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My first thought is that a mother who thought a 15 year old wasn't interested in boys yet but who spends time with them was delusional.  If she wasn't interested and she's gone through puberty she's either interested in girls or is asexual.

It's possible this diary is fake.  I mean she could be trying to write upsetting things as bait because she's sure she can't trust her mother. Or she could be trying on personalities and is going through an Emma Chamberlain phase.  She could be writing fiction or fantasizing about having a more exciting life. Whatever is going on, spin the bottle is not something to freak out about.

Me being me I would probably approach it with honesty, apologize for snooping but I have these concerns and we need to talk about them.  But then I'm the type who would also have the birth control discussion with her. And I wouldn't approach it from a "Don't have sex," perspective, but from a "make responsible choices" perspective. And I'd make sure she knows just how fast you can go from making out to having sex, even when you weren't planning to.

It is normal and healthy for girls to have emotional space from their mothers at that age.  It's a hard transition, but a necessary one.

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Good group of Christian teens is not mutually exclusive from being interested in sex. 

She needs to stop freaking out, it is good and natural to be curious about this and to have these feelings. Was the talk about body parts just general jokey chat or was it explicit/suggestive? She needs to just have a calm conversation, I probably wouldn't bring up the diary, I'd open with 'so you have been spending a lot of time with the mixed group, what are the boys like? Do any of the kids like each other? It is natural at your age to start having feelings and being curious...'

I wouldn't be running out for contraception just yet! Perhaps the level of supervision needs to be looked at. But that doesn't guarantee that none of the kids will find a way. She needs to not catastrophise this, even if the 'worst' (whatever your friend considers the worst) happens, there is grace and redemption in Christ.

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Calm, honest, frank.

I have always encouraged my children to write down their feelings, thoughts, etc. -- as a safe method to fully express themselves.  I have informed them that these are "safe places" I will not go, unless I feel their life is somehow in danger (I've given examples).  I have also told them, that if they want to tell me about something, but aren't sure how, they can write it down and leave me a note to open the conversation.  Thus far, I haven't had to read or explore any of my children's books of thought.  However, as they go back and look at their younger selves, it really gives THEM perspective 😉 (Pokeman, now almost 16, has reviewed his thoughts/feelings/etc. from the past few years -- in much the same way LegoManiac did -- and was appalled.  He apologized to me and his dad, and said he didn't know how we put up with him).  

**For clarification** I have had the experience of (a) having my older brother read my diary to a group of his friends as a young teen and (b) have my older brother get out my diary and LEAVE IT OUT IN THE OPEN IN THE KITCHEN for my parents to read as an older teen (16/17).   The first time, it was highly embarrassing (we moved away not too long afterwards).  The second time, I had written down things similar to those mentioned by the OP.  In my case, I was saying and thinking things I never had done -- just writing down thoughts.  But that was enough to trigger a battle royal.  I have never written anything down again.  This situation damaged the relationship between my parents and myself terribly.  I didn't get past it for years.   It breaks a HUGE amount of trust/faith, and the ability of someone to develop their sense of self in what they feel is a safe manner.

Talk in a diary is often just that -- talk.  

Your friend needs to have private chats with her daughter.  Open up about her teenage insecurities -- things she wishes she had known at the time, done differently and why. These conversations are not easy.  They can be gut wrenchingly difficult.  I have to wear my "just the facts" face.  They are uncomfortable.  But, if I can't share my teenage indiscretions and the consequences (whether because I was found out, or how I felt afterwards), how can I expect my kids to feel safe around me?   Build a relationship.  Become the person for her daughter that she (mom) needed to be able to open up to at that age.  This also requires her to be calm, accepting, and to speak the truth in love.  All decisions have consequences, but they are NOT the mom's consequences.  They are her daughter's.  Remember, we are raising kids to be adults. They don't magically acquire the knowledge, understanding and maturity to deal with things when they reach 18 (or 16 or 22).  They need the benefit of what we experienced, what we learned, and why we made decisions (regrets or not), to help them learn.  This also (for us) anyhow has led to a feeling of safety in the knowledge that we are a haven.  We will always love them -- we can't always protect them from the consequences that result from bad choices, but we will still love them. 

I don't know how to answer the dealing with the diary part -- part of me says don't bring it up, and part of me says be hugely apologetic.  Just be aware, if she uses details from the diary when talking to her DD, her DD will probably suspect it... much of this depends upon the relationship they have built up to this point.

