Hi @Pumkinpie and welcome to the forums - it's great to have you join the community.
I'm so sorry to hear about all your daughter has been going through - it must have been a really stressful and worrying time for you as her parent.
I wanted to let you know that we edited some wording in your post slightly, in line with our community guidelines. I also wanted to let you know that if you'd like to start your own thread, you're very welcome to so please feel free to do that here.
Can I ask how old your daughter is? And does she have access to any professional support (eg. counselling or other support services)? Were you able to report the grooming?
We have some information on our parents website about teenagers and risk taking if you'd like to take a look. There's also some information on our youth website about sex in case it's helpful for your daughter and/or as a conversation starter.
It's such a hard thing to balance when young people want and need to separate and develop their independence, but as their parents we also want and need to ensure their safety.
I really feel for you, but it sounds like you're doing your best to keep the conversation open, supportive and non-judgemental. I think it really says a lot about your relationship that your daughter feels able to talk to you with such honesty.
I'm not sure about your daughter, but I've noticed often my young people can tend to listen more to people they respect who aren't their parents - if that's the case for your daughter, are there any other adults who might be able to mentor and support her at the moment?
Do you have supportive people you can talk to through this as well? It takes a lot of courage to share what's happening and we're here to listen and to support you.
We are also going to email you, so please look out for that.
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It sounds like a really painful road for you @fightfordads
It's not the same situation, but I also share care of a child with someone who I've experienced conflict with, and I've found it very helpful to communicate via a third party or mediator - do you feel like that could be useful in your situation?
I find it helps me not to feel hurt by what they say as their comments are filtered by the other person. As a result, I've found it much easier to be positive and supportive of their relationship. I can't control how that person talks about me to our child, but I choose to speak positively. Eg. I'm able to say things like "they love you so much" or I can help our child to buy gifts for that person and my child responds really warmly to both of these things. The third party handling communication has made all the difference for me. Do you think that could be an option for you?
I really liked what you said about wanting to communicate without asking about your daughter's mother's home, and what you said about your daughter feeling she needs to be loyal to her mother.
I think that shows a lot of insight into how this must feel for your daughter.
It's very difficult for children when they feel caught in the middle of grown up problems and it's clear you're really trying to protect her from that. You sound like you have a lot of empathy for your daughter .
I think maintaining a focus on positive communication sounds like a really helpful way to support your daughter to know she's not responsible for any issues between you and her mother, and she doesn't have to take sides.
I'm wondering if there are other ways you could build on your relationship with your daughter that don't rely on a positive relationship between you and her mother?
For example, could you stay in touch with your daughter via messaging or email to maintain a light-hearted and positive relationship with her? Eg. I find my teens respond really well to a little check in every now and then like "hope you have a great day at school. Love you" or "how did your soccer game go - I was thinking of you" or similar (as long as it's not too often, otherwise I'm annoying! lol)
I'm not sure if these ideas are useful, they're just some things I've found helpful but only you will know your situation and what might work.
It's not easy to co-parent, and I feel for you trying to make this situation work in the best interests of your daughter.
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