Should Parents Control Who We Date?

credit to Terwilliger911 on Flickr

credit to Terwilliger911 on Flickr

When it comes to who teenagers date, every family has the problem of parents trying to control their childrens every move. Everyone is an individual, and we should all be able to make our own decisions. Parents have control over part of their child’s life, but they can’t control every aspect of it. Kids should be trusted to start making their own decisions in life, so that they can learn lessons.

Yes, they can help to guide us along the way, but they can’t completely control our decisions. “Sweetie, we just don’t want you to get hurt,” is always the response when kids ask why their parents are being ‘overprotective.’ Well, if we don’t make mistakes, and sometimes get hurt, then we can never learn from our mistakes. People learn not from being told, but by doing. Even if we do end up getting hurt, it would  be better to get hurt now when we have our parents to fall back on for help, rather than later in life, when we are on our own.

A lot of times, parents don’t approve of people because they “haven’t met them, and don’t know them.” That’s another trust issue. Of course they aren’t going to know every single person that their child wants to date. But parents need to trust in the way they raised their child and that they can make choices for themselves. Romeo and Juliet’s parents were complete enemies, and they didn’t know the children well, so they didn’t approve of them being together. The truth is that they were in love and happy, and in the end, that’s all that should matter.

Just kidding, mommy 🙂

5 thoughts on “Should Parents Control Who We Date?

  1. I would like to start by saying that I am extremely proud of Marley in so so many aspects of her life – all of them actually. I feel she is very capable of making smart decisions and I do trust her very much. I feel lucky to be her father.
    I understand and respect Marley’s viewpoint about parental control of children’s decisions regarding dating. Her reasoning sounds typical of a 14-year-old girl.
    Of course I have the following comments…
    Dating is for mature individuals. If one is mature, then they certainly should be able to discuss the aspects of dating with their parents, and logically, not emotionally, evaluate the attributes of the one they choose to date. Certainly there are some parents wielding the Sword of Control, for which there may be no reasoning with. These parents probably did not have much parental guidance as children.
    “Kids should be trusted to make their own decisions”, however if parents were not “overprotective” when children learned how to cross the street, we would not be having this conversation right now. Some mistakes are irreparable; therefore sometimes a child needs to trust their parents.
    Children confuse control with wisdom. Wisdom is not understood until one is wise. One is wise only after they have traveled a journey.
    “People learn not from being told, but by ‘listening, learning and doing.’”
    When your child begins to swim, ride a bike or even drive, you as a parent are involved in the process. A qualified parent has experience and knowledge to pass on to their children giving them the best opportunity for success. Getting your child started in any of these activities typically requires focused attention so they learn and understand the basic fundamentals. As they show progress, the parent’s role evolves to guiding, informing and preparing their child for the next stage or progression of such activity. Respect is a two way street.
    Children falsely believe they are wise and choose to stop listening and learning from their parents when they start puberty. If it is trust they are looking for, then they should fight this urge as well as a few others!!!


  2. As a mother who was once a teenage girl I can relate to my daughter Marley’s point of view. (Yes I was actually your age once Marley, and yes the dinosaurs were already extinct by then!)

    I remember vividly when I also thought that my mother shouldn’t have a say in who I could date. After all, I was a teenager capable of making smart decisions. I was a good student and athlete. Why should my mother have control over who I could or would date? Didn’t she trust me? Shouldn’t I be able to make and learn from my own mistakes?

    It is not until I got older (and hurt in the process by a few boys along the way) that I started to understand the wisdom of my mother. Rather than seeing that my mother was trying to control me, I started to see that she was actually loving me and trying to protect me. She had a lifetime of experience behind her and she was trying to impart that knowledge onto me, in the hopes that it would spare me any future mistakes or hurt.

    As your mother, I do feel that I am entitled to an opinion and say in when and who you can date. Even though you may not always agree with my thoughts, I hope that you respect me enough as your mother to truly listen and open your heart to what I have to say, rather than feeling like I am trying to control you. As your mother, I have a natural instinct to protect you and know you well. As a human being and woman, I once walked in your shoes and have experiences and wisdom to share with you.

    The reality is that I feel blessed to have been given the privilege of raising you for the past fourteen years. I have had the pleasure in helping to shape you into the beautiful young lady that you are today. I hope that as a parent I have at least partially succeeded in helping to instill the values and morals that will provide you with a happy and successful life, and the tools to make smart choices.

    I trust you. You should trust in me as well.

    “True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” (Socrates)

  3. Parents: I understand your point of view, but of course, I am sticking to my reasoning. Showing your trust in me will result in less conflicts between us. Letting me make my own mistakes will benifit me later in life. Trying to protect me from getting hurt will just hurt me later in life.

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