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Question

My 13 year old daughter is pestering me and pestering me to have a boyfriend. I find when I stick to the NO, she goes behind my back anyways. I worry about her and feel she is much too young to have a boyfriend!

Answer

Amber Rosenberg Replied: Tough situation, indeed! It may be helpful for you to examine your personal boundaries and determine where you can strengthen them with your daughter. Simply put, personal boundaries are the limits you place between yourself and others. The stronger your boundaries, the more free you feel to express yourself. In this situation, the following is a great way to set boundaries and communicate in a powerful, yet non-defensive way, "I love you and feel you are too young to have a boyfriend. If you choose to not listen to my request, you will be (what will be the consequenceā€¦grounding, taking away rights, etc.) We can revisit this when you are XX (age)."
Posted On 2007-11-13 17:33:08
Harriet S. Mosatche, Ph. D. Replied: Before this disagreement between you and your daughter damages your relationship, find out more about why she wants a boyfriend and what having a boyfriend means to her. She may simply like the idea that she can tell her friends that she has a boyfriend and be flattered that a boy finds her special. Just telling your daughter flat out that she's too young to have a boyfriend is not as effective as telling her why you're concerned and what you think she's really too young to do.
Posted On 2004-10-13 13:49:00
Mark Viator Replied: Having your young adolescent show feelings for the opposite sex can be a terrifying experience for any parent. Take some time to talk to her about why she feels the need to have a boyfriend. Ask her what she expects from having a boyfriend. You may be suprised by her answers. Her definition of a "boyfriend" may be very different from your definition. By just telling her "no", you have made the objective of having a boyfriend more desirable. While 13 years old is too young to really have a serious relationship, it is important to understand that a natural curiousity about those once "nasty boys" will exist. Be there for your daughter, and help to answer questions that she may have. Remember you need to be her source of information for these issues.
Posted On 2004-10-06 09:03:42
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