Should my teen daughter have “boyfriends”?

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  • #10679

    Rhonda K.
    Member

    I have a 14-year-old who likes a boy at school. I feel it’s all right for her to have a friend who is a boy, but her father does not like the idea. He doesn’t even want boys to call her. Does anyone have some advice on this type of problem?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Rhonda K., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Mormon, Age : 35, City : Porterville, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #40868

    Stacee27903
    Participant

    Most of my closest friends have been male. Although I found these boys attractive, it never led to a sexual relationship. As a matter of fact, I waited until I was married (at 23) to have a physical relationship. That said, I can understand the father’s hesitation. All fathers want to protect their girls. Perhaps the father is remembering his own raging hormones at that age. And some males who have been unable to have platonic friendships in the past may project their psychology on all males. I think you both have a great opportunity to teach your daughter valuable lessons for the future. Talk (or continue to talk) to her about boys, her own changing body and feelings, your values concerning relationships with men. I would allow her to be friends with this boy openly, in supervised situations. She will interact with men all her life, in the workplace and in society in general. What better time to learn to be friends with males than now, when she has you two to guide her?

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    Name : Stacee27903, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 31, City : Houston, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : TV director, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #41712

    Lucy-H22669
    Participant

    Of course her father doesn’t want her to date. I think that for a father, the transition of a daughter from a little girl to a grown woman is very difficult. At 14, I had several boyfriends, but my parents took an ACTIVE role in my social life. They regulated phone calls and dates – no calls after 9pm, no calls over 20 minutes, only group dating, only supervised house parties, early curfews etc. We talked about these rules as a family and discussed the reasons for having them. Of course I didn’t particularly like the rules, but I understood why they were there, and that if I followed them and proved myself to be trustworthy, my parents would relax the rules. My parents also made a point to know my friends and their parents. My mom would always talk to them when they called or when they came over to the house. She didn’t interogate them or anything, just got to know them. My friends thought she was great because she was so nice to them, and she felt comfortable with my friends because she knew them. This included boyfriends as well as girlfriends. My dad had another tactic: he was an outdoorsman, and he just happened to be sharpening a Bowie knife or something whenever a boyfriend would come to pick me up. That image seemed to keep my boyfriend’s hands from wandering.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Lucy-H22669, Gender : F, Race : Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Age : 25, City : San Jose, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Engineer, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #27979

    RobinW
    Member

    In my experience, making rules that seem ridiculous or senseless to teenagers causes them to decide you are arbitrary. She doesn’t have enough life experience to fully realize that you, her parents, are just two people; exactly like her, but older. Instead, she sees you as a totally different species. And if what you say makes no sense to her, instead of being able to figure out that you have ‘buttons’ about certain issues, she will probably think that a.) you have no idea what you are talking about, or b.) you are trying to make her miserable on purpose. Add to that the implication that she cannot be trusted, and you are asking for trouble. And it really is unreasonable to expect her to have no association with boys. She is with them all day in school, after all! What you may want to do is tell her that she cannot date until she is a certain age (say 16). That leaves her free to make friendships, but lets her know there are limits.

    User Detail :  

    Name : RobinW, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 46, City : Detroit, State : MI Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #37644

    SR28463
    Participant

    She’s on the brink of rebellion if she hasn’t hit it already. For God’s sake, give her some love and freedom. Fourteen year-old boys may have raging hormones now, but they’re just going to be raging more when they’re 18, and your daughter won’t necessarily be following your rules by then. I think the girl deserves to have normal social interaction. Besides, all the 14-year-old boys I knew at that age were more interested in each other than any of the girls in the class.

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    Name : SR28463, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 22, City : Austin, State : TX Country : United States, 
    #42747

    Kathy
    Member

    It’s hard for a 14-year-old to accept anything a parent says. Remember, in her mind, she is mature enough to handle ‘hanging out’ with all types of people. I agree with limit-setting, though. I was very much into boys at 14, but was not allowed to ‘date’ until I was 16. Any people were always welcome at my house, and I even had a ‘boyfriend,’ but without the freedom to go out by ourselves, it was nothing more than a friend I thought was cute. That experience, plus all the others I had, made me who I am today: A 23-year-old woman ready to settle down in life. Support and guide her.

