Dare to tackle this subject: Teen daughters

  1. My 15 yr old daughter just ended a relationship of 8mos. with a 15yr old boy from the "wrong side of the tracks." I have to admit, he is a doll, despite the fact that he smokes, has alcoholic parents, and definitely has an anger problem (though never directed towards my daughter, but still....right?) Let me give you an example of his dad: Dropped "Joe" off at his dad's one night, his dad comes out of his garage pointing a shotgun at me (I looked pretty dangerous sitting there in my Ford Windstar, I have to admit.) "Joe" tells me to just leave and ask no questions. So I did. (I'm thinking meth lab, are you?) Anyway, "Joe" cannot help his family circumstances and is trying to be a good kid, but I have to admit I was very relieved when the relationship ended last month.

    Now my daughter is dating a "good kid", you know: athletic, makes good grades, parents are functional, etc. Even her friends who stopped talking to her because of her previous boyfriend (they thought she was way too good for him) have taken her back into their group. Life is good, right?

    Here's the problem: My daughter is miserable. She admitted to me last night that she is still in love with "Joe" and only broke up with him because of the pressure from her friends. Her new boyfriend is already pressuring her to do things sexually she states (thank God!) she is not ready to do. She feels that if she breaks up with "Pete" to go back with "Joe" (who still calls her) she will lose all of her friends. She told me last night that "Joe" has never put any pressure on her to have sex, and that she missed him so much.

    I don't know what to tell her to do. Go back with Joe and lose her friends? I believe her when she says this will happen -- this town and the schools are full of snobs. She would be happy again to be with "Joe" but still miserable because she is a very social student (JV cheerleader, etc.) When she was going with Joe before, the invitations to parties and to the movies stopped. The peer pressure she is feeling is horrible. I feel so sorry for her but I am at a loss as to what to tell her. Any ideas or thoughts?
    Last edit by st4304 on Oct 21, '01
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   Jenzee
    Wow Sherri, that is a tough one!!! There are bad guys from both sides of the tracks in life. I guess you and your daughter have to do what is best for her, not only her heart but also her safety. Does she spend any time around this boy's parents??
    Man, I really wish I knew what to say. I hate to hear she is soo sad, however, I can't imagine her being around a parent who would pull a gun on another person.

    I'll say a prayer for you on this one, it really makes me glad my girl is too young to date.

    Jen
  4. by   spudflake
    Been there... the best advice I can give you is - this too shall pass. Isn't it wonderful that she's just 15 and not 24 or 32 or 45 and going through this same sort of confusion. Life is soooo intense at 15. Why not date both?? Why must she be exclusive at 15?

    Mine is now 17 and believe me...it's not any easier But I tell myself...tomorrow is another day. GWTW
  5. by   MollyJ
    this decision is likely not in your hands. It is in your daughter's hands.

    Remind your daughter of the old saying, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." At this point in her life, dating is for fun and if it isn't fun, why do it? Why have a boy friend who has scary parents that may be a danger to you? Why have a guy who thinks hamburger meal=ticket to sex? I'm not sure she "needs" either of these guys and at her age, it's not an either or proposition. She's got lots of years.

    The hard part is being the parent and realizing that it's not your decision to make.
  6. by   kaycee
    You sound like you have a great relationship with your daughter in that she talks to you about these things. Be proud of that. Alot of kids that age wouldn't be discussing their love life with their parents. Keep the lines of communications open and be there for her, but as others have said you can guide but don't decide.
    I have a 17 yo daughter, girls are much tougher then boys as teenagers, so I know how you feel.
  7. by   Zee_RN
    I don't have teenage daughters -- yet! Mine are 12 so I'm coming up on it and I'm sure I'll be here asking for help, too!

    Good kid or not, Joe scares me. I agree with the poster that she's only 15, why be exclusive? My sister married 'John,' a good kid from the wrong side of the tracks. Very similar to your description of Joe. This 'good kid' even went to seminary and got a preaching degree. Of course, she was 18 not 15 but she married him at age 19 and marriage "lasted" for 18 years---but the good kid reverted to his 'background.' He moved from job to job, they moved around the country, he became an alcoholic and we suspect he used drugs. My sister is a bright, capable individual who could have done so much more with her life! She is now dependent on medicaid and social security (health problems too). I just believe so much of her health problems wouldn't have started if she didn't have to deal with so much at home.

    Now, I'm not saying that Joe will necessarily be like 'John.' Good things can come out of bad backgrounds. But I have to admit it scares me! I'd hesitate to push too hard against Joe 'cause we all know how much kids will push away. The other kid doesn't sound like such a treat either...oh, please be sure to tell her there's so many more fish in the sea than these TWO guys!!! Hurts my heart to think of her struggling so...when you're 15, the pain can be so great.

    Doncha wish ya had the funds to send her and a friend on "The Great Tour" (a trip around Europe) or something to get her mind of things like this?! (Oh, and that the world wasn't turned upside down so that you COULD travel internationally, comfortably). Sorry, I'm beginning to ramble...haven't finished my coffee yet!

