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Author Topic: I stopped a public confessional for my 13 year old daughter about alcohol  (Read 568 times)
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« on: February 10, 2019, 07:19:46 PM »


This is a bit fresh... .and I've had a brief conversation with my P about it... She gave me some pointers on how to perhaps proceed.

I get called to D13s room.  She is sitting on a bed next to my wife.  D13 is crying.   Across the room the rest of the family is arranged and looked at her.

My wife has two empty bottles of alcohol next to them.

FFw says  "D13 has something to tell the family."

FF:  "What's that"

FFw:  "I was cleaning the bed and I found these... " she holds up the empty alcohol bottles

D13 starts sobbing more...

FF "Oh my... ."

FFw "tell everyone what happened... "

D13 starts trying to speak through the sobs... .it can't be understood.



I said "hey FFw... .isn't this something we should talk about privately?"  (I recorded this and I sound genuinely puzzled)

FFw says "no... I mean the entire family is here and they need to hear about it.

FF:  "after we have talked to her alone for a while"

pause... no response for 5 - 10 seconds.

I shift into mode of getting rid of the crowd

FF : "please leave the room (and I address each child by name... starting with D21 and go down in order)

FFw starts overtalking as I finish  "I invited everyone up here to hear about the sin." (she is getting much firmer... kids are starting to move and looking back and for at FF and FFw)

FF "I won't be part of this until after we have talked to her privately... .I'm not into public shame and I'm not going to do this."

FFw (overtalks) "I'm not publicly shaming

FF "K... .this is not appropriate for in front of the children"

FFw (insistent) It is... it is... it is

FF "No it's not.  FFw... .am I asking you to sin right now?  I don't believe I am... this is a spiritual matter...

FFw (overtalks)  "This is not a spiritual matter... ."  (rememb)... ."D13 has alcohol and the entire family needs to know it."

FF "Come on... .(i finish shooing the last kids out the door)

FFw (very loudly)  "You are being unreasonable right now... she needs to be able to confess this publicly... "

FF "To us... first... ."

FFw (very loudly)  "Not just us"  "Sin is not something that you hide and cover up"

FF "After she has talked to us"  (I finish getting last kid out of the room)

FFw (very loud)  YOU ARE WRONG!

FF "Then we disagree... .and how are we taught to handle a disagreement?"

FFw (loudly storms out)  "I'm never inviting you to one of these again... "

She storms off yelling.

We haven't talked much since.  Already had another meeting scheduled for 9... that's in 45 min.  We'll see if she comes.

Part of this is to help me sort out what actually was said... I listened while I typed.'

P said I was right to intervene although it likely created a shame reaction in my wife I will need to ride out.

Sigh... .this is getting old.

FF

 
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2019, 08:20:02 PM »

That scene would be horrifying to almost any young teen. My d is about a year older and will avoid anything that might cause her to cry in front of other people. How is your D13 doing?
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2019, 08:27:11 PM »

I am so worried about your children.

Living with the “sin police “ - how is this teaching them about a God who loves them unconditionally ?

Is this a cry for help on the part of your 13 year old?

I agree with you with intervening and not humiliating the child.

Maybe it’s time to drop the “s” word . I don’t think it was meant to be used in a family setting like that.
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2019, 09:43:43 PM »

A memory here... .

My cousin was called to pick up his daughter (age 13) from a slumber party when it was discovered the girls had been drinking alcohol. He took her home, told her to go to sleep, that they would talk in the morning.

He woke her early enough that she was still feeling the aftereffects of the escapade. He asked her what happened, she explained, and he said, "I am so very, very disappointed in you." The conversation went deeper, of course, but my cousin was able to reinforce expectations, consequences, acknowledge his own mistakes and learnings, and simply love his daughter through her experience.

No public shaming.

I know because the daughter confided in me to express how supportive her dad was, while her mother tended to go off the rails.

Positive energy being sent your way, FF.  Teen years are just beginning with this one, and she needs both of you.


