14 Year Old and "Boyfriends"

Updated on July 11, 2011
D.D. asks from Portland, OR
14 answers

So I recently found out my daughter is supposedly "dating" a 13 year old boy. I keep telling her that she is too young still to date. Some of her friends have already had boyfriends already. I think the most they will do is talk on the phone, text or talk on Facebook. So I am not sure you can really classify any of these relationships as 'dating'.
Anyway, I am just stuck on what to do. I'm not really sure what is a good age to let her start dating. I know I had a serious relationship at 15. We dated for 2 years. I know she has already had a few boyfriends she has kept behind my back. I have found this out by reading her texts and Facebook messages. I think she thinks it is OK to date because some of her friends parents let them date. A dilemma I have today is that I am at work and she wants to go to her "boyfriends" house to go swimming with a girlfriend of hers. Yes, the parents will be there. But I don't know how I feel about this. She is only 14 and I don't like the idea of her hanging around a supposed boyfriend if I haven't even met the parents.
Please moms help me out!

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answers from Kalamazoo on

Sorry - but if you don't know the parents, then I wouldn't let my 14yr old girl go to a strangers house. How would she be getting there? You think his parents are going to sit by the pool and watch them? She'll already be wearing only a swimsuit.......and lots of things can happen quickly underwater. And I'm speaking from experience! Live and Learn! Nope!

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answers from Dallas on

I am probably one of the more open minded and lenient moms around, my daughter is 16 and we have a great relationship and good communication. She has a steady BF and has been with him 6 months.

As far as the pool.... I'd lean to the no on that simply because I haven't met the parents.

It is probably just fine and no issues but you never know if someone else's parenting style is opposite yours.

My daughter did go to movies in a group at 13 and 14 and she was 15 for her first 1 on 1 date. Our rules are... he comes to the door and we meet him. I don't need to give him a full out interview, the boys needs to know you are watching out for your daughter.

As long as my daughter does not break curfew and rules, we are pretty lenient. She and her BF hang out here at our house a lot. They have the entire upstairs to themselves because that is daughter's "area" BUT.... there are no doors closed and no going into daughter's bedroom. They are welcome to go to game room 1 and play on the Wii, etc or the big game room and play pool.

When she is at his house, she knows not to stay unless his mom is there. A parent has to be home at all times when they are together.

Talk about birth control, STD's, etc. I'd rather her get the truth from me than hearsay from the street.

Make sure the other parents parent in a similar way you do. My daughter has an ex best friend. She was at ex's house for New Years Eve 2 yrs ago and I had not heard from her when I texted (another rule... answer our texts or we step it up). Finally I got ahold of her at 1am and realized she was not at the girls house, the girls at the sleepover party decided to walk to another party. Well, my hubby promptly went over and picked daughter up... there is a city curfew too. She was mortified.

The next day, the ex's step dad came over and apologized. He was asleep and his new wife was watching everyone. Well, his new wife (ex friends mom) would like to think she is 16 again and she acts just like the 16 yr olds. She KNEW the kids were not in the house and did not know where they were. This was the beginning to the end of the relationship for my daughter and me with this family. I have learned that this "cool' mom provides alcohol to the teens in her house as well. GEESH...

Had I known the habits of "cool" mom, my daughter would never have ever stayed over at that house. I don't have to worry about that now. So, yes, meet parents before you let your daughter hang out. you don't want her to get in a situation that she can't get out of.

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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Chicago on


A couple things.....

If you tell her she can't go swimming - where will she go? If she's home alone today.... will she just go anyway? And how would you know?

Telling a 14 year old anything shuts a door - as you probably know. So make sure you are asking questions about him and how she thinks - without interrogating her. Ask her what she likes about him. Ask her why she wants to date him. Ask her what she will do if he wants to do things she doesn't want to do (instead of telling her not to).

He should be spending time at YOUR house getting to know you and your family.

