When you’ve got a teenager in the dating field it sometimes feels like that field is full of landmines. Is she dating a guy with a motorcycle? His girlfriend barely wears clothes! Not to mention you can barely get two words out of your teenager at a time. Raising a teenage child is not for the faint of heart! And adding in the dating component only makes it feel more complex and dangerous. How can you navigate these treacherous waters?
Here’s how I did it: I drove my daughter right to the guy who was my worst nightmare. That’s right. Everything I did to handle my teen daughter’s dating life backfired 100% and ruined her opportunities for healthy dating relationships. I cared a lot. Maybe too much. I tried to make everything right. I tried to protect her and instead I messed everything up. Sounds like your worst nightmare, right? Well read on, and do exactly what I did if you want your teen to date the wrong person.
Step 1: Deny, Deny, Deny
The first thing you have to do is refuse to acknowledge that she is old enough to date at all. This is my little baby girl! She’s not dating. She can’t be. I taught her how to ride a bike, and kissed her boo-boos when she fell. Your son is definitely too young and impressionable to be dating young ladies, so just reject the thought from your mind. The first time they excitedly tell you about a “date,” just go ahead and ignore it until they ask for permission and then deny it quickly and coldly. At this point they’ll be hurt and confused, and it won’t take long for them to start dating someone behind your back. You have successfully completed step one.
Step 2: Express Displeasure Loudly and Often
Once your teen has started dating someone you dislike, make sure you frequently, even constantly, tell your teen everything that’s wrong with them. Don’t stop at the reasonable things like their attitude or the way they treat your child, but continue into stupid things like the kind of car they drive or their aspirations for college. Don’t let it rest! You MUST express your displeasure about your child’s dates at every possible moment if you are seriously committed to ruining your relationship with them and drive them to this terrible, romantic, forbidden-love-kind-of-match.
Step 3: Tighten Your Grasp
Finally, in an effort to keep your child safe, the best possible course of action in the opposite direction is to try to keep them at home constantly. Forbid them from seeing this boyfriend with the guitar. Tell your son he is absolutely NOT allowed to take that girl with the tattoo to the Homecoming Dance. Shoot down their requests to go out on weekends, take their keys away, monitor them every second. Don’t worry – it won’t take long before your teen resents you and resorts to Cold War-level espionage tactics to continue seeing this forbidden love of theirs.
Congratulations! You have now become the enemy, turned your child into a sneak, and made that other teenage person completely irresistible – all in three easy steps! At this point, my wife and I celebrated by apologizing to our daughter and inviting her young gentleman friend to dinner. We expressed interest in his life and hobbies, and extended an invitation for dinner the following night.
After three nights of being kind and respectful parents spending lots of time with our daughter and her boyfriend, she broke up with him. She is now happily “playing the field” and focusing on her school work, and she keeps us updated about both. As it turns out, helping our daughter create a healthy teen dating environment was a lot easier than ruining it. Who knew?