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I caught my 13 year old daughter mitching!

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  • 21-02-2012 10:51am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭


    Dear all,
    I was here a while ago talking about some problems I had with my daughter (in 2nd Year) lying through her teeth, telling tall tales, taking stuff without permission etc. Most posters told me to relax and keep the communication going, which I have done.

    Now, however, I have found out through chance (she left her Facebook chat open) that she missed two classes (important ones: Maths and Irish) on the last Friday before the mid-term. When asked about it, she said she was at Choir, so did her friend who was with her. I still thought there was something fishy going on (from the chat and her face!), and yesterday, as soon as school opened again, I rang it and got her mitching confirmed!

    I have to point out that she's a more-or-less straight A student, very happy and talented, involved in a lot of activities, with a lot of friends etc. Her two weaker subjects are indeed Maths and Irish, which she needs to keep on top of...

    She is not overly spoilt, generally is not at all on Facebook except when on holidays, has no other real distractions in her room. She has been grounded etc numerous times for lying in the face of evidence and 'stealing' from us.

    Of course the school are going to pursue the matter, get her Year Head to talk to her etc.
    I collected her from school yesterday, we had a long discussion about it. She said she was in the toilets for the hour and a half with a friend. Of course, the friend denies even knowing where my daughter was...

    We are again grounding her, confiscating her phone (which she has been misusing to send stupid lying messages about being drunk etc...), etc. We got her to write letters of apology to the teachers she missed.

    Nobody lost their cool, we reprimanded her calmly and expressed shock and disappointment, and kept asking her to express herself. She cried and said (when prompted) that she felt embarrassed about doing it, doesn't know why, can't explain it...

    We are greatly shocked that she would go so far, the school might suspend her, they do not take such behavior lightly. Of course, I mitched myself, but I was sixteen, and it was for less important subjects!
    Also, over mid-term, she lied about this also to her aunt who she is very close to and confides in, even when gently coaxed and told there would be no serious consequences.

    I am worried my 'little-miss-perfect' (in other people's eyes, not ours!) is going off-the-wall, though her behavior and mood is generally very good. I'm hoping it's a little rebellious streak to test her and our limits, but her father thinks it all amounts to a general weakness in her character, all this lying etc.

    I'm still not sure she was actually in the toilet. What did she do at 13 for an hour and a half? There's mention by other parents of sexual activity going on in hidden corners of the school, and I read some very strange texts also, which she says are boasting and silly jokes...

    The question is: What else can we do apart from what we have?

    Sorry for the novel!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,252 ✭✭✭echo beach


    Now, however, I have found out through chance (she left her Facebook chat open) that she missed two classes (important ones: Maths and Irish) on the last Friday before the mid-term.

    Her two weaker subjects are indeed Maths and Irish, which she needs to keep on top of...

    Are you sure it was chance you found out?
    Most teenagers don't even want you to look over their shoulder at facebook much less leave it open for you to 'accidently' see. It may not be a coincidence that she skipped the classes YOU say (correctly) are important.
    Same with the texts. It isn't that hard to delete them before you see them.

    You and her father can disagree among yourselves about her but it is vital you show a united front. Don't let her get a hint that you may favour different strategies or she will play one of you off against the other. All teenagers test their parents and the first thing they want to know is which parent is weaker? Who will give in first? If she finds it's two against one then you have a much better chance of controlling her behaviour and getting her through this.

    Best to keep her aunt out of it. Your daughter 'confides' in her but she reports back to you? Same with her friends and their parents. The less people involved the better. Don't let it turn into a big drama.


  • Registered Users Posts: 225 ✭✭Shinaynay


    I'm a 23 year old girl & your daughter sounds exactly like me at that age.

    I pretty much threw my education away by trying to fit in with "cooler" girls.
    Started by lying to them in 1st year, telling them I smoked, drank etc. Then doing whatever they asked - mitching, chatting in toilets etc.
    This continued till I was one of those girls, sad but true. Theres no real solution to this, as it is more about your daughters character than the people she is hanging around with. If she moved s hools it would happen again.

    Maybe theres a younger person like my age in your family who could kind of mentor her? My brotber started playing up like me in 3rd year & I just sat him down and told him how I wasted 7 years acting the big cool class gob****e & broke our mammys heart not doing anywhere near as well in exams as I could have! He copped on almost immediately after the chat.

