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The Romeo & Juliet Phenomenon

Question:

I am a “bitch” Mark ...can u tell me if I did anything wrong? …let me give u some background ...daughter’s boyfriend keeps sneaking in her bedroom at nights ...I told him not to, but he kept doing it, and one day they sneaked him into her bedroom and hid in the attic closet when I came home and they didn’t expect me.... the closest is right over my living room ...the ceiling didn’t hold my daughter's boyfriend's body weight and it destroyed my ceiling of my living room (cost over $100 to fix it). Well after everything that I told her he was not welcome onto my land anymore. I have warned her many times about him being on my land.

Well today I took her to school and then she asked me if I could pick her up after school ...and I said sure, and then she said that Justin (her b/f) was going to be here and could I give him a ride, and I said no. I wasn’t going to give her friends rides all over the place. Then she said fine I will walk home...

Well she came home about an hour after school with her b/f and he came on my land. I reminded her that he wasn’t welcome on my land and ask her to ask him to leave. Well she did and then he left and stood on the road ....about half hour later. I heard his voice outside my house on my porch. I asked my daughter again to leave and she had two minutes to get him off my land.

She said that she wanted him to come in and I said no again. She said "why not. Its cold outside.” I said ... “I already told u to get him off my land.” Well she started to yell at me. So I warned her to get him off my land. I stayed calm and collect so I didn’t take it out on her. She said well u have to respect that he is my b/f, and I told her that I do respect that but he has to leave. Then she yelled at me and called me a bitch.

Then I said to her. I’m gonna call 911 to have him removed if u don’t have him off in 30 seconds then I went to the door cause she wasn’t listening ...and told him to get off this land. He said to me “your funny” ...and walked away ...then she said to me ...u bitch …then I am leaving and am going to Justin’s and she left. And now I’m sitting here feeling guilty, hurt and sad about it all that has happened ...I don’t want her mad or hating me.


Answer:

I want to compliment you. This is a great example of (a) refusing to be manipulated, (b) stating a house rule, (c) stating the consequence for breaking the rule and being prepared to follow through with the consequence, and (d) keeping your cool through the whole thing. Good job! Now your daughter knows you mean business.

Now let’s trouble shoot: You have a Romeo and Juliet phenomenon on your hands that will need to be diffused (if not, they will continue to work harder at sneaking their rendezvous behind your back).

Unfortunately, if your daughter wants to be with someone, she'll find a way -- no matter what you say or do. Parents can only guide their children in the right direction and hope for the best. If they do a good job, their daughters will make the right decision all on their own. Since you will not be successful at keeping those two apart, you must adopt a philosophy of if you can’t beat ‘em - join ‘em. In other words, they should be able to see one another within limits, and you decide what those limits are. Maybe your limits will look something like this:
  • They can be together at your house only during those times that you are home and can monitor their behavior (if not, he has to leave)
  • Or you could schedule some activity for them in which you would be a distant chaperon (e.g., take them to a shopping plaza and tell them to meet you back at the coffee shop in exactly one hour)
  • Or your daughter is allowed to go over to her boyfriend’s house for a designated time period (if she violates the time limit, there is a consequence that is commensurate with the “crime”)

Dear Mother: You will not win this battle. Figure out a way for your daughter to see her boyfriend in a way that will keep her safe. This is the best you will be able to do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mark please help me again, your advises have been very helpful to me in handle some of the situation I'm going through with my daughter she is 16 years old; but she is dating a boy that is a 1 year younger then her and he also leaved about 30 miles away from our home town.
his mother and I we has been taken then back and forward but I feel very uncomfortable with this situation and want to stop it; but my daughter get furious and out control on anger and threat me about to runaway if I destroy the relationship she had with him, something that terrify me , I don't know what to do. because I really don't like the idea of driving her there. I'm afraid that she may get pregnat and and then she will stop her life and dreams she has.
Francisca.

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