16 yr old sister & online dating

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2008
16 yr old sister & online dating
Tue, 07-26-2011 - 10:40pm
Hi y'all :)

I'm a little new to this board, I usually hang around the baby boards ( I have a baby and toddler girls) But for the summer I have been hosting my 16 year old sister. Boy, it's been interesting. I'm 27 now, and I'm having a harder time than I thought I would, relating to a teenager-- I feel old lol.

Just a bit of background info she's the baby of the family 10 years younger than I. Shes kinda shy, been raised very sheltered by my parents, but also spoiled rotten (however she disagrees [of course]) she's attended prep school till she decided she wanted to attend a public high school freshmen year, things were fine till her sophomore year-- her best friend broke up with her, her grades started slipping, she admitted to some destructive behavior (cutting) Etc. She went to counseling and decided to end after a few months. Overall she has a privileged life-- she may disagree but shes 16 :)

From my perspective, I'm a momm to 2 under 2. I can hardly remember the date regardless of what it was like to be 16, I know things have changed BUT!! I think a 16 year old on a dating website is kinda strange?!? She has an iPod, iPad & iPhone that she spends hours upon hours on texting away, but I know for a fact she doesn't have any friends right now. Her BFF broke up with her and she spent the past 6 months holed up in her room. ( I just lived at my parents while in the process of relocating & buying a house) And, my dad had a 1000 dollar phone bill because she was calling people in other countries! So anyway, she took a shower I snooper on her iPad, found messages from a dating site .. I found her profile, It toally creeped me out. It was kosher, but still why does she not want real (offline) relationships? I don't think this is normal. I have said little hints to my parents and they dont believe their little girl would be talking to people she doesn't know online. I feel like this is scripted out of a dateline. My parents are in denial & out of touch with her generations obsession with social websites, she is going to go missing and my parens will be doing some PSA about monitoring your kids online activities!

When I have asked her about the phone bill, she lies. The texting she says it's her friend etc.. I haven't asked about the dating site yet since I snooped. But what am I suppose to do? Do a lot of teens date online? Am I out of the loop? Is here something wrong with her, that she would rather sit in her room all day and text People she meets online? It scares me! She says shes not dumb about "things" but geeesh I was dumb at 16.. She even went out and bought a pre paid phone so she could call these people with out my Parents knowing..

Any adivice would be awesome!

Thank you!




iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Wed, 07-27-2011 - 3:28pm

Something isn't right here. Your dad had a $1K phone bill and you think he still doesn't know about your sister's online dating habits? It's his job to ask the questions about this, not yours, and he really isn't accountable to you for how he is raising your sister. Yes, she does sound spoiled, but you can't change this and it's not your place to do so. I know this from experience. My parents did a rotten job of raising my delinquent middle brother, and now that we're in our 40s, they are still paying the price. Their problem, not mine.

What you can do is set some rules for how your sis behaves at your house. Absolutely no online dating should be rule number one. It's your house. If she doesn't follow your house rules, send her back to mom and dad.

And if you are really concerned (I would be), tell your parents bluntly--no little hints--about the online dating if you haven't already done so. You cannot stop her from being self destructive, any more than Amy Winehouse's family could stop her, but you can tell the people who love her and who are legally responsible for her (since she is still a minor) what's going on. That's really your only role in this.

Also keep in mind that your parents don't want to believe anything bad about their daughters, including you. It's normal.