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Old 11-03-2013, 05:01 PM
 
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Hello fellow parents of teens or older,

Is there anymore news on other parents with disappointment over teenagers decisions that blow your mind and leave you numb? I have three children. My oldest left home shortly after graduating from highschool. She was the ultimate joy to raise. Smart, artistic and teachers loved her. Middle school hit and she became a different person. Her father had an affair and she overheard our conversations. I believe that was the beginning and it makes me sad that we may have started something in her. She was so perfect and innocent. As her parents, we stayed together, but things were never really the same. She moved on with new friends. Some of them I liked, but later found out they were messed up and were bad influences for her. She became involved with drugs, sex and moved out to her boyfriends home. She now has some major tatoos. Our values are very different. His mom thought this would be just fine, even though I asked her not to allow it. It has effected our entire family. I am in and out of sadness. I am grateful for many things, like that we still love one another and occasionally talk or see one another. Mostly she isn't much around or heard from. I miss her so much, and can't believe after we loved her so deeply, she could just leave without a care. I am gratefull she is still alive. I can't seem to move on. Anyone have similar experiences or suggestions?
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:18 PM
 
6,461 posts, read 6,096,745 times
Reputation: 9778
Accept and love her for who she is, and let go your personal dream for her. You may grieve for that lost ideal, but get over it soon. Kids grow up and make choices that are different than what you would do. Didn't you make different choices than your parents?

Once you have accepted that, you can be happier and relax around your child. That will make her more receptive to your company. She will always love you, even if she doesn't agree with you.
Good luck!
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:30 AM
 
570 posts, read 1,042,618 times
Reputation: 1234
Don't judge her, don't lecture here. If you let her KNOW, with your actions as well as your words, that you love her unconditionally, that you support her emotionally, she will get through this phase and hopefully come out the other side.

the tattoos aren't a huge deal, they are becoming more and more commonplace. The premarital sex.... you would be okay with it if she had a piece of paper stating that she and the boyfriend were married. So turn a blind eye, and hope they are at least using contraception. The drugs may be a bigger issue, as they can have life altering or life ending consequences. But if you tirade, lecture, blow up at her, all she'll do is stop confiding in you, stop talking to you. Just let her know you are there for her, if/when/however she needs.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:40 AM
Status: "I used to have a lead foot, but now it's aluminum." (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Lancaster, SC
5,319 posts, read 3,675,650 times
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You ever notice none of us here raise the kids who are bad influences on other kids? It's always the other way around.

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Old 11-04-2013, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Denver
2,976 posts, read 2,395,835 times
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I have different opinions than my parents about religion, premarital sex, drugs, and tattoos. Instead of declaring to her the way to act or live, ask her questions. If she contradicts herself as you ask why, then suggest her to think about that a little more.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:05 AM
 
1,807 posts, read 1,403,685 times
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Sorry, but you don't get to play dictator for your children. Unfortunately, the religious right in this country likes to tell you that you do, but you don't. It is very possible that the behavior she's putting forward is a rebellion towards a stifling environment in which she grew up.

Sex and drugs? So she's a normal popular teenager. Tattoos? There are lots of regular people with those. You talk about your adult child as if she's a 3 year old. Perfect and innocent? Why would you want an adult to be that? She sounds like she's having fun and leading her life.

You need to learn to put away the judgement, stop trying to run your kids lives and support them. You live your life and raise them in a supportive environment and support them in what they become. It's not likely to be your mirror image, but if you've done a good job, they'll be fine.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:36 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,860 posts, read 18,883,731 times
Reputation: 25110
My dad had an affair when I was a teenager. He wasn't very secretive about it and my sister and I knew before our mom ever found out. It was uncomfortable knowing about it. My parents worked through their differences and stayed together. My mom dyed her hair red and started going to bars with my dad since that's what the other woman had that she didn't have. I really lost respect for her then. (As an adult, I realize this was unfair to my mother, my dad was the one I should have lost respect for. Dad has dementia now, in his early 60's and I bet she's really wishing she'd left him back when she had a valid reason.)

Your daughter already knew about sex long before your husband had an affair...kids start talking about sex in the 3rd and 4th grades and start doing it in middle school. So hearing you discuss the affair didn't spoil her innocence. It may have changed her opinions of you, but most teenagers have bad opinions of their parents, at least for a few years, even without a good reason.

Part of your problem is that your love for your daughter is conditional, or she feels like it is. You are only going to love her if she lives up to your expectations, which might be higher for her than they were for yourself (did you have sex before marriage? Did you ever smoke pot in high school or college?) You were able to readjust your expectations for your husband and stay with him after his affair. Can you learn to love your tattooed daughter who's shacked up with her boyfriend? Of course you can, if you want to.

I would guess that appearances are very important to you and you feel like your daughter's choices make you look bad to the people you know.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:12 PM
 
2,612 posts, read 4,587,648 times
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I think a lot of teens "stray" from their parents' values, very deliberately. It's called rebellion. It may last forever, and it may not. I went to Catholic school, and remember well all the very anti-Christian things that my friends and I did (including moving out, getting pregnant, doing drugs, and so on), and how hard we tried not to be like our parents. Now, 30 years later, they are all on Facebook posting pics of their kids and talking about going to church every Sunday and reading the bible.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:16 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,325,866 times
Reputation: 32238
Quote:
Originally Posted by gt2cope View Post
Hello fellow parents of teens or older,

Is there anymore news on other parents with disappointment over teenagers decisions that blow your mind and leave you numb? I have three children. My oldest left home shortly after graduating from highschool. She was the ultimate joy to raise. Smart, artistic and teachers loved her. Middle school hit and she became a different person. Her father had an affair and she overheard our conversations. I believe that was the beginning and it makes me sad that we may have started something in her. She was so perfect and innocent. As her parents, we stayed together, but things were never really the same. She moved on with new friends. Some of them I liked, but later found out they were messed up and were bad influences for her. She became involved with drugs, sex and moved out to her boyfriends home. She now has some major tatoos. Our values are very different. His mom thought this would be just fine, even though I asked her not to allow it. It has effected our entire family. I am in and out of sadness. I am grateful for many things, like that we still love one another and occasionally talk or see one another. Mostly she isn't much around or heard from. I miss her so much, and can't believe after we loved her so deeply, she could just leave without a care. I am gratefull she is still alive. I can't seem to move on. Anyone have similar experiences or suggestions?
Accept her for who she is.

If she isn't around my guess is it's because she feels judged or is told that what she's doing is wrong. She grew into something other than what you wanted. She had a right to do that. Does she accept YOU for who you are? If she does... return the favor.

Last edited by DewDropInn; 11-05-2013 at 12:29 PM..
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Colorado
4,308 posts, read 11,464,879 times
Reputation: 4386
Do me a favour: Stop and ask yourself if this is truly the worst thing that could happen?

Yes, it might be painful to you but really, she could've done much much worse. She could be in prison right now, she could've robbed someone, smuggled drugs, got drunk and killed someone with a car. She could be homeless, living and working on the streets. Instead she is apparently living in someone's house, relatively safe and healthy.

You don't say how old your daughter is but if she's over 18 there really isn't anything you can do except let her know that you still love her, you support her no matter what and you'll be there for her if she needs you. Believe me, the worst thing you can do is turn your back on her or insist that she change before you accept her again because love isn't supposed to be conditional and you don't withhold it just to make someone "behave".
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