. She is having problems in school. She has a lot of social problems." Ok, don't mind me for being harsh, but what is your DH waiting for--until she's 14 & pregnant, or she has a drug or alcohol addiction? Unfortunately, you can only do so much since you're not the bio parent. I don't think I'm that strict but parents do need to set some rules, like cleaning the room & doing HW and not drinking. I wish you luck on this one but I do agree that if you feel that her mom is endangering her, then I think a call to the state social service agency or speaking to her school counselor is good.
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 07-26-2010 - 4:22pm
A 13 yo should not be drinking, period. Not once in a while, not just when she's with her biomom, NEVER. I'm getting the feeling you are just rolling along because it's easier to just let her do these things, than it is to be a PARENT. Which means not being liked, and being argued with when you make a rule. Tell biomom you will call the POLICE the next time she allows her dd to drink, because it is against the law, and child endangerment. If you and the biodad have custody, then step up to the plate! Be PARENTS! Refuse to allow the girl to go where it is illegal or dangerous for her to go, INCLUDING the biomom. And as for the language, if you don't like it, make her stop!!!. It does NOT matter what other kids are doing; it matters what YOU allow, as her parent. If my kids swore like that at her age, they would have been dining on Dial. My kids are 26 and 29, and if they slip ONE word in front of DH he will tell them to watch their mouths! And they will apologize immediately, and clean it up.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2010
Mon, 07-26-2010 - 7:27pm

Oh boy! Well first to address the language, *cringe* yes some do. My dd is 13 and will be going into the 8th grade and she has uttered the words ho and pimp. Her friends

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2004
Tue, 07-27-2010 - 3:47pm

What exactly is your DH afraid of? Is he fearful of losing her completely? Is he fearful of losing her love? If either of these are true he needs some serious counseling himself. And you too, to help him parent your step daughter. I know of divorced parents who bend over backwards to allow negative behavior to go out of some guilt they have over the divorce etc. It seems really negligent to me. If he's afraid to put his foot down for fear she'll run to mom's house, how exactly is that going to happen if he has most of the custody? I mean, she can try and run away once he sets down rules, but even if it's to the wife's house, he can send the police there to pick her up if need be.

Bottom line, do not let your DSD drink or smoke or call herself names. What a sad thing it would be if her mom gets to expose her to all kinds of terrible situations that might seem cool now but will at some point end up really disastrous.

I'd first sit DH down and let him know that you will no longer sit back and watch her self destruct. Have him decide that he's going to be her Dad with clear boundries that she has to respect. And if he can't do that, find someone who can convince him to do so.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2007
Tue, 07-27-2010 - 5:28pm

This has been a tough subject for us. When we first got together she was his little princess and could do no wrong. Her behavior was horrible. He has improved a great deal and I've had a lot of his relatives tell me they can actually stand to be in the same room as her. He always felt sorry for her because she didn't really have a mother. My stance is I'm sorry you don't have one of your parents in your life but it is no excuse. I raised my kids alone and always told them that. He has a lot harder time with that.

He has improved a great deal and now sets limits for her but he really is still hung up on being friends. He sees my relationship with my younger daughter and wants that. He doesn't realize that she is older and has reached that young adult point in life where we can be friends. It wasn't always that way but it has been since he came into my life. My older daughter is as close to me as she is to anyone and we get along ok. She's kind of doing her own thing and hasn't been stationed anywhere nearby since he has been in my life. We do talk about a lot of stuff though and are more peers than parent/child. Again, that came after she grew up into a young adult and at 22 she is more like a 30yo.

He doesn't get that you have a few years in which you are a parent and if you do decent at that then you have the rest of your life to be friends. He is afraid that the kids will just idolize their mother more and more and be more like her. She took off when they were toddlers and partied for about 10 years to the extent that she didn't even bother to see them for the most part. He wants them to have a good relationship with her now that her partying isn't consuming her whole life and she has a little room for them.

It is sad that it has taken us so long to reach a point where I can tell him I'm unhappy with the behavior of his children and we don't fight about it but actually talk. This only occurred a few months ago. I have never been allowed to discipline them since he feels I am too harsh on his daughter. I believe in nipping things in the bud and not pussyfooting around. For example, lying is a huge offense to me. For him, it is a big deal but he is afraid to punish the kids much for it. Usually it means they lose a privilege for a couple days. For me, it's more like a month so that it never happens again and I will tell them exactly what is on my mind about their offense and why their punishment is what it is. He doesn't do this.

Counseling is out. We have no insurance and he doesn't really believe in it. Personally, I think his kids have a great need for it. I believe the daughter is a drug baby and that is why there are a lot of problem. His ex shot up while she was pregnant. He won't hear anything about that. It is hard for him to see his children clearly (we all have that problem)but he needs to realize that at the least his daughter needs some help with her social problems and that would help her self image a lot. I also believe she is ADHD inattentive without hyperactivity but he doesn't believe it. He has only barely addressed his own ADHD recently.

I know this makes him sound like a horrible person. He is the sweetest person on earth and other than his difficulty with his children is wonderful. A lot of times my problem is I wonder if I'm correct that there is a problem or if it is just my way of raising kids is different than other people. Sometimes I just need confirmation that what I'm concerned about is really something or if I'm just making a mountain out of a molehill.

I will try to talk to him about my concerns again.