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Adolescence That fiery time prior to your child becoming a teenager. Their bodies are filled with hormones and turmoil. How are you coping?

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Old 08-10-2002, 11:06 AM
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Pinkie Winky My daughter's friends

Hello:

My 12 year daughter is a good kid most of the time. A good student and really doesn't give me any trouble. I am a single parent and she is my only child so we typically spend a lot of time together.

My problem is her choice in friends. I feel she has the right to choose her friends but some of them I feel are not a good influence on her and I don't care for one or two of them. There are places one particular friend wants her to go, and she wants to go, that I don't feel good about. I feel that she is too young. There are sleepovers she wants to go to, that I know I won't let her go to. Her best friend disrespected me in my home, so she won't be sleeping here again. I feel bad for my daughter because I know she really likes this girl. My daugther also becomes disrespectful when she's around this child.

I don't want to make her a hermit, I know she enjoys her friends, but some of them aren't good for her. How do you handle this without being controlling? I guess I just need a reality check.

Thanks,
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Old 08-11-2002, 11:30 AM
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HI. You didn't mention where she wants to go that you'd rather she not...? My dd goes to things like "Friday night live" @ a local church for 4,5 & 6th graders....there is security and it is almost like a "disco" (ugh that word) for kids...she usually rides with a friend and I do the pick up @ 10:30 ish. They are supervised and can have a little time with their friends. There are some of my daughters friends that I don't care for, but if their parents are "on-site" and supervising, I try to remember that they are her friends, not mine. As for being disrespectful, was the girl playing and being a smart alek, or blatently rude? Did she apologize?
Good luck. I just told my bf yesterday, that the first 10-11 years were nothing, the hard part is just starting!!!All your worries change!
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Old 08-11-2002, 12:06 PM
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I know what you mean...

Mom208,

I have a 12 year old too...and there is this one friend...

I once asked my daughter how she felt when her "friend" behaved the way she did in front of me. My daughter told me it made her feel a little embarrased and uncomfortable. I said "good, I'm glad you feel that way".

And that opened up a whole conversation about why her friend made me feel uncomfortable too. She explained why she liked this girl, I explained why I didn't like the girl. I told my daughter why I was worried that my daughter might begin behaving that way..., she understood and agreed she didn't want people to percieve her that way.

And guess what...nine months later...my daughter has nothing to do with that girl any more. And I never had to say another word. . She made the decision all on her her own.

I think If I had nagged her, she just would have stuck up for her friend even more. All I did was show how how I felt, and how it appeared to others, and it got her to think about how she really felt. All I can say is thank goodness it worked out the way it did!

I don't know if this will help you...but I think that at this age, they still want to please us, even if they don't give us that impression. We just have to let them know what it is we want and then sit back and let them think it was THEIR idea all along.
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Old 08-11-2002, 02:21 PM
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My mother did something great with me at that age. She sat down and explained why it was important to choose my friends wisely, and she shared stories from her life where she had made mistakes. We had many related discussions over the years after that. It was one of the first "adult" conversations I had with my mom, where I felt she was sharing her wisdom woman to woman.

She always told me that I would be "guilty by association" if my friends did something they shouldn't, and that even if I wasn't involved, if I hung around them or went along, others would see me the same way. I might even get punished along with the guilty parties if I was there condoning the bad behavior. Also, people tend to become like those they associate with; therefore, I needed to really consider whether I wanted to become like so and so.

She constantly built up my confidence and helped me develop and focus on my goals for the future. It was up to me to decide whether my choice of friends and activities would help me toward those goals or not. I think having long-range goals helped me make it through the teen years because I realized there was life afterward, and one day this whole girlfriends/peer pressure thing wouldn't be such a big part of life. (Ditto for boyfriends and dating.) Goals gave me perspective.

And she allowed me to make some minor mistakes, which I did, of course. She didn't sympathize when I came crying back to her, though. She reminded me of my important responsibility to myself, and she helped me work out a solution when I needed help.

Also, Mom would not tolerate disrespectful behavior from me just because I was hanging around kids who acted that way. The rules at home didn't change, and I had to be reminded occasionally. But because she always approached it as if I were mature enough to understand the importance of treating all people with respect (including my parents), I did not have to be reminded very often.

One more thing is that sometimes my parents DID crack down and say no to me. They always explained why this particular circumstance worried them, and they reminded me that they wanted what was best for me. Having parents who sometimes said no gave me an out many times because I could always blame them if I felt wrong about doing something. Blaming my parents for being so silly let me say no to doing things I didn't want to anyway--but that I didn't have the courage to say no to personally. It also let me still look "cool." I just had strict parents. My friends respected that, and I think sometimes they were relieved because it often resulted in a change of plans for everyone to something more acceptable.

Best wishes!
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Old 08-11-2002, 03:34 PM
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Teen Friends

There's some excellent advise given here. I've used some and will also try some in the future. Let's all remember too that we are the adults/parents in dealing with our kids. If we don't think they should be with these people, reasoning is a good first step. I'd have to think though if that didn't work maybe saying 'no' is necessary. Try getting them involved in other activities that don't include these types of friends. Remember to keep the kids best interest at heart

I have two teen girls and I understand where your at right now. The teens should gather all the friends of both sexes they can so they can try to figure out what makes people tick.


