May 27, 2010,
E.T. asks from Bala Cynwyd, PA on May 25, 2010
Feeling Obsessed About Her 15 Yr Daughter's Relationship W/17 Yr Old Boyfriend
Ever since my 15 yr daughter started going out with a 17 yr old (she is a freshman and he is a junior), I feel like I'm losing my mind! I feel that I am overly obsessed with her relationship. I try to rationalize that I am normal in that this is her first boyfriend and he is 2 yrs older! However, I am trying to figure out how normal this feeling is! I ask her questions....get nothing. But if I wait a few days .... she tells me so much. So, I try to keep my mouth shut until she opens up. But during the days that I don't "ask her anything" .... i am dieing of curiousity! This is my only child and I think I'm going through a transition as a parent. How much should I be interested!? Sometimes I feel like I'm following a reality show...talking with my husband about her dating life. I feel that I'm having trouble even writing what I'm feeling.....it's probably coming across as NORMAL. But seriously...I can't get her and him out of my mind.
I trust her...and know what she isn't ready for anything sexual...but not sure about him. He is very shy...but he's 17!!!!! So maybe I"m overly concerned b/c I realize that soon there will be issues she'll be dealing with....????
Anyone relate to anything I'm saying?
1 mom found this helpful
T.F. answers from Dallas on May 25, 2010
I can completely relate. I have an only 15 yr old daughter.
From LONG ago, communication was key and it is key now as well. I try VERY HARD not to push for any info because she will give it to me in her own time. Thankfully, she is very open and communicative with me and I have expressed how I feel as a mom and my daughter going though this stage to her.
She does not have a "boyfriend" BUT most of her true friends are boys. Yes she has girlfrends, but she confides in a couple of her guy friends vs boys.
I just try to keep an open mind and whenever SHE wants to chat, I drop everything and chat. Like your daughter, my daughter is not into the sexual arena but she is fully aware of what is going on.
She was toiling tonight over Friday night plans witha couple of guy friends.... I said it is not like you are boy/girl friends and she told me... once of the guys likes me and I don't want to lead him on by hangong out this weekend. Another drama here is the 10th grader who has been "wooing" her and his "rules" were that she not talk to any other guys. She really likes this guy.... I was so proud when she told me " I told __ that I am not getting married anytime soon and a lot of my friends are guys so if you can't deal with that, then we can stay friends instead of boyfriend/girlfriend?" My daughter is not into sex...however, she informs me on who is... Keep an OPEN mind and OPEN COMMUNICATION.
So far that has worked. God bless you.... we are dealing with this drama all the time!! Good luck.
6 moms found this helpful
M.P. answers from Portland on May 25, 2010
You do sound obsessed ("I can't get her and him out of my mind.") This could handicap you in having a healthy relationship with your daughter. I suggest that you talk with other mothers, as you're asking to do on this site, about how they handle their feelings. I suggest focusing on your feelings and see if you can discover why you can't get them out of your mind. Writing, as in journaling, might help you do this.
I also suggest that it might help you if you talk with a counselor about possible reasons that you're so involved with having to know the details of her relationship. I understand being concerned about his sexual experience and expectations. That is normal. But constantly thinking about it seems obsessive to me.
When you say that you feel like you're following a reality show, talking with your husband about your daughter's dating, I wonder if you've allowed what is happening to become a way of expressing your drama. What was your experience with dating when you were her age or close to it? Are you vicariously enjoying her experience?
I've read and found it to be true that the issues we faced at an age similar to the age of our daughters now often come to the surface again so that we can deal with them. Do you have any unresolved issues from when you were a teen? How did your parents treat you when you began dating? Was dating a good experience for you? Did you date at 15? That sort of thing.
I would expect that you'd already have found ways to get to know him so that you'd have a better idea of who he is or that you would be asking us how to relieve your anxiety. Even tho you didn't ask, I suggest that you invite the boy for dinner or an outing and get to know him just as you've gotten to know her other friends. Perhaps they could do homework together at your house.
