Teen girls are more mature than teen boys, according to Gilda Carle, an associate professor of business, psychology and communications in “Coping with Boy-Crazy Teens” for DisneyFamily.com. So, your 15-year-old daughter could be ready for romantic attachment before boys her age are. Take advantage of opportunities when she willingly shares about girl-boy issues that concern her, such as when she cares more than he does or when they fight or break up. Give her your support through active listening, offering advice if she asks. Let her know you are willing to listen to anything she is willing to share.
Approach your daughter and ask if she would like to share what is bothering her if you suspect that she is having boy-girl problems. Perhaps her boyfriend has ended their relationship or is making requests that make her uncomfortable. Your interest opens the door for her to talk to you. If she isn't willing to talk at that particular moment, let her know that you are willing to listen any time she has something she wants to tell you.
Actively listen if she is willing to talk, making supportive noises, but refrain from telling her what you think she needs to do, unless she directly asks for advice. When trust is established, girls are more willing than boys to talk with their moms about most boy-girl problems, according to a study published in the April 2010 edition of the Journal of Adolescence, titled "Dating and Disclosure: Adolescent Management of Information Regarding Romantic Involvement." Assure her that you can listen without judgment or needing to fix the situation.
Determine if your 15-year-old daughter is in any danger with her boyfriend. Gently express any concerns you have, suggests the Healthy Place website article, “How to Discuss Teen Relationship Issues With Your Child.” Mention that sometimes a girl can feel pressured to have sex, use drugs or alcohol or spend time alone with a boyfriend in situations that put her safety in jeopardy. Provide her with options, such as calling you for a ride home if she feels unsafe with her date, keeping carfare to get home and staying in a group. Role-play scenarios that help her decide how to respond to a boy if he is crossing boundaries or making her feel disrespected or uncomfortable, if she is willing to do so.
Provide any advice she asks for by keeping the information focused on what she can do as a capable young woman. Affirm her ability to think clearly and respond safely when she needs to. If Dad is a good role model, help her see admirable qualities in him that she should look for in a boyfriend, and some day a mate, suggests psychologist Marie Hartwell-Walker in a PsychCentral.com article, “Daughters Need Fathers Too.” Ask if there is anything you can do to help her feel more supported as a teen girl. Respect her privacy and tell her that she is always welcome to talk to you about anything.
- Promise your daughter a free ride home with no lectures if she calls to let you know a date has gone bad.
- DisneyFamily.com: Coping with Boy-Crazy Teens
- Journal of Adolescence: Dating and Disclosure: Adolescent Management of Information Regarding Romantic Involvement
- Ohio State University Research News: Teen Girls Talk More To Parents About Their Dating Habits Than Do Boys
- Healthy Place: How to Discuss Teen Relationship Issues With Your Child
- PsychCentral.com: Daughters Need Fathers Too
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