April 08, 2008,
T.S. asks from Moline, IL on February 13, 2008
Teen Daughter That Is Too Much into Her Boyfriend
I have a 13 year old daughter that lives her life for her boyfriend. All I ever hear is about him and his mom. What great fun they are and it really hurts my feeling that she doesn't want to be with me. I am sure this is a phase she is going through but I also want to spend time with her. If she is at home it is a big fight to get her off the phone or computer with her boyfriend. Any suggestions?
4 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
I just wanted to say thank you to all who have responded to my question. This is a very tough time. I will take all the suggestions and do my best. Thanks again.
Z.W. answers from San Francisco on March 17, 2008
I'm sorry, I beg to disagree with all of this. 13 years old is just not acceptable for a boyfriend.
2 moms found this helpful
L.M. answers from Iowa City on February 15, 2008
She is only 13 years old! Why in the h*ll does she have a boyfriend? It's O.K. for her to have a friend, that is a boy, but as far as her doing stuff with him, or seeing him other than at school-wrong answer! You are her mother, put the kinks to that, now!
2 moms found this helpful
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J.C. answers from Minneapolis on February 14, 2008
T., I am not here to tell you what you are doing wrong. I am going to tell you that I was once that girl. I felt the same way about my mom but please believe me that she does need you very much. It may not seem like it but she will remember those times that you were there for her and that will mold the relationship that you will have with her when she is an adult. Her obsession with her boyfriend is pretty typical. For some girls it is a phase and for some girls they will always be "boy crazy" but eventually she will come to you with a broken heart and that little girl will come out again. I hope this helps. Take care and good luck.
2 moms found this helpful
J.S. answers from San Francisco on March 17, 2008
I know this is late, but I am new to this site and an update on your request came to me this morning.
Firstly, I would like to say I was appalled at how many people sent responses that said nothing more than ‘She’s too young’, but offered no other input. Unbelievable! Anyway…
I also have a 13yr old daughter and last year she had a boyfriend before I knew really what was happening. Against all my better judgment I allowed her to keep ‘dating’ this boy, but I did set specific limits even though that required some back tracking. I sat down and with her and explained that at this age she may feel like an adult, but her hormones are really not allowing proper judgment so it was my job to keep her safe from herself (never saying anything bad about he boy or keeping her safe from him, which really would not be that well received!). I tried to joke a little about how weird it is to talk about this stuff with mom while still being firm that it was necessary and would continue until for life so she may as well get used to it! :o).
She was not allowed to go to the boy’s house any more since I was not sure what type of supervision they would have there. He was welcome to our home, but not in her room. ‘Dates’ were limited to school dances and movies in a group. No one-on-one. Phone time was limited to 1 hour a day. They could email, but not instant chat. I also let her know that although I respected her and trusted her, but that trust was only as appropriate for a teenager. That meant that I would be checking on her when she was out and had the right as her mother to check emails and such if I thought it was needed. The computer is not allowed in her room, but only in public areas of the house. I explained that if I walked up while she was online (or phone texting) and she minimized the screen or otherwise limited my ability to see what she was doing, that would be considered lying/sneaking and she would lose privileges as a consequence. She was welcome to tell her friends and boyfriend that I was a horrible mother and blame it all on me, but the rules were firm.
Luckily for us this relationship didn’t last too long, but did have a dramatic and hurtful breakup which helped to illustrate my point about why dating is not to be taken lightly and needs to be considered seriously. Afterward we sat down again and I said there would be no more boyfriends for a while. She of course wanted to know when she would be allowed to date again. I was honest and said that I don’t believe in setting some arbitrary age for dating, but it would definitely depend on her. I explained that the most important question was not ‘when’, but ‘why’. Why does she want to date? Is she bored hanging out with her friends or with her other activities? Does she think that having a boyfriend is important for some reason? This is an ongoing dialogue, (not argument, as soon as she gets argumentative I end the conversation nicely, but firmly. Arguing with a teenager is a losing proposition!) and she has come to realize that just wanting to date someone is not a good thing, but wanting find the right person God has for her is a great thing. Hanging out in groups has become more fun for her since she is not viewing all the guys as potential dates. We’ve discussed how this arrangement gives her a chance to really see what guys are like. Generally she will have a crush for a few weeks then discovers that he is not as great as she originally thought and moves on to the next crush. By not declaring her feelings up front, she is safe to change those feelings (as all young girls do!) without making it awkward within the group or hurting anyone's feelings.
Ok so now I’m into novel mode! Sorry! All this to say, it is not too late to go back and make something good from this. Your daughter is lucky to have a mom that is paying attention and notices a red flag when she sees it. Keep up the great parenting and be brave, you have great instincts!