I would not assume that because he's older he is sexually experienced or will pressure your daughter into having sex. Since he's shy, I would guess that it's possible that he's as inexperienced as your daughter. I suggest that he could be the right person with whom your daughter to begin this stage in her life.
If you've taught her well she will have your values. Since she is talking with you she is likely to talk with you if she does feel pressured, either by herself or by him. What is important is for you to have a demeanor that is calm and accepting of anything that she talks about. Allow her to ask for advice before giving it. You can ask her if she'd like your idea on that subject and this will usually enable a discussion.
I'm glad that you've figured out to wait until she wants to talk instead of asking her all about it when she gets home. That is a great first step. The next step is to listen to her with an open mind. And.....to deal with your issues without involving her. We all have our own issues and it's easy to project them onto our children. We need to accept our children as they are and be available to help them think thru and make their own decisions. If we see them in over their heads then we do need to intervene. That is another question which I won't write about now.
3 moms found this helpful
T.D. answers from Pittsburgh on May 26, 2010
i think 15 is too young to date.
2 moms found this helpful
L.C. answers from Washington DC on May 26, 2010
I have a 17 year old son.
He is a sweet kid who wants nothing more than to just hang out with his "girl du jour". He is not into making out or having sex. He has his future all mapped out. He is not going to risk it for some girl.
I think you might need to spend some time with this boy - to see what kind of kid he is.
2 moms found this helpful
P.M. answers from Portland on May 26, 2010
The fact that you're concerned, that you don't feel that your involvement is "normal," strongly suggests you would do well to talk to a counselor about this. Sometimes moms do get so wrapped up in their children that they lose themselves, or their recognition of themselves as separate from these young persons in whom they have invested so much of their lives. Some of what you're experiencing could be normal motherly concern, but you might have transferred too much your emotional energy into living vicariously through your daughter.
Good for you for recognizing a possible problem! I agree with Marda that this could affect your relationship with your daughter in a negative way. Seek professional help in finding healthier boundaries.
2 moms found this helpful
L.D. answers from Las Vegas on May 25, 2010
Hahaha! Maybe this is what my mom felt like when I was 15 and dating for the first time . . .
Seriously though, your feelings are probably very normal. My daughter is only 5 right now and at the age where she volunteers information freely but I know that there will come a day when she will be well on her way to being an adult and may not want to share intimate details of her life with me. I'm dreading that day also because I'm pretty sure that it will drive me mad as well because she will always be my little baby. She can be 35 and she would still be my little baby.
Continue playing it cool because that seems to be the best way to get your daughter to share information. Continue asking questions and imparting tidbits of wisdom here and there to her but do so in a very off-handed manner so that she can be armed with knowledge and can be free to make her own decisions based upon your guidance.
Hang in there Mom, I'm sure you are doing all the right things.
2 moms found this helpful
M.. answers from Ocala on May 25, 2010
I am not at this point yet like you are but please talk to her about sex and about safe sex.
You might think she is not ready but she might be interested to do something that he presents to her. She might try something to make him happy.
I feel your pain mama, I know that I will be a mess when it is my turn and I have 3 kids and one on the way. My oldest is a girl and she is ten and it freaks me out just thinking about it.
I wish you the best.
1 mom found this helpful
C.P. answers from Provo on May 26, 2010
You say that you trust your daughter, right?? If you get too obsessed with this relationship then she will close you out completely. She needs to experience life and she will never do this if you jump in her private life all the time. I know how you are feeling because I also have a daughter. She has always been so trustworthy and independent. I know that any man who chooses to deal with my daughter will probably have his ego clipped and he will know which path she wants him to walk on. I talk to my daughter when I get a chance (since she is in Oregon State University) and she is a lot smarter about life then I ever was. I would suggest that you do a few things as mother and daughter and find out what kind of thoughts and feelings she has about things. It does not necessarily have to be about relationships. It will give you reassurance about her frame of mind.
