Author Topic: Advice needed: a young fellow has been showing up a lot at our house.  (Read 2156 times)

Frugal Lizard

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I want to be the cool mom, honestly I do, but heck I am NOT ready for my 15 year old daughter to have a boyfriend.  Our daughter is very shy, has braces and fighting acne but is also getting all curvy and beautiful.  I have seen her older brother's friends take a second look and make a point of saying hello to her this days. 

Our son moved off to university without showing any interest in dating. Some of his friends are in relationships.  The only issues we had with him was that suddenly he was friendless on Friday and Saturday night when one by one, his friends started dating or going to parties with booze and weed.  Some of them wanted him to join them to be their designated driver but he was not comfortable with the situations he was finding himself in.   

We dealt with this by encouraging him to hang out with his sister and for the two of them to connect with some of the other kids in the neighbourhood who also happen to be late bloomers and share the same quirky interests.  We offered our home as a meeting place to play board games and so did five other sets of parents.  There are about 16 kids from 13 to 18 years of age that still like to play outdoor games in the park and watch movies and don't worry about being labelled geeky.  They bake or hang at the library or go canoeing.  They are super creative and highly intelligent.  They are very supportive of each other.  It is really amazing from a parents' perspective. 

But this means that we haven't had to deal with potential suitors or set any boundaries, other than no cleaning out the fridge or pantry when they descend like a pack of locusts after a couple of hours of swimming or hiking. 

Recently however, one of the boys who is slightly older than our daughter has been dropping round to hang out beyond the larger group gatherings.  And he is doing stuff that he wouldn't normally do, such as volunteer or go to arts events - but our daughter does all this stuff.  He is more of an action film sports guy.  He never used to walk his dog by our house after school and now he does this every day. 
 
Our daughter is really shy and very sensitive.  She has been seeing a therapist for anxiety issues.  I worry that she doesn't have the social skills to manage this situation but I want to be the best parent I can. And not be over protective or prevent her from learning any of this adult female stuff she will now when the stakes are slightly lower than in a few years when she is off to university on her own.

It was a completely different world when I was 15.  And my mom was inept and my dad was completely absent. I am the first and only female my husband introduced to his family and he was 26 years old when that occurred.

I have read such good advice from the MMM community and hope that there are some of you dealing with teens or have gone through the stage with your now adult children, or still recall how your parents were cool or totally not cool when you were teen. 

ontheway2

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Re: Advice needed: a young fellow has been showing up a lot at our house.
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2019, 11:17:05 AM »
Have you asked your daughter if she has any interest in this boy? If not, it seems the conversation would be how she can set boundaries and still hang out as a friend. It's perfectly normal for teens to have a high school relationship though and not something to be scared of as a parent, especially if this is a kid that has been around your house quite a bit and you know.

trashtalk

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Re: Advice needed: a young fellow has been showing up a lot at our house.
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2019, 11:41:46 AM »
Tell your daughter if she thinks she is interested in this guy, she is welcome to invite him to hang out at your house without the rest of the gang. You or your spouse will present and available for conversation and snack-provision but you will try not to hover. All doors must remain open and you reserve the right to pop in unannounced but you will try very hard to give them some space to get to know each other in a casual but secure environment.

If that event goes well, you can figure out the next step.

AMandM

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Re: Advice needed: a young fellow has been showing up a lot at our house.
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2019, 02:07:06 PM »
The key is to listen to your daughter, and you may have to invite her to speak. She may be too shy to bring it up, because it can feel like bragging to say, "I think Boy likes me." See how she feels, discuss what she wants and what you the parents want. Maybe brainstorm or role-play things she can say if needed.

We had a very similar situation, starting with a similar group of geeky neighbourhood teens, except that the boy was several years older than our 14yo daughter. We made him welcome in a friendly way, and he hung out at our house on his own as well as with the teen squad. We made a point of treating him in a friendly way: sometimes DD was the only one chatting with him, sometimes one or both of her brothers were there, sometimes there was a parent, too. Eventually it petered out (as you'd expect, since few teen crushes turn into lifelong loves). One day he told me how much he admired and liked DD. I was able to tell him frankly but kindly that she considered him a close friend but had no romantic feelings for him, nor any desire for a boyfriend at all at that point, and her father and I agreed that she was too young for a romantic relationship. He gradually hung out alone less often, but they have stayed friends.

