Entering the next phase of parenting

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Feebes
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Entering the next phase of parenting

Post by Feebes » Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:59 pm

Tonight the three kids and I will be going out to tea with my Mum for her birthday, it is tomorrow.

Tonight, we have also invited DD's (she is nearly 15) boyfriend along, he's just turned 17 and is apparently driving himself to the restaurant. I guess that is a good thing?? LOL

Not entirely sure if I am ready to this next phase. I've never met the boy, but XDP (who is being really 'special' about this situation :twisted: :roll: ) really doesn't have the time of day for him. He seems to have made up his mind even before he's actually met the guy.

It's causing a bit of conflict about it, mainly about the age difference. This is DD's first boyfriend that we are going to meet, they've been 'keen' on each other for well over 12 months and did 'date' for a bit quite a few months ago. I am just trying to provide DD with safe boundaries and rules about this situation so as she can see him outside of school, knowing that she is safe. XDP would rather her not date this guy at all and chain her to the house. :roll:

I am hoping that by DD knowing that she can talk to me about this guy/other situations, that even thought I am may not be too super impressed what her actions are etc, that she still knows that she can talk to me. I worry that if we say nup not happening, that she will make silly decisions and put herself in vulnerable situations, that we won't be able to support her.

XDP has said (not sure in a ha ha way or not) he is not buying DD credit for her phone as that is the main way that she communicates with him. Every time she mentions something about the boy to XDP, it doesn't end well. DD will get that she won't talk to XDP about this stuff cause he so negative and go off his rocker.

For anyone that has teenagers, I'd be really interested to hear how you would go about this situation and if I'm doing this right?

I know that the boy drinks alcohol, but DD knows that she is not allowed to get in the car with him driving (only a responsible adult, preferably someone that we know) and that she is not allowed to drink.

Ekkkkk.

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Mummy woo!
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Re: Entering the next phase of parenting

Post by Mummy woo! » Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:34 pm

Sounds like you are doing the right things Feebes - boundaries, keeping the communication channels open, respecting her as a soon-to-be adult. I'm not assuming anything, but does your DD have access to contraception and condoms?

And XDP is behaving about how I'd expect - trying to control the situation. Won't work - controlling teenagers is like trying to control the weather!
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Esther
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Re: Entering the next phase of parenting

Post by Esther » Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:36 pm

I guess also it helps to know as a teenager that if something does go wrong, you will be beside them as they sort it out.

Good luck Feebes!!

ETA. I keep saying to DD1 and DS that nothing is ever so bad they can't talk to someone about. If not DP or I, another trusted adult or helpline (not ABA one per se ;-))
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Re: Entering the next phase of parenting

Post by Mummy woo! » Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:23 am

Esther wrote:I guess also it helps to know as a teenager that if something does go wrong, you will be beside them as they sort it out.

Good luck Feebes!!

ETA. I keep saying to DD1 and DS that nothing is ever so bad they can't talk to someone about. If not DP or I, another trusted adult or helpline (not ABA one per se ;-))
Kids helpline is very good. The counselling is very similar to what ABA does. But what they have down pat is linked up services - they will speak to the school, parents or GP if the child wants them too and they can arrange regular phone counselling with the same counsellor if needed. Oobiwoo called them for the first time a couple of months ago and they were really helpful.
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Re: Entering the next phase of parenting

Post by SadiesMum » Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:08 am

Never say never. That's what I've come up with as a mum of a 17.5 year old who is now attending schoolies on the gold coast. :shock:
I think you are approaching it from the right angle Feebes. The only way you will get to know this boy is to have him around/invite him places. At least then you can see how he treats your DD. Girls her age will be attracted to older boys and yes, it is scary but keep those communication lines open.
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Re: Entering the next phase of parenting

Post by Nedsmum » Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:31 pm

I can only encourage....from what I know from your posts here on the forum, XDP has a tendency towards 'control issues' so I can't imagine why he wouldn't want to 'control' this as well ;-) My mum hated the idea of me dating boys who were not still 'at school'.... for her it was the access to cars, cash, and the lack of focus on studying (ie. having social time on weekends).... most of my boyfriends were older...I ended up marrying one three years older...
There was massive conflict with my mum/parents over that age...so I can't give a positive model...but I would feel that it's better to know the people (and model respect for other human beings) than have complete disapproval - disapproval of the boyfriend could easily be extended to disapproval of your daughter's choice in friends - and I think that's a poor road to go down - If there was one thing I did manage well through that age, it was somehow I did manage to choose good friends to be around (as did my siblings) - boyfriends or otherwise...
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Re: Entering the next phase of parenting

Post by Gwen's Mum » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:19 pm

I know you probably feel a bit at sea, Feebes, but I love that you're keeping communication with your DD as open and honest and supportive as possible. It's so important that she has someone she trusts and who has good, accurate information and support to give.

Fwiw, and knowing it's not necessarily going to be that everyone shares this opinion, I think for me the first and most important principle has always been: I am the boss of my body.

This fundamental principle flows into a few things, namely:
- I have the right to request and to receive accurate and non-judgemental information that will help me to make decisions about my body that are appropriate for me in that time and place.
- Being the boss of my body means that I could decide something today, and make a different decision tomorrow - because I'm the boss. What I say goes.
- If I'm uncomfortable, I hold the power to say no, stop, hang on a minute, or let me take a while to consider my options - and to have that respected.

Along the way, and especially as a child/teen, I have been able to draw on my parents (trusted caregivers/guardians) for a lot of that information and for the support I needed to come to decisions - they haven't simply made decisions for me (because I'm the boss of my body), but they've given me access to good, accurate, non-judgemental information and then followed up with good, non-judgemental support whatever my decisions have been (including the ones that might not be so great). They've also role-modelled positive behaviours and ideas.

