Hi! First of all I want to say what an awesome site this is. The moderators do an incredible job. I have recommended it to many people over the years but now I need your advice.
I am a mom of a 14 year old who is dating a 16 year old. I need the advice of other parents and the opinion of teens on how to deal with my daughter.
I think my daughter and her boyfirend spend too much time together. Several mornings a week she goes for a jog (supposedly to exercise, however she ends up at his house). Later in the day she will spend several hours with him either watching movies at our house, or his house or just hanging around at the park. Then at night they spend hours on the phone. In the month they have been "together" there was only one day that they didn't spend time with each other. Some of the danger signs I am seeing are that she is starting to treat me disrespectfully and is ignoring all of her other friends.
My questions are: How much together time is too much? As a parent, what boundries are appropriate for me to expect her to set and what are reasonable boundries should I set.
I think it's important to remember that for many teens, first relationships are super super intense. Suggesting that there are other areas of her life needing attention (home, work, other friends, etc) will probably be met w/ a blank stare. I think this is pretty normal.
What boundaries does she have set now? In my house (when i was younger! I'm 23 now and have my own house ), we didn't have any 'extra curriculars' until our chores (dishes, caring for pets, etc) and homework were done. It was just nonnegotiable, and we knew it. Asking her to be home to help cook dinner and eat w/ the family also isn't unreasonable. Really, anything she was expected to do before the relationship started isn't unreasonable to ask that she do now. A relationship is supposed to compliment the rest of your life, not replace it.
Does she have a summer job? Or do any volunteering? This could help too ...
Hey, I think it's awesome that you're asking about this here, but I think it would do better in Parents, Adults, and Teens, so I'll be moving it there.
I think Smurf pretty much hit the nail on the head! In addition to some reasonable limits (homework and chores done before going out, making clear she still needs to spend SOME time with the family, etc) I think it will be helpful for you to remember that this will likely work itself out.
As a young teen myself a few years ago and the sister to one, I can say that relationships that are all-consuming tend to flare down as quick as they flare up -- it gets boring! Teens in general have a more compressed, accelerated courtship period, so I'd say she's likely to realize on her own within a few months that her world's not gonna end if he doesn't make up all of it.
So, I know the lovey-dovey-cooey attached at the hip stuff gets old quick and that you may worry she's ignoring other areas, but I think basic guidance like Smurf outlined above, plus letting her learn on her own that a balanced life is a good thing, is the best you can do.
Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005
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