The Teen Doctor

Answers to your questions about adolescents

My Daughter is Dating for the First Time

I'm Worried About My Daughter's Dating

Hi Dr.G,

This is an extremely worried mother. My daughter all of 18 who went to study abroad has found a boyfriend who does not sound good from his facebook pics and also is 3 years older than her as well as has given up his studies as he suffered from some illness and trying to set up some business. My daughter is not ready to give any details about his illness and also not keen to understand that he is not the right guy for her and it's too early to make someone special whom you met just a month back !!

Please suggest what to do??

A Concerned Mother,

 

Dear Mother, 

I understand why you are so concerned. You must also feel helpless since your daughter is so many miles away and you can't communicate with her in person. First, the good news:your daughter has begun to speak to you about her boyfriend. In fact, she has opened up to you about him. She confided in you about his illness and his decision to give up his studies. This is very good. Consider the alternative. Your daughter could have lied about the boyfriend. 

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

Having said that, I understand that you would have preferred a young man closer in age to your daughter and one who is in school and in good mental and physical health. It is clear that your daughter is not simply going to drop the boyfriend because of your suggestion. I have some ideas for what you can do.

1. Keep the lines of communication open with your daughter. By talking about him she may come to a good decision about whether or not he is right for her.

 

2. Try not to push too hard for her to break up with him. This may have an effect that you don't intend. She may want to be with him even more if you come down too hard on him. Adolescents are like this.

 

3. Ask your daughter what she likes about the boyfriend. He may have some very good traits that would help you feel better about him.

 

4. Try not to assume the worst. I am not sure what is on his Facebook page but perhaps those photos don't represent him accurately. Also consider that he may present better in person than he does on Facebook or from the few bits of information that you have. Perhaps, he is going to start a thriving and wonderful business and will be quite successful. That,too,is a possibility.

AND 

5. It does not seem that you need to take any immediate action. This relationship may be a learning experience for you daughter. Stay in touch with her and ask her how she is doing in all areas of her life without exclusive focus on the boyfriend.

Good Luck. Please get back to me with an update.

Dr. G.

To see more articles like this see my website:

http://drbarbaragreenberg.com

 

Barbara Greenberg, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of adolescents and their well-intentioned but exhausted parents.

more...

Subscribe to The Teen Doctor

Current Issue

Dreams of Glory

Daydreaming: How the best ideas emerge from the ether.