12 year old daugher wants to date 15 year old

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2014
12 year old daugher wants to date 15 year old
Wed, 06-25-2014 - 6:06pm

What am I going to do with my daugher? She just turned 12 in May.  The boy she likes will be 16 this fall. 

At the end of May I told her No to dating him.  She said okay and asked if they could be friends.  I didn't think it would hurt so I said ok.  Two weeks later, he is always around and I am told that they have become very touchy-feely with each other in public when out with friends.  So at this point I sat both of them down, my daughter as well as the boy, and told them again that they could not date.  I get the Okay from both of them.  At this point I am not so naive as to think they are listening so I put a rule in place that they have to be with a group of people or in the living room of my home if they want to hang out.  They say okay.

My daughter comes to me today and tells me that she has been lying to me and that they have been dating for weeks and she loves him.   I told her she will not see him again.

On top off all this I find out she has been taking bad pictures on her phone.  I fould them a few days ago when looking thru it.  I don't think she sent them to anyone but She has had her phone taken away since then.  I am worried and I don't know what to do

I told her she could not date him because of the age difference.  I tried to explain about majurity levels and different things.  We had the birds and bees discussion as well.  All I get from her is that she loves him.  He is the only one for her.  She will die without him.


Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

What if your 12 year old wanted to drink a fith of vodka?  Would you dither like this?  She's TWELVE.  She doesn't get to make demands about boys, dating or how late she stays up at night!!!

How is it that she is able to lie to you?  How is she able to send "bad pictures"?  How does she see him?  Talk to him?  Supervise your child.  Hire a babysitter if you must.  You want her to stop lying, sneaking, and disrespecting you?  Then you need to get control of her.  Take away ALL internet, cell and land line devices.  Give her a list of chores as long as her arm, and tell her this is what she does when you are not home.  Tell her she doesn't leave the house unless you or a responsible adult accompany her. 

Stop letting the boy come to your house.  Tell him, AND HIS PARENTS, that if he comes near your CHILD again, you will call the police and have an order of protection placed against him.  Tell them you are taking your dr to a gyne, and if she had sex, you will press charges of statutory rape.  THEN DO IT. 

Forget the birds and bees.  She needs to hear about sexually transmitted diseases.  She needs a complete gyne exam, and have the GYNE explain STD's.  Get her the HPV vaccination, and put her on Depo, or something that she can't "forget". 

"...among U.S. high school students surveyed in 2013...

  • 46.8% had had sexual intercourse
  • 34.0% had had sexual intercourse during the previous 3 months, and, of these
    • 40.9% did not use a condom the last time they had sex
  • 15.0% had had sex with four or more people during their life

Sexual risk behaviors place adolescents at risk for HIV infection, other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and unintended pregnancy:

  • An estimated 8,300 young people aged 13–24 years in the 40 states reporting to CDC had HIV infection in 2009
  • Young people age 15 to 24 account for 50 percent (10 MILLION PER YEAR) of all new STIs, although they represent just 25 percent of the sexually experienced population.
  • Roughly 75 percent of all reported gonorrhea is found in people age 15 to 29, with the highest infection rates found in teen girls age 15 to 19 and 20 to 24-year-old men
  • The annual number of new infections is HIGHER among teen girls (51 percent) than teen boys (49 percent).
  • More than 400,000 teen girls aged 15–19 years gave birth in 2009


Cervical cancer kills more women every year than any other cancer, and every single case is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). With the current rate of infection, 80% of all people will contract HPV --30% of women during their FIRST sexual encounter.

Bear in mind, that to our shame, the U.S. has the highest rate of STD infection in the industrialized world.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Thu, 06-26-2014 - 12:57am

Welcome to our corner of the village.

Where I come from:  Hubby and I live with our two daughters, their husbands, three grandsons under four years old, via the younger couple. The couples are 21 and 22, and have been married 4 years last march.  We met the boys when they came to pick up our daughters for a junior high Halloween dance when they were in 7th and 8th grades.  They were all seniors in high school, and all six parents were planning the wedding, when the younger couple oopsed on the birth control and were in a family way.  The parents don’t have green teeth and all six have bachelor’s degrees and three have post grad degrees.  Things look good, the couples are ahead of the pack education wise, they each work two days a week, and attend evening classes while the grandparents watch the little brothers, but teen marriages are risky. 

