14 Yo Son Has a Girlfriend

Updated on June 07, 2014
L.R. asks from Grand Rapids, MI
19 answers

So I'm freaking out a little bit. My 14 yo son going into 9th grade appears to have a girlfriend. She has been texting him on his iPod and the last text displays on his home screen. The one from this morning read, "bye, I love you too" (from the girl). I have respected his privacy but I have a hard time with the exchange of those words? This is a social relationship since he doesn't date. He only sees her in school and talks to her through texting/online. My concern is that he doesn't realize how girl's emotions get involved and that he is too young to be in a relationship. I'm sure this will pass quickly but the mama bear inside me wants to keep him safe and not let him grow up. I also struggle with this whole technology thing. When I dated, my parents knew who the boys were, where they lived and their parents. There was no texting, skyping, IM'ing etc...It's so hard to keep informed without snooping and breaking the trust you have built with your child. We had a rule that all cell phones stay downstairs at night but there are so many other devices to monitor...Help...Anyone else feeling the same?

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answers from Omaha on

I think you are being silly. That to me seems perfectly normal and age appropriate. I had a few "boy friends" in Jr. High School. I still remember them. It is a part of growing up. Actually I am still friends with my first boy friends from Jr. High and one is married to my best friend. Yes they are still young but I don't think he is too young to have a girl friend. As long as they still have their other friends and are not spending every waking minute with each other then I don't see the harm here. You are making way to big of a deal out of it. You can use this as a teaching moment to shape how he treats girls.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

My first kiss was at 12. I believe most of my friends 90% of them were about the same time. All happened in 6th grade. I didn't have sex until I met my husband. Give him some space momma.

7 moms found this helpful

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answers from Reading on

Agree with jmomomaha 100%. I still have my cigar box of folded up notes from boys in my class. And my first kiss was at 12, and I never slept with anyone until my husband, so it didn't turn me into a slut. It's all appropriate.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Well there may not have been any ipads or cell phones when we were their age but we certainly talked on the phone (without parents listening in) and wrote each other notes, which parents also never saw.
Just keep talking to him about your expectations, and age appropriate etiquette and behavior (no sexy/nudie texts) and he'll be fine. Fourteen is certainly an age to be interested in the opposite sex, maybe even a first kiss (it was for me, at the skating rink, such a sweet, awkward memory!) so be aware of where he is and what he's up to but give him a little space and privacy too.
Letting out the leash can be hard, but it's necessary. He's growing up!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You've gotten great advice on what to talk about.

Now, talk, talk, talk, and listen, twice as much as you talk.
It's easier to have a conversation in a car with a 14 yr old boy than anywhere else. It's not face to face, it's you driving him somewhere and trying to be casual but intentional.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

how nice!
my boys had girlfriends from kindergarten on.
how else are they supposed to learn to handle relationships?
i don't get parents freaking out, or forbidding it until they're 16 or 18 or whatever.
the little kid 'relationships' were sweet, and involved giving each other a piece of candy. at 14 they were writing each other's names on their notebooks and holding hands. adults who insist that 14 years can't 'love' each other have forgotten what it's like to be 14. no, it's not the same thing as mature lifelong love, but it's real on its own terms and not something that should be forbidden or glossed over.
put sensible restrictions on it by not permitting solo dates yet, and doors always stay open when hanging out at home, and as much oversight as your family feels is appropriate on the technology. discuss sex frankly but sensitively so they understand your thoughts on it, and when the time comes they'll make good decisions.
but just thinking that young teens won't be attracted to each other is really ostrich-head-sanding.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

We've always had a rule in our house that electronic devices are subject to random audits. our kids are almost 15 and almost 18 and we will audit them from time to time. In order to have the priviledge of smart phones, computers, tablets that WE PAY FOR the audits are part of it. It gives us the opportunity to see what's going on and begin a conversation about it. The texts and FB messages have often times been a launching point for deeper discussions.

Over the years I've found one of the very best places to have meaningful talks with the kids is in the car on long drives. EVen better if it's at night and it's dark. It give the kids the ability to say things without having to look us in the eyes and feel awkward. They're trapped in the car for an extended period of time and it just allows for a certain conversational freedom you don't get sitting on their bed or at the kitchen table. It also makes it easier for us to talk about awkward things (like talking to my 14 yr old 6'3" son about wet dreams and unexpected / unwelcome erections - telling him waht I know from what's dad's told me and from a girl's perspective). Some things are easier said & heard driving 60 MPH on a dark highway at 11:00PM.

AS for a 14 yr old son with a girlfriend - at this age the girls are generally the aggressors - the boys just kinda go along for the ride. And with the advent of personal cell phone parents often don't even know that their 14 yr old daughter is being so forward with some cute boy. Other 14 yr old girls are like a boy-friend mafia - they push their friends in to these things, they encourage eachother to push for "going out" status, they want to update their FB status to "in a relationship", etc. UGH! I'm so glad my daugher is out of that hysteria - but waht mistakes she made when she was there.

I think the best thing to tell your son is that he doesn't need to reciprocate just becuase some girl likes him. He probably likes the fact that he's liked by a girl - even though he may not be so sure about that particular girl. Tell him he can always use you for an excuse ("my parents won't let me...") and help him come up with standard excuses or responses to get out of situations he may want to get out of.

I do recall having a heavy make-out session at 14 - ugh. It grosses me out now to think about the boy - but I'm sure we were both getting each other more hot and bothered than was good for us.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I see many freaked out about the technology twist on relationships.
Think of it this way--the technology has changed, but the basic issues have not.
It's because of technology that you ARE even aware of it.
That's a good thing.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Okay, as the mother of a girl and boy, I wanted to say you need to realize that your son's emotions are involved not just the girl's. Sounds like your son told the girl "I love you" and she responded "I love you too".

