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glamourgirl31sc
glamourgirl... asks:
Q:

What do I do about my 13 year old daughter dating a 17 year old boy?

i have a 13 year old daughter who is getting ready to turn 14 in nov and she has this boyfriend who is 17 and i dont approve of this. i have made her break up with him stop calling texting and seeing him. at this point she HATES me she dont love me and im scared she might run away or even hurt herslef what should i do?
In Topics: Teen sexuality and dating
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Mar 30, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

There is a big difference in the physical and social maturity of a 13 and a 17 yr. old.  I agree that you have reason to be concerned about your daughter engaging in a relationship with someone older than tthem especially at that age.  If you don't approve, you need to sit down and talk to her about the reasons why.  Make sure your voice tone is calm and non-accusatory.  Let her know that you're not mad at her, but are only concerned about her well-being and want to teach her what a healthy and appropriate relationship looks like.  Some excellent books to help you with that conversation can be found on the boys town press dept. website at www.boystownpress.com.  The book "Boundaries" is a great one to teach your daughter about appropriate relationships.  Another wonderful book for your daughter to read that may help explain to her about relationships is called "What's Right For Me? Making Good Choices in Relationships."  They are both excellent reference books for you and your daughter.  

It's natural that your daughter would be angry at you.  It's easy for teens to get blinded by what they think is love and feel like their life is over if that love ends.  I know it must be difficult for you right now to take the brunt of your daughter's anger.  It certainly doesn't feel good.  Know that in the long run she will understand why you made the choices you did and she will be greatful for your protection.  

Stay firm with your decision and be available for her to talk about her feelings with you when she calms down. You mentioned that you're afraid she will run away or try to hurt herself.  Has she done this in the past?  If she has a pattern of dealing with her feelings this way it's important that you keep a close eye on her and make an appointment for her to talk to either the school counselor or an outside therapist.  Even if she's just threatening to do these things to try to get you to reverse your decision, you need to get her help so she knows you take her threats very seriously.

As always, you can call our crisis line to talk to someone more about your daughter's situation at 1-800-448-3000.

Sincerely,
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000

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Additional Answers (46)

trisha
trisha writes:
You can't always be your childs friend, I think you made the right choice. &nbsp;She needs to know what you approve of and what you don't she may hate you now but better for her in the long run<br />
> 60 days ago

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lkauffman
lkauffman writes:
Hi Crystal,<br />
<br />
I completely agree with Patricia. Although it can be difficult and painful to say &quot;no&quot; to your daughter, it is your responsibility to communicate what is appropriate, inappropriate, safe and unsafe. There is always a great deal of subjectivity to this, so you have to listen to your instinct on this one. In this case, your instinct told you that this was an inappropriate/unsafe situation, and I believe that has to be honored.<br />
<br />
Now, how to deal with the fallout... I think that you will have to expect that your daughter will be very angry with you for some time. Remain firm, but look for opportunities to talk with her about her feelings. Did you have experiences growing up in which you didn't agree with your parents? How did it turn out? I've discovered that children often appreciate hearing about their parent's experiences growing up. Or, how about experiences with disappointments in love? Let her know that you understand that it feels like she won't be able to recover from this pain or live without this boy, but reassure her this is difficult for you, too, and you wouldn't cause her pain unless you felt there was no other option. Ask her to trust you and give it time.<br />
<br />
Finally, if you continue to worry about her, you might consider consulting a professional (e.g., psychotherapist, psychiatrist) or call 911 if you believe that she is in immediate danger.<br />
> 60 days ago

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rkaiulani
rkaiulani writes:
If your only concern is that your daughter's boyfriend is too old for her, I have to say I disagree with the other posts. Dating someone a few years older isn't a crime: in fact, it can be the only option for girls whose male counterparts are hopelessly immature. If this is the case, give the guy a chance. If you are worried that he is a bad influence on your daughter, however, I totally agree that the situation is unhealthy. But you need to help your daughter recognize the danger of the situation so that she comes to understand your decision, or you will be in for a long run of rebellion, bad boyfriends, and refusals to take advice.<br />
> 60 days ago