I used to use the term “hanging together” instead of “dating.”  The basic definition of “a date” is a couple doing things together. “Hanging together” is a group of teens doing things together.  Our couples were dating, not hanging together.  Dating leads to coupling up and marriage. Did I mention that teen marriages are risky and yes all six parents worry about those out years. 

My point is that I am on the liberal side of teen romances, which some would call permissive or flat out stupid. 

My observations about your situation and some thoughts:

Four years difference between 12 and 16 is gigantic and dating SHOULD NOT be allowed; most especially one-on-one alone.  Even 16 and 20 is a stretch. 

I’m not even that liberal, permissive, or stupid.

That age gap is a bit strange from the guy’s point of view, but I have known of a few of those types of gaps that worked out later when they were both older.  Maybe he is the right guy at a later time.

If necessary, my guess is that child protective services can chill this romance with a simple conversation with the boy and his parents about the age difference issue.   

Every state has statutory rape laws and as Sabrtooth stated the boy and his parents need to be well advised—WARNED—that this age gap is in the jail bait zone—BIG TIME!  I’ll bet this is true for ages 16 and 12 in only about 50 of the 50 states.  Some of these states, Georgia and Ohio come to mind, have/had laws that put boys over 16, who received oral from a 15 year old, in prison.  If I understand correctly, in our state, boys over 15, who get girls pregnant that are more than two years younger, can be prosecuted. The doctors, hospitals, and abortion clinics are all required to inform child protective services when the girl is pregnant and under 15. And the parents of the child can be compelled to give the name of the boyfriend. 

Trying to explain maturity issues to a teen—most especially to a “twelve-teen”--is a bit like trying to drive a car to Hawaii—impossible.  

This is one of those “because I am the parent and I said so” type situations.

As the old joke put it, “Who’s running the asylum here?”  The parents should be. 

As for enforcing the rules at your home, I don’t know if dad is in the home, if you are a stay at home mom, etcetera. You don’t leave a rule breaking 12 year old at home unattended by an adult and a sibling under 30 is not an adult for this purpose. At the office where I work, we are given flexibility as to when we take lunch.  When necessary for supervision reasons, some parents are allowed to use that flexibility to pick their older kid up at school and the kid is allowed to quietly sit in the lunch room and do homework, play hand held video games, play cards with the other inmates, etcetera, until the parent finishes work. That may or may not be an option for you or her dad.

In my view, phones are a privilege even if she is paying ALL the costs for it.  She broke either the express rules or implied rules for having the phone privilege when she snapped the pictures.  Turn off service to the phone and pay the cancellation fee.  Put the phone in a drawer at work or get a friend or family member to keep it at their home.    I would not sell or give a phone with those kinds of pictures to anybody for fear that even deleted pictures and texts might be undeleted.  At some distant future time, you might restore phone privileges, but only with the understanding that they are privileges and conditioned upon the rules being followed—all household rules, not just the phone rules.

I would also cut off internet services by taking the modem with me to work and password locking the computer, which I personally have no clue how to do.  I would also lock up the digital cameras, I-pod, tablets, book readers as they have cameras and communication capacities and a nearby friend can give her the wireless code to use their internet service and, believe it or not, lots of people leave those unlocked. For us this would be simple as hubby has a gun safe that I don’t even have the combination to and he only opens it once a year when he goes deer hunting. 

If you want her to have emergency phone service, get her an H20wirelessnow.com pay as you go dumb phone that has no camera or internet. A one year contract that comes with 2,000 minutes is $100 per year.  The unused minutes roll over to the next year. I just started my third year and have an account with a $230 balance.  It works on the ATT system coast to coast and ATT phones of all types will work on it. I buy cheap dumb phones on sale for $10 at Fry’s Electronics or Best Buy, they last about eighteen months, and you don’t need insurance on a $10 phone.  If you purchase three phones, as I did, you have the replacement phone when you need it and extra batteries to pop in.

