Teenage Daughter Dating Older Boy??

Updated on March 31, 2010
C.R. asks from Elkins, AR
23 answers

I have a very Mature 13 (almost 14) yr old daughter.. She is dating a 17yr old boy with our consent.. She came home & told me she really liked this boy & He liked her @ 1st her father & I was like NO way will that ever happen & then after having a long talk with her & inviting him over for dinner we found out he was a very good kid with Manners, Morals & good values.. So we allowed them to start Dating with limiations (no car dates or dating alone) Well to be honest they can't go anywhere without one of her parents & he is prefectly fine with this.. MY question is my husband & I have been on different sides of the fence with our daughter most of her Life.. She & I are very close & talk about everything, My husband & her on the other hand can't set in the same room without fighting & Yes it is His fault... So yesterday we set down & talked about her & the dating age, I have twin boys who we allow to date @ age 15 (16 in 3months) & they have dated since they were 14 (movies, dinner, friends, type dates) My husband has double standards & says she can't date till she is 16 or older & I feel she is mature enough to date whenever she chooses..
My daughte has had a cell phone since she was 10 with no problems she has never given us any trouble she is well aware of what can happen if she has sex or if she is pushed to do something she doesnt want to do.. I feel this boy is a very nice boy & would never do anything to hurt her. He is nothing but sweet & makes her very happy.. I haven't seen her this happy in months & I don't want to push her away because her father & I can't agree on rules.. I have always made the rules in our house cause my husband is always to busy to worry about what goes on in our house so do I just go ahead & do what I feel is right or do I take his feelings into consideration?? Please help..

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So What Happened?

I don't think this is the right place to post this but anyway.. I don't many of you understand.. I'm not forbidding her to date him.. I have total control over what they do while dating.. I'm a very open minded Parent.. My husband & I were young parents having our twins @ age 18 & 20.. (he 20, myself 18) So we have made our children & there GF's/BF's understand what can happen if they have sex or are not dating by our rules.. I am a strict Parent but I do find it very inmature for any parent to say they would NEVER do something until they are put in that situation.. I was 1 of those parents 1 time.. & I was also a young girl 1 time.. I"m not stupid I totally understand what most people thing about boys/girls or the dating older or younger.. I don't thing anyone should place judge on somebody because of the Sex (male/female) each person is different... & for us to tell a 17yr old boy you are only dating my daughter becasue you want to have sex with her is just the most ridiculous thing a parent could ever do cause then you are just saying I don't trust you from the start.. That is the thing I do trust both of them.. for a matter of fact I trust all my kids totally.. Do I think they may make mistakes one day in life..sure i do but with the proper help they always know I will be here to get there throug that part of there life.. Unlike my parents were in a hard time of life.. I just want to make sure I am seeing everything with Eye's wide open.. thank you for all you answers..

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answers from Norfolk on

I wouldn't let a 13 yr old daughter of mine date a 17 yr old boy. I wouldn't let a 17 yr old son of mine date a 13 yr old girl either. When they are 23 and 27, they'll be adults and will have a lot in common. Right now they both have a lot of growing up to do.

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answers from Cincinnati on

I do think that 13 is too young to date, but you have already allowed it. I would say that a parent has to be with them until she is 15/16 and would not allow the boy to drive her. A lot of children go on "group" dating...Like a bunch of girls and a bunch of guys all go roller skating together and a pizza afterwards.
My husband and his first wife split over the fact she was too lenient. Try to keep everyone happy...it's not easy. Good luck.....

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answers from Pittsburgh on

No offense intended, and everyone is entitled to raise their own children as they see fit. However, in my humble opinion, 13 is really young to be dating, however supervised they are, and a 13 yo girl dating a 17 yo boy is a recipe for disaster. I remember very clearly what even the sweetest, well mannered, moral 17 year old boys were interested in. And it ain't reading the Bible, I can assure you of that.