What is she doing all summer if you are working? Is she just at home alone? That spells trouble with a capital T for time for sex. Try to find a camp or something for her to do so that she does not have all day free to hang out with her friends or a boy. Can she be a mother's helper - those are in high demand. Can she volunteer somewhere?

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answers from Honolulu on

-So how did you find out?

-Did you and your Husband sit down with her and talk about it? Encourage open communication so that she doesn't 'hide' things from you and as she gets older.

- Keep in mind that at this age, hormones are kicking in. Already. They make-out and grope each other. Not all kids, but they do.

- Did you explain to her, about her body and that it is her body? That no boy can make her do anything and to speak up... when things are uncomfortable?

- Boys this age, as I have read, can already be 'controlling' and/or make girls feel insecure. Some girls just want to be liked and try to be like others. Teach your Daughter to be her own person.... not to be a "Follower" etc. And NOT just to do, whatever the Boy says to her or asks of her.

- Teach her, appropriateness and what is inappropriate... about her body and emotions.

- kids this age, do 'group' outings of mixed gender. But, bear in mind (thinking back when I was that age), that kids can be wily AND sneaky. Sometimes... even in group outings, some 'couples' will separate, and go off and do whatever. Then at the time of when their parents pick them up, they are back with the group. All unknown to the parents. Kids, do this. They go off on their own, separate from the group, and make-out or whatever. Know that.

- kids this age, do not have 100% full wisdom nor ability on how to manage their emotions, hormones, and body urges. So, talk to her about this. No matter how mature or not, she may be.
The human brain, is not even fully developed, until 26 years old.

- Kids this age, do not even know, what a 'relationship' is. It is all impulses and floundering around.

At that age, my parents said no, to 'relationships.' NO way.

- at this age, 'relationships' is all about physicality. And making-out. Whether you know about it, or not.

- Just because her friends' parents are allowing things, does not mean, you/your Daughter 'has to' do that same thing. You TEACH your daughter this. Explicitly.
Otherwise, she will use that rationale, against you/Hubby, all the time.
Saying to you "Well Jane's parents let her.... "

- And, why have you NOT met the boy's parents, yet???? That is one of the first things to do.

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answers from Birmingham on

You have gotten some great advice already. I would like to second Jen and Dawn. How open are you when speaking about boys, relationships, and sex? Have you laid out your expectations as far as dating is concerned? Personally, I would tell her that she can go to his house when you are there to take her, meet his family, then come back and pick her up. You should be able to get a feel for his families parenting style. If they seem like the type who would not be around to keep an eye on them, then I would think twice about how much time I would let them spend alone at his house. You would think that the physical actions between a boy and girl at 14 would only be playful and innocent. I started having sex when I was 14. I know not everyone will make the same poor choices that I did. I am saying that some unfortuntely will. I wish I could have talked to my mom more openly. I probably would have made some different choices. But, that conversation is for another post...
Good luck with whatever you decide.

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answers from Albany on

My daughter is 14 and has had the same BF for 18 months. He is a year older than she is.
Before we knew him and his fam, I probably would not have let her go either, and would've been very unpopular for it. :(

But now, I text his mom, my daughter has a wonderful relationship with his whole family, and he is here often. So of course I'd let her go if there were parents there.

I completely understand your hesitation. And I too am a somewhat relaxed mom. Hard to say maybe next time, you know? Maybe you can make the rule BFs need to come hang out at your house while your home FIRST, before any other plans, that seems to be the way it works with my kids.

But my kids are kings/queens of long term relationships apparently, where both families know each other well. I communicate with my son's GF (he's 18, they've been together 3 years) as much as he does.