You are right, to me 14 is young. But ya know, I had a "boyfriend" at that age as well. However, I do believe that technology is an issue nowadays. A lot of privacy to say things and send photos that might not be appropriate. I would have a conversation with your son regarding that. Also, when my kids were that age, we had a rule that the phone had to be put on the charger downstairs at 10:00 p.m.

Encourage him to get out with his friends, limit his time on his devices. Keep him busy. Don't make a big deal out of this because that just makes it that much more fun. This is just the start. My kids are 25 and 21 and I survived their teenage years. You will too!!!! =)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

So you are upset because has said " I love you too"?
Are you upset to know your son obviously told a a Girl "I love you" Or are you upset because she loves him back?

Or are you upset because they put it in a text?

I have a little cedar box with "love notes" from young boyfriends.
So innocent. The love we felt for each other was real, but I would not have married them. Certainly not have had sex with them.. Ewww.

BUT, I am married to my husband, now over 30 years and we first "fell in love" when we were in 7th grade.

We were affectionate, but VERY respectful of each other for soooo many years. We would have never done anything we would have regretted until we knew we were really truly meant for each other and then it was after we moved out of our parents homes.

Both sets of our parents spoke with us about relationships, responsibility, correct behaviors and THEIR expectations of us. I mean all of the time, even when we were together, his parents spoke with us, and then my mom would speak with us.

It was all very open and that made a huge difference.

We were stuck to our home phones for hours! I recall falling asleep as we spoke on the phone.
I recall being on the phone with other young men also.

The moment we got home from school, we would call each other.

This new technology, is just the same except that we are not chained to the wall.

And I would not snoop, I would just tell him you "feel like you need to start looking at his phone and computer to make sure he is being safe." Why are parents afraid of being honest with their children?

Explain why you are so frightened worried upset. This is what he needs to know you are concerned about. And then let him explain to you how it makes him feel and what his concerns are.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

When we bought my daughter her iPhone, my husband and I made it clear that until she pays the monthly bill any text sent or received we have the right to look at. We also explained we have the obligation to help keep her safe so if we felt the need to read her text we would. We also told her not to put anything in writing that she would not want us or her friend's parents to read because I know there are lots of parents that read their kids text.

Honestly, I don't get your position about respecting his privacy. If he is willing to put things out there in writing he should be prepared for the world to see it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I think it's all the same as it was years ago, just in a new technology way.

My best advice is to ask a lot of questions about how kids date these days. I know that call it "talking" when it's a texting kind of relationship. Best bet is to ask him about it and how he and that girl communicate and find out if they see each other outside of school. Then suggest that he invite her over for dinner or to accompany you to a family movie night. The best thing you can do is embrace the relationship while offering sound advice.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I think it's sweet, but I would have a separate discussion with him about how you will be monitoring his iPod and other technology. I'd also encourage having the gal over for dinner or after school to do homework to meet her and feel more comfortable with the friendship.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Having crushes at his age is normal. Calling them love is normal. That's what they are, even if they don't last past midterms. Let the boy have his feelings. Surely before now, you have spoken to him about appropriate and inappropriate physical expressions of those feelings.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

I would have some discussions with him about appropriate texting and emailing.

Teenagers get in alot of trouble with sexting. As the male he needs to be EXTRA careful.

Once it's written down it's out there FOREVER. Tell him to never text or type anything he wouldn't want to see on a billboard or stated/shown in front of a jury. Yes that's extreme but at least it will get him thinking.

At our house we don't encourage teenage dating or one-on-one relationships. That's the season of life to be focusing on yourself and growing into your own identity.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Doesn't sound like anything out of the ordinary. Kids that age say I love you quickly because they don't fully understand what romantic love is all about yet. He will more then likely have his share of broken hearts, but that is all a part of growing up.

My bigger concern would be making sure we have the talk and that I feel confident that he is informed on safe sex and std/pregnancy prevention. I would do it calmly and without judgment because I want to keep the lines of communication open.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

My personal attitude is that they get complete privacy when they are 18 and gone. When given cell phones, my kids knew they were always subject to a search. I haven't had your situation but I feel for you, it's hard...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I can see why you're a bit concerned. However, I think this is normal for this age. The best thing you can do is talk to him about it. A lot! Summer is coming, and he won't be able to see her in school, so he'll want to get together with her. Make sure you make your expectations known: He can only see her in a group with other kids. Since you don't know her parents, he cannot go to her house. She cannot come to your house unless you are home, and they have to stay in the main living areas of the house where they can be supervised etc.... Tell him you're doing all of this so that he's not in a position to potentially ruin his life with an unplanned teen pregnancy, or an STD.

Good luck! My oldest daughter is 12 and I am not looking forward to these next years.



answers from Las Vegas on

I don't think he has done anything wrong (to cause you to panic). It's not puppy love with love.

He isn't in love looking to spend his allowance on an engagement ring, he is love with a girl at school. What we call a school crush. Didn't you have one?
Didn't you write his name all over your folders and draw hearts around your two names?

They will both have heart breaks as well. You know the moment one of them doesn't go to the meeting spot between classes and one of them is left standing there waiting. It happens.

If you are concerned, talk to him. I wouldn't tell him you read his text, but mention you noticed he has a girlfriend. Ask him to respect this, and or that.

Times are different for most of us.

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