13 Year Old Girl Wants to Spend All Her Time with Boyfriend

Updated on May 03, 2010
K.E. asks from Rancho Cordova, CA
33 answers

My daughter is almost 14 and has had a boyfriend for 4 months, (trust me I can't believe it has lasted that long). I actually like the kid and I like his parents but I don't like the way she wants to spend every waking minute of the day with him. I'm trying to be understanding but after bribing her that she could spend a saturday with him and his family IF she finished reading a book (she is a straight A student in honors english and because she didn't read last trimester as much as she was supposed to that A became a C-) she comes home tonight and asks if she can spend tomorrow with his family also. We don't have plans but we never see her anymore. If she isn't with him she is off in her room multitasking homework/texting/computer, living out her drama filled life and only comes out for food, bathroom and to ask for something. I remember being the same way but I also didn't have younger siblings (6 and 18 months) that she never spends any time with. Asking her to partake in family activities is like asking her if she wants the flu. What's a mother to do?????

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So What Happened?

I have to say I really appreciate all the feedback I'm being given going both ways. I never did "approve" the boyfriend, it happened behind my back and didn't find out for a month. Short of going to her school every day and standing beside her in class I can't very well "Stop" her from calling some guy her "boyfriend." Was I ready "no." Do I think she is to young "yes." But honestly I considered this no more then innocent crushing. I monitor her texts and computer stuff and everything I read it pretty PG. She still has her friends but quite a bit of drama ensued when they didn't like him and thought he was taking her away from them blah blah blah, typical 13 year old stuff. I have had him over a couple times and like I said good kid, good head on his shoulders, she could of picked FAR worse for a first boyfriend. From everything I've seen and read he genuinly seems to (dare I say) care about her and sex doesn't even come into play here. I can already predict the future on this as she is a grade ahead of him and starts high school next year while he stays in middle school. (of course the schools are right next door). It just such a confusing time.

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answers from Kansas City on

I would restrict how much she gets to see the boyfriend until she has straight A's again. Perhaps one night a week, then more as the grades get back to where they should be.

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answers from Boston on

wow a boyfriend at 13!!!! Why? She is way to young for a relationship dont you think. She is a young young girl, what other interest does she have. Maybe you need to find out what her other inerest are and look into signing this girl up. A to a C mmmmmmmm that is a huge sign that the boyfriend is taking way to much of her time. My house SCHOOL is first, no bribing. Who is running who here. She should not have a bf at 13,,,,,,, period.

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answers from Sacramento on

Well as difficult as this is, you need to remember you are the parent and you need to set the boundaries and the rules. It is unhealthy for her to spend so much time with her boyfriend as young as she is. How old is he... 14 also? Or older? If it were me, the time she and he spends together would be at my house so I can keep track on what is going on between them.

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answers from Savannah on

Okay, so my child is nowhere near 13, BUT a recurrent problem I see here is moms saying that you need to put your foot down and say no boyfriends, you're too young. That is absurd. Almost 17 years have passed since I was 13, but let me tell you that MANY young people will do what they want, no matter what their parents tell them (I was one of these). If you tell her no, she can't see him, she may just start sneaking around and lying in order to spend time with him. Don't let that happen. Keep your child able to be honest and speak to you about things, don't create worry about what she is doing when not at home. I'm not saying you give in to their every whim, but a 13 year old girl is nearly an adult (and I know a lot of people would disagree with me on this, but I feel it's true), and you have to be able to meet them halfway sometimes and accept that their feelings and thoughts, however fleeting, are fairly mature. "Because I said so" doesn't work on 13 year olds. Promise.

