Is it wrong to tell my 15 y/o dd she can't have a boyfriend - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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Preteens and Teens > Is it wrong to tell my 15 y/o dd she can't have a boyfriend
Gitti's Avatar Gitti 07:21 PM 03-19-2006
My oldest dd started dating when she was 17, my son was 18, and my youngest dd was 13.

Each human being is different. But honestly, for those of you who are concerned about dating at age 15: What is your reason?

Let's be sincere about it.

The reason to postpone it is because you are hoping that if the girl gets pregnant, at least she'll be older.

Am I right or is there another reason why you try to have your kids be older before dating?

And if there is another reason, would you stop your dd from having a 'boy friend' over to the house when she's in 2nd or 3rd grade?

captain optimism's Avatar captain optimism 07:41 PM 03-19-2006
I'm with the many posters who think this is a rule that could backfire. It seems that it already has. It's better to be able to be honest about things on both sides.

Sexuality is really powerful and teens can get overwhelmed. You have to be able to be there to bolster her self-esteem and to communicate your values without that huge dollop of blame that generally attaches to girls and not boys. Don't make it about her reputation or about being a nice girl, is what I'm saying. Bolster her autonomy and independence, so that she can make good choices. She is obviously old enough to like boys, so you want the lines of communication to be open.
Gitti's Avatar Gitti 07:55 PM 03-19-2006
Originally Posted by captain optimism
Sexuality is really powerful and teens can get overwhelmed. You have to be able to be there to bolster her self-esteem and to communicate your values without that huge dollop of blame that generally attaches to girls and not boys. Don't make it about her reputation or about being a nice girl, is what I'm saying. Bolster her autonomy and independence, so that she can make good choices. She is obviously old enough to like boys, so you want the lines of communication to be open.
...and you want to give her all the information available on birth control options.

Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 09:57 PM 03-20-2006
I read the OP a little differently than some of you did, I think. There's been a lot of talk here about dating, but the OP didn't exactly ask about dating. She asked about "having a boyfriend". There's a girl in my son's class (he's 13, as of yesterday) who has "gone out with" almost every boy in the class...since September. I don't even know which ones, exactly, and suspect that their parents don't know, either. I don't think there's been any actual "dating" going on...she just pairs off at lunch and stuff.

I think dating rules, as in restricting actual couple dates, might be workable. I'm not interested in having them, but I think they could work. But, just forbidding a boyfriend? No way. A boyfriend can be almost anything, and parents can't control their children's relationships with other people. Relationships, be they "just friends", romantic or sexual, are going to happen, whether parents like it or not.

I do find this stuff all kind of funny, in some ways. I lost my virginity to a guy I'd met once prior to that night. He was five years older than me (I was 15), but I was the aggressor. We never did actually date, and he certainly wasn't my boyfriend. I didn't have a boyfriend, or go on a date, for over a year after that. So, if my parents had had a "no dating" rule or a "no boyfriends" rule, I would have lost my virginity (and had a pregnancy scare) without technically breaking it.
2much2luv's Avatar 2much2luv 10:57 PM 03-20-2006
Originally Posted by Gitti
...and you want to give her all the information available on birth control options.

What do you mean by that?
littlemama_28-5's Avatar littlemama_28-5 04:12 PM 03-22-2006
Gitti's Avatar Gitti 05:03 PM 03-22-2006
Originally Posted by 2much2luv
What do you mean by that?
I personally have taught my kids what birth controls are available, where they can get it, and when to use it.

They didn't even want to have sex unless they were protected. And my oldest dd told me not too long ago the reason why she didn't ever have sex until she was past 19 was because I had so emphasised protected sex, that she couldn't have ever considered having it without protection (and she was never prepared).

When she fell in love, she first went to the clinic and got protection.

This may be controversial for some of you, but I am from a different country and we don't have many teen pregnancies because of all the teaching we do at home AND in school.

Kids will have sex, whether you educate them on birth control or not. The outcome is up to you.

The reason why I know that none had unprotected sex is because they are all grown ups now and we laugh about it sometime...they tell their spouses about how it was such an open discussion in our house...and how they even educated their own friends....

