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  • I feel I am losing my precious daughter...need help

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    Old 10-18-2007, 09:00 PM   #1
    bestyear07
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    Unhappy I feel I am losing my precious daughter...need help

    Okay, I was going to post on another board but would like to try for some tips on a board with people closer to my daughters age. I would really appreciate some tips on how I can keep from losing my daughter all together and maybe you guys can try to understand why us parents are such idiots sometimes.

    My baby <---(habit, i just love her soooo much) she just turned 12, most of you guys are probably a bit older. The situation is I feel that she is trying sooo hard to grow up to fast. I have tried to give her some freedom to make choices for herself but it seems she isn't making good choices. She decided to go live with her dad, I know that he loves her but he is a drug addict and lives in an industrial park ( this is not safe for her) and I thought that she would stay there for a few weeks and realize how unsafe and horrible it would be, not to mention the schools are very behind and she is sacraficing her education but she has not realized this and srill wants to stay there. I figured it was b/c her dad doesn't set any real bounderies and she pretty much does what she wants. This is not a good thing b/c I think she going down the wrong path but I always feel like the bad guy whenever I talk to her about it. I feel like I am nagging all of the time. I wish I knew how to talk to her so that she would listen and understand. She is only 12 and she has been painting make-up all on her face ( She doesn't even know how to apply it and she looks silly, like a clown) I did not tell her this but just explained that it really looks trashy and that she will send the wrong message to others about herself. I guess she doesn't really respect what I have to say though b/c she ask me if she could bleach her hair, I said no way..then she went and colored it red. She is starting to be disrespectful at school and I think she is turning into one of those loudmouth trouble making kids that I remembe from school that turned out to be big losers...I love her more than life, I want her to come home but I don't want her to hate me. I guess I really need to know what is she wanting or more important, what is she needing from me as her mother right now. I have provided her with the very best of everything. I have a good career, I thought I was setting a good example for her. She had a very nice home on the very best part of the city. Went to an excellent school, had nice clothes,shoes etc.....she was willing to leave all that to live in a trailer park with her addict dad who has nothing. I would think she would be ashamed or something b now...What am I missing here? I cannot bear to see her destroy her future!!! I really need some insight on this situation...thanks so much.

    Last edited by bestyear07; 10-18-2007 at 09:02 PM.

     
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    Old 10-19-2007, 01:31 AM   #2
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    Re: I feel I am losing my precious daughter...need help

    Most kids at her age go through stage of not liking their parents at all when they are pushing the boundaries. At the moment, she favours living with her father, right or wrong, and there is not much you can do about that, short of locking her in. On the one hand, I feel that you are attaching too much importance to your child "liking" you, and yet you are very critical of her attempts to try out different things. For example, she is at the age where she wants to make statements with her appearance, and, like most girls, she will get it wrong many times while she experiments. No girl likes to hear her own mother tell her she looks 'trashy'; a better way is to offer to make her up and teach her how. If she gets criticism and lectures over her make-up, then I believe that she will resent it so that she will not even hear you when you try to talk about deeper issues (perhaps with the same critical tone). Don't get me wrong, I am in total agreement with the parent being boss and laying down rules, but I NEVER sweated the small stuff, like hairdos and makeup. When you are usually admiring and positive towards your girl's attempts to make herself beautiful, there is much more room for gentle nudges towards restraint and good taste. You are probably right about her father not setting boundaries, but think maybe he is a lot more unconditional with his affection. With you, perhaps she feels in the wrong too much. Talk to her, admitting that you both need to learn about teen issues, and keep that communication going. I hope it goes better for you.Sera

     
    Old 10-19-2007, 10:06 AM   #3
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    Re: I feel I am losing my precious daughter...need help

    Bestyear-
    My heart truly goes out to you. I have a daughter who is now 18, but I had to experience some of the same challenges with her that you are going through now. Fortunately, mine never actually wanted to live with her biological father, because I could have NEVER allowed that for fear she would totally ruin her future.

    I agree with the previous poster in that many parents do place too much emphasis on being a "friend" with their children and wanting them to "like" them. The most important thing here is the fact that you know what is best for her because your daughter, quite frankly just isn't experienced enough to make all of her own choices here. She is only 12, and like all other pre-teens, she thinks she is all grown up.

    I know you love your daughter and want to allow her the opportunity to make some decisions on her own, and that is ok- as long as the decisions she is able to make on her own are ones that concern things that won't adversely affect her safety and her future.