I have been told that some of these phone companies have phones that only dial approved numbers and 911, but I know little about such.  That may be an option you want to pursue. 

And no she cannot go out with friends on the weekend because she broke the rules and lied about it.  Privileges are dependent upon trust.

She is at the right age for you to get control of the asylum.  The older she gets the more difficult it becomes to get control.  

There is a Garth Brooks signature song, Unanswered Prayers, which addresses the “only one for me” issue very well.  You can probably pull it up on youtube and the lyrics by googling it.  It’s the story of a guy who runs into his old high school flame at a hometown game that he prayed for GOD to make his for all time and then looking at his wife realized the blessing of unanswered prayers.

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997

I think it's time to sit down with your dd and talk about rules of the house, and what happens if they're broken.  Do you have an age where you'd be ok with her dating?  (for us it was 16 unless it was in groups that weren't paired off - ds was fine with that as he didn't start dating til about that time)  And ITA with Kimmy that she does not HAVE to have a phone. I know many kids do, but I also agree that it doesn't have to have a camera or texting or data if its main goal is to provide a means to contact you. Have her hand it to you when she gets home.  Set the rules (including age differences for dating) and the punishments for not abiding by them so there are no surprises on either side and stick to them; she's young enough to still need serious guidance, especially just going into the early teens. JMHO.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I think you're just going to have to ignore the drama, crying and "I hate you" that is going to be inevitable for a while.  I don't like dating at 12 even if the boy is 12.  If kids are going on one-on-one dates at 12, there's not much to look forward to when they get older.  I'd at least wait til high school.  Now a 3-4 yr age difference at that age is huge, as you already said.  Even when I went to high school, I remembered thinking that the seniors seemed so old!  When you say they hang out with friends, I wonder--whose friends are they?  I can't imagine the older boy wanting to hang out with "little kids" who have many more restrictions.  If they are his age, then I think there would be a lot of pressure for your DD to act older to keep up with them.  Not that all 15 yr old kids are drinking, smoking & having sex, but I'm sure more kids are doing that at 15 than at 12.  I think she must be a little conflicted about this because otherwise she wouldn't have told you she was lying.

Unfortunately you will have to clamp down now if you want to keep them apart.  I definitely agree with taking away the cell phone--even if you get her one with no camera, it will enable her to talk to the boy when you aren't around.  I remember telling my son about the danger of having nude pics on a phone, even if he was just passing them around, that he could be charged with child pornography--he was pretty surprised about that.  The fact that she would even consider doing this is alarming to me--do you know of many 12 yr old kids who are already thinking about taking racy pics?  I'd think at that age, holding someone's hand would be a big deal and you still have those school dances where all the boys stand on one side and all the girls stand on the other side and they basically do line dancing and stuff where they don't have to touch--I really hope the grinding type dances don't start that early.

Now the big problem is keeping her from doing something stupid.  If you have to put her in camp all day or hire someone to stay with her while you're at work, unfortunately you'll have to do it.  I surely dont' trust leaving her alone in the house all day.  And her social life will be similarly restricted--have her girlfriends come over or she can go to their house if you can trust the parents not to let them out, or they can go somewhere if there is parental supervision.  Like you can drive them to the movies and stay there but not sit with them and follow from a distance--at least then she won't get the idea that she can make a plan to meet up with him.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Thu, 06-26-2014 - 10:25pm

Its great that you are trying to talk logic with her but at 12 she probably isn't really taking it in....so you're getting the "but I love him" stuff. I agree with what the other ladies have told you. I suggest researching the laws regarding minors/sex/statutory rape etc for your area before you call the meeting with the boys parents. If he could be charged with a crime it would probably be a strong incentive for him to want to keep away from her regardless of what she wants. If he doesn't get it hopefully his parents can impress him with the severity.

I also agree that she needs supervision at all times until she grows up some. Is she about to start Jr High? I hate to say it but I think my dd found more trouble in Jr Hi than in HS. Kids that were supervised in afterschool daycare through 6th grade suddenly have hours of freedom and little self control. Kids going to homes where the parents are at work, to drink, do drugs, have sex, etc. Even going to homes where a parent is present, parents have different ideas of what constitutes "supervision" and sometimes its pretty lax, so you need to be careful about that. Your dd has shown you that you cannot trust her, and while she is earning back some trust you need to be vigilant.

