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A Little Drinking, Sex, and Curfew Violation

Dear Mark,I totally appreciate your e-book and study almost everyday. We are in the middle of the battle with a 17 year old daughter and we are staying above water. If you could help me with a few questions.

She has snuck out twice. The second time at her dad's where she thought she would not get caught. This time it was a little drinking, sex, and out the whole nig  This boy wants to marry and he is trouble. My daughter has always been very quite and made A's, B's in school …now, mostly C's and wants to live with him and his mother. They have no rules or structure in their home and he is constantly telling my daughter I am the enemy and I am horrible. When I get off track with how to react, I go back to the guidelines you have set up in your e-book and start over.

The question is this boy? We, her dad, step-dad and myself, do not want her seeing him and we want her to get back on track with studies and what she needs to do to head for college. Do you have anymore wisdom for me? We have been advised to get family counseling. My daughter does not want anything to do with it.  HELP! Ms. B.


Hi Ms. B.,

You have a Romeo & Juliet phenomenon on your hands that will need to be diffused (if not, they will continue to work harder at sneaking their rendezvous behind your back).

Unfortunately, if your daughter wants to be with someone -- she'll find a way, no matter what you say or do. Parents can only guide their children in the right direction and hope for the best. If they do a good job, their daughter will make the right decision all on her own. 
Since you will not be successful at keeping those two apart, you must adopt a philosophy of if you can’t beat ‘em - join ‘em. In other words, they should be able to see one another within limits, and you decide what those limits are. Maybe your limits will look something like this:

· They can be together at your house only during those times that you are home and can monitor their behavior (if not, he has to leave)

· Or you could schedule some activity for them in which you would be a distant chaperon (e.g., take them to a shopping plaza and tell them to meet you back at the coffee shop in exactly one hour)

· Or your daughter is allowed to go over to her boyfriend’s house for a designated time period (if she violates the time limit, there is a consequence that is commensurate with the “crime”)

Figure out a way for your daughter to see her boyfriend in a way that will keep her safe. This is the best you will be able to do.


How much longer will you tolerate dishonesty and disrespect? How many more temper tantrums and arguments will you endure? Have you wasted a lot of time and energy trying to make your child change?  ==> If so, then this may be the most important article you'll ever read!

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