 

 

 

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It's time for mom to start taking advantage of car time.  I had the best conversations with my young teen when we weren't forced to look at each other but were in a confined area.
I agree, mom is naive if she thinks a 15yo is going to come to her first with all those thoughts.  And it's important for mom to separate thoughts and actions in her own head - she could be making mountains out of molehills.  The idea that her daughter has hit puberty may be a shock to her, but it's time to step back and look objectively.

Second, mom needs to start relating: talking about her own experiences as a teen, or talking about such n such on tv and how it could have been handled better or whatnot.  (Ds and I went through a LOT of teen/young adult movies and critiqued their idea of romance.  He did Romeo & Juliet that year, too, which was the most fabulous opener for a conversation)
And if this girl doesn't have a cool aunt, she needs one.  EVERY teen needs someone they can trust to have no judgement, but offer guidance.  For ds, it was a couple of mentors through activities he did.  He could have different conversations with them because of the fact they were not mom and dad.  And he got to see how they approach relationships and what it looked like for each of them.  In turn, I've been that person for some of his female friends - someone willing to tell them bluntly and honestly, but encourage them in appropriate steps and do it all in a friendly manner.

 

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Christians *are* interested in sex — except when they are children. 

Its a topic that requires discipleship not ignorance pretending to be innoncence.

The mom would do best to begin talking about these things like they are normal topics of interest. (Without acknowledging the specific content of the diary.) Among dozens of other topics... She should casually provide guidance around spin the bottle (issues of consent and mutuality vs ‘requirements’). She should affirm masturbation as something very human but farirly contraversial when it comes to avoiding lust while imagining sexual encounters. She should remind her about respect for others applying to boys and their goofy looking private parts — just as much as it applies to her and her lovely ones (golden rule). She should talk about how to tell if you are in a good relationship and how to insist on kindness as a foundational value for dating. She should talk about the unusual nature of the Christian value of abstinence in the context of the modern world (that ties in sexual connections at a much earlier phase of relationship building). She should talk about going further than you meant to, how to be safe anyways, and what to do if you’ve had intercouse even though it wasn’t what your best self really intended to do.

These (and dozens of others) are critical conversations. Christian parents can’t skip them. They need to happen so often that they become repetitive and boring.

Also, suggest that she and the daughter begin watching tv and movies together that involve sexual relationships — not graphically, but ‘wine before and sheets afterwards’ types of shows. It will help normalize the topic: that they both saw a character do that, and they were together, so clearly they both know that they both know. (I like ‘Gilmore Girls’ for this purpose.) Also, it’s time to authorize ‘young adult’ books.

Edited by bolt.
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8 hours ago, Katy said:

My first thought is that a mother who thought a 15 year old wasn't interested in boys yet but who spends time with them was delusional.  If she wasn't interested and she's gone through puberty she's either interested in girls or is asexual.

Baloney. Not all heterosexual teen girls are boy crazy.

Some just care more about other stuff at that age (or any age).

I don't understand why people assume that all teens are obsessed over sex all the time...maybe I was literally the only heterosexual teen in the entire history of the world who wasn't but that seems highly improbable.

 

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Edited!

I think relationships are a good thing. I think journaling thoughts are great! But for me, I had sort of dropped the ball with this particular kid because she was so good and easy going. I shouldn’t have had to figure out how to connect with her, you know? I should have had those conversations and family activities whether she “needed” them or not. I’m glad I read the messages because it helped me become a better mom and love her as a grown up with different needs than the little girl that I was still treating her like. 

Edited by WendyLady
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9 hours ago, Katy said:

My first thought is that a mother who thought a 15 year old wasn't interested in boys yet but who spends time with them was delusional.  If she wasn't interested and she's gone through puberty she's either interested in girls or is asexual.

I know that this is not true, unless your definition of interested is nothing like that the OP describes.

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8 hours ago, LMD said:

I wouldn't be running out for contraception just yet!

Truly! If the girl wanted to do that, she already had the chance. Spin the bottle, really? She's just trying to figure things out in a time of change.

I guess I don't know why this is so shocking. She's not a "young teen." She's an age where historically she could have already been married. We tell kids to wait till they're through college and grad school, a gap of 10 years, and oh btw stay chaste and out of trouble. Did she think her religion would turn her kids into temporary eunichs or something??? Hopefully in a few years she'll be through this and be more mature. No, I would not disclose to the dc that the parent read the diary, just step up relationships and REAL DISCUSSIONS.

Fwiw, I also made it very clear to dd that limits were about self-respect. If the guy doesn't keep it in his pants, he doesn't respect her, plain and simple. And if she does get pregnant, abortion is out and marrying the guy is out. So respect yourself and make good choices.