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answers from Portland on

I am 16 years old and when my mom read this, she asked me what I thought. From what you are saying, I thought maybe it would also help to have a teenager's perspective on this too.
The only kind of relationships I ever had with boys when I was 13 were the kind where they say, "Hey, I like you. Do you wanna be my girlfriend?" And then we would hang out at school, and maybe occasionally after school at a football or basketball game. But when you are 13, or 14 or 15 or even 16... It is a rare thing that the relationships will last forever. And I remember very clearly (seeing as it really wasn't that long ago) being completely devistated over breakups. Even if it had only been for a month or two, it was always pretty hard on me, especially when it was a boy that I had liked a LOT. But in the last couple years I have noticed that with these type of things I have matured. I dont put so much into one guy and if something does go wrong, yes is upsetting, but I have learned how to handle it better. I believe that this is something that you have to be a little bit older to fully get a grasp on. I know that when I was 13, I would have said that I understand all of this but felt differently when it actually happened to me.
Even if he is a really good guy, that doesn't mean he will never break her heart. Me and my dad don't really get along either, so I can completely relate. But I think that him saying she shouldn't date right away is him trying to protect her from this. Maybe he is being a little overly strict by saying she has to be 16, but you can always compromise to say maybe 15? And the best relationships always come from strong friendships. So instead of dating, hanging out as friends works as well, just minus the drama of a breakup.
So as much as I would hate to hear someone else saying this to my parents, I would say just talk to him and come up with a compromise on this.

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answers from Augusta on

There is no way I'd let my 13yr old date a 17yr old. And the other way around,I wouldn't let my 17 yr old date a 13 yr old.

I don't care how much "maturity" kids have these days , kids are being forced to grow up too fast as it is. I believe kids should be able to be kids as long as possible.

Just maybe the constant exposure to mature subjects, clothing , and what have you is part of what has screwed up society so bad. We look down on pedophiles but then we let our little girls date much older guys and dress them in clothes that say " juicy" on the butt.

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answers from Tampa on

I personally would never allow this of my own children. Also, keep in mind that once he turns 18 he is an adult and she is still a minor/child and that can lead to problems for them both. Personally I would be more concerned about the age difference right now. As far as letting your daughter date at 15, I think daddy is just being protective and is concerned. Also, stop blaming every fight on him, it does take two and she probably knows how to push daddy's buttons, I'm just saying this b/c I was the same way with my own dad

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answers from Chicago on

I do think that 13 in general is too young to date a 17 year old. But- if it is already going on, forbidding it now is just going to make it seem more romantic! It does sound like your husband has a double standard with the boys, though.

You and your husband need to work out some strict guidelines together- you MUST present a united front or your daughter will blow you off! Remind him that 'forbidden love' is the most tempting- remember what happened to Romeo and Juliet? Instead, if this boy really wants to date your daughter, make him work for it!

If you have met this boy and think he is a good kid and responsible, you have to make your decision based on that. At 13 I went out in groups with both boys and girls together, but I think no car dates, no dating alone, etc. is a good strict rule. I would make sure your daughter has to call to check in with you frequently and also that she has an early curfew. Everytime they go out, he needs to come in and talk to you.

Have you met his parents? Call them up and introduce yourself and say that the kids have been 'hanging out' and that you've met him and think he is a very nice boy, but you are a little concerned because your daughter is not 'officially' allowed to date yet. You may find that they either don't know about her, don't know her age- or maybe they've been a bit concerned too! Either way, communication on all fronts is the best policy.

With all these restrictions, I have to wonder why a boy so much older would WANT to date a 13 year old, no matter how cute or mature she is for her age. Is he shy or do they just have a lot of common interests? I am not trying to downplay your daughter's attractions, but it may be that with such strict rules, that he will get tired of them and look to girls his own age for company.

I am not saying that your daughter or this boy are not good kids or that they would sneak around on you. Even good kids occasionally sneak out on their parents once in a while. But- the more supervision the harder that is. Make it clear to your daughter that you expect her to remain active in any school or church or sports activities she is involved in, and that her grades need to stay good. Dating - even in a limited way- is a privilege, not a right!

Good luck- it sounds like you've prepared for this time as well as you can. Just keep an eye on things and convince your husband that you have to remain united on this. You are the mom- you can do this!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Personally, no matter his personality, I think 13 is too young to date a 17 yo.