As for seeing a doctor, I suggest trying to find a specialist in Adolescent Medicine. They are like internists but they understand the specific issues of teens, lots of emphasis on safe sex and the dangers of drugs etc, and typically can establish rapport with a teen better than a pediatrician (pediatricians often don't do pelvic exams or prescribe birth control).

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000

Hi and welcome to the board. I agree with the others that 12 is too young to be 'dating'. In fact it was when my boys were 9 and 12 that I quit my full time job at a Fortune 100 company to stay home with them. They were getting too old for summer sitters but I didn't wan tthem to have too much time on their hands. How did your dd meet this boy? I'm guessing she's in 6th or 7th grade and he's probably a sophomore in high school? Since at this point your dd can't be trusted to make mature decisions (as most kids can't at age 12) you'll have to be the 'bad guy' and make sure she's supervised at all times. It's probably a bit late to sign her up for day camps. If you work outside the home you might need to arrange for a sitter to come in or perhaps there's a young mom in the neighborhood that could use a 'mothers helper'. I'm sure she'll rant and rave and claim to hate you; welcome to the world of teens - you'll hear that a lot over the years. Just as she'll likely be 'in love' many more times over the next years. Hang in there, let her rant, by sympathetic but stand firm. If it's meant to be they'll find each other in 5 or 6 years when the age difference isn't quite as much of an issue. Keep us posted!

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Sun, 06-29-2014 - 10:09am

Obviously, you know this is a bad idea. The question is really how to handle it. I wanted to suggest that you NOT dismiss her feelings. This doesn't mean you let her date... it just means you accept she feels that she is in love and saying things like "you are too young" and "you don't know what love is" will not help your cause. However, she's 12. He's 15. It's inappropriate for them to be together at this time. 

If she's doing questionable things with her phone, take it away. She'll be angry but she'll be safer and less likely to make a young mistake that could follow her around for years (like sending a provocative photo to an older boy who likes to share with the world. I had to take my DD's phone away at nights when she was 14 because she couldn't control her late night texting. She was upset at first but man, a few weeks of actual SLEEP at night not to mention a few weeks off of the depressing friends who just wanted to suck her dry of compassion made her a really different person!

How much supervision is she getting? Does she come home alone after school? Does she have interest based activities? Sports, theatre, art, music, charity work, ect? If not, it might be time for her to connect with some different sorts of people and have something productive to do with her time outside of school. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-2012

omg, silverhawser, I just went through this exact thing with my own dd, and let me tell you something, you need to put a complete stop to this ASAP. Ground her, take away the cell phone, whatever it takes. You put a middle school girl with a high school boy and you think they are not going to experiment? You already said they were 'touchy-feely' with each other, and that is just what you HEARD. 'Touchy-feely' quickly leads to something more with all those hormones racing, and if you are not firm about this it can lead to something really BAD, like it did with my dd, although it could have been much worse.

In my case, it was almost the exact same circumstances, age difference and birthdates, the only difference is that they were both a year younger, so don't think it can't happen to you. My dd just turned 11 last month and will be starting middle school this fall (6th grade), and the boy who was the 'love of her life' is 14 going on 15 in October and will be starting high school this fall (9th grade). I probably wouldn't have allowed it from the beginning, but they seemed to be much closer in age. He is very small physically and acts immature, I thought he was like 12. When I found out he was going on 15 and starting high school already I was like 'omg!!!'. dd was still 10 at that time! But he seemed so nice and by that time she was completely obsessed with him, so I allowed it --- but only with very strict rules. And his mother felt the same way. No 'making out', petting, etc, with as much supervision as possible. But surely you can see how unrealistic this is. I would keep coming home from work and catching them in the hot tub making out, with my dd in her underwear, which I'm sure she did intentionally so that once she got wet she might as well be naked. I drained the hot tub but of course with me having to work eventually one thing led to another, and we found out that she was giving him hand jobs and oral sex. Of course, that ended the two of them being allow to see each other, but just think what could have happened?

