It doesn’t seem too long ago that your daughter was coming to you for advice on her homework projects and what kind of pony would best fit in your back garden when working on her Christmas list. Easy conversations both, as you probably ended up doing your daughter’s homework project on her behalf, and navigated the pony conversation by letting her know that, despite there being grass in the garden, that no, buying a pony was probably not something to ask Santa for this year.
But as childhood passed and your daughter hit her teenage years, the conversation probably turned to a discussion about boys and relationships. And if it hasn’t yet, you do need to ready yourself for the inevitability.
There are a number of things you need to let your daughter know, which don’t include (despite your best instincts) that she should live with you for the rest of her life and not bother with those pesky boys at all! That is a guaranteed way to create parent-teen conflict.
Instead, focus on the following pieces of advice.
Date somebody because you want to and not because you feel you should
Many girls assume that because everybody else at school seems to be in a relationship, that they should follow suit. This doesn’t have to be the case, of course, as if your daughter doesn’t want a boyfriend and/or isn’t ready to be in a relationship, then they don’t have to. Focusing on their homework and enjoying their free time to do what they want without a boy attached to their arm is perfectly acceptable.
Your first boyfriend doesn’t have to be ‘the one’
It might be that your daughter falls head over heels in love with a boy at school, and being all swoony-eyed, she might pin all of her hopes on him being ‘the one.’ With dreams of engagement rings, wedding bells, and future domestic bliss, she might think that all of her dreams are coming true. And that might be the case. On the other hand, the boy might not have the seem feelings at all, or when her crush has worn off, she might think differently too. So, remind your daughter to have fun with her boyfriend, and not to plan her life around him. While true love might eventually blossom, let your daughter know that the boy in her life might just be the first in the run-up to finding Mr.Right.
It’s okay to say ‘no’
No boy should make your daughter do something she is uncomfortable with, so no matter her feelings towards him, she still has the right to say ‘no’ if he makes demands of her, be they sexual or otherwise. Of course, as alluded, this might be the time to bite the bullet and talk to your daughter about sex, as it is important to remind her of the dangers and legalities of a sexual relationship. We aren’t going to go into details here, as how you talk to your daughter about this difficult subject is up to you, but you might want to check this advice on sex education and continue your research online if you need further guidance.
If you can’t trust your boyfriend, question your relationship
Relationships are built on trust, so if your daughter has a reason not to trust him, then she has the right to question the relationship. There might be rumors about him seeing other girls, for example, or your daughter might have evidence that he has cheated on her. While a conversation with her boyfriend might allay her fears if he can disprove any schoolyard rumors, she should definitely question her future with him if he has cheated, even if he tells her that he won’t do it again. Unlike your daughter, her boyfriend might not take the relationship seriously, and cheating is a definite sign of this. Therefore, rather than risk further hurt, you might want to tell your daughter to protect her feelings by bringing the relationship to an end.
Ultimately, how you talk to your daughter about relationships is up to you. While we hope our tips were useful to you, you might have other ideas about what to say and how to say it. You might even use your own experiences of dating and relationships when talking to your daughter. Let us know your thoughts then, and if there is anything you want to add to this article, perhaps with tips on what you have said or what you might say in regards to relationships, then please share your wisdom with us, for the sake of any moms wondering how to handle this tricky subject.