Don’t Know What to Call This Thread

I’m losing at parenting a teen. Are others right and I’m wrong?

I don’t believe in the friendship approach to parenting. Apparently there are parents in our local circle who are “best friends” to their children.

I think particularly teens don’t need adult friends, but strict guidance. Incidentally these “friends” get their children out of detention for a whole hour and one got mad when her 13 year old was vaping with a 12 year old and that “friend” got her out of punishment by the school.

So my daughter could have done her one whole hour detention and gotten it over with, but no. She disrespected the official and walked out.

We’re not at this time having grade or learning problems, but her behavior is nothing to write here about. I’d ramble all day if I could, but I’ll keep it short.

Am I wrong here? Will have to deal with school officials tomorrow and really am not fully on her side here. Detention was all day where I went to high school.

One whole hour? And she refused so I’m stuck with drama I don’t want.

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No you’re not. But, I think it’s of utmost importance to understand them.

12 and 13-year-olds are in the developmental stage where they are starting to want to define their values (very basic values at this stage), and starting becoming socially independent. They may ask themselves questions such as, “what morals or values do I want to identify with? What groups or people do I want to associate with?” and so they make friend choices based on a person’s usefulness to them socially (like with social status) or otherwise.

Your daughter may just want to fit in- she doesn’t want to be rejected. I think it’s important for her to find better people to associate with, or at least expose her to, which is hard because it’s par for this age group. Peer pressure is so bad in middle school, and the sad part is, kids think that kids who smoke, vape, do drugs, get in trouble, etc. is cool because they want to rebel to an extent, because- independence. They want to feel independent.

I guess it’s a balancing act. I would remind her that it isn’t worth it in the end, that, those kids, what is going to happen to them if their coil explodes? Where is their money going to go, and their priorities lie? Does she want to be successful and have a good career and lifestyle, or does she want to go with everyone else and potentially ruin her potential? I think the last one is a bit ridiculous, but you get where I’m going. Remind her that she’s better than that kind of behavior and that she has more potential than what the other kids are doing. That she is above all that, and has so many better qualities than smoking dope at school.

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I went through that awful time with my oldest son, from the years 13-18. It was terrible; we bumped heads on everything and the shouting matches got worse and worse until I almost got to the point where I just said “ok whatever…” Him going away to college and being forced to be self-sufficient and develop a much better work ethic did the trick.
Now he is 23. We talk just about every day, and in his life I see so many examples that show me he DID listen to what I was saying all those years, even though he resisted so badly. If you are in the right, and you stand your ground for the right reasons, they usually seem to come around.

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Show her this article:

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Thank you both. It’s good to know I’m not alone in this.

After an argument I took a walk (in the rain, with mosquitoes) to calm down.

I remember the “my friends did it” at that age and older, like around 17-18. Yikes!

I’m actually glad now my parents couldn’t afford a particular trip I wanted to take one year, a summer learning trip. My friend who went got treated badly.

Looking back, various lessons my dad was trying to teach me from about 18-20 were right on target and I was wrong.

She was supposed to do detention for tardiness in the morning. One time was my fault, but I’ve since corrected that.

She’s mad at me ‘cause there wasn’t the housing budget to stay in our former district and I’m not the friend type mom her friends’ moms are.


I will.

Fortunately she hasn’t tried that.

The vaping is an actual example of behavior one of those “friend” parents didn’t seem to mind. Neither did she mind the girl having a boyfriend from 12 years of age.

So now this young woman is in private school in another town, and I wish her all the best. My daughter wishes she could be there, too, but it’s probably best we deal with the neighborhood school & my daughter’s treating an hour detention for tardiness like a sentence of death.

I’d rather not see her vape or get emotionally enmeshed in dating at 15.

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I don’t think that you are wrong, teenagers can be super hard, and I admire you for what you are doing. I was basically a good kid, but I still think back in shame of some of the crap I pulled.

In this specific instance, I think you have to back the school, and insist on the detention, as well as an apology.

One parenting hack I found helpful, (but must be deployed sparingly) if you are willing and able: use her embarrassment (about you) to your advantage. I found that merely mentioning that I might go into the school with them encouraged compliance. Grudging compliance, but compliance nonetheless.

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The friend model is not appropriate.

Best example…respect rules law…pay penalty…forgive…move forward… always move forward.


A few years ago I had an issue w/ my 15 year old daughter at HS. I received an email from her English teacher that she was talking with her friends during class and being disruptive.

I told her I was disappointed with her behavior, and that I had one primary job and that was to raise her and get her through school. I told her the next day I was taking off work. She was more important to me than my job. I told her I was going to go to school with her the next day at 730, and I was going to go with her from class to class until her school day was finished at 3. I was going to sit in each of her classes and watch her behavior. If any of her friends asked me why I was there, I was going to tell them to make sure my daughter was learning and not disrupting. She cried and begged me not to go to school with her. She absolutely knew that I would. Finally I relented and told her to write an email to her teacher apologizing for her poor behavior, and in it she must tell her teacher that it will not happen again because if it did her father would accompany her throughout the day at school if it did. Then I clicked “send” on the email for her. I never had any more issues with her at school after that one time.


At the time I posted this thread, I was on the school’s side. Now I’m wondering if that was the correct stance to take.

Really have not been a fan of the schools here for awhile. They’re very punitive if parents dare call, even if it’s to inquire about class progress, or if paperwork has been turned in for a class trip, just routine, normal inquiries.

Things have gotten worse with a new principal since last year’s retired. Pettiness reigns supreme.

So I come to find out the same punishment for a student who has come a few minutes late with an office pass is meted out to students who do worse and vandalize the building.

The teachers don’t even want to be bothered with this nonsense. They’d rather just take the pass and carry on.

?! The retired principal never enforced that rule, the new one seems determined in the other direction. Would these same individuals sentence a petty thief to LWP?

It’s insane & I’m sorry to bother you guys with it.