And don't think that your dd is the only one in danger in this kind of inappropriate relationship. Even though I liked this boy and he seems nice, the police decided to charge this boy in spite of my wishes and he is in BIG trouble with the law. Over 3 years age difference is statutory rape even if it is not actual intercourse in my state, yours may be different. But like your dd mine sexted him a bunch of pics from her phone, and he also got charged with that because he had possession of them. And she wasn't even naked, she was in underwear and a thong bikini, but nothing actually showing. And they are charging him as an ADULT (I don't know how they can do that) so he could be locked up for a long time and will probably be labeled as a sex offender for LIFE.

So, please, please, do what is best for both your dd AND this boy and stop it, completely and immediately!

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

Late to the party, but wanted to chime in.  

"What am I going to do?" you ask.  I am not going to repeat everything everyone has already shared.  Just going to throw out some food for thought.

I think ultimately we have to follow our gut as parents.  It is so hard to know sometimes where that line is.  It is unfortunate that the law focuses so much on age, (like something magically happens to your common sense and maturity on your 16th or 18th birthday) but it is just how it is.  

Point being, I get how in the beginning it didn't seem like a big deal.  The last posters story is really unfortunate.  

I will be very honest here.  Forbiding can often push the kids out or right into the arms of the boy.  Yes, even at 12.  

Which brings me back to following your gut.  

Clearly you have some common sense and can see this isn't a good idea.  But I also know that nurture only gets you so far and you can't always fight nature.  

I am not saying I necessarily disagree with the other posters, I just wanted to throw out some perspective and hope you are not beating yourself up over this.  

I had amazing parents, but I still found a way to drink, do drugs, see boys, etc.  And I had a stay-at-home mom and my parents did not drink, smoke, or do any kind of drugs.  And this was before computers and cell phones.  

(((((((hugs))))))) and take care.  I hope we get to hear an update.

Serenity CL making a marriage work 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Wed, 07-02-2014 - 12:24am

Dear Silverhawkser, Barbweston38, and any other regulars or lurkers with young teens and below,

On the news was the story of some researcher that showed that young girls who sext are more likely to become sexually active earlier.  Well Duh, to me that is a no brainer. Girls with boys in their head often get with them in bed.  And I would guess earlier than their friends do.    

Restating what Sabrtooth said above, two things which every child, both boys and girls, should get or have before they become sexually active are:

  • Hepatitis B shot

  • The Gardasil series of three shots for HPV, which leads to Cervical Cancer (Guys also so that they don’t infect their future wives and unintentionally kill them.)

This should be done at like ten-teen, eleven-teen or twelve-teen before they become active.  Pediatricians generally do these or if money is short call around as many public health agencies do it on a sliding scale.  Your child’s life may depend upon it.  For those who think it might encourage sex, it won’t!   No kid thinks about such when they decide to have sex.  

Also, if your daughter needs to be on birth control for pregnancy protection—JUST DO IT!  As Rose, who used to post here, put it to a parent who did not want to put her daughter on birth control (BC),  “There is something worse that having a 15 year old daughter on BC and that is having a pregnant 15 year old.”  Abortion is NOT a good choice as an alternative to preventing it with BC.  Also, select a birth control that the kid is not so likely to screw up on by forgetting the pill or the nuva ring coming out and being found several days later in the laundry.  (The user is supposed to do a daily check to make sure the nuva ring has not slipped out.)

Our daughters needed the pill for period regulation at about 12, and the pediatrician recommended that it was time for the girls to go to an OBgyn, so I took them to mine, a female, who, along with her assistant, has been a wonderful friend to all of us. The grandsons go to that pediatrician.  The girls did check with Planned Parenthood when they decided to have sex to make sure they were taking it correctly for that purpose, but after upgrading youngest couple gave us our “lost in the sheets nuva ring grandson.”

Even before the SILs came into our lives, I always made sure I knew the parents of the kids that ours played with around the neighborhood and school.  So doing that with the guys parents was natural and they were doing the same looking back at us.  I think when you discuss things with the boy’s parents that will resolve much of the problem as they don’t want trouble for their son.