67 answers

My 14 Year Old Daughter Has a 16 Year Old Boyfriend.

I have a very mature and responsible freshman daughter who has been "dating" a 16 1/2 year old junior. She sees him at school and talks to him on the phone. I have let her go to the mall on a weekend afternoon with him and he has been over the house 1 time. I have talked to her about sex and feelings and everything in between. So far she is showing me that I can trust her. Is it wrong to let her hang out with him at the mall, see a movie or just have him come over for a few hours (supervised)? I feel as though I am keeping my eyes open. He does not have a license and gets rides from parents. My husband who is her step-father thinks I am out of my mind to allow her to go anywhere with him. Again, she is a responsible girl (does homework, takes honors classes, gets good grades and cooperates with chores around the house). I hate to say no to her when she is acting so appropriately otherwise. I would love some feedback for peace of mind! I have feeling this is more of a male/female battle! Thanks!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow! I have received so many thoughtful and genuinely caring responses to my question. I cannot express how it feels to know that so many wonderful mothers took the time to write back. I would like to thank each and every one of you! As far as "what happened", I have yet to see! I am going to allow occasional visits to our home, dates at the mall in the afternoon, and staying after school with him once a week so they can walk to the local Dunkin' Donuts. I am keeping the "talks" going and she is holding up her end by continuing to do well in school (an A on her last honors history test!!). I spend enough time with her to be able to keep tabs on her social life. So far so good! Thanks again moms! Sincerely, J. B :)

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I personally would not let her hang out with just her boyfriend. I think 14 is too young for dating. At that age two years is a big difference still. I always worry when an older boy seeks out a younger girl. At this age I think a group of friends hanging out is a much better idea. 14 is too young, no matter how responsible she is in other areas, to be getting into possible adult situations. She will have many many years of dating what's the rush. Persoanlly my kids are not allowed to date until they are 16 and then it has to be at least a double date or more people until they are 18.

1 mom found this helpful

J.,

It sounds like you are doing exactly what you should. If you try to keep her shut up, she'll likely start to act out. Let her know that you trust her and ask that she talk to you before doing anythying. You'll have a stronger relationship with her as long as you both respect boundries.

C.
SpEd Teacher and parent

As the parent of 4 teenagers, I have found that it's best to let them go out in groups with other kids that you trust. Having him over only when there are adults present is also the right thing. Kids will be attracted to other kids and by keeping an eye on things and intervening when you feel things are getting too serious can avoid heartache later.

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As a young mother(25 yrs) that has not forgotten what 14 felt like, I can say that trust is huge. If your daughter has earned your trust and you are upfront regarding expectations of her and this new relationship, it will be just that an innocent boyfriend. However, as we know 14-18 yrs old hormones are in full bloom and need to supervised. I think you are being smart in choosing where they "hangout" and spend time together. If they are not given the opportunity to make a bad choice, they won't. Yet you can not always be there and need to discuss what can happen if they did do something sexually that she is not ready for at 14. As far as your husband, he speaks as a caring man in your daughter's life. My father told me, boys don't want to be your friend, and he was so right.

2 moms found this helpful

I have survived raising two adult daughters and one son. My advice would be, go with your mom radar, mine never let me down. You know your child better than any one else on this earth. I think the mall a movie and definatly time spent in your home with supervision is perfect. If this 16 year old boy is comfortable spending time with your daughter in front of you that to me shows a great deal of respect for you both. He must be quite responsible himself and care quite a bit for you daughter. We can't be everywhere with them and there has to be a great deal of trust. My mom radar never let me down, and it sounds like you have a great realationship with your daughter, just keep the communication going and you'll be fine. Good Luck A. D.

1 mom found this helpful

J. -- I have to agree with you. I don't see any problem with allowing them to date and it sounds like you are doing all the right things, talking about sex, feelings and having open communication with your daughter. She's not rebelling, i.e. getting poor grades, not listening or staying out late, disappearing, etc. There is little that can happen between them in public (other than PDA's) and as long as you or his parents are supervising them when they are at each other's homes I say it's fine. My son is 14yo and my daughter is 13yo and they have each had those 'girlfriend' or 'boyfriend'.... talking on the phone and going out to the movies, rollerskating, etc but always with a group. Keep doing what you're doing, as long as you continue to have open communication with your daughter and she consistently shows signs of trust and respect (not only for your but herself!). Keep on mind your husband is seeing it from the male perspective and he's probably remembering what he might have wanted to do as a 16 yo boy, lol! His intentions are good, but he needs to understand that you can't shelter your daughter from the rest of her life. And, what's the alternative, tell her she can't see the boy and the trust that you've fostered is broken when she sneaks out or lies about going to a girl friend's house and sees him anyway, maybe not in a place of your choosing where something more 'serious' could happen?? As long as you/your husband and his parents are on the same page it should be fine!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,
As a mother of a 16 year old son, I would advise group gatherings or adult supervised in home visits. A 14 year old, or 16 year old, no matter how mature, are NOT adults. You can do the research, but the part of the brain that basically makes common sense decisions is believed to not fully develop until 18 or so for girls and 20 something for boys! I have seen this day to day with my son, who is an honor roll student, they seem to just live in the moment. He has confided in me about the disasters of his friends having sexual relations, and there are many doing it. He dated a girl for over a year and was glad he didn't go that route, it was a much easier breakup. No emotional baggage. I would definitely discuss things like respecting your body and the very adult results of one bad decision. If you have a religious background, pehaps a discussion about waiting for the right person and regrets for not doing so. These are all discussions my son and I have had and seemed to help. I never had that openness and support as a teen and made some bad decisions I regretted.