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answers from Appleton on

I have a step-daughter who is 16 and whom I have raised for the past 4 years (her mother lives 4 hours away and is barely involved). She is also a straight A student and for the last year has wanted to spend EVERY waking minute with her boyfriend (whom we also like very much).
Instead of punishments (i.e. if you don't get your grades up....you can't see him) we decided to do it the opposite way. Saturdays she may spend with him as long as she wants until his curfew of midnight. Sundays he may spend at our house after lunch time until 8pm (they work on homework together usually) but they have to be involved in family time. That means if we decide to all watch a movie- they come up (from the family room) and watch it with us. We also have a 10 month old so their time can also be spent on Sundays watching or helping out with her sister (for free!) so I can grocery shop, etc. If we ask them to watch her on a Saturday night then they get paid for that time (won't work for everybody-but it works for us....and we get a "date night" out of it usually twice/month). They also tend to go to Grandma's on Sunday's and help her out with yardwork etc. and then stay for dinner.
As far as school nights- he is allowed over on Wednesday nights as long as her grades remain the same (they have early release at 2pm) and as long as homework gets done before dinner. He is allowed to stay until 9 but he usually leaves around 7 after dinner. My hubby has a way of putting them to work on some project (mowing the law, pulling weeds, etc.) just about every Wednesday and both of them willingly comply without a complaint. The first and only time she complained her dad said "well, your chore is to pull all the weeds. You can do it with him in two hours- or without him for 4- you pick!". We've never heard her complain since...lol! If her grades go down she knows that the next Wednesday he will not be able to come over so that's her incentive to keep grades up.
For us, we found it better to "reward" her for things with extra time with him rather than taking on a standard of "punishment". That way she is in control of how much/little she sees him during the week. There are set rules which they both know which keeps the whining and begging at bay. Absolutely NEVER is he allowed in her room (or even down that hallway for that matter). They can watch movies downstairs but are not allowed to "lay down" together on the couch, etc.
Bottom line: You can't stop her from having a boyfriend- she'll just hide it! Teach her to be open with you and you'll be able to be open with her too. Good Luck!

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answers from Boston on

What's a mother to do? Seriously? A 13 year old CHILD should not have a boyfriend. She should not be spending time with his family, especially for entire days. Why are you bribing your child? If her grades have dropped because of this boy, the time with the boy is over. Put the computer she is using in a family room and take her cell phone away. Why does a 13 year old need a cell phone? Please don't give me the excuse that you need to be in touch with her every single moment of her life. Didn't you get through childhood just fine without a cell phone? Well, so can she. At the very least, let her earn time back with it. Start being a parent again, she really needs one.

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answers from Norfolk on

1) Get the computer and all the electric gadgets (with the exception of an alarm clock) out of her room and into an area the whole family uses. 2) Until her grades come back up, her time with bf will be limited. When the grades come back, she'll have earned more time, but not unlimited time. 3) Since when do you have to ASK? for her to participate with the family? Hasn't she got chores to do? Take out the trash, mow the lawn, wash/put away the dishes, clean the bathrooms (or at least hers), vacuum the house, sweep the porch, do some laundry, prep for (breakfast/lunch/dinner)? This is the other way for her to earn leisure time. When bf comes over put him to work too. He can help her wash/vacuum the car. If you start talking with your daughter and boyfriend (and his parents) about when the wedding will be, it might mean they will begin finding more things for him to be doing at home to make him less available for dating time. Talk to his parents about them doing chores at his house too. Accept zero drama. It's just a waste of time and energy. Get some ear plugs if you need them. Once the theatrics don't get her what she wants, she will knock off that behavior.

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answers from Detroit on

I have a 13 year old and thankfully I don't have to deal with the boyfriend yet but grades going down I do. She started 7th grade all A's and B's then wham down to all C's we took away her cell phone, no computer unless for homework(we watched to make sure it was homework) and no friends until grades were back up. You will be surprised at what happens when she figures out you mean business. They all tend to try to drift away from family time but when you make it clear that she must spend some time with the family in order to spend any time with BF her attitude will change.

Bottom line grades and family come first if she wants to spend ANY time with BF and stick to it. If you let her rule the show this early can you imagine what the rest of her teenage years will be like?

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answers from Redding on

I just want to say that you sound very grounded about this and I salute your good mothering. I have no advice because my children are so young, but I think you would be a good person to go for advice on this issue.

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answers from San Francisco on

I remembered a request like this from a couple of years ago and went back to look at it. I decided I couldn't put that advice any better so I am just going to paste it here. :o) At this point my 2nd daughter is 13 and I have the same rules. The older on (subject of original answer) is now 15.5 and perfectly happy with tons of friends and activities, good grades but no boyfriend currently. She knows she is allowed to date, but she's very picky! Anyway, here is my original answer. I hope this helps!

