Hi! I'm not a parent, but I'm a 16 year old and maybe a teen's opinion will help. I can actually relate to your story, as almost the exact same thing happened to my friend when we were in grade 8/9. She sent nudes to random people, and was talking to guys way older than she was. Her dad found out, and obviously took away her phone. The thing was, he never bothered to find out WHY she had decided to send them. Her parents are divorced, and both of her older siblings are into hard drugs. The situation happened right after she contacted her mom for the first time in years, and invited her to our graduation ceremony. Her mom told her very bluntly that she had left for a reason, and couldn't care less that she was graduating. Obviously, she was crushed. She started acting out in class, and sending the pictures. The reason being that if her own mother couldn't tell her that she loved her, then she would get some random guy to tell her that she was beautiful, even if it meant exploiting herself. Over the years she continued to have problems with her dad. Because of her sibling's drug problems, he never allowed her to leave the house or go out with friends, because he was scared of her getting into them. Ironically, this is exactly what drove her to drugs. She hated her dad enough for what he was doing that she would do anything to get back at him for it. I've lost contact with her since then, but last I heard she had moved away to live with her cousins after getting caught with drugs at her school. Your daughter might be dealing with self-esteem or confidence issues, because of the learning disorder. I know that for myself, dealing with my OCD had made me feel so stupid and embarrassed at times. Having a learning disability or mental illness of any kind isn't fun, and it can make you try to find reassurance in other places, which may or may not be healthy. Personally, I would say give her and the guy a chance. She's probably feeling good about it since the last time she talked to a guy it went so badly. Also, before punishing her for doing something, talk to her about why she did it and the possible reasons behind it.
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Hi! Just wanted to write a quick response to all the comments here. I'm not a parent, but I'm a 16 year old and figured a teen's opinion might help here. When you're 13 and struggling with self-image/esteem issues and depression, it can be hard to figure out who you are. Teens find themselves through expressing themselves, whether that's through hobbies, trying different clothes, or things such as piercings and dying your hair. Personally, I was never allowed to do anything to my hair or get any sort of piercings when I was 13. My parents tend to be extremely strict, (which I can assure you, is not always a good thing.) I remember in eighth grade when a girl in my class got a second piercing on her ear. Right after she got it, almost every girl (including me) went out and got a second piercing too. Everyone had previously been too nervous to do it, and didn't want to be the first. So, when she got it and everyone liked it, we all went out and did it because we wanted to be "cool" too. Kids did things like that all the time, because they wanted to stand out. Girls would come to school with neon pink stripes in their hair, or wearing a crop top, or anything else that nobody else was brave enough to try. So, your daughter tattooing herself could just be another form of self-expression that she wanted to try out. I'll agree with you that 13 is too young to get a tattoo, considering you have to be 16 to get one at a professional salon. (with parental consent) That also could be the reason that she's constantly wanting to change the colour of her hair or get piercings. At 13, everyone wants something that will set them apart from others. I've struggled with depression, anxiety, OCD, self-harming, and social anxiety for years. My parents were no help, since I never felt I could come to them with anything. They would tell me to open up, and I would, and they would punish me for feeling what I felt instead of giving me the support I needed. They said that they've given me food, clothes, and a house all my life, so why was I repaying them like this? This caused me to internalize everything I was feeling, shutting out my parents and only opening up to my friends. I remember feeling like I had lost myself. When I was in the worst part of my depression I felt so numb and like I didn't know who I was anymore. During this time I did different things like always painting my nails black, cutting my hair, wearing different, darker clothes, and a bunch of other things. I never went as far as piercing myself or tattooing myself, but I did start self-harming. Believe it or not, I actually found myself through this. I wasn't exactly "goth", but I did start listening to alternative music and actually made great friends through it. They helped me through my struggles, and continue to do that to this day. Your daughter is probably just expressing herself through what she wears, does, and different things like that. If she comes to you with problems, please don't punish her for them (unless she did something actually bad like vandalism, shoplifting, etc.) Eventually she'll find herself, and things will start to balance out again. As someone who's gone through it, I can assure you of that. I stopped self-harming awhile ago, and I had decided ages before that that if I could make it a certain amount of time without hurting myself, I would give myself a tattoo. I put plenty of thought into what i wanted to get, and made sure everything was sterile and safe before I did it. I'll admit that my parents don't know about it, but it has honestly been a great reminder of what I overcame, and the strength I gained along the way. So, in the end, while your daughter may be having a hard time right now, just remember that she's having as hard of a time with this as you are, if not harder.
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