[edited for typo]
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 12:43:08 PM by AMandM »

scantee

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Re: Advice needed: a young fellow has been showing up a lot at our house.
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2019, 02:17:59 PM »
Don’t let your own personal hang-ups and anxieties color your assessment of what is going on. He walks his dog past your house and goes volunteering? Maybe that means something but maybe it means nothing. If it DOES mean “something” it’s like the most mild and best possible situation for someone to express interest in your daughter.

Don’t freak out. Talk to your daughter. You already have good rules going so keep that up. If he or she does express interest, then figure out what additional boundaries need to be in place to keep them safe.

Gin1984

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Re: Advice needed: a young fellow has been showing up a lot at our house.
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2019, 02:29:58 PM »
Define slightly older than your daughter, 16 or 17.  If so, let them figure it out.  That is normal dating time.  Honestly the kids that are the most sheltered in high school are the ones who have the most problems in college.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Advice needed: a young fellow has been showing up a lot at our house.
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2019, 10:30:44 AM »
Thank you so very much MMM's.  Your thoughtful responses gave me something to chew on.

Yesterday afternoon DD came home from school by herself.  (Everyday last week she came home with the fellow and his dog.)  So I casually asked how her day was going...who she ate lunch with, how morning choir went...did she get a seat on the bus...etc.  Everything was good.  She was pretty upbeat.  So then I asked if she was going to meet up will fellow to walk the dog.  Nope.  So then I asked if she was needing some alone time.  Not really, was the reply.  So I just let it sit there for a long silent time and put the kettle on. Then she said:  Fellow "is kind of boring.  He is not really interested in the stuff I am interested in."  I then said, if he likes you more than you like him or differently, you have to be kind but clear.  She gave me the "duh mommmmm" look so I made a pot of tea and we sat in silence in the kitchen. 

I am quite relieved to say the least that she is turning out just fine.  She knows her own mind.  She is smart and kind.  And then she remembered she had her term one report card so I also know that her teachers think she is hard working too!  I am so blessed that I have a delightful teenager still at home to talk to everyday.

AMandM

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Re: Advice needed: a young fellow has been showing up a lot at our house.
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2019, 09:49:42 AM »
Well done you and well done your DD! Here's to many more companionable pots of tea together in your future.
I love teenagers, too!

elaine amj

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Re: Advice needed: a young fellow has been showing up a lot at our house.
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2019, 10:31:22 PM »
Good job :) I love that your DD is so willing to talk to you about it.

And it’s rather funny that our kids are often on similar tracks haha. My DD is at university and at 18 still has zero interest in boys. But relationships have been a hot topic here as my almost 17 yr old son has just got a girlfriend!

The girl is only 15 and lives 3.5 hours away. DH and I kinda think that is a good thing - less chance to get in trouble lol!

Her mom has been pretty sensible and yet still watchful over the whole thing. She often joins in their conversations on Facetime and my son is on easy terms with her. He calls her “Mama B”. Today he suggested he starts calling me “Mama E” but I quickly shut that one down LOL! “Mom” works for me :)

One night I popped my head in his room and ended up chatting with the mom on Facetime briefly. I don’t monitor my son’s end of the conversation as tightly but often pop my head in his room at odd times anyway. And sometimes I lean over his shoulder when he is messaging her lol!

My son understands that this may or may not last as she is still young but I am not hugely inclined to interfere other than some mild warnings.


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Laura33

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Re: Advice needed: a young fellow has been showing up a lot at our house.
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2019, 10:00:19 AM »
I'm glad it went well!  For future reference, IMO, don't do anything -- just watch and be open for your kid to come to you. 

The reality is, if she wants a boyfriend, she'll have a boyfriend.  Would you rather them be at your house, playing games and talking and joking with you there?  Or would you rather her be off with him somewhere else? 

Personally, I always wanted my house to be the house where the kids hung out, because then I knew what was going on.  So I made it welcoming to all my kid's friends, and they came and went all through HS. 

AMandM

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Re: Advice needed: a young fellow has been showing up a lot at our house.
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2019, 10:27:42 AM »
Personally, I always wanted my house to be the house where the kids hung out, because then I knew what was going on.  So I made it welcoming to all my kid's friends, and they came and went all through HS.

Same!  It didn't quite work out for my older kids, who didn't do much hanging out at all, but now our house is often crowded with the younger kids' friends. Actually, there are several houses where the kids hang out, and all the parents are friends with each other. It's one of the things I love about my neighbourhood.