Out of all three of my kids' friends, there was not one teen pregnancy. (And I bet it wasn't for lack of practice.)
AnnaLC's Avatar AnnaLC 07:44 PM 04-01-2006
to put it bluntly: Forbidding a kid from doing something will not stop them if they really want it, and will probably just make the situation worse.
In my opinion, the best course of action would be 1) examine the roots of your feelings, why does the idea of her having an intimate relationship scare you (and your husband) so much, and 2) discuss your concerns honestly with her in a non-disiplinary manner.
If she doesnt feel like you are against her and her wishes she is much more likely to take your concerns into account and even, possibly, learn from you
ImoKit's Avatar ImoKit 08:57 AM 04-06-2006
Depending on her education system birthcontrol and sex ed is probably rammed down her throat anyway. Amoung people where I live the choice how far to go, and whether to bother with contraception or not. In England the law is that if you prove to your school nurse you can put a condom onto a model then you get C card which entitle you to free condoms.
I wouldn't know whether or not limiting dating etc is a good thing but I do know that it doesn't work.

One of my friends (hindi background) was forbidden to date and got a bf within 2 weeks of moving to my school. THey saw each other in school and on 2, 30min walks to and from the station, they also texted. Nothing more than kissing (and I don't think they did that), but her father didn't like it and they broke up.
By my book, it would have been better to trust her, not to be silly and keep the peace as she had sense over the issue.
b_light's Avatar b_light 03:46 PM 04-06-2006
Forgive me for answering as I'm not a mother yet (pregnant with #1) but have been a teenager fairly recently. Besides, you may like what I have to say...

First of all (after reading all the stories about pregnant teenagers, drugs, etc.), I'd like to reiterate that NOT ALL children with rules such as that one have rebelled. Some do, some don't, and none of us know you're daughter like her parents do.

Also, kudos for trying so hard! You obviously have your daughter's best interest at heart. Your daughter will remember your intentions.

I can't tell you if you're rule is unreasonable or not because I don't know your family as intimately as you do. With that said, your daughter disobeyed the rule you set. Now something(s) has to happen. You can do many things with this, I would recommend either or even both of the following suggestions:

1). Punishment--It's probably what you threatened her with or what she'd expect you to do if she broke the rule. Even though it sounds harsh, you can use it as a positive tool (my mother always did, she was very creative, our "punishments" always fit the crime). You could have her write a research paper about civil disobedience or Martin Luther King Jr--but explain the significance (there is always the possibility that the laws one lives under whether they be the government or parents could be unjust--she could learn more positive ways to "rebel". i.e. if I sped down the street (broke the law), I'd get a ticket (punishment)...but if I did research and made a petition to change speed limit laws and presented it--who knows? maybe something could change, maybe it wouldn't). Her real crime wasn't that she disagreed with the rule, it's that she acted on it. Learning about others who disagree with the law but handle it in a "mature" way could help your daughter. The point of punishment is to teach and there is always room for creativity!

2). Loosen up--If you honestly feel that the rule is too tight (that will depend on your family dynamics and belief system, social climate in your area, etc. etc.) than talk to her about making a compromise. Tell her what you're feeling and why you set the rules and offer to make a compromise with her. Have her come up with suggestions--you may even be surprised how mature she could act when given the choice. Perhaps the two of you can come up with boundaries that are acceptable for both of you. For example, she can talk on the phone with him, or have him over if they stay in open areas of the house, or go out with a group of friends (not just the two of them), or even that she has to wait a couple of months to see him outside school. The major thing is that you talk it over with her. She is more likely to stick to a rule she helped set (as others have mentioned).

If however, you find yourself in a position where you feel you have made a mistake (I'm not trying to imply either way), then fess up and apologize (another thing my mother was good at). In my mind, apologizing puts a human face on the "law", models good behavior for your daughter, shows your daughter that you respect her rights (which can teach her that she deserves respect--a good lesson for a young woman entering the dating world), and reinstates you as authority figure.

