I’m jumping straight in here:
How do you deal with your teenager having a boyfriend/girlfriend?
In this house we are gender stereotypes. I’ve been quite chilled about my 18 year old having a boyfriend. Her father however was hyperventilating at the beginning. Although, he has to admit the boyfriend is… well, he’s someone you can happily take home and introduce to your parents. The thought, however, of my son dating anyone fills me with dread. He will be 17 this year, but he is still my baby in my head. I am completely irrational about this, and it is truly pathetic.
So dating goes hand in hand with the party scene, in my experience. Neither of my kids started partying or socialising with people beyond their core group of friends till they hit 16. Then the social diary exploded. I think I had lulled myself into a false sense of security and thought that we were over the tricky years. But the full force of parties, drinking, boyfriends/girlfriends and negotiating pick up times hit us hard and life got tricky. More on this in another post I think.
I know a lot of children start socialising early, sometimes from 12/13. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, personally I feel there are pros and cons to both early and late socialisers.
My view on boyfriends is very different to my mother’s. She wouldn’t let my boyfriends in the house and often ignored their existence. I, however, choose to be supportive and like them, until they give me reason not to. Maybe I should consider the same approach to any of my son’s girlfriends who may turn up in the future. Of course, I think my parenting choice is the right one (!) but would I be so magnanimous if my daughter were 13?
The 20 million dollar question is, of course, how old would your child need to be before you let their boyfriend/girlfriend stay the night? Does it make a difference if it is your son as opposed to your daughter? Does it make a difference if they have been together for a few months? I know a lot of people are divided on this one, and so many of my mates have differing views from my own. So I think soliciting as much advice as possible is a good way to go. What do you think?
Impart your wisdom please 😉