Friday, March 18, 2011

Stupid choices and their consequences

(This post deals with an issue that we're currently having with Hubby's 16-year old daughter who is living at our house part-time. Skip it if you're interested in my blog for the infertility side of things.)

I'm pissed. Angry and pissed.

Petite's big (half-) sister has f*cked up royally and Hubby and I are trying to figure out what to do without totally overreacting.

Petite's half-sister, La Grande (as I will call her), has a part-time job, which is fantastic. She works a few shifts per week, sometimes after school during the week, but usually on the weekends. This week is March Break so she has no school, and last night she was working. She was due to get off work at 9 p.m. and one of us was going to pick her up.

Well, during the afternoon, she texted Hubby and asked if she could sleep at her friend's house: we'll call her Friend1. Fine. No problem. We're good with that.

But something was niggling at my brain.

Two days prior, she had asked for another girlfriend, Friend2, to sleep at our house. Long story short: La Grande and Friend2 are interested in each other sexually (both identify as bisexual... that's cool by us, and not up for discussion here) so of course, we nixed the idea. Having Friend2 sleep in the same bed as La Grande would be akin to us permitting her to invite a male friend to sleep over; it's no different. And we all know that's not a good idea. So we said "no."

However, we did indicate that she could invite Friend2 over for dinner and to spend the evening at our house, which she did. The girls also went to Friend2's house for a bit as well before La Grande came home for the night.

Anyway, last night, after work, La Grande was supposed to go to Friend1's house to sleep. At about 5 p.m., Hubby called Friend2's house, and left a message for the mother, asking that she verify if La Grande could indeed stay there.

No call was forthcoming.

By 9:30 last night, La Grande and Hubby were texting. La Grande was saying that "Yes, Friend2's mom is here, but she's gone out to get us Iced Capps," so we still hadn't verified with the parent that La Grande was permitted to stay.

An hour later, still nothing. Hubby called again, leaving yet another message. And then started calling La Grande on her cell phone.

No answer. La Grande refused to answer after HALF AN HOUR of calling her nonstop. Friend2's mother didn't call first nor last. La Grande didn't answer her texts. In short, we had no way of verifying her whereabouts and we were angry at her for having assumed we were going to be played.

Hubby called his ex-wife at almost midnight last night to discuss the issue and keep her abreast of what was happening. His ex even tried to reach La Grande by phone, text, and Blackberry Messenger. No answer on either count.

Hubby and I both believe that she was at Friend1's house. She couldn't have Friend1 at our home so we figured they decided to move the venue so that they could be together. Not cool. Not cool at all.

How to deal with this?
  • Well, I'm figuring since she doesn't want to answer her phone, she ought not to have it for a week.
  • Obviously, she will now have to provide a list of ALL her friends names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. I expect to know her friends and their parents as well as where to pick her up if she's at "so-and-so's" house.
  • For the next week, she should not be permitted to go anywhere but school or work. And in my view, no sleeping anywhere or having sleepovers for a month.
  • She's shown irresponsibility, she's illustrated immaturity, she's completely disrespected us and our family, and I am disappointed in her behaviour.
  • If she cannot responsibly handle the freedoms that we accord her, we will no longer accord them; it's that simple.

Too much? I think not. But maybe I'm totally blowing this out of the water. The question now is, how to talk to her without completely blowing my stack. Hubby and I are both quite angry and upset. We didn't fall asleep until around 2 or 3 a.m. last night, waking at 5:30 for our day. I still don't know if Hubby or his wife have heard from her. And I'm thinking that a call to the police will soon be in order. 24 hours before they can call her 'missing' right? It makes me angry. What are your thoughts? How do you handle deception and lies from your teenage kids? I'm wading into this as a newbie so maybe your perspectives would help.


Dtrini said...

It's not easy, not in the least. From what you bulleted though, I am in total agreement. If you were from Trinidad, a full ass-whooping would be expected as well, but I digress.

The best advice I can give you though, having lived through similar and way more, is to NOT lose your temper at any time while talking to her. The best, most effective ploy is to be so icy cool while dolling out her punishment that it scares them into thinking what didn't you tell them.

Also, if you list a punishment, you MUST stick to enforcing it otherwise it was a waste of time listing it out and the next time (and oh yes, there will be a next time), they will expect the same ineffectiveness and your battle is lost.

Stay strong, stay together, stay unified. Make sure she understands that this is not a game and real evil exists out there that she is not yet ready to face and handle. Dudes like the Picton farmer in BC or the air force dude in Belleville exist in Canada and will prey upon people like her.

Oh yeah, if no one hears from her, at 24h00m01s, I'd be calling the cops.

BigP's Heather said...

I don't have a teen but I think you aren't being too harsh. My parents would have done that and MORE and probably beat the snot out of me...

I agree with Dtrini about not losing your cool. (Easier said than done.) And with sticking with whatever the two of you decide.

And really, if you two are in agreement, it really doesn't matter what the rest of us think.
Thinking of you!!