First, 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.

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answers from Sioux City on

Why would a 13 year old be dating? My almost 14 year old finds boys interesting, but dating? Not on your life. She does group activities and sometimes there are boys in the group, but never dating at that age.

We enjoy our family time together. There are four kids in the house at this time and we have a blast hanging out. When her friends come over they hang out with us.

Last night we made a makeshift charcoal fire and roasted marshmallows as we made up goofy stories. It was a blast and all the kids were involved.

In our house there is no TV or computers in their bedrooms. We have a couple of cell phones, but they're just for when a child is out of the house so they can have contact with us. She does know how to text and enjoys texting her Dad. I can't fathom not spending time with us. I am sure there will be a day when she brings a boy home, but not any time soon. We view dating as courting and she is far to young for that.

You hold all the cards. If you don't like what she's doing, change it. Lay some rules down and stick to them.

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answers from Sacramento on

Since you say you like the boy and like his parents, have you had a serious conversation with his parent's about this situation. Perhaps if all the parents are on the same page with this, you can work together to let the kids have adequate time together, but not go overboard with it. Personally, I adhere to the old idea that dating prior to age sixteen is group dating, not one on one. If you and the boys parents agree with something of that nature, set up with the kids how often they can go out on a group date with other kids, rules regarding homework/school nights, curfew times, etc. You have to give them some trust, but also enough parental supervision to help them get through this stage of life without doing something that will cause them to be sorry for the rest of their lives... that includes sexual activity, drinking and driving, and a host of other potentially harmful activities.
I agree that you need to have an open, and inviting atmosphere for her to have her boyfriend come to your house, go on outings with you, etc.
Our son-in-law was welcomed into our home, on our terms... meaning we made the rules, let our daughter know that she was responsible for being sure they both followed the rules, and what the consequences would be if the rules were not followed. It was fairly obvious to us in a short time that their relationship would lead to marriage, and he was considered another son rather than just our daughter's boyfriend. The same was true with her older brother bringing home girls. He dated one girl, (was in fact engaged to her for a while) who just didn't seem to get it that she had to abide by our household rules. I kept on telling him it was his responsibility to get his girlfriend in line if he wanted to keep on bringing her into our home. When he didn't seem able to do that, I finally took an opportunity to let her know myself that she was no longer welcome unless she decided to abide by our rules. The relationship ended soon after that, and he now is married to a wonderful woman I refer to as our 'daughter-in-love'. As long as you've established a good trusting relationship with your daughter from the beginning, you should be able to get through this period of time too.
One more thing... I know we all worry about teen age pregnancies, and we should. However, if.. after giving her all the good counsel in that regard that you can.. she does become pregnant, do remember it isn't the end of the world. You can help her through such a situation and all of you come out strong.

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answers from Fresno on

My girls are not this age yet, however I have 10 younger cousins who I've had the chance to observe growing up. As a cautionary tale, my dumb aunt thought it would be a great idea to allow her 2 sons to date at this age. She'd let them run off at whatever day and time they chose with whatever random girl they were involved with at the time. They both had terrible grades in middle school and things didn't get better in high school. The cautionary tale part comes in here: my aunt thought her older son's girlfriends' parents were sooooo out of touch for not wanting her to date, that she allowed the girl to come over to her house to hang out. Well, my aunt didn't supervise them AT ALL and long story short, the girl ended up hooked on drugs (did I mention that my dumb cousin sold drugs out his bedroom window?) and pregnant. Her parents were heartbroken because they thought she had been with her friends or at the library, etc. Anyhow, this poor girl ends up in rehab, then has a baby (which her parents had to raise, as she was in MIDDLE SCHOOL)... It seriously screwed up her life. To this day (the "baby" is now 7 years old) she is struggling to get her life back on track.

