Talking to Parents 101: Boys

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There’s no escaping them: boys. They’re everywhere and we can’t help but to be drawn to them. This isn’t just a girl thing; guys are naturally attracted to us as well and, if we’re lucky, the one we are crushing over is also crushing over us. But what do you do when he makes a move and now you’re a couple? Do you tell your parents? Do you keep it to yourself? Are you old enough to be in a relationship? These are the most important questions when it comes to boys.

Every parent is different when it comes to the “boyfriend/girlfriend” subject. Some would rather have you wait until you graduate college or high school, some think sixteen is the appropriate age and some (but rarely any) think it’s okay to start dating in middle school. But how does this work out? Truth is we have no control over who we are attracted to, it happens.  So, if you happen to think you’re ready, consider these four rules.

Never try to overpower your parents 

First, never say: “I have a boyfriend and I want you to meet him” or anything in this context. Never say: “I am or I have.” You shouldn’t exert any authority. No parent wants to be told what to do or to accept something, and this will immediately shut them off, leaving no room for compromise. Instead, ease them into the idea. For example, during dinner, say something like: “so there’s a guy at school, and he’s telling people he thinks I’m cute.” This is a good way to bring the topic up, because you’re sharing your personal life with them and they’ll love that. This will also form trust between you and them, making the boyfriend situation easier to consider.

Observe their reaction

Observe their reaction, did they cringe? Did they get angry? Did they find it funny? But most importantly were they open about the topic? If they seemed upset or blew off your comment, this is a sign to back away from the subject (for now). I know this is something you don’t want to hear, but there’s no way around it. There’s no point in pursuing the conversation any further and angering them. Instead, wait a couple days and bring up the conversation again, but this time say something like “so remember that boy I was telling you guys about, well he asked me to eat lunch with him during our lunch break. But I don’t know what to say. What do you guys think?” This is your attempt at forming a trust/permissive relationship with them. They’ll respect you for asking them  but don’t demand an answer right away, let them think about it. Don’t push them, because they’ll just push the topic away even more (and we don’t want that).

Confront your parents with an open mind

Finally, confront them. But when doing so, never say “you don’t, you need, you, etc.” Using the word “you” is a form of attack and this can cause the other person to shut down. You don’t want that. Instead, let them know how you feel. You can do this by saying, “I would like to go out to lunch with him and I want to be able to talk about situations like these with you guys. I know I’m still young, and this is hard for you, but I want you to know that I’m not rushing into a relationship; I just want to try this out.” Let them speak, but most importantly listen. If you want them to hear you out, you need to let them speak also. Hear them out! And if they’re response is not what you wanted to hear, don’t jump up and start justifying yourself or argue. You want them to see you as an adult; arguing, crying, screaming, etc. is going to do the complete opposite. Keep in mind that your parents mean well. I know that is a very cliché thing to say, but it’s true. So, if they don’t think it’s time to date, then respect their decision and this will show them maturity. This is key to gaining their approval!

Be patient

Getting your parents to accept the idea of dating is a process and if at first it doesn’t work, let the subject cool down, and try again! A mature attitude is the pathway to approval. And ladies, please keep in mind that middle school isn’t the time for boyfriends! Those years are made for friends and making memories! Getting ready for high school, joining a sport, dances, or practicing for high school try outs with your BFF’s. Boys will always be there. There’s no need to rush, believe me.

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