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Is it wrong to tell my 15 y/o dd she can't have a boyfriend

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 
First of all - she's still very young emotionally. Very sensitive and I just don't think mentally she's prepared although she will tell you totally different.

The rule always was - no boyfriends until you are 16. The thing is - she has one. Although she doesn't see him much because he can't come around, we know she sees him at school. Probably too on the weekends when she is hanging out with "the girls", yeah right.

We can't hold her prisoner in the house so what do we do? Are we being to ridiculous in this day and age to set this rule. Or - should she be obeying our rules and should we be setting some stronger guidelines applying to this rule.

It's more dh than me. I wouldn't support her being sexually active at this age but the idea of her being intimate at this young age makes him quite angry. He's quite adamant that she is too young for any type of romance, sexual or not.

Your honesty in this matter is what I'm looking for. Don't worry about being too soft on me. If you think it, than say it and I appreciate anyone who gives me some insight.
post #2 of 77
Okay- you asked for honesty. I personally have a real problem with the idea of not being allowed to date until X age. I dated young and it didn't ruin me and I turned out a much better balanced person than I would have been otherwise. Biologically humans are ready to pair up in teenage. Historically they have. It makes very little sense to FORBID something that is genetically programmed, ya know?

My advice is to talk to your daughter, let her know your thoughts and WHY you believe what you believe (and personally I don't have any patience with the whole daddies overprotective of their little girls crap...) and trust her to make good choices.

Growing up I never had any hard-and-fast rules (no dating until X age, set curfew etc) and that meant that I talked to my parents a lot more about what was going on than I would have otherwise.

post #3 of 77
First of all, I don't believe that you can dictate when a person is "allowed" to have a friend, whether that friend be male of female, platonic or not. What you can do, though, is set standards and stick to them. If there's any way you can prevent your daughter from becoming sexually involved with her boyfriend, it would certainly be to everyone's advantage.

My ds is 15 as well, and just broke up with his girlfriend because she "wanted more" than he could give her. They talked on the phone for hours, saw each other at school, and once in a while on group outings. (Her parents did not allow her to date unless it was a group activity.) My son's school doles out so much homework that once his baseball practice and conditioning activities are done, he has neither time nor energy to do anything social. It's unfortunate, but since the school refuses to change their policies because of my requests, we just have to live with it.

Since our ds got along well with his girlfriend's family, and we were happy with his choice, the break-up was very sad for all of us. I guess that's just part of life, though. Maybe I'm getting off the subject. I feel that you need to make it very clear what is acceptable behavior and what is not, then trust your daughter to make wise choices.
post #4 of 77
I told my teenage dd that she could not go on unchaperoned dates, but I really don't think it's realistic to think that a teenager will listen to "you are not allowed to have a boy/girlfriend." She has her current love interest over to the house, but not up in her room.

Good luck with this dating thing, it's not easy is it?
post #5 of 77
"Forbidden fruit" is all that much more desirable. Like you wrote in your OP, she does have a boyfriend. If they choose to have sex, they will do so, with or without parental approval. My now 18-year old daughter asked me for birth control at age 16. She had been in an on-again, off-again relationship with the same boy since 8th grade. I was very concerned, very worried, and very much against the relationship, much less the sex! I had to really work to be calm and reasonable and to make sure she felt safe talking to me about it.

She is still with that same boy, they've been sexually active for 2 years and she is still healthy, strong, and they are both enrolled in different colleges, 4 hours drive apart.

I think, with teens and pre-teens, they need to feel trusted and to feel they are free to make their own decisions (and mistakes). It's the hardest job we have as parents to let them. I feel your pain ....
post #6 of 77
This is very tricky. I had boyfriends in high school and my parents had no idea. They were actually worried I was a lesbian.

Why didn't they know about the boyfriends? Because my dad was mentally ill and that kind of information would have sent him over the deep end. I did what I had to do to protect myself from physical and emotional abuse at home.

Now I was a very good kid. Straight As. Lots of school activities. Part-time job. Basically I was one of those goody-goody over-achievers that everybody hates.

The extent of my dating experience in high school was seeing movies, hanging out at the local diner eating french fries, and a few very innocent brief kisses. But I couldn't even let my dad know about that. So I had to keep it a secret. And since my mom would have felt obligated to tell my dad, I had to keep it a secret from her as well. Now nothing ever happend that I needed to be able to talk to my parents, but what if it had? I wish I could have let them into my life. I wasn't doing anything wrong. I wasn't forbidden to date. I just knew that I couldn't tell them that I was.

And just to prove that I was right about having to keep secrets, I was never able to convince my sister that she had to keep my parents out of certain things in her life. My dad found out my sister was dating someone fairly seriously and my mom finally had no choice but to move out. The irrational wrath directed at my sister was unbelievable.