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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2019, 11:59:41 PM »

Unfortunately, this is one of those indelible memories that will last your daughter a lifetime.

Good for you, FF, for disbanding the crowd for the public lynching.
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 04:48:42 AM »

I'm very sorry for your daughter.    I hope you can find a way to rebuilt the burnt bridges with her.

I know you can see the Karpman Drama Triangles all over this.   and how they shifted during the course of the event.    Interesting who ended up in the victim role.

while this is framed in religous terms and ideas, this very much looks like another trip around the triangle.

I would suggest you focus your time and energy on your daughter, not on your wife.



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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 05:03:58 AM »

"I'm never inviting you to one of these again... "



How many of these has she done?


FF- can you have a one on one with your D? Take her out to a quiet place, get a hot chocolate with her. Ask her to share her feelings with you. Something is going on. She isn't a sinner. She's a child.

I doubt she has the alcohol because she really wants to drink it. She may be curious but It may be mainly to feel accepted by her peers. Teens can look to a peer group for love and acceptance and if they don't feel accepted at home - they will do things like this to feel accepted by their peers.

She needs love and a safe space to share her feelings, not shame.


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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 05:34:39 AM »

Hang tough Brother,

You’ve got a lot on your plate there Skipper, it’s pretty tough I know when you have to step in ... .BPD or not, and wrestle the control yoke away ... .

Keep you’re emergency procedures handy and at the ready, and take good care of D13, ... .

Time for some quality father daughter time.

FFw, will have to wait until you conduct you’re own investigation.

It’s a tight rope, but you’ll do fine as you always do.

Keep posting ... .and prayers to you and you family Sir!

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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2019, 06:56:45 AM »

"I'm never inviting you to one of these again... "



I'm not aware of any... .

Defined as us becoming aware of a "private issue" and making kids do a public confessional.  , We often will have public examples made of public issues.  So... .one kid publicly takes something or antagonizes another kid, we'll have them publicly do kind things with instructions all can hear.  Basically... .don't hit Sally with her PB&J sandwich... .we should be helping each other not hurting each other.





Thanks for your guys support.  I had a brief conversation with D13 yesterday and plan on the hot chocolate thing today after school.  

My wife switched tactics this morning and was trying to be apologetic, saying that she should have went with me to talk privately.

I was still waking up but snuggled with her and tried to validate/listen.  She expressed frustration that I "don't let" her parent the kids the way "we" know is best.  She asked me to explain to her one time I "went with her decision".

Bad on me while still waking up for giving an example from a few weeks ago also regarding D13.  I wanted to ground... .my wife thought it was too harsh... .so I went with the "less harsh" method for the good of the relationship and compromise.

That was very triggering for my wife to hear... I left the room soon after as she was accusing me of lying... .etc etc etc.

I should have listened and said I would reflect on her question and get back to her... .and thank her for apology.  

OK... .back to the main point.  D13

We'll get together after school.  I'm going to sent P an email to make sure I'm covering the big things... .but generally the big thing is that I'm listening, she knows I'm in her corner, that sometimes we do things we regret and she can talk to me about that... .I'll hang out with her and not condemn her.  

Condemnation is very different that disappointment and talking about what would be better.

Oh... shifting back to my wife.  What should I say to the "accusation" that I don't do anything wrong and demands to give examples?  I don't see anything good come out of answering that "truthfully".

FF

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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 07:52:35 AM »


Of course we couldn't get people off to work/school without more oddity.

The latch on our front door has acted up a little bit.  Jiggle it and you can get right in and the 2 other doors work 100% fine. 

My wife goes out to the car and then shortly after I hear the entire house rattling as there is a thumping on the front door.  My wife is outside taking "running kicks" at the front door.

No knock... .no doorbell... .just start wailing away at the door.  It now makes sense why the latch got bent and started to act up.

My wife comes in and says she won't be stranded in the cold and has been kicking the door for a while now (the part that makes sense how it got bent).

