13017155 tn?1429020488

Concern for 14 yr old Daughter..

Concerns: My daughter is 14 yrs.. She attends a youth group on a weekly sometimes biweekly basis. She came to me last night and told me she made a new friend. This new friend is soon to be 18 yrs old and appears to be a boy but is really female. I told my daughter that the relationship/friendship is inappropriate and they she can't continue to befriend this person. My daughter became very upset and starting crying and through a sort of tantrum and said I cant stop them from being friends. Then she continued by saying "what if she (herself) were "gay" too? I got frustrated and said to her "your not even sexually active, how can you decide that your gay"?! I decided to look at my cell phone bill to see if shes had further contact beyond this youth group.. which she has. She been talking to this new friend for long periods at a time. I feel that this friend is a bit much older than my daughter to befriend her.

Questions: Is this relationship/friendship appropriate?  How do I stop it? Do I pull the whole "anti-gay thing"? Or all for it?? (Truth be told.. im not against people being gay.. but its a different feeling when its your own child).
** Please any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated**   Thank you!!
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4851940 tn?1515694593
There is nothing wrong with your daughter being friends with this person.

It is fine the they continue their friendship within the youth group.
There a many girls who are tom boys, but it does not necessarily mean that they will turn out gay.  The sexual tendency of the person is irrelevant.

What is relevant is that you do not put a block on your daughter's friendship with people in her group unless they do anything that is inappropriate.  Which I am sure there is adult supervision in the youth groups.

Because your daughter is 14, you do have a duty of care and are responsible for the safe upbringing of our child.

It would be fine for you to set rules with regard the times when she is back at home, tells you where she is and also whether you allow her to use your land line phone or your mobile phone.

Because the phone bills are quite high and when young people start to talk, they lose all track of time when they are in conversation with things that are of interest to the two of them, you can limit her pone chat time or ban her from phoning anyone.

Do encourage your daughter to make other friends with children of her own age, bug don't ban the friendship with the older child, but do lay down some rules.  I would be more concerned if the older child was the opposite sex.  The rules should apply to anyone that she befriends.
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189897 tn?1441126518
   I  agree with Jemma, especially the part about if it was a boy (having had a daughter).  
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13017155 tn?1429020488
Thanks for your advice,  both of you. Honestly, im more concerned with the age difference. Thats a big gap in age. What could an 18 yr old possibly have in common with a 14 yr old child?
Come to find out.. my daughter didnt meet this new friend "at" youth group, she met this person on Instagram (a social network) then had her meet her at the youth group. This really concerns me. The way the world is today.. Drugs, grangs, terrorism. It scares the hell out of me.
Knowing this new info of where she met this friend and the age difference,  do you still believe the friendship should continue?
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189897 tn?1441126518
    Hummm, that does change things a bit.  You really need more info.  I had assumed that this was someone she meet during the youth group meetings and had been a regular participant.
    I think I would start with the youth group leader and find out two things.  First,  has the leader ever met or has any opinion of this young lady?  And then I think I would also ask if your daughter has been regularly showing up and staying for the full time.  I would not be as concerned if the two girls were doing all their talking while at the youth group meetings.  If your daughter has been cutting out early to spend time with this friend - then, ya, not good.  At that point, if it is happening - you might want to rethink going to the youth group as well as a few other things.
    However, if all looks like it is on the positive side, then maybe its time for you to meet the new friend?  You certainly would have wanted to have done so (I think) if it were a boy.
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13167 tn?1327194124
I agree with the others.  Talk to the youth group leader.

One tenet of Christian groups - and especially nondenominational youth groups - is invite your friends.  Invite,  invite,  invite.  Bring in more seekers.  That's how they thrive and grow,  and that's what makes Christian youth groups such fun for the kids.

I wonder - do these two girls have real things in common - a shared interest in books,  playing the flute,  soccer,  whatever?  

What has made your daughter accept this much older girl's friendship and invite her to her youth group?
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4851940 tn?1515694593
Knowing now the way that the 18 year old got to befriend your daughter, puts a different perspective on things.

Had your daughter met her at the youth group and the 18 year old was a regular member of the youth club, I would not be overly concerned, but would still impose sanctions (restrictions on telephone calls, where they met - definitely not outside the youth group meetings unless on outings with the youth group).

It would be interesting to know how your daughter got on to go on an Instagram - is this a social network via the computer?  If so, how and when did your daughter gain access to that site?  I would make more discreet enquiries, because if this is a web site that is "hooking" young children to befriend someone so much older and perhaps even lying about their age to begin with  - makes me wonder how safe it is and what the purpose behind it is.

If this is something that the children of your daughter's age are getting access to, may be at school, or through the youth group - does the school or the youth group leaders know about it?  It may be that they are trying to get the 16+ age group to befriend younger ones - but still they should have let you know.  If they don't know that this is happening, perhaps you could make them aware for the safety of other children.

Make sure that you block your computer, so that your daughter does not go on any websites without your knowledge.

Because of the way the friendship was formed and if it has no backing of the school or the youth club, then I would not encourage the friendship to continue.

Don't make a scene with your daughter about it, it will just make her go behind your back and she will try to meet the 18 year old without your knowledge.  If they meet at the youth club and stay in the youth club, that is fine as long as they do not leave the building together.  You should have a talk with the youth group leaders confidentially about how the 2 met and that they should keep an eye on things so that your daughter does not leave the premises until you come for her.

As your daughter has used your telephone and/or mobile, you can block certain phone numbers phoning you and block a certain telephone number being dialled out.  I had to bar my telephone when my daughter was young.

I agree with Sandman2 that you could stay at the youth club a couple of times to see what happens, because it certainly would not be good if your daughter is sneaking out early.

Do remember that your daughter is 14, she will probably try to get you round her way of thinking so that you allow her to go out, use the phone, stay out late and so on.  Be firm and don't give in to her.  She is living under your roof and she is under your care.  If you feel that it is unsafe for her to see the 18 year old then go by your gut feeling and don't allow it.    If you have a husband or her dad is around, ask them for support to back you up.   It is very hard when a child has a strong will.  At the age of 14 they are still very vulnerable to influence and don't perceive any dangers.

Hope things work out well.
Best of luck and best wishes.
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