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My 12 year old daughter LOVES her boyfriend

11 answers
They tell each other that they love each other. Like, a lot. On her Facebook page, she's always telling him she loves him, and her main profile pic is a picture she drew that says, "I love Chris". I've caught an occasional glimpse of her chatting with him via instant messenger, and a typical conversation seems to be them saying "I love you" to each other. Repeatedly. I've laid out some guidelines for dating (as in, "No, absolutely not!"); I haven't said anything about the "I love you's" yet. I know that a 12 year old doesn't have a fully developed concept of love yet, and that a lot of what she's doing is just experimenting with love and relationships. What are your thoughts on how I should handle this? Or should I intervene at all?

answers (11)

I was kinda like your daughter when i was 12 and my mom got in the middle of it and we just had problems because i was young and thought i knew. I'd say just keep an eye on them talk to her about him but let her do most of the talking make her feel as if she can tell u anything she will most likely open up more that way and if her behavior changes dramaticly all of u sudden watch closer and break it up if u have to.Hope thats of some help-Amber
I agree with Amber.  What she feels for her boyfriend probably IS love - and even if it's not the same love she has for you or you have for your husband, it's still very likely the first big romantic love she's ever felt, and she can't imagine that love feels any better or bigger.  Telling her it's not won't do any good - and frankly, why would you, since it seems fairly bengin and sweet at this point anyway.  Just keep an eye, make sure she feels comfortable coming to talk to you, and if you have ANY doubt about how far she's taking this love physically - go ahead and bring it up in a non-confrontational, non-judgemental manner.  "Hey, it's great that you love this guy, and I'm so glad that you're not afraid to say it.  But let's talk about ways you should be protecting yourself (birth control, dating safety, abstinence)."
why does she have a facebook page? seems a little young for that. you need to always monitor her on the internet. at all times! sit her down and explain to her that's it's not appropriate at her age to tell her bf that she loves him. hell, why does she have a bf at 12 anyways? i had no concern with boys, until i was atleast 14. don't leave them alone together. have the sex talk with her, if you have not done so already, or find an adult female she is comfortable with, (mom maybe?), to have that conversation with her.
She's not alone in having a Facebook page; all of her friends have one. I work in the tech industry, so I'm very much aware of how FB can be abused. Her account is private. Her computer is located in the most heavily trafficked area of the house, so everyone can see what she's doing. And, I'm on her friends list and I have her password. She's aware that I could look at her account at any time. I don't use the password much, but just reading all her postings gives me a tremendous insight into her mind. I'm actually of the opinion that FB can be a valuable parenting tool with the proper oversight, and I'm teaching my daughter about responsible online behavior. I've told her when she neded to remove certain friends, and we've talked about what types of posts are inappropriate (e.g., keeping everything "kid-friendly," and no angry posts about your little brother!).I did decide to have a talk with her, last night, about throwing the word "love" around, and infatuation and such. I tried to do it in a friendly, non-parental sort of way. Funny, she said she had never even heard of the word "infatuation". Needless to say, it was a pretty one-sided conversation. I fear that really dropping the hammer on her over this will only make the romance more exciting, and make her feel like she can't confide in me. In my heart I feel that she needs to reach a lot of conclusions on her own, with guidance from mom and dad. Still, I secretly cringe every time I see her use the "L" word.
Sounds like you are trying your best to be a good parent and I applaud you for caring what your child is doing. Too many parents turn the other cheek.  Don't be afraid to use the password you have, though. I recently found out my daughter was posting statuses that I could not see, because you can target posts to only be viewable by certain people. i.e. If you want to post something that you don't want your boss or family to see then you set it up for them not to see it. Therefor, being on their 'friends list', doesn't always mean you know what's going on. They are smarter than you think at times. Just like parents are usually smarter than the kids give us credit for. (The phrase, 'i wasn't born yesterday' comes to mind). Anyways, let me tell you from experience. I have five ranging from a year old to 14... it's better to nip things in the butt BEFORE they get out of hand, than to try to be lenient and "non-parental" and then have a harder time trying to back pedal. Don't be afraid to use your authority. There is a difference between being a parent and being a dictator- so don't worry about ruining your bond or anything like that. Pick your battles. Have an open door policy, but at the same time BE the parent. I cringed when I read your comment that you tried to talk to her in a 'non-parental sort of way. I've tried that route and I've learned, as they approach this age- the last thing they need is another 'friend'. They need a parent. An understanding, open-minded, but ready to stop at nothing to protect