She's ranting at top of her lungs... .some kids are walking around ignoring it. 

I didn't say much as I stared at her... sort of incredulous.

She got whatever she needed and stormed out.


FF

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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2019, 09:07:01 AM »

Well, admittedly this is from a "Daddy's girl" wannabe who was in that crazy triangle with BPD mom and didn't get the attention I wanted. 13 year old me would say "why are you all on my case to behave when mom acts all crazy?".

Had you been my father and gave me the "disappointed" talk, I would have wanted to say that's a load of cr*p dad, look at what mom is doing. Probably would have gotten punished for it too.

What did I want? I wanted to see good behavior rewarded. I got good grades, I was a good kid. The few dumb teen age things I did were to get attention or affirmation from peers. I was desperate for affirmation.

I think Dads are a girl's first love. It's not romantic love. It's a wish to be "seen" to know your Dad's proud of you and loves you unconditionally. Sure beats alcohol, drugs and boys. So- Dad- have that hot chocolate but instead of talking- listen. She's trying to tell you something. That's what the alcohol in the room is. Do this while you still have that window between childhood and teen age boys.



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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2019, 09:11:50 AM »



Had you been my father and gave me the "disappointed" talk, I would have wanted to say that's a load of cr*p dad, look at what mom is doing. Probably would have gotten punished for it too.
 

That's a good point... .I'll focus this conversation on the positives and our relationship... .I'll save any "correction" for later... .perhaps using "just a nudge" or "an idea to think about".

FF
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 09:23:43 AM »

How about this? No "correction" at this time- just a dad and me hot chocolate. Ask her to tell you how she's feeling, get into her world.

Why no correction? She's expecting to be chastised. She knows the rules. She knows it's wrong to drink at 13. ( and maybe at all if you are non-drinking Baptist). Correction of what teens already know is going to result in some eye rolling.

I don't suggest you indicate approval. Just assume she knows she did wrong. She's already endured humiliation and shame.  If she expects correction, she's probably scared. This is an opportunity to show her something different- grace- and a safe space to share her thoughts and feelings.

It's important to not triangulate with her mother. Let her vent about her mother if she wants to, but simply validate the feeling " I hear you feel frustrated".

Usually when kids act out- they know what they are doing is wrong. It's an attention cry. IMHO  she needs attention, not correction. And IMHO, no Bible quotes or what God wants or sin, or any of that -she gets enough of that from her mother. Let your actions speak on their own.
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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2019, 10:11:22 AM »

I agree with Notwendy,

From what you have posted about the incident here, all I can see is that two empty alcohol bottles were found. It is assumed that D13 drank the alcohol... .but there may be another explanation. How did she come to have the bottles? If she did drink it, would she not hide the evidence? Did she keep the bottles for someone else? Did she think the alcohol would impress her friends?

Too many questions here. It sounds like your wife jumped to conclusions and then tried to force D13 to tell her side of the story in front of an audience, which was likely very humiliating.

Grace and the benefit of the doubt sounds like the right approach to me.

As for the answer to your wife's request for examples of times when you have admitted to doing wrong... .

What would the answer be if you answered truthfully?

Would it make any difference? Will she not "accept" examples unless it is something that she thought you did wrong and you agree that she is right?

Or is that the point... .she thinks you have done abc wrong in xyz situation, and you do not share her perception. So, she thinks that you believe you are "never" wrong.

Sounds like a no-win situation to me, honestly.

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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2019, 11:05:04 AM »

In regards to the accusation of you don't do anything wrong and how to respond.

Your wife operates most frequently from the victim position on the Karpman drama triangle.    It's familiar to her,  it's what she learned in her family.  It fits her world view.

From the victim role,  the view is 'if X stops persecuting me I will be fine '.  From the victim role the view is " if X rescues me I will be fine. "

The common denominator is the I am not fine.