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answers from Kansas City on

I think you should meet the parents first a to get a sense of how they are and what type of environment your daughter will be in.
One of my aunts used to okay her kids to have sex at home and even allowed them to use her bed! My teenaged nephew had a girlfriend whose dad brought her to a gathering and met my in-laws to be sure adults were there. My nephew and his girlfriend spend most of their time going into other rooms ("helping" each other in the kitchen, looking at the back yard etc) to make out and at one point went upstairs to his room. His parents didn't say anything or seem mind that the only two teens were missing until I "innocently" ;) asked where they were.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Can you go to the house and meet the parents after work when you pick her up? I don't think it is bad she has a boyfriend. At least she is being honest! She is going to have boyfriends like it or not, sadly, so being a part of it and letting her go on "dates" is the best way to keep both of you happy really. I say let her go swimming =)

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answers from Minneapolis on

I started dating at 14 (I'm 50 now). He was 16 and he had his own car. We went out to movies and things once a week during school and "hung out" several times a week during the summer.

I'm expecting my daughter to be dating at about 14, and am preparing her with all the knowledge and self-confidence that I can before then (she's 9 now).

I would find a way to casually meet a boy's parents. As long as some parents are present, I would let my daughter hang out at the pool.

I don't believe we do our young people any favors by calling first crushes and first loves dating in quotes. It is real dating, with real emotions. First loves are important to growing up. They are how we practice and learn how to be in relationships. I intend to do what I can to keep the communcation open with my daughter as she goes through these experiences.



answers from Spartanburg on

I remember being 14 and having a "boyfriend", how sweet..and akward!! If she's going with the girlfriend let her go, they'll just giggle and splash around, he'll try to be cool and she'll probably just sit there tryng not to feel super self-conscious of how her hair looks wet...they are just kids! I would not go to meet his parents (isn't it a little early?), this is like a playdate more than a real date..Let her invite him over at your house sometime and see for yourself how "mature" the fling seems to be. It all seems so innocent (and cute) to me...ahhhh, how time flies....



answers from Anchorage on

Whatever you decide about the BF, be sure you are talking very openly with your daughter. You say you are sure nothing is happening, but I knew a lot of couples that age that were already exploring the world of sex. They don't need much time or privacy to give oral sex (a very popular thing for this age group), and most of them do not even know that you can give and get STDs through oral!



answers from Chicago on

I didn't have a chance to read thru the other responses, so I am sorry if I repeat. But I believe that at 14, especially with the way technology is today, you are not going to be able to stop her from having a boyfriend, and by trying to forbid it you are just fostering an environment for lying and deceit. You said she has already "hid" previous boyfriends from you. You definitely need to spell out the rules and expectations of "dating," along with clear consequences. Get to know his parents, let them know your rules (i.e. she can't be there unless they are, etc, they will likely have similar rules), and be sure you have a way to communicate with them (email, text, phone). Discuss sexual behavior and the importance of respecting herself and her body. The more you can work to establish communication and trust now the better off everyone will be.
I know 14 seems so young, and my oldest is only 9 (and a son), but 20 years ago I was 14 and started dating my now husband. We dated for 8, have been married for 12 and have 4 beautiful children. It really is crazy to think about! You just never know what the future holds. My only regret from early on in our relationship is not doing a better job maintaining my relationships with my girlfriends. He was 2 years older and we didn't have friends in common, so we spent a lot of time 1 on 1 rather than in groups. Encourage her not to overindulge in time with him at the exclusion of her girlfriends.
She is going to call him what she wants to call him, so let that go. But you need to guide her and work with her to help her develop healthy relationships. This is a normal time for these types of social dynamics to begin. Just be sure to Communicate!



answers from Houston on

We always checked on the kids. If they were in the gameroom we would walk right up. Didn't announce ourselves or anything. When the kids were in the pool we did "hand check". This included everyone! Our daughter always had a group of kids over and they all got checked!!! In a group setting and with parental supervision I would not be opposed.

I know she is only 14 but you do need to give her room to grow. Don't hold her back or hold on too hard, you will drive her away. I'm concern where you mention that she has had boyfriends but hid them behind your back. She is already hiding things. Be careful!

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