We've found out our 16 year old daughter is having sex, drinking and smoking pot


#1

I read her facebook tonight
We do not know what to do

We are very hurt


#2

I suggest you get some good resources from Jason and Christalina Evert at www.chastity.org, from Heritage House at www.hh76.com, and/or from One More Soul at www.omsoul.com.

Sit down and talk to her. In no uncertain terms tell her what she is doing is wrong and sinful and that you are disappointed in her. And, talk to her about all the virtues, the virtue of chastity specifically, and her own dignity as a child of God.

What foundation have you laid with her on this subject? She is 16. Have you been talking with her about sexuality and chastity since puberty?


#3

also, strictly monitor her online activity, probably taking away her facebook, and know who she is hanging out with at all times -- not that she should be hanging out with anyone for a while.


#4

that's a bit young to be doing those things but not disturbingly so. was the sex a one-time drunken thing or is she like sleeping around? if it was a one time thing i wouldnt be too worried about it but if she's facebooking something about it then it probably wasn't a one time drunken regretable mistake.
you should definitely have a talk with her but first pick your battles. her safety should be the number one thing you are concerned about i think. try to hold in your anger and judgement, if present, and educate her on why the things she's doing are not good. the shorter and sweeter, the more she might listen. such as pot is not so bad if she does not get arrested. depending on where your live, it might not even be illegal.
if she is having sex with her boyfriend, her safety is not so much at risk as if she is sleeping around. tell her about STDs, specifically, how likely is she to get one and how much they must suck!!! if it's with her boyfriend, and you've met him, and he's cool, this is not the biggest issue then either. it is a moral issue for sure but if a 16 year old is going to get a lecture, her parents need to keep it real. shock her with reality, like hey chlamydia happens to X out of 10 people and this is what happens to you and do you really want to risk it?
the drinking is most problematic safety-wise, although it's going to happen eventually so it may be better to get the awkward first mistakes out of the way while still at home. tell her that if she is ever at a party and needs a ride, you will pick her up without a huge fight ensuing. (that's what i mean about it being maybe better at home bc when she's in college you might not be available to bail her out of a dangerous situation. also try to instill in her that "buzzed driving is drunk driving."
if her safety doesn't seem to be at stake, then i imagine moral issues are what is bothering you. again, a lecture isn't going to get though to her, she's just gonna be like talk to the hand. you can try talking to her but email is not necessarily a bad way to get your point across. keep it short and sweet and most importantly down to earth.


#5

As a teen myself, I can suggest you talk to her. Don't nag or just give her a speel about the sinfulness of her actions.
Have a heart-to-heart; let her know God is loving of all and she can be forgiven through Confession, but also be stern. Make it clear that if she's living under your roof, she's going to meet some moral obligations.
I would reccomend prayer, maybe talk to your priest...?


Ora pro nobis, Nostrum Eternus Era!
http://happyheartsmom.typepad.com/sweetness_and_light/images/2008/05/30/immaculate_heart_2.jpg


#6

Ask her in a loving way WHY she is doing these things. Does she feel pressure from her peers/boyfriend? Does she feel as if she is in love? Does she just not think it's a big deal? Don't talk AT her, listen to her, or she will shut down and you will get nothing. I would most certainly ask if she is using protection. I know it's not very Catholic, but neither is pre-marital sex and you want to know what you need to worry about here. Don't yell. Don't start talking about hell. She will just shut down. Find out what she is doing and where and why. Let her know you love her and only want the best for her and take it from there. Try to relax a little. This is not unusual and is probably a phase. Make her feel as if she can open up to you (which might be hard since you were reading her Facebook, but you can try).


#7

As much as I feel for you, I feel for your daughter more so. IMO the ONLY reason a 16 year old carries on like that is because of low self-esteem. Talking to her and setting rules is only 1 part of the problem. The other part is helping her to love herself so she will no longer need to carry on like that.

To be honest, maybe it is a generation thing but I have trouble believing teens post these things and never suspect their parents will read it.

Did you suspect this behaviour before checking her facebook? Or were you absolutely clueless until you read her facebook page? If you were absolutely clueless until you read about it, I suspect you are not involved in her life as much as she needs you to be. No matter how 'uncool' parents are to teenagers, deep down teenagers know they need their parents. And if they are not getting enough positive attention from mom and dad, they will seek it else where.

