My daughter is an amazing child, every parent’s dream. She’s kind, smart, fun, easygoing, ambitious and adventurous. She gets great grades in school, does her homework willingly, helps out around the house. She’s also a fun and caring big sister to her two younger siblings.
This child has honestly never caused me any problems. So imagine my shock when a friend called up to talk to me about my daughter’s TikTok account. I didn’t even know she had an account, so I had never seen any of her posts.
To be clear, we were quite strict when she first got her phone about what apps she could and couldn’t use but, as I mentioned, she never gave me any problems, so we loosened our restrictions.
While on the phone with this friend (thankfully, someone I trust completely), I scrolled through her account and was horrified! She had mini videos of her dancing extremely provocatively with much older guys I’ve never seen before; smoking drugs out of various types of pipes; and pole dancing with very little clothing on her body.
Did I mention that she’s only 19, and usually looks much younger in baggy sweatpants, a ponytail and glasses? What has happened to my little girl???
Mom in the Dark
That is a shocking thing to have happened. I imagine by now that you’ve discussed all of this with your partner. And I also imagine that your knee-jerk reaction has been to get angry with your daughter. That’s normal.
Now take a breath.
Sit down with your daughter and find out why she’s posting all of these videos of herself, especially since they are so provocative and out of the ordinary for her personality. She’ll definitely surprise you with her answer, but give her the chance to speak.
Maybe the good girl persona that she played so perfectly at home felt suffocating to her. Instead of changing and maybe disappointing you, she created a space where she could go all out.
Together you can help her find a happy medium – a safe space where she can be the person she wants to be, which sounds like a combination of the perfect little girl and the outrageous vixen.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the dad/husband whose wife doesn’t like their new puppy (Oct. 17):
“I was the husband who didn’t want a dog. I made it very clear that if the dog comes, I’d leave. We got a cat.
“In my opinion, Puppy Love has now placed their marriage in a very dangerous situation. What else will he now ‘force’ upon his wife? What’ll happen now if his wife wants something he doesn’t?
“And unfortunately, the children have also ‘learned’ that persistence pays off. Wait until they reach mid-teens.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the brother who’s stopped caring about his appearance (Oct. 12):
Reader No. 1 - “I know that I may be an alarmist, but as I read this letter I immediately thought of my cousin. He started arriving at family occasions looking quite unlike his usual self. He had always been well groomed but now would be unshaven, unwashed and poorly dressed. He seemed to be completely unaware of his poor hygiene.
“These were the first signs of the dementia, which has now consumed his life.
“Perhaps a trip to the family doctor would be in order.”
Lisi – Oh no! That didn’t occur to me when I read the letter. I’m sorry for your cousin and I hope that’s not the case for the letter writer’s brother, but it’s something to think about.
Reader No. 2 – “The brother is clearly depressed and needs help to get out of the funk that COVID caused.
“I enjoy your column.”
Lisi – You, too, may be right. And thank you.
My boyfriend is lying to me. I know he’s lying and he knows I know. So why is he still lying? It’s ridiculous!
Truth shines through
You haven’t said what he’s lying about, which actually matters. For example, if he’s lying about where he spends his evenings and he’s actually cheating, then you need to confront him and sort out your relationship.
If he’s lying about his work when he’s been fired, then you need to tread more softly because he’s probably having feelings of low self-esteem. So don’t go after him. Just quietly mention that you are aware of his situation and you’d like to talk about it.
If he’s lying about what he did yesterday and you know he was shopping for a gift for you, let it go! If he knows you know, don’t feign surprise, but don’t bug him about it either.