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alexiss
alexiss writes:
Why not meet in the middle? Show your daughter that you want to give her and her boyfriend the benefit of the doubt. &nbsp;Invite him over to the house when you are able to supervise their interactions. Maybe his intentions with your daughter are honorable, maybe not either way you will have an opportunity to find out. &nbsp;This might be a good way to open up the lines of communication between you and your child!<br />
> 60 days ago

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tasha sherwood
tasha sherwood writes:
i think that you should meet him, get to know him, then judge whether or not you want this guy to be with your daughter. &nbsp;your daughter needs to learn how to make her own choices and learn from her mistakes. &nbsp;as a sixteen year old girl myself, if my parents did that to me and broke my heart, i would do one or both of these two things.. immediately tell them i hate them or sneak around behind their backs. &nbsp;see telling your daughter what you think of him will eventually get her thinking, but reacting how you did it could take sometime for her to forgive you. &nbsp;all i can suggest is apologizing to your daughter, reasoning with her and tell her she can date him IF you have a dicussion together about safe sex, birth control and what can happen if shes not careful. &nbsp;but to help you out i want to tell you something. &nbsp;all teenagers or child(ren) will say at least once that they hate you but believe me its not true your child will always love you and nothing can change that because you are one of their parents if it wasn't for you they wouldn't be alive. &nbsp;so just try not to get involved with things she can decide herself but get involved in more important things and make sure that you know that not getting involved doesn't mean you can't offer your questions, concerns, and your help.<br />
> 60 days ago

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briana.ramos13
briana.ramo... writes:
the worst thing you could do is not ALLOW your daughter to see him. the most beautiful thing in life is that we must all learn our own lessons. and i understand this is your baby but the fact is, the baby has got to learn her lesson. If you want to intervene with this, just try to spend more time with her, and become closer, just dont forget your position as a parent. youll be suprised how much some mother daughter time can change
> 60 days ago

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dad of two
dad of two , Parent writes:
Explain to your daughter that she has her whole life a head of her to date she is 13 and needs to enjoy life.Children these days are wanting to grow up so fast why i wish i colud be a kid again.As for the seventeen year old boy what does he want with a 13 year old girl?What could they possibly have in common.Does he not realise he is close to causeing himself a life time of trouble.I say let her hate you you are doing the best thing as a parent protecting your child from would be predeators.Just rember did you always like your parents when you were growing up.As they say time heals all wounds hang in there you are doing the rite thing.One day your child will have kids of there own and they will see what you were talking about good luck.
> 60 days ago

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STEPHLIN
STEPHLIN writes:
IN NATURALLY DATING BEFORE MARRIAGE IS PROHIBITED WHETHER IT IS WITH A OLD ONE, YOUNGER ONE, YOU CAN SAY HER SLOWLY ABOUT THE HARMS OF DATING BEFORE MARRIAGE IN A KIND MANNER, DON'T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING EXCEPT YOUR CHILD'S FUTURE, I HOPE THAT ANSWER
> 60 days ago

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Relaxed
Relaxed writes:
Glamourgirl,

The years from 12 to 21 can be some of the most challenging and daunting for parents.  Your daughter is seeking her identity and sexuality.  She will follow your daily behavior and actions more than what you say sometimes.  As a wise person once told me, "If at age 25 they are still alive, are not addicted to drugs, are not in jail, not an alcoholic, you can still say they are a good kid, and still talk to you, then you have done a great job as a parent."

Communication, as stated by many others, is key.  She is looking for limits and definition and of course she will be mad at you.  Show her maturity by being rational yourself instead of erractic and emotional.  Do not be judgemental immediately since this will cut off communication.  Use her decisions as a chance to instruct her not lecture her.  

This is a perfect time for you to sit down and set up guidelines for her.  Define for her how to evaluate what is a genuine relationship.  Explain that group activities and dating allows her to stay out of potentially ackward and dangerous situations.  Explain the pros and cons of becoming too serious in a relationship.  Help her understand the possible outcomes and motives of highly hormone related relationships.

The guidelines could be things like:  no couple only dates until age 16 when maturity and reasoning are further developed; no dates in cars with boys that are more than a year or two older than her; all dates to school activities; set limits on sexual intimacy; set curfews; etc.  Your daughter will thank you years from now for solid values and morals.

