She admitted to her mother that she had sex with her boyfriend on saturday evening. When my wife told me I nearly fainted. It was the second worst feeling I've ever had.
The back story is short, so I thought I'd share it here in case anyone cares. They met this summer among a group of friens who all go to the saem school. He's a senior and she a junior. They officially statted dating in August. He seems like a nice enough guy, polite and respectful. He's a little goofy but seems harmless. They go on dates, movies, dinner, and mostly hang out at our house. His mom and dad are divorced, recently.
Since they began dating we told them under no circumstances can they be alone at either of our houses. They agreed to Find My Friends on their iphones and have mostly been where they said they would be.
This past weekend she decided not to join me and her little sister in the mountains camping and rafting. She said she had a test and a research paper to prepare. She stayed at home with her mom and studied.
Yesterday I learned that on Friday she and her boyfried were caught skipping a school pep rally and were talking in her car in the parking lot. A school administrator saw them and hauled them into the office where they were written up for violating the school policy about skipping class or functions. I learned about it yesterday because the new school email system for parents had not been properly set up on our end, so we didn't get the email notifying us of it that day.
Today I learned that yesterday it was discovered that she had forged her mothers signature on a permission form for a skip-a-day program for upperclassmen. She planned, she said, to take a personal day today to stay home and sleep. We knew that was code for "hang out with boyfriend" and didn't buy it.
Anyway, we talked with her this evening about this unusual behavior of hers. She's a straight A student, now facing an honor code violation at school her junior year that could impact her college acceptance later on.
We talked about punishment and limiting seeing her boyfriend because this seems to be the cause of her change in focus. She agreed, was teary eyed during dinner and just seemed burdened.
I went for my nightly run and got a text at the 2 mile mark from wife saying "come home". I sprinted home and when I walked in the door wife said that she was talking to daughter about her boyfriend and their relationship and that daughter just blurted out that she'd had sex with him. In her car. On the way to his grandmothers house on Saturday.
I nearly passed out from shock.
Wife is grief striken. My god she said that daughter just let her have it about being a shitty role model and a hypocrite and not someone she can talk to about anything.
I talked to daughter, expressed my deep regret for her decision but that my love for her is steadfast and that I am here to keep her safe. She expressed lots of anger at her mom, lashing out at her for being so closed minded and judgemental (her words, not mine).
Anyway, she said she wants to have a closer relationship with her mom if she can. I think they can.
Meanwhile, I'd like to have a few minutes alone with that boyfriend. I told daughter he's not welcome in this house, I don't want to see his face. I want to put an end to their relationship but I'm afraid that won't stop them from screwing around. She said they used a condom, and she is on the pill for regulating her heavy cycles and complexion issues.
Man, I'm just a broken down mess of a man right now. How do I process all this in my brain? I'm furious with all of them, including myself, to be honest.
No woman can break a mans heart like his daughter. That shit is the truth right there.
Helpful words are welcome....
I would say what you are facing is quite normal. I would also really really advise against trying to scare or get too angry with your daughter.
This is a good thing that she told her mum. Most teenagers wouldn't. This is really a careful balancing act. In terms of what she said about her mum it's also to be expected, she's a teenager.
I think there a lot of positives in this situation vs negatives. In terms of the honour role you need to guide her not lecture. You want to have a nice balancing act between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation so she doesn't violate it.
Intrinsic: discussion of careers and doing a visual collage of that career. If you can get her to talk with someone in that career
Extrinisic: time with boyfriend, this is actually a form of punishment. You limit the time with the boyfriend but allow a set amount of hours a week with them together (preferably at your house).
Honestly, she's a teenager. Teenagers have sex and quite frankly it's best that she experience these things around this age when she's at home then if she went to college. Minimizes guys taking advantage of her and allows her to understand what her values are.
I think from what you've described the boy seems okay too. No red flags.
It's important to put in perspective how old they are. These are their formative years and the experiences will shape how they interact later on.
Whatever you do, don't get angry. This is a great opportunity for you to strengthen your relationship with your daughter.
Again, I actually as an outsider see only positives.
Emotionally though, if I was a parent and my daughter did that? I would want to lop his balls off!
But I would hope someone told me what I've just told you.
I think it speaks volumes that she told her mom that she even had sex. I also started having sex at 16 and would have never felt comfortable discussing it with my mother. Be cautious about overreacting or being too punitive. You want to keep the communication open with her. You don't want to make her sorry she told you and never want to discuss personal issues with you again.
I also will strongly caution you against forbidding her to see the boyfriend. The reality is that you will probably drive her further into his arms that way. I think it's fine to emphasize how important school is that it must come first. I also think only permitting her to go on group dates, etc. is fine. All I can say is that if my mom had told me I couldn't see my boyfriend at that age, I would have climbed out the window at night.
She has also opened the door for you and your wife to discuss sexuality, respecting her body, protecting her body, etc.
