Dec 5, 2010

HELP!

Musings of A Beautiful Mess
I seriously need some advice here. Even just your thoughts anything, just give me SOMETHING!

Nae is finally the teenager I have dreaded having. She stayed the night at her friend's house last night and they decided to sneak out of the house. They got caught by the cops and had to call us to get her at 2:00 in the morning! Thankfully we didn't have to go get her at the police station but at the school they were at, but STILL! She's grounded from her phone, her computer, her iPod, and her friends for awhile, not sure exactly how long, a month maybe? We just don't know! We've never had to do this before with her, she's always been a great kid. We want to make an impact on her that this shit isn't going to fly, but also we don't want to punish her TOO much. Not sure if there's such a thing as "too much" at the moment, but I just don't know what's the appropriate punishment. My thought was she would get her phone when she went back to school on Monday, but Dirty thinks if she gets grounded from it, that's it. I didn't agree with him until I read her facebook messages. Her and her friend were sneaking out to go see a boy. Apparently he left his door unlocked so they could get in? That's what I'm getting from the messages, I could be wrong, but I doubt it. As if that's not bad enough, she sent that message this morning from her iPod when she was grounded! She doesn't know I read her messages, neither does Dirty. I just read them. When I asked her why they were sneaking out, her answer was "we wanted to know what it was like to sneak out". That's a bullshit answer, I knew that even before I read her messages. Now I have confirmation of it, so I just don't know what to do with this information.

Any thoughts, advice, anything would be appreciated. I'm at a loss as what to do here. I know she's a good kid and teenagers do stupid stuff, but I don't want this to become a normal thing nor do I want to lose her.

7 friends have commented:

sassycupcakes on December 5, 2010 at 6:01 PM said...

Oh mate, you're a good Mum, she's a good kid. This stuff happens. Have you been able to talk to her? I mean like sitting down one on one and explaining how it made you feel and what your concerns are and asking her how she feels about it and what she thinks should happen in the future. In my experience (as a disobedient teen) dictating consequences did nothing to help and at times just made things worse. I'm not saying there shouldn't be consequences, but you know your kid, will any of those things make her not do it again?

Kristin on December 5, 2010 at 10:01 PM said...

I don't really know where to begin. Sassycupcakes has some good advice and I'd be more than happy to discuss this over the phone. Good luck sweetie.

Mischief Maker on December 6, 2010 at 10:07 AM said...

Hey darlin', I agree w/ your friend sasssycupcakes! If you discipline too severely she will just push harder to spread her wings.... First, relax. Second, remember your own once-upon-a-time shenanigans and realize that everything is going to be okay. Man, I STILL do things just because I want to know how it feels to do them. That's actually a very valid and honest response! She's a lovely girl and you are a lovely mama. I know you and hubby will come up with the best solution for discipline. Miss you! Hugs.

Danielle on December 6, 2010 at 11:54 AM said...

Well the whole FB message thing makes this a little stickier situation. However, you are the momma and she's 13, you have every right to read her messages to monitor her actions, which obviously you're doing!

In my opinion, thinking back to my 13 year old self, I would offer a compromise with her. 1.No more overnights with bad influence friend! 2. Who is this boy and if it's absolutely necessary to see him, why not arrange to do it with supervision of parents. She might not think it's "Cool" but if she really wants to see this boy she'll compromise somehow. 3. I would make her do check ins and lots and lots of them once she is no longer grounded. I would suggest that tracking device on her phone but that's just me being controlling ;-)

I do believe she is a good kid and maybe testing her limits. Unfortunately, she got caught the first time! I think you need to be strict in showing her you're serious, set a determined grounding time, but also stay strict after the grounding is up. It's hard when you know she's a good kid, but you also have to be aware that good kids get persuaded and also test their limits! It's normal, not fun for the parents, but normal!

I'm sure you and Dirty will do a great job however you decide to handle things!

kate on December 9, 2010 at 10:00 AM said...

As a "bad" teenager, I have to say that grounding did nothing for me, except make me hate my parents. I still did all the stupid, bad stuff (like sneaking out), even when I got caught and got grounded over and over again. I think I ended up being grounded for the majority of my time in high school, which made me want to go to college as far away from my parents as I could, which I did. And I was so concerned about making up for lost time that I was a horrible student and focused on having fun at the cost of my education (which is a big reason why it took me almost 14 years to finish my 4-year degree...).

Anyhow, I don't know what my parents could have said or done differently, except to maybe allow me to do some of those stupid (but mostly harmless) things. Honestly, I think I did worse stuff right under their noses than I ever did when I was sneaking out. Again, I don't know if I would have acted differently if there had been different consequences, but I do know that I spent a lot of time in a cycle of punishment and re-punishment (for breaking the rules while being punished). I still resent the hell out of my parents for all that grounding, but thinking about it now, I don't know what else they could have done (except perhaps not assuming the worst from me at the start...).

Sigh. I don't envy you. I admit that I was initially a little sad that I ended up with two boys instead of a daughter or two, but remembering what I went through as a teen, I am SO GLAD to not have to deal with a girl like me!

Ultimately, you are a good parent and Nae is a good child. You guys will figure it out, together.

Medajala on December 9, 2010 at 5:48 PM said...

I was one of these teens. I feel for you! And im sure Ill get mine back oneday as my children hit that age. The amount of things you grounded her from, was excessive. It's sort of like you did something bad so watch what I can do to you now! Im guilty of doing that sometimes, with way over the top punishments. Grounding her from her friends is not a good idea. Grounding her from the bad influence (or easily influenced) friend, would be a better fitting punishment. Or you could allow her to have her friends, but not allow her over this friends house anymore for awhile. With the phone/ipod/computer, seeing as though you already took them away, Id leave it like that.. but maybe give her back 1 in a week/few days, then a week later the other etc. Leaving the house at that time in the morning is dangerous, so she needs to see that its serious and won't be allowed. So sticking to punishments is important!
I would definatly keep checking up on her fb/emails, it may help you prevent this sort of stuff in the future.
Good luck!!

Lavender Luz on December 16, 2010 at 9:00 AM said...

Wow. I'm kinda scared reading this post because it could very well be me writing this in a few years.

Have you read Love & Logic? I really liked how you try to make the consequences match what the real world would deliver. And the most important thing is to keep your own emotions out of it, keep it matter-of-fact.

So if the issue is she broke your trust, then anything that requires your trust is gone for her until she builds it back up.

I'm not sure how that translates into actual consequences.

How are things now?

I think you have wise commenters.

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