Teens Friends- Help

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Teens Friends- Help
4
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 1:56pm
All three of my children have been drawn to friends who are "troubled".

19 yo ds had a friend who didn't have any guiedence from parents, no rules, no motivation from them etc. He was at our home alot and we even took him on vacation with us for a few years. We loved him and it was easy to have him around. His gf of 3 yrs is our neighbor and her parents called us for a "recommendation" before their dd could go out with him. My dh got him a job/career at his company. He is still like a son to us and now is doing well. At first our ds thought we were awful parents because we made him come home by curfew, do chores, get decent grades, and let us know where he is at all times. They are still good friends but both are so involved with their girlfriends that they don't spend much time together anymore.

16 yo ds has a friend who comes from a two family home and has had a difficult time dealing with many things. The breakup of his parents happened only 4 yrs ago. My ds has been friends with him for 7 yrs. The friend started hanging around with some kids who liked to party and ds distanced himself for a while. The friend said he wanted to get away from the bad influances and wanted to hang out with my ds more. They had a sleepover at friends house and snuck outside to see some girls. The girls had been drinking and wanted the two boys to drink to go T.P ing. Ds had not drank before and felt peer pressure to "try" a special drink that had made. It had several kinds of alchoal Mixed together. While walking the neighborhood to go T.P.ing the police found them. Friend ran off leaving the three of them to be sited for curfew violation and being drunk. We were called to pick up ds and when we were told that friend took off we were mad. We told ds that friend was no friend and I didn't want thim to see him anymore. Friend called me and said how sorry he was for getting ds involved and then leaving ds with all the blame. Friend told me all that he had done in the past and that he was on parolle and if he was caught he would go to DT. I told friend that it was up to ds if the friendship could survive this but friend didn't have anymore chances with me after this. I told him in no uncertain term that ds was my priority and that friend would have to answer to me if he let me down again. Friend and ds are still best friends and I have seen great progress in friend. Friends parents are also grateful to ds and I for helping with friend. They nolonger a friends with that group of partying friends.

Now 13 yo dd, she is not us strong when it comes to friends, she is more of a follower. She has been in trouble with friends before. Her friends seem to be just a little out there with boys. DD has lost my trust by telling me she's one place and going another. Currently she is on "House Arrest" as she likes to call it. Just the other day one of her friends who looks like she could be 16 came over. DD said that they wanted to go for a walk around the block. I said no and the reason was that I didn't trust her. She asked if she could go to a boys house. I again said no. She asked if he could come over to our house I said that would be okay. She then said he didn't know where we lived so she needed to meet him at the church 5 minutes away. I made the mistake of saying she had 10 minutes to be back instead of picking him up or just saying no. 15 minutes later I went looking for her and only found the boys who were also looking for her. I called the girls house to see if she told them where she was going to go once she got to our house. The friend was told she had to stay at our house and not walk the streets. I was now getting the friend in trouble with her parents too. This is the same friend my dd was with when she got her belly button pierced. The friend also got hers pierced but her parents didn't find out until 6 weeeks later as compared to our 3 days. I told friends parents that dd was going to be checked for more piercings when she got home. We went driving past dd other friends houses trying to find her we turn dd cell phone on and read some text messages that talked about making out with boys etc. Finially 90 minutes dd and friend came walking to our home with four older boys that I didn't know. DD said that they went to the wrong church and waited the boys she was supposed to met were at another church but these older boys happened along and invited them to their house so they walked 15 minutes away to their house. She said she saw us driving looking for us but friend didn't want to leave. We told friend to call her parents and they pick her up. DD was told that her trust situation was moving backwards not foreward. Now dd is mad that I called friends parents because friend is in trouble and mad at her. DD now wants to have another friend who I also don't trust come over and stay the night. New friend hangs around with a tough crowd and gets into trouble. DD says she is trying to change and that she wants dd to help her. I have told dd that she needs to make new friends but she doesn't want to, theses friends need her. The girls in our neighborhood are "weird" and she doesn't have anything in common with them, so she says.

