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Logan:)
Logan:) asks:
Q:

Is 13 to young too have a boyfriend?

My daughter has asked about having a boyfriend. She is in 7th grade going into 8th, and I'm not sure what to do. I've told her to wait till she's 15, but she refuses to. Should I let her have an *in school* boyfriend and possibly let them "hang out" once in a while?
In Topics: Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Dr.Susan
Jun 28, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Since this is one of the most common clashes between teens and parents, at least you know you're not alone!

The truth is that once you forbid a boyfriend, your daughter is much more likely to want to have one--and to sneak one without you knowing about it. After all, as you can already see, there's actually nothing you can do to stop her from having a boyfriend, only from seeing him outside of school.

A goal that is far better for your relationship with her is to remove the word 'allow' from the conversation and talk to having a boyfriend. To begin, here are some important topics to explore:

--what does it mean to have a boyfriend at 13?
--why does she want a boyfriend--how would it make her feel?
--respecting your own body and saying "NO" to just about all sexual activity (except holding hands) is appropriate when you're thirteen, and for a long time after that. Then really getting to know a boy before you kiss.
--Saying "NO" to everything else is what will make you feel best about yourself until you're much older than thirteen.
--Not feeling that you should be pressured by a boy who says you 'have to do more' or he won't go out with you, or you're weird, or not cool.

That's should be enough for at least a few chats and keep the communication open. Remember this is your goal--not to forbid anything because it will backfire!

Good Wishes and Great Parenting,
Dr Susan Bartell
JustAsk Expert
www.drsusanbartell.com
Twitter @drsusanbartell
NEW book “The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask”

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Additional Answers (4)

pedro101
pedro101 writes:
its ok to have a boyfriend at her age but dont let her get too carried away with him because she also has to pay high attention ot her education
> 60 days ago

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rkaiulani
rkaiulani writes:
Hi Logan,

7th-9th grade is exactly when this type of thing may be coming up. It's very normal for a girl to want to have a "boyfriend" at this age, but keep in mind that "boyfriends" in middle school are different than those in high school, college, and beyond. Most likely, you daughter wants to enjoy the girlfriend "status", hang out with this guy and other friends outside of school, and do some preliminary sexual exploration (kissing, etc.). You know your daughter best, and if you think she might get into trouble with a boy than you might consider setting strict parameters. However, I think that if you trust her then there is nothing wrong with having a "boyfriend" at this age. It may even only last just a few weeks.
> 60 days ago

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MimiR
MimiR writes:
Ask her the question--Where do you see this leading?

What outcomes do you  see possible for a 13-year-old with a boyfriend?

What outcomes are likely?

What's the possible benefit versus the possible harm?

Work these out together.  I think you already know the answer--and that she just sees right now that other people have boyfriends and that she is now attracted to the opposite sex, so she wants them, too, without any further analysis.  She needs to be made to analyze it.
> 60 days ago

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Anishaa
Anishaa writes:
yes 13 is too young to have a boyfriend but if you can talk to your daughter and she relates everything to you like a friend, it is surely OK for her to have a boyfriend since she thought about consulting you before getting a boyfriend.
> 60 days ago

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