Try and spend quality time with her and show her she is lovable without all that junk

CM


#8

Im young myself, and unfortunately I am just recently getting away from my life of sin. I've done what you mentioned and more. I always believed in God, but somehow I convinced myself I wasnt sinning. It all just built up. The main thing that helped me so far was to focus on how my sins hurt God. When I really concentrated on how every sin I have done hurt God, I was finally able to be disgusted with what I have done. And so far, I have improved a lot. Like for the fornication. It took me a while, but I had to really keep focusing that God made us all brothers and sisters. And I found it disgusting to treat beautiful angels that he created like objects. There really isnt happiness in the life you talked about. Been there, done that. And all it leads to is depression and never being happy. But for some reason, no matter how many people tell a person that age, they dont wanna listen.

For the drinking and smoking, what do you think is the cause? Is it just cause everbody else is doing it? If so, she worries too much what people think. Unfortunately it will probably be harder if she is a follower. Im not saying she is, but those kind of people feel real insecure about themselves and desperately need others to fit in. Therapy would probably be needed for that but she would need to be open and admit it. Its kind of hard for a 16 year old girl to say ...im not cool, so I do all this so they think im cool. Let her know that if she thinks that in her head, therapy can fix it and she wont have to smoke and drink. That she can always be comfortable in who she is after therapy fixes the issue.

Maybe the drinking and smoking could be because of anxiety? I didnt think I was doing it at that age because of that, but now I realize that its likely. Feeling insecure about yourself, and doing that to mask the anxiety. The anxiety just builds up more and more when you mask it, so drinking and smoking would have to increase. Therapy would probably be the awnser here too. Drinking and smoking does NOT fix anxiety. It makes you depend on it more and more in the future. You really lose who you are and become someone else later. I dont know of her faith, but I hope she can stop what she is doing because it hurts God. If not, I guess you can show her the aging affects of drugs and alchahol on the computer. That might stop this problem shortly, but when your living a life like that your sins build up. I used to think I was only doing a couple things wrong. Then I really examined my concious and I was doing everything wrong. So you got to find a way to get her out of a sinful life. Whether that means move or whatever is your decision.

Im no therapist, so understand that this is only things that helped ME. But something else I did was look at pictures of myself when I was younger. I saw how pure and happy I was and I wanted to get back to that. Like I said, im not telling you to follow any of this. These are just things that helped me find my way recently out of a life of sin. The only thing that I know is 100 percent right is prayer.


#9

Judging by when they joined and this is their first post. I think it’s just someone trolling. Sorry if I am wrong it just seems a little odd.


#10

Let her know what you know. End of discussion. Tell her that her untrustworthy behavior has consequences. No yelling, no discussion. Of course she will want to, but don't. You are supposedly in charge. Do not compromise to make yourself feel better. If you are hurt now, how hurt will you be when she comes home with a sexually transmitted disease, addicted to crack, or the police call to tell you to go to the hospital because your daughter has been in a car accident?

Get up, go to her room with a few cardboard boxes and begin collecting anything that would not be found in the room of a 16 year old girl who whose parents have died of AIDS in Tanzania, and she is left to raise her 4 brothers and sisters:

All electronic connections with outside world: gone. This includes computer privileges, personal music systems with headphones and cell phone (you can get a special model that has only 10 minutes for emergency calls). If she has access to a land line in her room, take it out. No television in her room. Strip it of everything except the clothing she needs for survival (any extra or favorite stuff goes), no posters, no personal decorative touches, no make-up, no expensive shampoos and conditioners...If she drives your car (please God, don't let her have her own...), she doesn't anymore.

After all the collecting (and I predict screaming and crying on her part) take the boxes away. Store them at a friend's house if possible. Get it all out of the house.

Get involved with her...you are now replacing the people she's loosing. She won't like it at all, so it will be miserable for you...you are her parent and it's your job to reign her back in...I'm sorry to say this, but kids don't just flip overnight. This has been coming. Often, adolescents are not fun to be around if you are their parent, and I can bet you have not been anxious to be in her sullen hormonal company for some time now. But it has to change. Teach her to garden. Give her responsibilities around the house to earn back SMALL privileges (her choice of radio stations the next time you are in the car with her, 1/2 hour TV on a Friday night...) She needs a lot of physical exercise--scrubbing floors and washing walls can tire one out.

