Saw a Mom in the Grocery Today...

<p>My rule with my kids about when to tattle has always been: "is it a health or safety issue?" If yes, tell me. </p>

<p>This, to my mind, is a health and safety issue. If true, the parents need to know that their daughter may be engaging in unsafe sex; if untrue, the spreading of such rumors indicates a certain kind of school culture. </p>

<p>I would talk to the mom as follows: "my daughter heard a terrible rumor about your daughter and expressed her concern. I'm sure it's gossip but I wanted to make sure you were aware."</p>

<p>Hardest call I ever made in my life was to the mother of one of D's friends that had gotten pregnant. She was afraid to tell her mom and just ignoring the situation. D and a couple of other friends were worried about the girl and baby's health. The other mothers told their d's keep quiet and just let the mom figure it out..
I told my D to urge her friend to tell her mom, waited a couple of days and when she had not told her mom yet I gave her a call. Mom was upset but thankful that I called, we became better friends because of it.</p>

<p>rushedmom, the difference is that you KNEW it was true.</p>

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I would talk to the mom as follows: "my daughter heard a terrible rumor about your daughter and expressed her concern. I'm sure it's gossip but I wanted to make sure you were aware."

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<p>I think this is an excellent way of putting it, but I would go back to how well I knew the mom. Think of how many of these conversations we would be having with our peer parents if every time we heard a rumor about some kid, then almost ran into their parent, but managed to avoid them? </p>

<p>I also think the difference with us is that we are friends with a lot of our kids' friends parents, from high school. So if this story had happened with one of them, I wouldn't wait until I almost ran into someone in the grocery store. Again, I'm talking about relationships that are close, not distanced over the years. And I have often told friends of mine that if they ever had evidence of anything my kid did, that they know I would not approve of, that I would be very disappointed if they did not tell me. And, again, it would have to be about health and safety issues.</p>

<p>Once I made my peace, it is then my business to step back and never mention it to anyone, or even bring it up to the parent again, unless they initiated contact with me. </p>

<p>I do have to say I did this once; I blew the whistle on a party that I was very worried about (it involved underaged drinking, at a lake house, with no adult supervision, and had been disguised as a few guys getting together to play poker, but in reality girls were included, too.). Unfortunately, my daughter caught hell for hit because when I was talking to the other mother (who was a very close friend of mine), she became rather hysterical on the phone, her son, who was organizing the party, overheard her talking to me, and knew right away my daughter had told me about it. Yes, I felt bad about it, but had anything happened, I could have never forgiven myself. </p>

<p>One other time when I found out that a group of kids had all lied to their parents about who was staying at whose house and I found out they'd stayed at one person's house (whose mother was still grieving the recent death of her husband!) to all get drunk, I approached my daughter and told her I knew. I told her she had a choice; either I could call these parents myself, or each kid could choose to tell their parents themselves. Some chose to tell the parents themselves, and I think I had to call two parents, who expressed gratitude for my doing so. </p>

<p>Funny thing was, I found out about it about a month after it happened. My daughter and her best friend were stupid enough to AOL IM about it, and D printed it out and left it on her desk in her bedroom! Now if that isn't asking to be caught, what is? For what it's worth, about two weeks after their little party (and a couple of weeks before I found out), there was a horrible car crash where one of their classmates was killed, and two others injured pretty badly. So us parents didn't really feel like there was any lecture or punishment that make them feel any worse. In fact, one of the girls involved in the drinking incident, who was a year older than my daughter, and who felt some responsibility for looking out for the younger ones, actually wrote me an apology note for not being the mature one and knowing what they were doing was wrong. I admired her more for that than anything else she ever did! Class act. Make a mistake, own up to it, and apologize. I never lost any respect for her due to this incident.</p>

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Isn't most gossip speculation anyway? Why even mention it?

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The thing is that I would like to know if a rumor were spreading about my daughter, true or not. A high schooler usually needs some help in navigating the rumor mill in high school - how to act/address it if it isn't true, and what to do if it is.</p>

<p>Simply the fact of the rumor is, IMO, something most parents would want to know.</p>

<p>Would I bring it up to a person I didn't know well? Probably not. Would I tell a friend? Probably.</p>

<p>Would I bring it up to a person I didn't know well? Probably not. Would I tell a friend? Probably.</p>

<p>I was referencing the OP telling a friend, who apparently knew the girl who the gossip was about, but was not her mother.</p>

<p>Why would you continue to spread gossip to people who may not know anything about it?</p>

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"Whoa," I said, "What?" X is not in my D's circle of friends, but I do know that she runs with the "wilder" crowd in their grade.

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<p>NEWS FLASH - Teens have sex.</p>

<p>MTV's</a> 16 and Pregnant (Season 3) | Full Episodes, Photos, Episode Synopsis and Recaps | MTV</p>

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I was referencing the OP telling a friend, who apparently knew the girl who the gossip was about, but was not her mother.</p>

<p>Why would you continue to spread gossip to people who may not know anything about it?