their child, type of parent. I'm not saying that telling her boyfriend she loves him is the end of the world. But as the parent, don't be afraid to set limits on how much she is saying this and how 'infatuated' she becomes is dependent upon how much freedom and free time she is given to do so. While we have to let them be 'kids' and find their way in this world; We also have to remember that kids aren't capable of making mature decisions without proper guidance and intervention from the person responsible for them. Never parent out of guilt either. It's easy to give in to kids because maybe they don't have the perfect life. Maybe mom or dad is not in the picture or you haven't always been the perfect parent and you want to make it up. Whatever the case may be- NEVER parent out of guilt because I have seen it done and I have been guilty of it myself at times and it just doesn't do the child any justice. Good luck with you and your soon-to-be teenager. These times are fun, my friend- and I DO mean that sarcastically. I thought babies were stressful, until my oldest turned into a teenager!!! :)
You need to teach her how powerful the word love is but handle this very gingerly so that she doesn't feel punished for her tender feelings. Limiting her use of technology may also be warranted so that she doesn't become addicted to LOVE and TECHNOLOGY.GOOD LUCK!Barbara Greenberg PhDco-authorTeenage as a Second Language-A Parents Guide to Becoming
My little cousins are/were both like this. They are 14 and 17. They have both been boy crazy since they were around 12 or so. It seems my aunt encourages this and thinks it is cute/funny when they have "serious" boyfriends. I find it annoying that these little buttheads are always invited to our family events. I didn't bring any boyfriends to family events until I was in college!Both of them are constantly posting about how much they love so and so. It's annoying and sometimes I feel embarassed for them. I had little interest in boys until I was about 14, and even then I wasn't interested in making a boy or boys the main thing in my life. I wonder why some girls are like this and some aren't?
UHm I have to agree with pinkpaisley8709, why in the world does your 12 year old have a boyfriend? No judgement or anything like that, because you do sound like a great mom who is concerned. But like alot of other people are saying MONITOR MONITOR MONITOR. Thats great that you have her password, but 12 year olds are not stupid. She could have conversations in her email and delete each one as the conversation is going on, so you NEVER have the chance to read them. And just because your computer is in a well trafficced area, what about when she goes to a friends house? Do they have computers n thier rooms? Teens are so much different today. They are more sneakier, and more rebelous.  When I was 14, I had a friend that was 12 and she had sex with all different kinds of guys, drank with her older sisters quite frequently, and smoked ciggarettes, and her mom had NO clue whatsoever! Her mom thought she was just the greatest kid ever, she bragged about her all the time, and she even was an honor roll student! All Im saying, is never turn your head, not even for a moment. My dad gave me alot of freedom, let me do whatever I wanted, let me have boyfriends young, and the next step was having sex, at 14. And I wish he would have put his foot down and told me NO! I hated him for awhile, after I was an adult and realized that he wasnt truely being my parent.
I don't wanna be rude or anything but, I'm 12 and I have a boyfriend. We say I love you often. It's just a normal thing a preteen would say. We are just happy that we accruals have a person at school with a different gender liking us so we take it in considerate and say I love you! I actually like when he says I love you, it gives me butterflies and it makes me think he cares. So if I were you then I would let you daughter go on with the relation ship. They will eventually break up anyway and she will learn the lesson of not saying it again. Hope this helped I guess.
My daughter is 11 and has been boy crazy for probably a good three years. She currently is "dating" a 12 year old that has been her crush for several years, and they have been together for five months. I occasionally take them to the movies or he comes over and plays board games. At this age all a boyfriend/ girlfriend is, is a friend of opposite gender that you really like as much or a little more than your other friends. Who says kids can't hang out or text the opposite gender. I take a lot of heat from family for my decision in allowing my daughter to have a boyfriend, however who am I to tell her she can"t have a boy for a friend. They are not at the point where they are making out, and there is a very high chance they will not still be dating even in a few months. They as well throw the word "love" around, but she also tells her girlfriends she loves them. I think this is more common than people are aware of these days, as most children have cell phones by age 12. Not all girls are boy crazy, and I have no idea why some kids are more than others. However, I do know that I was the same at age 12 and I turned out just fine. My daughter comes to me and talks to me about everything! I would much rather know what is going on and guide her than have her sneak behind my back and do it because she is afraid of how I will react. You are doing a great job with your daughter. Don't let others opinions change how you are handling the situation. What works for one may not work for all as all kids are different!


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