I'm not kidding. You will be doing her the most loving thing you can ever do, although it will be stressful on all of you, to say the least. Take her to her doctor for a physical. See if you can share this information privately with the doctor before the visit so he can be prepared to do the necessary physical examination in case she is less than forth coming. She does not have to know you spoke with the doctor, but the doctor will not be able to tell you anything he finds.

Is the person with whom she's had sex under the age of 18? If older it is a crime punishable by law. Prosecute.

Sorry to be so blunt, but your lives must change.

God bless and I will pray for all of you...


#11

And I didnt mean to make my last post sound like its all about therapy and things like that. GOD is the one that helped me. He gave me fear when I needed it, and he gave me courage when I needed it. He gave me everything when I needed it. I was still praying during my life of sin (Even though not that much), so maybe that is why God decided to do all this for me. I did always pray that all I wanted was for me and my family to go to heaven and that riches and all that dont me anything to me. I said I would offer up anything so that we make it to heaven. I know my family was definitely praying for me, so maybe that is where my graces came from. Wherever they came from, they came from God. And even though therapies can help with certain situations, shes going to have to turn to God. And if she feels no guilt, I would talk with a good priest before confession. Like I said, I had to really spend some time and focus on how every sin that I did hurt God.

Also things that helped soften my heart some were certain videos. Show her those videos with the miners in Chille getting rescued. That really puts things into precpective. Or the earthquake in Hati. Or whats happening in Japan. Not to put fear in her, but when you see these people crying, it just puts things into prespective.


#12

Oh yea, with the drugs, make her get tested. Hair tested.


#13

There's no way your daughter will trust you if you go to her telling her you read her facebook. I'm sure you already have, so it's going to be a struggle. I'm 20 and my mom read my facebook over the summer when I was involved in sex. What I did to get her back was terrible. I logged into her email and wrote her friends nasty things. This was before I converted. I luckily came to the faith on my own through the example of some amazing friends. I put up a fight though all throughout highschool in youth group. I wanted to have fun and I thought all these rules and restrictions were unrealistic and the ravings of fanatical quacks. If your daughter were to meet a young couple or better yet a YOUNG married couple who were chaste together, she might come around. Explain to her that God is not out to get her, but that a sin actually makes our lives miserable—whether at the moment or in the long run. God has set some boundaries for our own good.

If you go to her daughter emphasizing the sin and error of her ways, you’re gonna go nowhere. Love is the only way. Also, I'm sure the whole subject will make your daughter a bit uncomfortable. Maybe at the local Catholic church(es) you can find a campus minister who has worked with college kids and teenagers and can think of someone to talk to your daughter. My university has 2 amazing campus ministers who have been so helpful to me. The reason I converted, actually, was because my campus minister who is young and in her mid 20s gave me a copy of Pure Womanhood by Crystallina Evert. I felt like Crystallina had written the book as a letter to me. The booklet addresses every question I've had about waiting for marriage, and even answered questions I hadn't even thought of. Mostly, though, it addresses that protecting your heart is not so much as guarding it, but waiting for love to blossom on its own and not rushing it. Also, it mentions how precious we are as women and how we shouldn't be reduced to our sensuality. Waiting for marriage also seems to apply to women more than men, in general and throughout history. I use to HATE this double standard. I would call myself a “feminist” ranting on about being able to do with my body what I wanted and when I wanted. There’s another chastity author called Dawn Eden who explained that I was actually being an anti-feminist. Dawn Eden was just like me. It wasn't until she was in her thirties, however, that she had a turnaround. She writes “How can MEN even have sex like men without lasting emotional dysfunction?!!”