You are two obviously very caring parents and are raising a responsible daughter. Like I said, it's huge that she felt comfortable telling your wife.
Honesty, I think this is a teaching situation on valuing your body and reputation.
And now it's time for her to make her own decisions.
You may not be ready for this--but she may be.
Try not to link it to infidelity in your mind or hers---the discussion of her mother's hypocrisy is unfortunate (but predictable)---but sex and shame should NOT be intermingled.
In this era, pregnancy need not be a pressing concern; though nothing is fool-proof, many methods of contraception come very close. It's good that she's already on the pill. And they were really smart to use a condom, too. I'd be sure to comment positively on that; it's important that she stay as safe as possible.
Disease aside, my primary concern, really, is the false sense of intimacy created by sex that can cause young adults to feel they are in relationships far more serious than they really are---and therefore stay with people with whom they really are not meant to be, long-term.
That's what the focus of my discussion would be: responsibility and respect---and knowing that even relationships that have become sexually intimate can and should be ended if they are not what she needs.
But you have the gift of a daughter who is communicating with you. I agree with others you cannot control them at this age. Jim Fay of Love and Logic Parenting explains there are three kinds of parents, the drill sargent (those who give orders and eventually the kids give them the middle finger salute) the helicopter (parents who whirl around making a lot of noise and disruption but don't actually do anything) and the consultant (parents who keep the lines of communication open no matter what offering their ear and when appropriate their thoughts to help guide decisions the child must make.
We had to work hard to try to be consultant parents letting the kids know we were there no matter what they did. There were boundaries and rules they needed to follow living in our home but we also expected them to respect themselves and take care of their emotional and physical needs. It wasn't always easy to know if it was time to step in and take charge of our teens or to let them fall on their face, but we talked a lot. They told us things sometimes that broke our hearts, but we made sure they knew we were always there for them, no matter what. They're all great adults today and we're very proud of them and believe me, they put us through some nail biting times during those teen years.
Using your wife's infidelity to hurt her might be a way your daughter is striking out because she is angry or in pain. Things can be so black and white during adolescence. Counseling might be helpful.
Keep talking to her and letting her know your values and your expectations for you and your family.
She is lucky to have a Dad who loves her and is there for her and in a few years she will realize that.
I must say that you were given a gift of honesty by your daughter.
One day a long time ago, I was riding in a car with my dad home from work. We had been fighting for months over my boyfriend of choice. Anyway, he started talking. Very kindly, very quietly, and said, "Aubrie, I would like to know the truth from you. I would really like to know how you really feel about your boyfriend. I want to be on the same page with you. I want to help you because I love you."
I told him the truth. I believed my dad. I trusted him to handle the truth. Even if it was from the mouth of a "childish, immature 16 year old that had no grip on real life." Stupid me. I was wrong. He blew up on me. I opened myself up to him and he blew. up. Then after his epic rant, didn't talk to me for several days.
Yeah. That's love. That's understanding.
Something broke inside me. I never told my dad the truth again. I learned the art of lying and deception. When I felt hurt and alone, I turned to my boyfriend. When I struggled with my self-worth, I turned to my boyfriend. Any issue in my life, I turned to my boyfriend. I couldn't trust my dad enough to not blow up on me. He showed and told me many times that my feelings were nothing and he knew best.
My Dad and I still have a very strained relationship.
You know what? I will admit, my parents were right about my boyfriend. I understand that now. He was abusive to me. Inflicted a crapton of damage on me. Had my dad not taken a, "You WILL listen to me. You WILL obey me. You're a mindless, immature child." maybe things would have turned out differently. Maybe I would have listened to him more.
I hid my relationship for 2 years. Of all things, a psychology class and my anatomy/physiology teacher helped me find the courage to break up and stay NC with my boyfriend.
It's devastating for you to watch your daughter grow up. It was for my dad. Shoot, I have a daughter of my own, she's 8. She's growing up on me. But that is the cycle of life.
Children grow into young adults. They have to experience trial and error. They have to find their way in life. They will push boundaries. They sometimes have to learn the hard way what works and doesn't work. That's all part of growing up.
If you forbid your daughter to see her boyfriend, she will find a way. I did. My parents have NO idea just how sneaky I was and how much I actually saw him.
Speaking from the receiving end of personal experience, please don't berate, lecture, or belittle her actions to her. Don't punish her honesty.
You donít have to be supportive of the relationship, but actively trying to sabotage it will only push them closer together and you and your daughter farther apart.
If this guy is a douchbag, there is absolutely nothing you can do to convince her of that. She will have to find out for herself. Donít be too quick to judge the boyfriend either. My first time was initiated by my GF. Mind you.. I wasnít going to argue but I never pushed the issue. The oversexed teen boyfriend willing to screw anything that moves is really an outmoded stereotype. There are an abundance of rakes at this age, but it doesnít represent the majority.
