Parenting --Teens/Teen daughter arrested
QUESTION: My daughter is 15 years old. Last night she was arrested along with her friend's sister who is 18 years old for possession of a controlled substance.
At around 7pm last night my daughter called me for a ride from her friend's house. I told her that I was running errends (I was in the grocery store getting groceries) so told her to call a cab and I would reimburse her for it when I got home.
I got home around 8pm and she wasn't home yet. I try calling her cell but it kept going to voicemail. I was going to wait until 9pm then I was just going to go stop by her friend's house to see if she was there. But instead at ten to nine I got a phone call from the police station. They told me she was charged with possession of cocaine.
I went and picked her up from the police station. She had a notice to appear in court for monday morning and restrictions.
My daughter claimed she didn't know the drugs were in the car. I believe especially after all the trouble her older sister had dealing with drugs. But my husband doesn't believe her and is livid. He wants to take away her phone, computer and ground her for a month.
I think it is a bit excessive especially if she really didn't know. What should I do about this situation. My daughter has a dance coming up next tuesday and she is really upset because she thinks she is being punished for something she didn't do.
ANSWER: Each child must be judged individually, and trust is earned.
It sounds to me as if your daughter is involved in school or community dancing, and that it is important to her.
So, she didn't take a cab, but was given a ride home by a car containing cocaine, correct? Were drug tests administered to her and the driver? If not, all you have is her word. If she has given you no cause in the past to suspect her behavior to be like that of her sisters, you must, and your husband must give her the benefit of the doubt.
He should apologize to her. Explain how much he loves her, and that he was fearful she was falling into the same abyss of lies, deception, and bad choices as her sister. He should say, "Since there is no evidence to the contrary, I must accept your word, ______." (Have him use her name or a pet name he may have for her, and look directly into her eyes.) Then he should go on, with YOU by his side. (A United Front) "I apologize for jumping to the conclusion that you were at fault. You may keep your phone and computer, and go to the dance. As long as you Deserve our trust, you will Have our trust, but be warned. Any further issues like this, and you will be punished accordingly. Not only will your devices, and friendships be terminated for a period of time we deem necessary, but we will all go into family counseling together until this is resolved. It is necessary, and will be done until we are all better."
This said, I am more than a little concerned about you, and your relationship with your daughter. Why was it so important that she leave at that precise minute? Couldn't she have waited a few minutes for you to swing by after picking up the groceries, and then she could have helped you bring them inside? Children need to help out with household responsibilities to feel included. They need to know the small assistance they provide will help you, and help your home to function properly. What was so critical that she had to take a cab home? Are you a mother who indulges your child's every whim? Why? Are you in charge, or is she? What are you teaching her by letting her call the shots? Might it not have been better for her to learn to wait?
Just something to think about...and you must absolutely STOP the message that Daddy is mean and Mommy is nice. Remember: parents are A United Front. If a child can't see that, they will take every advantage to play one of you against the other to run things as they see fit. Not a good outcome for ANY of you.
You are just starting this voyage with her. Possession of a controlled substance is not taken lightly in any state. Unless the charges against her are dismissed (start praying for this right now, and contact the car owner to request they explain she was a mere passenger, and had no knowledge of the drugs) you are ALL in for a long and costly battle. If the charges are not dropped, she will need an attorney, and they are not cheap. Having this on her record, even as a juvenile, is a very bad thing. Do everything possible to get it off her record. Chances are great, however, that the driver of the car, in an effort to avoid charges themselves, may try to say your daughter was the one with the drugs, and that she hid them in the car to avoid having them found on herself. Get an attorney right away. Encourage your daughter to tell the whole truth. Lies are always worse than the truth, and will will out in the end, so start with the truth and get it over with, good or bad. Perhaps it's not tot late to have the container fingerprinted to prove none of her prints were on it. You must move fast on this for your daughters sake, and your own.
Whatever happens, you are family. Tell her you love her, and have lots of hugs. Nothing is stronger than love.
Good luck and blessings to you all.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: I don't go to her every whim, if anything believe it or not her father is more likely to give in to her, just not when it comes to things that are illegal. We got her a lawyer and she was offered a plea bargain for a fine of 1000.00 and probation and return she wouldn't have it on her record if she completes the sentence. She accepted because her lawyer says if she loses a case she will worst off. The sad thing is her father thinks she is guilty, so we need to discuss what we are going to do from here. He is more angry then usual.
I'm glad to hear that about you; it will be much better for her. Her father is another story...but as she accepted the plea bargain so rapidly, he may be right. Perhaps it is best to pay up and move on. Your daughter must know there is to be no more leniency for her whatsoever.
Glad it won't be on her record, but she needs to know this is an extreme blessing. She will never get off this lightly again, and perhaps needs to find new friends. That one was a loser, and must be out of her life forever.
Best of luck to you all in finding the solutions you need to become a happy family once again.