I have a 12 year old daughter (just shy of her 13th birthday) and I am having an absolute nightmare with her at the moment. She seems to have a group of friends who don't have boundaries (staying out late, not getting grounded, parents don't check their social media etc.) so every time I try and enforce a boundary on her, World War 3 starts, and I'm the worst mum in the world. 

Over the last fortnight she has been hanging around with a boy from a different high school (same age, same school year), which I'm unhappy about anyway as I have no contact with his parents nor have I ever met him, and last weekend I told her what time I had wanted her home, 6 hours before this time. She was late having been hanging around with him. I took her phone away and it became clear that the reason she had been with him that day was that she had had her first "proper" kiss with him. I made sure she came home every night from school on time, and told her she could go out on Saturday.

Saturday evening, again having been with him, she came home with a hickey on her neck (I know, she's 12!!!!). I obviously hit the roof at this and tried to explain to her that she is not mature enough to be doing this sort of thing (especially, it seems, in public!). My ex-partner then decided to inform me that he had found messages on his tablet between her and this boy, where he is telling my daughter what he would like to do to her sexually, and she doesn't seem to be telling him that she wouldn't do any of it which scares me that he will think she's "up for it" and try his luck. I made it very clear with her how unhappy I was with her at all of this and that she is 12, she's not mature enough etc. and she decided to "run away". I let her go purely because I thought that the mood we were both in, it wasn't fair to chase after her.

Around 2 or 3 hours later, a mother from my daughter's school text me to let me know that my daughter was in the park telling people that I had hit her. I then went down to the park, offered her my phone and told her to ring the police, which she would not do. I tried this 3 times. In the end, I called 101, explained the situation, and asked them if there was anything they could do to advise her how serious this sort of accusation is. 2 police officers came to our home at around 9pm last night. They spoke with me first, then with my daughter. They explained to her the seriousness and the repercussions of it, and they felt happy with the conversation. 

But I don't. I don't feel like they have sorted anything. She didn't seem scared, or panicked by what could happen, she just seemed a bit like "I don't care what you say, you're not going to do anything about it" sort of attitude. 

Is there any organisation I could contact about this? Would some sort of counselling do her any good as to why she is acting the way she is? I just don't feel like she's my daughter anymore.
Hi, I understand that this is a difficult and upsetting situation. Since there's been no crime, there is very little the police can besides talk to your daughter. I'm sure you're aware that children your daughter's age tend to act out and rebel against their parents to push boundaries, and it sounds as though her group of friends aren't helping the situation. If you want to understand why she's acting this way, have you tried asking her in a moment when the two of you are on good terms. I know that might seem futile, but it's worth a shot. If you feel that your daughter's behaviour might be helped with some form of counselling, then you can discuss it with your GP and they can refer her. You may find it helpful to read our articles on behaviour. If you feel you need further support please e-mail us at or call our freephone helpline on 0808 800 2222.