In other words,  this isn't about you.   It's about her not being fine.    I wouldn't engage in a conversation about who was right when but find examples of when she did something really well and talk about those.
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« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2019, 12:22:30 PM »

I agree with Redeemed. Finding out what happened from D13's perspective would be the place to start. I think we can all relate to being accused of something without having a chance to safely talk about what is going on. It may be more difficult now after the attempted forced confession.

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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2019, 12:34:36 PM »

I'm just hurting for the young lady. This is tough.
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« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2019, 02:56:34 PM »


Hot chocolate... and maybe burger and fries in about 45 minutes.

I after everyone left I confirmed that D13 did in fact drink a couple oz.  All that was there.  One tiny bottle (think airline size) and a cooking brandy with barley enough left to keep.  I had been doing the thing where you cook steak and light it on fire after you put the brandy in.

So... yeah... .it's going to be all about her... .hang out time.

I'll post more later.

FF
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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2019, 05:30:30 PM »


We spent an hour or so hanging out and steak n shake.  D13 can talk... .

All about what's going on in her world... .I'll try to share more later.


FF
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« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2019, 01:41:45 AM »

I’m late to the thread again but I’ll pop my 2p in anyway.

By the sounds of things you have learnt a different way with the help of the board FF. Pointing and saying ‘That’s wrong’... .‘sinnner!’ Is one way, a way that I sense is used a lot in the FF household. The other way is acknowledgment of the event or act so that everyone knows it’s there and then the deeper search for cause.

Your D knows right from wrong. My D8 has a pretty defined view on what is right and wrong, good or bad, she likely doesn’t need telling that what she did was out of context of your families acceptable zone. But the your D sees and hears your W taking running kicks at the front door and acting chaotically... .maybe for her what is acceptable defined by you and W is being reconsidered and redefined. Let’s not also forget that she is 13, and it’s developmentally healthy for her to emotionally and socially detach from you and redefined her own rules based on her wider peer group. What may be unaacceptable to you maybe acceptable to her peers and she has to make a value choice between the 2.

I’ve mentioned the film The Shack (also a book) before but it’s recently reappeared on Netflix. There’s a part at the end where the main character meets Judgement. Judgement asks him to become judge for a while, pointing out that he’s an expert at it. He spends all day judging other people’s actions and motivations based on the smallest of details. He’s then asked to choose between his son or daughter, who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. If you can, watch the film, it put a lot of things in context for me.

You W likely knows one way of parenting which is based around shame and guilt... .THE VERY THING THAT IS POISONING HER SOUL.

Great work on the chat with D13, do that more, you will open a whole new world you never knew existed and she will trust you. You have older kids so you know the score, and I have that all to come... .but what would I prefer, that my Ds know that I disapprove of sex before marriage and therefore wrestle with moral decisions on their own, or know they can talk to me in a non-judgemental manner and know that I am a resource to glean good balanced advice from. There is a difference between her knowing your values and her feeling fear of deviating from them. Your wife thinks she can force your kids to adhere to her way... .she’s kidding herself.

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« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2019, 04:42:45 AM »

A couple of thoughts-

If she drank a couple of ounces, for a teen girl, that's enough to feel a buzz. Why do people drink? To escape painful feelings. She didn't do something "evil" or "sinful".  She's hurting.

I know you are Baptist- is alcohol forbidden? It may be her form of rebellion against the type of teaching of Bible with all the focus on sin. She may think - well if I'm a sinner for anything I do, might as well do this.

Growing up with my mother, it seemed anything was unforgivable. We didn't have the type of religious atmosphere you have at home but it seemed anything was the crime of the century. Leave a toy out? Accidentally spill something on the carpet? Well you are the worst kid in the world. Is this how she feels- only described in religious rather than secular terms?

I am concerned for your daughter- she's hurting. Is there any way to get her to counseling- where she has a safe space to talk freely and have someone advocate for her. Her relationship with you is important, but a counselor would not be on the Karpman triangle with your wife as you could potentially be,



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« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2019, 05:03:03 AM »

Do you have an open and honest dialogue with your kids about BPD behaviours?

