It can be difficult when our kids start to date, especially if you don’t like the person they’re spending so much time with. Parents are automatically cautious about who comes into their child’s life. You must first determine whether your concerns are valid or not. You have to think about the best way to approach the subject and what you should say. You want to be able to tell your son that you think his girlfriend is not right for him without hurting your relationship with him.
Handle The Subject With Care
Your goal is to get your point across about the issue without hurting anyone’s feelings in the process. Parents can’t help but feel edgy when their kids start to grow up. It’s natural to be a little nervous about your son entering the dating world. If you don’t get good vibes from the girl he’s with you have to find the best way to let him know without hurting his feelings or weakening your bond. If it’s bothering you and you think he needs to know how you feel, you should probably just get it off your chest. Just be careful about what tone you set for the conversation.
Try not to be critical or judgmental of the choices your child makes. Make a genuine effort to see the positive qualities in your son’s romantic interest. You will have to find a way to accept her if she is important to him. Try to get to know her a little bit better before you form an opinion. You don’t want to end up arguing with your son for telling him that you don’t approve of his girlfriend. Make sure you know what you’re talking about before you say anything. She might not be as bad as you thought. You just want to share your perspective without sounding like you are bashing or blaming her. Do your best to trust his judgment and remember you raised him, he should know what’s best for him.
If you do conclude that your son and his girlfriend don’t make a good match, you should tread lightly. Start a calm conversation with him one on one and try to keep things light. Don’t start lecturing him or telling him what you think he needs to do. Instead, try talking about changes you have noticed in him that concern you. Tell him how you see their relationship from your point of view and how it makes you feel. Let him tell you his side of the story and try to understand. You aren’t trying to control him here, just offering to help.
Help Your Son Learn About Healthy Relationships
Look at reality and your history. Look at what you have taught your son about dating and relationships in his lifetime. Think about the way he has seen you interact with people you’re involved with. What we do can make long-lasting impressions on our kids whether we like it or not. What they see at home is their first view of what adult relationships are like. If he has witnessed bad dynamics and patterns, that might be what he expects or sees as normal behavior. This can skew reality and his view of how relationships should be. Try to teach him about mutual respect, personal boundaries, and what having a true partnership means.
Find out what your son thinks makes a good relationship. Ask about how relationships are going for his friends and why he thinks they’re going the way they do. Be honest about your past relationships as well. You can offer some insight from your experiences and why they did or didn’t work for you. Help your son set his own set of boundaries and expectations. He has to decide what is important to him. This will force him to think about how his interaction with his girlfriend affects him and if the dynamic is right for him. He might examine his situation more thoroughly and have a change of heart on his own.
Telling Him His Girlfriend is Not Right For Him
Don’t embarrass your child or his girlfriend just because you’re uncomfortable. Do not say negative things about her to them or anyone else. You never know what the future holds, they may stay together for many years. You can’t just label his girlfriend as not right for him. Focus on letting him know what has been happening between them that has you concerned. You won’t know how it makes him feel unless he tells you. Ultimately it’s his life to live, not yours. You should be able to express your concern about unhealthy behaviors or changes but you can’t attack someone he cares about. Be as supportive as you can of your son’s situation and make him feel safe about being open with you.
Make sure your son knows how to recognize himself when a relationship is not healthy. Young people don’t have as much experience with relationships as we do. Sometimes they aren’t sure what’s acceptable and what’s not. Controlling behavior can sometimes become abusive. Your son should be in control of his own life, not let his girlfriend make his decisions for him. Everyone should be free to decide what they wear, who they hang out with, and what they like and dislike. Jealousy and trust issues can also be huge problems. It’s hard to be happy with constant suspicion hanging about.
Here is some advice from teen therapy about your teen dating someone you don’t like. Many agree with this advice about just letting the relationship play out.
Try To Go With The Flow
Try not to meddle in your son’s personal life. Once our older kids start forging their own paths, we can’t push our way into every experience along the way. When your son wants advice he will probably ask for it. He won’t feel as encroached upon if you let him come to you. We learn from our mistakes and you can’t prevent your child from making a few of his own. It’s going to happen no matter how hard it is to watch. Pick your battles and only speak up or step in when it counts.
People stay in relationships that aren’t right for them for lots of reasons. Everyone is different and you can’t expect your child to react exactly the way you want him to. Your son might not have good self-esteem. If he lacks self-confidence he could think that he isn’t good enough to find a new girlfriend. Don’t be arrogant about your opinions and be respectful of his feelings. Help him build his self-esteem or maybe even try seeing a counselor to learn ways to build himself up. Your son might feel pressured to have a girlfriend so he can be more popular among his peers. Assure him that he doesn’t need to be in a relationship just to fit in, especially if it’s not making him happy.
Eventually, parents have to let go of the reins a little bit. Who your son decides to date is his decision to make. This can be difficult but you can’t just tell a young man that his girlfriend is not right for him. Relationships are complex and break-ups can be painful. Let him learn for himself. Don’t try to force them to call it quits.
You can offer your opinions, express concerns, and make suggestions but ultimately trust and respect his decision. Support his choice no matter what happens. Be there for him and let things evolve naturally. You never know what the future holds so if it isn’t meant to be, they will eventually figure that out on their own anyway.