12 Year Old Daughter with Boyfriend...

Updated on January 27, 2012
S.B. asks from Chelmsford, MA
21 answers

My daughter is 12 years old, she is a great kid. She gets good grades (Honor roll her whole life), dances most of the week, and has many friends. She's going into 7th grade this year! She has been in a relationship with the same boy for 3 months now and she thinks that shes 'in love' with him. I don't find it a problem or anything, Its just that she's spend a lot of time with him lately. He is a great kid too, he gets good grades, and is also very athletic. She seems to be very happy, and of course like any parent I like to see her smile. She has been to his house twice in the past week, and he's never been over. I know his parents and they always say that she is a great kid! I trust her, and I also trust him. She wants to have a "couple" party this Friday, It would be during the day. I will be supervising and won't let anything bad happen. Sex isn't something even in her mind at this point, as parents, do you think that this could be a good idea?

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So What Happened?

So far, in the past hour of seeing the feedback I talked to her, I said that I would be fine with a party, but I'm not cool with a "couple" party. She said that she's fine with that. It's the summer time and I get that she wants to hang out with friends, but I don't want her to be all boy crazy. Being the mom of a preteen is rough, a girl especially! I told her there will be rule (no kissing, no touching, ect.) She said that she didn't mean for it to sound like a "couple" thing. She just wanted to have friends over with their boyfriends. I am fine with him having her arm around her because I remember being her age. Like I said before, I trust them. I will continue to talk about sex and she isn't as open with me as we were.. but then again she is growing up. I will continue to let her know my door is open if she needs anything. Please keep writing feedback so I can continue talking about this.. Thanks for everything so far!

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answers from St. Louis on

No, I really don't think it is a good idea. But I also don't think it is a good idea to let a 12 year old date. She's just too young for that. Her time will come. :)

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answers from Santa Barbara on

I love to see my daughter happy as well but if she wanted to be "in love" and in a "relationship" with a boy in sixth grade (elementary school!!) and have a couples party, I would have shot that one down in a heart beat. I wouldn't have let my twelve year old go over to a boy's house either. She's 12 and needs to have something to look forward to a long ways down the road. I think at this age it should be more about group get togethers to the movies or the mall. She sounds like a lovely young girl but did you know that 12 years old is the average age in which a child becomes sexually active now??

**added after SWH - She just finished SIXTH grade! Permit the arm around each other and what comes next?? Just because she is a good kid doesn't mean you should trust them....completely niave! Kids are starting way earlier now and without boundaries set by parents that is permitting it or the ostrich syndrome (head in the sand). I wouldn't care one bit if she is uncomfortable talking about sex, I would sit her down often and talk about pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and plain old boys leaving when they get what they want. I wouldn't wait for her to come to you. My daughter just graduated high school and you can spot the early birds a mile away.

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answers from Chicago on

Personally I think you are setting your daughter up for big time failure.

WHY WHY WHY do parents believe this is acceptable. Maybe she is not thinking about having sex with him or vice versa but sexual feelings ARE on their minds. It has absolutely nothing to do with good girl, good grades, honor role, dance, many friends.

At any age a relationship grows then leads to sex or other adult things. In other words if she dates him from 12-14 do you think the dynamics of the relationship will stay the same? No they will start to explore & become more comfortable with doing *more* things. And at this age once a girl starts dating they don't stop, she will have another boyfriend right a way after each boyfriend, which then leads to other problems for your DD.

I actually cannot believe you allow her to go to his home & he hasn't been to yours, that is dangerous, way to much freedom.

My, now 21 daughter, was not allowed to have a boyfriend till 16 & there were strict rules about where, when & how long she was allowed to hang out with him. Back then my DD didn't appreciate my strictness but today she says she understands & agrees about how dating too young can lead to *dangerous* things.

Not to long ago there was a post on here about a mother who was very involved in her daughters love life. The daughter had major emotional issues over this boy because they were so involved that when they broke up it tore her world apart. I beleive the whole family had to seek counseling help for quite some time. If someone finds this I think it would help you to understand what you could be potentially allowing happen to your daughter.

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answers from Chicago on

I have two daughters -- 23 and almost 14. Sex IS on your daughter's mind. You need to face that. A "couples" party at this young age is simply fueling the fire. What about those kids who haven't coupled up? It's silly to encourage coupling off at this age so I would strongly advise you against it. Nothing wrong with just a party, but a couples party? Nope.

I wouldn't let her go to the boyfriend's house either. And I would sit her down and have a very frank and open conversation about sex -- if you haven't already.

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answers from Chicago on

Holy cow, I can still remember being 12 and although I didn't really understand what it was called at the time, sex was very much on my mind. And I remember a much older man of 14 pinning me to a bed in his apartment while his mom was away. Haha. Anyway, I also work at a middle school and yikes, there's a lot of hormones charging at that age. If you decide to do the party I suggest you are hovering constantly. Maybe your daughter and her boyfriend are totally trustworthy, but there's a lot of other kids on earth who are pushing the edge with their hormones. Good luck!

