How to tell your daughter shes dating the wrong guy
All rights reserved. The day will inevitably come when your sweet pre-teen gets to be dating age. And oh, what a day that is, let me tell you. As a parent of three young women, I always thought I would know exactly what type of person they would bring home. Let's just say if I had been a gambling sort, I would have lost it all, time, and time again. I have to say, thankfully, we haven't encountered not liking somebody one of our girls brought home all that often.
How to Give Your Teenager Dating Advice When You Disapprove
Whether it's a new boyfriend who seems like he's bad news or a friend who sets off that little warning light in your brain, deciding how to handle these kinds of situations is one of the biggest struggles I've heard moms talk about. On the one hand, because you're such a protective and loving mom, you probably want to barricade the front door and not let that person within 10 feet of your precious girl believe me, when I've heard girls in workshops talk about bad news boyfriends or mean friends, I've felt the exact same way!
But at the same time, you don't want to go too far and drive a wedge between the two of you. So how do you find the right balance? When I received this question from a HuffPost reader, it took me back to two particular times when my own mom and I were facing this issue. The first time had to do with a close girlfriend, and the other involved a toxic ex-boyfriend whom she and everyone else who loved me tried every which way to get me to walk away from.
My mom and I have always had an amazing closeness -- we can share almost anything -- but I'll admit these were two times that we had some serious tension between us. If you're reading this, I'm guessing you know exactly the kind of tension I'm talking about! It can be so painful and frustrating, and even if your daughter knows deep down that her mom is right like I did , she often still needs to experience the relationship and its consequences herself before she'll admit it.
I know you probably want to pull your hair out knowing your daughter's friend doesn't deserve her, or are wishing that her boyfriend would just move to another city or country Unfortunately, there's no magic dust I can send you to make that person go away, but I can give you some suggestions from our amazing Ask Elizabeth girls and experts on how to deal with the situation.
There's no one-size-fits-all answer; every situation is different, and only you can know which approach is right for your specific dynamic. But hopefully at least one of these ideas will resonate for you. Eighteen year-old Taryn shared, "I became friends with this girl a couple of years ago that my mom never liked. She was flaky and would often cancel plans that I'd been looking forward to, but I had so much fun with her and felt like she really 'got' me in a way that no other friend ever had before.
While your instincts about him or her may not be wrong, you may not know the full picture. A lot of girls have said they appreciated their moms taking the time to understand why that person was important to her. Not to mention that for the moms, viewing the person through their daughters' eyes helped ease some of their concerns. Teen counselor Suzanne Bonfiglio Bauman is one of the trusted go-to experts in the Ask Elizabeth world.
Here's her advice about getting the that you might be missing:. If she starts to go there, state clearly that you are truly interested you are, aren't you? As you listen, you may discover that the person you've dismissed has a fabulous sense of humor, is kind to your daughter, puts her at ease, or otherwise surprises you and satisfies your need to see your daughter treated well. Some girls have talked about feeling relieved that their moms finally came out and asked what they wanted to know, instead of implying disapproval which, by the way, they always pick up on -- your girls can read you like a book!
Fifteen-year-old Jill shared, "My mom always talked about my friend with a sort of question in her voice. I could tell that she was trying to get more information out of me about her. I wish she had just come out and asked me what she wanted to know. And moms, while getting what you need to bring you some ease and clarity, I have heard firsthand how this can shed new light for both of you. Even if this step doesn't fully erase the concerns from within that intuitive, great mom radar of yours, you can at least know that you shared a conscious, clear dialogue that also benefits your daughter.
Without hitting her over the head with it, your asking questions in this way allows her to also take inventory of what makes her feel drawn to this person and may bring to light a new awareness for her. What are your worries based on? Suzanne points out, "Sometimes, our problems with the relationships of loved ones have much more to do with us and our own values, fears, and experiences than with the values, wants, and needs of our loved ones.
I can't begin to tell you how many girls have come to me asking for advice on how to show their moms that the fears the moms are experiencing seem to be based on the moms' past stories, not what's actually going on in the present. It makes so much sense that you would want to protect your daughter from going through any of the pain you've been through in your life. But just like I saw in the situation with that toxic ex-boyfriend, we sometimes need to walk through the fire ourselves to really own the lessons deep in our bones.