So I guess my point is, you need to be the mom and really take charge of this situation. Keep your daughter safe at all costs. If that means that you have to pick her up at school and sit right next to her as she does her homework, then do it. There is no good reason that a 13 year old girl needs to be going on dates, just her and the boyfriend. They should go out in a group or chaperoned, but letting them go off by themselves is insanity. I don't care how "nice" this boy seems, he is only interested in one thing, and you and I both know what that is! Don't let your daughter go there!

At this point, your daughter needs to focus on school work and family. Those are her first two priorities. After that, maybe a group date night on the weekend, but the two of them really shouldn't be left alone unsupervised. No good can come of it! We have been through this heartbreak in our family and have seen it firsthand.

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answers from Jackson on


Stop with your hurt feelings! You are her mother, your job is to guide & protect her from herself.

You have two young children, perhaps she's trying to make a point to you, that she is NOT a little kid. Having a boyfriend drives that point quite strongly.

Give her some adult time with you. Give her your undivided attention. Give her an hour of your time, and go out for ice cream, get manicures, try a cake decorating class together. Too expensive? Takes too much time? The time & money you spend now, is cheaper & easier than raising her baby, next year.

Tell the young man, you like and respect him. "Daughters" grades are dropping, you 2 are spending too much time together.

You can decide if you want him to come over on Friday night & or Saturday night, they can watch a video or play games at your house, as a family. She's too young to be dating.

If push comes to shove, and her Report Card is GREAT = they earn a trip to the pizza parlor as an alone date together. You drop them off & pick them up. (It worked for my daughter.)

Family events: When you go out as a family, is she the built in baby sitter & chaser? Teenagers crave attention! It’s nearly impossible for your daughter to compete with the cute antics of the baby & 6 year old. Maybe that is why some young girls have babies?

Family events: tell she can bring a girl friend to the event, give her someone to commiserate with.

We asked adult friends & family to include our kids in their conversations, share their personal college stories, or commiserate with them about her current Math or English teacher or boyfriend etc….

Phones: You may have to change the rules and the furniture in your house. My kids weren't allowed to take the cordless phone or cell phones to their bedrooms. My husband told our daughter "anything you have to say, you can say in front us." Of course she whined to her friends (loudly), on the phone, so we could hear her complaints. Our only computer was either in the family room, kitchen or dining room.

My kids did not turn out "perfect" but it wasn't for lack of trying.
I wish you the best!

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answers from Missoula on

There was only 1 reason I was spending all my time with my boyfriend at that age. SEX! My mom had no clue because she wanted to believe I was pure. I too always told her I wanted to go to his house and spend time with his family. His mother would cover for me anytime I wanted her to.

I would limit her time. If it's not happening now, it will.

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answers from San Francisco on

I may be old fashioned, but I did not allow my daughters to date until they were 16 years old. If they wanted to go out with boy, it had to be a group date, meaning several kids went out to together. I was also the parent that drove the kids to movies. I didn't mind because this allowed me to meet and see the other kids my daughters hung out with.
There were times that my kids were expected to come together for a family funtion, and I explained why it was important to come together and be together even if they didn't feel like it.



answers from Los Angeles on

Good job realizing this is a part of adolescence. I am a middle school counselor and this is huge in 8th grade. I hate to tell you that so is sex. I know you have read her texts and everything seems fine but please just ask the boyfriend's parents if they let them go in the room alone or close the doors. Maybe she gets more privacy over there. Sorry - that is a complete side bar!

What I suggest to all my parents is to have a date night. Mom and daughter date night. It is interesting how many moms are frustrated that the older sibling doesn't want to "help" around the house or hang out with younger siblings. At this age, they are the center of the universe - time with family takes away from the drama that needs her every minute. Worry about time with you - not time with siblings. Start with a dinner with you. I hope dad is home to help babysit so you can maintain the bond you seem to have had so that when the time comes, she is open about talking to you about things. At this age, teens prefer acceptance from their friends but they will maintain the boundaries and rules you set for them if they respect you. If you violate their boundaries over and over (think not trusting... spanking, grounding all the time, taking the door off her room etc.) then she will violate yours. Not that that is good behavior, it is just something to expect.