    Hope this helps.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    watch it facebook for parents a dads revenge

    sadly kids do not love there parents and treat them like ****

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl1ujzRidmU


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    Gee Shinaynay your reply hits too many reality buttons! She has lied to friends about drinking (which I know she hasn't) and having boyfriends etc. It sometimes seems like she wants to be cool etc, but I always thought she was more intelligent than trying to fit in with that crowd in that way. Also she actually is extremely 'cool', confident and very popular from what I gather.
    She wasn't easily influenced up to now, but she did say it was her friend's idea about the mitching (though she would, wouldn't she?).

    The Year Head has got her to say who was with her and the friend finally came clean, so I'm relieved that they were actually only in the toilets, not behind a back wall up to wild shenanigangs! They got after-school detention, and the Year Head expressed her shock and disappointment etc.

    I understand what you said echo beach about not blowing this into a big drama, the story is that she was allowed to go for a sleep-over to her cousins over Mid-Term, because her aunt assumed she hadn't mitched and pleaded for her. So that's how they got involved.

    The only younger person she confides in that could take that advisory role is my 25 yrs old sister, and she was a seriously wild teenager (regularly smoking Hash at 14 etc, being divorced at 22), while still being extremely successful in her studies. I don't think she would say the right things, to be honest...And I'd hate my daughter to model herself on her!

    She seems to be in great form as usual and got a high A in Maths (!) from her February test today, so the teacher couldn't really reprimand her!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,090 ✭✭✭BengaLover


    echo beach wrote: »

    Best to keep her aunt out of it. Your daughter 'confides' in her but she reports back to you? Same with her friends and their parents. The less people involved the better. Don't let it turn into a big drama.

    VERY good advice, having been in a similar situation myself, my daughter ended up using a family member in order to get her own way, and to get someone on her side, and it turned out quite nasty in the end, resulting in a big falling out.

    I have had this with my 17 yr old and my 14 yr old, and it needs nipping in the bud - not only can it turn into a habit whereby she misses classes, but if you think she is safe in school, and school thinks if she isnt in she is at home, and something happened, no one would know, so for her own safety its important.
    Question is how, thats the challenging part!
    Withold phone credit or refuse to top her up until you know she has been in school - most parents top up their kids on a monthly basis so they get free texts, so maybe monitor her on a monthly basis and give the credit as a reward.
    At 13, its more of a learning curve and testing the boundaries, but she cant get away with this, because then it becomes too easy to take things further.
    ~My 14 yr old ended up getting a suspension and being put on a contract, meaning any other misdemeanor would go before the board of education, this was for her mitching twice, and it shocked her so much she hasnt done it again.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,559 ✭✭✭Daisy M


    I remember your last thread and I am sorry you are still going through such a difficult time with your daughter. Firstly you need to be sure that the bragging she is doing via texting is just bragging and be sure she is not telling the truth if thats the case then you have a far more serious issue on your hands.

    Surely the school know if her friend was mitching from class or not how is she able to deny it? As for sitting in the toilets for 1.5 hrs well if she has company then she probably sees it as more fun than sitting in class.

    Your approaches to date havent worked I think you need to try something else. As for your husbands opinion of a weaknesss of caracter thats a bit harsh shes 13. From your last post it sounds as if she and your husband butt heads a lot could problems be stemming from to high of expectations? It also sounds as if all these dramas she creates gives her lots and lots of attention. A lot of time seems to go into discussing it and giving punishments maybe she likes been the centre of attention even if it is in a negative way.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,128 ✭✭✭cynder


    Just wondering what your parents did to stop you mitching?



    Perhaps it would work for your daughter.



    Also sounds like she is rebelling against the 'high expectations'


    Do you think your daughter is having sexual contact in the school?

    Perhaps you should talk to someone, i mean someone who deals with troubled kids, social worker or something and get advise.

    Have you contacted parent line? i've never done it myself but it might be an option.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    Thanks for the replies! As I posted yesterday, she was in the bathroom, the school is putting her in detention....

    Grindelwald, my parents never knew I was mitching as they were very unimportant classes for me and it was seldom. They trusted me at that stage anyway as I was focused and ambitious.