1 mom found this helpful
M.W. answers from Boise on May 25, 2010
I would never trust a 17 year old boy with my daughter. Can you put her on group dates or supervised dates? Kids are all pretty slutty these days, even the nice ones, because it is so "normal" in our society. I would be a nervous wreck myself. I like a line from a movie where the dad meets his daughter's date and says, "Son, whatever you do to my daughter, I'll do to you!" Ha ha ha! Great line.
1 mom found this helpful
S.B. answers from Gainesville on May 26, 2010
When I was 14 I was "in love" with an 18 year old. I was a freshman and he was a senior. When you are that age, like in high school, the ages don't seem like a big deal because you all go to school together, see each other everyday, etc. I had to mention that I smiled when I read that if you give her a few days she opens up and tells you everything. The funny thing is I do that now ! I get so irritated when my parents question my relationships, I feel like they are butting in and I don't like to answer their questions because I don't want their opinions on my relationship, I feel like they are being nosy. However if we are just shooting the breeze I find myself rambling on about everything.
I know you are a concerned mother but maybe you can back off just a tad bit...to where maybe you should put more focus on you and your husband than about her own dating life. Remember, she will now be dating the rest of her life. You can't do this when you're 80 can you ? :-)
1 mom found this helpful
A.J. answers from Williamsport on May 27, 2010
I know 14 is the new 17 and most people think only an ogre who wanted to lose all contact with her daughter would deny her the god given right to a boyfriend at 15-but what you are feeling is the reason it's a bad idea. And with an older boy???!?! Not a good idea, even though everyone is doing it. You sound like you've made the decision to allow it, and now you're just worried about your own obsessing.
You need to be focused on the fact that you should NOT be leaving her alone to do whatever in her "relationship" and then talk about it later on her own terms.
Yes, you need to be open and frank about teen psychology and how all a girlfriend really is to a boy is an opportunity to have sex when he can possibly manage it even if (and especially if) he really "loves her". You need to tell her about everything there is to know about diseases and pregnancy -especially diseases nowadays -be sure she knows they are caught orally as well as vaginally and anally (popular now with kids who think it's not really sex) and that she'll never get rid of a virus her whole life once she gets it. Catch her off guard and tell her about it, nice and frank like she's mature enough to take it. Don't be the naive trusting mom in her eyes.
The younger she starts romantic relationships the more "experience" she'll have by the time she should be beginning college in a few short years. I would end the talk with "This is the reason you will not be allowed to date except for on a very limited basis when you are 16- meanwhile you need to be focusing on yourself and making plans for your future and applying yourself in your spare time to activities that will prepare you to excel, not hanging around a boy who might get you pregnant. If he's your soul mate, he'll wait for you." (try not to laugh when you say that part).
But again, if you think she should carry on the relationship, definitely step up and ask whatever you want, and if she's secretive, you should limit her time with him and keep it supervised. You do want what's best for her. I am SO thankful my parents did not allow real boyfriends in high school. Of course I had a few who I arranged to meet out at movies or parties or other public places, but I spent my spare time working for extra cash and getting ready for art school, thanks to my parents who were (annoyingly at the time, but now I get it) un-permissive in high school. Don't be afraid to protect your daughter. He's 17. You KNOW what that means. It's only a matter of time.
D.S. answers from Allentown on May 26, 2010
What is happening is your experiences at that age is coming up.
How was your relationships at her age?
If you are only talking about your daughter with your husband, then that is
a problem. Your husband and your conversations need to be about you two.
Maybe you need a support group about healthy and loving relationships.
Good luck. D.
