Dating a older teen

ou’ve seen it in the movies or on TV: the sweet, innocent daughter is busy studying for classes, spending time with her family, and volunteering at the local animal shelter.

The greasy-haired, tattoo-covered guy has dropped out of high school or college and spends his day driving around in his sleek car. Most of us haven’t experienced this sort of extreme, but it’s still very common for parents to find their older teens and adult children pursuing friendships and relationships with people they don’t approve of.

Once your child has listened and recognized your point of view, it’s time to explore options.

Talk through different solutions together—ask your child questions like, “So, given these concerns, what do you think we should do?

Avoid statements like, “John is always selfish and controlling with you,” even if you know it’s true.

Your child will shut down if you start by attacking their friend.

And, hopefully, they will honor you and trust you enough to follow your lead.

If it’s a serious relationship that might be heading toward marriage, you may want to give your child these Before You Say “I Do” Premarital Questions.

After reading them, or discussing them with their boyfriend or girlfriend, they may recognize on their own that this is not the right relationship.

Over the Christmas holidays my 18-year-old daughter, Claire, brought her boyfriend home to meet her father and I for the first time.

She’d already told us that she’d been dating him since early November, and that he’s 50 years old working in a local restaurant.

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