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    Name : Kathy, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Caucasian/Asian, Age : 23, City : Mt. Clemons, State : MI Country : United States, Occupation : Comunications Specialist, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #18918

    Adriana
    Member

    It makes no sense to me to isolate a child from the opposite sex. How can someone grow up to be normal if they don’t get a chance to be like everyone else? If I was the daughter, I would want to get out of a home like that asap. Please tell your husband know how unreasonable this is. On a more blunt note, what is wrong with liking a guy/girl and wanting to be with them? Because this is what it comes down to. And no, she is not too young. When I was 5 I liked a 50-year-old guy ’cause he was funny and had a nice smile, and I was too young to know it was silly. You can’t set rules like that for your kid and still say you’re a responsible parent. My philosophy: It’s a parent’s duty to worry about their child, give them wings and worry about them falling. It’s the sacrifice a parent must make to show their kid they love them. It’s much too easy to just say to your kid, ‘You can’t do this.’ What you’re not telling them is, ‘I don’t have the time to worry about you, so please don’t have a life of your own.’ But it doesn’t work like that. You have to let go, and you have to worry. I hope I remember this when I am a parent.

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    Name : Adriana, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 17, City : Harrisburg, State : PA Country : United States, 
    #38637

    Netta
    Participant

    If you don’t treat having friends of the opposite sex as being normal now, your daughter will find ways to go out with and contact boys behind your back. This will cause great conflict when you – or her father – eventually figure out what’s going on. Or at least, that’s what happened to me. I’m 18 and have had (and still do hav) many innocent friendships with guys (and some not so innocent!) even though my parents have never been happy about it and have often tried to prevent them. But by trying to a) stop me from interacting with these people and then b) getting hostile when they did find out I’d gone behind their backs, they only push me further away and make themselves more worried. If they were more open-minded and relaxed about boyfriends, I would have – and would now – feel more comfortable about bringing them to meet my parents, and discussing them and boundaries I should have in these relationships. But they just treat the issue as if it’s wrong to have a boyfriend, and that it’s wrong and suggestive of a slut or a guy-chaser if I just want to go camping with my guy friends, or to the beach or something. They – especially my father – suspect, doubt and accuse me, and it would have saved them so much worry if they had just realized at the beginning that trusting me a little, talking with me a lot and showing me why and what exactly they were worried about was what they needed to do.

    Tell your husband he is putting himself on exactly the right track for a lot of worry, arguments, tension and the loss of the affection and respect of his daughter – which could be avoided if he tried to understand that his daughter will always be in contact with boys no matter what he does, and that it’s far better for him to face the issue knowing exactly where his daughter comes from, and being able to talk to her about it.

    I’d just like to say two more things: 1) my parents aren’t religious, they’re just damned strict – and 2) for God’s sake, don’t set a stupid dating rule based on age. Age doesn’t mean all that much. Not too much can happen at the movies, especially if you drop your daughter off and pick her up. And if something unwanted does happen, instruct her to scream, kick, bite, scratch, spit and all those other ‘unladylike’ things.

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    Name : Netta, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 18, City : Armidale, State : NA Country : Australia, Occupation : Student, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Middle class, 
    #26155

    What on earth should she have boyfriends for? I don’t mean to be harsh, but do you consider it precocious? Do you believe it makes you more popular? Are you trying to relive your own teenage years through your daughter?

    I cannot fathom why you would permit, let alone encourage, this inappropriate behavior. She’s testing her limits. Act like a mother and not her teenage girlfriend. I have seven kids. They are all kind, respectful, intelligent, decent human beings. None was permitted to date before 16, and couldn’t single date before they were 18. They’ve always known the rules, they’ve been protected by the rules and they’re going into adulthood as mature, happy, healthy (emotionally, physically and spiritually) human beings. College, yes. Marriage, yes. Abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, broken hearts, wasted youth, bad grades: Not a one.

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    Name : Margaret Z., Gender : F, Religion : Latter-Day Saints, Age : 44, City : Seattle, State : WA Country : United States, Occupation : Mother, homeschooler, writer, editor, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #43365

    Michelle
    Participant

    I don’t think you can say to your daughter ‘No Boyfriends!’ and just leave it at that. I think to a certain extent that your husband is over-reacting if he doesn’t even want her to communicate by phone with boys. What does she do at school all day, just ignore them? My parents and I always had frank and open discussion about all things to do with sexuality and we did discuss boys. My parents always cracked jokes about the whole situation and when I eventually did start dating I was 16 years old and my parents just had to trust that all the discussions that we had together would be enough for me to do the right thing. Having said that, yourself and your husband know your daughter the best, if she is level headed and you know the boy in question and possibly can set some ground rules without encroaching on her freedom overly, then I think you have a good compromise. All the best! Michelle.

