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Old 04-16-2010, 04:57 AM
StitchwitchD StitchwitchD is offline
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Default Privacy, teenagers, and openness

My head is still spinning, and I'm trying to process this.

Earlier tonight, the teenager sat down next to me and we talking in wordpad on my laptop:

Her:"you know what im getting tired of?"

Me:"What?"

Her:"Everyone at school, at least the people that have been over here and spent the night or something, asking if i've walked in on you and my stepdad having sex yet."

Me "WHAT?"

Her:"EVERYONE!! like, everyone, that comes over is like, wow she's flirting with him and crap like that and "there is so something between them"

Me:"Have you said anything to your mom about it?"

Her:"nope. but i did findout that you dont like hugging my stepdad and your always worried it will lead to sex...."

Which the last bit is a direct quote from a text message I sent him a couple weeks ago. She lost her phone, so she's been using mine and apparently snooping through texts.

There's never been an official relationship, so we've never told her anything, and there's nothing currently going on, so we could honestly say there's nothing going on, and just try to deny the apparently incredibly obvious tensions/chemistry, and pretend there's no history...but I'm thinking we need to talk with her, be honest, open, reassure her that she doesn't have to worry, and I don't know what to say.
(I've already told her mom and stepdad about what she told me, and her mom is the ultimate parental authority and decision-maker.)

Oh, and she's got her own little love triangle going on, she's got her long-distance boyfriend "Edward" and is still hanging out with her local ex-bf "Jacob", flirts with him non-stop, and has admitted to me and her mom that she hugged Jacob and got carried away and ended up kissing him. I keep making comments like "Why can't they share?" and her mom got her a Twilight t-shirt that says ""I can't change how I feel. Please don't make me choose"- Bella".
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Old 04-16-2010, 02:05 PM
kamala kamala is offline
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Hmmm... before you give her a reassuring talk etc., I hope you tell her off for snooping! Kids!
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Old 04-17-2010, 01:32 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Kids snoop, it's in their nature. They want to know what's going on in our lives, they look at us as role models, and they're not stupid. They know that all the "interesting" stuff goes on when we're trying to hide it from them.

I think it's important for parents to be honest with kids who are mature enough to understand it. The fact that the teenager is approaching you and asking these questions is proof that she's trying to understand it.

Kids learn behaviour from the behaviour of their parents, NOT how their parents TELL them to behave. If your kids realize that you're hiding / lying to them about your feelings, what do you think they're going to do about their love interests? Do you want them to keep that information from you?
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Old 04-17-2010, 06:49 AM
StitchwitchD StitchwitchD is offline
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She's not my kid...but yeah, I still try to be a good role model, and I'd
actually preferred to just be honest with her about it when she first seemed to suspect, which was at least a year ago. We talked about it back then, at which point there was something going on, and we were worried she'd see something and think her stepdad was cheating on her mom. But her mom seemed uncomfortable with talking to her about it, and as the parent, it's her decision.

By now, there's nothing going on, and the text she saw was about avoiding situations that could turn sexual, and relying on willpower, so I think that was pretty clear. I talked to her a little today, and she's suspected for awhile, but thought we'd lie to her if she asked, and when I asked if she'd talked to her mom, her reply was "Sure, I can see that 'Mom, is your husband having an affair with our housemate?", to which I pointed out that it's hard to get anything past her mom, and her stepdad and I really suck at being sneaky or lying. Then later on when her mom was home, we both talked to her about snooping, and that while she's a teenager and her parents pay her phone bill and her mother has a right to know how she's using her phone, I'm an adult and she has no right to invade my privacy.

