My 16 year old daughter is starting to hate me.
She also wants me to allow her to sleep at her friends house's. I know these people but I dont want her to. I told her that when she had finished school she could, but now I have gone back on my word. These friends are lovely but there are some that I don't want her to hang out with because a couple of them are Asian and some of them are 4-5 years older than her. In the group there are a range of 16-21 year olds. I'm not allowing her to see some of her friends because of these reasons. She is mature and sensible. Should I trust her judgment? Will she end up hating me? What should I do?
A mature sensible 16 year old may be as responsible and mature as many 20 year old's. But you have a right as a parent to set a boundary to try to ensure your daughter's safety. Only you can decide what is appropriate for her. It's important at that age to establish some trust between you. I can easily understand your concern about her hanging out, and sleeping over with much older (adult) friends. But your concern about her being friends with Asians seems completely irrelevant and prejudiced. What race your daughter cares to associate with should have no bearing on the situation at all - and if you want her to go on hating you, then making an issue of this would be just the thing to accomplish that.
For a sensible older teen girl, I'd have only 2 main concerns: drug and alcohol abuse; and the potential risk of getting into a situation where she could be sexually assaulted. If she's completely aware of how to stay safe and you know where she will be, and who she is with - then it's simply a question of whether or not you trust her.
Don't make your decision based on your fear of her getting angry at you; base it on whether you feel you can trust her judgment.
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist
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