My 13yo (14 in 3mos) is midway through grade 8, and will be starting high school in the fall. She's been interested in boys for about a year now, and told me that she is seeing a boy in her class for a few weeks now.

I'm happy she told me, but now I'm at a loss as to how to handle the situation, what discussions I should have with her. I've told her to be aware of feelings, that hers might get hurt, and to be wary of not hurting the boy's feelings, and I've had discussions about bodies, being responsible, and what is appropriate touching for a child of her age (nothing below the shoulders!).

I'd really appreciate some good advice - I don't want to be too strict (because I'm a firm believer that if it's going to happen, it will happen - all I can control is how open the lines of communication are between her & I), but I also don't want to be too permissive, and I want her to be safe and responsible.

(I should add that "dating" at this age consists of texting phone-to-phone, Facebook and email, with the occasional dance at school or watching the other play sports at school - they don't actually go anywhere or do anything on their own... and yes, I monitor Facebook, email, texting)

Thanks!

asked 09 Jan '10, 15:42

YMCbuzz's gravatar image

YMCbuzz
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By your description, if "dating" consists mostly of (monitored) electronic communication and the occasional dance or sports event, I don't think there's as much to worry about physically (yet) as whether there are hurt feelings or simply that she's getting too absorbed in the "relationship" versus school work or relationships with other friends. And it sounds like you are discussing exactly those things as well.

So I have little additional advice, other than to say it sounds like you're already doing all the right things. Keep up the great attitude and lines of communications with her.

The only thing I have to add is to help her maintain balance between this and everything else in her life -- that she doesn't ignore her other/previous friends, even other boys, her own family or other commitments, doesn't get lax with school work, etc. And of course if this is something that lasts more than a couple weeks, you should meet the boy and understand what affect he and his friends will have on your daughter. Nothing can be more more influential (positively or negatively) than the new crowd of friends you get absorbed in with a new boy/girlfriend.

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answered 09 Jan '10, 16:16

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lgritz
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I really think it has much more to do with mental age than physical age. You know her best; is she mature enough to handle the potential pressure and pain that comes with being in a relationship? If she is, it sounds to me like you have done everything you can. If she is not, consider talking to her about love vs affection vs lust and the difference between them and trying to get an idea of which she feels. Make sure she knows you love her, and hope for the best, because it is largely out of your hands. Just one guy's opinion. Good luck, and I wish you and your daughter well.

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answered 09 Jan '10, 15:53

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Matthew Jones
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Asked: 09 Jan '10, 15:42

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Last updated: 09 Jan '10, 16:16