Looking for some insight from reformed rebels (or if you parented a child through it). I have a 16 year old daughter who gives me fits. Let me say I think she is a great kid. She’s smart, funny and could have a wonderful future. She struggles with purity issues. A lot of this is because she is an extremely attractive girl. Many boys her age are lecherous and inappropriate while girls are often catty and jealous. She doesn’t have a lot of friends and actually told me recently that she wished she could meet a gay boy her age. “Then I’d know he wasn’t hitting on me and he would be interested in gay men, so there wouldn’t be any reason for him not to like me.” I was flabbergasted. I think all of this leaves her believing her appearance is all she has to offer and that’s why she continues to fall into sexual impurity. When confronted with her failings (I am firm but not cruel) she is defensive and says I think she’s a “slut.” I actually think she’s very sad and trying to alleviate that in the wrong ways. Then typically the conversation gets ugly and so on. Her greatest wish is to be a wife and have a large family. She’s fantastic with children and, provided she ever calms down, would likely make an excellent mother. I’ve explained her choices and behavior aren’t the best training for a happy marriage or motherhood but, as usual, I’m judging her and so forth. Any thoughts, wisdom, hope in this situation? I really do love and want the best for her. I just don’t know what to do any more. Right now its like watching a diamond slip down the drain.
I was kinna the same a several year’s ago when i was 15/16 but no too bad, i was just rebellious in other area’s more. A lot of what you say though has to do with because we live in a sex obsessed society once a teenager sexual hormone’s start increasing they find it difficult to handle. I have found teenage girl’s by far worse than any woman you can imagine, at a club i used to go to which was meant to be over 18 but was really for 15-20 year old’s only a handful of women weren’t wearing mini-skirt’s, ultra mini-skirt’s, hot-pant’s etc. Causal sex seemed to be even more common and less of a big deal. I won’t even go in to some of the thing’s that happen’s. Now that i am older thing’s are pretty much the opposite which is a good thing, almost like most of them have wised up. Young girl’s who are attractive are so silly that they do not understand the mentality of the lad’s at that age and what they really think, they just love the attention not to mention also caught up with her body changing and because the temptation is everywhere like the lad’s at that age find it difficult to handle. You must make her understand all of this and if you can, bring her to Church and also ask her to say the rosary daily. Education is key in also making her see the truth of such silly thinking and putting a desire in her to become the person Christ want’s her to be for she will find no contentment on lasting satisfaction without him
You didn’t mention her father. What is her relationship with him like?
Sorry, should have mentioned that. Her dad has always been very involved with her. He’s a good man but far too indulgent with her. She’s learned to manipulate him rather well, I’m afraid. Her sexual behavior makes him uncomfortable, so he tends to shove his head in the sand about it. This has caused a lot of friction between us as he’s the hero while I’m the bully who is constantly picking on her. There is no real excuse I can give for her behavior (though I’ve questioned bipolar disorder there’s no family history of it). She’s had a good life with two parents who love her, a good home, schools, etc.
my advice coming from a college student…put yourself in her shoes and then talk to her…let her know that you understand what she’s going through…thats what i would want my parents to do if i were ever in that situation…the main thing is understanding and when she realizes that you do, it will be easier to talk to her. hope this helps!
If she’s a 16 year old girl having sex this needs to stop asap. It’s hard to tell the extent from your post. Every time she has sex it damages her and sabotages her future. She needs to be involved in something that is a great accomplishment or building character. If this was my daughter there would be an intervention, things would change, this would be done lovingly, firmly, and out of love.
Her dad needs to step up and have a plan. Work together and with a priest.
What about the risk of disease and pregnancy?
Put together a list of pros and cons about her having sex this young out of wedlock, if done properly this should be an easy deterrant.
What are her priorities in life, goals etc? Early sex can wipe all of this out.
Hmmm…if there is no obvious cause then maybe there is nothing to fix? But I have a crazy idea. My grandmother was a wild child. At 14 she ran off with the boy from the next farm over, and when she was 16 she married my grandfather and stayed married to him for 60 years until his death. They were both devout Catholics, so there is still hope. If you cannot control her behavior, maybe you can guide it? I know its not how our generation is supposed to do things, but it seemed to work out really well for my grandparents. Now don’t everyone yell at me at once. Its just an idea.:shrug:
I recommend a CD (or downloadable mp3) entitled Men’s Sexual Nature - part 1, By Dennis Prager. stores.dennisprager.com/PROD/DPMSN-CD.html
You and your husband should listen to it first and if you decide to, listen to it with her. Then discus it, all 3 of you.