At dinner, you may want to suggest that you would be willing to host a movie marathon slumber party with her girlfriends. (Any of the vampire movies out are huge at this age but I don't know if you approve that) Anyway - get her thinking about next year and maybe some friends are going to different high schools, some are staying together, it is good to have an end of the year friendship sleep over - this might remind her how much she likes her friends and maybe help put into perspective where her priorities are.

Good luck - you sound like you are on the right track. Oh - I forgot - no cell phones at dinner!



answers from San Francisco on

Please have a conversation with her about birth control and sex and the decisions she has to be prepared to make with respect to her own body. Kids this young ARE having sex. Talk to her about how you want her to honor and value her body and that having sex will NOT make a boy stay or like you more. Set rules about where they can see each other. Not behind closed doors, at your house, etc. I told my daughter, no dating until 16 and that didn't stop her from liking someone at 13 and beginning to spend lots of time together. We can't really control that much, but we can make sure we are connected with and talking to our daughters. One of my favorite strategies was to read the same teen magazines and watch the same (awful) reality shows like The Hills or whatever. Those gave me the chance to talk about a lot of teen and dating issues in a more neutral way talking about an article or someone's bad behavior on TV. I could ask questions like "do you think that any kids at your school are having those kinds of issues etc.
A lot of times a teenager doesn't want to talk so you have to be there and be patient and sometimes just wait it out. Use your intuition. mom's can sense when something has changed, don't ignore those signals. Be brave, hopefully this challenging frustrating teenage phase will only be around for a few years.



answers from Dallas on

You've received some great responses. I have an 18 year old and have had some really rough times with her. I wish I'd been a bit more strict with her. I have 2 suggestions from this point on for you. First off, that computer needs to be in a common living area, not the privacy of her bedroom! Kids say and do things online and in texts that they would never ordinarily say or do. It's not the world you grew up in anymore. Secondly, her cell phone needs to be handed to you to be kept in your bedroom as of 9 pm (or 10, or whatever time you decide). Even if YOUR child respects a certain cutoff time, the largest majority of kids don't, and they text and talk all night long. Teens need large amounts of uninterrupted sleep. Watch her and him like a hawk!


answers from Washington DC on

unfortunately you can't force interest in family activities. it's natural for an adolescent to begin separating herself, and it's happening with yours on the young side. you can get tough with her as many people suggest, but i think it won't work and will actually make things worse. i think you're actually on the right track by allowing her to spend time with him but insisting that academics be addressed first. i would stick with that, but when it comes to insisting that she spend time with family i'd be very careful. the best thing i've found is to make family activities cheerful and appealing, but always optional. then you can be quietly (not gushingly!) pleased when she chooses to join you, but don't set up tension by insisting.
i think the best thing to do is to set up a mutual visiting schedule with the boy each week (at your house as well as his) that is somewhat tied to grades, ie that she can see him regardless but she gets extra visiting privileges if she bucks up on her schoolwork.
a lot of people complain about how hostile teenagers become. there is a wide middle ground between caving to a teen's every whim and becoming their enemy. they are supposed to be discovering their autonomy and exploring life without parental input about every issue and should be encouraged to do so safely, but slamming more controls down on them often backfires.
it sounds to me as if you are a sensitive emphathic mom who is dealing with the situation in a realistic manner. your daughter is fortunate even if she doesn't realize it yet!



answers from Madison on

This wasn't your question, but another thing to think about when it comes to boyfriends. What about your daughter's friends? Does she spend time with them? Sounds like she is spending only time with her boyfriend. What happens when she and her boyfriend break up? Will she have friends to go back to? It is very easy for teenagers to get wrapped up in a boyfriend and neglect their friends, but they may not be interested in being her friend anymore if she has "dropped them" for now when she has a boyfriend. She needs to have a balance of time with family, friends and boyfriend.



