5 Tips to Win a Disapproving Parent's Approval
How to Win Over Your Teenage Girlfriend's Parents
Dear April Masini,
I am 14 and I've been dating this girl for two months and three weeks (a long time for me), and when we started dating I told her that I had had sex before and I just quit smoking and drinking and stuff. She told her mom this stuff, and now her mom doesn’t believe that I quit. I want her mom to approve of me because because I really like this girl. I've been to her house three times and I've met her mom, her dad, and her aunt, but her mom always talks about me behind my back. She is threatening to break us up, but I haven’t done anything to her mom. I'm usually polite and well mannered, but she just doesn’t like me! We don't even plan on having sex. We are just a couple dumb kids who want to be together. She wants to wait for sex, and it's fine with me. Give me some dating advice, please!"
Signed, Her Mom Hates Me
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Her Mom Hates Me,
I know this is hard to do when you’re only fourteen, but try and pretend that you’re a parent, and your fourteen-year-old daughter not only brings home a guy that she tells you that he has already had sex, has been smoking, drinking and “stuff”, but now she is dating him. How would you feel if you were the parent? If you’re being honest, the answer is, you’d feel protective of your daughter, and want her to be with someone who has not had such a “fast” growing up experience. You’d worry that she would be introduced to sex, smoking, drinking and “stuff”, by this boy. You might feel scared that your daughter is in harm's way or even danger around this boy. You would discourage the relationship.
Given all that, that doesn’t mean you should stop dating her – I just want you to try and be empathetic to her parents and understand their point of view. No parents would be okay with their fourteen-year-old daughter dating someone with your background, if they’re honest.
Ways To Win Over Her Parents
However, you are not just your background. You’re someone who has actually quit smoking, quit drinking and quit “stuff” which I imagine is drugs. That’s commendable, and you should stay on that path. But you also have to understand that not everyone is going to see things your way, and it’s not your job to convince them that you’re a good guy by telling them. They’ll be convinced by your actions.
So, if you really want to date this girl and win over her parents, here’s what you have to do:
- Get good grades in school.
You may already be doing that, but if you’re not, make that a goal. Parents love boys who are good students. It will also do you a lot of good at the same time.
- Participate in sports or club activities.
If you’re not a jock, then take up chess or some other team sport. The debate club counts. By being part of a team that competes, you’re practicing discipline, team work and citizenship. Take up something you enjoy, and you’ll be doing something good for your relationship with this girl and for yourself.
- Continue to visit this girl at her house.
Her parents' biggest fear is what happens when they’re not around. Relax. They’re not freaks. Most parents feel this way, but have varying degrees of relaxation depending on how much they trust the boy their daughter is dating. Your girlfriend’s parents don’t trust you, so they’re going to be more worried than other parents may be. Don’t judge them. Just accept it. Stay on their turf when you visit her.
- When you do want to take her out, do it during the day time, and be extra responsible.
Take her out for a smoothie or an ice-blended. Take her bowling with a group of friends. And whatever you do, make sure that you always tell her parents what time you’ll bring her back. If it feels awkward, deal with it. This is what you have to do to make her parents feel comfortable and to be able to spend time with her. It’s not the worst thing in the world – in fact, you may start to enjoy it.
- As you gain their trust, and if you do the above, you will gain their trust, eventually ask them if it would be all right if you took her to a movie at night.
Respect their decision. If they say no, be polite, and tell them you understand. If they say yes, be on your best behavior and be a perfect gentleman.
They say that a man is as good as the woman he’s with. This may be your opportunity to be a great, young man -- and get a great girl at the same time!