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answers from Cleveland on

I dont care how mature your 13 yr old daughter is, there is no way she should be "dating" a 17 yr old!! That is just asking for trouble! Children that age are very impressionable. Even though you and your daughter talk about everything and she is well aware of what can happen if she has sex or is being pushed into something. Sure there is a possibility that he really is a good kid with good morals and values etc... How long do you think a 17 yr boy and a 13 yr old child can control the raging hormones? As far as the dating issue, I think 15 is also too young to start dating. 16 is an appropriate age for girls and boys. Even though you have always made the rules, you should definately take your husbands feelings into consideration. They may fight, and I am sure it is not all his fault, however, that is still his little girl and it is his job to protect her. If you just do what you want and God forbid something happens, your husband will blame you and resent you for the rest of your life!

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answers from Columbus on

Please don't be naive! You may have the best intentions, but so did my mom. Here is my personal story:
When I was in 8th grade (and a student at a Christian middle school), I dated a boy who was a junior at the local Christian high school. I was 13 (almost 14) and he was 17. My parents only allowed him to come to our house when they were home, so it was supervised, and to our church's youth group every Wednesday night. No car dates whatsoever. Let me just tell you, things didnt go as my mom planned and it was hardly innocent. After a few months, he started pressuring me for sex. I was so scared to actually do it, so we pretty much did everything except have sex. Still, at that age, I wish I wasn't pressured and I really had no business doing what we did do. I honestly really liked this guy and just wanted to have fun and get to know him, but as a teenage boy, who had hormones raging, he only thought about one thing. :( Kinda sad. Ask yourself this: do you want your daughter pressured for sex (because believe it or not, it WILL happen) and even if she doesn't have "technical" sex, do you want her to do other sexual things at this early of an age? Seriously, she has her whole life to date. What's the big rush???

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answers from Terre Haute on

sounds like your daughter is very mature and this guy sounds like a dream
if you allow her too much freedom now what will do if she dumps this boy and gets with one you don't trust. You cant back track
so tread slowly for a while
Best wishes

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answers from Chicago on

Oh C.,

I'm so sorry that some of the responses are so cut and dried. To me it sounds like you are a fabulous mom. Even though many of us with young children might say we would never let a 13 yr. old date, we really don't know what will happen when our children are that age. I teach middle school, and those girls do date, and many of them have the maturity level I had when I was 16, 17. The cliche, kids are different nowadays, really is true.

It sounds as if you and your daughter have an open relationship and can talk about anything. My advice for you would be to make sure you two talk about the emotions involved and really talk about the emotional consequenses sex would have. I know there are really great links to this stuff on Oprah's website.

As for your husband, he is really in a tough spot, which offsets everything that you want for your daughter. Maybe you can get to the heart of his fears. I'm assuming his double standard grows from fears and maybe if he can verbalize those you can understand where he is coming from as well. Then you and your husband can both have an open and frank discussion with your daughter and put up a united front.

I hope your and your husband can come together on this. Fathers are really influential for girls, and I would hate for them to become estranged over this boy.

Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

This is a link to a GREAT little book anybody with teens or pre-teens should read. I have a 22-year-old and 12-year-old, so I've been where you are and am very close to being there again. My only thought was that it's weird that a boy who is 17 would want to "date" such a young girl. That's my red flag. It's just weird. Plus as one other poster said, when he turns 18 there are legal implications if they are having sex. That said, I still recommend this book to every parent. I've read a lot and this one is the best to me.


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answers from Cleveland on

I'd take his feelings into consideration, but you both need to realize something. You've already been letting her date him, and they havent broken any rules yet right? How in the world can you tell her that she's no longer allowed to date him? And with your boys being allowed to date, he can't expect her to accept that double standard. I understand his concern, for some reason most parents are much more weary of their daughters dating then their sons, for whatever reason. But tis too late to go back on something shes already been permitted to do. But I would stay very consistent on not letting her go on car dates with him, or anywhere where they can be unattended. She is too young. And maybe this boy IS genuine and courteous etc, but be careful. They are good at playing that role if they're "slick" like some boys that age are. My neice was dating a boy who also seemed so nice, respectful, good student, not a trouble maker, met my sister and seemed very on the up and up. Well long story short, he WAS NOT. And was trying to take advantage of my younger naive neice, and in alot respects he did. So continue to watch her, and talk to her. But for now, I'd let it ride. If she is forced to break it off with him, she'll probably be more complelled to see him, and may do things out of character for her! Your husband needs to realize that whats good for one child needs to be good for all.