Nan
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Old 08-11-2002, 08:36 PM
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Raising children now I think is harder than it was say when I was 12-13. Times have changed, people have changed and it makes our jobs sometimes more difficult. I don't like it when kids just hang out at malls, burger places, etc. I think it is up to us parents to give them opportunities to do other things with their free time. Go to the library, volunteer to help their grandparents with raking, gardening, walking their dog, etc. If my child wants to visit with friends I have them come over and they play games, play basketball, make pizza from a kit, watch a movie, or work together on a school project. I am lucky my son has great friends and very respectful too!

Maybe it is different with boys, that is all I ever had.

janet
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Old 08-11-2002, 11:28 PM
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Yes there seems to be alot of good ideas here. When I was about that age my Mother hated almost every friend I had. Although she only decided she didn't like them for their last name or the way they looked or dressed. I stayed friends with a few of them and others I decided weren't very good friends or were doing things that I didn't approve of. Drugs was a big part of a couple of them.

I think you need to decide whether your child gives into peer pressure and what she believes is right and wrong. If she has the right beliefs she will be fine.

My mother never talked to me about anything and just demanded that I didn't see these friends of mine she didn't like. I still saw them without here knowing and I have turned out fine. I stayed away from drugs altogether and never tried them, and I was always responsible whenever I drank (when I was 16 and over), and I never really got into any trouble.

No one can give you any definite answers to this question but as I said before it is a matter of knowing your child and her beliefs about certain things and her knowing what to do in different situations. There are usually things to comprimise on if all else fails. Like yes you can go to the party if it is chaparoned but I will be picking you up at such a time or be home by such a time or next time you will not go at all.

Good Luck.
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Old 08-12-2002, 05:09 AM
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Pinkie Winky my daughter's friends

Hello:

I just wanted to thank you all for the shared wisdom and advice. I do have my daughter in other activities that I feel good about but the one place that concerns me is a roller rink here. She loves to skate. Alot of her friends go on Fridays from 7 - 10pm. The rink is supervised but there are alot of older kids who go there as well even young adults who work there. I know for a fact some of the kids there are doing drugs. My daughter told me so. Last Friday when I picked her up the police were coming to break up a fight. She's been skating there about 6 months and this is the first time I've seen the police but of course that just fed into the discomfort I have about this place.

As for the friend that I dislike she is kind of smart-mouthed and when my daughter is around her she's kinda smart-mouthed too. I've talked to my daughter about this behavior and I saw a change in her, but I still have a problem tolerating the friend. These friends of hers that concern me seem to only have boys on their minds. The one friend in particular has little supervision from her parents because they're out doing their thing most of the time. I've witnessed that personally.

I know my daughter is a good kid, but I worry about influences around her. She is really smart, she's in gifted classes and she works hard during the school year. The only class she has with this other friend is band, so that's why she likes to see them at the rink. Maybe I worry too much, but I just don't want her to fall off the track she's been on for something silly.

My daughter and I talk alot. I always thought that I would like to have the type of relationship with her where she would feel free to talk to me about anything. I didn't have that type of relationship with my mother when I was growing up. Now she does share alot with me and it scares me to death. When she was in 6th grade one of her classmates had a baby. That's hard for me to even comprehend. So my thought was I need to ever vigilant on what she's doing, where she's going.

It's funny how the thing she enjoys most or the friend she likes the most is the one that concerns me the most.

Anyway, thanks again.... God Bless
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Old 08-12-2002, 07:06 AM
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Same girl? LOL?

I just read your reply, and I had to respond, because of the similarities.
Band was the only class she and my daughter had together. This friend's parents weren't around to supervise her either, and the child's sexual attitudes were what disturbed me the most. The girl was just too "advanced" in her attitudes, and she was "smart-mouthed" and slightly disrespectful. Nothing full-blown, just not right.

Here it wasn't a roller rink that was the meeting ground..but a PAL sponsored dance party every Friday night. I was able to see how this girl interacted with boys in a "womanly" way, and how my daughter thought is was "cool" and exciting.

I thnk she thought her friend was somewhat exotic...sort of an alter-ego to herself. But luckily, the facination wore thin, as she began to see the tarnished side of that lifestyle.

I hope that time and a little distanded view will do the same for your daughter.

Nothing is better than open communication between you two, and giving her another perspective from which to view her "friend".
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Old 08-14-2002, 10:37 AM
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My daughter is now 15 and is also a gifted student. She and I are very close and she tells me a lot, although I am sure not everything. Sometimes it is very hard to hear the things that she tells me, without reacting, but this is very necessary in order to keep her trust.

She has also had friends that I have not approved of, and she still does. However, I trust my daughter's judgement, as she is very intuitive, and we do discuss others' behavior and the consequences of that behavior. I have also talked to her about "guilt by association" and even though she doesn't like hearing it, I know she understands.

We are now getting into the driving issues, because many of her friends drive or are learning, but she is still too young. She also gets invited to many parties. However, I don't always know about the invitations until later because she has already turned them down. She knows that I will not approve, and she knows that she is not comfortable with what goes on at some of the parties. She also knows that I will call the parents to make sure that the party is chaperoned and if she suspects that I won't like the answer, she won't go. We live in a small town, so I will find out if she ever snuck around, but she has never broken my trust.

I am learning to be a little more lenient as she gets older, but we have discussed what she should do if things get out of hand. She can call us at any hour to come get her, without repercussions.

My daughter is also extremely strong-willed, although she is finally learning to control her temper. When she was 12, we had many a battle over sleep-overs and certain parties, but she understands now why I made certain decisions. She is friends with some of the people still, but with reservation, and some she has split with entirely.

Keep the lines of communication open, but make your rules understood now. It will make the teenage years much easier. I enjoy my daughter even more now that she is young woman, esp. since we can talk about anything.

Good luck!
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