Should my 16 year old daughter date an 18 year old guy?

Elaine - posted on 06/15/2012 ( 12 moms have responded )




My daughter will be 16 in August and will be a Junior this year. Since she's one of the younger teens in her grade, as most of her friends turned 16 last year, I do not have a problem with her dating 17 year old guys or even 18 year old guys... as long as they are still in high school.

In the past we have told her she was allowed to date in her grade and the grade above her. This means that everyone is her grade will soon be 17 and any possible seniors will be turning 18.

My Husband strongly disagrees with me and we cannot seem to come to a solution. He doesn't feel she should date an 18 year old boy until she's 17. So basically this narrows down to the guys in her grade only. She has only had one boyfriend in the past and they only dated in groups, so this is all new to us.

Since guys mature so much after girls, she would not consider dating a guy younger than her. What do I do??? Keep fussing with my husband or agree with him???


Louise - posted on 06/15/2012




Let me tell you my story. I met my husband when I was 15 and still at school, my husband was 18 at the time exactly three years older than me. We have been together for 26 years and married for 22! If you have taught your daughter to value her body and respect herself then you have nothing to worry about here. Men do expect more from a relationship but if they truly value the relationship with your daughter they will respect her. A lad at 18 is no different to a lad at 15 they both want the same thing! Age has nothing to do with hormones. You just have to trust your daughter to do the right thing. Cut her some slack you are only young once!

[deleted account]

1st I want to say take all advice with a grain of salt ..........that being said: I'm happy for most of the woman who replied that had a happy ending to their early childhood relationships, but I think it's a rare occurance in today's society (marrying and staying with your childhood sweetheart). My take on it is that children have enough to think/worry about without adding the mix of relationships that are a hormonal mess! I have a daughter that is 16 and I am forbidding(yes I said forbidding) her to have a "boyfriend" until she graduates HS and legally becomes an adult. She can have male friends whom she hangs out with, with other kids their age but to hold a title of a boyfriend nah that's ok. What is the purpose of a boyfriend at that age? Why can't they wait until they finish HS? I remember very clearly the peer pressure to have a boyfriend, to have sex, drink and drugs and everything else that kids are put under at that age.....the funny thing about that is that even as I got older those pressures were still there but my brain is developed so I can make clear decisions & understand the full consequences of my there will always be an exception to the rule in every possible scenerio......I just find it funny that a lot of parents say kids are growing up too quickly and wonder how that happened.......In My Opinion I think that is b/c we allow CHILDREN to engage in ADULT activity we all know everyone makes assumptions & perceive things based on ones outside appearance or actions......some parents justify it by saying I might as well let them do it b/c everyone else is or they are going to sneak and do it anyway......You are the parent you set the tone for your children's upbringing, we are supposed to protect them from making the same mistakes we did or to soften the blow of "real life"......I just want to be clear that MY OPINION IS MY OWN and in no way am I trying to to make anyone feel bad about their choice to allow their kids to date before graduating b/c mostly likely they were allowed to do so by their parents. But in case you missed my answer to your question......She is too young to date an 18 y/o and like someone else said think about the statutory laws if nothing else.....not saying that your daughter would lie about a situation but a stranger could see something and take it out of context and b4 you know it lives are ruined.......

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/18/2012




So, Elaine, sounds like this is a case of "because your mother and I did this, you will too, and we aren't ok with you getting pregnant so young, so we're going to totally nix the whole idea"!

Just because you and your husband made poor choices (well, only poor if you think so), doesn't mean your daughter will! And, you guys have probably made a superb example of how to keep it working (at least it sounds like it's still working)!

You and your husband need to ask each other this: Did we do the best we could, raising our daughter? Did we instill the values that we consider important? Do we trust our daughter to make good decisions?

If the answers are yes, then you need to point out to your husband the following: You're good parents. YOu've given her good lessons, examples, and advice. She's NOT you, and probably will make very good choices! (And, just because a guy wants sex doesn't mean that the girl gives in.)

