Found an unused pregnancy test in my teen daughters room. Also found some type of drug paraphernalia. This is out of left field… she hangs with nice kids, does well in school… I’m beyond shocked. Trying to gather my thoughts before dealing with her as my initial reaction would be way over the top and don’t want to make it worse. Anyone else already dealt with this, what was your approach and how did it work out ? Thanks.
I have no advice, but will offer my prayers that the Holy Spirit will guide your words and keep you all close.
take a deep breath
pray the rosary and ask Mother Mary for guidance
confront your daughter and shut your mouth and listen
then judging not only by what she says, but by what she doesn’t say, and her level of honesty in the past, make your response.
If your honest response is “I simply don’t know what to say and how to deal with this, I need to pray, and I will ask you to pray with me, or on your own, or just to think about all this for a while” then that is what you say.
These are the times it is very easy for the parent to talk and react to much and destroy any chance of building confidence, getting the true story, or helping a child in crisis.
@Emily - Thank You !
@puzzleannie - Exactly my fear, thank you. I want to react strongly and quickly but want it to be a positive constructive process, not just the venting of a madman, which I think it still will be for a while. Prayed to Mary this morning and more to come ! Pray for my wife and I to maintain composure, and direct ourselves towards helping rather than acting out of our own pain, confusion, anger, embarrassment, etc… We’ve addressed drugs and sex and everything else with all our kids since toddlers, strong faith, catholic school, practice what we preach, I thought these “activities” were well addressed… still in disbelief…sorry …venting again.
I guess I would first start out by asking her what her goals are in life. What is it she wants to do and achieve.
Then I would explain that as a parent, I want her to achieve those goals. Then explain why pre-marital sex and drugs are going to interfere with those goals. Whether it’s a family or a career. As a human being with far more experience than her, I see the pain and hardships she’s risking putting herself through by going down this path. Just as I tried to keep her from pain by teaching her not to play with fire, touch a hot stove etc. I know that these things will lead to far worse things and I’d like to prevent that pain and hardship.
Best of luck
There is always the possibility they belong to someone else.
Remember that before you judge your daughter, although I pray that the situation shall be soon resolved, and that your daughter realises you truly do have her best interests at heart.
My approach would be putting her into a convent
That breaks my heart as I’m sure it rends yours. Be honest and tell her your worries about her, about how much it hurts to see her making poor choices that involve drugs and the possibility of a pregnancy earlier than she’s ready for it.
Start with how much you love her and how much you worry about finding these things.
The drugs are more immediate - pot’s bad enough but if this is something more serious she has to stop now, I mean immediate intervention. And if she hangs out with nice kids, are those nice kids doing it too, or providing for her?
As far as sex goes, you know your daughter, and you know whether she has too much freedom to know what to do with it, or whether curtailing her limited freedom will only backfire. Tell her how much sex can be enslaving even where it feels good physically, and how a few moments of pleasure aren’t worth blowing a chance at college, or the egregious burden of having an abortion. Tell her she was created for better than this, to do better and it’s a terrible disservice to herself to take these risks.
Do whatever it takes. If it means changing schools to get her away from nice kids who are doping and experimenting, do so. The two biggest drug dealers in my high school were both athletes and honor students - one on the hockey team, one a cheerleader, so I know that group is not immune to these temptations. If she needs counseling or rehab, get her there and help her through it. Whatever it takes…
Very tough situation and I wish you the best. As others mentioned I would certainly start with prayer. Please rest assured that I just finished saying a prayer for you and yours as well.
One potential hot button issue here is the idea of “how” exactly you found the items in the first place. Looking back at my own teenage years, one sure way for me to completely tune my mother out and totally lose my temper and thus any chance that I would listen to what she had to say, was for me to feel like she was snooping through my things or that I had no privacy. To this day, I am cautious about what I do or do not say in front of my mother or what I leave laying around when she is there. Rather than the lesson that she would have liked me to learn in those situations, the one that I learned was to guard my secrets closely.
I would humbly suggest that it is important to remember that trust can be hurt in both directions in situations such as this. As such, I would caution you to think about how to approach that particular issue carefully or you may destroy any chance at all for you to have some sort of productive conversation. Plus, it will simply teach your child to hide things more carefully in the future and you will end up completely shut out of her life.
The last thing I would ask you to remember is that there is no “look” for people who use drugs or have sex outside of marriage. Lots of successful people use drugs with no one the wiser. Making any sort of attempt to predict that based on the kids she hangs out with or the grades that she gets is only setting you up for problems.
Sorry if I came off too direct or condescending as that is certainly not my intent. I have unfortunately in my own life had some experience with these types of things so I have a fairly strong point of view on the subjects at hand as a result.
Good luck and God Bless!
Nice kids experiment both with drugs and sex. Unfortuneately the nice kids don’t yet have the fortitude to say “no” against outside social pressures. Or to have to strength of spirit to see the evil in the wrong they do to themselves and others. They are however, slyly willing to say “no” to your instructions- behind your back.
And, they seem incapable at times, to look outward - past highschool.
