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problem with teenager
September 7, 1999
4:18 pm
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alexmeow
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I recently found out that my daughter has been lying to me and her father. We have grounded her for this, but she thinks she has done nothing wrong. I also think she has been doing a lot more than lying but have no proof of this. How do I find out what is going on without making her feel like I think she is a bad kid. Everytime I try to talk to her about drugs, alcohol or sex she tells me that I think she is a bad kid that does bad things. Also how do I get across to her that lying to her parents is not acceptable.

September 7, 1999
4:27 pm
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TAMMY
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ALEXMEOW, BELIEVE IVE BEEN THERE DONE THIS! ONLY IT WAS MY NEICE OF 15 WHOM I TOOK IN, AND SWEET AS SHE IS, AND WELL TAUGHT, SHE WILL LOOK US IN THE FACE AND LIE, LIE, LIE. WHY? SHE IS A TEEN, STRONG WILLED, WHO THINKS SHE IS AN ADULT, AND ABLE TO M AKE ADULT CHOICES. TELL HER THAT YOU DONT THINK SHES A "BAD" KID, BUT A NORMAL KID WITH NORMAL TEMPTATIONS. REASSURE HER THAT YOUR CONCERN IS LOVE AND THE DESIRE TO PROTECT HER FROM MAKING DECISIONS THAT MIGHT BE ONES SHE WOULD JUDGE DIFFERENTLY LATER IN LIFE. AT THE RISK OF MAKING HER UPSET, FIND OUT WHATS GOING ON. FIND OUT WHERE, WHEN, WHO ETC. BE INVOLVED IN HER LIFE.....BUT ALSO BE HER FRIEND. OPEN COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY! GOOD LUCK.

September 9, 1999
1:37 pm
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Cici
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Hi guys,

I know this is kind of bizarre, but I thought I might be able to give you some insight into the mind of a teenager, being that I just turned 20...

I think the reason I was dishonest to my parents sometimes was because I didn't feel likeI could tell them the truth. My om asked me if I was sexually active, if I smoked pot, what I did last night...but all with an aggressive tone of voice and a threatening posture. I suppose you can't really change years of conditioning in one night, but I definately feel like if she had been more open to my honesty (when I was honest, I was often severely punished), I would've shared more with her.

Now that I live on my own and don't see them much, my parents complain that I don't share my life with them. I don't really...they don't know about my career goals, my academic endeavors and undergraduate research, my new boyfriend...but what can I say? Old habits die hard. Even if they might be happy to hear about some of these things, I just don't feel comforatble talking with them. Don't let your relationship with your teenager deteriorate like mine and my parents' did.

Cici

September 9, 1999
4:20 pm
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Anonymous
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so right cici. I find it is so important to 1. Assume that your teenager may be taking drugs and sexually active. The pressures are so intense for them right now, and if you remember back, being a teenager was one of the most difficult times of my life.
We felt very alone. I too, could not communicate or trust that my mother would not judge me and punish me severely.
Sometimes those kids who are under the strictest homes are the most rebellious. It is important to maintain a open, honest communication with your kids. they need allies not enemies. Dont come down hard if your child says they have tried drugs or sex. Ask them how they feel about it and if they know they have other options and if you can help them feel more positive about those etc.
Be a friend but still maintain a parental position. You Can be both. Good luck

September 9, 1999
6:56 pm
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meagan1
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Maybe an amnesty period may work for your daughter. Like ask her to come forward with things like drugs or sex or leave brochures around or I think you can get free video tapes for her to view when she wants on her own time about drugs. If she does come forward now, then there will be talks but no punishments. I guess if you have had any of these experiences in your life, then you may tell her what happened to you. Or is there an older female cousin that she can talk with. I know my aunts always send their daughters to me. I am 28 and I have younger cousins that are now going through their teens. Their mothers, know that their kids think they are a broken record so they ask me to call them up and talk to them about what I have learned so far.

I dont know how much you talk or if you guys still sit together for dinner, but try talking about other stuff like their day or stuff they did in school. I dont know if you go shopping with her, but maybe going shopping for new clothes or just to eat yogurt....

September 15, 1999
9:25 pm
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Anonymous
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If you are a parent of a teenager and make her/him feel like he can't tell you anything>>he/she WON'T!!Trust me>>if you act as you childs friend instead of always a guardian, then your child will feel more open with you and won't have to lie.

September 17, 1999
5:06 am
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kuab
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my son is 8 years old and he is very open with. he tells me the more "stupid" and secret stories he has with friends.
I feel happy for my communication with him, but some times he tells me some horibel things and I dont know what can I do.