9 moms found this helpful
R.F. answers from Bismarck on February 14, 2008
I don't mean this to sound harsh, but rather to simply be food for thought...what is the point of having a boyfriend at 13? I am the mom of three, the oldest of which will be 14 in March. We joke about boys being cute, and who has a crush on whom, but there is no question in my daughter's mind that boyfriends are not an option for quite a while yet. It takes the pressure off of her to allow her to make friends with all of the kids in her class, and to become comfortable around the opposite sex. It also eliminates a lot of stress and drama in her life, and for the entire family. I want her to feel free to develop her talents and personality, as well as her values, without the added pressure an immature relationship can put on her. The teen years are hard enough as it is. I assure you we have plenty of drama over other things in our house, and I just can't imagine adding the additional drama of boyfriends at this point. So, I guess I would just want you to consider if having a boyfriend at this age is of any benefit to your daughter. I want to add that it sounds like you are a good listener for your daughter, and if she is keeping the lines of communication open with you, you are winning half the battle.
It is hard at this age when they are becoming more autonomous, and the topic of keeping our oldest child involved in the family has been a topic of many discussions between my husband and myself. We also discuss it with our daughter, and are clear that we won't let computers, ipods, phones, etc. cause further isolation from the family. We also ask her input for things we can do together as a family that SHE would enjoy (it's tough at times as her siblings are 4 and 7). I think the world we live in now has so many more challenges for parents, and so many more things that require limit-setting. It makes it hard, but we have to do what we believe will be best for our kids. So hang in there, we have a long ways to go yet, but just focus on taking one day at a time. Also remember that when you set tough limits and she gets mad...don't back down--she'll get over it! Take care.
8 moms found this helpful
A.B. answers from Pittsburgh on March 17, 2008
I'm just seeing this...I realize it's way after you posted, but...
So, for all those that say "you're in charge, period!", I say that and a buck will get you a cup of coffee. As in, we're already to this point & like the other mom said, you can't go back to before so you gotta deal with what is now.
To butt heads is to make that gap wider. Kids often rebel at these ages & we need realize that your reaction only keeps her there....the desired affect is achieved, she wants to separate from you & you're ticked off...voila! Acceptance is the key but on your terms. We're allowed to change our minds on some things/rules, but it's how we do it that makes all the difference. For you to come across to her as low key, not yelling/fighting & tossing around authority but as the calm & fair adult that's in charge, will ultimately have more of an authoritative ring to your encounters. Try emailing her with your thoughts/statements, since she's always on the computer. Hubby should be a part of any statements, even if he's not standing there at the time....."your father & I think/have decided...." and make sure he isn't swindled into breaking that united front. Kids NEED to know where that wall is, even if they don't like it, someplace inside they're calmer because of it. Above all, however, accept the boyfriend because he's already there but don't let go of your boundaries, whatever they may be.....just allow for him to be a part of, if you get my drift.
My eldest (now 24) was in LOVE with an 18 yr. old Sr. when he was a Freshman in HS @ 14....and, not a good reputation did she have, either :-). I listened when he came to me about wanting to take her to a movie for her b-day & was looking for my help. I stated the obvious (like, he can't drive..??) but listened MORE to the fact that it was SO important to him AND that he was talking to me in the FIRST PLACE!
****Rule of thumb, if we're (parents) are talking more, we're losing....if they (the kids) are talking more, we're winning****
My son's "love" went by the wayside but he still talks to me about these kinds of things because I never pushed him down or away during his early years of challenges....so, for me it was a "money in the bank" kind of lesson....you follow..?
Take a breath & realize that this too shall pass....and then we'll be onto the next thing. How we handle any 1 thing always rolls into the next. You ARE the Mom/Parent/1 in charge. Having power WITH as opposed to OVER is the key..!!
6 moms found this helpful
D.M. answers from Norfolk on March 17, 2008
Hi T. I am the motehr of a 17yr soon to be 18 and we are going through this now we also did when she was 13. I know its hard but here is what i did. I told my daughter she will be having supervised visits with him and no phone calls longer than 30 mins as lon as her homework is done. I am to meet the boys family and get to know this boy take him to dinner with us as a family and I point blank asked him what his intentions were with my daughter. That stuns them in a heartbeat. They are speechless. Then I ask them why they are interested in my daughter what attracted her to him. I basicly put them both on the spot. I also told them that they are not allowed to be in one antohers home unless a parent is with them and not allowed in the bedroom or a confined room away from the rest of the family. I am to talk to the boys parents before she goes to their home or anyother home no matter who she is with so they dont go sneaking to tohers homes together. If her grades started to fail I told them they were not allowed to see one another till grades came back up and that was on both ends. About you and your daughter not sure how you are finacailly but you may want to offer to your daughter for you and her to go to a movie together of her liking you may not care for it but try to sit through it. What kind of things does she like music clothes shopping of any sort take her on a day your free and say lets go have lunch together and buy 1 outfit for her. Then talk to her about things other than her boyfriend. Are there activities she likes she can get into like dance karate or something of the sort. Have a ladies day out get her nails done or together get them done or hair cuts or makeovers therer are many things you can try to get her todo. make her to busy to go to the boyfriends or have the boyfriend with her. Give her chores check them to see if there done.