She needs to understand the difference between males & females and the major difference in how / why most boys “only want one thing”. Armed with this insight she might be able to discern the good intending boys from the bad.
I have two smaller children ( girl & boy) and when they are each of appropriate age we’ll be listening to this course and discussing it.
There are some not so catholic concepts in the last 3 lectures in the set, i recommend editing as needed, if needed.
I agree with the rest of the posters, your husband is the key here.
I was not rebellious per se but I got into a sexual relationship when I was 15. My father was not an influence in the way that I needed, I felt ugly and awkward and if sex got me what I thought was love, then I was all for it. I was promiscuous for the next nearly 15 years.
Your husband needs to get a little bit harsher with your daughter and give her a high standard to meet. He can take her out for a date and show her what a guy should treat her like. Honor and respect. And teach her respect for herself, so that sex isn’t a part of that.
It’s her father who is the key, really.
Thank you all for your thoughts and advice. I do wish her dad would step up more…well, actually at all…but, I don’t get the sense that’s going to happen any time soon. We spoke about it again this morning. As usual I’m getting the runaround. It makes me respect him a lot less as a man to be totally honest and makes me realize I’m fighting two battles, not just one. I have educated my daughter on the dangers of disease and pregnancy. How much good has it done? Who knows? Just last night I was telling her about an antibiotic resistant strain of gonorrhea that has been found. Did it scare her? I don’t know. But, I think that’s my next tactic…just to find some very graphic pictures/complications of various venereal diseases on the Internet and let her see for herself where her activities could lead her. She’s so defiant, who knows if she’d actually look at it. At least I could look myself in the mirror and say she was given the truth. Sad to think of it, but maybe she will need to learn the very hard way. As for the poster who spoke of his grandmother, I sometimes wish we lived in her era. Biologically, she is certainly capable of motherhood and as I said, I think she could have a real talent for it. But, that’s not our reality and I need to somehow make her realize how foolish she’s being in the here and now.
Please don’t use this tactic. It rarely works. Diseases and pregnancy are bad, yes. But they are not the only consequences to pre-marital sex. I suggest that you discuss her emotions and the research that shows that sex bonds males and females together for the purposes of life-long marriage, and each time that bond is broken, the person gets a little more numb and a lot less capable of true intimacy. Explain that God loves her so much and gave her a gift of her sexuality, that it is meant to be opened on her wedding night only, and given to the man who will love her only a little less than he loves God. She needs her Daddy to show her the way for men to treat her. Not that he even has to talk to her about sex, although that would be good as well. But if he is truly involved in her life now, as she matures, he can have the most influence to shape her life for the REST OF HER LIFE. Does he understand that? I will PM you with my phone number and I will talk to him. Daughters’ yearning for their fathers is what causes us to pick men who are not what God intended for us. I am sure that your husband must love your daughter but maybe had a distant father himself. He needs to step it up for her sake. I have some videos that your daughter can look at if you think she will be interested. I will send them to you - or there is a website you can join and she will be sent videos that you can then discuss - this is from an abstinence educator who has done teen teaching for years. He knows what kids respond to.
To answer you question, no I was not a rebellious kid. Not at least until Collge, but that’s a whole 'nother story.
I’m curious though, what kind of extracurricular activities (if any) is your daughter involved with? Could that be an area that could be addressed to help the issue? My daughter is only 12, but so far being involved in a sport has helped her in the areas of purity and chastity, more than I see in some of her peers that have selected different activities that involve more of an emphasis on appearances. Being on a sports team, surrounding by other mentoring adults, has helped too.
For me, I was involved in journalism and our high school tv club. It was a long, long time ago, granted, and the youth are so different today, but I found a niche of peers that didn’t act out that much. It also helped that many were also Catholic.
Prayer is a most effective and often neglected tool.
Ask her “other” Mother to take the lead.
Do you mean her Godmother, or Mary?
Whoever can do a better job.
But seriously, I was a rebellious child and also a very irresponsible and troubled adult. I believe that my life was saved by the prayers of my parents.
I recommend this book, Yes, Your Teen is Crazy:
It helps explain several important things, such as that teenagers’ brains are reconfigured during adolescence, and they may make decisions that are not wise. They are also driven to separate from their parents to become their own individuals.
That said, you can take away privileges unless she behaves appropriately. Sounds like she is searching for love from boys inappropriately. Have you had her evaluated for depression?
First let me say this post is speaking in love, it is not judging.