I think the important thing is to meet your daughter where she's at and talk about it openly with her. As long as its a heart to heart and you have her attention (not in front of other people or right before she's about to leave, etc.), it's likely that she will listen to what you have to say. Ask her if she has a moment to spare or go on a long walk, just the two of you and tell her all the reasons why you have set the rules you have set. Tell her about your fears and let her tell you what she thinks about it. If you listen to what she has to say, she might just listen to you, too!
Momtwice's Avatar Momtwice 12:28 AM 04-09-2006
Originally Posted by Kirsten

Teenagers have hormones. They fall in "love".
I was in love at 15 over twenty years ago and I would not put love in quotes. It was real.
SJLove's Avatar SJLove 05:05 AM 04-09-2006
I wish that my parents had discouraged dating and having boyfriends when i was a teen. Because everyone sees it as normal, it becomes the main focus of so many teens' lives, including my own. As a result, I had sex too young, got pregnant too young, got married too young. Teens are driven by hormones and lust; most don't understand what real relationships should be about.

When my kids are dating age, we are going to teach them about courting instead of dating. I'm probably the only one here who feels that way though.
natrowmum's Avatar natrowmum 12:05 PM 04-09-2006
let's see. . . how did not dating until i was 16 affect me:

they took away my car thinking it would limit my abiltiy to be with inapropriate people and do inapropriate things senior year of highschool so i would get off the bus walk through the school and go out the front door to get in the flavor of the moment's car

by the time i was 16 i was already so determined to have fun i had the worst relationships with males partially because i had to hide them from mom and dad. if your kid is hiding relationships from you she can potentially get in a bad situation that she won't tell you about. because she was somewhere she shouldn't be with someone she shouldn't be with, she might not tell you if something happens to her. i know all 4 of us (3 girls, 1 boy) kept our business to ourselves.

besides there's a difference between having a boyfriend (emotional connection), dating, & sex. somehow for me the first one didn't seem to be part of the other 2 and the impression i got off my parents was that all guys were sex starved demons not human beings, but so many guys aren't like that, my parents also didn't deal with the idea that girls are curious and interested in sex too. so i figured they were idiots and not to listen to them. i chased guys like there was no tomorrow. are you spelling out the difference or is there no difference?

why no boyfriends (i can see the whole not going out thing, i do the same thing we are treating it like 15 1/2 to get learner's permit, 16 to drive & date, 18 to vote, 21 to drink, 25 to get decrease in car insurance rates--milestones in life) but my daughter is aware that she can have relationships with guys (she's 11) in the right way. at least she talks to me like i never did with my parents by this age i was hiding books they thought i shouldn't read and going to friends' houses to hangout with boys--not do anything wrong, just talk to them in herds like everybody else. yet i knew i probably would get grounded if i mentioned standing outside some neighbor's house talking to him and his friends with my friends about nothing--because i might have sex one day in my parent's minds. instead of them saying where you going, who's going to be there, what are you doing? it was assumed you can't leave the house unless i say different, not you can go anywhere that is appropriate, if nothing else interferes--which mostly came from my dad. but mom believed in the whole man as head of the household thing so she never said boo to dad unless it got too bad. she didn't even try to talk to him about the situation and try to lessen the restrictions even when she disagreed. i learned early on that they didn't and wouldn't trust me, no matter what, so why bother.

i let my DD go to the neighbor's house to play PS2 and she comes home to tell me all about it. his mom is home and they have supervision. i hope she is learning that i trust her so she won't sneak on me later. uhh. . . won't sneak too much. i know she probably will some, i just hope she just does it safely and talks to me

i'm pretty strict compared to my neighbors so i worry some times that i will affect my kids the way my parents' affected me. i don't know what the happy medium is, so i just talk to my kids as much as i can

good luck
Dwmama's Avatar Dwmama 12:33 PM 04-09-2006
My parents had the 16 year old rule but it really wasn't an issue for me. But I think if there was someone I wanted to date earlier than that, I would have no matter what they said. I would rather my 13 year old bring her boyfriend over to hang out and watch tv then for her to sneak around with him because I forbid it.
jannan's Avatar jannan 01:22 PM 04-09-2006
i think you should get to know the boy and his parents. hang out with them. is it wrong to tell her she can't have a boy friend?i just don't think it is very effective
lorijds's Avatar lorijds 12:40 PM 04-13-2006
I think it needs to be noted that the OP didn't say "no dating," she said "no boyfriend." What exactly does that mean? What if she had male friends? What if she is really close to one? Does that count?