Bottom line: And yes, part of this means giving them space to make their own mistakes! Unless your daughter is hanging out with someone who is actually a true danger to her life, remember that you cannot really control who she is or isn't involved with. If your daughter comes to you and wants your opinion or advice on this person, use the opportunity to empower her by saying, "I'm not in love with this friend of yours, but I trust that you will figure out how to deal with them.
You're a very smart girl. Expressing your disapproval over your daughter's choices, on the other hand, may only serve to alienate her -- and we all know no mother wants that. I know my mom trusts me to do the right things and make the right choices. Even if my mom doesn't fully approve of one of my friends, she lets me still at least be friends with the person for a while. I think she wants me to realize for myself if the people around me are good friends and good influences.
I appreciate that she lets me learn from my own mistakes instead of her making my decisions for me. If you read the first Ask Elizabeth column, you already know that the number-one thing that girls want you to know about how to create open dialogue with them is to come to them from a place of love, respect and acceptance. And that's especially true when we're dealing with a tricky situation like you not loving someone that they are hanging out with.
For teen girls, their friends are their entire universe, and how you approach or question their choices about their friends can either open up a deeper dialogue between you or cause them to shut down completely. I get how hard it must be not to want to yell, " This person isn't worthy of you! But this kind of absolute approach almost always backfires. I remember one story that a mom shared during a workshop that broke my heart. She and her daughter had always been very close -- that is, until her daughter's boyfriend Dan came into the picture.
This mom explained how she felt that Dan wasn't good enough for her daughter and that he didn't treat her daughter with respect. Hoping to discourage the relationship, she imposed a new rule that Dan wasn't allowed to come into their home. While she clearly wanted to protect her daughter, setting that hard boundary drove a huge wedge between her and her girl.
Her daughter was still seeing Dan outside her home, so it didn't actually serve anyone. The worst part was that all of this happened just months before her daughter was leaving for college, which meant that her last months living at home were filled with tension and stress. Don't get me wrong: I'm definitely not saying you should give your daughter free rein to hang out with whomever she wants!
She needs you to guide her toward making good decisions, and you'll know in your heart what is right for your specific situation. What we're talking about here is how you approach this. Girls consistently say that when their moms speak to them from their heart in a respectful way that doesn't make them feel ashamed or threatened or powerless, like they are being commanded without explanation , they're much more likely to hear you and really take it in.
And they're also less likely to shut you out. I made friends with this one girl two years ago who my parents couldn't stand. After several months of my new friend coming over and hanging out a lot, my mom came to my room one night and very calmly brought to my attention the reasons she and my dad didn't want her to hang out with me. My mom came at the conversation form such a place of concern, and was so free of judgment, that we were able to talk about it honestly without me feeling defensive.
A great Ask Elizabeth tool I want to share with you, which we talk about a lot in workshops, is that being specific rather than general about what's concerning or bothering you can make huge difference. When girls are having trouble getting through to their moms, we practice changing the familiar, "You never let me do anything! So from your end, it might be worth trying to get really exact about your concerns, so your daughter understands the "why" behind what you're saying.
If it's the fact that you're worried that this friend is a bad influence, explain that to her -- and tell her why. As bestselling author and psychologist Dr. Gail Saltz suggests:. Stay away from saying things like, "I don't like her" and instead try, "I am concerned that what she is doing is dangerous and would not want you to do any of those things. She may appear not to listen at times, but she is absorbing the value system you are teaching her, as long as you communicate it clearly. I love this creative tip, which year-old Olivia shared with us, as a way her mom helped their relationship when Olivia was enmeshed in a not-so-healthy friendship:.
My mom voiced how she was feeling when she didn't like one of my friends, not by controlling my life or preventing me from seeing my friend, but by always offering other things to do in place of seeing her. She wanted me to regain touch with lost friends and make as many new ones as I possibly could. Here's another angle on this. If your daughter's friend or boyfriend is involved in drugs or other damaging behavior, Dr. Saltz suggests trying to direct your daughter toward being true to her own moral compass.