September 17, 1999
8:54 am
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Cici
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Kuab -
As long as he'snot hurting himself or others, you should just be someone there to listen. Many of the activities that adults consider bizarre or strange are simply the product of a young, active, intelligent mind. If children were quiet and behaved well all the time and didn't push any boundaries and didn't explore their environment, they wouldn't be the future innovators of our society.

Let him explore and grow in a safe way. Think about it this way, at least he feels safe and comfortable enough to talk to you. When you consider the situation, he would probably be doing the same things regardless of whether he told you or no, at least you're aware of the situation.

I think it's really wonderful that he feels he can talk to you. Don't lose that bond! You'll be grateful of it in the future.

Cici 🙂

September 25, 1999
9:30 pm
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SHADOW
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MY DAUGHTER 19 CAME HOME FROM COLLEGE FOR THE WEEKEND AND WE GOT IN A FIGHT OVER MONEY SHE OWED ME AND A BIG PHONE BILL. I AM A SINGLE MOTHER WITH NO FAMILY SUPPORT. I HAVE STRUGGLED OUT OF POVERTY TO RAISE HER BY MYSELF AND UP UNTIL SHE WAS 12 WE GOT ALONG PRETTY GOOD. WE HAVE ARGUED ALOT AND YESTERDAY I SLAPPED HER IN THE FACE AND TOLD HER TO LEAVE AND NEVER COME BACK BECAUSE I WAS TIRED OF FEELING LIKE A DOOR MAT SHE HIT ME BACK AND SAID HOW DOES IT FEEL? I WENT CRAZY AND STARTED HITTING HER BACK AGAIN. WHILE THIS WAS GOING ON I KNEW IT WAS WRONG BUT IT WAS LIKE SOMEONE (MY DAUGHTER SET ME OFF. I HAVE BEEN HAVING A DIFFICULT TIME AT WORK AND IT WAS A VERY STRESSFULL DAY AS USUAL. WHEN I CAME HOME I WAS TIRED AND STRESSED. I FEEL LIKE THE BIGGEST FAILURE IN THE WORLD AS A PARENT. EVEN THOUGH MY DAUGHTER IS DIFFICULT I HAD NO RIGHT TO BECOME VIOLENT. RECENTLY HER VERY RICH GRANDMOTHER GAVE HER A ALOT OF MONEY AND PAID FOR HER COLLEGE AND BOUGHT HER A NEW CAR AFTER YEARS OF NEGLECT WHEN SHE WAS YOUNGER AND WE WERE ALMOST HOMELESS SHE WOULD NEVER HELP BECAUSE SHE HATED ME SO MUCH. I HAVE ALWAYS FELT SO GUILTY BECAUSE I COULDNOT GIVE HER A BETTER LIFE. FOR INSTANCE THIS WEEK END I MADE HER SOME HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP AND HOME MADE LASAGNA TO BRING BACK UP TO SCHOOL AND WAS HOPING TO FINALLY HAVE SOME TIME TO TALK TO HER AND IT ALL WENT UP IN SMOKE. I FEEL SUCH PAIN AND FRUSTRATION RIGHT NOW I HAVE CRIED ALL DAY AND DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO OTHER THAN APOLIGIZE TO HER WHICH I FEEL IS USELESS WITHOUT LEARNING TO CONTROL MY ANGER.

September 25, 1999
10:38 pm
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dagney
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You're not a failure, you've tried very hard to meet her needs, and you've only made a mistake, you both made mistakes. Give it a little time, let her cool off and then call her. Tell her how you feel about her, write her letter if it feels more comfortable, adn just spill your guts. Sometimes it's important to tell those we love, just how special they are to us. After, you've told her those things that don't come up in normal conversations, she'll be more open to you. She is probably all stressed out just as you are. You two can forgive each other if you both realize how important it is.
Good luck shadow

September 25, 1999
11:25 pm
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Anonymous
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shadow, we can only give away to others what we have inside. Your stress, anger, frustration are all things that YOU need to deal with and no one else is to blame as i am sure you know. I am not condemning you, I just want you to see this as a BIG message, that you need to create a fulfilling life for yourself so that you can give to your daughter from a full tank of peace and satisfaction. You are her role model, she learns so much from you. Teach her by giving her a great example. Blessings

September 26, 1999
12:34 am
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VRJ
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Shadow, Tears is right. You need to learn to love yourself. Just one thing, maybe to give you hope - staying in your life, even to argue and fight, means she loves you. Try reading "In the Meantime" by Ivanya Vanzant.

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