I feel the pain your going trhough I have been there. Her it is now my daughter is almost 18 I cant do those things much longer thats why its important to get her to know you like to do these things with her before its to late. Let her see the fun side of you. Good luck
5 moms found this helpful
D.H. answers from Las Vegas on March 17, 2008
I'm a 56 year old Mom of 5 children, 3 of which are girls. I still have a 16 year old at home. My mother in law says that raising teenagers is like trying to hammer jello to a tree. Those with teenagers will understand that comment.
I have really tried to find my children's passions and during that tween years, inform them that now is the time to develop their talents and I try to keep them as busy as possible so they don't have too much time. Doing special things with me were times we always set up. Whenever I would drive with them , no radio or DVD players or Ipods. My kids know that is a time to sing, laugh, play a game, or just talk. It is painful for them at first, and then it becomes a habit and they look forward to it. When their friends are with them we turn off the radio too and you would be surprise what a parent can learn without the distraction. And when they are older and boys come into the picture, I like 16, then date only in groups. No steady dating until they are older. It sounds tough, but, I am a nurse and had to help even 14 year olds have their babies. I have never seen anything more sad.
Now, sometimes our children won't always obey, but I always tell my children that it is my job to teach them, and what they do with that information is up to them. With good choices come blessings and with poor choices come consequences.
It is too bad the media is teaching our kids that boy girl relationships ought to start so young. It makes it much harder on us as parents. Good luck and don't forget to get on your knee and say a little prayer as you try to raise this precious daughter of God. DBH
5 moms found this helpful
J.F. answers from Lakeland on March 17, 2008
T., Your daughter is only 13 and way to young to be spending so much time with a boyfriend. You are the parent and you need to be the parent and limit her time with him. Sit down, let her know you don't mind her having a boyfriend, but it will be limited. If having a boyfriend is going to cause her to treat you with disrespect then she isn't mature enought to have one. She needs boundaries and limits on when and how long she can be on the phone or computer with her boyfriend.
4 moms found this helpful
L.N. answers from Springfield on March 17, 2008
I am also a 38 yr old mother of a 14yr old(feb) daughter. She has been boy crazy since she was in elementary school. I was worried back then that it would be a problem. I never made a big deal about it, much to my husbands disappointment and she in return never made it a problem. For years now she always seems to have a boyfriend that has lasted many months, but she has luckily never let her life revolve around his. She is very independant and I know she gets that through my example. My suggestion, as hard as it may be, don't make a big deal about it but stay strong and determined to be in her life. You will win out in the end. My daugther and I have a very strong bond and I know it is due to the fact that I am always there in her life loving her, talking to her and coaching her through life. She tells me most everything. I have also made a point of meeting and getting involved with her friends. That is huge. I agree with the other mom about the value that other parents hold though. I am amazed at what other parents think is ok. I am very strick with who she is able to hang around with at all times, but I also give her the freedom to grow up. I cannot stress enough how hard this fine line is. It is absolutely the hardest job in the world to raise children. I would limit the time she is able to see and spend time with him to something reasonable that you both can agree on and with that time let her be, but in return she needs to agree to spend some alone time with you alone and with your family bonding without any attitude. If she does give attitude during YOUR family time than she gets her time with him taken away for that week. Be strong because over everything else you are the most important person to her and your opinion does count more than any other in the world.
Good luck to you. I wish you the best on this hard and long road. If you would like to exchange more info my email address is ____@____.com I would love to help and you might be able to help me at something too.
4 moms found this helpful
S.M. answers from Saginaw on March 17, 2008
Hi T., I have 3 children, the 2 olderst girls. What I did was instead of focusing on the "boyfriends" in their lives(which seemes to begin in kindergarden), I told them that matureing came with more resposability and privliges. When each one started Jr High, I bought them their own alarm clock. No longer did I wake them up. If they slept in and missed the bus, they were make to walk to school. But the privelige was to begin extra activities in their lives. Sports, dance, gymnastics, horse back riding, etc. Something that they choose. Chores and school work came first before phone, computor, friends, activities, etc. I also bought them a laundry basket, and gave them the chore of washing their own cloths. Keeping them busy is key. At this age cloths are importand to them, let them pick out some scented laundry soup of their likeing, show them how to iron, teach them how to organize their closets and drawers. If you give your daughter choices and make her live with the after math of those decisions she will learn that her behavior is a direct link to her own disapline. Example: Use the phone when homework and chores are not done, lose phone priveliges for a week. This way when she tries to blame you (which she will) you can tell her that she did this to herself.This prepares kids for adulthood. As adults don't our choices in life directly affect us? If we chose not to do our laundry, does our mommy run to the rescue by coming over to do it for us? I wish you luck with your pre-teen. These are trying years. Just remember, she hasn't stopped loving you, she is just exercising her wings, preparing for the time when she will fly the coop. She is matureing. PS somebody told me along time ago that teenagers are just 2yr old in bigger bodies. Exploring the world, getting into trouble, but wanting mommy close by in case they fall down. Think about the boundries that you used to set when she was that age. LOL
4 moms found this helpful