The principle holds whether the decisions have been about sex, drugs, alcohol, body modification, medications, contraception, extreme sports, pregnancy, birth, interactions with HPs... the list is long, but the guiding principle is the same. And while I might have made some pretty wobbly decisions along the way, I've never felt ashamed (embarrassed, for sure! :lol: - but not ashamed) or that my decisions weren't mine to make. Nobody else is imposing their 'rules' about my body and about how I might use it. That puts me in a pretty privileged position, I know, but I also think it gives me a really helpful perspective on giving that power over to our kids as owners of their own bodies.

I reckon you're already on the path to doing exactly this sort of thing with your DD. I hope your ex can comprehend just how damaging attempts to control someone else's body and decisions can be. And I hope your DD has a wonderful time growing up and getting to know herself and her body! :)
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Re: Entering the next phase of parenting

Post by JennyD » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:31 pm

AGGHHH I just posted and lost it. I'll try again.

Firstly hugs, this sounds like a hard time, and a tricky situation. I have four thoughts, actually lots more, but 4 I'll share :)

Firstly she is your daughter and you love her, make sure she knows. <3

Second, never make her choose between you and someone else, there is always a chance you will lose. This is especially true if it is someone she sees as her future (boy friend). The future always trumps the past, especially with teens.

Three, mobile phones. I pay a basic amount for my kids phones, they have to pay the difference. Same with many other things, can you make a deal like this or suggest to XDP that he do this. This way they have a phone that they need and if they want to fluff around on it that is their choice and their money.

Four. Sex. It happens, even with kids as young as 13. My kids tell me about year mates who are having sex at 13 or so. Scary stuff. So it is important that she understands contraception. It is important that she understands that contraception decreases the risk of pregnancy, it doesn't stop it. The pill is 99.9% safe, which means that 1 in 1000 uses is a fail, and that is not for one person that is of 1000 uses tonight 1 will fail, it could be on that persons first try or their millionth. Condoms also fail. They don't seem to remember this from sex ed classes.

Other than that, not a lot I can think of, just hugs for you and DD. And have fun at your Mums party.

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Re: Entering the next phase of parenting

Post by Penguin » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:57 pm

Quick post-

Above ANYTHING else- with the possible exception oh how special they are- if my students learn NOTHING else from me it's that every single parent in the world would prefer a call at 4am saying 'don't ask any questions, just come pick me up now' to a knock on the door from the police or the hospital.

A few times I've had students who have been so fearful of getting in trouble and would insist to me that they could never call home like that because they 'would be in soooooo much trouble'. No lie about who's party you were going to or who you were with or what you were or weren't doing is so bad that your parents wouldn't want you to call them, no questions asked. I'm sure that you've told Nat this but if your ex is being nutso about this then it's great she knows she can call you. I guess the same applies for non-4am emergencies, too.

I've got no idea how to parent teenagers but your approach sounds mighty fine to me so far.
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Re: Entering the next phase of parenting

Post by Penguin » Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:46 pm

Also, what GM said. (And everyone else too of course, but GM's body boss stuff was super great, imo. It's pretty much what we do but she explained it so well.)
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Re: Entering the next phase of parenting

Post by breastfeedingisnormal » Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:11 am

You've had some great suggestions. The only thing I would add is, make peace with the fact that your control over your daughter is rapidly diminishing. You can advise, suggest and cultivate a relationship she values enough that you continue to influence her choices ... but, even if XDP hasn't noticed it yet, she is the one making the choices. You've raised her. Now it's your job to trust her. (And be her soft place to fall.)

I have been the partner the inlaws don't want or approve of for their their baby boy/brother for 25 years. That experience has led me to resolve that I will find a way to love and include whoever my children love. I will keep my misgivings to myself. I will examine my feelings. I will own my jealousy and my fear and I will not not not allow them to poison my relationships with my children. I have seen that the only effect of my inlaws' disapproval of me is that they no longer have the respect of their son/brother. They no longer have any influence. And he no longer enjoys their company. And that is sad.
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Feebes
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Re: Entering the next phase of parenting

Post by Feebes » Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:01 pm

:smt049 :smt060 :smt049

Thanks everyone for your fabulous replies.

I do very much agree that DD is starting to lead her own life etc.

The tea went very well and he seems like an ok guy, very intelligent etc. Had a great conversation with my Mum and thanked us for the invitation.

DD was so grateful that we asked him to come along and willing to meet him.

I will keep this all in mind for the next few weeks/months!

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Re: Entering the next phase of parenting

Post by Andypandy » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:06 pm

Late to the party here but I think you are doing a good job.

Please talk to her about sex. Talk to her about condoms etc but also about respect and consent. If she is under the legal age and her bf is more than 2 years older than her, she legally can't consent. Talk to her about what a respectful sexual relationship is and talk about photos and social media.

Tell her that she can ask you about it.
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Re: Entering the next phase of parenting

Post by Mummy woo! » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:57 pm

Andypandy wrote:Late to the party here but I think you are doing a good job.

Please talk to her about sex. Talk to her about condoms etc but also about respect and consent. If she is under the legal age and her bf is more than 2 years older than her, she legally can't consent. Talk to her about what a respectful sexual relationship is and talk about photos and social media.

Tell her that she can ask you about it.
All good points Andy. The last thing she needs is her Dad dragging BF to the police as a last ditch effort to maintain his control.
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Re: Entering the next phase of parenting

Post by Andypandy » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:17 pm

Exactly.
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