Do you think it is time to start having a more open and honest dialogue with your kids about 'emotional things' and 'events' they see going on around the house?

You found it very confusing as an adult to experience these kinds of behaviours until you were able to access the enigma machine of BPD and emotional dysregulation... .imagine how confusing it is for a child/teen.

One can get p!ssed because it's funny... .I did when I was 13... .then chundered 
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« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2019, 05:18:46 AM »

The discussion about BPD may be done better by a counselor. We didn't dare mention my mother's behaviors. It was the big family secret. She was able to hold it together in public. She also denies it herself. Saying anything to her about her behaviors would have provoked a large rage.

It's hard to bring up a mental illness to family members when the family member themselves is in denial. I guess one could speak of the behaviors, but still, that could come across as triangulation. A counselor could do that better.

I think it's a good idea. I think it would have helped me to not take her behavior personally as a kid. She blamed me for it and I believed her. I thought if only I was good enough, she wouldn't act like that.

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« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2019, 08:06:53 AM »


OK... .most of the talk we had revolved around the books she is reading and what her friends are up to.

She talked some about school and how her classes are going.

Little bit of kidding around because one of her friends lives very close to S10.  I thought that was great... .because we could get everyone together and have a great time.  Lots of eye rolling and detailed explanations about why 13 year old girls and 10 year old boys (especially the brother type)... .just don't mix.


On to questions:  I haven't specifically said "when mommy does x it means y and you should do z"

I have talked about when people do x, it's about them... not you, and you should do z.  And even then it sometimes still hurts... .

I'll have another talk or and then after that try to reopen the story for how I decided to take a sip.

Booze is allowed in my view of Baptist and Christianity in general.  The last "fundamentalist" church we joined (2 churches ago... .we moved churches due to military move) had a constitution that forbade drinking.

When I was chatting with the Pastors about joining I let them know I wasn't going to follow that, but that I also wasn't going to create a big stink about it.  They were a fairly new church and had basically copied someone else's constitution. 

He asked me how I sorted all that out and I said "Well... .if Jesus came back and performed a miracle and partook in that miracle... .you would be forced to follow your constitution and kick him out.  Doesn't that seem odd."

He blinked a bit... kinda grinned and said "I guess so."

I do believe the Bible is clear that we are not to get drunk... which is different than occasional drinking.

Practically speaking... we rarely have alcohol in the house.  It was rare to have it in my house growing up.  My Dad had pulled extra duty in the Army as a bartender at the officers club and basically had his fill of drunk people and drinking from that experience.

Perhaps at special dinners growing up there would be some wine served... but it was rare.

I'll be back later and see if I answered all the questions.  Thanks so much for all the suggestions and support.

This morning and last night my wife was "poof" back to normal. 
FF



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« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2019, 08:17:50 AM »

How do you get a kid into therapy without mentioning the elephant in the room? I wouldn't want to suggest to a reasonably healthy kid that they should go and see a T without any good specific reason... .and getting smashed up on a bit of grog at the age of 13 isn't a good specific reason... .getting smashed up a couple of times a week is a good specific reason IMHO. Experimenting or minesweeping at a party/wedding at that age is just growing up.

Notwendy's point about it being an unspoken secret is exactly the reason why there is a need to create an open forum... .and that might be an open forum away from FFw where this CAN be spoken about. It's the elephant in the room and elephants in the room cause anxiety and anxiety causes long term damage even CPTSD... .even BPD (I don't know). I've seen first hand what I believe to be the multi-generational impacts of 1 adult having an emotional disorder, the other adult having a good idea what's going on but keeping his  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) head down, and 2x kids not having a clue what to make of the outbursts from the PD adult. It's all well and good the "healthy" adult saying "I know she doesn't mean it", but I'm sorry, THEY (the kids) don't know, and it causes damage. Not to be dramatic about a couple of gulps of booze but this confusion/anxiety comes out somehow, some way.

