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2 Bumps

My pre-teen is headed down the wrong path - what to do?

My daughter is 11 and she is sweet, caring, and helpful around the house. However, she is a follower and easily influenced. That being said, she had a sleepover with a couple friends and the next day, I found porn on her iphone and read some fb messages to some boy that were asking about his penis and sex. I have since taken all privileges (shame on mom for giving into the fb and iphone) and have taken her social life away (for now) I dont know what to do to instill in her that this behavior is way too advanced for her age. I contacted the other girls' parents and let them deal with theirs. I had already had a talk with her about boys and sex, etc which she assured me she was in no place to kiss or anything and wasnt interested. Blatant lie. When she gets upset, she throws MAJOR tantrums like kicking, screaming, and breaking things. I am at a loss. I just can't get her to focus on school and playing without BOYS/DRAMA. Help?

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TooEarlyForGrey

Asked by TooEarlyForGrey at 3:17 PM on Feb. 4, 2013 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 3 (24 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • Was he happy with me? Probably not. lol But I'm his mom, not his friend. It's my job to think ahead to his future when he isn't.

    Now, I'm lucky in that I homeschool, and so I have more control over where he goes and who he hangs out with to be able to prevent some of what you've just dealt with. (And btw, I didn't mean to imply you didn't have her passwords - just a note that you should definitely keep them in the future). But I think what you've done is fine. I would just keep a tight rein on her when it comes to going out with others. Make sure that her friends parents know she's saying she's going to be with them, and what her rules are (for example: no boys, not allowed to do X, Y, Z online). Maybe even swing by where she should be unannounced. If she knows you're watching, that might help cool some of this.
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:58 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • Therapy is not necessary. I just talked to my 11 yr old son the other day - after I found out he tried to find "naked women" online. It's younger than we expect, but it's normal, natural curiosity. So when she tells you she's not interested/curious/etc., know that she's lying. She is curious, she just doesn't want you to know.

    I simply told my son the truth (or the truth as I see it anyway): It is perfectly normal for him to be curious, and I am not angry or upset with him that he's curious (inside, I'm freaking, but that's my issue, not his! lol). But normal curiosity aside, it's still not appropriate for him to see those things yet, nor should he be attempting to engage in those things. He's not old enough to truly deal with the potential consequences that come along with those activities, and while I understand he's curious, this is a curiosity that simply has to go unsatisfied right now.
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:54 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • I kind of agree with what Nicoles2LilRams said.
    truth or dare is a popular game and that may be how some of this came about -or something of that nature, since it was at a sleep-over. I remember being 12 and looking at Playgirl magazines at a friends house and being dared to kiss a boy at that age as well. We were curious.

    Make sure you talk to her about the impression she wants to make on others and how acting like that can make her look bad. Remind her that things she sees on TV or in magazines reagarding sex and love are not the real world. Talk to her a lot, about all kinds of things- be honest and just keep reminding her that she is important, and boys can be trouble! (kind of kidding there- but you get what I mean) this is what I did with my 19 yr old and she came out ok
    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 5:41 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • Therapy? For watching porn? I don't agree with that. I mean, she was having a sleepover and they're all so curious at that age. I remember going to sleepover at that age and the girl whose house it was snuck one of her mom's movies so we could watch a sex scene that was in it. We were all just kind of trying to figure out what went where!
    Asking a boy about his penis would concern me, but again, it could have been a dare from her friends if it happened during the sleepover.
    I think you're handling the situation well, but I wouldn't obsess over the what ifs right now. Just go along and continue what you're doing: withholding her privileges until she earns them back. And don't beat yourself up!!
    Nicoles2LilRams

    Answer by Nicoles2LilRams at 5:02 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • Eleven? I think therapy should be a consideration. I do not think this is normal behavior for an 11 year old. It is very disturbing.
    booklover545

    Answer by booklover545 at 4:15 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • Have you considered sending her to an all girls school? I know it sounds extreme, but I remember that most of my boy crazy problem stemmed from having them around all of the time. You are not a bad mom, so stop beating your self up about it. I would say that more control is the best you can do, and when she messes up enforce the consequence, and when she does well reward her.
    jerseydiva

    Answer by jerseydiva at 4:14 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • Thank you NannyB! I figured it out...All this time, i as giving her too much room. And now have to let her earn it back. I was never really involved much before and gave her way too much freedom! So now, I go with her to whatever place she wants to go. I chaperone her every move and I dont give her the iphone or fb because she is clearly not ready for all that. I let her do the fun things in life but will always be right behind her...slowly giving her her space. *facepalm* how could I have been so silly to let her rampage on her own? No wonder she fell right into it all...
    TooEarlyForGrey

    Comment by TooEarlyForGrey (original poster) at 3:49 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • Thank you for your replies,

    Wendy - I did have all her passwords which is how I found all this out. She failed to delete any of it (which may mean something?) What if she IS looking for sex because shes THAT curious? Because her peers tell her its cool? I know I cant prevent her from making horrible choices but I damn well want to try :( It seems I have already had these talks with her and she just doesnt get it. I just dont understand why shes going so above and beyond to get this kind of attention.

    Manders - I did give her the wiggle room. I talked with her about "boyfriends" when she wanted one and we agreed that was fine because she explained that it was more of a "title" and they just hung out together at school. I found out later, she was "making out" with him which she said she wasnt interested (lie) I give an inch and she takes a mile. If i dont stop this somehow, she'll end up having sex. Im scared to death.
    TooEarlyForGrey

    Comment by TooEarlyForGrey (original poster) at 3:44 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • I think that her behavior is proof that she is not yet ready to handle the freedoms that you have granted her. I would quietly and calmly explain to her that I had made a mistake in believing that she could handle more responsibility for herself than she was prepared to handle. I would then tell her that she will be given opportunities to show me that she is growing and maturing, but that I will be the one to decide when she is ready for more "grown--up" activities. I would take her to school events, but she would not be allowed to attend unless I was present. She gets to have her fun, but she does it under your very watchful eye. We raised three children like this, and they turned out well without getting into trouble. It is possible for your children to enjoy their pre-teen and teen years while being protected from too much adult-like activity.
    NannyB.

    Answer by NannyB. at 3:40 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • My thoughts: First, I would not phrase it as it's "too advanced" for her. I would explain to her that this kind of behavior sends the wrong message - at any age. Whether she's showing her goods, or asking to see theirs, or just discussing it in general terms, it all sends the impression that's looking for something she may not be - and whether she's 11, 21, 31 or 81, that's NOT the message she wants to send.

    Other than that (and that's just my opinion, not saying you did anything wrong), I think what you did is fine. My 11 yr old boy does not have FB, and won't for at least another couple years, probably longer, because I don't feel they need it at that age. I would make sure, if you give it back, that you have the password from here on out - and I'd check that, and the phone, daily when (or rather IF) she gets them back.
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 3:33 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

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