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answers from Provo on

I would never let my 13 year old daughter date a 17 year old! When they are both in their 20's things would be different. He may seem nice to start and get your confidence and then start pressuring her. I don't think that 13 year olds have enough life experience. Men can be very manipulative and my last husband was proof of that. I was in my thirties and he still used all I had. I don't think it has anything to do with a double standard because I would not my my 13 year old son date a 17 year old woman either.

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answers from Austin on

My husband says he does not trust boys, because he was a boy and knows what they are thinking.. He says it is really hard to for a boy (men) to keep his mind away from sexual thoughts every few minutes. It is just part of it.

If you will read up on the mind of boys and men, you will find it is true..
There is a great DVD called "Private Dicks: Men exposed".. It was an eye opening documentary on the way men think..


When I read your post the first thing that popped into my mind was "Why would a 17 year old want to date a 13 year old?" It seems really unusual. He can be mature in his behavior, but insecure about girls his age?

Yes, your daughter is probably very mature, but 13 is like 7th or 8th grade?
I graduated high school and was ready for college at 17...

Just seems like the scale is out of wack..

It is too late to forbid her to see him, so I would suggest you stick with the no dates away from parents, no car dates..Just hope that in the future she can find boys closer to her age.

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answers from Austin on

I think first and foremost you and your Husband have to come together somehow. Speaking from personal experience of having a father that never had time and always threw the hammer down when he did. All I wanted to do at that age was rebel. Yes my mom thought I was great as well. I had a tendency to lean towards these older boys and when I look back now I think it was the lack of the male role model in my life, despite my older brother.
With all that said you know your daughter best and sounds like you want the very best for her. Stay involved and COMMUNICATE. Somehting that is going to be hard for her to understand is that this boy is going to be an adult soon and possibly planning on college. They will be on very different levels in their lives. Her emotional investment in this relationship could cause heartbreak down the road, best she be prepared about the possibilities.
With a young girl myself I wish you the best and hope I have as open a relationship with my daughter as you do with yours.

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answers from Toledo on

if she's gonna date iy should be with someone more her own age.17yr.old boys have other thigs on thier minds!!!!



answers from Indianapolis on

Oh man, I dread the day my daughter starts dating!! I loved reading the responses to your dilemma, especially since I have a niece in the exact same situation--I think you just have to control what you can, trust in the parenting you've already done, and I would definitely agree with getting to know his parents. That way, you'll know if you can trust her going to his place by what kinds of rules exist at his house. There's nothing wrong with setting all kinds of limits under your own roof--hormones have gotten all of us in over our heads at one time or another--so maybe allow them to be together in group settings only (even if it's with your family) until your daughter is a little older...maybe your husband won't see that as "dating" Your husband knows from experience what it is to be a teenage boy (I think it's actually every 7 seconds that they think about sex) so there's something to his wanting to protect his little girl. The double standard has been around since dirt was invented--I see one in the future with my daughter and son, ha! Hopefully you can find a compromise that won't alienate either one of them right now.


answers from Cincinnati on

Hi C.! Here's my quick opinion: Yes, you should take your hubby's opinion into consideration. Parenting is a partnership. However, that doesn't mean you both have to totally give in on your side. It doesn't have to be one way or the other. Find a middle ground that you can all be happy with. Maybe put her in martial arts or some kind of self defense class. That way juuuuuuuust in case, she is prepared to handle herself. Maybe then your husband will be less worried about her going out so young.

