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Dr. Ficus, MD
Dr. Ficus, MD, Pediatrician
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 712
Experience:  14 years in general pediatrics and mother of two great kids!
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On shutting down my 14 year old daughters laptop i found messaging

Resolved Question:

On shutting down my 14 year old daughters laptop i found messaging of a sexual nature all from her side to her boyfriend. I did not think that anything like that was going on. I feel let down but stupid at the same time. I thought we had a great relationship, she told me she felt she could tell me anything. I am gutted to read these things. she doesnt know i have seen the messaging. I dont know how to broach the subject, please help!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Ficus, MD replied 2 years ago.

DrFiscusMD :

I'll do my best to try to help you with this issue. If you're available for chat, lets get started. If not, I can switch to e-mail.

DrFiscusMD :

I'm sorry you have these concerns about your daughter. I'll see if I can help a bit.

DrFiscusMD :

First, tell me if shutting down her computer is something you would typically do or were you actually looking through the computer (you have every right to, I just want to know so I know how to advise you to broach the subject with your daughter.)

Customer:

I was playing a computer game on her pc, something i do with her permission after she has gone to bed maybe 3 nights a week. It was on the screen when I shut the game down.

DrFiscusMD :

Ok. I think that makes things pretty easy for you. I would have a very open conversation about it with her. Pick a time when neither of you are tired, busy, or particularly stressed out and do it privately--just the 2 of you. I would start by saying exactly what you just wrote: "I was playing a computer game on your pc....etc" and that you saw the conversation on the screen and that it really disturbs and disappoints you because you thought you had a very open and honest relationship with each other. Then you might just want to stop talking and see what she says.

Customer:

I feel sick to the pit of my stomach

DrFiscusMD :

She'll likely start trying to make excuses or explain away what you saw (perhaps not). Listen to what she has to say and try to calmly respond. Do you think from what you read that they are having sex.

DrFiscusMD :

>?

Customer:

yes she said 'if you werent so sexy we would still be virgins

DrFiscusMD :

Ouch. Ok. I know how sick you are about this.

Customer:

my husband would go beserk if he knew, he is away til thursday

DrFiscusMD :

Ok, then you need to have a very frank talk about the nuts and bolts of this relationship. "Are you using condoms?" "Do you know about sexually transmitted diseases?" "You've made a very adult decision and I'm going to speak to you like an adult about it...."

DrFiscusMD :

Likely best to speak to her before he comes home.

Customer:

yes definitely! shall I take her to the doctor for contraception? I dont want her to think its ok to have sex at her age though

DrFiscusMD :

Absolutely! She doesn't need a pelvic exam or pap smear but you should definitely take her to her physician for a chat and I would recommend that you go ahead and have her tested for sexually transmitted diseases---more to scare her than anything. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV. Some can be done through urine test (chlamydia, gonorrhea) and the others are blood tests. It's ok to make her undergo a little discomfort over this decision.

DrFiscusMD :

Talk to her about oral sex, as well, and the need to use condoms then as well. The only thing oral sex protects you against is pregnancy

DrFiscusMD :

I have girls come in with genital herpes and gonorrhea in their throats from unprotected oral sex

DrFiscusMD :

And I would have the physician discuss birth control options with her.

DrFiscusMD :

Then, you'll want to set some ground rules about when and where she can be with the boy. You won't be able to keep them from seeing each other but you can control when and where and make sex a little more difficult for them.

Customer:

i just cant get my head around my funny nutty loving daughter doing this already. shall i speak to the dr myself first do you think?

Customer:

yes access cut down

DrFiscusMD :

A lot of times the parent will call me in advance of the appointment to give me a head's up. I think that's a good idea.

DrFiscusMD :

I'm so sorry. My kids aren't old enough for this yet but I know it feels like a kick in the gut.