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OK. Clarification of my post:</p>

<p>If the girl's mother were someone I didn't know well, would I speak to her about it? Probably not. If the girl's mother were a friend, would I mention it? Probably.</p>

<p>I would not spread the rumor or discuss it with anyone who is not the subject's parent/guardian.</p>

<p>"the parents need to know that their daughter may be engaging in unsafe sex"</p>

<p>Every single daughter in America may be engaging in unsafe sex, and every single parent ought to know that without being told. Those who need to believe their daughters will walk down the aisle as virgins are unlikely to change their minds based on anything their friends tell them -- unless, like rushedmom, you can tell her, "Your daughter's at 14 weeks, and I just saw the sonogram."</p>

<p>Its real easy to be polite and play dumb. I would have smiled , said hello and chitty chatted briefly, asking how everyone was. The issue of rumor or gossip about their kid would not have left my lips. Nothing good can come of that.</p>

<p>Ekty4, just to make sure, maybe I didn't explain this well. I would not tell my best friend (and have not), who happens to have a daughter in the same class. I WOULD tell her if the rumor were about her daughter. I would expect her to tell me if the rumor were about one of my daughters.</p>

<p>I don't have any illusions about the virginity of many/most teenage girls (the only reason I don't worry about D2 in all this is that she is attracted to girls, not boys, so although we have had birth control chats "just in case", I actually am pretty sure I have no worries on the pregnancy front). Anyway... I certainly engaged in some of those behaviors as a teenager, but I can see with hindsight that I really could have ruined my life if they had gone awry (pregnancy, drunk driving accident, etc.). I am pretty sure this mom would not be one who would disown her daughter for sexual activity, and probably has also had "birth control chats" with her kid. But her kid does not have the best judgment, and might have ignored them... But I really am a VERY casual acquaintance of this parent, and am not going to get involved. I am mentally prepared now to follow jym626's advice if I see her again and chat casually with no reference to this.</p>

<p>intparent, just because she runs with a "wilder" crowd doesn't mean she herself is wild. How do you know that she doesn't have "the best judgment"?</p>

<p>When I was in high school a few years back, I ran with a fairly wild crowd. I ran with the goth/punk kids, dressed in all black, etc and many of my friends did drugs, had run-ins with cops, etc. I, however, did not do any of these things (drink, do drugs, etc) but I had plenty of rumors circulating about me. Heck, at one point, I had supposedly left school to have a kid (I had pneumonia and missed about a month of school). How do you know that she's not like me? </p>

<p>Good idea to not get involved, but I do question why you are saying these things about her. It's not right to have assumptions about people just because of how you remember them in elementary school or who they happen to be friends with IMO. But that's just me.</p>

<p>You seem to be a pretty "cool mom", and it sounds like you have a bond with your daughter, which is good. Don't ruin the trust she has for you by spreading around the things she talks to you about. I mean, you can, but only if you don't want her to speak to you again. It's just not polite to your daughter, her friend, or the mother.</p>

<p>I knew lots of things about kids my child went to high school with, because he told me. I knew about kids who did drugs and kids who were sexually active, and kids who had STDs, and kids who were pregnant. I never said a word to anyone about these situations.</p>

<p>There were only two occasions that I contacted a kid's parent, in both cases the mother. These were both occasions where the kid had talked about committing suicide. My son was in agreement that I should call the parent in both these situations, even though I had to disclose that he had told me.</p>

<p>One parent listened but didn't respond and was cold about it. The other parent was grateful and thanked me, already knew there was a problem and was getting treatment for her child.</p>

<p>To intparent: how would you feel if some parent who you knew only casually came up to you to report that she had heard a terrible rumor that your daughter is gay? I suppose you might laugh it off -- but perhaps you would also feel offended at the idea that the parent was expressing disapproval in an area where I get the impression you have been very supportive of your daughter. </p>

<p>Many parents of older, sexually active teenagers are fully aware that their teen is sexually active. I don't have time or inclination to do more detailed research, but Wikipedia reports that 31 US states set the age of consent at 16, and another 9 set the age of consent at 17. See: Ages</a> of consent in North America - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</p>

<p>Many sexually active teens are not promiscuous or careless, but have formed a strong relationship with a romantic partner, and sometimes the parents are aware of the depth of the relationship and like & approve of the partner. It is also very possible that a sexually-active teenager who had a "pregnancy scare" may well have confided in her mother, perhaps before telling any of her friends.</p>

<p>I think you are mistaken in some assumptions you have made about both the parent & the 11th grade daughter. You might also be mistaken about some assumptions you have made about your own daughter -- Teen</a> Pregnancy Rates Higher for GLBT Teens Than Heterosexual Peers | BlogHer -- though of course I don't know your daughter. (I'm just pointing out that just because she is gay doesn't mean she's immune from pregnancy) In fact... that brings me to another observation: my daughter confided in me a lot and shared a lot of gossip as a teenager, but I often got the impression that the "gossip" was a way of testing my reaction over things that she herself had done or was considering doing. Just one more reason why it makes sense to focus on your own relationship with your daughter rather than worrying about the lives of the others she talks about.</p>

<p>Key word "rumor". It not fair to perpetuate something that is just a rumor, even if you have memories of her from scouting days of someone who runs with a wilder crowd. People thought my D ran with a wilder crowd, because their definition of "wilder" was anyone who doesnt hang or associate with the preppy crowd. My D hung out with the artsy, musician type crowd(piercings,emo) and there was nothing "wild" about them. In fact, more down to earth and real IMHO. So be careful of what your own preceptions are.
If I ever disclosed anything my D told me, I know that would be the last thing she ever told me again.</p>