Am I losing my mind?

Avatar for chyndra2002
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Am I losing my mind?
14
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 11:19am
Hi everyone,

I have a beautiful, smart and talented 13 yr old daughter. She is hanging out with a new group of friends that I don't feel comfortable about..A few months ago she told me that these kids were really bad, problems at school, into smoking pot and cigarettes....now, she says none of it is true, and people just made up stories...

One of the girls, I really get a bad feeling about her..I don't know why.My daughter thinks she's great..Last night, these kids came to my house ( which I was happy about so I could see what they're up to..they behaved perfectly fine). They stayed until 11pm and I drove everybody home..Why none of these kids parents pick up their kids, I do not know. On my way to drop off the girl that I mentioned above ( the one I get a bad feeling about) , my dd said, no mom. she's sleeping over...her mom said yes.

Guess what, no one asked me! I felt so stupid, and upset that my dd didn't even bother asking me if it was okay for her friend to sleep over...apparently she asked my husband, who didn't bother to tell me. ( how nice )

So fine, we drove back home, I'm watching tv and I hear loud giggling upstairs- which is normal for a sleepover, but they were on the phone! I asked who they could possibly be speaking to at 11:30 pm, they said one of the boys that had been over..So I told my dd to get off the phone, since I really don't think 13yr olds should be on the phone at that time...She starts defying me with her friend smirking beside her..insisting that she's just talking and doing nothing wrong...I insisted she get off the phone, and she finally did.

So now I'm pretty upset that a) she's having a friend sleep over without my having been asked and b) she refuses to get off the phone even though I told her to. But, she did get off the phone, and said she understood that 11:30 pm is late.

Well, guess what? They called back whover they were talking to at 2:30 a.m.!!

Is this normal? Am I too strict? I was so mad I feel like grounding her for defying such a simple request - no phone calls after 11 pm.

She thinks I'm the meanest mother in the world.

Please help.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 1:28pm
Hi and welcome to the board. No you aren't too strict. If my child would have defied me like that and refused to do what I asked the friend would have gone home right then and there and my child would have had plenty of 'alone time' to think about the behavior. I think 11pm is a very generous limit for calls - my boys (13 and 15) can't take calls after 9pm. I'd sit your dd down, tell her that in the future she needs to ask you first about sleepovers since her dad sometimes forgets those little details. Also remind her of the phone curfew and talk to her about her attitude. Let her know that if it happens again there will be consequences and then don't hesitate to follow through. It does sound like this group might need watching - I'd continue to have them do the socializing at your house where you can keep an eye on things. Never doubt the power of 'maternal instinct' when it comes to feelings about kids.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Pam



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Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 6:03pm
When my girls were younger, they also went thru the stage of acting out in front of friends, or asking for permission to go places or do things with the friend standing there. After the 2nd or 3rd time, I twigged to the game & told them, "Unless you want to be embarrassed publically, DO NOT act the fool or ask for things in front of friends. It will mean an AUTOMATIC NO, & the removal of the friend." DH & I also decided that NEITHER of us would give unilateral permission, since we found out that "Dad said it was OK" or "Mom said it was OK" often turned out to mean that NO ONE actually said OK. So everything had to be run past BOTH of us--that way, any disagreements WE had over the situation, could be ironed out before we gave the kids an answer. That took care of the getting mad at the spouse problem, too. In your situation, I would also have called the parents of the other kid, & found out whether or not THEY had given permission for a sleepover. I suspect they did not--or they got called at the last minute with the story, "Can I stay? It's late & Janie's parents don't want to drive anymore & THEY said it was OK, & I can wear Janie's PJ's, so is it OK?" All it usually takes is ONCE for you to check out the story, & then take the kid home when you find out you've been doubleteamed, for the kids to straighten up. If your dd KNOWS you will check with the other parent, AND your spouse, EVERY TIME she tries to pull this stuff, it will evaporate. Tell her it is common courtesy to ask for something early enough in the day that no one will be put out. What if you wanted to spend the evening sitting in the den in your bathrobe, with your head in hairdye, clipping your toenails? Hardly something you want to do with COMPANY over. The fact that none of the parents checked with you upon dropping off their kid, or showed up to pick them up, says a lot of unfortunate things about these kids, right there. And if your dd is not one to have usually thought this kind of stuff up, I'd SURELY suspect the new friends are influencing her, & restrict access.
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 6:20pm
You are both normal. I would be mad too but at 13 its typical to start "pushing the envelope", especially around friends that have more freedom. You are right to have the activities at your house where YOU can keep an eye on things. The fact that the girl's parent didn't call you to confirm that you approved her dd staying over would raise a red flag for me, but I am always surprised by how little supervision some kids have and how well some teens can fool their parents.

The incident provides a good opener for conversation with your dd about your expectations of her behavior, peer pressure, etc. Also a good point to review her rules/consequences and clarify rules for sleepovers.

Welcome to the board.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 7:54pm
I don't have any advice, but an EXTREMELY exact situation!

