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First of all I must say you got quite the response here - 14 pages and counting! Dawn, let me say that your household in and of itself is quite stressful. Having two ADHD boys along with a developing girl is a handful. Seems like you are doing a good job of balancing attention. I have two sons. The youngest (13) has ADD. His having to have the last word is one of our bigger challenges - well, between him and his dad. My oldest is 16 and is totally opposite. The one that has ADD gets most of the attention, good and bad because you have to recognize the good that they do along with the bad. My oldest does not seem to have a problem with the attention thing, but when the youngest makes honor roll and my husband says Ďletís get pizza!í the older one reminds us that he is always on high honor roll. What a challenge!

Now, Iím telling you that so you know that I have a similar situation. I do not have a girl so I cannot speak from that. Have not had any problems with drinking or testing the sexual watersÖyet. Yesterday my oldest just told me he and ĎJaneí are officially dating. Then later that night, he was on the phone for an hour with her. He has had the talks about drinking, sex, and relationships. You have to rely on the other kids having been taught the proper way too. Even with all the teaching and good morals in your home, the influence out there is overpowering to say the least.

On the subject of reading the diary. Why would your daughter, knowing she was going away, leave it in such a common place? If she really didnít want you to find it, she would have hidden it better. Is it her computer desk or the familyís? From experience, I know that children NEED structure and routine in their lives - it makes them feel safe. Regardless of all that, there will be things that happen that you will not like. Feel blessed that you have had the opportunity to understand your daughter through her writings. I would not tell her you read the diary and see how she continues to write and where she keeps her diary. Donít girls usually have one that has a lock and key? I never had one. For my birthday this year my girlfriend gave me a journal and told me that I should only write happy things in it. I canít do that. It would take forever to fill. I canít write my true feelings either because I would be afraid that someone would read it. So, possibly not everything that she wrote was even true.

You have instilled good qualities and morals. You need to let her go to camp, have sleepovers, and continue babysitting. Although, with your sons being ADHD and her only 14 that may be too big of a job. Put limitations on each of these privileges. Reminder that no one is to be over the house when no adult is home, limit the number of girls sleeping over and possibly which ones can and canít, and let her go to camp. Is it a church camp? The kissing that occurred probably was due to the time and place. I donít think that there will be any thoughts of wanting to do that at a camp.

Do not feel guilty about reading her diary. You just donít need to tell her you read it. It will cause more problems than it will solve. You have the tools and sense to make the changes required without letting on that you know anything.

If you met me today, you would never dream of what I have done in the past. No amount of teaching will keep your daughter from trying things. As one poster said, she will do them anyway knowing full-well that they are wrong. Thatís what makes them so mysterious and thrilling. If she is depressed, and a lot of teenagers seem to be, get her involved in an exercise program. Maybe mother/daughter yoga or something that will help ease her mind and give her self-confidence. You will do the right thing. One problem you have though is that your husband wants to tell her that you read the diary. Make him understand that you will both be more effective and have the respect that you deserve from her when you make the changes than if you told her and then made the changes. She would rebel. You want to get closer to her not push her away.





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