Teen online dating

by Sherry
(West Virginia)

Concerns about teen online dating

We had internet safety features in place for our 14 year old daughter. She was not permitted to set up a Facebook page. She had a friend set up a page for her and ultimately, began a teen online dating relationship with a 17-year old boy out of state who picked her up on Facebook.

We discovered the relationship a year ago, took away her internet privileges and restricted phone usage. Our daughter is using friends to stay in contact with the boy, who is a high school drop out.

Because we did not approve of this teen online dating relationship, our daughter has become depressed and now, we have her in counseling. The counselor has actually suggested that we allow contact with the boy to alleviate her depression.

We don't agree with this. She met the boy because she broke the rules. What should we do——hold strong or give in to this?

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Feb 12, 2009
by: Anonymous

Others may see fit to psychoanalyze this young teen without having met and talked with her, but I will make no such blunders.

What you have described is a common malady. A young teen wanted something, even at the expense of her own integrity in the arena of obedience. Her rebellion is quite obvious.

Rebellion is a multifaceted problem, and there is no fix-all answer. The approach depends on many different variables that are too numerous to list in a post.

The main ingredient to any success in this area is that she know, without a doubt, that you love her irregardless of her actions and attitudes. Giving in to her desires for behavior that you know can lead to her detriment is not at all an answer. Be firm, but loving.

It's ok to let her make "some", but she also has to be appraised of the boundaries that, if stepped over, can be very dangerous. Teens always feel close to anyone who expresses understanding and empathy for what they are feeling inside. They routinely assume that their parents simply don't understand them. They rarely ever give thought to the fact that we protect them because we know good and well what they are feeling.

All this also hinges on the caliber and quality of the friends she has locally. There are more than enough boys in any given locale, so perhaps you can encourage her to find someone locally with whom to be friends. Offer to be involved in her social life. Be a friend....in the midst of being a good parent.

Remember, you're up against a culture of death and rebellion, which takes easy root in the hearts and minds of our youth.

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