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    Name : Michelle, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 24, City : Perth, State : NA Country : Australia, Occupation : Legal Secretary, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Middle class, 
    #22974

    Lindsay H.
    Member

    To MargaertZ.: You have some real valid points her, but – and I do not mean to offend – what planet are you on? If your child is in public school, he or she is going to be exposed by their peers every inch of the day to sexuality … dating … who’s hot and who’s not, etc. Don’t get me wrong, boundaries should be enforced, but you need to be realistic about this child’s peers. If you try to get too hardcore, you’re going to find nothing more than outright rebellion on your hands, like swinging from the chandeliers. Sit down and find a compromise, something you can live with and they can, too. Remember, you don’t own them. They are only on loan, and it’s such such a short time. Make this the best time time between you. Also, a side note: even when they act like they can’t stand you, they really do love you and your husband! Been there, done this a few years ago… Just love ’em.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Lindsay H., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Disability : Deaf, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 49, City : San Antonio, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : self-employed, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #19461

    amber31548
    Participant

    But wait…Didn’t she say her daughter has a ‘friend’ who is a boy, and not a ‘boyfriend,’ if you’ve taught your daughter through her life to respect herself, and she’s not running around in make-up and clothes that make her look 18, I don’t really see the problem. Is there no such thing as friendship between sexes? Your husband doesn’t want boys calling her at home? Does this include boys calling with homework assignments, does it include her male cousins? I consider your husband’s attitude fairly self-defeating. Teens don’t want to be controlled, and if they feel they are being controlled unjustly, then they just go ahead and do what they want. Does your husband explain why he feels this way, or does he just forbid it? If its the latter, here comes trouble. By the way, many fathers freak out when their daughters hit puberty. Jealousy, desire not to see time pass so quickly, and other murky human emotions come to a boil… If her dad doesn’t feel like she loves him, maybe that’s why he’s being this way. Of course, kids don’t say they love their parents, and unfortunately, a lot of parents don’t let their kids know either. If the father-daughter relationship were better, maybe this wouldn’t be an issue.

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    Name : amber31548, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 29, City : barrow, State : AK Country : United States, Social class : Lower class, 
    #23100

    Kristina
    Member

    In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with a person that age having a guy friend or even a boyfriend. Whether society wants to admit it or not, teenagers are biologically inclined to want romantic relationships. And to me, they have every right as someone who is 18 or older to explore romance. When parents restrict this freedom, there could be serious consequences later, especially on young women. Her curosity on romantic/sexual issues could be so great that she might be compeled to make decisions that are not best for her, and might rebel. What the parent should do is be honest with their kids. Tell them about sex and how to protect yourself. This way if the person decides to do it, they will at least be protected against pregnancy and diseases. And the parent should also not have blinders on when it comes to kids and sex today. Teenagers are having sex as they’ve always done, this is a fact. Avoiding the issue will only make her more likely to listen to her peers on sexual issues rather than parental wisdom.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Kristina, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 20, City : Washington, State : DC Country : United States, Occupation : Transcriber, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #28875

    Lynne
    Member

    For the love of God, people. The woman is not asking whether it’s ok if her daughter ‘dates’ the entire football team. Read her post. Ok, my feeling is yes, it’s ok for your daughter to have a friend who is a boy. Now, you may want to determine what kind of friendship she wants with him. Either way, I believe it would be perfectly fine for them to socialize, as long as there is some supervision involved. Perhaps your husband would be willing to compromise then. Now, you other folks out there, don’t get your bloomers in a twist about the last sentence up there. I would recommend supervision regardless of the gender. Parents need to make sure that their kids are hanging with the right people and making good decisions about their social lives.

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    Name : Lynne, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Lesbian, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 38, City : Tulsa, State : OK Country : United States, Education level : Technical School, Social class : Middle class, 
    #19357

    Serene28046
    Participant

    Yes, friends who happen to be boys at 14. Of course you can’t lock her away. Dating at that age in another matter however. Have you talked with your daughter to find out why she likes this guy above others? What special about him calling? Parents often ‘separate’ boys and girls at a most crucial time when true friendships can and should be fostered due to their fears of sexual activity, Has it worked?? Take a look at teen pregnancy statistics! Once your daughter learns to be friends with a boy a wealth of learning opportunity opens up (Not sexual) A male friend could be a most valuable tool in learning what guys to stay away from. Your FRIENDS always let you know!! Remove the mystery. My own daughter was encouraged to have both male and female friends, and she is still friends with them all since second grade. She is graduating from college this spring and no pregnancies, no hypersexual activity, no disrespecting her parents etc. Keep an open line of communication with her, be open to invite the guys to your home for visits, let him get to know you and your family as well as get to know him and his. Knowing that he has to be accountable to more than just her, is prohibitive to monkey business.

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    Name : Serene28046, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 43, City : Chandler, State : AZ Country : United States, Occupation : Business Owner, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
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