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  1. #1
    Expert Forum User bacon's Avatar
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    Default Hey, sup! Do you like tools?





    Okay, lets see if this place can be put to some use...


    I have a daughter who is freshly 12 from a previous relationship. I see her every other weekend or more and get updates on her life here and there. Just recently she has brought to my attention that she has a boyfriend now.

    I knew about it months before, but it took a while for her to tell me. She thought I would be mad about it. Which I was not. I told her that it was a good idea as she can learn about relationships and herself when it's at the level of innocence. I personally didn't date until I was 19 or so and I feel it has messed me up a bit on how to view relationships - you know in a non traditional way... not a bad way, just non traditional.


    Now, I don't want her finding jerks attractive, but I know that's a possibility. Is there any kind of advice I can give her to help steer her from finding a fixer-upper that isn't looking to be fixed?

    There is no way I would ever dictate how she will live her life, but I'd like to get some input in there while my opinion is still valuable. Nor do I ever see myself reaching for a shotgun... which is the typical response that I hear all too often from others in my position.

    Currently I trust her to make good decisions completely... but I also know that the puberty sometimes frys the brain sometimes.


    Since there is a target demographic around here... is there any advice anyone else would have wished to have had? Would it had made a difference?

  2. #2
    Zoo
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    Oh pick me! lol

    The two most important things that come to mind are to make sure you nourish her self-esteem and foster a belief that she DESERVES to be treated well. I let someone treat me like crap at one of the lowest points of my life, and I think it was because deep down I didn't think I was worth more. Not that I treated HIM well, mind you. It was a mutually destructive arrangement.

    The other important thing is to set an example for her of how a man SHOULD behave, and how he should treat a woman. I always wished I'd had a father who was any kind of example or positive force in my life, you have a tremendously valuable role to play for her.

    Have you read Reviving Ophelia?


  3. #3
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom! mamabear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoo View Post
    Have you read Reviving Ophelia?
    Such. A. Good. Book.

  4. #4
    Moderator The Ultimate London Mom!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoo View Post
    Oh pick me! lol

    The two most important things that come to mind are to make sure you nourish her self-esteem and foster a belief that she DESERVES to be treated well. I let someone treat me like crap at one of the lowest points of my life, and I think it was because deep down I didn't think I was worth more. Not that I treated HIM well, mind you. It was a mutually destructive arrangement.

    The other important thing is to set an example for her of how a man SHOULD behave, and how he should treat a woman. I always wished I'd had a father who was any kind of example or positive force in my life, you have a tremendously valuable role to play for her.
    agreed

    personally, once i hit the teens dear ol dad had no idea what to do with me, so i felt i was ignored and i dated a ton of losers in high school. (a couple ok ones in there, but mostly losers.) i feel like if we had had a better relationship i would not have always needed to have a bf to feel valued or to have someone pay attention to me.

    i would also do an age appropos sex talk with her. one day, and it will come quicker than any parent ever wants, she will either be pressured to have sex/do something sexual or decide she wants to. she needs to know that she can say no without feeling bad or caring if the guy trashes her later, or she needs to know how to protect herself. she's 12, she has a boyfriend, they're *probably* not just holding hands.

    good for you for not getting mad, it will make her more comfortable talking to you later.
    Stop thinking youre not ready. Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we wont feel totally comfortable at first.

    ~ Breastfed for 7 months, 2 weeks and 3 days ~

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    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoo View Post
    Oh pick me! lol

    The two most important things that come to mind are to make sure you nourish her self-esteem and foster a belief that she DESERVES to be treated well. I let someone treat me like crap at one of the lowest points of my life, and I think it was because deep down I didn't think I was worth more. Not that I treated HIM well, mind you. It was a mutually destructive arrangement.

    The other important thing is to set an example for her of how a man SHOULD behave, and how he should treat a woman. I always wished I'd had a father who was any kind of example or positive force in my life, you have a tremendously valuable role to play for her.

    Have you read Reviving Ophelia?
    ITA and to add no matter how much you hate the guy don't ever ban them seeing each other as it will make her want to see him more

  6. #6
    Zoo
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    Yes, and also, make sure she knows, like really really KNOWS, that if someone pressures her into doing something she's not ready to do then they are being selfish. And that you cannot die from blue balls.


