05-21-2018 07:57 AM - last edited on 02-05-2021 12:36 PM by Hannah-RO
My 15 yr old step daughter has been having a relationship with a boy from a different race for the past year behind our backs. We do not approve of the relationship, because of things that happened between them last year and because he is from a different culture. She is now trying to manipulate us in giving approval for the relationship by threatening to harm herself and kill herself and saying things like we don't care about her and don't want to see her happy. From what I have read on this site, she may be suffering from depression and according to her, she is also being bullied at school. She is super sensitive and gets offended by anything you say to her. She also lies about things and when confronted, gets SO angry and denies everything. She blames me and her dad for the way she is, but we have tried to reach out to her and get her help a couple of times but she does not co-operate and is dishonest and secretive about everything she does.
05-21-2018 03:04 PM
Hi @Moonsie, I can see that you're new to our forums, so welcome!! So glad you found us, and have shared with us a bit of what's going on. Sounds really tough at the moment for you..
So it seems that there's a few different things going on for your daughter...first of all her mental health might need some attention - do you think it would help to talk to her about this, or open up some suggestions about talking to someone else - maybe a GP, or school counselor? We have some info on our website that might be helpful for you here.
If she is being bullied at school, that could certainly be having an impact on her mental health as well.
It can be really difficult for young people to talk about what's going on for them, and the secrecy can be a way of protecting themselves.. but it makes things really hard for you, especially when you want to help and support her!
The relationship sounds like a complex one, and I don't think I know enough to comment there - having a relationship with someone of a different culture or race can be a really wonderful thing, but it can also have it's own challenges.
Some of our other members have had similar situations with their young people and might be able to offer more insight!
We're here to listen, so please let us know how things go and what you decide to do next for your step-daughter.
05-22-2018 04:59 PM
Hi there @Moonsie and welcome to the forum.
Your step-daughter's reaction sounds very typical of a teen who's been told no, so I hope you know you're not alone in trying to navigate that area of our teen's behaviour. Teens are usually secretive if they believe our reaction to them isn't going to be a good one. If they feel like we can listen to them and hear what they are saying to us, they're more likely to open up and share what's going on with them. It can be difficult to do, especially when we disagree or hold different view points, but I've found it gets me the best results with my daughter.
Can I ask, is it cultural practices that differ from yours that you disapprove of? Have your step-daughter and her boyfriend learnt from their experiences last year?
ReachOut offers parent coaching for Australian parents that could be really beneficial in helping you move forward with your step-daughter. You can find out about it here.
@gina-Ro offers some great resources and advice that I agree would be good avenues to follow up.
I also encourage you to jump across to the weekly discussion around communication for some suggestions, or to ask a question of your own
05-22-2018 05:46 PM - last edited on 05-22-2018 08:02 PM by taokat
Hi @taokat, thank you for your response!
Their relationship started off as a friendship but after we discovered some disturbing texts and photos shared between them, we tried to stop it and explained to her why we do not approve of the relationship between different cultures and that what they are busy with is unacceptable.
It seemed that they cooled down a bit, she even told me they are not seeing each other anymore, but they are in the same school and church youth group, so obviously they will have contact.
And 2 nights ago she send a message to her dad saying that she is so sad because she loves this boy and do not want to be only friends with him and threatens to start self harming again and to commit suicide, because we do not care about her and do not want to see her happy. Also when he tried to end the relationship, she said that if he leaves her, she will commit suicide.
She is extremely aggressive when confronted about the lies that she tells and she blames everyone else for being the way she is. She does not understand that her attitude, actions and doings have consequences, because in her eyes, she is the victim and we are the bullies.
We are at our wits end, my husband is so scared that she will actually go through with the threat of harming herself, so he tries not to aggravate the circumstances any further. This also has a huge impact on our relationship.
We need help on how to handle the situation without it blowing up. Unfortunately we are in Namibia, so the services that you have available in Australia cannot be accessed by us. We do not have those type of helplines. It would have been awesome if we had!
Thank you for your support, just knowing I am talking to people who understand already helps a lot!
05-22-2018 09:21 PM
You're welcome @Moonsie. It sounds like a very stressful situation for everyone involved and although we're an Australian site we can still offer you support. Are there any family counsellors you and your husband could go to get some advice? My daughter and I have had some fabulous help through family counselling, and I learned that if we can all compromise a little, even on just some things, it can make such a huge difference.
I thought I'd offer you some information to read about family conflict that you may find helpful. It gives some explanations and some really useful things to try to reduce conflict and improve the relationship with our teens.
No biggie, but I just had to edit your comment to keep in line with the community guidelines about specific methods of self harm. I hope you don't mind.
Let us know if there's anything in the resources that you think you could give a try
06-10-2018 07:57 AM
Hi, I am from a different culture as my spouse and its true that it can be a challenge and completely understand your point of view.
Now, as a parent of teens and going back in time of when I was a teen, what its comes to mind its that teens LOVE THE FORBIDDEN and love to test boundaries. Someone will more knowledge might disagree with me, but keeping your “enemies” close can be a good thing in this case. She is 15 and I assume that marriage is not something that will happen anytime soon and she will meet other people, and so it will this gentleman she now dates.
My son says things like that when he feels he is being controlled (not dismissing your concern as I also get very tense and scared when he says that). I am havin the same issue but not with a girlfriend, but some friends I don’t like. I feel that if I say “no”, it will be the forbidden fruit that he will crave all day. I allowed this friend to come to our house and will put my own advice to test tomorrow 😀
It did work with a past girlfriend he had, her parents were very weird, it lasted 2yrs even after she changed schools. In the end, he broke up with her and is now dating a very sweet girl.
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