    Good luck, hon. Even at my advanced age of 42, I remember those terrible pangs of the heart at age 15.
  8. by   Jenny P
    I don't know why a 15 year old needs to date anyone, much less be in an 8 month long relationship with a guy. My daughter is 19 now, and I didn't let her date until she was 16; and by then, she'd learned she could live without being exclusively with one guy all of the time.
    She had many friends who were dating at 14 and 15, and at the time I'm sure she thought I was the meanest mom around. But now she tells me that she is glad that I was strict because she has 1 friend that goes through guys like they were dish rags (at least 1 new boyfriend/month) and another friend who was raped at age 16; both had started dating at 14 or 15, and my daughter thinks they weren't mature enough to think for themselves.
    If "Joe" is treated like you say he is, in your town, he may turn out bad even if he is a "good kid." He needs positive relationships with adults and kids his own age. That doesn't mean he has to be dating your daughter, but he could be friends with her. She needs to dump the jock BEFORE he does rape her or force her into going too far (that's what happened to my sister on Prom night, and also to my daughter's friend).
    Can you encourage her to not date for a while? She can remain friends with her group; be a friend to Joe (and you might be a role model for him- possibly for anger management?); and dump the jock before she gets in trouble.
    One of my daughters' friends had multi-piercings, a TALL multi-colored mohawk, wore a studded dog collar, and hung with some druggies part of the time. When groups of her friends came over and hung out, either my husband and I were always within earshot and visible to the kids (and we still are when she is home from college!). This kid (A.J.) still comes around and sits and plays computer games with me (actually, he tries to teach me how to play some of them) even now that my daughter is away at college. He's grown much taller and the Mohawk is much shorter, the dog collar is gone and some (but not all) of the piercings are gone. He credits me and my cool attitude for some of the changes and keeping him out of the drug crowd. He says the shorter Mohawk is due to the fact that he couldn't walk through doorways easily anymore since he grew so tall. And he's talking about going to college or at least taking a few classes at the community college this winter. He may never be a jock or come from the right side of the tracks, but he definitely felt accepted here at our house. And he is a pleasure to be around.

    I hope I don't sound too cranky here, but I do feel that now-a-days kids are rushed by our culture into things before they are old enough to handle the situations they may end up in. The guy I thought I loved at 15, (and no, I wasn't allowed to date at all in high school!) I hated by 16, and the guy I thought I loved at 19 I couldn't stand by 21. I found my "true love" husband at age 26, and we have been married 27 years now.
    These kids need to learn social skills, not just dating skills. They need to learn how to grow up and be happy with who they are and not just who the crowd thinks they are. The teen years are full of enough pain that dating and early sex don't have to be part of the game plan also.
    Last edit by Jenny P on Oct 26, '01
  9. by   maikranz
    Originally posted by Jenny P
    I don't know why a 15 year old needs to date anyone, much less be in an 8 month long relationship with a guy. My daughter is 19 now, and I didn't let her date until she was 16; and by then, she'd learned she could live without being exclusively with one guy all of the time.
    She had many friends who were dating at 14 and 15, and at the time I'm sure she thought I was the meanest mom around. But now she tells me that she is glad that I was strict because she has 1 friend that goes through guys like they were dish rags (at least 1 new boyfriend/month) and another friend who was raped at age 16; both had started dating at 14 or 15, and my daughter thinks they weren't mature enough to think for themselves.
    If "Joe" is treated like you say he is, in your town, he may turn out bad even if he is a "good kid." He needs positive relationships with adults and kids his own age. That doesn't mean he has to be dating your daughter, but he could be friends with her. She needs to dump the jock BEFORE he does rape her or force her into going too far (that's what happened to my sister on Prom night, and also to my daughter's friend).
    Can you encourage her to not date for a while? She can remain friends with her group; be a friend to Joe (and you might be a role model for him- possibly for anger management?); and dump the jock before she gets in trouble.
    One of my daughters' friends had multi-piercings, a TALL multi-colored mohawk, wore a studded dog collar, and hung with some druggies part of the time. When groups of her friends came over and hung out, either my husband and I were always within earshot and visible to the kids (and we still are when she is home from college!). This kid (A.J.) still comes around and sits and plays computer games with me (actually, he tries to teach me how to play some of them) even now that my daughter is away at college. He's grown much taller and the Mohawk is much shorter, the dog collar is gone and some (but not all) of the piercings are gone. He credits me and my cool attitude for some of the changes and keeping him out of the drug crowd. He says the shorter Mohawk is due to the fact that he couldn't walk through doorways easily anymore since he grew so tall. And he's talking about going to college or at least taking a few classes at the community college this winter. He may never be a jock or come from the right side of the tracks, but he definitely felt accepted here at our house. And he is a pleasure to be around.

    I hope I don't sound too cranky here, but I do feel that now-a-days kids are rushed by our culture into things before they are old enough to handle the situations they may end up in. The guy I thought I loved at 15, (and no, I wasn't allowed to date at all in high school!) I hated by 16, and the guy I thought I loved at 19 I couldn't stand by 21. I found my "true love" husband at age 26, and we have been married 27 years now.
    These kids need to learn social skills, not just dating skills. They need to learn how to grow up and be happy with who they are and not just who the crowd thinks they are. The teen years are full of enough pain that dating and early sex don't have to be part of the game plan also.