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answers from Portland on

I think a 'couples' party this early in the game would perhaps give too much validation or import to the concept of 'being a couple'. At this age, it's really not appropriate. Plus, it would also leave a lot of her friends out. Perhaps she's so enamored with the idea that she's not really thinking about how this would affect her usual community of peers.

What would be preferable would be to have a summertime picnic party. The girls can dress up and plan a potluck type menu. Get out the croquet set and some other games, and let she and her closest friends invite people they know and like. Boys and girls. Then, chaperone the heck out of it. Get the boyfriend's parents and some other parents to help.

You could also just have a nice conversation with the boyfriend's parents, too. I'd want to know what kind of supervision the kids have at their house and where the kids are allowed to be (and, where they aren't). But couples party? No way.

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answers from Dallas on

No, too young. It is really unusual for a 12 year to have a BF/GF for 3 months and to seem that serious. I can't imagine there are enough other 'couples' to make a party. And if so, you have a very forward 7th grade class that I would be a little worried about.... However, a daytime party (even early evening before night falls) for a few friends wouldn't be a bad idea but definitely not a nighttime party.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Here's maybe an eye opener for you... My son is almost 13 (going into 8th grade in September). LAST year, a 12 yr old friend of his had (still has, as far as I know) a girlfriend (also a supposedly upstanding young lady). My son shared that his friend had received a text message from this young lady... a picture: she was standing on the side of her bathtub at home wearing a Tshirt and underwear and that's it.

Sex is on her mind, and his too, I'm sure. I would not encourage your daughter to "commit" to having A boyfriend, nor would I encourage her to include only "couples" in any social event she wants to host. Teenagers are much too exclusionary anyway. She could invite boys and girls without making it a "couples" party. And I would highly suggest you do it that way if you allow her to have a party. And chaperone, chaperone, chaperone. Enlist the help of a couple of other moms as well.

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answers from Anchorage on

Sex is on her mind, and his, that is just the facts of puperty. It is ok to have a BF and to even have a couples party, but you need to get real and have a real discussion with her about safe sex, per pressure, and respect.

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answers from Chicago on

Hi S.,

If she watches ANY TV, then sex IS in her mind.... although she may not run right out and do it. But she is obviously at the age where she considers herself to be mature enough to be in a relationship where she is in love. I would simply get her talking about what that means to her - these are questions she will need to learn how to answer as she gets older.

I would start asking her what it means that she loves him. And what it means that he loves her. I would also find out her ideas on the purpose of dating - to have fun, for status, to find a mate for life etc.

I would also ask her a bunch of open ended questions like
*what would you do if you are kissing and he puts his hand on your bottom/boob, moves his hand up your shirt and starts massaging your back etc?
*how will you handle it if YOU want to do things that HE's not willing to do?
*What do you think are the benefits of being in love?
*What do you think are the struggles of being in love?
*What behaviors are ok if you are in love, that might not be ok if you are NOT in love? For example - is it ok to be jealous because you are in love?

I also definitely second the idea of having him over - but I like that you are nixing the idea of a 'couple's' party in favor of just a get together. I would also tell her that he needs to spend some time at your house (because part of being in love is including your partner into the family).

Good Luck.

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answers from St. Louis on

12 is waaaaay to young for this! Kinda hard to put the horse back into the stall, now that the barn door is open, tho'.

Doesn't matter how good she is. Doesn't matter how good he is. They're not even old enough to drive yet.....that means all relationships are based on the parents enabling the situation.

Please find a way to backtrack & nip this in the bud! & as a heads-up, no dating in our family until 16. Peace.

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answers from Biloxi on

I have a 15 year old son.
He has not had a girlfriend yet, but we discuss what that means at his age. It means a girl he likes, thinks is pretty, and would like to hang out with. It does not mean spending time alone, kissing, snuggling. It means he could go to a movie with her, with me as a chaperone; he could have a group of kids over, boys and girls, but they stay in the family room with me in the next room where I can see/hear them.

Why all the rules and the prurient attitude?
His classmate had a baby between 8th and 9th grade. She was 13.

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answers from Chicago on

Please keep talking with your daughter...even if she isn't as open as she was before. A few years ago, I led a weekend church retreat for some fifth grade girls, and they were already talking about how their "boyfriends" were pressuring them for sex!

Having a summer time party sounds like a fun activity for that age group. Definitely chaperone (and maybe have some of the other parents over to "mingle")!

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answers from Providence on

12? Is this the going age for having a boyfriend nowadays?? Scary .I didn't have my first boyfriend til I was about 15 or 16 years old. I don't know, personally I think she's way to young to have a steady boy. Sex is always on the minds of teens, especially dating ones..

