Consellor: Daughter off the rails

Q: Last night I read my 15-year-old daughter’s texts. She’d come home late from a party and had clearly been drinking. The texts confirmed my fears – drinking, boys, even inappropriate photos she’d taken of herself. I took away her phone and computer. Now she’s slamming doors and shouting that she hates me. I don’t know what to do except ground her.

Jenny Yorkshire

A: There’s plenty you can do to turn this situation around…

1. Read divas & door slammers by Charlie Taylor. I highly recommend this book to all parents of teens.

2. When you’ve calmed down, talk to your daughter and explain how your trust has been shattered and why you reacted the way you did. Then agree what you need to see from her in order for her phone and computer rights to be reinstated.

3. Banning your daughter from technology won’t change her behaviour in the longer term – you want to rebuild communication between you, so you don’t have to snoop to discover what she’s up to. By using the strategy’s in Divas & Door slammers – which include using praise for good behaviour or cutting pocket money instead of grounding – I’m confident you’ll regain trust in your daughter.

Emma Marlin, Counsellor


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