May 18, 2010,
L.M. asks from Bothell, WA on January 09, 2007
Need Advice on My Teenage Daughters First Date!! HELP!!!
My daughter is 15 she was asked outon her first date an she has a HUGE crush on the guy that asked her. He is a family friends son and is also 15. He is alot less sheltered than my kids and has even already lost his virginity! I hate this I am loosing my mind. I know if i say no and make a big deal out of it they may just sneak around to see on another. I trust my daughter she is a good girl. I have taught her well. She talks to me about EVERYTHING. She hides nothing from me. She really wants to date this kid and I am a wreck. I said yes but only with me there with them. She agreed. As did he. The other girlfriends he has had, had little or no supervision. I an not like that. I know everywhere and everything my kids are doing. What can I do to make sure nothing happens and maybe they can grow tired of seeing each other at all if I am always in the way?? At the same time I don't wanna smoother my daughter and make her stop talking openly with me. I want her to feel safe talking about herself with me. Also I am worried about my friendship with the boys mother. I feel like she is less likely to take the kind of precautions I am talking to safe gaurd my daughters well being. She might even take offence to me not allowing my daughter over or me saying I feel her son is not the right kinda guy for my daughter? Am I insane? I really need advice here and ASAP cause their date is this weekend. I will take any and all ideas. Thanks in advance for any help I might get.
K.O. answers from Portland on January 09, 2007
Well, my kids aren't allowed to date until they are 16, but they can go out in groups until then. They have known this from birth, so it is an expectation that came without question from them.
I would totally need to know everything about their date. It is NOT SMOTHERING...it is being a good Mom. Anyone who tells you otherwise is part of our societies problems with our youth. They do NOT have the maturity to know right from wrong in sexual situations. That is very clear. They could be the best son or daughter in the world and fall into the moment of things.
I do not allow my kids to go somewhere private. They are to always be in public or at the movies, etc. I always need to know who they will be hanging with (in general).
Make sure she has a cell phone! If she does have any emergencies, she should be able to call you. I don't call them...that would be smothering. Ha Ha.
The boy's parents are probably a lot more lenient because he is a boy. I have boys and girls and know that I do protect my girls alot more. Hmmm? Anyway, you will have to be the one.
If the boy makes negative comments to your daughter about you, then I would hope you and your daughter are close enough to talk to each other and remember that anyone who tries to split up a family is not what they would want in their lives as a boyfriend. Maybe you should have that conversation prior to dating at all. What are her goals for dating? Will those relationships ever come ahead of yours and hers? Ask her those questions and see what her answers are? I think that if she knows what your fears are, she might console you a bit.
Good luck! Teenage years are really hard. Just remember, they are not adults and should not be treated like adults until they are ready and show that they are able to make those critical adult decisions.
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M.P. answers from Portland on January 09, 2007
Wow! what a difference definitions make. In my opinion Josefina's daughter was dating. In today's world dating is not a prelude to marriage. It's how boys and girls learn how to relate to each other. And they do need to know that long before they marry.
I do agree that you need to set boundaries and it sounds to me like you have set reasonable ones already. And you have conversations about what is happening and what you expect and why what you are saying is good for your daughter. You have taught her well and you have a strong open relationship. Now is the time to trust her and stop worrying so much.
Keep in mind that this experience is new for both of you and it will take time to feel comfortable with dating. I think 15 is old enough to start getting to know boys as individuals and learning how to deal with all that entails, including the sexual aspect of it. I think it's extremely important for your daughter to know the serious implications of every step in a sexual relationship. But she also needs to know that it's a happy satisfying part of life when one is mature enough to handle the consequences. Unfortunately our society has forgotten the responsibilities involved and emphasized the pleasure without regard to maturity or future goals. This makes it more difficult for us parents to effectively teach our children how to handle sex. Not allowing them to date handicaps them in the long run because they don't have the experience of coping with it step by step and with our guidance while at the same time being bombarded with the temptation from all sides.
It sounds to me that you have taught your daughter, have built a strong communicative pathway, have set some reasonable boundaries, and are adequately supervising. Now it's time to trust both your daughter and your own abilities.