    As far as the make up and hair goes, maybe try and not use words like "trashy" and such, but maybe book an appointment with a salon for you and her to go and get a hair and face make over. This way, you two can have a great "girls" day where you get pampered, but also it will give her tips on applying make up in a more age appropriate way. You can also make sure that if she wants some kind of color in her hair, that maybe a compromise can be made. If she wants blond, or even red, then maybe allow her to just get streaks of these colors in her hair while leaving the majority of it her natural color. If she is agreeable with it, this will allow her to feel like she has some kind of say in the matter, and allow you to still have a say too. I had to do this with my daughter when she wanted to dye her hair Crayola Red. She had just turned 13. My daughter was a good girl and didn't get in trouble at school, but I just really didn't want her entire head to be red. I thought about it, and told her that I would allow her to get red streaks put in her hair. She was more than happy to agree with that. I have to admit- it turned out really good, and she looked adorable. After that, I allowed her to put some blue highlights in, and then some purple later down the line. It allowed her to be able to "express" herself and feel like she was able to make some choices for herself, and still allowed me to be happy too. I just figured that if the worse thing she was doing was getting some colors in her hair, then this was a good thing.

    As for the other issues such as the situation with her living with her dad, I just can't even begin to recommend how to handle that. I just know that if you feel it is not a safe environment for her and it is having a negative effect on her as a person, then you may just have to make a decision on her behalf. She may not like that, but you are her mom after all, and it's your job to do what is in her best interest. If you know her dad does drugs, that in itself is a perfect reason to get her out of there. She doesn't need that kind of example being set for her. No need for you to feel guilty. It's not easy being a parent, but we do what we have to do in order to insure our kids make it to adulthood safely. We all want our kids to like us, but really, it's more important for them to respect us as their parents, and one day, they will totally understand and appreciate the things we do. (Most do anyway)

    Good luck, and please know that there are people who totally understand what you are going though. Please know that doing what is best for her is in no way a bad thing on your part. It just proves that you love her.

    Last edited by ozzybug; 10-19-2007 at 10:10 AM.

     
    Old 10-20-2007, 09:16 PM   #4
    bestyear07
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    Re: I feel I am losing my precious daughter...need help

    I REALLY apprciate the advice from the two of you who have actually been where I am right now... I have to say now that I have read your post, they sound alot like what I would have told someone else if it were not my problem. I guess I do sweat the small stuff to much. The problem is my parents were control freaks...I wasn't able to do anything as a child. I didn't wear make up until I was 16 and my parents picked out my clothes, my hair etc. needless to say I left home at 16, married a total loser at 17 and had my daughter all before I even realized what happened. I was a good kid though,maybe because since my husband was so immature it forced me to be the adult. I know it just totally flip out whenever I think about my daughter being twele. I specifically remember when I first got with my now X husband, his niece (sister by adoption) was 12 and she was thinking of having sex! She really had zero supervision so she was free to do as she pleased. Well to make a long story short you can probably guess she was pregnant by 14 and before she was out of high school had 3 kids from three different guys. This may be an extream case, it just makes me so afraid since she is over there being raised by the same family and 600 miles away from my protection.
    I didn't allow her to wear make up ( I wanted her to enjoy being a child) I was appauled to see all of the little 6th grade girls painted up with make up, it is just unbelievable to me. I used to ask myself, "where in the world are these little girls parents" I had a really good visit with her a few weeks ago, I even negociated with her not to wear alot of eyeliner and traded some pink eye shadow for her black eye pencil. She was cooperative. I even told her that I felt she wasn't safe and wanted her to come home with me, she said she would by Thanksgiving but I may have blown it b/c I freaked out about her hair on the phone. I was very disappointed that she never ask me. I hope its just a phase and she is not going to try to turn into some goth kid or something. I am not sure if to ignore it and smooth it over or try to reason with her, She seems to like shocking me and my parents and her dad thinks it is funny and edges her on. Sorry for this long post just venting. Thanks

     
    Old 10-21-2007, 05:21 AM   #5
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    Re: I feel I am losing my precious daughter...need help

    Oh- Bestyear!!

    Your life so closely resembles my life. I thought I was the ONLY person on the face of this earth (besides my sisters) that were brought up by such strict parents. I also left home and became emancipated at 16 years old because mine were strict. I felt totally smothered, and I just wanted to be able to do what I wanted to do. Boy, we really do think we know it all when we are young, don't we? I am thankful I have a very good relationship with my parents now.

    I too was married at a young age (19) and had my daughter young. (Yes, divorced from first "husband" too) BUT, I have grown up, and although I am strict on my kids, try not to be too smothering. It's a hard thing to do, but it can be done.

