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19 Yr Old Naive Daughter

Question:

I have had a fairly good relationship with my 19 yr old daughter. She recently began an obsession with talking to people thru xbox on a daily basis. She just achieved her HS diploma thru adult school due to her being home schooled for 3 yrs of High School.

Her biological dad moved out of town when she was 9 yrs old. She has brought up wanting to move to Florida with some guy friend she met on xbox and claims she knows him since they also skype. Her father and I are trying to give her insight into the types of people that con young girls into coming wherever they are and they end up dead or a prostitute or abused in some fashion.

What can I do to be proactive and researching this person she continues to talk to about moving in with? She wants both of us to stay out of her business. She has no job or money to speak of but says he is making arrangements to have her come out.

I care and love my daughter too much to let her move to a strange town and a strange person. How in the heck can you know a person by skyping or xbox? I would appreciate any help….Thx

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Answer:

It is extremely frustrating and anxiety producing for a parent to deal with a 19 year old who is determined to do things in a way that you totally disapprove and especially when you fear for her safety.

I wish I had a simple solution for you but I do not. On the one hand, if you try to prevent her from going to Florida, she could become more rebellious. On the other hand, if you say and do nothing, you fear for what could become of her. You are in the middle of the proverbial “rock and hard place” where nothing you do can help.

In my opinion, the more you attack this unknown guy, the more you may force her into his arms because she will defend him.

It seems to me that all you can really do is let her know how worried you are about her. Let her know how you are feeling rather than warning her of him or of dangers. Those she will dismiss. However, she cannot argue about how you are feeling. Ask her if she understands how this is affecting you and your life? Ask her if she understands how worried and scared you feel for her and if she cares about those feelings.

While you talk about yourself you are on fairly safe grounds. While you talk about him in negative ways, you run the risk of pushing her away.

I don’t like saying this but, in the end, there is probably nothing you can do because she is an adult. Adults are allowed to make their own mistakes. At the moment you are fearing all kinds of terrible things, such as prostitution and drug abuse. When we are fearful it’s easy for us to fantasize about luring outcomes. If she sees him on Skype and likes him then you have to trust her judgment to some degree. If she goes I suppose you can give her “mad money” to be used to get herself back home is things do not work out.

Of course you feel worried and fearful but you need to keep asking yourself is you are over exaggerating you fears? In other words, be anxious but reassure yourself by whatever means necessary. People learn from their mistakes and as long as she knows she has a home to come back to she can learn and move on with her life. Do not, in anger and fear, cut the ties that bind you together.

I hope this helps

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