Need advice for my 15 yr old.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2013
Need advice for my 15 yr old.
5
Sun, 08-18-2013 - 1:53pm

I am new to the forum, My daughter just turned 15 two weeks ago, I am unsure how I should approach a few subjects. First tonight she is asking to go to an all age dance my problem is it is in a bad part of town at a club the ground level is all ages and no alcohol, the upper floor is a regular club for anyone over 19. My daughter has already had a boyfriend for a very short time, I have concerns because the club is geared to gay and lesbian and the other girl she wants to go with is openly gay. My daughter says she is just friends with her. She tells me that there is a lot of homosexual people in her school. My issue is not about sexuallity, I find it odd she wants to go I am not sure how to respond because I don't want her to think we don't trust her but do you think its ok to let her go? We are starting to notice things like she isn't calling when we ask her to call and then appologizes and thinks everything is fine. She is starting to dress very provocative and she gets upset at times because we make her change. Her swearing is becoming more frequent just in conversation   Any advice would be helpful

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Mon, 08-19-2013 - 7:53pm

What did you decide about the dance? 

One of my more inspired rules for my dd was that I needed at least 24 hrs notice when asking permission. That gave me time to think things through, do research if necessary, etc. Spring the request on me last minute and its an automatic NO. Of course there were some exceptions as occasionally something important came up at the last minute but that was usually related to school. A party or a dance would get the 24 hr rule.

I agree with the others about the part of town. If you're not comfortable with her there, don't let her go. Also agree about the clothes. Parents always get veto power. 

How does your dd get to and from places? Do you or her mom drive her, or rely on other parents or older friends? Beware of other people driving her. Not all parents have the same standards. And friends are not above lying for their friends---I found out the hard way that my dd was being transported to meet an older guy by some of her girlfriends (one of whom was class valedictorian so don't think the studious ones are above this ploy) who assured me they were going to visit another girl. Bottom line, you need to be driving her much of the time so you can see things for yourself.

At just 15 I wouldn't be letting my kid go to a "nightclub" type of place yet. School dances or private parties (need to vet the private parties first though), maybe an event at a community center type of place where there is no alcohol served. Kids that are looking for drugs or alcohol can find it, so be vigilant for that.

The fact that your dd isn't calling when she is supposed to is enough reason to put on the brakes.  The not calling has put her in a "trust deficit" and she needs to build up the account with good behavior.

You mentioned a bf. You didn't ask for opinions on that but I'll tell you anyway lol: we did not allow one on one dating before 16. Obviously we can't prevent our dd's from liking boys, or from them hanging out at school, or saying that they are bf/gf. What we can control is how they spend time away from school. Dd could have the "bf" at our house, in a public room, when a parent was present, and they could do some group activities if you trust the boy and the other friends. 

I wouldn't necessarily have concerns that she wants to hang out with someone who is openly gay. That girl is somebody's daughter, just like your girl. The issue would be whether you know the girl and feel like she is a good person with good values, the type of person you would want your dd around regardless of the sexual orientation. I wouldn't let my just-15yo go anywhere with a kid that I didn't even know.

Parenting teens is not for the faint of heart...good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 08-19-2013 - 1:54pm

It could be that she wants to go to this club to support her friend who is a lesbian and just wants someone to go with her--it could also be that she's curious.  I would have reservations and probably not let my child go because 1) even the no alcohol club is all ages--so does that mean they could be hanging out w/ kids in college there--and is there anything to prevent the older people from drinking upstairs and then going downstairs after they have had a few drinks--and also I wouldn't send a teenager to the bad part of town at night anyway.  At that age, I'd want to stick to school functions or parties at friends' houses that are supervised by parents.  We really don't have any under-21 clubs in our area so that was never an issue.  Just last year was the first time I let my son go to an actual concert in the city but he was 17 & parents drove & picked up. 

I'm glad that my DD never wanted to wear provocative clothes but I wouldn't have allowed it.  First of all, we have a school dress code, so where else would she be wearing it? I'd also have a talk about how people judge you by the kind of clothes that you wear, so even if she swears up & down that she is not going to have sex, tell her that if she wears clothes like that, she's sending a message to people that is sexual and that's how people are going to view her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Mon, 08-19-2013 - 1:06am

Gentle hugs and welcome to our corner of the village. Our daughter and their husbands are 20 and 21. There is life on the other side of these tumultuous teen years.

