Is my husband overreacting to his teenage daughter's boyfriend's behaviour?

Nadia - posted on 01/30/2013 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My 17 year old step-daughter has a new boyfriend. We invited him over for dinner & my husband told our teenager (beforehand) that they were not to go to her room and close the door. It made my husband uncomfortable to see him groping her on the couch. Then they went to her room and while we were watching TV my husband said he could hear moaning and panting (she left the door open as instructed). My husband feels it is disrespectful of the boy to do those things in his house. It's made him angry and so he is going to talk to his daughter about it. Is he expecting too much? I'm sure if my husband sees your advice, he will take it on board. I think sometimes he doubts his parenting style because his ex-wife often tells him he is doing it wrong. So, he would like to get another opinion (besides hers). We don't have any friends with teenagers to bounce things off... so he just goes with his gut feeling on parenting.

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Kirsten - posted on 01/31/2013

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Before answering this question, I had a talk with my daughter. She and I have always been very close and I can count on her to be open with me. I figure the best advice is going to come from a young person who wasn't sheltered or "out of touch" with the average kids, but who chose to not make the stupid mistakes. :)
My daughter says that it's tacky for the boyfriend to act like that on a first meeting, and not a good sign on your step-daughter that she's willing to let her boyfriend act like that. "Just because they're making with the nasty doesn't mean it's okay to put it in her parents' faces! That's just disrespectful and immature." Dad will have to 'man up' to the ex wife and tell her it's NOT okay to undermine his parenting when the kids are with her. She may disagree and that will be on her head when things go wrong; but while that daughter is with dad, she'll have to play by dad's rules and the ex had better be supportive! Then dad will have to swallow his ego and his fear and go straight to his (sort of) grown daughter and tell her, "Look, I know you and your guy are doing things I don't want to know about. But until you're an adult, it's my business to some degree. You both need to be responsible and you both need to be respectful. Beyond that, it's up to you to make your own decisions." Then tell her exactly what's expected of her. Be prepared with those expectations. Like, he needs to carry condoms and she needs to be on birth control. They need to find a place other than your home. Whatever it may be, have it thought out ahead of time, but don't make it a long, unrealistic list. Then spell it out for the daughter.
This whole thing is no fun from a parent's perspective. I have two grown daughters. The oldest was raised very strictly. No boys until 16. Strict dating rules. Abstinence teaching. Etc. She barely finished high school and became a mother seven months later. The second one got a little more slack, more open communication, and real life lessons. She's the good kid & the one I asked for advice. :) Hope this helps.

[deleted account]

I think his rule is perfectly reasonable and I also think that his daughter's and her boyfriend's behaviour was disrepectul. If it were my kid, the significant other would be immediately asked to leave and not invited to return back until they were able to act in a more respectful manner. My child would also be getting a serious conversation about appropriate vs. inappropriate behaviour

Kristi - posted on 01/31/2013

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I agree with your husband and with Kelly. Granted she is 17 and almost an adult. So more than likely there is at least some hanky panky going on. However, it is absolutely inappropriate, rude and extremely disrespectful to behave like that. Since they are older they should be able to exercise more self control. My parents would have sent him packing and grounded me if I had had the nerve to get hot n heavy right there in their faces like that. The sad thing is, if he has no respect for her father, he probably doesn't have any respect for her either.

There are too many "Well they're going to do it anyway" parents out there these days. You and your husband are not expecting too much. My daughter is 13 and so far God is on my side and she is not yet interested in boys except for showing them up in sports! Lol I'm not niave enough to think that my daughter will do no wrong but I will continue to remind her how precious she is and how she deserves to be treated. Remind her to respect her body. and continue to drill into her head the consequences of teenage pregnancies, like missing out on college, giving up on a successful career that she's dreamed about, financial struggles, etc. And if all else fails, here are pictures of STD's you can get if you don't use protection and you're going to have to sneek around like we all did back in the day! ; ) I think that's the best we can do as parents without alienating our kids. But, she will have tight curfews and I will verify her whereabouts with other parents. I will make sure her boyfriend's parents are on the same page as I am about rules.

If we (parents in general) are too strict, we'll push them away and they will certainly rebel. It's really difficult to find the thin line between fair and firm vs. flimsy and inconsistent. I think it is important to lay out your expectations and the consequences as soon as possible. Then stick to them. She can't say she didn't know or that's not fair, because she made the choice knowing what the consequences were going to be prior to making that decision.

I know went way beyond your original question. I get chatty sometimes at 4am! Anyways, I hope some of this helps. It sounds like you guys are on the right track.

Dee Dee - posted on 01/31/2013

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I am with S. J. I worry more about the daughter. A private and caring conversation from you may be nice. If the boy friend want to be intimate with her, he may want to get a job and aprtment to be responsible. they can be intimate at his apartment. so your daughetr do not stuck with all the consequences.

Lakota - posted on 01/31/2013

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Your husband is right. They were both disrespectful though, not just the boy.

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Jill - posted on 08/07/2015

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No he is not overreacting. As many people said... His house his rules. Although your daughter is almost an "adult" she still needs to follow your rules, as do those that she brings into your house.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/09/2013

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Well, if my kids disrespected my requests in my house, I'd be upset as well.

Both kids need to be spoken to about respecting other's boundaries and house rules. If they don't like it, he doesn't have to come over, nor does she need to go to his house!

S. - posted on 01/31/2013

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It is disrespectful of the boy yes but even more so from the daughter, I don't think your husband is wrong for requesting those things at all. I grew up with a NO boys in bedrooms! Rule and I imagain I will be the same (I may re-think if my girls live with me when there grown adults and have long time partners)

Nadia - posted on 01/30/2013

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Wow, thanks Kelly! You don't know how good it is to hear that. It is very hard for my husband to feel confident about his parenting decisions because he is constantly berated and undermined by his ex-wife and of course, then the girls side with mum and its 3 against 1.

I feel my husband is making tough but necessary parenting decisions but even I have started doubting myself after his ex calls and says he is doing it all wrong and has no idea about how to parent properly.

[deleted account]

I think your husband is right. The boyfriend acted very disrespectfully! It was VERY disrespectful to put his hands all over your husband's daughter right in front of him, and very disrespectful to retreat to her room, especially if he was meeting you and your husband for the first time.

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