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48

The way these events unfolded is an unfortunate one, and I feel rather sorry for your current predicament as a family. By forbidding your daughter from seeing her 17-year-old friend, it seems to me that you possibly accomplished several things: You showed your daughter that you fundamentally don't trust her judgment about herself and her own feelings You ...


46

When legally adult children continue to live with their parents, they implicitly accept to live by the rules of the house because they are legally free to choose to move out and live by their own rules. The times you mention seem on the conservative side to me. I'm sure your parents mean well but if you want to change things then I would start by figuring ...


37

I was brought up by a stepdad, and yes, "You are not my real dad" is an "ultimate defense" used to hurt, and only to hurt, when you feel wronged, and you feel you have no more arguments left to why you should not be allowed to do something/forced to do something. It's the equivalent of saying "You are stupid". He will not change his mind about how he feels ...


32

You don't have nearly enough evidence to accuse him. You're also beyond the point where you can forbid him from doing something. You need to persuade him, and performing a search won't help with that. Badmouthing his friends is also likely to backfire. His selection of friends is highly personal and the largest part of his identity right now. It would ...


30

Well, I went the carrot/condom route with my daughter when she was 12, along with discussing the following: Condoms are only effective when used properly. This means, no baby oil for lube, no vaseline or anything petroleum - as it will rot the rubber and cause it to break. Insist that a condom is used! If he's not willing to see to your safety and health ...


30

I'm an autistic adult, the parent of an autistic adult, and a teacher of autistic children. The reason your daughter laughs when you're really angry with her is because your anger is frightening her. This might seem counter-intuitive to the neurotypical mind, until one considers that neurotypical laughter is frequently in response to someone being hurt, ...


30

Is the psychological therapy a direct result of only this event? To an outsider without more information, that sounds like more than necessary. For something this critical, don't get advice from anonymous Internet strangers. Talk to the therapist instead! Your daughter's therapy is private but you should take the opportunity to discuss your role with the ...


27

This is an iffy situation, especially if you have a good relationship with your sister. On one hand, you don't want her to be mad at you and on the other, you want her to be safe and you want to protect her. First of all, not doing anything is wrong. It would be turning a blind eye to a potentially dangerous situation. If something did happen to her in the ...


26

I found the suggestions on this website to be helpful: Be sure your child knows you love him or her.A parent’s first response should be to remind their child that you are there for them, and love them, and support them. “I love you, you’re my kid,” Reaffirm your values. If you do not feel that teens should have sex with other teens, this is ...


25

I think my input on this matter should be quite useful, as I'm currently 17 (on the verge of 18, but that's irrelevant), and have done some drinking over the past year or so. My parents have no idea, or at least I assume they don't, and I don't intend for them to find out anytime soon, as I know I'll be punished to some extent. My father is an alcoholic, and ...


25

I think your approach is correct: dating is dating no matter the gender. You aren't discriminating, you are actually being completely fair. Children use any edge they can to get you to bend the rules, this is likely one of those cases. Stick to your guns, you have life experience on your side.


25

To directly answer your question: if the topic comes up a potentially good answer would be "well my father/husband passed away a long time ago". The "a long time ago" basically indicates that this is in the past and has no immediate bearing on the present. It also indicates that the case is closed and you don't want to discuss this further. Most people will ...


24

No, this is not child abuse, this is parenting. This is you having to deal with the direct consequences of your own poor actions and bad decisions. If things really happened the way you describe, then you owe your mother a very sincere apology, and you need to learn to not allow a disagreement with your brother to escalate to a point where you throw food ...


23

Oh, the pain of first heartbreak! Bless you for being there for your daughter through all of this. The maturity level between 13 and 17 is so vast and I'm very glad the other girl agreed to back off rather than messing with your daughter's emotions; she sounds like she'll be a good friend down the road, once the dust has a chance to settle. If you don't ...


19

I've typically seen condom use demonstrated on (unpeeled) bananas, but I think @MichaelF's suggestion of a carrot is a better one. I'd even consider purchasing a ("regular" size) realistic-looking dildo, since what you lose in giggle factor you more than make up for with realism. As for storage precautions, I'd point out that carrying a condom in a wallet ...


