14 year old daughter with 17 year old boy

Samantha - posted on 12/18/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My 14 year old daughter is involved with a 17 year old boy despite our efforts to keep them apart. I let them start texting months ago because she was sneaking around online just to talk to him outside of school. Wondering if that was a mistake. My thought process was I could monitor their conversations. And their conversations through text have been appropriate. We also do not let them see each other outside of school unless it's a school function. I know I cannot control who she has feelings for. They both are aware that they won't ever date. I let her go to winter formal. She did tell me they kissed and told me they have said "I love you"'. The kissing information came a week after the dance even though I asked the night of the dance so she did lie to me. Just wanting some advice from other parents on what I should do. I feel as if she is doing whatever she wants despite what we want from her. I want to block him from her phone. I want her only able to go to school, poms them home. Is this the right thing?

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Raye - posted on 12/18/2015

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Well, I would not talk to his parents. You may have to see how it plays out. When he turns 18, I think it'll be a completely different ballgame. He will be an adult, and she will still be a child, so that could drive a wedge between them. Especially if he goes off to college, he probably won't want to be tied to a high school student, and one so far from graduating herself (A study done in 2014 found 60% of high school students actually planned to break-up with their boyfriends or girlfriends when they graduated. I'm sure many more relationships ended over the following summer or once starting college.). You can try explaining all this to her, but she probably won't care.

The majority of the time, high school relationships do not last, as only two percent of new marriages in North America are compromised of "high school sweethearts." (I married a boy I made out with in High School, except we married 25 years later.) But the fact that adolescent relationships don't last doesn't mean that they do not teach valuable lessons. Going through a relationship while young can help them discover what it is they'll want out of future relationships in life. Every person someone dates during their life will teach them what they do and do not want.

That being said, there are negatives that must also be stressed. A high school environment is not a healthy place for an intense relationship, with the drama involved and the fact that a relationship takes away from the things that are truly important at such a fruitful age -- mainly a focused education.

One thing you might try is for her to write down traits that she likes about herself and what she likes about her life right now. Have her review these every so often and see if she still feels the same, or if her boyfriend has changed her opinions. You can also have her write a few goals she wants to accomplish in the next 4-5 years. She should review these goals every so often and determine if her relationships are interfering with these goals, or helping her achieve them (or at least not hindering her). Granted, kids change their minds all the time, so it may not be an absolute test, but it's good for her to think about goals and what she likes about herself... and if they change, then why?

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Samantha - posted on 12/18/2015

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Thank you for responding. It helps tremendously to have someone to talk to. We have had the sex talk. We are Christian and her faith has been pretty strong this last year. She wants to save herself for marriage. I am not pushing that but obviously not encouraging otherwise. I just kind of hold back knowing reality these days. I believe she is not interested in sex at this time. My daughter basically lives in a "fairy tale" when it comes to feelings for boys. She is in love with the idea of being "in love". I don't doubt that they are good friends and have a lot in common. I get that from their texts. I hate to see the friendship ruined by a "relationship" that will go nowhere until she is of age. I don't feel like I can talk to his parents because they are in total favor of the two of them together. I just want them to slow down.

Raye - posted on 12/18/2015

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This is a tricky area, but it sounds like you're doing okay. If you try too hard to keep them apart, that may just make her want him more. If you are monitoring her activities on her phone (all apps, not just text) and internet, then that's good. If she finally did open up about them kissing, that's good. Hopefully you have had the sex talk more than once, and she knows that pregnancy and STD's and other bad things (that can affect her the rest of her life) can result from making a bad decision in the heat of the moment. Most likely their relationship will run it's course, she'll be crushed (that's why they call them crushes), and you can help her through. It's a learning experience for both of you.

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