My daughter is 15 and a freshman in high school. Since she started dating her boyfriend she has been getting into a lot of trouble. She started skipping classes, she's late to classes all of the time, she has been getting into trouble in class, and her grades are suffering. I recently found out that she has been having unprotected sex with him. She was a virgin before him. He is 16 and a sophomore. She has been doing this in my home and in the school bathroom. There are rumors going around at school now that she is a *****. A lot of kids at school don't like him. She was planning on running away last week, but I found out and I went and picked her up from school. I think she is trying to get pregnant on purpose for some reason. I saw a message that she wrote saying she was going to try to get emancipated and that a friend told her that it would be easier for her if she was pregnant. My daughter and her boyfriend are saying they are engaged now. He stole some bracelets from the mall and they each where one. He told her that one day he will get a ring to replace it. They are planning on getting married when she turns 18 and moving to Nashville. She has also talked about dropping out of school. She has got in school suspension several times and after school detention. I can't keep her away from him because they go to school together. The school has computers in class now, so she spends every second she can talking to him on g-mail. If I switch her schools then she will probably run away. I thought about sending her to live with her grandma who lives thirty minutes away for a little while, but I'm afraid she will hate me. Also it will kill me to be away from her and I don't want someone else raising my child. Her father is an alcoholic and he doesn't have visitation right now. So I can't talk to him. I'm afraid she is going to ruin her whole life. I'm afraid she is going to end up flunking out of school or getting kicked out. I'm also afraid she is going to end up pregnant. I really need to get her away from this idiot. I know that she is just as responsible and I also know that he isn't the whole problem. But I know I really need to get her away from him. I know she needs counseling. I just really don't know what to do. I'm so confused. I don't want to lose her and I don't want her to ruin her life. If anyone has any advice I would love to hear it. If your going to be hateful or mean please don't comment. Thank you.
Well, you aren't going to be able to have everything, so you have to settle for the least bad thing. That would mean a daughter who graduates from high school before she is pregnant, or at least is married before she is pregnant. With the first in mine, you could tell her that you will sign emancipation papers for her the moment she graduates from high school with a C average or better, and that she can pile on the work and graduate a junior (I knew someone who graduated a sophomore) if she does pile on the work. At least she would be going into her ill-considered future life a high-school graduate. Or you could tell her that you will sign emancipation papers if she gets married (by a real official, with a license, with you as a witness). You could talk to the guy's parents and ask how they feel about this interesting plan about getting pregnant and getting engaged at 16, and what his parents intend to do about it, if they don't like it.
I know I can't have everything. It's really hard to know what to do. I'm not letting her get emancipated or married. If she marries him then it will be when she is 18. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I'm definitely going to start sending her to a therapist. It may be hard on me and she may hate me at first, but I might send her to live with her grandma and aunts for a little while. It's either that or I'm going to switch her schools. I'm still thinking about it.
Despite what you say about you are not going to let her do this thing or that thing, you'd be surprised at how little power you have over a 15-year-old who has the bit in her teeth and won't listen. (For example, in some states, once she is 16, you can't stop her from getting married, and once married she is de facto emancipated.) And, sadly, you can't stop her from having unprotected sex, even by sending her to grandma's or auntie's. Unless you have her committed, and they wouldn't lock her up for that reason. That is why I say you have to settle for the least bad thing. If she gets pregnant, as things stand right now, that is worse than you putting a pretend-helpful face on it and saying you will go along with the emancipation idea if she graduates from high school first. If she were to really put her nose to the grindstone and graduate early, a whole heck of a lot would shift in her life and yours during the time she is working on it; she might be too busy to mess around as much with mister loverboy, for example, or she might get some hope for her own future without him. And who knows, if she is ready to graduate in the middle of her junior year and has a job, you might have had a change in attitude about her maturity and ability to handle herself.
The point is, once the horse is running for the fence, the best you can do for him is get his foot untangled from the loose girth buckle so he will not also break his leg while he is getting his running out. It is impossible to stop a horse that has taken it into his head to run. I'm not saying it would be impossible for you to stop your daughter from all the foolhardy things she is up to, but that you would get farther by working with her at the level she is (crazy teenager level) instead of simply trying to change her or control her. Even if she were at her aunt's, let alone simply another school, she still would text the guy, and would develop a nice star-crossed lovers complex too.
I think this will pass if you embrace him and stop making him more "cool" by thinking he's a bad boy.
Is he welcome in your home - and do you invite him to dinner? If you treated him like what he is, kind of a lost little loser boy instead of a threat, she would see him for what he is - a lost little loser.
Can you talk to the school counselor about counseling her? If you go in there, and lay all the cards out on the table about how afraid you are that she will get pregnant and you want to steer her through this difficult time and see how they can help with positive teachers mentoring her.
Last, she needs Dad if dad is at all functional right now. Can he take her out for father daughter lunches at fun restaurants on weekends? (Dinner is probably not a great option for an alcoholic, but lunch would be fun for her.) Even taking the boyfriend along with, would probably be a good idea.
This problem is age-old. Romeo and Juliet. The harder you pull, the harder they pull back.
Thanks for the advice. I've decided to keep her at her school for now. I'm going to start sending her to a therapist. I'm going to make her an appointment to start getting the shot. Hopefully she isn't pregnant, but if she is then I will be there for her no matter what. I've talked to her boyfriends mother and also to him. Tonight I'm going to have a long talk with her. I'm not going to force them apart. I'm going to tell her that when I can see a significant improvement then she will get her privileges back. His mother told me that they are moving about forty minutes away in January and she is thinking of homeschooling him. I know that kids always find a way. I was a teenager before. I really just want her to see that her education is important and to at least use protection. I know she needs her father. It's a very long and complicated situation. Sometimes it's the worse of two evils. She's going to be okay. I just have to stay strong. Again thank you both for the advice. Sometimes it's hard to know what the right thing to do is.
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