Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Parents:
“My mom said I could have a boyfriend but now...”

Hey Terra,

Me and my bf have been going out 3 weeks already. He came over to watch a movie and meet my mom. He had his arm around me. When my mom got home she came in to meet him and everything was fine. But then she told me later that she thought it was very "disrespectful" that he had his arm around me and felt so comfortable even before he met her. I don't get it, it's not like he's a complete stranger to me, I've known him for like a year. I tell her all the time how good he treats me and how nice he is and she's still saying it like I'm too young to handle a boyfriend (I'm 15); but she gave me permission to date him and it's kind of like she wants to take back her decision. Now I'm kind of scared she's going to all of a sudden tell me I have to break up with him. I don't want to. It's very confusing.

Lulu

Dear Lulu,

I understand exactly what you're saying and it sounds like your mom's confused too. On the one hand she gave you permission to have a boyfriend but on the other hand when she sees you together (with his arm around you) there's a part of her that feels weird about how "appropriate" that kind of relationship is.

I'm glad to hear that your boyfriend is a very nice guy and that you've known him for as long as you have and that he treats you with respect.

I really don't think your mom's reaction has to do with this particular boy as much as it has to do with the reality of the fact that you are 15 years old and that means you're growing up. She may be feeling conflicted about the very fact that you're not a little girl any more. That realization can be bittersweet to a mom (you understand the term "bittersweet"?). Of course that's what all kids are supposed to do and parents rejoice in their progress, but... It can be a little sad knowing that the relationship between parents and kids is changing as the kids grow up. You need your parents in different ways and for parents (and kids) that can be confusing until it gets sorted out. (Which it will!)

In her head I'll bet your mom knows that you're a good girl and totally trustworthy and mature... But in her heart she may be worrying that this boyfriend/girlfriend thing will get out of control. Bottom line is that she loves you and she wants to make sure that you're safe. That's her job as your mom.

My suggestion is that you calmly and maturely talk about some of these issues with her.

Reassure her that you are happy in this relationship and that because of her good parenting, you've developed high self-esteem and good judgment. Tell her that you know how to make good choices. You may need to reassure her about the fact that you're not going to have sex with your boyfriend at this time in your life. (That's usually what parents really mean when they say, "You're too young to handle a boyfriend.")

I hope this helps.

In friendship,

Terra


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.


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