confused father

bob47December 12, 2005

I am a single father who is trying to raise his 19yr. old daughter. While surfing the net, I accidently came across a website my daughter has setup in which she has a public journal section. In reading various entries I noted she has written some very hurtful, and humiliating comments about myself and lady friend. I am absolutely horrified and embarrassed especially since its for all the world to see. I feel this type of behavior is unacceptable and she should be reprimanded for her actions. My dilemna though, is what kind of structural punishment would convey to her what she did was wrong. Any advice would really be appreciated. Thanks

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1) She's an adult and entitled to her free speech.

2) Ummmm... Lady friend?? Meaning not her mother? Is it the situation that perhaps she's condemning your lifestyle and that that's what's got your goat? At 19, could it be that her morals are better than yours?

Just asking....

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 4:25PM
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There's nothing you can do, so don't even try. Your daughter, at 19, is raised. If you are still disciplining her, that may be part of the problem right there. Cut the apron strings. You need to learn to back off and let her begin to live her own life. Whatever the reason you are a single father, she apparently doesn't like your lady friend. You might need to take a good hard, long look at your relationship with this "lady friend" and see if there is a problem. Do you ignore your daughter and pay attention to your lady friend, does she treat your daughter badly. Is your daughter getting the message that she's not part of your life and your future with this lady friend? Has she tried to come to you with questions or problems, only to be blocked by your friend, or by your attention to this friend. She may be on to something. This may also be her way to separate herself from you and start to become her own person.

I'm a single parent with three kids, all in their 20's now. I decided that there were a lot of things I didn't want to know about my kids lives as they left for college and adult life. They've tested the limits, done some foolish things, made some mistakes, and had some great success, and I've always been there for them to come home to, and they've recovered, or we've celebrated, and they have gone back out to face the world on their terms.

While her behavior may offend you, there's not much you can do about it without driving her out of your life and creating a breach that will be hard to mend. If she's decent and kind and thoughtful and behaves appropriately around you, then you may just have to pretend you don't know about this, and never read that journal again.

The best thing you can do is give her a hug and tell her you love her. She'll never be too old for that. None of us ever are.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 8:10PM
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I have to agree with Momj47, she is an adult in some ways. SHe is 19, 19 year-olds tend to be very black and white. She has a "diary", she writes hurtful things, they are for her, don't snoop any more. It will be hard, but don't.


    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 10:25AM
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I have read your posts and after rereading mine, I noticed I didn't explain myself correctly. It's not only hurtful things she says about myself, but family members as well.I am aware my daughter has some problems and am planning on seeking counseling for her, but I find it hard to believe that you ladies condon having your personal life exposed over the internet especially with all the nuts out there. As for snooping, like I said I came across it by accident, and am glad I did because although my daughter is an adult she obviously is in pain, I would have never known this unless I had come across it since we have had a strained relationship due to an unfortunate circumstances.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 10:59AM
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I think we ladies (actually, I believe we are women, as is your daughter) understood that her comments were not only about you, but other family members as well. I certainly wouldn't condone having my personal life exposed over the internet, and it's not, but if my kids want to expose their lives, and comment on me or my XH, there's nothing I can do about it.

Is she in pain? Are you over-reacting? Be careful with your assumptions. Since your relationship is already strained, you need to be extremely careful with your next steps. Telling her she is troubled could destroy your relationship with her completely. She's old enough to seek help herself if she feels she needs it.

You clearly love her very much, but you may need to take a more hands off approach to parenting her. You have an adult child, and she will, like most children her age, probably resist your attempts to be her "father" (you know that eye roll!). And pick your battles very carefully, make sure this is the hill you want to die on.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 1:26PM
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Raising a 19 year old daughter? Nope, she is already raised!
How do you know she was writing about you and other family members......did she call you by first and last name?
I say you are acting in a very controlling manner....let it go and stop snooping may find out a lot more that you are not happy about.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 11:57AM
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Sorry but I agree, at nineteen she is already raised. I think she is using her internet journal as a new age diary. Which you probably wouldn't read. Sounds to me like she is doing some safe venting.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 1:08PM
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The truth hurts!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 9:00AM
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Bob, since you say you already have a strained relationship with your daughter, it may be a good idea to just try to sit and talk with her about the feelings she expressed on her site if it really bothers you that much. Mention you accidentally came across it and let her know how you felt about reading it. Of course she shouldn't be putting personal information about you, your friends, or family on it, so explain the hazards of that as well. Try to be calm and reasonable, even if she gets emotional. She does have a right to free speech, but everyone should repsect the privacy of others.