Prayers for her, for you and for your family.
In my personal opinion, children in highschool (who don’t have full time jobs, their own apartment, aren’t paying their own bills) shouldn’t be allowed to date any one person more than once.
Whether these adult children know it or not, dating at that age is purely sexual mate selection by using their hormones.
They date whomever “turns them on” sexually. As mentioned above, these adult children aren’t yet capable of perceiving a future past highschool.
Try to talk with her as a friend, if she has problem she needs friend.
When she see that she can trust you she will let you all element of problem.
She need that you can hear her and that you are nice to her. Maybe boy have also problems .
you don’t say how old your daughter is. advice about a 13 year old might differ from advice about a 17 yr old.
I can only suggest that you work very hard on not being emotional. Calm, cool, and collected will keep things from escalating out of hand. Emotion will feed back on itself and you’ll accomplish very little if anything at all.
Another approach is to ask her what she would do in your shoes. What would she ask her daughter about what she found. Get her to think from a 'mom’s POV and you might be surprised at what happens.
I’ll keep you in my prayers. Parenting teenagers has to be the hardest part of parenting.
a lot of this advice makes assumptions about your daughter and what you found that are not yet borne out by facts. Your first job is to find out what is going on in your daughter’s life that she has not been able to share with her parents, and restore an atmosphere where she can trust you and talk to you. Knowledge first, reaction later.
A few things strike me - one is that if she is pregnant she could need some help.
The second may not be an issue in her case, but when I was that age I would be very disinclined to talk about sexual issues with my dad and would have much preferred to have my mom approach me.
I agree with the poster who said the first step is to really listen. Aside from setting up good communication, this kind of thing can be a signal for different kinds of underlying issues, some more serious than others. The only way to know your best approach will be to listen closely.
Been there, done that. How old is your daughter and what kind of drug use do you suspect? All you can really do is let her know that you love her and that she has broken trust. You’ll have to come up with whatever consequences you feel will work. Trust is hard for a parent to get back and it’s something she’ll have to earn. I know it’s hard to raise kids in this time and it takes alot of prayer. Kids are up against so much but she belongs to God and and we as parents have to stand on His promises. I will be praying for you all. :signofcross: God bless you!
I’d tread very carefully.
I wouldn not “be a friend”. She HAS friends. She needs a loving parent IF it’s “hers”
There are 100 ways it couldn’t be hers…here’s some:
-It’s a for a friend
-it was given out at school and she took it to be nice
-it is part of a project for class
-its part of a prank (in college the sorority girls had nasty habits of pranking with unopened condoms…)
I understand your frustration. My two teenage girls were taught to dress with modesty. They both attended Theology of the Body for Teens. They attended Totus Tuus teenage vacation bible school during the summer. They have met nuns and the Bishop.
One of my teenage daughters had to be treated for chlamydia and gonorrhea when she was 13. The other daughter was having sex outside of marriage in college and became pregnant. She is now married to the father of the baby. She was not married in the church. My heart was broken. But I love my children. I have talked to them about the consequences of bad choices. And I listened. I was blessed that when my daughter at 19 years old suspected that she was pregnant, she came to me for advice. I was the one to take her to the family doctor for a pregnancy test. She came to me instead of a clinic. So the best advice I can give you is to listen and to love.
One of a teenager’s job is to separate from mom and dad. They don’t always do the best and they need you to be there as the net for when they make that mistake.
God Bless you!
I tried that. There is no convent in the USA that takes teenage girls. You have to be at least 18 and it has to be a voluntary choice. Some even require college education first. Believe you me I looked into it. Our Deacon’s wife had the same situation. They lived in Ireland when her daughter was a teenager. There are not an convents in Ireland that take in teenagers either.
Disagree strongly with this. She needs a parent to show unconditional love. Disappointment but love. Parents are not friends. Children need and respond well to boundaries. They need to know that mom and dad care enough to keep her safe.
How scary for you. I’m sorry.
Six years ago I helped a dear friend go through a similar situation. Here’s what I learned:
- Don’t panic.
- Ask her, calmly, why she has the kit and paraphernalia. She could simply be curious. It could be for a school project of some description. She could be trying to help a friend. Adolescents oftentimes try to cope with serious issues without adult intervention. It’s not always the right approach, but it’s developmentally normal. Who knows, she might have planted it to see what kind of rise she could get out of you. Kids have been know to do weirder things.
- If the paraphernalia is hers, you’re going to have to go from there to determine if she has some kind of substance abuse issue going on.
- If she thinks she might be pregnant make sure you determine if she is or not ASAP, for prenatal care if nothing else.
- Regardless of the outcome of the pregnancy test, make sure she gets a thorough physical examination to rule out/get treated for STIs. Pregnancy isn’t the only outcome from unprotected intercourse.
- Pray, pray, pray.
- Don’t be a friend. Be a parent. She needs leadership, guidance, counseling and boundaries that only come from parents.
- Don’t panic. I wrote it twice because it’s really, really, really important.
I’ll say a prayer for you.