As to the situation with the boy's mother, I'd just have a frank talk with her about your concerns. Find out her view and then make a decision based on how you think that she will handle this based on that conversation and what you already know about the family. Your daughter's welfare is more important than a friendship with someone who doesn't respect your boundaries.
Supervised time together is the way to start dating. Hopefully she has had the experience of supervised group activities already. This is just a reasonable extension of that idea. They then earn increasingly more time together at whatever pace you feel comfortable. I think that as long as you talk with your daughter respectfully, listen to her ideas, and make a non-judgemental this is the way it is in our family decision you will be fine. I think that kids get sneaky when they feel that they are not heard or their ideas are not respected. Parent and child do not have to agree. But the parent is the final authority, firm and respectful.
And finally, I think it will help for you to accept that although you do not want her to have a sexual relationship and have done everything that is reasonable to prevent it, it still could happen and it won't be the end of the world. It may feel like it. My unmarried daughter became pregnant at 18 putting an end to her plans for college. She is very sorry that happened and realizes now that it happened because both she and the boy were immature. It was painful for me in many ways. Not only because of the pain that my daughter experience but I also realized that I had protected her from the consequences of less serious actions. Perhaps if I had let her learn from her own mistakes in less serious situations she wouldn't have gotten pregnant. I also didn't supervise her enough when she was younger and began dating. In some ways I was over protective and in other ways not protective enough.
This is one reason why I think that you are doing the right thing with your daughter. This is also why I'm telling you that whatever happens with your daughter, although serious and painful, is not "the end of the world." I would expect that she will do things while dating that will help her to realize that you know what you are talking about. That is why a parent gradually allows more freedom while they are always available for the talks that you are already having. You'll have a good idea when to loosen the restrictions by being involved from the start and by knowing your daughter.
I would wish that my daughter had not gotten pregnant and especially not with this immature boy. I also know that because I had not set boundaries early on that I was unable, at age 18, to help her see where she was headed. We did not have good communication. I am easier on myself because I did not get to build a relationship from birth. She was my foster child at 6 and I adopted her at 13.
But we do have a good relationship now and I do love being Grandma.
From what you've written I do think that you are doing the right thing by allowing her to date the son of friends and beginning the dating with boundaries and supervison, good communication and mutual trust. There will be times that she will fight with you. That is a normal part of learning to become grown up. And you'll both make mistakes. Allow that to happen, allow her to suffer the consequences when they are small, and give her lots of love and respect.
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T.P. answers from Seattle on January 10, 2007
Been there, done that! lol
My advice to you would be as simple as this. Talk to her, and voice your concerns about why your worried. I've found that even though the things I have to say to my kids are not always what they want to hear, I'm talking to them. It has made a world of difference in our lives. It sounds like you've got a big part of that already happening. I know you dont want to crush her heart because of how excited she is and all by telling her you dont like the one she has chosen to go on her first date with.. but.... she needs to know. And it can be said with love and concern.
I think more importantly is talking to this boy and his parents. Regardless of his history with other girls and the way he or his parents have conducted themselves. It only matters now, with you and your daughter. I think at a young age girls are really sucked in by that bad boy attitude and it is a magnet for them. They really know it is not a good thing, but want to see if this person will be different with them, or if it is something that will be more exciting than always being the good kid.
My daughter (now 18 and moved out two weeks ago)and I have a wonderful relationship and I didnt allow her to date until 16 yrs of age, and sure enough the day after she had a boyfriend that was waiting in the wings for her birthday. Low and behold he seemed nice around her father and I, but we are both very intutive and very perceptive to picking up behavior and heart felt energy about people. I knew this kid might have not been the best decision for her, I voiced that, and said well, you need to always put you first. If ever there is a moment that you need to question what he has said or done to you, then do so and do not judge yourself for that. Go with your 'feeling' and not your head or you'll find yourself in a situation that you will have a very tough time getting yourself out of. She is a very strong willed, vibrant and strong young lady so I knew she would not have an issue calling him on something he did wrong to her. But, it would have to be her. We as mothers want to protect our children from all the bad in the world, and that includes them getting their heart broke. But, that is a hopeless unrealistic thing in our own minds. This and all experiences will need to be lived and learned by our children themselves. We only have the ability to appreciate their willingness to love and be loved, the ability to trust them in their decisions, the ability to communicate even if its arguing and discussing things that are not always comfortable, and finally the ability to be there for them and listen and hold them when they are living 'life' and 'feeling' the hurt, the happiness, the struggles, the successes. The greatest gift to us to have them include us in their journey and look to us for strength and guidance and a good 'ear' when needed.
