Parents of teenage daughters…what would YOU do?

I’ve been thinking about the incident with H’s schoolmate (previous post on Oct. 29th)…I’ll call her Sara. She is the one who was with a friend (we’ll call her Lynn) and they decided to sneak out of the house and bike across town in the middle of the night, across busy streets and through several different neighborhoods. Sara, the one who tagged along got scared and called another girlfriend(Suzie) , and Suzie’s mom got involved and called Sara’s mom. But I just found out that Lynn’s parents,( the girl who instigated the whole thing) may not know about it. It’s happened a couple of times that I know of. If it was MY daughter, I would want to know about it. I found out about it through several different channels, so it’s basically gossip. I don’t know Lynn’s mother, but should I tell her what I’ve heard? I’d hate to spread a rumor that is unfounded. I’ve always told H that unless she sees something, that what she hears is just that…hearsay. I heard about this from Suzie’s mom, and she asked me to keep the source private, in order to maintain communication with her child.

I don’t get a lot of comments on this blog, but if there are any parents of teenagers out there who have dealt with this, I’d love to hear from you.

0 thoughts on “Parents of teenage daughters…what would YOU do?”

  1. This is a very hard situation. Of course you would want to know if it were your kid. And I suspect that Lynn’s parents want to know too.

    Here’s the questions and thoughts I have on the situation:

    Is Lynn your daughter’s friend, or just a friend of a friend, who you don’t really know? If that’s the case, let it go. Maybe encourage Susie’s or Sara’s moms to actually call Lynn’s mom.

    If Lynn is your daughter’s friend, and if they are still just 14 and in 8th grade, it might be the right call to check in with the mom. Just give her a call, start up a conversation because your daughters are friends. Chat her up. Ask how Lynn is getting along. Get a sense of what’s going on at her house. You’ll know better what a good course of action is then.

    But here’s the thing: Soon, calling the mom wouldn’t be the right course of action. Rather, calling Lynn herself would be the right thing to do. By the time teenagers are 15, 16, 17 years old, going through their parents isn’t necessarily the most effective way to reach them or to offer your support or help. A better approach at that point is to get to know the teenager. Invite her or him over for dinner, to the movies, to plant flowers. Involve the teenager in your family life. Then there will be openings for you to express your concern.

    Building a personal relationship with your teenager’s friends is often a much more effective way of helping them through troubled times than calling their parents.

    I talk about these sorts of issues on my blog all the time: http://adolescentsexualitytoday.blogspot.com/

    May your teenagers make it through.
    Karen Rayne

  2. Thanks for the feedback. Although Lynn is not a close friend of my daughter, they’ve been on the same soccer team for 6 or 7 years. But I have encouraged Suzie’s mom to mention it.

    I do agree with you that soon the parental intervention could do nothing more than backfire… and we may already be at that point.

    We encourage our daughter to have kids over as much as possible, for the simple reason that I want to know who her friends are.

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