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Lots of great advice and I don't think I need to add more except that I agree with the others!  Except Katy.  I've known plenty of girls who truly weren't very interested in boys yet at that age and they weren't asexual or interested in girls!  They did have a lot of interests though and were busy doing lots of interesting things, and a lot of those things were in mixed crowds.

(I would NOT tell dd that I had read her journal.)  

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She sounds like a normal heterosexual teen girl. She doesn't even sound like she's near having sex. I wouldn't run out and get birth control. I feel like in this situation, that's likely to push her toward having sex. And I don't usually think that. But a girl who hasn't done more than maybe possibly played spin the bottle and thought about boys suddenly being told by a heavily religious mom who isn't comfortable talking to her about sex that she's needs to be on the pill or given a pack of condoms? Mortifying. And I think a lot of girls would be like, well, mom already thinks I'm doing it, may as well.

I would just start actually talking about sex, boundaries, consent, etc. I mean, it's time. I would stop reading the diary. Nothing good will come of that. The only circumstance where I would think that's okay is if the kid were already using drugs or was known to be suicidal or something - a situation where the teen had shown they were a danger to themselves. Spin the bottle doesn't come anywhere near that level. Teens deserve some privacy.

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There is a wide gap between “interested, alert, aware of the potential attraction development ” m and “boy crazy, obsessed”. 15 year olds fall all along that spectrum — but very few of them are actually completely uninterested in boys, to the point of having no romantic thoughts or feelings at all, ever.

Its not impossible, but it’s so unlikely that assuming *some* level of interest in boys (even if it’s kept private) is more sensible than assuming no evidence of interest implies actual lack of interest.

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12 minutes ago, bolt. said:

There is a wide gap between “interested, alert, aware of the potential attraction development ” m and “boy crazy, obsessed”. 15 year olds fall all along that spectrum — but very few of them are actually completely uninterested in boys, to the point of having no romantic thoughts or feelings at all, ever.

Its not impossible, but it’s so unlikely that assuming *some* level of interest in boys (even if it’s kept private) is more sensible than assuming no evidence of interest implies actual lack of interest.

Yeah. Seriously. The vast majority of 15 yos of every inclination and gender have started to have some level of interest in sex, even if it doesn't dominate their choices or interests and even if they don't discuss it with their parents or friends. And I loathe the term "boy crazy." I know what's meant by it, but it implies that interest in sex for girls is literally a form of insanity. 

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If I were giving a friend like this advice, I would start with why she was reading the diary.  Was there some reason that she was worried or concerned?  Or, was she just snooping and prying?  I am not sure what needs to "confronted" in the situation.  It sounds more to me like a wakeup call for the mother that her daughter is not a small child; she has her own thoughts, interests, curiosities just like other teens, including Christian teens.  There isn't necessarily something wrong that needs to be dealt with.  The mother needs to be opening the lines of communications for parenting a teen.

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3 hours ago, maize said:

Baloney. Not all heterosexual teen girls are boy crazy.

Some just care more about other stuff at that age (or any age).

I don't understand why people assume that all teens are obsessed over sex all the time...maybe I was literally the only heterosexual teen in the entire history of the world who wasn't but that seems highly improbable.

 

 

I think though there is a difference between boy crazy, and just not interested at all.  Most girls and boys by 15 have some level of curiosity about sex and notice people around them who they find attractive.

And even a kid who happens to be relatively less interested in all that - I tend to think that under the right circumstances, that might fly out the window.  

If a parent of a kid that age is still thinking of them as uninterested in the same way a 10 year old is, that seems a little naive.

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Truly! If the girl wanted to do that, she already had the chance. Spin the bottle, really? She's just trying to figure things out in a time of change.

I guess I don't know why this is so shocking. She's not a "young teen." She's an age where historically she could have already been married. We tell kids to wait till they're through college and grad school, a gap of 10 years, and oh btw stay chaste and out of trouble. Did she think her religion would turn her kids into temporary eunichs or something??? Hopefully in a few years she'll be through this and be more mature. No, I would not disclose to the dc that the parent read the diary, just step up relationships and REAL DISCUSSIONS.

Fwiw, I also made it very clear to dd that limits were about self-respect. If the guy doesn't keep it in his pants, he doesn't respect her, plain and simple. And if she does get pregnant, abortion is out and marrying the guy is out. So respect yourself and make good choices.

 

I think sometimes it's more that parents get caught short, so to speak, rather than that they thought their kids were somehow going to be protected.  Maybe especially with kids who seem low-key.  They just haven't really noticed how much older they are.

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