Dear Manay Gina,
My teenage daughter is driving me mad. She has met this 23-year-old loser, and there is no reasoning with her. This guy that she has known for three months has no job, undergraduate, and easy-go-lucky. He was also in jail for days because of a fight with some kids their age. It happened when my daughter was with her. Now that this person is out of jail, he claims to has changed his ways. All through her life my daughter has not given me any trouble and has been honest. Since she met him. Even her friends don’t like this guy, but no one can reason with her. This is also her first boyfriend. I’m at my wits end and see her going in the wrong direction with this guy.
Too bad he is your daughter’s first boyfriend. The good news, though, is that her second can only be an improvement.
For whatever reasons, your formerly wonderful child has morphed into a rebellious and defiant young woman who is flexing her independence with Mr. Bad News. All you can do is outline for her, in a conversational tone – no tears, no yelling – what her future will be like and what she is denying herself. And you might ask her why she’s choosing to have a relationship with someone who is such a bad bet and offers her so little.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to convince her to see things your way or to stop her from whatever she has in mind. What she will collect, beside heartache, is called “experience,” and sometimes the painful lessons are the ones best learned. The lesson for mothers, of course, is that you can’t live your children’s lives for them.
Accepting this will be useful to you in not beating yourself up over something you have no control over.
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“The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” – Maureen Dowd
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