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Question
Posted by: Michelle | 2007/07/24

My 15 yr old daughter….and her boyfriend

Hi, Please advise..My intention was to post this to the Teen Expert...but he is on leave till the 14/08/07...and I woulkd like advice asap...

I have 15 yr old twins, boy and a girl. I’ve been divorced for 7 yrs now . The twins live with me and my fiancée..
They see their dad at least once a month. A year ago my daughter developed a friendship with a 19 yr old boy who she now calls her “boyfriend”. Since this relationship with this boy, my daughters school results have deteriorated!!. I decided to set boundaries and allowed her only to see this “boyfriend” either Friday or Saturday and make her schoolwork priority. She is nevertheless on the cell phone with him continuously… The twins spent time with their dad this weekend, when I received a call from my daughter to say that this “boyfriend” was out with friends, got into a fight and got stabbed. My daughter went hysterical and asked her dad to bring her home so that she could be with this boyfriend. My first thought was, what if she was with him at the time???..what could have happened to HER??
My concerns as a mother are:
I don’t have a problem with my daughter having boyfriends at her age, but I feel that the gap with this particular boy is too big. He has matriculated already and is now working…She is still at school…and only now in grade 9!! The type of relationship is also too serious for a girl her age!! This relationship has been distracting her from her schoolwork…. I have discussed this with her and just cant get her to see this…I spoke to her father as well, and he realises that if I disallow her from seeing or contacting this boy at all….she WILL rebel and become deceitful…..She is extremely manipulative….

My fiancée has suggested that I draw up a “contract” with my daughter….wherein I stipulate what I expect from her and emphasise the boundaries. She has in return promised to give her schoolwork priority…which I will also emphasise in this “contract”…
Times of going out with this boyfriend would be in the contract as well….If she promises to stick to the rules, and her marks improve…I would consider “rewarding” her by maybe extending the curfew time…..If she disobeys these rules, I will show her the contract and take away some or all of the privileges granted to her….In this way she knows what is expected of her and hopefully she will realise the consequences of her actions when she oversteps the line.
This contract could be re-looked at, and I will have my son and fiancée sign as witnesses…. What do you guys think??
My daughter has suddenly grown up….so quickly…and I’m not sure how to handle this … Is there anyone out there in the same boat as me???….I would appreciate any suggestions???

Thanks so much for reading

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Our expert says:
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This sounds like one of the many ways in which cellphones cause damage. I don't believe any child should have automatic unlimited use of their cellphone. It makes no sense to "ground" a child, or insist very reasonably that they finish their homework before seeing friends, if they can hapilly spend hours chatting to those friends instead of doing homework.
Thank goodness she was NOT out with the bf, especially if he moves in circles where people get stabbed. She is already being manipulative. I wonder, curiously, whether her twin brother might have any ideas for you on how to be helpful in this situation.
I like your fiancee's idea of a formal and written contract, with some components negotiated with her, but with you being the boss. And make the terms specific. "giving schoolwork a priority" is very vague, for instance, and can lead to endless arguments as to whether she has or has not done so. Tie things to specified completion of all homework assignments and to a distinct improvement in school marks at least to the levels she was previously achieving. And if she insists that she is adult enough to handle an older bf, she is adult enough to keep to such a contract, and not doing so would question her own argument that she is old enough to handle the relationship.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Wena | 2007/07/24

Yhaa the world is coming to an end Michele, that must be a difficult situation to deal with.

Reply to Wena
Posted by: Michelle(2) | 2007/07/24

Hi Lady nina,

Thank you for your reply. I will discuss the purpose of the contract with her, and hopefully she will understand that I am not trying to control or punish her.
I have always allowed this guy to visit at home…and also see to it that she goes out in a group…..I have also asked to be informed of their whereabouts whenever they leave the house…not to spy on them but merely to have peace of mind knowing where to look for her if anything should happen….

She has told me that she is not involved in sex, drugs/alcohol etc..…I would like to trust her on this….BUT…..I too, was 15 yrs old…and I know all about peer pressure etc….I look at her and think….”what happened to my little girl??….The ‘pill” thing scares me a bit…
But I will try my best to understand that my little girl is growing up now….and I have to guide her the best way I can…

Thanks again…

Reply to Michelle(2)
Posted by: lady nina | 2007/07/24

hi there

the contract is a great idea - as long as she understand the legal and moral nature of a contract . maybe discuss with her the purpose of a contract and then both of you have to agree or rather compromise so that both parties can benefit from the deal.

she has to realize that the motivation behind this is not to control or punish but to equip and protect her for a future

i would also get her to go to a family planning clinic - not for the pill but the injection

allow this guy to visit at your home - at least that way you can get to know him and see what is happening

if she realize that you love and care about her - most important trust her and if she can be involved in drawing up the contract it would help
\maybe speak to a lawyer friend so it can be a legal document and a 3rd party explain to her the impact if the contract is broken

take car

nina

Reply to lady nina
Posted by: Re : above posting | 2007/07/24

Oops..I noticed after posting that there is another Michelle who posted before me...sorry for using the same name...

Reply to Re : above posting

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