DrFiscusMD :

You'll want to make it clear that you don't approve of her decision and that you're disappointed with her choice

Customer:

yes thanks i have a good relationship with our dr. thanks, XXXXX XXXXX feel i can talk to any of my friends about this i feel so stupid that i have missed signs

DrFiscusMD :

I think most parents are blindsided. The important thing is that you found out before she can get herself into serious trouble.

Customer:

quite by accident

DrFiscusMD :

Thank goodness for that !

Customer:

amen!

DrFiscusMD :

I wish you luck. Unfortunately you get to break it to Dad, too.

Customer:

i am defo not looking forward to that!

DrFiscusMD :

I would tell your daughter that she has a choice of you telling him or the two of you telling him together.

Customer:

ah, thats a good idea!

DrFiscusMD :

Try to keep your cool as much as you can and let him know all of the steps you are taking to address the issue. He's probably going to want to kill that boy.

Customer:

you bet

DrFiscusMD :

That's where you're going to have to talk him down.

DrFiscusMD :

I would then suggest that the two of you speak with the two of them together, letting him know you're disappointed in them and that you don't approve. Letting them hear together from the two of you what the rules going forward will be. That way she's not speaking to him for you and he will respect you more.

Customer:

blimey, not sure i could trust hubby not to blow a gasket

DrFiscusMD :

Well, you'll want to give it a few days before that meeting happens but I really encourage you to consider it.

DrFiscusMD :

Tough situation. This parenting stuff isn't for sissies. So sorry about all this. I wish you luck with it all. You'll get through it. You sound like a great mom.

DrFiscusMD :

(I'm not implying your sissies---I just mean it's tough in general---pls don't take that as an insult)

DrFiscusMD :

:o)

Customer:

i thought i was doing an ok job, totally gutted at this situation. does this dialogue stay up so i can make notes to move forward?

DrFiscusMD :

Yes, you'll be able to come back and access this chat any time. Just click on your original post.

DrFiscusMD :

I think you're doing a great job from the sound of it. It's just a tough age and they think nothing bad will ever happen and its all going to be happily ever after. At 14.

DrFiscusMD :

Tough lessons to learn on their part. You're doing your job to minimize the hurt that comes along with some of those lessons.

DrFiscusMD :

And I frequently have girls that make these decisions and then decide that this just isn't for them and don't do it again for many years. She may very well come around.

Customer:

I do hope so. I guess we need to throw in the 'its illegal' card too

DrFiscusMD :

Is it? Not sure about UK law. In the US it's only illegal if 1 party is over 18. If they're consenting minors its not so. Might be different there. If he IS older and it IS illegal then definitely threaten to press charges.

Customer:

both 14 and even if it is consentual the boy can be charged with statutory rape!

DrFiscusMD :

Wow. Well, then I would throw that out there in that group meeting and let him know that's a possibility if they don't cool it. Do you know his parents?

Customer:

i have met his mother once briefly, she is a single parent. He is a nice boy.

DrFiscusMD :

Well, if you think she'd be receptive I'd have a conversation with her. It might come off even better if that group meeting involved all 3 parents. Likely it's happening at her house, so she's going to need to help set the boundaries.

Customer:

yes they have not been alone in our house. thats a good idea to involve her

DrFiscusMD :

I think that might go very well.

DrFiscusMD :

Good luck with everything. Let me know if there's any other way I can help.

Customer:

thank you, XXXXX XXXXX lots of planning to do, but ought to go to bed its 03:12! I just couldnt sleep with the worry

DrFiscusMD :

Oh my goodness! Forgot about the time difference! Yes, get yourself to bed. You'll do better with some rest.

Customer:

agreed, thanks again and goodbye :-)

DrFiscusMD :

My pleasure! Good luck!

Dr. Ficus, MD, Pediatrician
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 712
Experience: 14 years in general pediatrics and mother of two great kids!
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Dr. Ficus, MD
Dr. Ficus, MD
7 Satisfied Customers
14 years in general pediatrics and mother of two great kids!