The above two ladies were spot on with their thoughts.

Hubby and I have been pretty far out there on some parenting issues, but we would not turn a 15 year old loose to go where we got bad vibrations—PERIOD END OF STORY. I don’t think any mid teen has any business going to dances with college boys, some of which might be mid-twenties. And this would be true for gay, straight, both, neither, whatever else type events and attendees. The age gap is just toooooooo wide and is not age appropriate for a 15 year old to handle.

As for the provocative clothing, our two daughters had control of the money to buy their clothing, starting at 11 and 12, but hubby and I had veto power and they knew the conditions included NO dressing like a homeless person, stripper, hooker, and so on. They did violate this “BIG TIME” while we were on vacation in Miami Beach, but otherwise abided by the conditions. (Hubby went ballistic when he found out they had worn dental floss bathing suits.) A friend of ours told their daughter, “You may wear that (provocative dress) anytime you want . . . in your bedroom with the door closed, but nowhere else.” Sometimes you and her mother will have to be the “bad guys” and enforce the dress code rules.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 08-18-2013 - 11:35pm

Trust is earned--not given.  My children understood that, and knew untill they had PROVED themselves mature and trustworthy, we didn't trust them. 

One of my dds liked the under 21 dance clubs, and so I made it my business to check out the places she wanted to go to.  Some places allow both under and over 21, and serve liquor, and depend upon seperate floors, or a wristband to sort out who's who.  Nope, not happening.  Some allow over and under 21, have NO liquor license, and are open to 4am.  No kid of mine going there.  Some places allow 15 thru 20 all at the same time.  No kid of mine going THERE either. 

We allowed her to go with her same age gf's, whom we knew WELL, beginning on her 16th birthday, to places that had nights for ONLY 15, 16, & 17yo's, and had them out by 11, which is curfew anyway.  We did not want her mixing with older kids.  We drove and picked up.  We also checked with the cops, because a LOT of "juice" bars attract young gangbangers and have trouble with drugs and fights. After she turned 18, AND graduated HS, AND proved herself trustworthy, she went to the 18-20 juice bars.

I see a lot of red flags here.  In a bad part of town?  No way.  Why would you even CONSIDER it?  Not sticking to the rules, like not calling when they were supposed to, ON A LAND LINE, would have had MY kids shut down immediatly.  That is NOT trustworthy, so why would you think she can be trusted about other things??  JUST turned 15 & has a BF-- not my kids.  Not till AFTER they turned 16, and then only on conditions of behavior, etc.  The swearing is not respectfull, and our kids knew better than to swear in front of us.  But of course, that had been the rule since they could TALK.

The clothes I find confusing, because how is a 15yo obtaining "provocative" clothes??  Don't you and/or your wife go shopping with her?  Don't you supervise what she buys?  Does she just walk out of the house with your money in her fist, and you don't care what she buys?  That would NEVER have become an issue with us because 1) if *I* buy it, I buy what *I* like and feel is appropriate.  2) If they bought it with their OWN money, we STILL had final say so.  Butt bandage, too short, low cut, too many "holes", whatever--take it off.  Argue, and it goes in the trash.  Sneak it on, get caught, dying would be preferable  Of course, these were the rules from the time they were able to put on their own clothes. 

Sounds like your child has way too little supervision, and not enough discipline.  Better start now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Sun, 08-18-2013 - 8:01pm

With anything like this, I think you have to trust your instincts. It doesn't feel right to you, so don't let her go. She'll want reasons, but really, what you owe her is boundaries that keep her safe and show that you love her. And it's her job to test those boundaries to figure out where your values end and hers begin. This is very normal for age 15, but you don't have to let her go all at once.

Since she has already shown that she's not as responsible as you'd like, give her some time to prove herself. Maybe you could tell her that you expect her to call or show up when she says she will for the next month, and if she demonstrates she's mature enough to do this, you'll consider letting her go to the next all ages dance (assuming you're okay with this.) If not, pick another privilege to give her if she shows she is responsible enough.