17yr old is interested in my 13yr old daughter


#1

Here’s the backstory. My daughter is 13 and she joined a recrerational swin team over the summer, and fell in love with the sport. She met the 17yr old high school guy through swimming. He helps out with their team, which was great. Now, they text message all the time and always chat on her phone. She definitely has a crush on him. I was hoping that he thought of her as a lil sister, but I got hold of her cellphone, and read some of the text messages that he sent her, and they read much like a guy that is courting a girl. I want to put a stop to this now! I confronted my daughter about the text messages, so now she erases all the information on her phone, and takes it everywhere she goes. I’m worried that she’s secretly seeing him when we drop her off to see friends. I also confronted the guy and told him that my daughter has a cruch on you, and I hope that your smart enough to know that she’s off limit. He claims that they are just friends, but I don’t believe him or her.

I can’t take away her cellphone because we need it to contact her in case of an emergency, she’s involved with a ton of extracurricular activities, so locking her in her room until she’s 30 isn’t the answer.

What is a mom to do?

Advice please?


#2

She’s too young to be involved with a 17 year old. You could either
a) take away her phone and give her one of those track phones or one that only calls a few prescribed phone numbers.

-or-

“pop” over places she’s supposed to be a few times to drop something off or tell her something or whatever. This will put her on alert that she could get caught any time.


#3

Perhaps this guy and your daughter ARE just buddies and you're seeing more.

If not?

Your daughter is probably experiencing her first genuine crush. You storming in and breaking it off will only cause hate.

First off curtail her activities where her friends are enabling her and the guy to spend alone time. She shouldn't be "alone" with anyone at 13 anyway.

And your service provider can do a TON of "child protection things. If she can't obey who she can and can't call you can restrict phones to only call and text certain people.


#4

I curse the day I got my oldest a cell phone. We have blocked pictures but the texting is incessant.

I’ve already told the rest of my kids they cannot have a cell phone. Ever. I’ll let you know the effectiveness of my decision and how soon I caved!!

Best of luck with that pandora’s box!!


#5

There is a posiblilty that they are just friends. But if they’re not, here are my thoughts.

I agree that this guy is too old for her. This is a tricky situation. On the one hand, you could say you have no problem with it–which is probably not the best idea. On the other, you could tell her there’s no way she’s allowed to date him–but that might drive them closer together. If she’s already figured out to delete the text messages, there’s a good chance this is what could happen if you forbid them to see each other at all.

My advice would be to keep tabs on her regardless of where she is at. Make sure you know when she’s out with friends, which friends, where they will be, for how long, etc. I’m not saying you have to follow her around all of these places, just make sure that she understands what types of places are appropriate and not.

I wouldn’t let her go places one-on-one with him. 13 is too young for a one-on-one date anyways, IMO. Why do you worry that she’s secretly seeing him when you drop her off with friends? Is she going out to their houses and then leaving, or are you thinking that he’s just showing up at the mall or wherever her friends are hanging out? If he’s just showing up at public places, I’m not sure there’s much you can do to stop that… But if he’s just showing up at public places, I don’t see why you can’t do the same.


#6

I’m 20 years old, and I don’t have children, but I can offer you some advice from the opposite side.

When I started having crushes my mum would try to read my texts. The only thing she achieved was for me to become more secretive and less likely to trust her, without going into details this made me MUCH less likely to talk to her about dating and issues with boys.

Your reaction suggests that you do not trust your daughter, not only that you don’t trust this guy. Surely if you trusted your daughter you wouldn’t worry about whether she’s going to sneak away from her friends house or see this guy secretly?

The best thing to do is to trust your daughter and don’t wrap her in cotton wool. The more restrictions you place on a teenager which restrict their autonomy in making their own decisions, the greater the risk of worsening your relationship with each other. If you show your daughter that you can trust her, she will trust you, it’s important that she feels she can talk to you without you judging her and assuming she’s lying.

