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QUESTION: Should I Let My Youngest (15) Daughter Date the Way Others Date?
“I am Mom to two teenage girls, 18 & 15. My husband & I decided they could date when they were 16. We have been laughed at, asked how long we are going to keep them in a bubble & told you to have to let them go someday.
It went well with our oldest, but the youngest is boy crazy & will have a relationship by texting, facetime, Snapchat & having the boy come to church so she can see him. But my mother-in-law told us we need to let her go out & stay out of our kid’s business!
We want her to be mature enough to handle herself when she does go out & right now she is not. Are we too overprotective? At what age did your children start to date? Our daughter confided in her Grandma that the boy dumped her, my MIL announced at her Christmas get together that our daughter lost her boyfriend to the whole family, which embarrassed our daughter & blamed me for not letting her go anywhere with him.
We didn’t tell my MIL that the boy was very jealous & cheated on her. I want to tell MIL that we are her parents, we are responsible for her & it’s our decision, not hers. But I know it wouldn’t do any good. My husband has talked to her, but she insists that she is right. Any advice on how to get through this would be appreciated.“
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16. Like, I could have boyfriends but had supervised dates. The boy could come to our house for dinner, hang out or we could all do something together. I actually appreciate that my parents were like that. It weeded out the boys who just wanted sex. The good guys stuck around, got along great with my family, treated me well. I’m also thankful I didn’t even up a teen mom! I mean, I wasn’t mature enough at that age. Most girls aren’t. Most teenage girls rule with emotion and make stupid choices. She’s your daughter. What you say goes. Nothing wrong with her bringing a boy home and having supervised dates.”
“Parent how you see fit. Personally, my children don’t have “private” business until they are an adult. So I will be in their “business” as much or as little as I see fit based on their actions and how their maturity develops. You do what you feel is best.”
“Please let your teen have this relationship. Right now you’re teaching her to hide from you and keep secrets. It may not be ideal in your eyes, but if you want her to trust you then you need to trust and be open with her.- Sincerely, a former teen mom.”
“It’s too late. Much better that they date from 13+ where they can go on fairly innocent dates. Don’t restrict dating – it’s like believing people only have sex in a bed. Much better you know who and where (and possibly what). She’s more likely to have inappropriate relationships with bad choices if she can’t be met at the door by a boy you invite in.”
“You all are the parents, MIL needs to stay in her lane. Parent how you please.”
“Have you ever heard that overprotective parents create perfect, sneaky little liars? That is what you’re doing to her. You need to loosen the reigns, let her openly date as long as she’s open and honest about what’s going on. The key is that you want her to come to you about anything- including when she decides to lose her v-card. Keep overprotecting her and not letting her date or whatever, she’s not going to tell you anything and she will find a way to see boys behind your back.”
“Everyone acts like 16 is so old. It’s not. Let your kid be a kid. Instilling strong morals and ethics is way more important right now than your kid dating and yeah she might be mad at you about it but by sticking to your decision you have already saved her having to deal with the type of boy who is jealous and cheats. She doesn’t need to be dealing with that kind of boy drama yet. She has the rest of her life to date, don’t rush it.”
“She’s going to date whether you “let” her or not. Better she be allowed to date so she feels comfortable being open with her parents than she have to hide it. She needs to be able to communicate with you when things happen like breakups or abuse. She also needs to be able to talk to you when things like intimacy, birth control, etc come up in a relationship.”
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