Daughter has been lying to me!

<p>I recently found out that my daughter has been lying to me. I feel angry, devastated, fooled, I feel I don't deserve to be lied to. She is leaving for college a week from Saturday and since prom night, about 2 months ago, has been hanging out with a new group of friends. She has worked very hard in high school and has always been very busy with schoolwork and extracurriculars. She always went out with friends mostly dinners, movies, some (very few) sleepovers. But in the past two months she has wanted to go out almost every day until late. I had to put a curfew because of this and she has mostly respected it. Then I found out she has a boyfriend for about a month and a half, so she tells me about him only because I already knew and asked about it. I already met him and seems nice, sweet, and comes to the house to watch Tv, I actually like the way he treats her and cares for her. Then I found out that at some of the parties that this group has had there has been alcohol, and that she has been drinking. She has come home after these parties and not smelled of alcohol or seemed impaired so I could not know there was any. We have had many arguments about the dishonesty and how it is destroying our relationship. But the more I find out the more angry I feel and I can't get past the lying. I also have a very hard time with the drinking because it is ilegal but also because my family has been destroyed because of it. I don't drink and never gave her this example. I also found a paper where she has been recounting the summer, and found out that there is more: sneaking out of the house to stay until 4 am at the high school field, being in a house at a party where she tells me she is watching a movie, etc.
Like I said before I am angry and hurt, I feel like a fool. I know because she is going to college there is not much I can do, I can't control what she will be doing. But I am devastating by the lying. I see her and feel like not talking to her, like asking her to leave forever, to get out of my life.
I have raised her entirely by myself, and we are imigrants so we don't have much family here. We have spoken about the lying and she supposedly tells me everything but goes right ahead and lies again, with the excuse that I ask too many questions. She is the type of person that is very reserved and doesn't usually open up to people but I thought that she could with me. We live in an upper middle class town and she went to a very good public school, and I have provided her with as much as I was able to give her, not many things but many oportunities.
Where did I go wrong?
I don't know what</p>

<p>If your daughter's been trustworthy all throughout high school then there's nothing to worry about. Undoubtedly, you've instilled good values in her! Teenagers get boyfriends and drink alcohol - it doesn't make them bad people, it doesn't make you a bad parent. She probably lied to you to avoid this exact reaction. You're right - she is going to college so there really isn't anything you can do. But she's growing up and I think she has the right to have a boyfriend and party once in a while since she's been so successful in high school and going off to college. I don't think you should worry about her. She's just exploring life. I'm sure she'll grow out of the partying.</p>

<p>What puzzels me is that I never said no to a boyfriend, I actually welcomed him when I found out, more so because he seems like a good boy. The partying doesn't bother me except the drinking only because like I said I have very bad memories related to alcohol and we have too many alcoholics in our family, so I worry.
I want her to have fun, I want her to experience life, but why shut me out of her life like this. I don't understand. I actually told her that her friends and boyfirend can come over the house, but they don't because they are somewhere drinking I suppose.
How can I believe anything she says?</p>

<p>True true! Well you seem like an awesome mom for being so understanding of her growing up. If I was your daughter, (no matter what she says haha) I would want to hear from you (in a calm manner) what your concerns are, what your expectations are, that you're not angry with me, that you're proud of me, that you understand, and that you just want me to be happy. I hope after a long talk she can feel more open to share her life with you! I know I would. Best of luck :]</p>

<p>I agree with Elbeeen. As a teen, we are all notorious for going through this phase. She probably didn't tell you because she didn't want you to get mad at you. It's a weird way of her showing that she didn't want to purposely hurt you, so she probably figured that since she's going to college soon, it wouldn't make sense to pick this fight with you now. </p>

<p>Teenagers are curious creatures. Especially in these days, where there's so many different things that teens can get influenced by. If she finished high school strong, you have nothing to worry about. The fact that you are so involved with her life speaks volumes, because oftentimes, a lot of teenagers lose their way because parents just don't care. </p>

<p>Stay involved. Ask questions. It's your right as the parent. You should express to her that she should feel scared to share her experiences with you - especially since she is going off to college. Teens just don't like admitting they are wrong sometimes, but stick to it. </p>

<p>Best of luck to you!</p>

<p>We've had that long talk already and I thought that everything was on the table, from her part and my part. But apparently not and now when I see her and no matter what she says I don't trust her anymore. How can I?</p>

<p>Your daughter sounds like a good kid who felt she had to lie because she knows how you feel. Let's face it, many kids lie to their parents about alcohol. You need to make sure she knows she can always call you for a ride when she's been drinking.</p>

<p>If she's sober when she gets home, she's not out of control.</p>

<p>Since she's off to college, you are entering a new phase in your relationship. Try not to judge so your lines of communication remain open.</p>

<p>As a grad student who did my fair share of underage drinking I am going to take the daughters side. Kids are going to drink and experiment. It is just part of life and as long as she is not going overboard, coming home drunk and driving drunk that I wouldnt take it to the extreme. How do you even know she is drinking at the parties? Maybe she just enjoys the people company and the freedom of partying a bit. Explain that you do not approve her drinking and remind her how great a student she is and how a wonderful school saw such potential in here. It seems like you are making this whole situation about YOU! YOU feel "angry, devastated, fooled".... how about you ask her how SHE feels and realize she is going through a lot of life changes right now. She just graduated hs, got accepted to college and in a week has to move to a place where she knows nobody. Its hard to go from living with your parents to living with strangers in a dorm/housing. I think you need to NOT make the situation about you and have a real discussion with your daughter about her upcoming college experiences. Believe me, she will listen... but she will also drink while in college.</p>

