How to help steer your child when they are in a girl/boy relationship you do not approve?
When we are reading bedtime stories to our youngsters, some of us think about what the future may hold for our amazing little children. We also hope that they will fill their lives with positive relationships with friends, and when they get older, eventually a significant other. However, sometimes, as a parent, it is hard to sit back and watch some relationships build when we do not want to support that specific relationship. So, the question is, how do we have our child see what we see and steer them clear of disaster?
No matter what you decide you want to do about your child’s new relationship, you want to still maintain a positive relationship with your child. Make sure you communicate with them effectively and with love. Open up a respectful dialogue with them because as they get into their teens, if you start communicating by just questioning their choices, you will cause them to completely shut down. Even though you may want to say how you really feel about the person, it usually backfires, so keep the communication lines open.
What does your child see in this person?
Sometimes you need to look at this person from your child’s perspective, why do they like hanging out with them? Did something happen? Do they fill a void that your child has? Being able to view the person through your child’s eyes is important and your child will appreciate that you took the time to understand their relationship. You still may not agree overall, but at least your child sees you trying. By being able to ask her questions about this person, you might be able to slowly and gently ask things that will allow her to see this person in a different way.
If you need to, tell them specifically why you are concerned.
You don’t want to shut down the lines of communication, especially where you become the bad guy and this new relationship becomes priority number one for your child. Instead of telling your child “no” every time they ask to do something with this person, instead, tell them why they cannot do the activity they are asking about. If your child can understand your concerns, it is much better than just giving a flat “no.”
Put your foot down, if it is completely necessary.
If you ever sense that your child is in physical or emotional danger, you need to step in immediately. If you feel that this relationship can harm their health, discuss your concerns, and give limitations. Your child’s safety is your number one priority in life, so if your gut is telling you something terrible is going on, do not brush it under the rug.
What does the future hold?
Most of us have been in these situations when we were younger. Give it time, your child will eventually come to you later in life and tell you how right you were about this relationship. They will eventually see the light!