I'm not saying your home life is anything like mine was. I'm just saying that you have to find a happy medium here. Its so important for kids to be able to share with their parents. The truth is you can't stop your daughter from dating. So why not set reasonable parameters. Things like letting you know where she is going to be, who she is going to be with. Making sure socializing doesn't interfere with academics. Wouldn't it be better if you got to meet your daughter's friends, male or female? Have them around the house. Get a sense of who she is spending her time with when you can't be watching her 24/7.
post #7 of 77
My father died when I was 11 so I can't comment about your husband's attitute.


My mother was fanatical about not allowing us to date when we were teens. She once caught me TALKING to a boy when I was 15 and told me I was grounded till I was 18. (She really only grounded me for a couple of weeks). Needless to say, we simply learned not to tell her anything. My sister got pregnant at 16 without my mother having any idea she'd ever had a boyfriend.
Forbidding something as normal and natural as teen dating will backfire on you big time, believe me.
post #8 of 77
I agree that you should try to be more open and honest with yuor daughter. Invite the boy to your home and get to know him. Let your daughter know that you want to be involved on her life but that you know that you cannot make decisions for her. Discuss sex and relationships and birth control and responsibility and self esteem with her and tell her that you trust her to make "good" decisions. Let her know that she can always come to you if she needs help and advice, and even if she has made "bad" decisions.

My parents tried to forbid me from seeing a boy when I was 15 and that just made me more defiant, and I would sneak around to see him.
post #9 of 77
Yes, it is wrong to tell a 15 year old girl that she can't have a boyfriend.

You already can see that it isn't working; you said yourself that she has one.

So what are you telling her?

***I don't think you are smart enough to handle yourself or make good choices.
***I don't trust you.
***Sex is bad.

Teenagers have hormones. They fall in "love". They get their heart broken and break a few too. It is life. It is actually a very fun part of life, one I remember very, very fondly. I would not try to "save" my daughters from it.

You asked for our honest opinions....
post #10 of 77
Supervision not forbidding.

When you supervise you can help her through the bumps. The hard part is that you are going to have to let your girl get hurt. I know that sucks but this is part of growing up.
post #11 of 77
Originally Posted by Kirsten
Yes, it is wrong to tell a 15 year old girl that she can't have a boyfriend.

You already can see that it isn't working; you said yourself that she has one.

So what are you telling her?

***I don't think you are smart enough to handle yourself or make good choices.
***I don't trust you.
***Sex is bad.

Teenagers have hormones. They fall in "love". They get their heart broken and break a few too. It is life. It is actually a very fun part of life, one I remember very, very fondly. I would not try to "save" my daughters from it.

You asked for our honest opinions....

I agree completely. My parents forbid me from even TALKING to boys on the phone, and told me I was never to have sex before marriage, ext. They also told me I could not go to my friend's houses because they were "worldly" and I could not go to dances, group dates, ext. They were like this my whole life.

Here's what happened: I ended up with social and sexually identity problems, and I had trouble even looking boys in the eye until tenth grade, when I discovered alcolhol, cigarettes, drugs, rock n roll, and SEX. Because I couldn't share anything that I was feeling with parents without fear of being judged and told I was too immature, I withdrew from them and simply did whatever I pleased and hid it from them. I ended up pregnant at 17 after I dropped out of high school. My parents responded by crying and throwing me out of the house, and hiding my pregnancy from family and friends.

To make a long story short, my parents and I mended our broken relationship shortly before my father died, and I went on to have one more child at 21. But, I believe a lot of my problems could have been avoided had my parents simply been reasonable with me, instead of shutting out normal teenage happenings. My mother was and still is a loving grandmother, but I recieved so much judgment from her, and from some of her friends, some who didn't even want me around their kids! All in all, I believe it is so much better to be open and non-judgmental with your teens. It really works better that way, and I know my life and my emotional health would have been better had I been raised that way.
post #12 of 77
I think the fact that your dh gets angry at the thought of your daughter having a romance is your dh's problem, but he's making it your daughter's problem.

Not letting teens date doesn't work. I had one friend in high school who "wasn't allowed' to date. She used to cut class and have sex in her boyfriend's van. Her parents had no idea, and didn't like her hanging out with some of the "sluts" she associated with...the ones with boyfriends.

It's crazy to think you can dictate what your daughter's emotional state is, and you can't control who her friends are.