<p>Keep the relationship strong. Let her know that your love is unconditional -- that If she ever gets in trouble you will be there for her and you will not say, "I told you so." She may need you sooner than later.</p>

<p>Have you explicitly told her about the alcoholism in the family?</p>

<p>I think your daughter did not tell you about the alcohol because she knows how you feel about it. My guess is you have alcoholism in the family and you are totally opposed to alcohol. I absolutely understand how you feel but I have to agree with the others - she will have to make her own choices. I was a smoker for 30+ years.... my child promised to NEVER smoke and knew how very difficult it was for me to quit. Just recently he and some friends have started hookah (?) smoking. I am very much opposed to it (everything I have read says its as dangerous as cigarettes) but I know he has to follow his own path. </p>

<p>I would sit down with your daughter and explain how you feel about alcohol - tell her she is going to have to live with her choices. She will be leaving you soon and you want her to go off to college on a good note. Tell her you know she will make mistakes in her life but you are confident she will make the right decisions. </p>

<p>When I was in college the kids with the strictest parents were the heaviest drinkers...</p>

<p>She's spent 18 years becoming who she is today. She's not likely to change dramatically by a week from Saturday, so you can assume that she's going to experiment in college and have a social life that will include alcohol. This will make her a typical American college student. I'd stress teaching her how to be safe and responsible rather than preaching abstinence from what she's been trying out for the past two months. She'll also need to make a commitment to balancing her academic and social lives. You'll have more success in helping her do this if you partner with her through this process rather than clash with her over it.</p>

<p>Thank you for all of your advice.
Sally...I am talking here about me and about how I feel because of I felt I needed other's perspective on how to handle this. But when I talk to her I stress how much support she will need when she makes the transition to college, and not talking to anyone, specially me, can leave her vulnerable.
You...yes I have, and how much damage it has done. I don't want to be specific but it is pretty horrible. And our personality tends to be all or nothing, no middle ground, no restraint. But I have to say she is different and has exhibited self control where I would have not at her age. She insists that this group is responsible about how much they drink and that things never get out of control, she says if they suspect someone has had too much they stop the party and put everything away.</p>

<p>You didn't go wrong anywhere. What don't you understand about a typical teen aged girl?</p>

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But I have to say she is different and has exhibited self control where I would have not at her age.

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<p>and you turned out to be what, a bad person? You sound like a wonderful mom. And wonderful moms are good people. Stop worrying. She'll be fine. We all had our youthful indiscretion.</p>

<p>"I recently found out that my daughter has been lying to me. I feel angry, devastated, fooled, I feel I don't deserve to be lied to."</p>

<p>Teenagers lie, and why is that? Because they are ashamed of what their parents will think of their behavior.</p>

<p>I agree with glido. Focus on your relationship with your daughter and keep the lines of communication open. You can express that you are sad or worried about her misrepresenting these things to you. Let her know your concerns. Put the ball back in her court and see how she responds. By doing this, you might be helping her to think as an adult, and not just respond to you as your child.</p>

<p>OP -</p>

<p>In my opinion, you are going down a bad path. You need to realize that your daughter is growing up into a woman and needs emotional space. She is not just an extension of your feelings. The things you say are eerily similar to things my own mother said and she ended up (literally) driving herself crazy. That's all I'm going to say about my own personal experience; I think what you should do is sit down and talk with your daughter, and confide to her that you DO trust her judgment. I know it's hard to let go, but you have to. and while you think that your daughter needs to earn YOUR trust, maybe if you let her develop on her own without being so judgmental it will be YOU who earns an honest and open relationship with her after she learns that she can have adult conversations with you without feeling persecuted.</p>

<p>Another parent saying this is normal stuff. When I was a teenager we all did stuff like that and almost all of my friends from those days are successful professionals now.</p>

<p>But if there's a history of alcoholism in the family that's information that's worth passing on. I'd try to stress moderation but tell her that there's good evidence that moderation is only for the people who aren't alcoholics and that she has has to be mindful of what she drinks and adept she is at stopping.</p>

<p>I agree with the previous sentiments, and will also advise this: make a distinction between not telling you things and lying to you about them. If your D's personality is "very reserved," it's perfectly normal for her to keep her life private even from you (I say this from experience). You should be sure that your D knows lying is unacceptable--but also understand that she WILL tell some white lies, and keep them in perspective. Perhaps if you tell your D that it's OK for her not to tell you what she's doing, as long as she doesn't lie, then she will lie less. E.g. Had you ever directly asked your D whether she had a boyfriend? If not, then there's nothing wrong with her "lie of omission." You may want a closer relationship, but your D wants to stretch her wings and gain some independence.</p>

<p>OP, I just want to say I'm sorry you're going through this. Being lied to, by someone we love and trust, feels lousy. I'm sorry you're experiencing that and hope your relationship with your daughter gets back to a trusting and trustworthy one as she gains a little more experience and maturity.</p>