Question:

I have two questions concerning my 14 year old daughter:

Question 1: She had her yearly adoscolesent check up. She and the doctor talked alone for a few minutes, and then I was asked to come back into the room. The doctor talked about stress of school and "other things." She suggested my daughter see a counselor. When we left, I asked her about the "other things." She said she doesn't like my boyfriend of two years, and he is immature. My boyfriend is slightly above average intelligence; he did attend special education throughout school. Although he's in his thirties, he does behave like he's young at heart. He works one job and has his own business. She doesn't want me to date him anymore. She wants to know, "Why did he have to be the one?" Her dad left me for another woman and married her several years ago, and we went to counseling for that. I explained to her that love is patient, kind, trustworthy, protects, and that's what I see in my boyfriend. Although he is of a different denomination than I am, he is a dedicated to his faith and church. What should I do?

Question 2: She is an accelerated program and now she is earning C's when she is used to earning A's. What can I do to help her?


Answer:

The scenario makes me wonder what changed. Something happened recently to make your daughter not like the man you are dating. And something is distracting her from her studies. One possibility that I hate to bring up is that your boyfriend might have misbehaved around your daughter and so she no longer trusts him. It is possible that she is convinced that you would not believe her, so she is not mentioning it directly.

It is also possible that this is just an adolescent phase that she is going through, but I would not be so quick to dismiss it until you are certain. It is also possible that whatever is bothering her is unrelated, but she has decided to pin the blame on your choice of boyfriend.

Meanwhile, the best thing you can do is talk with you daughter and really listen to what she is saying. Until you know what is going on, it isn't sound to make changes. What you don't want to get into is a situation where she controls your life and your choices by playing a victim. But if there is a legitimate problem, you then need to take action.

In regards to her grades, it too is a warning sign, but remember that these are her grades for what she has done (or not done). You can reduce her privileges so that she has more time to study, but ultimately, she gets the grades she earns. Don't rescue her from her own bad choices in this case.