To the posters who say they are going to ban their children from ever owning a mobile phone in case they start texting people from the opposite sex - are you going to stop them from ever leaving the house incase they get run over? I can’t understand people who restrict their children from normal activities for other kids their own age “just in case”. To me, it seems that such people fail to trust their children rather than other people. I’m sorry, but it does. Can someone who does explain why? I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I’m at a loss to understand this.


#7

[quote="mom2teengrls, post:1, topic:223746"]
so locking her in her room until she's 30 isn't the answer.

What is a mom to do?

Advice please?

[/quote]

t'would be nice if we could lock our kids up till they are 30:D

Our daughter went through the same crush thing but we knew the guy's parents and the guy somewhat so it wasn't worrysome to a large degree.
Do you know this boy's parents, that might be a thing to do.


#8

Ever thought about calling the boys parents?

I have an 18 year old son… and no way would I want him involved with a 13 year old. NO WAY.

I think if you talked to his parents… they would talk with him. (they probably have no idea whats going on) That way both parents are in agreement.


#9

13 year olds and 17 year olds don't need to be friends, far less a couple. Unless you know this boy really well and he doesn't have much choice but to interact with her, keep him away from your daughter, no matter what anyone else says. I'd rather be safe than sorry.


#10

Keep her involved with a lot of extracurricular activities. They should keep her busy with healthy activities, and they provide an opportunity for you to be with a her.

And I suppose you could find out more about him. If he is from a good family, etc. You never know what will happen in the future. When he is 25 and she is 21, it won’t be such a big deal.


#11

[quote="David2010, post:10, topic:223746"]
. You never know what will happen in the future. When he is 25 and she is 21, it won't be such a big deal.

[/quote]

And right now niether is truly mature enough.


#12

My daughter was fourteen when she started dating a 17-year old.

They dated for seven years, and they were wonderful years for our entire family. So much fun. His family took her on their vacations (down South to meet the whole big extended family). He went to her figure skating competitions, often driving for 12 hours or more to make it to the competition. We included him in all our family celebrations and events, and his family did the same for her.

Two years ago, they got married. Last night we enjoyed Christmas with them.

I disagree that a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old should be kept apart. I would say that parents need to be open to the idea that this man could be the right one for their daughter, and they should welcome him, and TRUST both of the teenagers until the teens do something that destroys the trust. Give them some help to keep that trust pure (e.g., they're not allowed to be alone in a bedroom).

The parents need to talk things over with both of the teens and let them know what the limits to the dating will be (e.g., I think it's appropriate to not allow them to car date yet. I would suggest limiting their dating to group dates, church dates, and family get-togethers in homes in plain sight of the rest of the family). As the teens get older, if they are still together, then the dating can be expanded to car dates and dates with just the two of them in public places (theater, going out to eat, church, etc.)

Oh, yes, church--both should be expected to attend church and continue religious practices, and it would be good to get involved with the youth group and do various service projects in the church together. This is an excellent way for a young couple to grow in the Lord and closer to each other.

My daughter and her husband essentially grew up together, and they formed a lot of their political, social, sports, arts, etc. preferences together. It's funny to watch them today--they're like an old couple, because they know what each other's preferences are. I think this is a great thing--so many couples only date for a short time and then get married and wham, it all falls apart because they discover that they really don't have much in common. But that long period of young dating really helped our daughter and her husband to "gel." They also did a lot of service projects, coaching of sports, babysitting family children (cousins, etc.), working around the house with parents, etc. that helped them to grow up and get trained in everyday life.

We are thrilled with our son-in-law! I repeat, the parents should be open to the possibility of a future marriage, and they should NOT drive this young man away unless he and their daughter break trust with the parents. Just because in the United States, the current secular thinking is "Wait until you're at least 25 before considering marriage" doesn't mean that Catholic, Christian people should go along with this. In the not so far past, many couples dated as teenagers and got married as teenagers and early 20s. (E.g., Laura Ingalls Wilder in the Little House series). It's not wrong for teenagers to fall in love and get married young.