Sorry to ramble, but I feel your heart aching from concern, and yet to want so badly to do the right thing in helping your daughter be happy and healthy. My big thing is to not always give the negative side of the person they are seeing. I've since changed my ways in thinking in so many ways since my daughter has grown. I have an opportunity again (i have another 13 year old) and can try and put things in a positive and non judgemental intention with her and her relationships with both girls and boys. It really is a struggle for them in all aspects. They are learning so much about themselves during this time. I have always taught my girls that the outside world does not define who you are, or what you should look like, or wear, etc. You are beautiful just as you decide to be, and you will attract the people that should be around you by being true to yourself. Speak and act in integrity and honesty and things will align themselves perfectly.
Another option for you going would be that it not be a date of just the two. Make it a date of three couples. This was a rule with my daughter to prevent the dating thing starting prior to sixteen. She went everywhere as a group. There were no one on one events happening and I think it helped greatly. So, if your able to implement her group of friends bringing their boyfriends or what and going all together that could be a secondary option.
#1 Talk to you daughter with your heart and not your head (no judgment or character assumptions) speak from a place of pure love.
#2 Talk to the parents (either on the phone, but face to face would be much better) about how you've raised your daughter, and the things that are expected of her while out on her first date.
#3 Talk to the young man about the intention he has on this first date. I would try and open up the conversation more along the lines of getting to know him personally and finding out what his values and goals are for life. It is entirely possible that this boy hasnt had the communication with his parents or anyone and therefore goes outside of the family to do things that are of acting out (losing virginity, etc). This might make all the difference in the relationships he has throughout life period.
#4 Trust yourself and love yourself for the daughter that you've raised. Love yourself for being a concerned parent and wanting to be involved in her life. Trust that she will do what is right, and will come to you when she needs your love and guidance.
Good luck my dear! let me know how it goes.. now that I've wrote you a novel.. sorry all. I've been on a heck of a spirtual journey and learned so much about the way I could have done things.. nonetheless.. my children have turned out fabulous and beautiful.. because the biggest thing I've taught them through all is that I am human. I am learning just as they are, we are going through this together and although it seems as if I should be the one to say all the right things, and do all the right things because I am the parent.. I am not perfect, I've never been perfect and I never will be perfect. I am in this school of life, just as they are. we are a team. Lets work together and love together and it is what it is!!
Blessings ~ Feel free to email me if you'd like to talk more.. I'm on the Eastside.. just south of you.. but, would love to talk more if your feeling anxious. have a beautiful day~
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M.J. answers from Los Angeles on January 09, 2007
No matter how good your daughter is, it's better not to provide an enviroment for mishaps to happen. Fuel for the flesh. I think you need to stick your grounds. If you friend doesn't understand and thinks it's not such a big deal...tell her that if it's not a big deal then she shouldn't mind that you shaperone. Adult Christians men and women don't date unsupervised and they have more common sense then 15 year olds do.
His hormones are only thinking about one thing...sex. Suggest an in home movie night. You'll be in the other room and they can have time but you can sneak in any time. Suggest a movie out. You'll sit away but in view. Suggest dinner out. Get to know the boy and if he feels comfortable in your family unit, he may be less likely to do something to dishonor himself and lose your respect. Tell him you trust him and that he has your respect and that it's up to him whether or not he wants to keep it. It may get in, it may not but it's worth a shot.
