A mom on our forum: Looking for help with my daughter. AJ is 16, turning 17 in June.
Last year we allowed her to date an older boy/man. This has come back to bite us so we are aware of our responsibility in this. We thought he'd get tired of her and that it would end. Not so, they have dated almost a year and 2 weeks ago he finally broke up with her due to pressure from his parents and friends for dating a "baby". They are back together; we are allowing it but with limited time, we're reasserting our parent responsibilities that we lacked the first time around.
AJ has been an A student, she's a JR in a very large HS with over 900 kids in her grade alone. lots of boys. However none she's interested in and she's cutting off her friends as they don't like that she is dating an older guy.
Our daughter is turning into a drama filled queen. All the typical stuff about how much she hates us, we must hate her to be doing this, etc. I guess what I am in need of is a pat on the back saying, ok you screwed up allowing it the first time around but you ARE doing the right thing now.
She's the last child home, my sons are in college and doing very well. They come home and say to her that she needs to take a chill pill and her response is "you don't understand". Tell me she'll come to her senses at some point???!!!
Denise's thoughts: This can be a sticky situation and I'm going to give an entirely different point of view. Let's talk about relationships: yours with her and hers with her boyfriend.
You allowed her to create a relationship with this boy and now you need to respect that relationship, or she is going to learn that you don't respect her feelings - they don't matter to you, she has to fight you to get what she wants and that love is hurtful. You've flipped on her and I don't think she is just saying she hates you or that she thinks you hate her, she is most likely feeling a little bit of it.
The number 1 priority you have to worry about is your relationship with her. While this situation makes things not as you want them right now, a poor relationship with her at 17 can be devastating. There are so many issues coming around the corner for her in the next year and she is going to need you if she is going to be able to get through them with a happy and healthy attitude. In order to make the right choices for herself - and she has a lot of potential - she is going to need a strong foundation with you. So, while I understand your fear for her in her relationship with this young man, I'm telling you not to get stuck there.
So, let's piece back together the rift:
Talk to her. Tell her that you love her and that you are sorry you both are having a hard time. Do not say the word 'but' at all. Say things like: "I'm excited for this coming year. I'm looking forward to seeing all you accomplish in your senior year and beyond. I don't want to fight throughout it."
Come up with a compromise that you both can live with. Explain to her that she needs to give a little because you are giving a little and you both respect each other enough to do so.
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