My dad is much too strict and he won’t let me do anything.
My dad doesn’t like my boyfriend because he’s in high
school and I’m in the 8th grade. He doesn’t understand
me and won’t let me have any fun. I have to lie and sneak
to see my boyfriend.
Annie is barely 14 and she likes a 16-year-old boy. I told her she’s
too young to date and I don’t want her to see this older boy.
I know that she talks to him on the phone and I fear she is seeing
him behind my back. A teacher called me to say she talks about having
sex with this boy to her classmates in school. Annie tells me she
isn’t seeing him, but I’m still worried.
Annie, think about what interests you about his boy. Is he nice
to you? Does he treat you well? Does he respect you? Does he honor
your wishes? If not, you could do better. If he does, perhaps you
could explain to your father what you see in him. Maybe you could
come up with a compromise about seeing him. Perhaps your dad will
let you have him over when he is home. If you want to build trust
with your father, you need to be truthful with him. Lying will only
cause more problems.
Antoine, You have a reason to be concerned, not only because of
your daughter’s interest in this older boy, but because you
suspect she’s lying to you. Talk to her about all the consequences
of becoming sexually active. Don’t assume that she already
knows this. Most kids don’t understand the facts about sex.
If needed, get a book or other resources in case she has questions
that you can’t answer. Since she has this boyfriend, there
is a chance she’s already had sex or at least that she could
be considering it. There is a possibility that she’s just
talking about sex with her classmates in an attempt to seek attention.
The fact that she’s not being truthful with you means the
two of you aren’t connecting as parent and child. Make sure
you always know her whereabouts and the company she’s keeping.
In the context of a loving, supportive relationship, you need to
communicate clearly to your daughter that you disapprove of her
having sex. Ideally, this should have started at a young age, prior
to puberty, before it was a pressing concern. Placing a high premium
on education and self-worth may empower her to have confidence and
to set goals for the future.
Girls with high self-esteem and who feel accepted at home are less
likely to have sex. If they have positive and meaningful relationships
with a parent, they are less likely to seek acceptance elsewhere
such as in a sexual relationship with a boyfriend. This means you
have to spend quality time with your daughter and change may not
happen overnight. Let her know that she can always come to you even
if she’s done something you may not approve of. If she has
already become sexually active, a doctor should see her. Hang in
there, you can still have an important influence in Annie’s
Hajjar Diamond has been a guidance counselor for twelve
years. She is also a freelance writer and mother of two.