  7. #7
    Expert Forum User bacon's Avatar
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    I will definitely try to find Reviving Ophelia when I'm next at Chapters... as there are a couple of other young ladies in this household that are not that far behind and perhaps not so well equipped.

    I've got the physically protecting the self mostly covered. In the past... in my spare time, I did take some kung fu classes... well, years of it... so I have handed down a few trade secret moves. As far as emotionally protecting her... I did what I could for school, all of the various bully archetypes that are there... she has been completely solid so far.

    Another ironies is that I have offered and tried to have talks about sex with her, this I don't fear... she has declined the big-all-at-once one... but is chipping away with curious questions here and there.

    As far as banning goes... I've seen that first hand with my sister. When she was banned from a boyfriend... I did not see her for about 6 months... so I do know that it's not the way to go... I hope to be prepared for it if it happens.

    I believe that I have the be true to thy self message into her. I hope it is enough.

    No I suppose you can't die from blue balls... still a possible medical danger and all that. Better safe then sorry.


    Thank you for all of the replies... and I will indeed be monitoring for more if any arise.

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    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom! mamabear's Avatar
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    I don't buy the whole let's-not-forbid-them-to-see-any-particular-boys thing. It's parents' job to protect their kids, and if I feel that my kid is in an unhealthy relationship that is harmful to her, I can't imagine just letting that happen lest teen get pissed and rebel.
    Sometimes teenagers get themselves into situations they don't have the experience/wisdom/perspective to get out of. (Heck, so do adults, all the time.) And, if those situations are as potentially destructive as a relationship can be, it's parents' job to draw the line and help them get out.
    If you do read Reviving Ophelia, you'll read the author's opinion of how teens react to the it's-ok-we-trust-her-let-her-explore-and-do-her-own-thing approach - not well.

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    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!
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    OMG like this thread was SO not about screwdrivers, and drills. im trying not to piss myself laughing, id forgotten about 'tools' love it. thanks for the laugh Bacon.

    ps. totally trying to raise my guys NOT to be tools.

  10. #10
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    Ok, this is going to sound odd but it is what I did about a year older than her.

    Have her sit down and think about things she would want in a husband. Not like “Johnny has brown hair so I want my husband to have brown hair so I can marry Johnny' kind of thing. But serious things. What is important to her.

    She may seem young to be thinking about this but I am a firm believer in the thinking that if you wouldn't consider marrying the person why would you date them? Huge waste of time and could be getting yourself into something you aren't preped for.

    My list included some physical stuff but that was more of a personal preference thing than a deal breaker thing. It had things like how many children they wanted. No point in dating someone who wants 10 kids if you dont want any ya know?
    Mommy to DS Jan '06, DD July '09, DS Feb '11, DD Dec '12
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    http://handsbetterfull.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom! PancakeMom's Avatar
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    I am what you don't want your daughters to be. Ever. I wouldn't prescibe anything I've been though for any girl. Not yours and not mine. I did manage an education (not that my spelling and typing show it), and I function normally most of the time

    So I'm just going to go back over most of the things that did work for me growing up.

    Give the gift of self esteem. Teach her to give it to others too. Treat others the way you wish to be treated kinda stuff...its contagious and will ensure her friends don't drag her down.

    Not only set an example but say OUT LOUD that you love her and how you expect people to treat her. Implied doesn't count.

    Never judge the guy/friend she is with. (The banning issue). If you don't like him she will like him more...even if she loves you the most. Heck my first boyfriend became such because my friend told me I didn't want to be with him...ding ding!

    Two that sound corny....Don't sweat the small stuff and wait till tomorrow.

    Small stuff. Hair grows back. I can remember shaving off half my hair and having an important person in my life look and say...thats nice dear, as long as you like it. That kind of non-reaction allowed me to quickly try on many hats (no pun intended) to discover who I was without fear of judgement. It was hard enough as a teen knowing how I would react nevermind figuring out how someone else might.

    Wait till tomorrow. I lived with my grandfather for a while. He gave the worst punishments ever....he sat there and stared at me. He's dead now and I can still feel those eyes on me! He wouldn't say anything until the next day, he just looked at me. This creates a nuclear reaction in a teenager. You have no idea how much trouble you will eventually be in but you now have 12 hours to lie awake and think about it. This also gave him time to cool off and deal with me in a calm manner with reasonable consequences. I have never been kept so much in line as I was from a guy who waited until tomorrow. It was extreme teen torture I would have avoided at all cost.


