View Full Version : Moms of teen daughters...
07-23-2005, 01:51 PM
Many of you have seen more than one post from me about my 14 year old, Megan (who thinks she is much older, wiser etc... than her 14 years).
We seem to be having the same issues all over again.
Megan is very independant...her father is extraordinarily controlling...and the two clash with venom. My father and sister were the same way and it made for some very unsettling times in our home when I grew up. Now I see it in my daughter and have very little control (her father and I divorced and have very bad communications).
Faire is coming up soon and he absolutely does not want her there surrounded by "those" people. She wants to go (for all of the wrong reasons) and I actually need her there because she is very helpful in the booth and it gives us something to do together that we both like, even with the daily clash over her garb and time unsupervised away from the booth with friends.
My ex has actually threatened to go to court to attempt to get an order against the kids going to faire. I'm not looking forward to this fight at all.
ANyone have suggestions on how to get her to cope better with a control freak father?
07-23-2005, 08:40 PM
She's a great kid, but man, you DO need a radio collar on her. Or a bodyguard. Is there any kind of a deal you can make with him, that she'll do something in return for going to faire? Some kind of compromise? And is there any way you can get court-ordered counseling or mediation for the both of them?
07-23-2005, 11:09 PM
I'll weigh in here as both a mother and a former area manager at KCRF. With everything that's going against your daughter attending and working at faire, as well as the struggles with your ex - I think I'd seriously consider her sitting this year out. My experience with 14-year-old female performers or crafter boothies is that they're hormones in a bodice and nothing but trouble looking for a place to happen. It's fine that she's in the booth with you - but I guarantee you that the combination of her age, her desire for independence and the garb struggles you cited - when she's hangin' with her friends and out of your sight, she's doing nothing you'd approve of - and certainly that her father would approve of.
Here's the thing - I really believe women are the true rules of the world, but I also think fathers of girls who are controlling are good things - at least while the girls are about 13-18. Fathers know what's running the the heads (big and little ones) of teen-age boys - that's precisely why they're controlling. Used to be the boys who so easily ran amok, but young women are unbelievably amoking themselves - primarily because they're beginning to discover their sexual/sensual power over the male of the species and they have NO idea how dangerous and life-changing their "flirting" can be. What they're flirting with is rape, substance abuse, sexual abuse, irreparably damaged reputations and worse.
And it IS the girls who have the control - because boys of the same age (and lots older) have so little control over themselves. Once a girl finds out she's sexually attractive, her brain ceases to function - especially if she doesn't have a healthy father figure in her life. And once she's given it up to a boy - it's public knowledge faster than light speed - especially in the small and sexually-charged rennie community. I've seen MANY a 14-year-old go from curious and attention hungry to slut with a reputation (that haunts her for years) in a single 7-week faire season - especially the ones whose free time isn't monitored or chaperoned. It's not an exaggeration to say I know of a girl who is now just 16 who has had sex with no fewer than 20 young (and old) men at faire in the past two seasons. All the girls her age knew it and shunned her - all the boys lined up to take turns with the "village bicycle" (you know, everyone gets a ride). I know this girl's mother - and I'd like to ring her damned neck because she was more concerned with her daughter not being mad at her than keeping her daughter safe.
Maybe you can work something out with your ex where he either takes responsibility for her while you're at faire (she shouldn't be left to her own devices), or he comes out on a couple of different occasions and spends the day with her. OR you guarantee him that during her free time, she'll be supervised so she doesn't get in trouble.
I honestly think, understanding he's an ex for a reason, your ex does have reason for concern about "those people." There are, quite frankly, some real scumbags who work faire circuits, as well as vast numbers of teen-agers whose brains are literally not fully formed and who make stupid, life-altering choices trying to prove they're grown up when they don't yet have the tools to make good choices.
I also speak from experience because my oldest son, who is nearly 21 now and headed to Army boot camp in two days, lost his virginity with TWO girls at the same time while "working" at festival ... and I was a manager at the time. Because he worked there and had free time available to him without being monitored, he was able to sneak off to one of the work sheds and discover his manhood. He did admit to me that while he was more than willing to do this, it was actually the girls who approached him and offered to provide the experience to him. He also knew they both had considerable experience even though they were younger than he. Needless to say I was very disappointed, but not really surprised.
After years working as a manager at faire, I and just about all my colleagues wish the festival wouldn't hire young teens in any capacity unless they're under the constant supervision of their parent. If I had time I could horrify you with story after story of things I've seen ... and I'm a downright liberal and pretty unflappable wench.
Not trying to be negative - just trying to give you a reality check that might help.
07-23-2005, 11:37 PM
We have a walking hormone in our house too (15 year old step daughter that DH has FULL custody of....no visitation from mother), so I can sympathize. I guess I would refer to your court agreement concerning his rights to tell her she is not going if it is during your time (unless he has custody and you only have visitation)...otherwise I would dismiss the claims of taking you to court concerning the issue unless something has occurred while at faire concerning her.
I guess the first thing I would do is make a list of pros and cons of taking her to the faire. If I decided she was allowed to attend we'd have to lay down some ground rules prior to going and make sure that both she and you agreed to those rules. One of my biggest mistakes is assuming my daughter realized HOW I want her to behave...for some reason logic evades walking hormones ;)
G'luck with your decision.
07-27-2005, 03:52 AM
thats....um.....wow. He'd actually take you to court to get them blocked from going to the faire....granted I havent been keeping up on the stuff about your daughter, but thats just...a little over the top. Your ex sounds like a little bit of a nutter to me and honestly if he tried to take this to court I think it would be laughed out of the courtroom. However, to save yourself emotional grief, you may want to tell her to sit it out this year
07-27-2005, 08:39 AM
Yes, Megan will be sitting out this year...it's best for everyone involved. Her over charged hormones and garb are a dangerous combo to begin with and her father is an idiot (he has literally threatened to arrest young men for speaking to er...he is a cop with a terrible attitude). I just don't have the fight in me for this...and there are bigger battles out there of more importance than this, although just on principle alone it more than irks me. He has to be remionded regulary (by the girl's therapist and law guardian) that we have joint legal custody and he cannot make unilateral decisions or control where I take them during the time they spend with me.
07-27-2005, 10:23 AM
Wow...I'm starting to see the reason why my mom doesn't allow me to bring my sister to faire....just by listening to the moms on the board, I'm starting to get a better look at my mom...
Just wanted to say thanks for that
And your ex husband is an asshole. Just wanted to mention that as well....
07-28-2005, 01:29 AM
LadyRadar - I don't know your age, but I have to say I'm impressed by your openness and your ability to see things that some people don't get until they're really old ... like me. :wink:
We moms don't do things just cuz we're mean and like to torment our children (that's just the added bonus ... snerk). We make some decisions because we've already been there, done than - got the scar to prove it and we don't want our beloved children to suffer the same fate.
The reality is power is just an illusion - and some parents give up their parental power and credibility when their kids are very young. But while you still have the power and you're certain you're using it for good, not evil - you have to provide guidance, boundaries and consequences while you can.
Hey - just a thought - but I'll bet your mom would absolutely faint with joy if you told her you're starting to get a little inside into her and appreciate her!
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