Subject: My daughter and her boyfriend
QUESTION: I have a daughter and she is 14. She has had a boyfriend since she was abour 9 or 10. I know that I should not have let her have a boyfriend at that age, but they have known eachother ever since she was a baby.
Her boyfriend is 3 years older than her. He is a very sweet boy and I know that he would never hurt her. My daughter has told me that she really loves him. Her boyfriends mother told me that he has told her the same thing. He has also told her that he wants to marry her when she is old enough. She will be old enough in 2 years. My daughter told me that she wants to marry him, too. I was just wondering if you think I should let them get married in 2 years?
ANSWER: Dear Destiny,
I had to wait several days to answer this question. I was so appalled. I know you cannot undo the past however am amazed that you had to write me to ask if you should let her 14 year old get married at age 16??????
NO! Be the Parent! Seriously.
She is 14 and she will say anything at this age to get what she wants. Is what she wants good for her? NO! Marriage at 16 is not age appropriate however being in control of your parent at age 15 is also not age appropriate. I won’t go there with you over what could have been going through your mind to allow a 9 or 10 year old to date! ???? We cannot fix the past. SLOW THIS DOWN! She needs to be a child before she is a bride.
You have my permission to be the PARENT!
If you seriously have no idea of what age appropriate behavior is then start with talarias.org and find the timeline for developmental stages. This is not going to be easy for either of you as you have let the horse out of the barn so to speak. She is not going to respond well to a change in how you are parenting at the age of 14.
You need to sit her down and tell her what a HUGE mistake you made in allowing her to date at age 9. That she needs to experience being a teenager and NO she cannot get married at age 16. Then start acting like the mother of a teenager.
Do spend your time googling for articles are appropriate development of teens. Pay attention to the brain development research that states children’s brains are not fully developed until they are 25!
———- FOLLOW-UP ———-
QUESTION: I have told her that she cannot get married. She said that she really does love him and that if I tried to break them up them she would kill herself. She also told me that she thinks she might be pregnant. She is way to small to handle a baby. She said that she did use a condom. She was not on birt control because I did not know that she was having sex. What dod you think I should do?
Answer: Dear Destiny,
I think this is like trying to clean up spilled milk. Have you thought about encouraging her to get the birthcontrol shot? Something so you will know she is on birthcontrol? At this point it is going to be a challenge to keep them apart and delay her getting pregnant.
I strongly encourage you to seek out some one on one family counseling. See what counseling can do to get you back on track with your daughter. She is way to focused on a relationship at her age she should be going out with friends and having a good time, not trying to end her childhood!