Yes, she is 19, but that doesn't mean after a certain age parents just wash their hands of their children. They should still guide them and assist them. Is she still living with you?

I think just reading your initial post the only advice is to talk to her since we don't know anything else about your life. To assume you are a control freak having an illicit affair is just silly.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 9:31AM
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She's grown, treat her with respect due any woman and certainly your daughter.

That would include an honest discussion. Is it possible for you to separate the two issues, that she is venting in ways that hurt and that she may be airing personal information in a dangerously public way?

Blogs and such offer all of us the opportunity to have our laundry aired in public. Public misunderstandings and embarressments are not just for celebrities anymore!

Seems to me the real issue is she may offer info that links the world with your family or with herself personally, and this may be dangerous. Other than that, this is just a high-tech version of talking behind your back. You could talk with her candidly about safety issues, that's what dads do. My dad worried when I traveled to Egypt and China in my mid-40s, that's my dad! (We continue to travel as a family but I am touched my Dad worries.) Someday she may regret airing her disagreements but she'll always remember her dad had her safety and independence in mind if you take the high road.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 1:16PM
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I agree with blackcat and athomein. Ignore the others. It's not because she's 19 and legally no longer a minor that she's an adult. If she's still at home than she is still being "raised". The fact that she even has a blog like that for everyone to see shows that she still has quite a bit of growing up left to do. If she was an adult then she would have already spoken to you about her feelings.
I agree that you need to have a discussion with her and ask her why she feels that way about your ladyfriend. Maybe there is something going on that you aren't aware of or maybe she's just jealous of your relationship with her. Sometimes,at 19, there just aren't any logical explanations at all so be prepared. I would definately tell her how hurt you are by the things she wrote and ask her not to publish them on the web out of respect for you and your significant other. Good luck!


    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 6:55AM
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I guess it matters what the hurtful and humiliating comments are. If they are the usual things teenagers go off on their parents and their parent's girlfriends about, I wouldn't make that big a deal of it.

I can't really imagine what could be said that would be so bad and embarrassing. If it's not made up, and it's that embarrassing maybe its something that shouldn't be done to begin with. Can you give us an idea of what sort of stuff she is saying?

I'm not really sure what she is doing is wrong to the point of punishment; it may just be an immature way to get her thoughts out. I would tell her, though, that family business is private and while it can sometimes be discussed with friends, it should never be noted on a public web site for everyone to view. Let her know the dangers of people having too much info. on anyone; that not everyone can be trusted and that info. is often used for very seriously wrong reasons. I wouldn't harp on what was said or felt (save that for a later conversation), just that it should not be shared on a computer site. And, without knowing what was actually said, I can only assume that no real punishment would be needed at this time.

And, yes, she may be an adult...but if she's still living under your roof, your rules still apply, IMHO.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 4:29PM
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Is she using her full name and your full names? Is the domain for the blog in her actual name (e.g., if your last name was Smith, is her domain something like

There are millions of blogs out on the Web. How positive are you that people you know will stumble across it?

I think you probably do need to have some dialog with her, but first be prepared with an answer for her as to how you found the blog. Was it bookmarked? Did you Google her name? etc., etc.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 2:57PM
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You guys are kinda being mean to this guy. It is true that she is an adult, but at 19 you do alot of stupid stuff, my feelings would have been hurt too Bob. I would probley let her know how you feel talk with her. I cant imagine rasing a child by myself and especially a daughter. There are things that guys just dont understand. Why is her mom not involved, may I ask???/ I do think what she wrote is wrong. People need to give you a break.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 11:07PM
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