Hope this helps a bit. In the end it is their decision and they will find ways to be together if you try to control the situation too much. No matter how innocent they seem, they are battling hormones and peer pressure, some kids just make better decisions.

M.

1 mom found this helpful

I personally would not let her hang out with just her boyfriend. I think 14 is too young for dating. At that age two years is a big difference still. I always worry when an older boy seeks out a younger girl. At this age I think a group of friends hanging out is a much better idea. 14 is too young, no matter how responsible she is in other areas, to be getting into possible adult situations. She will have many many years of dating what's the rush. Persoanlly my kids are not allowed to date until they are 16 and then it has to be at least a double date or more people until they are 18.

1 mom found this helpful

We went through the exact thing with my daughter. She was a freshman, he was a junior. My husband, very old-fashioned Italian, was dead set against it, lecturing my daughter about what all boys that age want. He finally relented, invited the boy over and had a mature conversation with him regarding boundaries and respect for our daughter. Fortunately our daughter had a large network of friends and they always seemed to travel in a pack. They were never at our house alone together, although we allowed them to hang out in our finished basement, with us upstairs. We also became very friendly with his parents and all adults were on the same page. We did forbid her being alone in the car with him and often brought her places. We came to the realization that if we forbid her to see him because of age, we ran the risk of her being secretive. We also told her we would trust her until she gave us a reason not to. They ended up being together as a couple for over a year, and he treated our daughter like a queen. Ultimately, my husband ate his words! And my daughter and I deepened our relationship because there was well deserved trust and we always kept open communication going. Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

J.,
I would go with your gut. The most important thing is to keep the communication with your daughter open. Showing her that you will trust her until she proves otherwise will go a long way in keeping the communication flowing between you two. I remember when I was a teenager. My parents had such a tight hold on me and even though I was very responsible (good grades, top athlete, had a job, did my share aroung the house, etc). I was so resentful of their lack of trust. I never abused my parents trust and even still they were compulsive worriers and it drove me crazy. I am now a 35 year old mother of two girls, almost 7 and 4 years old. Although I have many years until I have to deal with these situations, I still remember well how I used to feel.

Also, do you like her boyfriend? What kind of vibes do you get from him? If you like him and you think your daughter is responsible, my suggestion would be to trust them until they have done something to prove they can not be trusted. Good luck with this situation. I am sure this is a lot harder when you are in the situation yourself and don't want your daughter to come to any harm.
Cheers!
K.

1 mom found this helpful

I think trusting your daughter is a good thing. However it is the boyfriend I am concerned about. What do you know about him and his reputation? I was very much like your daughter when I was her age. I was dating a 16 yr old when I was 14 and after two years of dating him in high school - he had been trying to get me to go all the way with him for about 6 months. He would say he love me and count how long we had been dating and that so and so had done it (which I knew they did because they told me). Well I gave in after 2 years of dating. My parents had trusted him by now and we were allowed to go places alone - I was 16 1/2 and he was 18. Well I disappointed my parent and became pregnant at 17 while in my senior year in high school. I had the same kind of relationship with my parents as you have with your daughter. To say my parents were shocked would be an understatement - they couldn't believe it. I broke their heart and it took my dad almost a year to speak to me again. It was a long rode for me having a child so young - but if you read my profile you will see that my son turned out to be a great man and I didn't do so bad myself. I am not saying that this will happen to your daughter - I just think that 14 is too young to date not matter how good a kid you are. It allows feelings to develop for someone of the opposite sex and that can lead were parents don't even want to think about. I did not allow my sons to date until they were 16 - they could go place with lots of friends but not with anyone alone. I always told them that they should be friends with lots of people and save the serious dating until later in life. Just something to think about - good luck - and yes men always have a different opinion than women on this subject because they remember what they were thinking about while dating.

1 mom found this helpful

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