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We have a daughter that turned 18 in January. She is a Senior in high school. She has recently become involved with a 24 yr old man that works as a pizza delivery driver. We are extremely uncomfortable with the relationship and she is spending a great deal of time with him. We want to put our foot down have her end this relationship but we don't want to drive her out of our house and end up with her moving in with him. She says he lives with his parents. He is not in school and his only job is working at the restaurant. We need help in determining what steps to take.


Amy and Charles Miron Replied: This is a tough one and the line you walk is incredibly thin. We'd suggest you wait for a time when the relationship with you and your daughter is warm and close.(Timing is everything.) Begin with a desire to talk about something that's important to both of you and suggest that each of you needs to listen and not interrupt each other. Then start with something positive. For example, how beautifully she's navigated the difficult waters of high school; how proud you are of how she's handled (fill in the blank). Then explain as her parent that you love her, and will no matter what she chooses to do. That as her parent who loves her, it's your job to point out any bumps in the road of life that you may see. Explain that while you realize that the man she's dating must have fine qualities, otherwise you're sure she wouldn't be interested in him, you're deeply concerned that...and then as unemotionally as possible, spell out your concerns. End with you'd like her to think long and hard about this and that you have faith that she'll make a good choice for herself. Be careful of your tone of voice and body language. And remember that if you point a finger at someone, you're likely to get a finger back...and not a polite one. And be really careful how negative you are about this man, as he may end up your son-in-law. Explain that you know that this is her life and that she needs to live it her way. End with another positive, like I really love you and hope you're going to make a healthy decision for yourself. Reinforce the process of talking together even though you may disagree on content. That way, you've left the door open to further input, rather than pushing her away.
Posted On 2009-05-26 16:30:59
Michelle P. Maidenberg Replied: It seems she is not willing to give up this relationship. If you put your foot down you may be running the risk of pushing her away or her lying to you about seeing him. This may forge a wedge between you and her. I wouldn't encourage the relationship but would take more interest in it to assess if she is safe and relatively happy. You might consider having a heart to heart with her about it. Questions to ask yourself -- is she keeping up her grades, is she isolating herself from her friends, is she lying about the relationship, is she practicing safe sex, etc. A question to ask yourself is why do you think this relationship is so bad for her? What don't you approve of it and why? You may have strict preconceived motions about him not being in school, maybe she doesn't and might think you're being judgmental. She may come around or you may come around. If you taught her good values she may come to the conclusion that this is not the ideal guy for her. You may come around if you're able to understand better why she is interested in him, what attributes she appreciates about him, how does he treat her, etc. You may also want to meet him and his parents to assess your perceptions about him. You may need to be more open minded because the reality is teenagers find a way to do what they want. It is there way of asserting themselves and promoting their independence. Their safety and happiness is most important.
Posted On 2009-03-18 00:07:24
Todd Johnson, JD Replied: This is obviously a very difficult situation because your daughter is legally an adult and can make her own decisions. Have you had a chance to meet this man and his parents? I think it would be appropriate to discuss your concerns with your daughter and her boyfriend. Do not let the discussion get out of hand and issue ultimatums. It will not be helpful to make absolute comments like "you can't see each other" or something like that. I think you need to be supportive but firm that you do not think that this relationship is a good idea. Tell them exactly what your concerns are. You might also try to talk with her friends to see what they think of this relationship. If they do not think the relationship is appropriate, then they should make their opinions known also. There is no way to absolutely stop this relationship and if you come on too strong you will only drive your daughter to this man. It is possible that this is a relationship that would work but more likely at some time, your daughter will realize that the age difference is too significant. You need to be supportive if this happens, even if she has made poor decisions leading up to that time. Good luck.
Posted On 2009-03-07 10:42:24
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