15 yo with 21 yo? Is it 'fine'?

Lara - posted on 03/05/2015 ( 8 moms have responded )

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So my daughter is a sophomore in high school and she has a friend who's in university that is 21 and she's also female. She invited my daughter and also her college-university friends to a party and my daughter is DESPERATE to go. Except, I'm a bit worried. I'm really happy that my child got invited to an outside of school activity, I'm just not so sure if I should let her go along with a group of young adults in partying! My daughter has never done drugs or smoked, and always stayed out of trouble and been a good girl ever since she was borned! She's fifteen, not eighteen. Yes, there are pros and cons to this. They might try to get my child to do drugs and alcohol. I gave her a little more freedom to have a phone, to the mall ever since she turned 15 but she's still a MINOR and I don't want her to go on with the sneaking out at night, drinking, and adult business that are not appropriate for her age yet! I don't know how I should talk to her about this....I've met her friend before and she seems very polite and outgoing. I have a 'worry' about her going out with 18-22 year olds but she just tells me that I'm paranoid. I MIGHT be, but it's my job to protect her! So is it okay for her to party with grown-ups and constantly hanging out with them? I'm glad that she also has friends who care about her and include her and treat her respectfully, but there's a risk that she may be exposed to many "grown-up games". Ideas?!

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Jodi - posted on 03/06/2015

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"she created a fuss and stomped into her room, slamming the door. I don't know how to deal with this!"

Right there she demonstrated to you she does not have the maturity you think she does. She just acted like the little kid she said she isn't any more. If she wants you to stop treating her like a little kid, she needs to stop acting like one when you say no. She needs to be reminded that while she isn't a little kid, she is still a minor and you are still the parent. Stomping and slamming doors, however, is acting like a little kid. When she can show mature responses to your house rules, THEN you might consider reassessing the boundaries, but until she can show some level of maturity, she needs to know that this isn't even an option.

Ultimately, it sounds to me like you are getting into a debate with her about how she should be treated. Stop arguing with her over it. Set your boundaries, make it clear there is no negotiation on those, and just stop arguing. Of course you won't let her be an adult - she isn't one, she's 15. She can get over it.

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Jodi - posted on 03/07/2015

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Lara, what part of "she is acting like a little child when you say no" are you not understanding? The fact is, she IS still a child and she IS still acting like a sulky teenager. While not a little one, she is still not old enough or mature enough to be going to university parties with a bunch of young adults. You need to stop being her friend and parent her.

When you outline some of the activities you saw these girls up to on Instagram, what exactly did you THINK happened amongst young adults at college and university? That they sat eating ice cream sundaes, drinking lemonade and chatting about their nails?

Lara - posted on 03/07/2015

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I told her that it's okay. She asked me if she could 'add' them on Instagram, under my parental supervision. Social media and real life aren't the same things, but I am aware that she may: get bullied, inappropriate comments/photos, tagged in inappropriate photos, offer to meet somewhere, etc. I told her that I'll think about it. I don't want my daughter to feel like I'm treating her like she's a little child. I'm thinking of it as a no. Sorry. it's a BIG no-no. I looked them up on Instagram on her account .... and saw a group of girls doing 'activities' like standing on top of a rock and holding their bras out with no shirts that tagged #FreeTheNipples and pictures with nudes and all kinds of swear words that are not common AND ABSOLUTELY NOT appropriate for a KID.

Michelle - posted on 03/07/2015

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Like Jodi said, they way she acted when you told her she couldn't go shows she's not old enough to be around university students. She won't be able to say no to them if any of them offer her drugs or alcohol because she will want to look mature to them and will do it to fit in.
You just need to keep letting her know that until she's 18 you are still responsible for her and you will do everything you can to protect her.

Lara - posted on 03/06/2015

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I setted up boundaries - yes and no - and what she may and may not do. I told her that I understand that being in the teenage years is hard. I won't treat her like a baby, nor an adult. I explained to all kinds of trouble she can get into if I just let her go to a party where she only knows ONE person and doesn't know the rest of the people. (Drinking, sex, alcohol, law-breaking, underage driving, etc.) and that she may not know whether these people are good or bad influences. I also said that kids get into BIG trouble with the police when they go to somewhere without parent's permission with the police, and that especially getting into adult business can get her into more trouble if these kinds of activities are not appropriate for her age. I said it's okay to be friends with someone older, just don't EVER go anywhere with them without my permission or she'll have consequences and a LONG TALK and I'll take away possessions and her rights. I asked her where she met this person and she said that that person is always hanging around her school! Why would a university student be hanging around a high school unless she has a reason to!? (Picking up siblings, visiting old teachers, programs, volunteering, etc). I said that I'd like her to stay away from these people for now because I obviously do not know if she's safe.

Lara - posted on 03/06/2015

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Thanks, guys. I told her that she's too young to be entering any University parties. I asked her if she has friends in high school or younger. I wouldn't mind her hanging out with 16 & 17 year olds if they're good but she created a fuss and stomped into her room, slamming the door. I don't know how to deal with this! When she was a young child I ask myself "What kind of parent do I want to be?" and now that she's a teenager I ask "What kind of adult do I want her to be?".She says that she's not a little kid anymore and that I should stop treating her like one! I told her that I'm treating her the way any mother of a teenager would treat her and she says that I'm over-protective and won't let her be an adult. I just think it's inappropriate for a kid to be hanging out with a 21 year old and the parents do not even know her very well!

Mommabird - posted on 03/05/2015

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Too many reasons to mention on why she doesn't need to go. My opinion...she's 15 and has 3 more years before being an adult...she should be hanging out with kids her own age or at least still in high school.

Jodi - posted on 03/05/2015

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Your 15 year old is too young for a University party. I am not going to offer any ideas other than to make it clear to her that she is too young.

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