She adds, "You might even speak to her about this friend or boyfriend needing some help, and that your daughter could be a positive influence. My best friend of many years got involved with drugs and alcohol when we were in high school. After watching me take care of this friend time and time again, my mother sat down and told me that she didn't mind the fact that I was helping a friend in need, she just didn't want me to change who I am as a result of my involvement.
She told me that she was proud of me for standing by my friend, and encouraged me to come to her if I had any questions about how to handle her antics, or approach the possibility of seeking help for her or support for myself. I realized then that my mom was just trying to advise me and was initially reticent of me helping because she didn't want me to get beaten down in the process. Having said all this, of course, if your mom-radar is blinking Code Red and you sense that your girl is in emotional or physical danger, even the girls agree that it's time for you to step in.
Suzanne Bonfiglio Bauman offers this smart advice on what to do if you find yourself in this kind of difficult position:. If your daughter's friend truly does have the potential to harm your daughter or to influence her in a way that you feel is inappropriate or unhealthy, then by all means, discuss your concerns with her and if the situation calls for it, limit her interactions with this person.
Just as teens yearn for independence and approval, they also absolutely rely on adults to construct limits and boundaries to keep them safe. Share with her that you have listened to her, observed her and her friend, and spent time thinking carefully about the situation. Tell her about the sorts of relationships you want to see her develop "I want so much for your friendships to leave you feeling confident, safe, and cared for, unconditionally".
Give her the real reasons why this relationship doesn't appear to offer her that. And give her a chance to be angry with you and hurt by your decision. State that you anticipated anger and you want to give her space to be mad and to express herself more, as well. Let her know you can tolerate her anger and you will still be on the other side of her door, ready to talk and listen and comfort whenever she is, as well.
A vital part of parenting that many parents today struggle to master has to do with embracing our roles as responsible adults and tolerating our kids' anger and resistance when we exercise our parental responsibility. We get so swayed by their mood swings and intense reactions to us that we forget to see them in the context of their own development.
It's their job to be emotional, reactive, and passionate. And it's our job to be still, to breathe, care, and try not to take what they say or do personally. So when your daughter tells you she hates you for ruining her social life and taking her friend away, near her out, share that you are sorry that you've upset her so much, and they you really wouldn't do what you've done if you didn't know that it was the healthy and correct thing to do as her parent.
I pray a lot. I want to tell my daughter she is dragging around a ball and chain, enabling him, making the biggest mistake of her life, wasting her. Yet she swears he is the love of her life and she defends him! You may not be able, at least yet, to love the person your kid loves — but if you work at it, Let him know you wish he saw it your way but that you will do your best to embrace Sometimes the person who seemed so wrong turns out to have been exactly right .
The woman talking with me is more than a little upset. In fact, she is beside herself with worry and disapproval. Yet she swears he is the love of her life and she defends him! We want him to stop seeing her and find a girl who is appropriate. Love and romance.
It is our job as parents to help our daughters make smart choices about whom to date and to teach them how to identify the difference between the thrill of attraction and the stability of attachment. The ideal time for discussing these issues is before your daughter even begins dating, but even if it is too late for that, these conversations are worth having. Here are some ideas to get you started.
How to Get Your Teenager to Break Up With Her Bad Boyfriend
I have always admired Mick Jagger: What a fabulous fellow he is. But even he can make mistakes, and it seems as if he has just made one, by objecting to his daughter Elizabeth's choice of boyfriend. Elizabeth is 18; the boyfriend is 44, and Mr Jagger thinks he is is "too old" for her. This is a bit of a cheek, considering the age disparity in his own choice of partners, but his real blunder is to think that he can influence his daughter's choice of partner.
Your Daughter’s Dating the Wrong Guy
Often, during adolescence, teens are beginning to disconnect from their families and connect more with their peers. It can be challenging for adults and children alike to figure out what healthy relationships look like. How can you tell if a relationship is just normal intense adolescent bonding and or if it has veered into something obsessive and potentially destructive? Parents often think of physical abuse when it comes to unhealthy relationships, yet emotional and verbal abuse can be just as significant. Parents often cut back on supervising their teens online at this age, and technology can contribute to unhealthy relationships. In one case, a teen girl stopped wearing her favorite pair of jeans with a quarter-size rip in them because her boyfriend accused her of trying to provoke other guys. Read More: If your daughter begins a drastic diet, exercises to an extreme or uses laxatives, she may be feeling out of control. Weight loss may also be linked to an eating disorder, such as bingeing and purging, and can be life-threatening.
