Teen crushes

by Colleen
(Hanson, MA)

My daughter, Shea is 15 and for the last 5 months dated a 14 yr old boy who is controlling, who she talks to, who's on her snap chat list, etc. He's flunking in school and in detention most of the time.

She's always been very smart, never had disciplinary issues. The problem is she let's him control her, and still cares about him even though I've made them beak up.

He has problems I'm convinced, but picture Eddie Haskell in a football uniform. Anyway, I'm concerned that my normally independent vibrant daughter is attracted to boys that treat her badly.

I need help getting her to care more about herself than others.

Important to note, she is an only child with a lost father that she didn't meet till she was 9. Unfortunately he's a player and still more interested in trying to get me than a relationship with Shea. I just don't want her to relive my mistakes and realize she is worth so much more. Help.

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Bumping up a daughter's self esteem
by: Sara

Hey Colleen!

Ahhhh...the age old issue of women, self-esteem, and crappy men...

I applaud you for paying close attention and monitoring the situation. You are a good mom!

I think it's easiest to address this issue in a different way. I think it will be less stressful for you, and won't give her as much to rebel against.

I want you to stop focusing on him...and start focusing on her. Just her. Put the parameters in that you need too...in order for her to be safe. This may mean no SnapChat, or limited SnapChat. (I don't know if you can track her history. If you can't track and monitor her interaction, delete the app until she is older.) This goes for any social media.

Limit phone usage, and check online for usage data to make sure she isn't texting during the school day, etc. Be willing to take her phone if rules aren't followed.

No dating. She can 'talk to' or 'go with' this guy, during the school day, etc. But no dates. If they go in a group of kids you are there.

What activities can she engage in? Clubs? Sports? Band? Theater? I required my kids to do something each season...like it or not. It gives them productive, constructive, supervised time. And kept them busy and out of trouble.

Find every means possible for educating her about what is and is not appropriate in a relationship. Stay calm and factual. If you get emotional, the message gets lost.

With all this in place Mr. Haskell will likely find a new target. He might stay around, learning new relationship skills of his own. Kids know what they see at home, from their friends, and on TV. They don't usually dip their toes into the relationship thing and get it right. :)

You got this!

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