Talk about the peer pressures and the need to stand up to that pressure if the activity or behavior is wrong.  Make sure she understands your decisions are to keep her from situations that jepardize her safety and that will impact her life in a negative way.  Make sure she knows that many of the decisions and pressures she faces take only one mistake to alter her life course.  Let her know that only she can make the right decisions because you cannot be there with her when those critical decisions need to be made.

Take a look at the website for LEAPS below.  They have identified 109 social skills students must have before they graduate.  You can use the list as a discusssion starter.

All the best in the challenges raising a teenager will present to you.
> 60 days ago

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Tyler&Harly
Tyler&Harly , Student writes:
Well i say maybe u should give the guy a chance.... i know you dont like em together but my mom is 4 years older then my dad... and i say its ok that she is dating him.. but you see some times older boys or girls that are dating  may cause a Big opportunity for themselves... and maybe if you dont like them together maybe you could tell her when she is older she could date him ..but im not an expert im just trying to help you but i guess maybe you should just do what you think is best for her
> 60 days ago

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DIAHNA
DIAHNA writes:
I would stick to your word by all means. You should try to do as many activities with her as you can. Wether its taking her shopping, going to the movies, or anything you and your daughter would like to do. Remember she is only 13 and a half. She has a whole lifetime ahead of her and theres plenty of years ahead of her, for her to date!! Any "teenager" is going to tell you they hate you. They are at that age where they know everything and you know nothing. Put yourself at that age and think of what you would want your mother to do to help the situation. Ask yourself questions. Then try to be the best mother you can be!!
> 60 days ago

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lisatidwell96
lisatidwell96 writes:
i was 16 dating a 28 yr old if your daughter reallyn likes this boy i dont think you should stand in the way you wont always be there to pick up the pieces as of now i am 32 and my husband is 44 he is the guy i was dating when i was only 16 and i still love him today more than i did then just give her a little space and let her learn from her mistakes just let her know that you are trying to trust her so do blow it trust can go a long way i hope this helps you good luck
> 60 days ago

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carlo vic
carlo vic writes:
mam, u can seek for a psychiatrist to examin your daughter.
> 60 days ago

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ashlynn29649
ashlynn29649 writes:
you should talk to her about like that she should not do that and tell her why you shouldnt then tell her that you love her and that you will punish her really hard if she ever does this again. you should also tell her how you should date people your age and if her friends think that that is cool then she needs better friends and that you should never go down the wrong path like the wrong bad people!!!!!!!!!!!
> 60 days ago

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vico
vico writes:
I think you should meet her boyfriend and see how he is, invite him to your house to have dinner, let your daughter know that you want to meet him and get along with him. If he does not want to go over your house that means that he does not want nothing serious with your daughter and you should let your daughter know about what you think.
> 60 days ago

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jessicarogers
jessicarogers writes:
well i am 15 years old.
and i dont agree with them going out either but u have to give them a chance. just make she he treats her right and she treats him right. my sister is 19 and is going out with a 27 year old and they are married now and love each other. but just saying that you should give them a chance. just watch what they are doing. and see if it works.
> 60 days ago

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CookieMonster
CookieMonster writes:
just let her be as long as she is not having sex with him then shes fine if shes pregnent then you know she had sex with him and you can call the police or comfront her about
> 60 days ago

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CookieMonster
CookieMonster writes:
LET HER DATE HIM
> 60 days ago

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EducationWorks Academy
EducationWo... , Child Professional, Teacher writes:
13 year olds should not be permitted to date. Dating is an adult activity. Unless you are ready for her to do "adult" things on her date...You as the parent need to take a stand. When she is taking care of herself..then she is permitted to make decisions and not before. I told my daughter during those early years at 14: "When you could give me a good reason why you need to date...you will be allowed to" She was 17 when she went on her first "supervised" date. They had to be accoutable both to me and his parents. They dated for a year and decided to end it mutually.
> 60 days ago

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kmsmith1012
kmsmith1012 writes:
you should give the guy a chance, yes, she will not be with him forever, and she may know that. but i am 17 and i have a 23 year old boyfriend. i had a 22 year old boyfriend when i was 15-16. my mom has approved of me dating older guys since i was 15, but my dad is just now comming around. if you push him away, you will be pushing her away too. you are the mother and have "vibes" of your own. if this guy dont seem right, talk to her, dont yell at her or force her to stop because then she will hate you more.
> 60 days ago

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