    As far as freeking out over her hair when you were on the phone? Maybe apologize to her. If you haven't seen it, then you don't really know whether it's a really bad look, or possibly ok. If when you see her, you really dislike it, then you can try doing the hair "compromise" I mentioned earlier. Hair color changes the longer it's in the hair, and hair does grow out, and also, that color can be changed, so this isn't quite the end of the world yet. If she was willing to compromise on the make up, she may be willing to change her hair some.

    It really does sound like maybe your daughter would be better off in your care, so I hope she will move back with you. Sounds like her dad may not be the best of influences right now.

    There are many areas where rules are rules and because it deals with your child's future, safety and wellfare there is no room for compromise between a parent and their kids. However- there are also areas where it's OK to let your kids have some kind of choice in the matter. It's not always easy, but I promise you that you can find a happy medium without smoothering your daughter.

    PS- Another thing where your life and my life closely resemble: My daughter is now attending college 5 hours away from home. She called me a couple weeks ago and told me she dyed her hair black with some copper "chunks". Well, my first instint was to freak out, BUT I didn't. (I was freaking inside though) When she asked what I thought, I told her I couldn't tell her that until I saw it for myself. She invited me to visit that weekend and I did. Well, her hair wasn't a harsh, jet BLACK like it sounded. It was more of a really dark brown with some cute copper highlights. It looked nice with her skin tone, and was not as shocking "BLACK" as I had pictured in my head.

    Sorry I rambled, but there are lots of similarities here. Also, a little bit of hope for you is that my daughter is doing well, and is making good grades. Kids do go through phases, and I think how they get through them has a lot to do with how we deal with these phases. You just have to find a balance between what are hard fast rules, and what can be compromised on.

    Take care!

     
    Old 10-30-2007, 11:14 AM   #6
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    Re: I feel I am losing my precious daughter...need help

    I can understand your worry and frustration. Perhaps she is testing the boundaries as others have mentioned and going to live with her father in such a seemingly unsafe area where he is using drugs and such just sounds so daunting. Perhaps you can try to get custody of her since it doesn't sound as though her father is a healthy or fit parent and also get into some counseling.

    On a different note and not to frighten you, please try to talk to her about the dangers of inhalants ('huffing' fumes) and how it can cause loss of brain tissue and bone marrow (fatty inner lining of bones that cushions joints and makes blood cells) damage. A friend has a traumatic brain injury (tbi) and other permanent damage from huffing at age 12, now in her 30's. Young people also may try 'the choking game' which is when they put something around their neck to try to get a cheap, quick high as with inhalants and can cause stroke ('brain attack') or even death as with huffing.

     
    Old 11-07-2007, 08:42 AM   #7
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    Re: I feel I am losing my precious daughter...need help

    I don't understand why you let her live with a man you claim is a drug addict. I think that was a big mistake if he is indeed an addict.

    Everyone I've ever known has gone through an "I hate my mother/father" phase. It's usually b/c parents set boundaries that kids don't want to follow. But you know what.. too bad for the kids!! (I'm 24 by the way.)
    I was raised by a single mom. She went through it with me and my 2 sisters all at different times and ages. Her and I didn't have our "I hate you" phase until I was 17. I thought at that time I was mature enough not to have to listen to her, so I disrespected her simple and reasonable rules (cerfew mostly).
    You daughter needs you to be a mother which sometimes means being the "bad guy." Teenagers especially need rules and boundaries. She'll hate you for it now, but love you more for it later. I wouldn't be the responsible, independent woman that I am now if it wasn't for my mother. That is 100% true.
    Teenagers go through their lashing out phases, their rebellion. But if you give her the rules and the punishments when necessary, then she'll make the right choices when it counts.
    You're probably right about why she wants to live with her father, no boundaries. But if she continues to live there, then chances are she'll continue making wrong choices down the road.
    Teenagers need freedom of experssion, so I don't see much harm in dressing a certain way (within reason) or dying their hair, even some make up. But.. she is still 12 and that is still very young. You need to be her role model, God knows most Pop Stars aren't good role models these days.

    If your ex is a true addict then get her out of his house as soon as possible. If he's a recovering addict who is working on bettering his life and making changes, then I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say talk to him. Between the two of you come up with reasonable rules that she'll need to follow. If she doesn't, then there needs to be consequences... and as a parent you need to follow through with punishments. If you dont then she'll just walk all over you thinking that you're weak and have no authority. once you discuss things with him, then both of you should sit her down and tell her the way it's going to be...