Considering that I dated 5 yrs older than myself in HS, and married a guy 5 yrs older than myself 23 years ago, and we're still going strong...the only thing I'd be concerned about (and stress heavily to both kids) is the statutory laws, and the age of consent.

Lynn - posted on 06/17/2012




I have an 18yo..when she was 16 she did date a boy that was me it depends on the trust you have in your daughter and how you think she will handle things..with all my kids I have a very open relationship..they know they can come and talk to me about anything at all and I will listen and give them my opinion and not judge far as messing up and getting pregnant..she can do that with a 16 yo as well..

Jacqueline - posted on 01/01/2013




Between 16-18 the lines are blurry. If you deny her the ability to date the 18 year old who she likes, you'd better watch out. The "appropriate" "approved" age boy she brings home will scare the crap out of you.

i.e. do you really want her to:
1. sneak around and see the 18 year old behind your back?
2. come home with some highly inappropriate weed smoking psycho HS dropout that she doesn't really like but is so pissed at you she will insist that she does or convince herself she does?

Your choice.

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[deleted account]

I agree with you - I wouldn't make an issue out of it until it happens. I think it should depend more on the boy and on the situation (exactly what will "dating" entail?) than on whether the boy is 17 3/4 or 18 1/4. And if your husband is concerned about sex, well, I can't see that the risks are any different with an 18 year old boy than with a 17 yo or even younger.

When I was almost 17 and a HS junior, I started dating a 22 year old. He was most certainly not in high school, and I really don't know why my parents allowed it. That was nearly 25 years ago. We will be married 20 years in June. I realize that's rare, but you never know how things will work out.

Margaret - posted on 01/01/2013




I used to think 16 year old shouldn't date at all. Or 18 year old for that matter. Dating should be 21+. Now.....not so sure.

Marilyn - posted on 06/15/2012




Also - make sure that you meet the guy... my daughter knows that she can't go out with any friends that we haven't met - male or female...

Marilyn - posted on 06/15/2012




I am in a similar situation. My daughter will be 17 next week and just finished her jr. year... So she is the youngest in her class. She has dated guys who are one grade ahead of her so 1 to 1 1/2 years older than her. The best thing that you can do is teach her to respect her body and make sure she understands the consequences...

Both of my kids know (my son is 21) that my husband and I believe that sex should be reserved for a committed relationship and should not be a casual thing... But my husband and I are also realists and know that teens are going to have sex... We have stressed honesty and making sure that they are "protected". I have had the conversation with my daughter and her doctor together. Our Dr. also has 3 teenage daughters so understands the pressures that kids are under. All you can do is continue to talk to her without turning her off. Don't lecture... If it were up to my husband, our daugther would never go out at all!!

Elaine - posted on 06/15/2012




My Husband only thinks she's going to get pregnant and ruin her life. When I try to explain that I would rather wait to make the decision about the 18 year old guy until it becomes an issue. However; he refuses to discuss anything other than NO she's not doing it. He thinks all guys are after sex... and I tell him yes, but that's no different from a 16 or 17 year old boy.

I'm also not ok with her having sex either, but am not stupid. I feel that we keep putting stipulations on everythign to the point that she doesn't even ask anymore. She doesn't have many friends and woudl rather stay home that be social.

Guess this discussion has more problems than the initial issue.

Also... he and I started dating in 8th grade and got preggo in 11th. He quit school to work full time while I graduated. We are still together and really went against all odds. I guess he just doesn't want her to do what we did...since we are a rare case.

Brittney - posted on 06/15/2012




I think you should come to an agreement with compromise. If she is 16 and dating someone who is 18, it has to be okay with the parents because she is still a minor. I dated an 18 year old when I was 16, he had just turned 18 and it was okay with my parents. Can you ask him why he feels it is inappropriate for her to date an 18 year old? Maybe his reasoning will help you to understand. How does your daughter feel about this? Does she have any say?

Edit- I also married that same guy, were 3 years apart some times and 2 years apart other times. We have been married for only 2 years, but we have been together for a total of 5 years.

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