D.H. answers from Harrisburg on May 26, 2010
OK, your are probably not going to like my answer...are you crazy...there is no way a 15 year old should be dating a 17 year old!!! I am a mother of 4, 3 boys, 1 girl. My oldest boy is 28, then 22, 17, and a 15 year old girl. My oldest now tells me "stories" of when he was a teenager...don't think for one minute that just because this boy is "shy", that he is not interested in sex with your daughter. He may be shy in front of you, but you have no idea what he is like when he is alone with your daughter. And, you are very nieve if you think that your daughter is not ready for sex. She may not be planning on having sex, but what will she do, if she is pressured?? Ask your husband what was on his mind when he was 17! I am not trying to critize you, I am trying to make you open up your eyes. I spend a lot of time with teens, times have changed very much from when we were kids. They are facing extreme pressure in the areas of sex. And, it is no longer considered wrong, to have sex before marriage, actualy, it is encouraged. The rules for my daughter are, no dating before 16, the boy is expected to ask her parents is he may take her out. I realize this may sound very "old fashioned", but you are talking about the most precious thing in the world to me, I will, and have set up bounderies for her dating experiences. I can't tell you how many adults I talk to, that tell stories about how they lost their virginity at a very early age to boys that were older then they were. There is a world of difference between the ages of 15 and 17. There is a lot of maturity that goes on between those ages, and the boys are reaching their sexual peak at around 17 and 18.
There are a million things running through my mind right now, that I would love to share with you. Our family has been watching DVD series on "Love, sex, and relationships". It has been a real eye opener for me, and every parent of teens, and soon to be teens, should be watching this. It is full of information about the physical, and emotionaly effects of sex. Things I never even realized. I have been learning a lot from this series, and realizing where some of my "hang ups" have come from. I realize that ultimatly, it is up to our kids whether they have sex, or not. I cannot "police" their every move, or be with them at every moment. I do believe that it is our responsibilty as parents, to set boundries, and expectations though. With out them, they are vounerable, to there own desires.
If you wish to know more, or have questions, I would love to communicate with you...you can contact me at ____@____.com...I appologize for coming across pretty strong, and kinda harsh here. But too many of us do not realize the impact that this will have on our childrens future. I guess you could say that I have learned from my mistakes I made in my teens, and from the mistakes I made with my two oldest boys, and I want to do whatever I can, to help my last two avoid them, if at all possible.
D.W. answers from Philadelphia on May 26, 2010
I would make sure to be very open about sex. Do not make her feel like she can not talk to you. I think this is a good reason that I as a teenager did not get pregnant.My Mom was very open and honest about everything. If You think he is a good kid then do not worry about it. She is a teenager and has hormones and so does he. Do not be naive but do not be overbearing. Make sure she knows about birth control but tell her that her body may be ready but she not be ready. Tell her that if she is not comfortable with anything to tell her boyfriend no and that no means no. She is a teenager and it is going to be nerve racking but take it easy it is just the beginning not the end.
J.F. answers from Philadelphia on May 26, 2010
I think you can;t do anything about the age thing, 2 years is most common, my husband was 18 and I was 14 when we started dating, and if my parents didn't push us apart and forbid him we would have broken up, thank god for our daughter they were normal parents that forbid him=) I can't say thank god for the relationship, going out that long carries tons of baggage, secrets, and highschool drama, like finding out he cheated all while we were in highschool, most people would say you were teens, but this is the guy I married...also I wouldn't say they are not havng sex, you should have talks and offer protection and also tell her your views, because I def. was and so were all of my friends that age in serious relationships with older boys, and noone really talked to me about protection, stds, pregnancy....luckily I avoided it all...but it could have been diferent
A.S. answers from Boca Raton on May 26, 2010
Sometimes when I get like that I realize it's my "mommy meter" screaming DANGER AHEAD!
I wonder if - subconsciously - you recognize that there is something possibly inappropriate and/or risky about the situation. I'm not saying that there is - but when your radar is going nuts there might be a valid reason besides you being obsessed..
Is it possible for you to talk with someone more objective - perhaps your husband or your mom? Or a pastor or priest? That might help you discern whether your thought process is irrational or intuitive.
Good luck to you!