     
    Old 01-29-2008, 03:20 AM   #8
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    Re: I feel I am losing my precious daughter...need help

    I would defiantely say get her out of that situation before it is too late. She'll end up blaming you later on in life because you didn't stop her from self destruction. It's not about being the "bad guy". You just love her and one day she will understand that.

     
    Old 01-30-2008, 01:59 PM   #9
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    Re: I feel I am losing my precious daughter...need help

    I'm 15, so maybe my advice can help too. I think I know what phase your daughter is going through and eventually it does pass. My mom has always been strict with me, but she isn't suffocating. I think that it's a terrible idea to let her go live with her dad, that will only introduce her to drugs. I don't think that you should worry about her not liking you. As long as you don't overdo it. I get mad at my mom when I think that she's being too strict but my anger never lasts because I find out that she's always right. A mom usually isn't your best friend when you're growing up but I think that your daughter needs you whether she says it or not. I'm happy that my mom is strict, even though it can be annoying. So, don't be afraid to be the parent!

     
    Old 02-01-2008, 11:09 AM   #10
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    Re: I feel I am losing my precious daughter...need help

    I definitely think part of this is a phase. I'm young but just out of my teen years and passed the phase of thinking your parents are annoying. I've learned to really appreciate everything they have done for me and love them so much! I live in a different state... I stayed here for college and they moved because of my dad's job. I look forward to visiting them! However, I know as a younger teen, I'd feel like I wasn't allowed to do this, or couldn't do this right, etc.

    Some of the times I enjoyed the most with my mom were the times we did something fun together and just talked. NOT lecturing, just chatted. We went to get pedicures together and had a lot of fun. I think this would be something fun for her age since she likes makeup. Or you can take her out to a department store counter for a fun makeover... then maybe she can discover something that looks NICE and not trashy, without you directly telling her.

    One thing that was difficult for me as a kid was when my mom would push me to make plans with my friends. We moved a lot and sometimes it was hard for me to make friends and I felt VERY uncomfortable calling somebody I barely knew to ask to hang out. I felt like I was being desperate, but my mom would make us to try to help us. I was fine just hanging out at home for a bit until I met more friends! It was funny because later on in high school I was only allowed to do things with my friends on the weekends for the most part because of school and my job in the afternoon. I was a good student, but my mom didn't want my friends and boyfriend to cause my grades to drop.

    A way I think my mom really helps teach a lesson to me is to tell a story. We have an uncle that has made a ton of mistakes and ends up paying for them. We hear about his stories (some are funny) and stories about how her friends, who are her age, make mistakes and how it affected them. I think it's a great way to show your kids how mistakes can affect you and how good choices really make a difference.

    Good luck to you with everything! I think as she matures a little bit, she will be more willing to listen and will hopefully be ready for good decisions. She may just be in the "rebellion stage" and wants to do what she isn't supposed to. I'd try to make some fun plans together! Take her out shopping or for nails or makeovers... something she would enjoy! Maybe take her out to lunch somewhere she likes and just hear her side of things and what she has been up to. Maybe she just needs to open up a little more to you too.

     
    Old 02-04-2008, 04:11 PM   #11
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    Re: I feel I am losing my precious daughter...need help

    Everyone her age goes through an -I hate my parents- phase. For a while, she's just going to want to hate you, for whatever inexpicable reasons. But in the end, she doesn't really, it's just a phase (I went through the same thing when I was 14/15). So let her test you on the small stuff, like hair and makeup, because she'll feel like she has more freedom and like she's getting it out of her system. Hair grows back, her makeup tastes will change, but her love for you wont.
    I would really suggest not letting her live with her dad though, because making the decision to live in a dangerous situation is a whole other level of freedom that she's not ready for. She may get angry at you, but just remember that its just a phase. While she's getting old enough to make some decisions, like about her appearance, she's not old enough to live without rules.
    I'm 17 right now and I totally remember what she was going through. I was a devil child when I went through my hate phase, but I couldn't have lived through it if I didn't have any boundaries. Otherwise I probably would have torn my house to shreds ;]

    Good luck with her, just remember to be firm on the important stuff, but let the small things go.

     
    Old 05-31-2008, 09:18 PM   #12
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    Re: I feel I am losing my precious daughter...need help

    I am a little older then you're dauter. Alot of the girls at my school are the same way. I think the problem is the people she is around. Her friends at school. From what you said she is trying to grow up to fast. She is probley hanging out with alot of older girls at school and trying to be like them. Mabby you can talk to her friends or somthing. I would talk to her father about this and get you're dauter back, it is not safe for her there as you said.

     
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