    Everything I love is illegal, immoral or fattening.

  12. #12
    Zoo
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamabear View Post
    I don't buy the whole let's-not-forbid-them-to-see-any-particular-boys thing. It's parents' job to protect their kids, and if I feel that my kid is in an unhealthy relationship that is harmful to her, I can't imagine just letting that happen lest teen get pissed and rebel.
    I think there's a difference between stepping into an unhealthy relationship and banning a boy just because you don't like him though.

    I dunno, my experience is somewhat contradictory to that anyway:

    When I was 13, my mom hated my boyfriend because he had long hair and a leather jacket (and probably because he was 16).That boy treated me like GOLD, though. Put me on a pedestal, respected my boundaries, kissed me til my head spun but never pushed me to do anything sexual. I was so happy with him. But I could only see him at school because she didn't want us together and eventually we broke up and I started dating a bad dude. And doing bad things with a bad dude. Using him to prove I didn't love anyone and didn't need to be loved in return. He was 18, but for some reason THIS one I was allowed to see? Bah. What were we talking about again?

    Oh yeah, I'm not saying that you should accept every jackass she brings home just in case she runs off with the worst of them to spite you. If she has a good, honest, open, relationship with you and her mom to begin with, she's more likely to respect your opinion of the boys she dates anyway.


  13. #13
    Senior Member rosiemunchkins's Avatar
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    What Zoo said is great advice. I had a great relationship with my father. When I was young my father did everything with me. I worked with him in the shop, went on weekend trips with him and went to car races with him. He was basically my first best friend. I felt very comfortable around him and trusted him fully. Of course we had our moments when we disagreed with decisions I was making for myself (career choices) but that's a natural part of any relationship. I know now as a married woman with children that I measured most men that I dated against him. I expected those men to treat me the same way that he treated my mother, me and my siblings. I think the best way to steer her away from the so called loser is to be a part of her life on a consistent basis. Keep the line of communication open so that if she does get in trouble she knows that she can come to you with anything. And I mean anything. Be there for her, go to her school/extracurricular events and get to know all of her friends. Be a constant figure in her life. I also agree that you should have the “sex“ talk with her. Give her the guy perspective. Be honest about what guys feel and what guys might say and do. Don't beat around the bush.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. ~MLK Jr.

  14. #14
    Expert Forum User bacon's Avatar
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    Thanks for the history advice... I find that helpful too, as that i where I'm forming my own opinion. It may not be by the book, but it is still practical information.


    I don't think that I've ever sweat the small stuff with my kids... it's their time to learn and experience life. I am only a guide that can help... my growing up had two parents who were not really there to help... due to reasons of being overworked, not because they didn't care.


    The complexity in my situation is that her mother is quite the tyrant. Sure I'm biased here in that opinion, but that's where I'm wondering if the negative pressure is going to come from. She, the mother, still refuses to talk to me about anything other then pickup and drop off times, so that is a dead end for me to get any knowledge.


    I have gone through the self esteem building, but up to this point it has been about education and friendship. She is indeed the smartest kid that I've ever known. Won a scholar award at her school for the highest grades this year. I do believe that she is solid in that department. I trust her judgment... but I have been caught off guard before... I'm at the point of preparations.


    Historically... this is all triggered by my earlier days... where I found that young ladies without paternal involvement in their life were easier nuts to crack.

  15. #15
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom! mamabear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoo View Post
    I think there's a difference between stepping into an unhealthy relationship and banning a boy just because you don't like him though.
    Oh yeah, for sure.

    When I was 13, my mom hated my boyfriend because he had long hair and a leather jacket (and probably because he was 16).That boy treated me like GOLD, though. Put me on a pedestal, respected my boundaries, kissed me til my head spun but never pushed me to do anything sexual. I was so happy with him. But I could only see him at school because she didn't want us together and eventually we broke up and I started dating a bad dude. And doing bad things with a bad dude. Using him to prove I didn't love anyone and didn't need to be loved in return. He was 18, but for some reason THIS one I was allowed to see? Bah. What were we talking about again?
    LOL! I'm pretty weirded out by the idea of 13-year-olds and 16-year-olds dating though. Not that it matters, since my kid is never going to grow up. Anyways, as interesting as this conversation is, I have to get back to shopping for a bubble large enough to contain my daughter.

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