answers from San Francisco on

Hello K., I am the mother of 5 and have raised several others so I come with experiance. None of my girls were allowed to date until 16 but they were smart enough to group date at about 13. Think hard weren't you the same way when you were TwitterPatted the first time? I know that I was. You are facing what my family and friends call " the seperation/division of family and sweetheart-- it can be a warzone worse than any battle ground.
My girls made me crazy becasue once they found this guy and I quote" wonderful, cute,great smile, great voice, and oh those hands are so nice to hold" The family was history.!.. We have had to make the guy come and read out loud school books so she would even think about homework, have made sure they are not alone or unchaperoned so it doesn't get out of hand. But I can tell you it is easier to be the other of boys why? because then you know what your son has been taught. I have one daughter that we put the boyfriends name on the chore chart becasue he was there so much.
Ofcourse since we have so many siblings around here they are 1st or I come down heavy on the "dates". We have see great guys and ones we hated manystayed as family friends after they broke up. Be prepared to be told that the world has ended when they breakup ! Good Luck this is a whole new stage of paenthood and the ride on this rollercoaster is fast and furious!



answers from Seattle on

Tell her that she needs to limit her time spent with her boyfriend until her grades improve. You could even go as far as taking her cell phone away until homework is complete. If you're comfortable with his parents, talk to them about your concerns with your daughter so they won't feel offended in any way. I'm pretty sure they will be very understanding. Teenagers attitudes... uuugh, but you are her mother and she has rules to abide by. Talk to her and tell her you understand how exciting it was when you were her age to have a boyfriend, but there needs to be compromise. Come up with a solution together and stick to your guns mama. If she ever tells you the "I hate you" line, remember it's not true. She hates the discipline, but deep down she respects it.
GOOOOOOD LUCK!!! It could be worse!



answers from New York on

now it's too late for you, but a 13 year old should have not been allowed to have a boyfriend in the first place. they're too young, they're too immature, they become too clingy on the relationship, and that relationship will consume their lives. just like what happened to your daughter.
but now back to your current situation. of course you cannot forbid her to see her boyfriend or spend time with him. but you can put conditions: straight A's, half the time boyfriend and her need to spend with your family, half with his family, take turns, discuss it with the boy's parents. you give her set amount of txts and phone calls she can make or the cell phone will be taken away. she needs to participate in doing household chores, and spend time with her siblings without her boyfriend. you're not her landlady you're her mother. you make the rules. if she breaks even one rule, one privilege goes out of the window, she breaks two rules, two go out of the window. will she resist? of course she will, but as soon as she does, start taking privileges away from her.
bring back your authority in the family. she will be 18 soon enough and then you will have no say.
good luck



answers from Washington DC on

My 14 year old just went through this.
Personally, I don't see anything wrong with them having "boyfriends". The way I look at it, it is just a phase and I am not going to have a big battle over a phase. I never actually told my girls "NO boyfriends", but they know who we would and would not accept. I just feel that the more you hold some (not all) children back, the more they are going to fight you. The odds of them actually "staying together" are next to none.
My daughter was with her boyfriend for about 6 months. It was funny watching them. One would never know they were boyfriend/girlfriend. You would think they were just good friends. But the key word is that we watched them. He was always over here. Apparently he liked it here more than his house, but that is another story. He just hung out with us and played with our son and helped out with chores if he saw something that needed to be done. But they were NEVER alone.
There was a time I had to put my foot down. It wasn't my daughters grades that were slipping, it was the boys. So I told my daughter that she needed to limit her time with him and help him get his grades back up. Which she did.
So to your question, talk to his parents, and talk to them. Let them know your concerns. Your daughter may surprise you.
But don't expect it to last forever. Chances are sooner or later she will hate him and have her heart broken and you need to be there for her. That is what happened here.



answers from San Francisco on

In my house, we make family dinner a requirement. And, boyfriend is a bad word until after 16. If you are going to let the relationship continue, I say have the boy over to your house to do family things more often.



answers from Columbus on

You probably need to find a balance in this. Why can't the boy spend time with your family too? If it were me, I would take the computer out of the bedroom and put it in the family room with the screen facing into the room, and let her use it only when you are there. I would also not be letting her out too much until the C- was back up to her potential, so the boy would be at my house because she has not earned her "wings." I would not worry about her acting like you are the flu, unless she is disrespectful about it. She does not have to be happy about it, but she needs to spend time with you so that you can insert parental guidence into her little drama world. That would crimp her style, and she is trying to avoid that, which is exactly the point because a 13 year old needs Mom and Dad to guide them and pull the plug on activities that they are not ready for, no matter how much fun they are. It is all a balance, it sounds to me like you have a lot of currency to use here, the boy, the comupter-cell phone and her privacy really are things that you can giveth and taketh away. I would use these things to get the behavior I wanted out of her while I took control of the excess in terms of the boy.