Good luck! :) A.



answers from Cleveland on

Maybe your husband has a different reaction and memory of being a parent at a young age. Every child is different. Men know boys better than us women. You need to understand where he is coming from. Maybe he understands a girl has more to loose than a boy.



answers from Toledo on

In this day and age when 12,13,14,...etc girls are having babies and the babies fathers are in that same age group, I think it is safe to say that the raging hormones in these boys start well before 17 and having sex on their minds constantly starts well before that age as well. So do we not let are 13 yrs girls date 13 yr old boys as well? or for that matter 17 yr girls and 17 yr old boys? if all boys want is sex, then we should never let our girls date. I don't think age is the issue, all teenage boys have sex on the brain. period. I think we need to focus on raising are daughters to value themselves and have enough confidence to say no and mean it, and if it means losing the boy, then he wasn't interested in you as much as he was the sex. Only you know when your daughter is mature enough to date. Some girls will sneak behind the parents back to see the boy if they are not allowed to date them, some parents will help their son see a girl whose parents forbid her to date him. It only takes one time to get pregnant and you don't have to be dating the boy to have sex with him. So our focus should be on how we raise our children both boys and girls. We should raise our boys to respect the girls, raging hormones can be held in check. I don't think we can stereotype all boys as sexual predators, and all girls as innocent victims, as there are many girls ready willing and able out there as well. To say that a 17 yr old boy wants to date a 13 girl for sex only is wrong, maybe he is not ready to deal with other 17 yr old girls who are looking for sex. Age and maturity do not neccessarily go hand in hand. I have three children 25, 21, 17. My 25 yr old daughter was ready to date at 13 due to peer pressure from her friends who made her feel like she wasn't worth anything if she didnt have a boyfriend, she also was interested in older boys and looked much older herself. She was also the type to go behing my back if I refused to let her date someone. My seventeen yr old son was a little immature and dated very little and always someone very shy and introverted to avoid the pressure of having to "perform" . He is dating a lovely girl now and has dated her since he was 17. My 17 year old daughter has never dated or had a boyfriend because she is not ready yet. She is not ready to have sex and is not comfortable dealing with boys who are. She has many male friends and is comfortable with that for now. She is also very mature looking and attracts older boys, which I think scares her a little. So as I said age and mauturity do always coincide. You have to go with your gut on this and repect your husbands opinions as well. Maybe you should try to understand what is behind his opinion. Our daughters are going to be intersted in boys you can't get around that, so we need to make sure they have all the tools necessary to deal with sticky situations, maybe your husband should sit and explain to your daughter his fears for her and help her to understand the mindset of some boys, this could help to improve thier relationship as well.



answers from Cincinnati on

I've read all of the responses, and I'm sorry that you received some not so nice ones.

It's hard to say what the right decision is. You know your daughter best, we don't. Maybe there are some 13 year olds out there that shouldn't be dating b/c they can't handle it, and maybe there are others out there that can start dating. Who is to say if a person is ready to date or not when they don't personally know the people at hand?

Now to the part about dating a guy who is 17. Yes, some people might find that weird. But when I was 16 I dated a guy who was 13. Now, at the time I didn't know how old he really was. I went on a double date/blind date with my friend and her boyfriend. But at the time I really hit it off with my date. When I realized his age I was shocked because I assumed he was my age, he certainly looked my age. Did it last? No, of course not. it only lasted 3 months, but there were problems in that relationship that had nothing to do with age and I won't get into that.

Now, at least you know how old the boy is, I kept it from my parents because I didn't want to hear what they'd have to say about it. But looking back I think my mom knew.

I have always been close to my mom, and I could always talk to her about anything. My dad on the other hand.....hmm... Yeah we didn't get along very well. I think once I started college and moved out on my own was when my dad and I started to bond, but not so much with growing up.

Now, back to the boy. How does she know him? Where'd they meet? You know him, but have you met his parents? What do his parents think about him dating someone almost 4 years apart in age? Do they have a problem with it? Those are questions to ask.

But also remember if you tell your daughter no, and she really wants to do something, she'll go behind your back and do it. I know people said all boys think about is sex, and I won't deny that or say it's not true because it is. I work with high school kids, I'm not blind. But just cause he's a guy and sex is on the brain, doesn't mean he will pressure your child. And again if he doesn't pressure her, who is to say she doesn't feel that pressure in school? Or elsewhere? The world is changing and things are different now than when we were kids. You can only protect your kids so far.

I think you and your husband should talk. I think he isn't fair about saying what she can and can not do, especially since you two have already agreed to let her date. Why change things now? That's not fair to your daughter and she won't understand it.

Sorry for writing a book.

Next question: Teen Dating....Aargggh. Looking for Input.