Create a NON-JUDGEMENTAL OPEN FORUM for your kids to express opinions about YOU and FFW. This could be through burger and fries, this could be through walk in the woods with all kids. What board do they go on to express how nuts their parents are?

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« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2019, 08:42:41 AM »

She may think - well if I'm a sinner for anything I do, might as well do this.

Growing up with my mother, it seemed anything was unforgivable.

Same for me. My mother accused me of doing things I hadn't done and she refused to believe my denials. Then I got to the point of thinking: "Well if she thinks I'm guilty already, what's stopping me from doing those things?"
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« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2019, 12:01:50 PM »

Excerpt
She may think - well if I'm a sinner for anything I do, might as well do this.

Growing up with my mother, it seemed anything was unforgivable.

I resemble this.

I didn't have a BPDmom but I had a very critical and controlling mom.  I spent Junior High trying to be perfect. A- GPA, popular etc.  Still got criticism, so what's the point of trying to satisfy a mother that is never satisfied. 

At 14 I went off the rails... .older boyfriend, sex, drugs, rock n roll, ran  away from home, cut class the majority of 9th grade.

At the time I went to a "Communications Workshop" likely sent because I was such a mess.  One of the exercises we did was to imagine our parents coming in one at a time and sitting down in front of us and talking to us.

What did I imagine?  My dad in his business suit and brief case... .he was largely absent because of work.  My mother came in sat down and proceeded to yell at me.  Very enlightening.  Absent dad and yelling mother that was my home life.

As the 14 year old, the message I got was I was not worth my dad's time and I was always wrong from my mother, so why not just live up to my mother's expectations and act out, who knows I might actually get my dad's attention too.

As an adult I know that my dad had to work to support the family, and I know my mother wanted me to do the right thing.  But the 14 year old needed attention and positive reinforcement.

My dad started spending more time with me, we went out to breakfast before school a couple of times a week, and I started going with him when he ran errands for example.
He began to build in some more time for me.  My father saw and loved me just the way I am.

My mother just kept yelling and criticizing and it took 50 years for me to stop trying to please her by being someone I'm not and to realize she will never be the mother I need her to be.  It took me 50 years to accept the authentic Panda is good enough.

My advice is give your D13 more of your time and attention I know with 8 kids and a BPD wife that won't be easy.  But based on your daughter's behavior she seems to be asking for more from you.

Panda39
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"Have you ever looked fear in the face and just said, I just don't care" -Pink
GaGrl
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« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2019, 12:18:26 PM »

I'll weigh in with Panda - my year was age 15. I was subversive with most of my activities, but I did get caught skipping school, which got my dad's attention. Mom wasn't overly critical, but it was extraordinarily important that she maintain her status and "facade." Dad was a Southern Baptist deacon, very involved with his job tied to the Space Program of the late 60s and early 70s, so time with Dad was limited. The only time I got focused teenager attention was when I "colored outside the lines." I remember my mom telling me at one point, "You are so competent and make it all look so easy, I know I don't have to worry about you." So I gave them something to worry about.

 one-on-one time with a dad who was interested in me was precious.
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In yours and my discharge."
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« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2019, 04:13:16 PM »

As far as therapy for kiddos - especially teens, it is difficult when the teen themselves don't see that they have a problem. I thought that it would be a good thing to have a place for my d14 to be able to talk about the things that were going on in her life and the household changes after my h moved out. Well, d14 thought that therapy was something that you do when you have a problem. She didn't have a problem, and she certainly wasn't going to talk to some "stranger" about the family issues - that's "weird".

I'm curious... .  what is the supposed "sin" that she was supposed to be confessing?
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« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2019, 05:13:10 PM »


drinking the alcohol was the sin... .  I guess that's how my wife defined it.

Umm... .just occurred to me that I didn't ask what the sin was.  Hmm...

Hey... wait a minute.  Does the Bible say it's a sin to drink or have an age limit?

I don't think my daughter lied about it.  I suppose you could argue that she "snuck" it... .but people "sneak" food all the time.

Hmmm...


FF
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