My daughter just turned 14 Thursday. Her first best friend is an all out loser - parents don't care where she is or who she's with, ground her all the time but never stick with it. She smokes cigarettes and pot and also is promiscuous. I know her real well and I actually like her and feel sorry for her so have included her in a lot of family outings. That was last year. This year (8th grade) that friend made a lot of new friends, all smokers, all with no fathers in the picture, go out all night without anyone knowing or caring where they were etc. Now my daughter is friends with these ones. Some are runaways dealing the court system, they all get high. They never want to come to my house (except the first girl, unless she's with one of the other ones, because they don't want to come here). I'm assuming it's because they know I won't let them smoke or whatever it is they do. The last couple weeks my daughter disappears to someone's house, one of the girls ex-step-dads picks them up and drops them off wherever they want to go, they've been skipping classes, my daughter's grades are falling, my sister saw her smoking with her friends. I had her tested for drugs and results were negative. But I CAN'T seem to keep her at home! She cries, screams, yells, threatens to run away or to her dads (whom she dislikes, he hasn't had much parental responsiblity with her in the past 8 years, and she knows he's selfish and doesn't care that much--she hates his wife, she is downright rude and mean to my daughter, even in front of her dad). I'm at a loss for what to do also! She'll have this one friends ex-step-dad pick her up from school. I gave her a cell phone but she doesn't do anything to earn the prepaid minutes I have to buy. She usually calls me everywhere she's at, but that has stopped too. Had the police go pick her up today because she didn't go to her dad's like she was supposed to this morning.

You are lucky this behavior is surfacing slowly, with my daughter it came on in a matter of weeks, and now I'm thinking it's too late to stop it!

I hope you get some good advice on this, as I could use it too!

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 9:30pm
Wow--your situation is a lot more extreme than chyndra2002's and needs different advice!

When is your dd taking off? After school while you are at work? Does she defy you and leave the house when you are there telling her she cannot go out?

Is there someone that can watch your dd afterschool, pick her up from school and supervise her until you are available?

I think the ex-stepdad needs to be told that he shouldn't give your dd rides anywhere without your expressed permission. You should talk to your local police to see what they can and will do in terms of other adults giving rides without your permission, if you report her as a runaway, when/if police will pick her up, etc.

Keeping your dd apart from these kids can change things. We went through something like this and we were able to turn it around but it did take me being practically a prison warden for several months.

Here is the link to the Troubled Teens board, they can give you good advice because they have all been through things like this:

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-pstroubled

Good luck, let us know how it is going. And, welcome to the board!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 5:26pm
NO you are not losing your mind! Welcome to the wonderful World of Teens!

Welcome to the board, We have a wonderful group here with lots of experience.

Hang in there and please post as often as you like!

Lisa

aka soopermum62

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 5:33pm
WoW you have a lot going on! Elc has some good advice for you! As I said before We have a great group here with lots of experience. Welcome you to the board! Please feel free to post as often as you like we are always here with a warm shoulder.

Lisa

aka soopermum62

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 7:33am
Actually, she has never openly left the house after I've told her she couldn't. She has threatened to do that saying "so-and-so just leaves when her mom says no. I could do that too if you won't let me." Sometimes I just give in and take her there myself.

The ex-stepdad has been warned by the school because I complained about it. His stepdaughter is not supposed to be with him either, but her mom is real sick and isinvolved in an extensive custody matter with 2 sets of triplets! So she lets her ex take care of her a lot. I wish she would get sent to a foster home so my daughter Can't be around her anymore!

I amlucky as I get out of work at 3 and school is out at 2:50. But 9 times out of 10, she's not where I said I'd pick her up then she'll call and say she rode home with whoever and will be home whenever I say usually. Most likely, she will call just before she's supposed to be home and give another excuse for staying later.

You're right that I'm going to have to be a prison warden, but oh am I dreading it! I have an 11-yo stepson I've had since he was one, a 10-yo sd, a 9-yr daughter and a 2 year old son! OUr house is a domino effect house--when one is grumpy the whole house turns grumpy!

The most important thing is I have to stick to making her stay home and inviting these friends over I think, but it is very hard to do with so many kids! My 10-yo SD has been having sex with her older brother at her moms and it has been a battle keeping her mom from bringing that little perv with her when she comes to visit. She has been coming all the way to our house (3 hours) to visit but she keeps bring that little perv with her! And then she has the kids lie and say he wasn't with them! So that in itself has been emotionally hard, don't know how long I can stick to it with my daughter! Her real dad doesn't help much, my husband has been more of a dad! Her dad is selfish and they openly talk about how trashy my dd's friends are and their moms being sl_ts, etc. They don't let any of my dds friends go to their house at all. They think they steal, which they have never done to me and I've tested them before by leaving stuff out in the open. But they've only been her a couple times.

Thanks for the opportunity to vent and hear some advice. It's all up to me I guess to stick to what I say and not give in because of a tantrum.

The officer who picked her up at her friends said all I need to do is go to juvenile court and file for a petition which says where and when she may be, and if she violates they will pick her up. But all her friends are already dealing with this and I think they all think it's a big joke and is funny. He also said a military school around here would be a good deterrent, they would take her after so many violations! Do I go to that extreme?!?! I would't want to I don't think!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 9:19am
My 13 year old ds also gets openly brazen in front of his friends, or after hanging out with them for a while. I can still ground him (he does listen to me still) or withhold his allowance. I really would like to lock him away until he is 30, but I guess that's not a viable option. Hang in there. You're in good company here on this board.

Ellen

Avatar for chyndra2002
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 11:48am
Thank you to all who replied - I was really beginning to second-guess myself as to whether or not I overreact at times, all she tells me is how mean I am - my dd is really headstrong and it is so hard to get her to listen..So, often, when I ask her something, or ask her to do something, and get zero response, I DO get upset !

I have talked to her, what her limits are, what the consequences will be, etc.She just nods her head in a very patronizing way as if I have a problem.(Sure Mom, okay Mom).She intentionally withholds info from me, and it really drives me nuts. ex: If I ask who was that on the phone, her reply is "no one" or "it really doesn't concern you". If I ask her what her new friend's last name is , her reply is "I don't know". (but ofcourse, she does know). Do your kids do this also?

By the way, I'm so glad I found this board...Chyndra

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