Remember, she is only 15. I lost my virginity at 14 to a boy who 15. Oh and I told my mom all about it and asked for the pill. My mom must have died. I was so stupid. I had a sleep over at my friends...the parents weren't home, my mom thought they were. I lost my virginity, I drank hard liquor and smoked pot for the first time all in one night. I became an alcoholic and pot head for most of my highschool career. Had I had a mom like you, I probably wouldn't have had issues with sex that ended up affecting me in marriage. It's taken me about 15 years to get over issues from having sex too young, from not realizing my worth, for letting boys have their way to when I didn't want to. Tell her that sex is normal, good, natural and a special gift given to her for the right time. If she gives it away too soon (I believe before marriage but for some it varies) it's like you setting a side a birthday gift for her...$100 and the day before you're going to give it to her, she sneaks in and steals it. It takes the specialness of the gift away and makes it a dirty little secret that can follow you for more years than you realize.
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J.E. answers from Seattle on January 10, 2007
I can understand your angst, my daughter is almost 14 and drop dead gorgeous, and has started developing an interest in boys. I too am a very involved parent, and know where my kids are pretty much every moment. I've tried to keep my daughter so involved with music and drama and other things that she doesn't have too much time to dwell on boys. This year she will be able to go to the 8th grade dance. Next year we will allow groups dates with church friends and school friends that I know, but no singles dates until she is 16. Everyone has a different philosophy about sex education etc. so no offence if this is not your philosophy, but besides the obvious encouraging abstinence, we also want her to be aware about birth control. This is a very different world we live in and though we don't necessarily want our children to make bad choices, there is a lot of pressure, and a 15 year old boy that has already had sex, is definitly going to pressure her. I think you probably have the right idea of just being so involved that he gets tired of your pressence and just goes away. Let's hope this is the case, good luck with it and I'm glad to know there are parents out there that still care what there kids are up to.
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J.H. answers from Portland on January 10, 2007
hi L.! As the mother of a 16 year old girl I feel your pain. My advice is, let her go on the date. But make sure it is supervised, all the time, period. If she wants to see a movie with this boy, drop her off, pick her up. Let her know that you are responsible for her well being, and as such, you need to know were she is at all times. I watch my daughter closely, and I make no bones about what is and is not ok. just keep an eye on her, and don't concern yourself with what the boys mom thinks, this is your child, you have every right to be concerned.
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G.L. answers from Spokane on January 12, 2007
With my kids, I went according to my own experiences. My parents were very strict due to their religion. Because of that I would lie & tell them I was going somewhere else. They never knew where I really was on my dates or hanging out with my friends.
I didn't stick to the religion I was raised up on. (I still believe in God) So I'm not as strict as my parents. I let my kids go to movies, dances & such. I need to know where they are going, know the people they are going with and what time they will be home.
My girls are 19 & 22 years old, my boy is 13 years old. I let them know that I trust them but I worry because I love them. I want to know where they are at all times. My girls are on there own now, so I'm talking about when they lived with me.
If you've taught your daughter well, you shouldn't have to worry. The teenage years are hard, seeing them grow up into little women & sprout out on there own.
You have got to trust your kids & let them know you trust them. My kids & I are pretty close, sometimes they tell me things that I wish they would have kept to themselves.
You know this boys Mom. He's not a vigin anymore...it takes two. Hopefully you've taught your daughter about that stuff & she won't go there. Whoever she is on a date with, there's that risk. Almost any boy is going to try, even the church boys. I dated a few of those & yeah, they tried. Didn't get anywhere.
I'd relax on this one. It is hard watching them grow up & even after they are grown they may get into situations & there is nothing you can do besides let them know you are there for them & your home is open to them anytime. My 19 year old is in a situation that I wish she would get out of.
I hope this helps.
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R.W. answers from Seattle on January 09, 2007
i think if you talk to your daughter about everything if you sat her down and talked to her about how you are feeling and why. Tell her that you are not comfortable with her dating a guy that has gone as far as he has in a relationship and that you don't want her to go that far. I guess just try the open and honest approach is what i would do and see where it leads this time. YOu have to trust that you raised your kids right and that they are going to make the right choice when the time comes.
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