    She is probably rebelling against the high expectations, that has come up before, that we want her to be 'perfect' etc. Yet, she herself has those expectations, is thinking of elite universities abroad or Music schools... (That sounds arrogant but some teens have those wishes naturally). So she has to give herself the means of fulfilling those dreams.

    Funnily enough, my husband is a type of social worker, dealing with disinfranchised youth, and I am a secondary school teacher. You'd think we'd know better! I don't think she needs consulting with an adviser or anything yet.

    Daisy M I am sure she was only bragging as she was with me at the time, and has no access to alcohol at all. She was with a friend who brags about that though, and they sent those texts together.

    Also, it's to this (best) friend that she was mentioning being worried about her period being late (!!!!), which she explained to me as hating not knowing when it will arrive, the mess etc. You can imagine the shock I got when I saw that text though!

    Her phone is fully confiscated etc.

    She already has a lot of attention, only two children and she is the eldest. We love her to bits and always talk with her a lot, have a lot of fun etc. Maybe I am concentrating on her a little too much, but at least it's not lack of attention which made her misbehave.

    Yes, things are not always idyllic with my husband, I thought that might be an influence, but I'd like to know couples who agree everything on education after 20 years together. Especially coming from different cultures and background. I'm actually the much stricter one, whereas he might say nothing can be done (he was a wild teen!) I try not to argue those points within earshot of her, but she knows we are not always in agreement. Though she doesn't play that card really, just knows our reactions will be different, but the consequences etc will be agreed on.

    BengaLover I do think she is just testing the limits, seeing how things feel when you're a 'bad girl' etc. And I think we are doing everything possible to nip it in the bud...


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,425 ✭✭✭RedXIV


    Hey OP,

    Just to offer my 2c here, I've 3 kids in the house but 2 are still in nappies but I can remember being in school when I started thinking about having fun instead of behaving 24/7. I was an overachiever in primary school and in the early years of secondary school, In a school with almost 400 in a year, I was picked in the top 10 every year until 5th year to receive academic awards and I'm sure my parents were expecting me to become the next Einstein (as parents are wont to do :) ) so when 6th year hit, the one that actually counts and I started discovering the wonders of alcohol and that my near pristine record made teachers inclined to believe anything I said meant I was not only able to mess about in school, I was also able to cover for my friends when queried about our actions.

    In a roundabout sort of way, what I'm trying to say is that I was the model student/child/family member and I went off the rails. Anyone I've ever met who was a model student, at some point in life, goes off the rails. Its just the fact that she's growing up, she's starting to become more independent and she's leaving the phase where she did exactly what she was told 99% of the time.

    The reason I'm not worried is because, as you said, she's got her own ambitions and determination, and that's a powerful force to reckon with. When you are your own judge, nothing ever seems good enough and you push yourself harder. You said yourself that you get on great with her in general, that's usually the hardest part to achieve! She's old enough to know about long term goals at this stage so I'd be of the mind of sitting her down and pointing out that while maths and Irish may be two subjects she hates, they are mandatory for the L.C. and J.C. so if she wants to excel, she has to go to class. She can hate it, but still needs to learn from them.

    I'm really not trying to make light of your issue but I do think you have less to worry about than you think. Sounds like you've a good kid :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    Thanks for the replies!
    RedXIV I do think there is something of the model child going to taste a little bit of the wild life. I prefer her to do it now that at 16 to be honest, where it could be much more serious.

    She is still lying through her teeth about silly things, again this week...It's not even that she's afraid of reactions (I have none left, I'm just blank and despondent when I catch her now!) or consequences (she is already grounded etc so nothing more can 'happen' to her). I think it's just something she psychologically needs to do.

    Frighteningly, but interestingly also, a friend who I was confiding these issues to, told me she had noticed when my daughter was much younger, at birthday parties etc, that she was sneaky and devious, getting other people in trouble and yet appearing like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth!
    I don't know how to take it, actually I don't know if I believe my friend (who can be sometimes negative and envious) ...
    If it is true, then it could be a personality trait we hadn't spotted before, and it's a particularly nasty one!

    Any ideas on how to get her to be more honest and frank?


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