My 15 yr old daughter just ended a relationship of 8mos. with a 15yr old boy from the "wrong side of the tracks." I have to admit, he is a doll, despite the fact that he smokes, has alcoholic parents, and definitely has an anger problem (though never directed towards my daughter, but still....right?) Let me give you an example of his dad: Dropped "Joe" off at his dad's one night, his dad comes out of his garage pointing a shotgun at me (I looked pretty dangerous sitting there in my Ford Windstar, I have to admit.) "Joe" tells me to just leave and ask no questions. So I did. (I'm thinking meth lab, are you?) Anyway, "Joe" cannot help his family circumstances and is trying to be a good kid, but I have to admit I was very relieved when the relationship ended last month.
Now my daughter is dating a "good kid", you know: athletic, makes good grades, parents are functional, etc. Even her friends who stopped talking to her because of her previous boyfriend (they thought she was way too good for him) have taken her back into their group. Life is good, right?
Here's the problem: My daughter is miserable. She admitted to me last night that she is still in love with "Joe" and only broke up with him because of the pressure from her friends. Her new boyfriend is already pressuring her to do things sexually she states (thank God!) she is not ready to do. She feels that if she breaks up with "Pete" to go back with "Joe" (who still calls her) she will lose all of her friends. She told me last night that "Joe" has never put any pressure on her to have sex, and that she missed him so much.
I don't know what to tell her to do. Go back with Joe and lose her friends? I believe her when she says this will happen -- this town and the schools
are full of snobs. She would be happy again to be with "Joe" but still miserable because she is a very social student (JV cheerleader, etc.) When she was going with Joe before, the invitations to parties and to the movies stopped. The peer pressure she is feeling is horrible. I feel so sorry for her but I am at a loss as to what to tell her. Any ideas or thoughts?
Oct 26, '01
I don't know why a 15 year old needs to date anyone, much less be in an 8 month long relationship with a guy. My daughter is 19 now, and I didn't let her date until she was 16; and by then, she'd learned she could live without being exclusively with one guy all of the time.
She had many friends who were dating at 14 and 15, and at the time I'm sure she thought I was the meanest mom around. But now she tells me that she is glad that I was strict because she has 1 friend that goes through guys like they were dish rags (at least 1 new boyfriend/month) and another friend who was raped at age 16; both had started dating at 14 or 15, and my daughter thinks they weren't mature enough to think for themselves.
If "Joe" is treated like you say he is, in your town, he may turn out bad even if he is a "good kid." He needs positive relationships with adults and kids his own age. That doesn't mean he has to be dating your daughter, but he could be friends with her. She needs to dump the jock BEFORE he does rape her or force her into going too far (that's what happened to my sister on Prom night, and also to my daughter's friend).
Can you encourage her to not date for a while? She can remain friends with her group; be a friend to Joe (and you might be a role model for him- possibly for anger management?); and dump the jock before she gets in trouble.
One of my daughters' friends had multi-piercings, a TALL multi-colored mohawk, wore a studded dog collar, and hung with some druggies part of the time. When groups of her friends came over and hung out, either my husband and I were always within earshot and visible to the kids (and we still are when she is home from college!). This kid (A.J.) still comes around and sits and plays computer games with me (actually, he tries to teach me how to play some of them) even now that my daughter is away at college. He's grown much taller and the Mohawk is much shorter, the dog collar is gone and some (but not all) of the piercings are gone. He credits me and my cool attitude for some of the changes and keeping him out of the drug crowd. He says the shorter Mohawk is due to the fact that he couldn't walk through doorways easily anymore since he grew so tall. And he's talking about going to college or at least taking a few classes at the community college this winter. He may never be a jock or come from the right side of the tracks, but he definitely felt accepted here at our house. And he is a pleasure to be around.
I hope I don't sound too cranky here, but I do feel that now-a-days kids are rushed by our culture into things before they are old enough to handle the situations they may end up in. The guy I thought I loved at 15, (and no, I wasn't allowed to date at all in high school!) I hated by 16, and the guy I thought I loved at 19 I couldn't stand by 21. I found my "true love" husband at age 26, and we have been married 27 years now.
These kids need to learn social skills, not just dating skills. They need to learn how to grow up and be happy with who they are and not just who the crowd thinks they are. The teen years are full of enough pain that dating and early sex don't have to be part of the game plan also.
Last edit by Jenny P on Oct 26, '01