    Ditto, here!!
  10. by   canoehead
    Just want to say how grateful I am that we only have to go through the teen years once. Frankly I can't think of anything that could have been worse, including chronic painful illness (at least they have drugs for that).
  11. by   st4304
    First, I want to thank you all for your replies, and second, I want to apologize for my not responding before now. My computer monitor died and I have been "puterless" for 2 LONG WEEKS!!!

    Anyway, let me update you on the situation. My daughter was dumped by the "jock", reason being "things were getting weird." Then two days later, she hears from a friend that the jock is telling his friends she was giving him "h**d" regularly, WHICH she assures me is NOT true (and I believe her). So she is not speaking to him at the present time, and (thank goodness) her friends are sticking up for her and also not speaking to Mr. Jock. In fact, he called her last night to apologize but she is still mad at him.

    AND THEN after swearing off of boys, she stated she was going boyfriendless for a while. Well, "a while" lasted about 3 days because -- you have probably guessed by now -- she has gone back to "Joe."

    The only good things about this relationship are they are both only 15 so cannot drive, there are two high schools in this town and she goes to one and Joe goes to the other so they don't see each other during school, and since I refuse to pick him up from his dad's and he is there every other weekend, she can only see him every other weekend when he's at his mom's which I also have total control over since I am the only parent picking up and dropping off.

    I feel like I am in a no-win situation here. If I talk bad about Joe, she defends him and he looks that much better to her, BUT if I don't talk about their relationship, my silence -- to her thinking -- is my approval of their relationship. I have talked to her school G.C. and he also tells me to wait it out, these things don't last. HOWEVER, I started dating my husband at age 14 and we have now being married for 19 years. So sometimes, these things DO last! I feel she truly has feelings for him, but mostly he is like a wounded animal that she wants to nurture and make better. But I just feel like he is going to take her down with him. She is so sweet, she believes everything he tells her. I probably should mention he has been seeing a psycologist since he was 13 because he was having suicidal thoughts. My daughter knows this, and he has told her in the past that he would kill himself if she ever broke up with him. OF COURSE I pointed out to her that he managed to stay alive when she broke up with him a few weeks ago!

    There is a formal dance coming up in December and she told me she is going without Joe (he thinks dances are "uncool") SO. . . I am hoping she dances with other guys, has tons of fun, and he gets jealous and HE DUMPS HER! I think that is the only way this relationship will ever end is if HE does the dumping.

    To all of you who have gone through this (or will go through this) I thank you for your thoughts and advice. I'll try to keep you updated.

    Your pal,

    Sherri

    p.s. Kaycee -- You're right, I am lucky that I have such a good relationship with my daughter. She tells me more than I want to hear sometimes! LOL! Bye!
  12. by   Jenny P
    Sherri, I'm glad the jock is out of your daughter's life; that could have been much worse for her if it would have lasted with him pressuring her like that. As it is, the rumors are causing her enough pain; but she is lucky her friends are defending her. Be patient on the "Joe issue" for now; you don't have to "dis" him, nor do you have to be silent about him. Ask your daughter all sorts of open-ended questions when she brings up the subject about him; encourage her to talk to you about why she likes him, what attracted her to him, etc. and maybe she will start to question herself about him also. And Sherri, thanks for explaining the long silence here. I thought maybe I was too blunt with you and that was why I hadn't heard from you before.

    Canoehead, as the mother of a teenage daughter, I did relive all of those painful memories while watching and praying and trying to guide my daughter through these difficult years - only the rules and the playing field have changed since I was that age! Our culture and the times are so different now! Even the meanings of words have changed, "making out", "messing around", "going with" and so many other phrases don't mean what we think they mean.
  13. by   moz
    Hey I have a 15 year old daughter too. First of all, you are very blessed to have a daughter who will confide in you, and you should be so proud of her for making the right choices about sex. Its a really hard thing for a teenager. 15 is too young to date. Get to know Joe by having him come to your home, maybe rent movies, etc. He might benefit from being around a family that has been together as long as yours. If they are in your home then you pretty much know whats going on while they are there.
    Sounds like she might benefit from an activity outside of school, like a church youth group where she could make some new friends. As far as the lie goes that Pete got started, I don't know what to say...he needs his butt kicked. Does she have an older brother or cousin? Just kidding. Kind of. Keep encouraging her to be around other people besides Joe, and to go to that dance. Keep listening to her, sometimes that's what a person needs most instead of advice.
    Good luck!

  14. by   rosy
    I have to agree with some of the other parents. I think kids pair off way too young, why do they have to be exclusive at 15? I have always told my girls (age 16 and 17), you can never have too many friends, some are boys, most are girls. Although my younger daughter would like to have a boyfriend, she has also turned down dates with boys because of how they behave, what they believe, or their character. Although TV would have us believe otherwise, it is okay not to date, and not having a boyfriend is not weird.

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