My SDís first boyfriend was a real douchebag. Yet I remained neutral. I had to bite my tongue around this guy a lot. Thankfully.. it didnít take long for him to reveal himself and she dropped him.
I am not telling you that you have to condone the behaviour. Nor do you have to make it easier (no overnights stays anywhere). By all means put up the road blocks, but help her make informed choices. Tell her that you are hurt and disappointed, but please donít punish her for telling the truth.
Our rules were simple: you cant be alone together at either his house or ours. Other than that and the standard curfew and whereabouts/location, have a nice date and we'll see you when you get home at 11.
So she broke all those rules at some point, ending in some school trouble as I wrote about above.
Anyway, we've talked to the BFs mom and she's upset about the whole thing too.
So, is it punishing her honesty by placing her on restriction for breaking the rules at school? I don't think it is.
I don't want to punish her for the honesty, but she needs correction for her actions at school and for breaking our rules for dating him. I know the boy is bad news.
I'm not saying she should have sex with anyone at 16, but teenagers do and her opening up enough to tell you is an invitation to teach her what she needs to know to protect herself and perhaps prevent/postpone any reoccurrence until she is ready for a committed relationship.
This boy may or may not be bad news, but the surest way to make him more desirable to her is to forbid her to see him while at the same time driving her farther from you and that's the last thing you want right now.....
Wife is grief striken. My god she said that daughter just let her have it about being a shitty role model and a hypocrite and not someone she can talk to about anything.
As much as i can understand this....totally wrong thing to do.
I was 16 when I first had sex. I had to write a letter to my mom because i couldn't bear to see her disappointment.
I don't know how she knew what to do, but man she did.
She cried, told me she was sorry she had not really talked to be about it. Made and an OBGYN appointment the next day, and followed that up with a therapist appointment.
I thought she was crazy, but i saw the therapist twice and am pretty sure that it made the biggest difference in my life.
After that, i was watched closer, but it was quite obvious that my mom knew that if I really wanted to have sex, that I would find a way....so she made sure i was taking my pills, made sure I was getting STD checks every 6 months, and made sure i had regular OBGYN appointments.
She talked to me about it being my choice, but that i needed to understand the consequences and the possible outcomes.
After i graduated, i kept up her diligence, I got STD tests every 6 month, or more if i had more encounters. I always had condoms on me, and I was very careful about who I had sex with. (basically if i couldnt handle him as a baby daddy, then I didnt have sex).
This is not the end of the world, its a new chapter. Try to help her along in it rather then make her feel like scum for growing up.
Be grateful she waited until she was 16, my brother had a kid at 16, and i had a few girlfriends in middle school already working on a kid.
My daughter is only 7 and I know it's easy at this point to say these things -- I'm sure I will feel much more torn about it when she's 16. But you do have to let go and trust your kids at some point.
I would definitely nip the class skipping in the bud. (though, really, I admit to doing that too- I just never got caught.
But be very careful with the whole 'limiting how much time she spends with the BF' thing. It can backfire bigtime. When my sister was 14 she and her 16 y/o sweetie ran away from home after being grounded from each other.
It was hard not to appear appalled and disappointed. My kids were alway very open with me (obviously!)
As parents we don't want our kids having sex until they are 30! The best we can do is try and give them all the facts on how to stay safe if and when they decide. It is not condoning it.
They have always come to me for relationship advice. After the A, which they all knew about, it was hard, cause I felt like a fraud. How could I be the 'expert' on it all when my H cheated on me? But it's gotten better. They can talk to their dad about it now and ask him advice on what NOT to do in a relationship! It was pretty rough for awhile, though.
The best thing you both can do for your daughter is to really listen to her- you don't have to like what she is doing, but you can talk to her about staying safe. Use what you have learned from the A in your own relationship. My kids learned the hard way how devasting infidelity is. As did your daughter. Hopefully they will respond differently to life and stress than our WS did. Good luck
Is her boyfriend a "user" or a mature guy? My boyfriend was very mature -- he was in pre -med and is now a surgeon. I hear he is still a really decent guy. I am raising my sons to be like him. We thought we were so grown up and the first people to ever feel this way!!!!
I think that this can be particularly hard on the Dads. I was telling my husband something about our daughters and it turned to intimacy between one of them and her husband and he had to cover his ears. She's 24. Give yourself a break. do the best you can. You've received good advice here...
Thank someone (God, yourself, your wife, whoever) that she's talking to someone because they usually don't.
I don't think it's true. I think teens have the desire to have sex and society tells them it's acceptable, so they do. Like those that cheat, they often don't get the full physical and emotional ramifications until it's too late.
I'm worried about the fact that the first time was in a car, stopped on the way to grandma's house. I worry about what it says about her self worth, especially if this was her first time ever.
I definitely worry what this says about his respect for her. I understand being driven by hormones. But giving in to the desires is a choice and a young man who treats your daughter as she should be treated would have shown a deeper respect for the gift she gave him (and vice versa truth be told).