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Theresa, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 877
Experience:  PhD. Clinical Psychology - Ex. Director Adolescent Treatment Facility
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Hi my daughter is in the 8th grade. She likes this boy and ...

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Hi my daughter is in the 8th grade. She likes this boy and and one time I thought he liked her.In Sept. a group of there friends went out to celebrate her birthday. By the Monday of the following week he told her he was braking up with her. By the following day he had a new girlfriend. However, he still wanted to date her and call her all the time. I told her no. He has moved on, so let him go. By the end of Dec. he came back and she took him back. Again everything was going find until yesterday he told her he just want to be her friend. He told her he doesn''t like her for a girlfriend anymore. She has agreed to whatever conditions he has told her. I told her he is just using her and she needs to move on. She doesn''t see it that way. She is trying to show me that she is happy with his decision. I know that it is killing her inside. How do I deal with this situation?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Theresa replied 9 years ago.


The first thing that I am going to do is ask that you read my response with an understanding that I will be approaching your problem from two directions. The primary direction will be from that of a psychologist for this is my regular job and two from the perspective of a mom.

I am also going to ask that you realize that you may not care for my response as a whole, in no way am I trying to upset or offend you. If you can agree with me on that then all we need to do is move along!Smile

By virtue of the fact that you are a parent you need help! No, I am not serious; however, I am also a mother and certainly understand the trials that parents face while raising a healthy, happy child. I also realize that when we are looking out for their best interest: Physically and Emotionally, they are not to happy! In fact, looking back I don't believe that I realized just how wonderful my parents were until I became a mom, for this is about the time a child realizes that the rules begin to make sense!

The first thing that I am going to offer you is this: One of the most effective ways that you can deal with your daughter and the situation she is presently in is to set parameters that will prevent this from going any further. She will not like it at the moment; however, as she begins to feel better about herself she will begin to attain a different type of respect for you.

I am not saying that she will begin liking the boundaries that you set in place for her; but, trust me when I tell you she will begin to feel safe. Safe because she will not have to deal with these things herself and she will not have to be the one that assumes responsibility for it so her pride or self esteem will stay in tact. She will be able to put the blame on you...You see, she will be able to tell this guy..."My mom told me I can't see you or talk to you anymore and if you keep bugging me she is going to call the juvenile authorities"...

You are acknowledging that she isn't happy when you tell me that she is trying to show you that she is happy with her decision. You are right in this, she isn't happy. I don't believe that she wants you to think she is happy...I believe that her behaviors are very normal and typical for an adolescent female who is asking her mother to "help me, love me, protect me and keep me safe". The problem is that she is an adolescent and is not mature enough emotionally to tell you how she is feeling.

I have seen thousands of kids in treatment with many of the situations being just like yours. What happens is problems eventually begin to escalate because instead of viewing you as a parent she is viewing you as a friend. She goes to school everyday and hears many young girls complaining because they aren't allowed to go out...Your mom must be cool...etc. Down inside she is crying and wishing that her mom wasn't so cool.

You mentioned that there was a time that you thought the boy liked your daughter. What you need to understand is that boys and girls don't like each other when they are in 8th grade. This is the time that their physical bodies are rapidly maturing internally and externally. Their view of liking someone includes a kiss, she or he is cute, I'm in love until tomorrow, etc. The reason for this is while their hormones are dancing faster than an entire group of the Rockettes in motion...their brain is operating in slow motion. They do not understand the concepts of love in that love is simply a word that is proved by selfless acts in a mature relationship by commitment to one person and only one person, by giving freely from your heart, by accepting the same loving and charitable acts of kindness from their partner: It is definitely not abiding by conditions that have been put in place from some one and give, give, giving.

The worst thing that young adolescent females view love as is sexual intercourse. Once they have done this they are more in love and they are also emotionally devastated when the boy moves on or if they become pregnant and find themselves left alone. Adolescent males on the other hand, just love sex.

Depending on how you define going out will determine whether or not this is healthy for your daughter at her present age. If you took her and a group of her friends out to celebrate her birthday to the bowling alley (just an example) this would be considered excellent because two things are happening: 1) Even though you may not actually put on a pair of shoes and throw a strike you are interacting with your daughter, and 2) You are taking the opportunity to observe her interacting with her friends. In itself this will give you so much information concerning her friends and your daughters social interactions. You will be able to determine whether or not Peggy, Ashley and Lindsey are good influences on your daughter.

Age appropriate activities and socialization with same age peers are essential to a child growing and developing in a healthy way. A parent has to make sure this happens accordingly. If we just drop our children off, never get to know their friends and more importantly the parents of their friends we are really setting our children up for failure before they have had the opportunity to grow and experience these things when the time is right.

What I have asked many parents that bring their children in that are experiencing this type of problem is this. Do you have and if you don't but did have, one of those tiny, tiny, cute and fuzzy 2 pound Yorkshire Terriers would you open the front door and let it run loose when it had to potty or would you put it on a leash to keep it safe from being run over?

Many of these parents tell me that they would put it on a leash and walk it...You most likely already know my response to them!Smile Why is it that a dog would be more valuable to you that your child that is an extension of you and full of life?

Again, please understand that I am only trying to help you. That I have no gain in trying to hurt or harm you with my response.

Before closing I would like to make one more suggestion. Based on the information that you have given it may be helpful to you if you and your daughter entered into a therapy program. Many people fear therapy because they think it will make them look like they can't deal with life and other things...They are so very wrong...Therapy is really no more than a one on one educational process. You and your daughter would both learn so much about your selves and each other and this will be a wonderful help for you at beginning to set boundaries for her for your therapist will support you 100% As a rule each of you would have your own private session and then you would have one together and you and the therapist will determine when you think it is a good time to stop. You are actually the boss in the therapeutic relationship, a therapist is only a facilitator that gives a little help should you begin to feel stuck and they will also give you feedback if the need is present.

I wish you both all the happiness in life that can be shared between a mother and child. It is a process that goes through the entire life.


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