#13

Speaking of Laura Ingalls Wilder, she was 14 when she started dating Almanzo, and he was ten years older than she was.

I realize that it was a different time, and rules were in place that encouraged modesty and chastity.

But parents can do a lot to recreate that same "chaste culture" in their children's life. I mentioned some practical guidelines in my above post (group dates, church dates, etc.) It's not the age difference between the two teens that's wrong, it's our sick, secular, oversexed culture. And part of that sick culture is the dictum that people should not get married until they're older. There is nothing inherently wrong with young marriage.


#14

uh your first response is taking away her cell phone? this is the best you can do? your daughter is underage and your next move is to make the boy’s father aware of the fact


#15

[quote="Cat, post:12, topic:223746"]
My daughter was fourteen when she started dating a 17-year old.

They dated for seven years, and they were wonderful years for our entire family. So much fun. His family took her on their vacations (down South to meet the whole big extended family). He went to her figure skating competitions, often driving for 12 hours or more to make it to the competition. We included him in all our family celebrations and events, and his family did the same for her.

Two years ago, they got married. Last night we enjoyed Christmas with them.

I disagree that a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old should be kept apart. I would say that parents need to be open to the idea that this man could be the right one for their daughter, and they should welcome him, and TRUST both of the teenagers until the teens do something that destroys the trust. Give them some help to keep that trust pure (e.g., they're not allowed to be alone in a bedroom).

The parents need to talk things over with both of the teens and let them know what the limits to the dating will be (e.g., I think it's appropriate to not allow them to car date yet. I would suggest limiting their dating to group dates, church dates, and family get-togethers in homes in plain sight of the rest of the family). As the teens get older, if they are still together, then the dating can be expanded to car dates and dates with just the two of them in public places (theater, going out to eat, church, etc.)

Oh, yes, church--both should be expected to attend church and continue religious practices, and it would be good to get involved with the youth group and do various service projects in the church together. This is an excellent way for a young couple to grow in the Lord and closer to each other.

My daughter and her husband essentially grew up together, and they formed a lot of their political, social, sports, arts, etc. preferences together. It's funny to watch them today--they're like an old couple, because they know what each other's preferences are. I think this is a great thing--so many couples only date for a short time and then get married and wham, it all falls apart because they discover that they really don't have much in common. But that long period of young dating really helped our daughter and her husband to "gel." They also did a lot of service projects, coaching of sports, babysitting family children (cousins, etc.), working around the house with parents, etc. that helped them to grow up and get trained in everyday life.

We are thrilled with our son-in-law! I repeat, the parents should be open to the possibility of a future marriage, and they should NOT drive this young man away unless he and their daughter break trust with the parents. Just because in the United States, the current secular thinking is "Wait until you're at least 25 before considering marriage" doesn't mean that Catholic, Christian people should go along with this. In the not so far past, many couples dated as teenagers and got married as teenagers and early 20s. (E.g., Laura Ingalls Wilder in the Little House series). It's not wrong for teenagers to fall in love and get married young.

[/quote]

Congrats on your involvement and satisfaction w/ your sil.

Was the incessant texting a problem for you? Did you take the courtship approach vs the unsupervised dating approach?


#16

[quote="mark_a, post:15, topic:223746"]
Congrats on your involvement and satisfaction w/ your sil.

Was the incessant texting a problem for you? Did you take the courtship approach vs the unsupervised dating approach?

[/quote]

Our daughter and her husband dated from 2001 through 2008. Texting had not yet been invented during this time. So I can't answer your question, except to say that I think that incessant texting between people of any sex is annoying and inappropriate in certain settings (e.g.,during a meal, etc.).

As for the courtship dating approach, absolutely NOT. My husband and I have extremely strong negative opinions against the "courtship dating" method.

