Is your teen finding love in all the wrong places? Or so you think?
Whether right or wrong, this time the ball is in your court, and the wisest among you will keep your doubts close to your heart and work to love who your teen loves, even if you feel sure they’re not right for each other.
I count myself many times blessed that my parents let me love my first love, and let me think they loved him as I did. In actual fact they didn’t; my parents lived in fear we would marry.
My parents eloped and I wonder now if their wise handling of my boyfriend came from that experience. Perhaps my mother’s parents tried too hard to separate them. My father was an orphan, a lowly news-reporter; she was a member of the town’s aristocracy, her father a judge.
My parent’s marriage was the only one of her generation to endure. They were happier than most, although it was always clear my father had the greater love.
I would not have been so happy with my first love. I know that now but there was no telling me back then. My parents asked me to do two years of college before announcing an engagement. My first love joined the Army and was sent to see the world. After a year, he wrote a Dear Jane letter. I wept, but survived, older and wiser. It would be ten years until I married, but a man much more suited to me and my needs.
PARENT ADVICE WHEN A TEEN LOVES IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES
Tip one: It is truly out of you hands and I have already given the best advice I can. Learn to love the one your teen loves. Any arguments against your teen’s loved one will plant the roots of the relationship in cement.
Tip two: Try to see the needs being met. Good girls are known to have fantasies of reforming bad boys. I felt strongly I was the only one who saw my first love’s good qualities. I understood him and no one else did. Such feelings create a powerful attraction and strong bond. He greatly appreciated being loved by a good girl.
It is less clear that bad boys want to have their better beings cared about and nurtured, but that is a part of the Beauty and the Beast story.
A quick leap to a feminist read about Beauty and the Beast. This one is by a blogger who calls herself the Funny Feminist or Lady T. She makes a good point about some bad boys hoping for love to help change them. Not all bad boys, and that is a decided fact.
Tip Three: Don’t predict the future. You cannot, even learned weather men fail at that task.
Tip four: Hope for the best. Realizing, the future is unknown allows you to chose to have a bit of hope. The hope is not unrealistic. Sir Michael Rutter, one of Britain’s leading researchers into how we become who we are, reported that a good marriage was a major factor in moving away from abuse and a bad childhood.
Tip five: Legitimate concern exists when sex, addiction, or abuse are part of your teen’s love triangle. However, all the advice above holds. The problem is in your teen, not the loved one.
Do your best to see the loved one’s good qualities. If you cannot keep your mouth shut, observe Gottman’s five to one rule: only allow yourself to show five positives for every one negative.
Life is a struggle, relationships hard, raising good kids in today’s world harder than ever. The media has become another parent and not always a useful one, particularly when it comes to teaching about relationships. Still, wise parents, as a child slips into adolescence, will use the media as talking points and teachable moments.
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