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15 YO lost our trust

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Swolfy

15 YO lost our trust

My husband and I are fostering a 15 yo who came from a very traumatic background including drugs and sexual abuse. She self describes as a "hoodrat" or "**bleep**" and while we discourage this behavior she has always displayed this behavior as superficial and not acting on it in real life. We gave her our trust and she has been able to spend overnight visits with her Grandma in her hometown and has a new iphone with no restrictions on it. She tells us about stuff she does that's sketchy but it's never too bad and we talk about the consequences, etc.

 

However, we recently discovered she's been lying and manipulating us the whole time. Her birth mother in an attempt to lash out at the girl told us about a number of very disturbing events where she displayed unacceptable behavior while she was supposed to be spending the night at her Grandma's. The more we dig into this the more we found out about her lies. We'll ask her about it and she'll admit to something, then a day or two later we find out there's much more to the story.

 

I don't understand why she has been lying like this. We feel she is a danger to herself with her poor behavior (engaging in risky activity with strangers, etc), and now we know she cannot be trusted. She's had her phone, computer, social media, and friend privileges revoked - she's also not allowed to have overnight visits anymore. 

 

I don't want to have to strap this kid to my chest to keep her safe, I want to give her some freedoms and trust but she has violated that trust over and over again. We're new to this parenting thing so if anyone has advice on parenting teens, especially those with trauma - please, we're all ears.

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TOM-RO

Re: 15 YO lost our trust

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Hey  @Swolfy, this seems like a very challenging time for you and your husband. It sounds like you really care about her and want to be able to keep her safe. It must have been heartbreaking for you to realise that she wasn't being honest with you

 

From what you've mentioned it sounds like she has also been through a lot. You might find it useful to keep taking the time to talk with her about what's going on and focusing on all aspects of her life and not just the challenging bits. It might be worth seeing if she would be interested in speaking with a counsellor. I can see that you’re not located in Australia, having a look online at some services near you or a school counsellor if one is available might be useful. 

 

I also think it would be helpful for you to call and speak with a counsellor to get some advice about how to best support her and keep her safe. From what I can see this may be a good place to start. We also have some more resources here on our Reachout Parents around risk taking and teenagers. Please feel free to let us know how you go.