Trust and risk taking

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Trust and risk taking

My 14yo daughter has recently started lying - mostly by omission - and has been drinking on a few occasions. I’m not sure if there has been any drug use but I suspect it. She’s recently changed her friend group from a great, supportive, open group to a new group who is ‘more interesting’ (in her words). I’m really concerned about her behaviour, I’m not taking it personally, but am very disappointed that she has not taken on board my concerns and reasons. I prefer to explain and gain understanding, setting boundaries that we can both support, but I feel like a stricter response is required in the circumstances. I’m worried this might push her further away. Thoughts please. Many thanks.

Prolific scribe

Re: Trust and risk taking

Hey there @HippyMum,

I noticed that you've been giving some amazing advice to other users on the forums recently, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and advice with us Smiley Happy 

 

I'm sorry to hear that your daughter has been lying to you, it can be worrying when we're lied to about things, especially when your daughter's behaviour is also changing. Is there anyone else in the family or a friend who you can talk to about this? 

 

We have been doing Ask a Young Person recently and I thought this one on talking about drugs might be useful for you to look at. We also have some articles on trust and building trust that you might also find helpful in helping your daughter to understand your concerns. What do you think? 

Active scribe

Re: Trust and risk taking

Thanks @Jay-RO

I appreciate those links however as is often the case, these seem to be 'text book advice' that works when things are going well but I find that personal experiences through these forums are good for when things are not going according to plan.  I spoke with Parentline and their advice was family therapy if our concerns continue.  I then spoke with a family therapist who also confirmed that we are doing all the right things.  If these don't start to show signs of success, we'll take up family therapy.  However, I'm hopeful that they will be successful.  We will be monitoring carefully.

I have talked to my daughter (in little bits) extensively over the last few days, emphasising the need to act on her own moral compass.  I have separated her behaviour from herself and I have explained the disappointment that I cannot now trust her as I used to.  I asked her to lay everything out and openly so that we can start to rebuild trust. 

I contacted her school with my concerns and we are working together on encouraging better behaviour.  I have also contacted some of her friends' parents to see whether they have similar concerns. 

Where possible, she is being made to take responsibility for poor decisions while I am also gently encouraging her to re-explore old friendships. 

We have put some consequences into place, including minimising contact with those who display poor decision making and only seeing friends at home at the moment.  She's not thrilled at this but does understand why.  I realise that peer groups are really important to kids at this age, so I've been careful about how I've characterised this.  She's keen to persuade her friends to make better choices but I've emphasised that, while this is admirable, she can only control her own behaviour.

She and I have spent a lot of time calmly together working on joint projects or alongside each other or walking/ going for lunch together, working hard on maintaining and strengthening our bond, over the last few days.  Fingers crossed and action taken Smiley Happy  

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Prolific scribe

Re: Trust and risk taking

Hey there @HippyMum,

 

It's great that you contacted Parents Line and followed through on their suggestion of family therapy. It also sounds like the conversation with your daughter went well. Hopefully things continue to improve with her peers and decision making. 

 

Best of luck! Smiley Happy Thank you for the update. 

Parent Community Champion

Re: Trust and risk taking

Hi @HippyMum 

 

I agree with your concerns about peer group for you child.  I had the "pleasure" of supervising my first ever 16 year olds birthday party publicised on facebook.. I will save you the details but I am glad my children Never had those people as their so called friends!

 

It is quite normal for a teen to disregard their parents concerns and reasons.  If she is like my own children they see me as out of touch and unrealistic in my fears.  Looking back I can't say I was not similar in my low regard for the boundaries my parents wanted to set.

 

You mention you are concerned with her behaviour.  Is there anythings specific you are looking to share or get advice on?

 

It does sound like you are working on strategies that I would suggest... 

  • Encourage positive relationships
  • Consequences for poor choices 
  • Positive rewards for good choices 
  • Engage her wider sphere of contacts (school, friends and family etc)

 

It also sounds like you are making some progress?