I'm not sure if it's all perfectly clear now. I really didn't feel comfortable deciding how much to tell her without talking to her mom, but I didn't want to lie either, so I pretty much asked questions and affirmed what information she'd already snooped up: Nothing is going on, but there is mutual attraction, and that's sometimes hard to deal with. And there's no way we'd even be capable of sneaking around behind her mom's back, so if she wants to know, she should ask her mom.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:35 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I'm so glad we opted for just being out to our kids. I can't imagine having such a conversation. It's so much easier to say "get your hugs and kisses so daddy and I can go to bed" or if he's not here "get your hugs and kisses so GG and I can go to bed" and/or waking up in the mornings and having them relaxed and comfortable to call out to me at hte bottom of hte stairs-"mom which room are you in?" and be able to answer and not feel concerned about "OMG what will they think!"
Because they all know mommy loves Daddy AND GG and sleeps with both-so what?
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:34 AM
StitchwitchD StitchwitchD is offline
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Her mom is upstairs talking to her now. I'm nervous about her reaction, but hoping it'll be a relief to all of us. We all talked to her about feeling insulted by her assumption- that her suspicion implied she thought her mom was so blind, deaf and stupid that her husband and her roommate could be sneaking around right under her nose without her figuring out, that her stepdad was cheating on her mom, and that I'm a slut/whore/backstabbing bitch.

I think I would have been more upset with her for invading our privacy if I didn't already feel guilty about hiding it from her.
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Old 04-19-2010, 05:17 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StitchwitchD View Post
while she's a teenager and her parents pay her phone bill and her mother has a right to know how she's using her phone, I'm an adult and she has no right to invade my privacy.
I don't blame you at all for that, I certainly didn't meant to imply it's "proper" for teens to snoop through our stuff... just inevitable If I ever have anything on my phone that I don't want someone to see, I delete it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StitchwitchD View Post
We all talked to her about feeling insulted by her assumption- that her suspicion implied she thought her mom was so blind, deaf and stupid that her husband and her roommate could be sneaking around right under her nose without her figuring out, that her stepdad was cheating on her mom, and that I'm a slut/whore/backstabbing bitch.
But it's ok for you to assume that the daughter is so blind, deaf and stupid not to notice that her dad is sleeping with the housemate? Perhaps that was why she was snooping through your phone in the first place, to find out for sure. Teenagers are sex-crazed with heightened senses of sexual and romantic exchanges.

These are all reasons why it's so much easier to just be honest in the first place. Seems a little audacious for you grown-ups to be offended by her reaction when she caught you in a lie. What about the feelings of the teenager, who just found out that some of the most important people in her life have been lying to her for months?

You all lied to her, and now you're insulted that she believed you? hmmm...
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Gralson: my husband (works out of town).
Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."
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  #8  
Old 04-19-2010, 05:31 AM
StitchwitchD StitchwitchD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
But it's ok for you to assume that the daughter is so blind, deaf and stupid not to notice that her dad is sleeping with the housemate? Perhaps that was why she was snooping through your phone in the first place, to find out for sure. Teenagers are sex-crazed with heightened senses of sexual and romantic exchanges.

These are all reasons why it's so much easier to just be honest in the first place. Seems a little audacious for you grown-ups to be offended by her reaction when she caught you in a lie. What about the feelings of the teenager, who just found out that some of the most important people in her life have been lying to her for months?

You all lied to her, and now you're insulted that she believed you? hmmm...
We never actually lied to her, we just never sat her down and explained what was going on. The only times she directly asked were when it was really absurd, like the time she thought we were having a 3-way in the freezer in the garage, and that we truthfully told her that no, we were cleaning out all the old freezer-burned stuff at the bottom, which is really not the same as sex, which should not involve anything getting freezer-burned. We just didn't think she wanted to know, and if she'd come to us earlier and seriously asked if there was something going on, this discussion would have happened then.

Right now, they're functionally monogamous, he's not sexually involved with me, and hasn't been since last summer. So, all that is going on now is lots of UST, which has been going on for years, he thought I was hot before he met her mom, I had a thing for him before he introduced me to her when they were first dating. So, there was never an official relationship, we didn't think she wanted to know about our sex life, and there's been flirtations/tensions since before she met either of us- and it wouldn't have seemed appropriate for him to introduce me to his new girlfriend's 9 yr old as "This is D, I'd like to bang her if she'd get rid of the douchebag she's married to.".

I still don't know her entire reaction, but the little I got made it clear that she understands, and I'm hoping that us being more open about what we're dealing with will give her guidance in being ethical in her own situations.

Last edited by StitchwitchD; 04-19-2010 at 05:38 AM. Reason: forgot a detail
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