My first though is ‘Who is really struggling with the issue?’. You obviously don’t like her sexual activity at all (understandable, all mom’s should feel that way) but no where do you post she regrets it. When a mom tries to tell a girl to stop having sex only for the girl to get mad and respond ‘You think I am a slut’, it sounds to me she does not want to stop. If she wanted to stop she would be saying 'Show me how"
Also, NONE of this is because she is extremely attractive. At the risk of sounding full of myself I will say this anyways. I was a VERY attractive teenager and the boys NEVER ONCE asked me to dance. I had such an introverted personality (whole other post) the guys did not come near me. Now the uglier girls with the ‘wild streak’ in their personality were always being asked to dance. So it is NOT her looks. Let’s get to the real issue
Once a girl gets a reputation, it is very hard to undo because the boys won’t like their ‘goods’ to be tooken away. So that in itself will be a struggle
Second, (and this is not to judge but to help find a solution), the time to start teaching children purity is the day they are born. When she was younger and an uncle or grandfather wanted to kiss her goodbye was she taught ‘Be polite and kiss your uncle even if you think it is gross’? Or was she tooken seriously when she said ‘no’? That is where boundaries were first developped.
Perhaps, now that she is older teach her to politely say ‘I would prefer to shake hands’ and stand by her when she says this. Don’t worry about Uncle Joe’s feelings, they are nearly as important
Secondly, did you always call her body parts by their real names? Or did you use the slang terms used on the street to save you some embarrasment? Start as of today to ALWAYS treat her body with respect.
Did she have brothers who teased her when she started to devolp? Is she given her privacy? If she is uncomfortable putting her bras in the laundry hamper is there some arragement made to help her feel less akward?
These are all little things that can help her believe she deserves respect.
Now, how to handle her now? Not sure if I can help on that front but I second her spending time with her dad. Even if it is just spending time together. But at 16, I am not sure how much she would want that.
Next be firm. If you have to start to monitor her activities more closely, then that is what must be done. If you have to drive her to Sally’s house, say hi to the mom and pick her back up there to make sure she is not with boys, then do it, Kids are creative and will find ways to sneak around but at least you have made it harder on her and she is learning her behaviour is wrong. After all, you can’t tell her how to behave just show her it is wrong with consequences
CM: I take no offense at your suggestions. I do still contend, however, that she struggles. I know in my heart that she’s not okay with her behavior. She knows its wrong. She has been raised with Catholic teaching from the cradle. I’m convinced the defiance is her way of trying to take the microscope off of her wrongdoing. But, I think you’re absolutely right: certainly one has to do a certain amount of inviting for opportunity to arise. She has a very outgoing personality. So, that doesn’t deter anything. She was taught from an early age that her body is private and she was told (as age appropriate) the medically accepted names of anatomical body parts and their function (I work in the medical field). She is the eldest child, so no one within the home teased her. It is possible she received comments at school, however, as she developed quite early. I’ve never thought to ask about that but she’s never mentioned it. I think it’s worth discussing with her. I don’t recall specific instances where she was encouraged to show affection when she wasn’t comfortable doing so, but with everything else on this, I wouldn’t rule it out. Ultimately, I think it comes down to her enjoying the attention more than it being a response to not actually knowing better. What I don’t understand is why she is so attention needy in the first place. But, it is critical we get to the bottom of all of it. I’ve wanted her to see a psychologist for at least the last year and she’s told me she won’t cooperate in the process. It’s my own opinion therapy will only be as helpful as her willingness to discuss what’s bothering her. She has previously been medicated for depression (hence part of the reason I questioned bipolar disease) but the side effects for the medication were greater than their benefit. At this point, besides playing cop and watching her like a hawk, I have availed myself to the Blessed Mother. I am confident there is an answer to and for all of this.
And since you are mom, I trust you know best
Ok, so I guess she needs to learn to be outgoing yet set boundaries. A difficult task for anyone
First I think you should ask because the main reason she probably never mentioned it is because it is so humiiating. Everyone goes through it. And actually, the fact that she is the oldest actually makes me think all the more reason she got teased at home. She was the first. On my street, the bunch of us girls that hung around were all between 9 and 12 with one 13 year old. The 13 year old had started to develop and us younger girls ‘giggled’ in front of her because of the weirdness of it all to use. Next year when all the 12 years developped, we had already had a friend develop so the weirdness was gone as well as the giggles
I think that would be an excellent idea. Or perhaps encourage her to take up hobbies she in interested in and praise her for how well she is doing them.
The Blessed Mother is the best solution. I am confident to there is an answer