Good luck! Ain't 13 great?




answers from San Francisco on

I remember being 13 and hating to be with my family also. BUT my mother insisted and strictly limited the amount of time spent at friends houses (1 hour per visit.) she just put down her foot, said no, we stayed home and hated it. BUT now that I'm an adult, I'm glad she did that. We created many family memories that we wouldn't have if she had let us run with friends all the time. Also, don't expect your 13 year old to want to hang out with a 6 year old or a baby. she probably is just not going to want to do it so I would make her take the two for a walk or take them to the park or whatever. Force her if you have to, but insist on family time. Also, it's not good for her to spend all of her time with her boyfriend. try to encourage her to spend time with girlfriends also.


answers from Sacramento on

Ask your daughter to bring him around more often. Instead of spending time at his house, they can spend time at yours. Including him will probably make your daughter feel like you're being more supportive of her relationship (even if you don't really approve). I think that might open the lines of communication and make it so that you are able to spend more time with her while being able to keep an eye on the young couple.



answers from Chicago on

13 is NOT too young to have a boyfriend!!! Anyone who thinks 13 years old is too young for a boyfriend is clearly very out of touch with reality. These people need to step into a middle school. They will find that most of them either have a b/f or have someone "in mind". I would just make obvious rules...no boys in her bedroom, she needs to get that c- up, etc. Sounds like you are doing everything right! Good luck!!



answers from New York on

Luckily I haven't run into this exact problem yet. But I do have 2 teenage daughters. We set rules and what's expected as far as school work, time you spend with friends, time to do chores, and family time. As far as school goes both girls are A/B students. A "C" is not acceptable. If you bring home a "C" that means you will spend an extreme amount of time studying and bringing that grade back up.

Our schedule is basically...

After school homework and chores (chores are only 5 to 15 minutes), then you can have time to talk with your friends, play on the computer. We eat dinner as a family. Several evenings a week, there are activies after dinner.

Saturday mornings you can sleep in, but you must help do some house work and clean your rooms before friends and free time. Dad works Saturdays, so I highly encourage the girls to spend sometime with me playing a game, doing some shopping, or watching a movie.

Sunday is family day. Ocassionally they are allowed to have friends over or go to a friends house.

These are the rules and they must stick to them. Sure I get a lot of whinning and moaning.

In your case if she wants to tomorrow with his family, say ok you can do that but that means today, you need to ..... OR you can say you can go to his house for 2 hours, but I need you home the rest of the day. If you completely say no your up for a big battle. Give her options, but be firm with the rules you set.



answers from New York on

I was just talking to my oldest daughter (12) about this yesterday. I know that things were entirely different when I was 12 about 28 years ago, but I was trying to explain to my daughter that there will always be time for boys in your life. I have a friend who's got a daughter a little older who is dating someone who is always & I mean always at the house. Dating to us was just that, going to the movies, meeting at the park, stuff like that. I think that it is fine as long as you get along w/the boy and his parents and that there is the mutual respect, but I intend on laying down some of the same rules my mom did. Even engaged I was expected to be there for family functions and holidays. I'm sure I'll be called a nag or this or that but I truly don't care. It'll just be another way of me trying to destroy her life (according to her)! Good luck!



answers from Stockton on

Invite the boyfriend on a family outing. She might die of embarrassment at first but she'll get over it.
Move the computer to a "public" area in your house.
Make her "earn" boyfriend time - talk to his parents so they can back you up.
Remind her that when we were kids we had to actually WRITE notes and pass them in the halls..until she is so bored she'll agree to do what ever you want her to. ;)
BTW - my 8-9th grade boyfriend is still my best friend - he ended up being gay so the whole true love thing didn't work out for us but we can still yak on the phone for HOURS. ;)

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