Try to identify with your daughter and then try to help her realize why what she may think is cool at the moment--because sex at a young age is fun and exciting--can actual be detrimental to her physical and mental health. Tell her how sex can be manipulated by both guy and girl and can totally prevent intimacy. So I went from guy to guy to guy. I had fun, but I ended up being used and hurt. I used guys when I was bored too. I had countless sex experiences and never, ever felt that intimacy I so deeply wanted. I also gained a hell of a reputation and lost a sense of my self-worth. I wanted an amazing high, but it would always come to an end. I only realized how special waiting was when I saw my friends living chastely. I realized how less scandalous and dramatic my friends’ lives were. No more getting tested, no more pregnancy scares. And most importantly, no more fear of being rejected and unloved. These girls in good relationships were SO MUCH HAPPIER. They found that high I wanted. LOVE!!!! GOOD GUYS DO EXIST. She needs to know this. Once she realizes they're out there, she will want to stick it out ‘til she finds a guy that's worth her time. Waiting for a good guy has given so much more hope. I never thought being single would make me happy. I'm much more at peace now knowing that I don't have to deal such a rollercoaster of emotion and know that there are real mean in the world.

And also: she needs to know that bad guys will do anything for sex. If a girl is decent looking and willing, a guy will take it. And guys like this are everywhere. Guys can be incredible actors and even I still think "They'd do this, all for sex?!" I'd been conned by this one guy who was in a LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP to the point I was convinced he was madly in love with me. It took me weeks to finally face the music. YOU MUST GET HER DAWN EDEN'S BOOK--THE THRILL OF THE CHASTE--AND EVERT'S PURE WOMANHOOD. And YOU need to read through them first. If she's sees you're making such an effort, she'll have a change of heart. And I'll be praying for you and your daughter. And all the kids out there getting into trouble.


#14

Hi. I’m sorry about your news. I don’t know if Maureen is a parent but I would suggest you think very carefully about following that line of advice. I really believe that if she is having sex, drinking, and smoking pot at 16, and you respond with that behavior, you WILL lose her for good. She will move out as soon as possible, perhaps even run away now, and she is most likely to run from you to where she is getting social support and making poor choices. She will be only more likely to make worse ones that cannot be undone, and you will be unable or unwilling to help her.

I think this comes down to choices.

Clearly, her choices are not good ones. They are destructive in many ways. But if she continues down this road, these present choices will be minor in comparison. Remember this when you talk to her.

Clearly, the only way you knew about her choices was through reading her Facebook. Did she authorize you to do this (as in, were you “friends”), or show it to you, or did you choose to spy on her? Her first concern will not be about the consequences of her choices, but yours. It will be about how you obtained that information and if you violated her trust at a time when she needs to be able to trust you more than her friends. Remember this when you talk to her.

I think you need to know exactly what you want to accomplish in talking with her. Is it merely stopping her behavior? Is it punishment? Is it replacing bad habits with better ones? Is it opening lines of communication? Is it about making new friends, or finding intimacy? Identifying and treating potential depression or low self-esteem? Building independent good decision making?

The onus is on you, as a loving parent, to do something about it. She needs to KNOW (not just be told, but BELIEVE) that you are intervening because you support her and love her more than life itself. You cannot talk at her like a child, because these are clearly adult choices she has made, and she is developmentally old enough to have made them. If you expect to her to make good adult choices, you need to respond as though you were talking to a reasonable adult (even if she is not yet fully there).

Maybe the hardest part is how to begin. If I spied on her FB, the hardest part in beginning the conversation would be the admission that I deliberately violated her trust and privacy (nevermind that it’s actually public information). Maybe you were just trying to be “cool” and figure out what the hype about FB is, but however it happened, you found out. If you were a schoolteacher and a student came to class with strange injuries and a fishy explanation, you would be obligated by law to report your observation to a higher authority for investigation to protect that child from the abusive choices of others. Similarly, you have this information on her and you are morally obligated to respond to protect your own child from her own abusive choices. Perhaps even admit “I don’t know how to respond to this. I am disappointed and concerned that I did something wrong as a parent. I am also sick with worry for you that you will be hurt. I love you unconditionally and promise that no matter what you do, you can come to me. Let’s figure out together why this happened, why it is so dangerous, and how life needs to change between us to protect you and help you to make the best choices possible.”


#15

[quote="Maureen_Brilla, post:10, topic:232332"]
Let her know what you know. End of discussion. Tell her that her untrustworthy behavior has consequences. No yelling, no discussion. Of course she will want to, but don't. You are supposedly in charge. Do not compromise to make yourself feel better. If you are hurt now, how hurt will you be when she comes home with a sexually transmitted disease, addicted to crack, or the police call to tell you to go to the hospital because your daughter has been in a car accident?

