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We have a 17 year old daughter who is now a Senior. When she entered the 9th grade she asked that we send her to a local private school she did not want to go to high school with the kids in our area. She wanted a better school. She was accepted into this private school and her first year there she met a boy in the same grade as she. My husband and I were very, very sceptical of this young boy and kept a very close eye on their relationship. Over time we noticed he controled her, and the wonderful girlfriends she had met did not like him at all and kept telling her she could do better. She continued to see him and over time and listening to him scream at her over the phone I felt he was mentally abusing her. He has a very bad temper. One night she was away at college field hockey camp and we received a phone call at about 2:00 in the morning from her boyfriend who we guess relaized he called the house phone in error and hung up. We knew it was his cell phone number so my husband called him back and he had a friend answer his phone and they played dumb and said they found the phone on the beach and did not know who it belonged to. We knew it was his voice. The next morning after not going back to sleep we called his mother who proceeded to cover for him as usual and called our daughter a whore, and several nasty names. WE have had several bad experiences with this boy and have made several tapes of nasty messages left for her on her cell phone. He is very controlling with her and has a way of sweet talking her. They broke up several times and she met a very nice boy at work and was very happy and then her nasty boyfriend would threaten to beat him up and then she met another boy and he followed him in a store one day. He seems to get back with her through her friends he sweet talks them and they then feel sorry for him and they talk our daughter into giving him a chance. She recently did this and he and a very bad boy he hangs with were in her car and the girl friend that talked her into to being with him and he and his friend went into the store while my daughter was filling her car with gas. The boys got into an arguement with the store clerk and threatened the store clerk to have their boys come take care of her and mess her up. My daughter knew something had happened in the store when the two boys ran out and made her drive away at the time she was not sure exactly what. The clerk called the police an gave them her tag number which prompted a phone call to us. We were very taken back that she told us how much she hated him and to find out she was with him again just broke our heart and trust. What do we do as parents to keep this boy away from her she is such a good kid and he is bringing her down. Is the peer pressure too much she feels she needs to be with him? He has that way with her and it is so scary. This is just some of the issues we have experienced with him. As you can tell the parent does not care she stands up for him allows him to get numerous tattoe's and one ear pierced and when I told her my daughter was not allowed to hang around her son as along as he hung out with the other bad boy she got in my face and told me that that was his friend and his mother is a stripper and she is never home and she was not going to stop them from hanging out. What have we done wrong to make our daughter one to be with someone like this. We brought her up to be kind and always told her to think about others feelings and I feel that is where we went wrong. She is too nice and can't stand up for herself. HELP


Michelle Aycock Replied: Well you do seem to have a problem. The problem being that your daughter is now old enough to make her own decisions when it comes to choosing her boyfriends. Her choices obviously are not the best ones for her. As her parents you must realize that her choice to be with this boy is hers and not your fault. You obviously want the best for daughter. You raised her to be kind and nice to others, however she must make her own mistakes and learn from them. As parents you can only guide her and hope she makes good choices in her life. You can let her know you do not approve of this boy, but ultimately it is her choice if she chooses to be with him. However, with her being only 17 years old you can set rules about seeing this boy. However, if she wants to be with him she will find a way. I believe as parents you are doing the best you can do by voicing your disapproval of this boy. However, you must also set rules, and follow through with enforcing the consequences if your daughter breaks those rules. Lastly, sit your daughter down and talk to her about her feelings and thoughts about this boy without giving your opinions. Let her know how much you love her and want the best for her, but that she has to make her own choices and learn from the consequences of those choices whether good or bad.
Posted On 2007-08-04 13:55:59
Mark Viator Replied: The first thing to consider is the reason why your daughter keeps getting drawn back to this guy. Does she think she can save him? Does she identify with him and his lifestyle? Or are there other reasons? Start by asking her, in a non-defensive way, as to what she finds attractive in him. Then ask her to think about if she possibly could see herself being with him forever. Does she think he would make a good spouse? Give her some "food for thought." Now, on a more serious level, your daughter seems to be drawn towards this individual, who apparently does lead a high risk lifestyle, either because she identifies or because she is being controlled. It does sound like mental abuse, or at the least, a very high level of control. While she is still 17, in a few years, you will not have any real "control" on her situation. Of course, the easiest way would be for her to see how this individual is not a healthy choice for her. However, it appears that they have a several year history together. You still have to remember who the parent is. She is still your daughter, and while you do not want to isolate her or have her rebel, you do need to stand your ground. Put some serious limitations on her ability to meet and see this person. She has already broken up with him several times. Perhaps, if enough distance, either physical or emotional, is put between them, she can make a better decision. Good Luck.
Posted On 2007-08-02 16:49:46
Annie Fox, M. Ed. Replied: This sounds like the kind of situation over which any parent of a daughter would lose sleep. From everything you've written this sounds like an unsafe relationship. Your daughter's not listening to reason (at least not in any consistent way so as to end this abusive relationship). Yes, I know the word is harsh, but this has all the earmarks of an abusive relationship... the control, the manipulation, the threats. She's 17. You are running out of time. In fact, you may already be out of time unless you do something to drastically shake up the dynamics here and protect your daughter. You say "she is too nice and can't stand up for herself." Either that or her self-esteem is so low that she believes she doesn't deserve better treatment. My advice is to take a three prong approach here. a) Do whatever is necessary to end this boy's access to your daughter. That means physical access as well as digital access. b) get the "good private school" involved immediately. Get their counseling resources and whatever else your tuition pays for on it. Continue applying pressure until they get the message across to this student and his parents that you will no longer allow this abusive relationship to continue. c) Get your daughter into counseling ASAP. She needs to understand why she has allowed herself to remain this boy's doormat for the past 3+ years. If she doesn't develop a spine and some increased level of self-respect, this will not likely be the only abusive relationship she has. Counseling is your best bet at preventing her from choosing these types of emotionally and psychologically destructive relationships. If you need to send her away to finish her senior year out of town, I'd do it. I hope this serves as a much needed wake-up call. I wish you and your family well. In friendship, Annie
Posted On 2007-08-02 10:48:05
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