Parenting Teenagers (12-18) Support Group

This community is focused on the joys, challenges and concerns faced by parents of teenagers (12 to 18 year olds). The major areas of child development include: physical development, perception and sensory development, communication and language development, cognitive development, emotional development and social development.

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14 y.o. son dating 17 y.o. girl

Hello All,
My freshman son is dating a junior girl. I don't necessarily have any problem with her--except that I think the age difference is strange. The problem that I have is my son's attitude and behavior since starting this relationship. He has been a great kid since birth. He is very mature, very intelligent, makes good grades (but puts out very little effort to do so) and has never caused us any problems. We have always had a very close relationship with lots of open communication and mutual respect. In the last 3 months (which was apparently long enough to "fall in love") he has become aggressive and disrespectful. He no longer behaves like the awesome big brother he has always been to my girls. He has morphed into a mouthy combative kid who I barely recognize and frankly, don't like! He is currently raging because we won't allow him to go to her house from 3-9p.m. to "watch movies" in her basement. I don't think there is much parental supervision when they are at her house--which I won't judge because I'm sure we will do things differently when he is 17. He doesn't understand why we don't think it's appropriate. I recently read a txt from her that said she was going to "do anything he wanted and let him do anything he wanted" while he is at her house. Also read a Facebook msg about what a b@*!# I am. I don't want to push him even farther away from us and closer to her but is it time to tell him this relationship is not allowed? Or is this going to cause more problems. I really need some help with this. The whole thing is crushing me and occupying WAY too much of my time and energy which could be going to the 3 younger kids!



As I started reading your post I thought "perhaps all of these changes is _him_ ... his hormones ... his attempt at growth and self-exploration (from a cognitive point of view)".
I still think that. From your son's point of view, based on what you post here, that sweet kid is still there but he's exploring who he could be - beyond what he has been in the past.
With that, I would suggest that you accept the 17 year old, set 'safer' boundries for them, and have more frequent discussions with your son - letting him express himself more than listen to you.
When I considered this from the 17 year old's point of view, things change. She sounds emotionally immature and needy. The message about you is disrespectful, from a mentor's point of view it shows dangerous warning signs ... but from a peer's point of view (toward's your son) she sounds like a 14 year old.
If you want to protect your son with no regard to her and his feelings for her, then you cut him off. Having a perceived older person pay attention to you is a nice feeling; especially so for a teenage boy with a woman. What I am saying is, perhaps she still "feels like" a 14 year old and he is feeling like he is being treated as a 17 year old ... natural for him to love the attached emotions.
My wife of 13 years fell in love with me when we were the same age, but I waited 2 years before dating ... just a comment.
I don't know how to present all this to a 14 year old to work with him instead of fighting against him for his own benefit. I'll think about it today.

Best wishes. It's not easy, but it's worth it.

It also sounds like the girl has a lot of influence over your son, he might be in the middle of a tug of war between the two women in his life, being more willing to do as the girlfriend asks at this time. I agree with accepting the 17 year old too and not pulling against her in your war. I have a feeling that once she is out of school she might have a different perspective on boys that are still in school. Keep them close, invite her for dinner alot and for you guys to do things as a family so you can keep your eye on them.
All the best!

My son and his gf are both 15 and have been dating for a year now. We started off letting them visit each other's houses when they were 14, but we met her parents and we agreed with them that we were all on the same page about supervision and not wanting the kids to get in over their heads. The thing that we had to realize is that they can sneak off and do things anywhere, it doesnt have to be at home. Like for instance, they will go to the movies, or walk to the park to "play basketball", etc. I am not stupid that there is more to the story... About 5 months into their relationship my son admitted that they were having oral sex, but they have not had intercourse and they planned on waiting a long time to have intercourse. A year later, they still claim there has been no intercourse, and although I am NOT happy about the oral sex thing either, we have to consider they are in a commited, loving relationship and have been together for a while and they are at that age where they are wanting to experiment sexually. So, with that being said, my husband and I have opened the door to our son for communication anytime he wants to talk, and we have provided condoms for him just in case and we stress the importance of safe sex when the time comes. We still prefer there to be adult supervision when they are at each other's houses, but soon they will both have their driver's licenses and will be going on dates alone, so we also have to realize we can't be there 24/7 and at some point they have to be responsible for their own actions.

This is such a difficult thing for a mother to go through with her son. The best thing you can do is keep the lines of communication open between the two of you. The more you push the more he is going to want to pull away and rebel. Be open about safe sex. This was a very difficult thing for me to do with my son who is 15 and a freshman and dating a 16 year old junior. If he feels he can talk to you about these issues without you getting upset he is more likely to be honest with you. My parents made it difficult to discuss these things with me so I did it anyway thankfully I was smart enough to practice safe sex and not become a mother at 17 but I may have waited if I felt more comfortable talking to them about it first. Hang in there.

You better have a big discussions about sex and pregnancy pretty quickly.

I love this site. I'm so glad I'm not the only one with issues w/ my kids. I agree w/ MickKay its a rough stage of life. I have all daughters and all around the 12-14 age range 7th-9th grade were UGHHHHHH no words.saslkdfj;alkfjalsdfj is all I can think lol. I totally agree with whats being said by everyone else. I have 1 daugher who had proven she made some very bad choices instead of talking and trusting I basically took her choices away and as soon as she turned 17 1/2 got her drivers license she was gone. She left home 3 1/2 months ago, I have not seen my daughter in 30 days (but whos counting) on the other hand, one of my other girls although had her problems never got into any BIG trouble (boys, drugs, alcholol etc.) she has been given more freedom. As we type I hear her and her BF of 10 months in my living room playing video games (personally 2 15yo kids being happy with that makes me happy). I allow them to hang out here alot on weekends, I stay away mostley, if they get to quite I go out and check. We often joke that my oldest was obviously my 1st and I was pretty young myself- she was like a test run and I practiced on her. We joke but I feel like its true. All of that to say; based on my mistakes and my "practice run" TALK TALK TALK let him have his freedom TALK TALK TALK let him know that you love him regardless of his choices TALK TALK TALK and be open. They may not make the choices we would make for them but that doesnt necessarily make the choices they make wrong :) Good luck, and like I remind myself everyday: People survive raising teenagers ALL THE TIME :)
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