Friday, August 6, 2010

My 13 year old threatens others

Questioner: Lorena
Subject: Teen Lying

Question: My daughter 13 will turn 14 on Sep 15th, started high school in a new state, new town, etc. I am active duty military so I am currently in another state until 2 OCT. Today we got a call from her assistant principal stating that our daughter had written 3 threatening letters to a boy supposively from someone else who was her "boyfriend". The threatened boy and his friends were obviously concerned
 and brought the matter to the assistant principal. When questioned about the letters our daughter could not tell her who the person that wrote the letters was. Upon further questioning she gave in and stated it was her that had written them because the boy had done "something" that had made her mad so she was getting back at him. As a parent this is embarrassing to think that your child would go to such extremes and for what? I don't understand why she would do something like this and to the extent of threatening another student. If I were in her shoes I would be embarrassed and would not be able to show my face.

I have to admit that I am embarrassed to know that my child has done this and that we as her parents too may be viewed as a part of the problem. She's always worried about making friends especially because she was new to this school why would she jeopardize all her new found friendships, their trust, and respect for a payback that I am sure is not worth it?

I don't see how any teacher or other student is going to be able to trust her or ever see her the same again, especially when situations like these always get around. It is high school nothing is ever kept confidential even when the assistant principal may have asked to just keep it between them.

Please help! I feel lost out here in another state not being able to see any justification for her actions.

Answer: Lorena, I don't see an answer to a question I would be asking. What happened to your daughter to trigger this event? I am not saying her response was appropriate but I would be concerned to see what the event was that triggered her behavior. In addition you are right to be this concerned about her behavior. I would consult with a family counselor who will help her to address her feelings of self esteem and to express herself more appropriately.

M Kay Keller