Whether it's a new boyfriend who seems like he's bad news or a friend who sets off that little warning light in your brain, deciding how to handle these kinds of situations is one of the biggest struggles I've heard moms talk about.
By Kristin Crosby October 31, So gauging exactly who your kids might be dating and whether those relationships are happy and healthy can be tricky to navigate. But social media aside, for young people in brand-new relationships, there are almost immediate changes to detect: But after a few weeks, as the early motions of a relationship settle in, there may be some clear signs that will help parents see whether their daughters, in particular, are in healthy dating relationships or not.
5 Sure-Fire Ways to Get Rid of Your Daughter’s Dreadful Boyfriend
Natasha Miles. You have to get past all the narcissists , then come the energy vampires, and once you clear them you must weed out the liars and cheaters. But what if they have a child or multiple children? How can you be sure you can deal with the requirements of this relationship? Here are a few things to think about that can help you decide if you are mature enough or ready to date someone with children. First thing you need to understand is there is nothing wrong with dating a person or marrying someone with kids. Just because a person has kids does not mean they are off the market. The only thing that it changes is knowing this relationship will have more requirements. People in this situation can and do have success, and often end up in happy marriages. Dating a person with kids has a different set of challenges, but its not an impossible feat. From the beginning you need to know what your limits are— especially those who aim to please people. If you are going to be an adult about this situation, you also have to protect yourself.
How Do I Disapprove of My Daughter's Friend or Boyfriend Without Being an Invasive Mom?
My daughter has been seriously dating a young man for about the last six years. They are both He recently totaled his car and got a DUI, confirming that he is an alcoholic. He is on probation and cannot drive, so my daughter now often drives him. I believe he is a good person with a good heart — and lots of problems. My daughter has a college degree, a good job, lots of talent and potential. She is attending Al-Anon and counseling.
7 Warning Signs Your Teen Is in an Unhealthy Relationship
My daughter is getting married. When she showed me her engagement ring, I would love to tell you, I was jumping for joy in excitement. In fact, when I heard of the proposal, I got tears of sadness. When we finally unlocked all the deadbolts and welcomed this young man back into our home. This was a huge step for this young man. I think about that question a lot.
When Your Kid Is In Love With Someone You Don't Like
Meanwhile i love end up dating a guy, can help. Oh, she is seriously dating the guy for them defensive. I feel she is marrying. If your best friend obviously sees something if being in your friendship or whatever relationship sucks, it really into me. Should you say something if they wanted to tell your friend go through it can almost be better. Unfortunately your opinion. The wrong to convince a girl who she was a man that she's dating each other, and bad news. But telling her boyfriend, and she notes that is dating this might make them defensive.
Tiffany Raiford has several years of experience writing freelance. Her writing focuses primarily on articles relating to parenting, pregnancy and travel. Raiford is a graduate of Saint Petersburg College in Florida. The bad boy persona is one that teen girls -- and women -- are presented with on TV, in movies and in books, according to Boston-based psychiatrist Susan Carey. These bad boys often are dangerous and inappropriate, but they turn out to be sweet guys by the end. However, it becomes a problem when your teenage daughter's boyfriend is actually just a bad boyfriend and bad influence. Discuss your expectations with your daughter, but make it about her and not her bad boyfriend.
Great, from zero to practically married in 10 seconds flat and the kid is now vacillating between the highs that come from feeling in love and the lows of fearing rejection. Teen romance is not a new phenomenon. In fact, many of our grandparents were married quite young and began their own families in their latter teenage years. Also, try the following with your child:. If you really like the boyfriend or girlfriend, let the kids know it — take them out to dinner or to the movies with you, praise the way that they treat each other and are respectful of feelings, and also show that you know when to back off and give the couple some privacy and time to themselves. What to do if the situation gets out of hand? If you have reason to believe that the relationship has gone too far the kids are experimenting sexually, for instance , you must step in.7 Signs You're Dating the Wrong Guy