I think we as the parents of preteen and teens needs to keep in mind that this is a time when physiologically the kids are closer to young adults, but maturity wise they are still closer to children. Generalization, no one jump on my back for it. The point of parenting in my view is to help guide them in the world, so they will be able to function somewhat independently when they are older.

Forbidding a normal human relationship is pretty hard core, and pretty dictatorial. Why not acknowldge her feelings and emotions, and provide some guidelines to help her develop her emotional maturity in a safe environment?

My oldest is currently in 5th grade, and went through the "boyfriend" thing a few years ago. Apparently in 2nd grade, having a boyfriend meant that you liked a boy. Instead of freaking out when she told me she had a boyfriend (which I admit was my first reaction), I asked her what that meant. When she told me, I tried to help her facilitate a good relationship with this boy, and help her learn what a romatic relationship involves (respect, kindness, etc on the part of BOTH PARTIES).

Now in 5th, she doesn't talk about having a"boyfriend" anymore, in part because her idea of a boyfriend is more mature. She does have boys who are friends, and boys that she has crushes on (and a few girls, too, for that matter). But we try to talk about these things. I try to also spontaneously talk about what I like about my relationship with their father (my husband), and what I like about the relationships I see among our friends. And we talk about what we don't like about some relationships that we see amongst our family and friends. I'm hoping that gives her some guidance as to what to expect when she has a romantic relationship. As a couple, dh and I try to model and point out behaviours of a couple and the consequences of being in a relationship.

No bones about it, we *will* enforce some rules, because even though my girls are awesome girsl, they are still just girls, and as such are prone to the judgement errors that will occur in someone that age. What I want for them, and what I am hoping for them, is that they will be able to "practice" the joys and pains of "love" while still under our protective wings.

And, no slams on whether teenage love is "love." I, too, am married to the boy I dated as a teen, all through high school and college. But I would also say that our love now is much different than our love in high school. It was intense and real as teens, but definately of a different sort. That is what I mean when I put the "love" in parenthesis. Teenage love/lust/crush stuff. Not insignificant, just a different level.

What's funny--my parents didn't like me to date; my dad was always concerned about my "reputation". Therefore, I rarely brought any boyfriends home, and had quite alot of sexual encounters elsewhere, starting at so young an age it makes me shudder to think of now. Then I met my dh; we hung out at his house all the time. It was so much fun to eat supper with his family, and then watch a movie or go for a walk as an entire family. I loved it. Alot of how we parent we model after my dh's childhood family-life. His parents were much more strict than mine in terms of curfew, etc; but they also opened their home to us, and didn't make us feel like we were childish or naughty. They aknowledged and respected our feelings and our relationship *within their rules* and I appreciated it both then and now.
momfirst's Avatar momfirst 12:34 PM 04-15-2006
I couldn't date till I was I snuck around. I also had a horrible home life. My dd and I are much more close and open with each other than I was with my mom. I didn't care that my dd had a 'boyfriend' at a young age because all it really meant was that they ate lunch together and walked to class together. My ex had a fit, but understood when I said that if I 'forbid' having a boyfriend then she was more likely to go behind my back. I didn't let her date 1/1 till she was a bit older, she had to be with groups of friends and she was OK with that. In fact she prefered to be in groups. I was also the first parent to allow boy/girl parties. Some parents thought this was too soon, but I wanted my dd to know that boys are just like your friends. I didn't want it to be some big 'oooh, a boy is over' type thing.

I think it's fine to let your dd know what your expectations are and what your family morals are, but try not to simply say 'NO', that most likely will cause rebellion.
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