19

It depends on why they are taking so much time in the bathroom. It could be that they are just enjoying the shower. Or they could be practicing different looks in front of the mirror. Or they could be enjoying the privacy of the bathroom - most teenagers don't have anywhere else that provides complete privacy with a locked door. Make sure they have those ...


19

There are at least 2 sides to every issue. There are also at least 2 sides in every war. By destroying what she considers hers b/c she did not comply with your orders, in her eyes, the "issue" has become a "war" and you launched the first nuclear weapon, but it was a dud. Did you change her mind? No. Did you adjust her clothing style? No. (She will find ...


18

Ransacking his room and invading his personal space may come back to haunt you, especially if he is hiding something. TRUST me, he will notice if you've searched his room and that may cause him to distance himself even further from you. I would just casually confront him about it via discussing something you "saw on the news" recently relating to drug-use ...


18

Great question! I don't have personal experience with this one, but have had a number of close friends who are gay. I think every one of them would agree with me when I say, Handle it the same way you would if it was a boy - almost. First, from the way you've worded the question, it seems you don't believe she should be having a highly sexual discourse ...


17

At around the same age as your daughter, I was sent to a bad dentist who wouldn't believe me that the novacaine hadn't take effect, that I was in pain, in terrible distress, et cetera. For the next ten years I dealt with terrible dental phobia, to the point that I couldn't smile at myself in a mirror because I'd see my teeth. Naturally, then, I'm in favor ...


17

Adolescent behaviour (the official term for teenage years) can start as young as 10, so I wouldn't worry that this is more than that, especially as that's going to be enough to deal with over the next 6-15 years (yes, it'll happily keep going into the mid-late 20's). There are millions of lines of text on how to deal with teenage misbehaviour, from the ...


16

The thing to worry about most is poor performance at school, only because that has the possibility of really cutting off her options in the future. One question you might ask yourself is why she isn't interested in other things. Rather than complain--which clearly isn't helping--do what you can to start a dialog. What is she getting out of facebook? Do her ...


16

Teenagers are hard to live with when you've known them all their lives. It's harder still when you've only met recently. Step-parents often don't know that the teens are sulky and stroppy to everyone, and assume it's a specific reaction to them. A house rule that nobody is allowed to swear or yell at anybody else might help. At this age, you really need ...


16

One thing nobody else has picked up on: If you ignore the drug thing for a moment, you were going through her stuff, when she clearly wasn't expecting you to. The best way to open the conversation might be to apologise for that. Otherwise, in effect what you'll be saying is "I was going through your stuff and found this, now I've confiscated it, and need to ...


15

Here is a slightly different answer: "If you don't teach your children how to drink responsibly and how to effectively deal with alcohol, who will?" Assuming a mostly US audience (it's quite different in other countries that I lived in): Alcohol is illegal for anyone under 21. Providing alcohol to teenagers or enabling teenage drinking may get you into ...


15

When all else fails, they can fall back on a version of Miss Manner's timeless response, "I'm sorry, that's just not possible." In this case, something along the lines of "I'm sorry, I don't want to talk about it," or "This subject is still painful for me, can we talk about something else?" might be useful. Don't expect everyone to have manners and not ...


15

I am not really understanding why you had to tear them apart. As far as I can read from your text they never did anything "bad" to each other, so one could expect the 17 year old to not suddenly do something to your daughter just because she is older. I totally understand that you need to assist your daughter here, the difference between 13 and 17 is too ...


15

She needs your support (and the therapist's) while going through a difficult enough stage of life with the added complication of (possibly) being gay. It sounds like her peers are (like most kids) not open and supportive of her, which may quite possibly reflect the general society where you live. If she's hurting herself because of anti-gay taunting, that's ...


14

"My rules or get out" is not a good way to teach children to compromise (and we hear that rhetoric so often when being critical of how a country is run, where this is learned I see clearly now..) or negotiate with other adults. You risk casting your children to the wolves, and I've seen friends devoured. In this case, you should be able to calmly sit down ...


14

From my experience growing up bilingual, the problem won't be that your kids don't want you to speak the "foreign" language, but that they will refuse to speak the "foreign" language. (The fact that you will do uncool things is a given: you're the parent, anything you do is by definition uncool.) The only way to counteract this is to build up a good ...



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