We believe that teenagers and adults can date for fun and companionship without having to "court." Casual dating provides a learning experience, where teens can learn how to interact with members of the opposite sex. Also, casual dating provides an opportunity for teenagers to get to figure out what traits in a person they find appealing and what kind of mate they are best suited for. Our approach toward dating was what we were taught in our church (Protestant) as teenagers--date only those people who you would be willing to marry, and do not date people that you would not be willing to marry. In other words, we believe that any date can be a potential spouse.


#17

As a mom of two 20-something daughters, I can remember what they were like at 13...and what 17 year old boys were (generally) like. There is no way in heck I would have allowed "dating" in any form at 13. Is your daughter a "mature looking" 13?

I think that some serious discussions are in order. Sending strong signals that you don't trust them isn't likely productive (unless you know that they are sneaking around) but making the dating rules clear is most definitely a must. If that trust is violated, then there WILL be consequences.


#18

During teen years if a boy is a couple of years older than a girl the odds go way way up they will have sex. Not a good situation.


#19

A 13 year old girl should not becoming close friends much less romantically involved with a 17 year old boy. i would stand your ground and get on top of this. Take the phone away. ,check online to see who she is texting, get his phone number so you know it, tell him she is off limits and let him know you mean it, and if you have to you will contact his employer at the pool to complain, ground your daughter and go with her to extra curricular activities if you have to. Do whatever it takes. if she absolutely has to have the phone let her know . that youwill be checking online to see if she has obeyed your limit. If she doesn't then consequence her. It is time for I am the parent and the answer is NO. If you have told her she is not to text him but she is erasing then you need to go online to examine the bill


#20

A 17 year old boy should NOT be entertaining a relationship with a 13 year old girl. He should be more interested in girls his own age. If anything sexual happened between them, he could be charged with sexual molestation and end up on a predator's list. This is serious as can be. He has transportation and can get to wherever she is, so your intuition might very well be correct. When my son connected with his last GF, she has her own car (he isn't driving yet) and she would come over and get him and they would have total freedom. She is several months older than he is and more aggressive. It was a real problem for us because they could just ignore my restrictions. Several times he would say he was going for a walk but I am sure she met him and picked him up so they could be together.

I would take this VERY seriously. Disable texting on her phone. Block his number. Have her talk to him, if you allow it at all, on the home phone and in your presence, no secret conversations. If she refuses to do this then you can assume they are talking to each other not as friends. If she tries to erase texts then assume she is sneaking messages that she should not be writing. You cannot get the message content although you can see each phone call she makes, and you can see the phone numbers she's texting, and when. I have Verizon and I pay an extra $5 for parental controls. I can turn off my son's phone whenever I wish, block numbers, turn off texting, limit his messages from outside the verizon network. When he starts to drive I am going to put the GPS tracker on his phone and he WILL have it enabled when he's in the car. I wish it was a stealth application but it's OK because it's take it or leave it - either you do this or you don't drive, son. Do what it takes and use the technology to help you. It's the times we live in.

Before you do any of that, sit your daughter down and have a talk with her. I hope that you have already been talking to her about what is ahead for her and what your expectations for her behavior are. Even if you plan to allow her to date, 13 is way too young and a boy 4 years older is far too old for her. At 13 I would only allow my sons to be out with a group, and not past 10 p.m. or so. I hope her father is heavily involved in showing her what a young man should treat her like. That does NOT include private texting, sneaking phone calls, or meeting somewhere that you do not know about. If you think she is vulnerable to any of these influences, tell her in no uncertain terms that this is unacceptable and you will be intervening whenever you think she is over her head. I hope you will be able to explain that this boy could end up in jail from his contact with her. If someone thinks they are getting sexual he could be reported and then his future is permanently affected.

My alarm bells would be ringing because a 13 year old girl can be very flattered by a 17 year old boy's attentions, AND she does not have the personal strength or defenses to be able to refuse sexual contact if that's what he is after.


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