The teenage world is filled with all kinds of boys; some are frogs, but the majority of them—around 75 percent—are perfect princes. These princes do not ride up to your daughter's door in a coach and whisk her off to a ball in a castle, but they are special boys, just as your girl is a special girl. They are usually the boys she knows from school, her neighborhood, or her house of worship. However if your daughter seems to be more intrigued by a boy who comes out of the blue and has no connection to her in his background, sit up and pay attention.
Be sure to avoid the typical conversation stoppers with your daughter. Do not say, "You're too young!" or "Because I said so!" or "That's a bad bunch; stay away from them!" Have your daughter tell you something about each girl and boy in her dating group, and find something to like about them.
Boyfriends to Avoid
Your daughter may be frustrated by not landing a great boyfriend overnight, so she may tend to overlook the boys in her backyard. Way too tame, she may think. But she may be treading on thin ice when she branches out daringly and looks to meet some brand-new boys in questionable arenas. Make sure that she does not:
- Accept a ride from a boy or man she does not know very well.
- Develop a liking for boys who experiment with drugs and alcohol.
- Go alone to a boy's home—ever—or to the apartment of an older guy.
- Meet someone alone and in person she met on the Internet.
The best way for your girl to find a good boyfriend is to give all the boys she associates with already a closer look. Furthermore, all these boys have friends, so there should be quite a large number of young males she can concentrate on, if she wants to. If she is having a hard time finding a boy she likes, encourage her to get involved in other pursuits so that the pressure of teen dating will be lessened. She'll have many more—and better—opportunities after high school to find the right boyfriend.
If your daughter is not asked out, tell her that her time will come, if she wants it to. In the meantime, how great for her to be able to concentrate on what's really important-to grow into the finest young person she can be.
Boyfriends to Attract
Your daughter can tell if she has found a good and suitable boyfriend if she wants to introduce him to her family, if he understands her need for privacy, if he is thoughtful and respectful to his parents and teachers, and if she feels as if she can talk to him about things that matter to her. In short, she wants to choose a boy who is worthy of her attention, and not waste her precious time on the frogs; that is, the boys who eventually might turn out to be good boyfriend material but are not in their present shape. Don't worry, though. There are many successful boys your daughter can meet in her everyday life. Some stand out immediately, and others need a closer look. Some good qualities your daughter can look for in a boy could include:
- He cares about his future; he plans for college or beyond.
- He is optimistic.
- He is a good student or at least puts effort into his schoolwork.
- He is fairly mature and has a strong character.
- He is trustworthy and reliable.
From early on, you want her to develop the ability to look beneath the good looks and the charming smile of a boy and see what is there.
Sometimes the most innocent boy-girl outings can cross the line. Do not let your daughter and her friends have a boy-girl slumber party at your house. Even though your girl may stay in her sleeping bag by herself, another girl and boy may not be as strong, and you do not want to allow them to act on their feelings for each other at your house.
Boys as Friends
If your daughter has no brothers or close male cousins, she needs some boys as friends. Even if she has many male relatives, she can still benefit from having boys in her life who she is not interested in romantically. There are so many things she can learn from them—from the ways boys are different from girls to the way some of them can clam up rather than discuss their emotions to having a different outlook than girls.
In high school, some girls manage to find good "boy buds" not only as their study buddies, but also for the years to come, as male confidants. To them, their male friends are like beloved brothers, only a family or a house removed. Male friends can often tell your daughter the truth better than her girlfriends and her boyfriend would, because there are no strings attached. Besides, they may get your girl into more outdoorsy activities and help build her confidence even more. Therefore, welcome your daughter's boy friends, as well as her boyfriends.