Am I being "the overprotective mom"?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Am I being "the overprotective mom"?
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 2:35am
I have frequented a local market for the past few years. Over the past year, my 13 y/o DD has developed a crush on one of the cashiers. He's WAY too old for her - in his early 20's, but I know that its normal for a young girl to have a crush on someone older (as long as its only a crush from afar).

Now, about 6 weeks ago, we went to the market and one of the female cashiers who rang us up, told us, "I have something to tell you" and went on to explain that this boy was smitten with my DD. She had told him herself that DD was only in 8th grade because she knew this from when DD came in a few times with her school uniform on. He refused to believe her. I, very emphatically, said that she was 13 going on 14 and perhaps she could communicate this to him. She said she'd "try", but was hesitant because she wasn't supposed to tell us about his smitten condition.

Anyway, to make a long story a bit shorter: A few weeks ago, DD and I went there when she had a cast on her leg. I have avoided his line ever since I found this out, but he saw us in another line, went to another cashier and bought her a bouquet of flowers and then walked over and gave it to her as a get well gift. As I was getting my groceries rung up, she walked back over to him, crutches and all, to thank him and she told me when we left that he had hugged her around the shoulders with one arm. I didn't see this because I was writing my check out.

I told her that we could not go back to that market because I felt this had gone too far. She fussed about it for awhile, but I am adamant. I won't even go there myself now because I just don't want to encounter him.

What do you guys think?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-26-1999
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 3:14am
Hi Mary! I've been mostly lurking here these days, but I do have an opinion on this one. Personally, I'd do the opposite of what you're suggesting...I would make a point of going to the store with your dd, finding this young man, and telling him yourself that the girl he's been eyeing is "my daughter" and basically "jail bait" to him! I doubt you'll have to do anything more, nor will you have to worry about any further advances from the guy.

A few years ago, dh and I took our kids and our foreign exchange student at that time to Mexico. I was sitting on the beach with the 2 older girls, both 16, while my younger one (11) and dh were playing in the water. We were approached by a couple of young men, probably in their early 20's, who invited ALL 3 of us (!) to their room for a party. I, of course, basked in the flattery, LOL! But you should have seen their faces when my 11 year old bounded back to the blanket. "Is this your daughter?"..."yup!"..."Uh - so these are your daughters too?"..."yup!" They were gone before I could blink!

Instead of avoiding this young man, I'd come right out and tell him like it is. You may embarrass your dd, but I'll bet that will put a stop to the flirting! She may get mad at you, but she'll get over it!

                        Calmama54, from the beautiful

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2003
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 11:52am
Hmmm... If you really want to keep going to that market, perhaps going alone and having a quick chat with the boy/man in question might be a thought. Perhaps if you tell him that she is, indeed, only 14 and that his interest in her concerns you, he will back off and you can go back to going to the market and even start bringing dd again.

I had a similar incident occur with my then 13 yo a few months back. My exh (actually his wife, but DON'T get me started on that!) blew hot at this guy, and by the time the dust settled, my dd was totally humiliated and problems with a friend's mother still exist to this day. (See my post about getting involved in girl fights!)


dd 16 yo

dd 14 yo

ds 13 months

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-26-1999
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 2:50pm
Good idea! I think, being late at night, and my mama bear instincts kicking in, I came across a little strong, LOL! But I agree with you - Mom can go alone, casually mention that the object of his affections and flowers is still in middle school and barely 14, and I'll bet that'll nip it in the bud!

Boy, we sure do get protective of our girls! :o)

I guess the answer to "Am I being the overprotective mom?" has to be a big NO!

                        Calmama54, from the beautiful

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 2:52pm
I agree with calmama on this one. I'd confront the boy, either with or without your dd present and tell him like it is. If you like that store there is no reason you should go elsewhere. I'm sure once he knows you are on to him he'll cool it.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 3:30pm

Hmm... "smitten"? It's entirely possible that he just thinks she's a "cute kid". I don't see why any guy would be interested in a 13 y/o, let alone one in his early 20's. Some of my mom's coworkers (in their early-mid 20's) have given me hugs when I was 10-15, if I was having a bad day. Not to undermine your perception of the situation, but it's probably best if you don't take a huge attitude with this young man. Please try being non-confrontational, as all he really did was give your injured daughter flowers and a hug (that sounds to me like he deliberately tried NOT to touch her in a sexual manner), as well as possibly saying something along the lines of "I just adore that girl." (Which sounds odd, but not *too* threatening.) Again, only you know how he acts around your daughter (I assume) and your judgement is best, HOWEVER, keep in mind that you shop at this place, you could cost an innocent young man his job, in an attempt to shield your daughter from older men. (Now THATS a whole 'nother issue I'm an expert on.)

Take care, Jen
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 3:53pm
Mary, I agree with the other posts that you should say something to the young man. You can keep it very light like "that was so sweet of you to give my dd those flowers. She was so flattered and surprised--and so was I. I wonder if you realize that she is only 13, not even in HS yet?" or something like that. Hopefully you can say it without too much embarrassment for either him or you. Try not to be mad at him--he thinks your dd is lovely and probably thinks she is older. And he may be just "looking" with no intention of ever "touching", so in his mind it is all innocent and he doesn't realize how his attentions seem to a young girl or especially to a parent. If he doesn't take the hint, come back and we'll advise you on the next step!

All I can say is get used to this stuff and develop your stategy. When you have a pretty dd, especially if she looks or acts older than her years, you are going to have older guys looking at her and sometimes hitting on her. She may even encourage it. Keep talking to her about the pitfalls of older guys.

I think I posted this story last summer, maybe is a lot more extreme than your situation but you might find it interesting. My dd and her best friend (both 16 then) met a "cute indie boy" who worked in a trendy shop downtown. They exchanged phone numbers, and she told me that they wanted to hang out together. She said he was 19 or 20. Privately I balked at the age difference but told her that, as usual, he would need to first hang out at our house where dh and I could meet him.(I figured/hoped that a 19yo wouldn't want to do that.) Instead the 2 girls sneaked to his apartment for an evening--oh, and it turned out he was 23!!

I ended up calling him at his job and making sure that he knew the CA laws pertaining to minors and contributing to delinquency and stat rape, and why would someone his age want to hang with 16yo's? (he said they told him they were 17--big difference!). Stay away from these girls!!! By the end of the conversation he was no longer defending his actions, instead he was trying to assure me that he wouldn't talk to them again and he was sorry that he ever had! (How we dealt with dd is another post!)

I don't think any of them got together with the intention of getting involved physically or emotionally, and they didn't as far as I know, but as adults we know how easily things can progress or change or get out of hand. We really tried to stress that to dd--the girls put themselves into potential danger. BTW, dd told me that she ran into him somewhere a few months ago and he said that I had really scared him with my phone call. I think he told her something like they couldn't be friends until she is 18!!

I hope that YOU never have to deal with anything like this. And good luck with the guy at the market!