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Anonymous asks:
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How do I stop my daughter from dating this loser?

I am single father. My daughter is 16. She lives with me and goes to her mom's every other weekend. Her mom allows her to run wild on those 2 days. My daughter met a 17yo boy, who lives by her mother's home. I know she has known him about 3 months now. I believe they have had sex. He is a complete loser kid, no school or work, sells weed, wanna be homeboy. My kid's mom is no help, I have spoken to over and over about this kid, she basically allows our daughter to spend her whole weekend with this kid at the "party house" down the street. My daughter is now trying to pull away from me, doing anything so that I will let her stay at her mom's more, to see this boy. I want this kid gone! Any advice?
Member Added on Mar 28, 2010
Great help Doctor! Thank you so much! Okay so now what do I do when she is in my care and wants to go places with this kid? I mean do I even allow her to see him on my days?
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

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

First, know that you're not alone! Parents, both single and married are frequently confronted with their teens wanting to date kids of whom they strongly disapprove. The unfortunate truth is that even if your daughter was home with you, it would be very difficult for you to keep her completely away from a guy she really likes--even if you tried to keep her under lock-down all weekend! So, before we go on, let's keep in mind that your goal at the end of her relationship with him (because it WILL eventually end!) is to make sure that you and your daughter still have a relationship and that she hasn't pulled away from you completely. This is especially important since her mother obviously isn't guiding her properly by letting her run so wild with her new 'bad' boyfriend.

You are going to need to balance understanding (think back to when you were a teen and were infatuated with someone) with good parenting (doing your best to keep her safe). Here are 4 steps to take:

1. Don't let her go to her mom's house any more often than she does already.

2. Talk to her frankly about whether she is having sex. DON'T rely on her mom to have this conversation with her. Take her to the gynecologist (if she doesn't have one, get a referral from the pediatrician for someone great) and if she needs to start taking birth control pills, don't wait. Teach her how to use a condom properly--be practical, use a sense of humor and don't be angry during this conversation.

3. Talk to her calmly and matter of factly about the practical dangers of weed and hanging out with someone who smokes and sells it (both health and legal--she could get arrested), but tell her that if anything happens, her first call should be to you, NOT her mom because you're the one who will be able to help her if anything happens (like a party gets busted by the police!)

4. Remember that the more you fight this relationship overtly, the more she will hang onto it because that's what teens do. Your goal is to help her convince herself that it's not really what she wants. If you offer her lots of support and help, she's more likely to let you back out of it eventually; if you continue to be angry, disapproving and she'll stay with him just to 'prove you wrong'--effectively forcing herself to stay in the bad relationship. Be clear that you don't like the guy, but let her know that you trust her and want to be there for her know matter what. Make a pact with her that you won't punish her if she comes clean with anything, or calls you if she's in trouble for any reason.

Dr. Susan Bartell
JustAsk Expert
www.drsusanbartell.com
Twitter @drsusanbartell
NEW book! "The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask"
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Dr.Susan
Mar 28, 2010
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Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
This is a tough call! But I'd suggest keeping in mind the plan--with the goal of not alienating her. So, you're not going to love this but...tell her she can see him as much as she wants as long as it's at your house! And you'll be very nice and polite to him and make him feel comfortable--you'll even buy the pizza! She CANNOT go in a car with him under any circumstances (he may be high/drunk). If it becomes a huge battle, allow her to got with him to limited places where you drop off and pick up at her designated curfew so you can see what's going on. If she knows that you'll be there at the end of the night, she's much less likely to be drinking or smoking.

Dr. Susan Bartell
JustAsk Expert
www.drsusanbartell.com
Twitter @drsusanbartell
NEW book! "The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask"

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Additional Answers (1)

drgiggs
drgiggs writes:
Time together and empathic conversation/listening can go a long way.

Kids often complain that parents don't listen to them; often it's true!  We do need to listen more.  

Start by commanding less and listening more.  Try to establish empathy with her.  Listen to understand 'feeling' as well as meaning, and use questions to check for understanding.  Try to feel how she feels.  Act (and genuinely become) accepting of her feelings and interested in her ideas.  Don't be afraid to get mushy and share/show some of your feelings as well.  From her perspective, she has been hurt by you (among others) so uncover some things you can apologize for and do it without being defensive (in general, eliminate defensiveness).  Identify some of the positive things about her and let her know your proud (don't over do it though).  Show appreciation, thank her for little things.  Be genuine and remember, she's probably more like you than you and/or her realize.

Note: Be mindful that it's a process, not a one time band-aid.  We dad's/husband's often like the straightforward answer, the quick simple solution that is so obvious we can taste it.  Not in this case.  The solution is the process.

When it comes to your future son-in-law (just kidding) some bargaining might work well here.  When she is with you, perhaps the two of you could agree to spend some quality time together first, before she can go see him.  Play a game together, go get some ice cream, do some shopping, or whatever father-daughter rituals you may have (or maybe start a tradition if you don't).  If/when you can't spend time together first, then work it out so you don't miss that time together.  Aah!  Make time.

The most important thing to focus on is improving your relationship with each other.  Whatever she has with that guy will go away soon enough.  The better your relationship, the more she will be drawn to you in general, but especially when loser boy falls out of the picture.
> 60 days ago

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