“I don’t like my teen’s boyfriend/girlfriend.”
This is a common dilemma many parents have as their teen begins to date. In fact, our therapists hear about it all the time in teen counseling. Issues with your teen’s boyfriend or girlfriend can cause distress in your home. So, today I wanted to share some ways you can navigate this potential conflict. Our goal is to help reduce conflict, improve communication, and build trust with your teen.
Let’s put it out there, teen dating is wild
First, consider the repercussions of addressing this issue
What if it isn’t so simple?
There are ways you protect your relationship with your teen during this hard conversation:
- Approach your teen when you’re calm. If they sense you’re emotionally escalated, they will likely shut down immediately and the whole conversation will go poorly.
- Ask them to share with you what they like about their boyfriend/girlfriend. Be open and respectful while they talk. Their opinions are valid too.
- Describe the facts. For example, your boyfriend/girlfriend has a history of using drugs and alcohol. Do not make judgemental statements like you’re too young to know better.
- Explain how this makes you feel. Example: I feel worried for your health and safety when you’re with them.
- Assert control and tell them what you need them to do. Example: I want you to stop seeing them.
- Remind them why: Their unsafe choices put you at risk, so dating them is not an option.
- Reinforce your love for them and your desire to protect them. Reminding them that you’re always here to listen and support them is important.
- Explain the consequences if they do not respect your rules.
- Allow them to express their feelings, even you don’t like what they have to say. Remember, they may need time to process what you’ve said.
Teenagers can be very stubborn. If this is the case and your teen disobeys your rules and expectations. Hold firm and issue an appropriate consequence. Keep these proportionate to the offense. For example “you chose to continue seeing your girlfriend after our conversation. Thus, you are now grounded. I know this is upsetting, but my directions were clear.”
Teen counseling can help
If you are struggling to communicate with your teen then our team of therapists can help. We offer a variety of therapy options to help you through these tough situations. Additionally, if you feel like your teen’s behavior is putting them at risk, then they may benefit from teen counseling. We offer in-person counseling at our Roswell, GA office. We also provide online teen counseling in Georgia to accommodate our clients.
Begin Teen Counseling in Roswell, GA
If you’re interested in teen counseling and live in the state of Georgia, our therapists would be honored to speak with you about the many ways we can help your family and your teen thrive. To begin counseling in Roswell, GA, or online therapy in Georgia, follow these steps:
- Contact our Atlanta, GA-based counseling practice
- Meet with a caring therapist
- Start teen counseling and connect with your teen