With this very long history of my children and this difficult age of dd, I'm asking for advice in how I can encourage dd to choose better friends. I know that forbidding kids to do something can many times back fire on us. Now with school being out I can make it inconvienant for her to see some of them but she is very persistant. She is having her tonsils out on Friday and will be down for a week or so. She has a girls camp comming up next month. I have considered taking her to our rec center and seeing what is available during her free time, after she is healthy again. The friends is still a worry, at this age they have such an influence on them. Any things that might have helped you would be great.

Thanks for Listening, Shelly

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 4:02pm
Hi Shelly - my, you've had your share of friend issues over the years! I think you should stay strong and go with your instincts about your dd's friends. She's not been too good at earning your trust back - she's lucky you are letting her see any friends period. My boys are 13 and 16 and I've never hesitated to 'squash' friendships that I thought were not good for them. So far it's never backfired and as they are getting older they are getting to be better judges of character for the most part. I feel that as a parent it's part of our job to help our kids make wise choices whether it's regarding drugs, alcohol, friends - if they don't have the maturity to do it on their own then we need to give them some extra help. My first priority is my own kids and while it would be nice to 'save the world', frankly I don't really have the time or energy. Maybe your dd will hook up with some nice girls at camp. Otherwise if she gets bored enough at home she can either do some extra chores for you or perhaps the 'weird girls' will start not looking so bad. Did she say what she finds weird about them?

Good luck and I'm sure you'll get some great advice here.

Pam



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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 8:33pm
To be honest Shelley, I don't think you have much to worry about with your first two - seems they have their heads firmly on their shoulders now. It's actually great that they were able to have a hand in helping other kids. That gives them an understanding of lifes twists and turns they might not otherwise have had.

As for dd though. :o(

My only suggestion would be to sit her down and express to her as clearly as possible just what worries you about these friends and her continual breaking of rules.

You and she need to (maybe start by writing it all down) communicate to each other just what you want to have happening between you. Then thrash out a "Peace Accord" if you like. ie:write the rules together.

She will be able to make reasonable requests but will be responsible for keeping to your requests. Of course, let her know that you will take more notice of her requests the more she takes notice of yours. ;o)

Is dh involved at all? How does he view the situation? Would your older two have a talk to her about it? Let her know how much easier and happier life will be once she gets a handle on the rules.

One of the best bits of advice ever given to my younger son (now 15 but a right little tarter when younger) was "You don't even have to think - all you need do is what you are told" LOL - can't imagine how but it did have an effect on him. For the better.

Best of luck Shelley,

Lynette

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 1:43pm
I have decided to take a bit of a back seat for a while to get my dh more involved. Sometimes he gives me the "you don't parent right routine". This has been successful to a point. He had had to put in his two cents with her as well. He has done his share of blowing up at her lately, but when I do, I am wrong (in his eyes).

I think my dd likes the thrill of being with these kids because it's so contrary to how we live our life. She had surgery (tonsils and adenoids) so she has been resting the past few days. A few of the neighbor girls came by to keep her company and she couldn't wait for them to leave. Her thinking is beyond me. Before she had the surgery I let her go to a movie with one of them and she said it was fun but when she got home she was rude to this girl. I think she treats many of her friends bad but the wilder group think that she is funny when she talks back to me and probably them too. Her nice friends tell her that she is rude to me.

Does anyone really know why kids sometimes feel more comfortable with the high risk kids? I haven't a clue.

Feeling befuttered, Shelly

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2003
Thu, 06-26-2003 - 10:14am
Hi: You have a job on your hands with your daughter. I am sure she has a "strong" assertive personality, and that is what atracts her to, and them to, the wilder girls. Her "rope" is pretty long, and you NEED to bring it back in some. First, and foremost, you MUST stop her talking rudely. Its a visious cycle. She talks rudely to someone, someone talks rudely to her, and round and round. It MUST stop to you. Give her STRICT rules about that, and do not take it. No questions asked. Its just not allowed. Also, if you catch her doing something, LIVE BY YOUR punishment. What ever it is. A day, an hour. Make it realistic and STICK to it. That will eventually help her gain respect for you. One of the best other things you can do, is have her join SOMETHING to meet new people. There are kids out there that she can get along with that are not wild. One kids tend to mimic their peers way, way too much. Good luck to you.

Cindy