Expert Advice

Is Mom Overprotective?

Middle School Expert Advice from Connie Collins

Q
My 13-year-old daughter's boyfriend is 15. He called her up the other night and asked her to go to the movies with him -- it would be a double date with her best friend. Am I being overprotective if I don't let her go?
A
Double dating can be safer, but I encourage you to consider these questions before you decide. What have been your rules about dating? Have you set an age when you think it is appropriate and have you talked with your daughter in the past about dating? Do you know this young man? How are they getting to the movie? Have you talked with the boyfriend's parents? Have you talked with your daughter's best friend's parents? Do you know the other boy who will be going? Of course you need to find out what movie they are going to, where they are going, etc.

You have to ask lots of questions to reach your decision. The kids probably won't like it, but you do what you have to as a parent. If you feel uncomfortable at all about any of the answers, go with your gut. A double date can be a way to take baby steps into the dating scene, but you as a parent set the boundaries and the rules so that it will be a safe and happy experience for you and your daughter if you decide to let her go.

Connie Collins, professional school counselor, worked for 35 years in public education as a teacher and counselor at the middle school and secondary levels. Collins worked daily with the parents of the students in her various schools, and has facilitated several parenting groups.

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