What should you do if you don’t think your daughter’s boyfriend is a good influence on her? This is a question more than one concerned parent has asked themselves. I am lucky, my daughter didn’t date very many boys, and the ones she did date were really great young men. Now she’s happily married to a wonderful ex-military man.
Everyone knows that the worst thing they can do is to forbid their daughter from seeing a certain boy. Every time you tell a teenager ‘no’ they hear a challenge to their independence. You have to tread very carefully.
If you’ve got some concerns, here are a few things that you can look into:
1. Instead of telling your daughter, she can’t see him, make sure she understands the rules of dating. This will be much easier if you’ve had these rules in place since she’s been allowed to date. That way she won’t think you’re ‘picking on’ her new boyfriend.
The rules should include when and where she can see her boyfriend. What her curfew is as well as how late she is allowed to be on the phone or on the computer. Feel free to add any additional rules that you think might be helpful. One word of caution though, while rules are important if you become too strict she’ll just get that much more rebellious. Don’t overdo it on the rules.
2. Try to spend some time with her boyfriend. Be sincerely polite and friendly. That way if he is the type of boy who will try to turn your daughter against you, it will be a little tougher to do. If you’re being friendly and welcoming to her boyfriend he’ll have a hard time convincing your daughter that you don’t like him and that you’re being mean to him (which by the way can be classic manipulation boys will use as a way to encourage their girlfriends to disobey their parents).
3. When explaining the household rules make sure the boyfriend is present. Again, this makes it tough for him to play games and pretend like he didn’t know what the rules were. Make the conversation friendly and casual and include both your daughter and her boyfriend… no matter how mortified she seems to be.
Hopefully, the boy really isn’t as bad as you think he is. At that age, a lot of kids try to act tougher than they really are and they love to challenge authority. If you make it clear that you aren’t going to be easy to manipulate and you’re not afraid to face these issues, by talking to your daughter and her boyfriend, head on it’s very likely that he’ll either behave himself or just get bored and move on to find a girl whose parents aren’t quite so involved in their daughter’s life.
One of the things many parents worry about is the type of people their kids are hanging out with. Nowhere is this worry more real than if your daughter’s boyfriend seems like someone who can cause trouble. How you handle it can make all the difference between helping your daughter see the light and having her openly defy you and your rules. Don’t roll over, but be careful how you approach this situation.