anonymous Asks ...
I am in a very difficult situation. My 14 year old daughter is flirting heavily with my new boyfriend and wearing inappropriate clothing around the house when he is over. She denies doing it but it is very awkward for him and for me. I think that she does it to get back at me for disciplining her for recent problems she has had like shoplifting and drinking in the park with her friends. I find it disgusting of course that she acts like this but I do not know how upset or worried I should be. Is this normal behavior for a girl her age.
Rachel Starck Says ...
This is a very difficult situation. It is normal for adolescent girls to begin experiencing sexual feelings, to experiment with dressing and acting in a more sexual manner, to explore the power sexuality can have. However it is very inappropriate for her to be acting this way with grown men, particularly your boyfriend. I would seek a counselor familiar with teen girls asap. Some ways to address it, might be to normalize her wish to be attractive, her attraction to boys, but to talk about safe and appropriate ways to express this. If your boyfriend is up for it, I might include him in the discussion. He could assure her that she is attractive but that the message she sends by this behavior is not attractive, but very uncomfortable. Ideally your goal is to have an open relationship with her where she can confide in you, ask questions and share what is going on in her peer group, without feeling judged. And in which she can hear feedback and accept some guidance from you, her parent.
I encourage you to seek suppport locally to address your relationship with your daughter, and her high risk behaviors!
Rachel Starck, LPC