I started dating my ex-husband when he was 15 and I was 16. It ended very badly (he became addicted to cocaine...crack), but we were together for 15 years. I know two happily married women who met their husbands in high school, as well...one was 16, one was 14. What makes 16 the magic age?
post #13 of 77
Whether it is right or wrong, it is entirely ineffective and hopeless to even try so why bother.
My daughter is not allowed to go on car dates alone with boys.
But unless I was willing to keep her in the house at all times and sendher to an all girls school there is no way I could prevent her from having a "boyfriend". Not even in 5th grade. Kids who only see each other at school and eat lunch together sometimes call each other boyfriend/girlfriend.
The idea of her being romantically involved might freak you out a bit (and it does me too) but the fact is that only she will decide when she is ready. And there is nothing you can do or not do to change that.
And what you cannot change, the only thing to do is to accept.
Good luck
post #14 of 77
Even though I am against telling a 15 year old that she can't have a boyfriend, I wanted to add that I don't think growing up in an evironment in which a dating age is set will automatically create a teen rebel. I grew up in a very strict Mormon household and I was not allowed to date before I turned 16. On my 16th birthday, a boy who I had a crush on came over and asked me out that very day. I knew I would never have premarital sex, as that was my decision (though now I realize I was coerced by my religion to feel that way). I never rebelled as a teen, I waited until I was 30, lol! But I was a virgin on my wedding day. So, in my case, the forbidden fruit stayed forbidden and I was fine with that.
post #15 of 77
I wasn't allowed to date until I was 16 either. It was so pointless. I just did what I wanted anyway and just didn't tell my parents However, I was sexually active long before that, too (and I don't regret it one bit!) How many other 15 yr olds are you around besides your daughter that leads you to believe she is so immature? How else is your daughter going to learn about how to navigate through a romantic relationship without some exsperience? Would you rather she hides any problems from you or is open with you?

To tell you the truth, I think this was the biggest mistake my parents made with me and even though I really was a good kid, I have never really told them my choices or asked for advise since I was a young teen until after I have done something. For me, my parents gave me lotsof freedom and trusted me as a child but as soon as I hit Jr High, they took that all away. I'm not saying this is what happened here, just what I felt.
post #16 of 77
I can all too easily relate. I wasn't supose to date until I was 16, but my parents were pretty lenient in that they meant at 16 I could go on alone dates. They knew I had several boyfriends before that and always made it a point to get to know them. When ever I saw them out of school it was always with a group of people or at school dances. The first thing I did though when I turned 16 is date a guy that was 21. I think you need to define what dating is to you cause chances are she has at some point had a boyfriend, maybe just not by your standards.
post #17 of 77
DD is only 10yo but I still think about her dating. We haven't set an age limit and I doubt we will. My goal in talking to her about boys is to emphasize how strong and smart she is. That she should always expect to be treated respectfully, treat other respectfully. We've always been pretty open about our bodies around the house too. Everyone still sees me nursing the toddler, who also sleeps with us.

So I'm most concerned about healthy body images because I am hoping that is what will translate into healthy dating realities. I know that hearts still will bend and change over time. Thats how we learned and how they will learn.

Heres hoping the information-is-power and strong-smart-girls-will-be-fine approach works.
post #18 of 77
Hi, I just wanted to say I am going through what you are right now. My dd is 15 also. She tells me she has a boyfriend, and I let her have one. My advice is let her have her boyfriend, let him call your house. But if they want to go out, you take them, and chaperon. Like to the movies etc. She will be mad but she'll get over it cause she will get to see him. Now, if she says shes going to friends for the weekend or overnite, talk to the other parents and see what their parenting rules are and if they are going to be home with the girls. It really does work, so far so good for me as far as that goes. Hope it will work for you. Good luck mama!
post #19 of 77
Our dating age for our children is 16. Our oldest DS is 15. He's had a few girlfriends here and there throughout the past few years, but he never dated them, as in going places with them. He only saw them at school, and occasionally they would call him. He nevered called them. This year he is in 10th grade, and he does have 1 girl he likes, but I have told he cannot date, and if I find out that he gets in the car with her alone (she is 16, junior) to go to lunch (open campus, unfortunately), then I was restrict him to staying at the school (how, I don't know, but I will...LOL!) to eat lunch. His cousin is at the same school (junior too) and swears to me, and so does DS, that they aren't boy/girlfriend, but just really good friends. But they call each other all the time. I know he doesn't go anywhere with her after school as he comes home on the bus, and he doesn't go anywhere. He did go to her church the other night for a hayride, and when I went to pick him up, she was awfully close to him snuggling. I was a little PO'd, but hey, he's 15, and I had boyfriends at 15, with 15 yr old boys! So, I guess I shouldn't be so harsh, but I will keep the 16 dating rule.
post #20 of 77
I agree with the "forbidden fruit is all the sweeter" mentality. I don't think you can forbid her having a boyfriend, but you can set limits on things such as car dates, one-on-one dates, etc.

I also agree that your DH being angry about it is somewhat normal, but still HIS problem.
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