Get up, go to her room with a few cardboard boxes and begin collecting anything that would not be found in the room of a 16 year old girl who whose parents have died of AIDS in Tanzania, and she is left to raise her 4 brothers and sisters:

All electronic connections with outside world: gone. This includes computer privileges, personal music systems with headphones and cell phone (you can get a special model that has only 10 minutes for emergency calls). If she has access to a land line in her room, take it out. No television in her room. Strip it of everything except the clothing she needs for survival (any extra or favorite stuff goes), no posters, no personal decorative touches, no make-up, no expensive shampoos and conditioners...If she drives your car (please God, don't let her have her own...), she doesn't anymore.

After all the collecting (and I predict screaming and crying on her part) take the boxes away. Store them at a friend's house if possible. Get it all out of the house.

Get involved with her...you are now replacing the people she's loosing. She won't like it at all, so it will be miserable for you...you are her parent and it's your job to reign her back in...I'm sorry to say this, but kids don't just flip overnight. This has been coming. Often, adolescents are not fun to be around if you are their parent, and I can bet you have not been anxious to be in her sullen hormonal company for some time now. But it has to change. Teach her to garden. Give her responsibilities around the house to earn back SMALL privileges (her choice of radio stations the next time you are in the car with her, 1/2 hour TV on a Friday night...) She needs a lot of physical exercise--scrubbing floors and washing walls can tire one out.

I'm not kidding. You will be doing her the most loving thing you can ever do, although it will be stressful on all of you, to say the least. Take her to her doctor for a physical. See if you can share this information privately with the doctor before the visit so he can be prepared to do the necessary physical examination in case she is less than forth coming. She does not have to know you spoke with the doctor, but the doctor will not be able to tell you anything he finds.

Is the person with whom she's had sex under the age of 18? If older it is a crime punishable by law. Prosecute.

Sorry to be so blunt, but your lives must change.

God bless and I will pray for all of you...

[/quote]

I'm sorry, but I must disagree with a great deal of suggestions here, unless you plan on further traumatizing your daughter and pushing her away!

You need to have a discussion with her, but removing all of her personal items is wrong. Taking her to a male doctor to be "forced" into a pelvic exam is very wrong! (Find a clinic or practice with a female doctor or a nurse practitioner/midwife if she needs tested for STDs)

Yes, you do need to address the situation and deal with it, but not in this manner! You'll end up causing further emotional damage and she is likely to rebel in a manner that goes far beyond what was posted on Facebook. Taking away FB privileges and monitoring her phone calls is one thing- "stripping her" of her dignity is another!


#16

Does anyone else find it strange that this thread has a lot of very new members in it? :hmmm:

~Liza


#17

[quote="lizaanne, post:16, topic:232332"]
Does anyone else find it strange that this thread has a lot of very new members in it? :hmmm:

~Liza

[/quote]

Like the member whose first post was questioning about the OP being a troll because it was her first post?


#18

I would explain to the child that it is apparent that she is lacking a spiritual foundation. In fulfillment of your state in life, which is to insure the spiritual health of your children, she is now required to join you for fifteen minutes each day while you pray the rosary together.

It has been said that if a person prays the rosary daily, he will stop sinning. :thumbsup:


#19

[quote="lizaanne, post:16, topic:232332"]
Does anyone else find it strange that this thread has a lot of very new members in it? :hmmm:

~Liza

[/quote]

I do find this strange, yes.


#20

Sorry you are going through this. I don't have much to offer other than my prayers for you and more importantly for your daughter.

I do have one question for a number of the posters saying "you have betrayed her trust by looking at her facebook"...I just don't get this line of thinking. Her daughter goes on facebook on a computer undoubtedly owned by the parents via the internet paid for by the parents in a house owned by the parents, not to mention the fact that the daughter is the responsibility of the parents. I have an 11 year old daughter and when she is on the computer there is no illusion of privacy. She does not facebook (yet) but when she does if she wants to use my computers/internet then I will have her passwords and I will be her 'friend' on facebook.

She will know that everything 'may' be monitored at my discretion. She she does not like the rules she is more than welcome to stay off the internet!

People act like these children have equal rights in the house. :shrug:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.