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answers from Atlanta on

I had boyfriends at twelve and attended boy/girl parties, but back then we only kissed! Trust me, sex IS on her mind! Talk very openly with her about it and stress that 12 is no time to start doing it -although you understand if she has the feelings. I see nothing wrong with the boyfriend or the party-it's normal for that age and has been for decades, but be very specific about sex -the starting age and acceptance of it has REALLY changed!



answers from Columbus on

I think its okay to spend some supervised time together, but in my case my daughter is 12 and I just found out she has been spending time with an 18 yr old boy, and I do not know how to handle this situation.


answers from Hartford on

Just keep talking with an open dialogue. She needs to know that she can actually talk to you about anything and that it's not just something you're saying, you know?

Having him over is a good idea so that you can get to know him. It shouldn't just be during a party. I would encourage for him to come visit for an evening and supper and maybe even a family movie so that you can start to get to know him and trust him. I wouldn't automatically and blindly trust him just because your daughter says he's a good kid. We all think our boyfriends are "good guys" until they do something bad, and even then girls will put up with a lot of bad things and still consider their guys to be good. My point is not to consider him a bad guy, but to get to know him and make it clear that he needs to earn your trust without you coming off as a hardass.



answers from Killeen on

I also have a 12 year old daughter going to 7th grade. She has " boyfriend" and she has been going out(well they dont go anywhere but ya know) with him for 6 months. They are both good kids honor roll and involved in lots of activities. I try to validate the fact that my daughter is growing up and that she likes this boy but she knows we dont take the girl/boyfriend thing very seriously at this age. We allow it but do not encourage coupling up. Fortunately she also has a great attitude about it and would never ask me for a couples party....she knows thay would never happen. They talk on the phone and text, he came to her brothers birthday party, I take groups of them to movies skating etc. I also wouldnt allow her to go to his house to hangout as bf/ gf. I talk to her often and she recognizes that although she cares about this boy and likes him alot that love and being in love are complex emotions that cant be truly understood at 12 and that she should only say's he loves someone when she can truly understand it and mean what she says. While I understand that you want to validate your daughters feelings and but I think you are definitely playing with fire if you make it too serious at 12. She is definitly thinking about sex, not about having sex right now but in general and how it applies to her. If you do decide to do a party dont give them too much space make sure there are lots of chaperones. It IS tough having pre-teen girls.



answers from Milwaukee on

I would not let her have the couples party but I would tell her you want to meet the boy and to invite him over to meet you.They should stay outside because once you let him in he won't feel scared to come in any other time(especially if you're gone). Let him get to know your rules and watch them to see how they act together. If they are too affectionate then say something in front of him. My daughter is 13 and all last summer her bf would come to the door by 11am every day. We met him and really liked him and since I wouldn't let her leave with him they had to sit out in front of the house. Usually with her little brother playing out there(to keep an eye on them). He knew what our rules were and respected them(as far as we know). She ended up breaking up with him and has a new bf this year. We met him once and told her he is not to come over without her asking me. I doubt he will come back over again after they knew we were keeping a good eye on them the whole time. He was putting his arm around her waist and I didn't like it at all. Just seemed too sneaky and touchy feely to us. She doesn't see him much thank goodness. She is open about who she is going places with and if he will be there or if she's talked to him or not. She wanted to go meet his mom at his house and i was worried about her knowing where he lives and going over there when she is not home. I do not know her and only met him once. I knew the other boys parents and brother and sister that he frequently brought along with him. I agree about the group outings at this age. I don't let my daughter go to the movies alone with a boy. How do you even know they will stay there and what will go on in the dark if they are alone?



answers from Lake Charles on

Better to let her have friends over supervised. Don't make it a common occurrence but show her you trust her and make sure everything is age appropriate. No movies in the dark under covers obviously. If there's other parents that are okay with their kids going to this type of function then sure. Make sure you speak with the parents and let them know they will be completely supervised. If you don't do it on your terms then you aren't going to like the terms you'll be dealing with when it finally happens. Trust me. You've got a great daughter.


answers from Detroit on

You need to nip this in the bud now of you will see your honor roll daughter end up a pregnant preteen statistic. The age difference/maturity level between a 12 yr old girl and an 18 yr old boy is HUGE!! It is wrong & if they have sex even if she consents she still is not of legal age to consent it is just WRONG!! I'm sorry but if some 18 yr old boy/bordering adult I would be kicking his butt! Sex may not be on her mind but what exactly do you think that he could possibly have in common w/her? Don't be naive like your daughter. You are her mom not her friend. You need to step up & take control of this & involve the authorities if necessary. This is a train wreck waiting to happen. I don't mean to sound harsh but I'm just being honest. In the news everyday you see stories about children being molested or raped by men your daughter's friend's age. Take control of the situation before something happens that you or your daughter can't take back or change.

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