Do the parents of my son's girlfriend like him "too much"?

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Registered: 12-31-1969
Do the parents of my son's girlfriend like him "too much"?
Tue, 09-18-2012 - 5:08pm


I am the mum of a 14 year old boy and I have some concerns about how his relationship with his first serious girlfriend is developing. Or rather, my main concern is with the girlfriends parents.

My son Pete met this girl Kate, while they were on a summer rec league swim team together though they go to the same school and must have known each other prior to this summer. Anyhow, they quickly decided to try and make a go of some kind of relationship. Pete has had crushes before and the occasional girl mooning over him but never anything serious.

I am still not really happy that Pete decided to have a girlfriend, I would much rather he didn't while still in school but my husband tells me that would be unrealistic. 

Anyhow, we got to know Kate reasonably well over the summer, nice kid, very bright, quite beautiful, superb athlete. Really can't dislike her, much as I want to.

Her parents on the other hand seem to like our son as much as Kate herself does. They also first met him when Kate introduced him to them and never appeared to have anything but approval of the relationship and affection for our son.

I am almost creeped out by it.

They have continued to invite him to dinner and on family outings, hikes, kayaking, etc. Originally I thought they were just trying to get to know him but this has been going on for months and there seems to be nothing they don't want to include him in.

We haven't included Kate in anything and we're not going to. I made it clear to her that I do not approve of my son having a girlfriend and I will only tolerate her as long as she behaves herself and doesn't push too far.

Again, I can't really say anything bad about Kate's family, they're really outgoing, respected in the community, involved as parents. Kate has two younger sisters who are both sweet and well mannered. The dad, especially likes Pete and seems to just love introducing Pete to people as Kate's boyfriend.

Aren't parents of pretty girls supposed to drive off the first real boyfriend of their oldest daughter, or at least scare the living hell out of him, rather then embrace him and practically make him a member of their own family.

Now they are asking to have Pete join them on a four day vacation at a lake house owned by Kate's grandparents. I am drawing the line at that, not the least because they were unclear or not terribly fussed about what the sleeping arrangements might be.

I am not sure what they are thinking but I sure as heck am not going to allow any possibility of my son sleeping with their daughter even if they might think it ok.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

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

<<<Most will introduce several dates to their parents before things ever get serious. >>>   Bingo!  When one of my dds once asked Dh why he didn't seem to "like" her current bf, Dh said, "I've learned not to.  You change them more often than your clothes."  This girl's parents will learn this lesson also.

<<<Get concerned when she introduces you as “my finances parents” or “these are the parents of the boy I hope to marry.”>>> Or when she introduces them as "baby-daddy's parents"  I am NOT joking.

<<<Why do I feel these people are trying to steal my son?>>>  And finally, Bingo twice.  When I read this in the earlier post, I thought "THAT'S what this is ALL about."  She's gotta get over it.

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

<<<If Kate dumps him tomorrow, it will break his heart.>>>  Yes, it will.  And he'll get it broken more times than you can count, over the years, from one reason or another.  When my dd's (now) ex-husband came home from Iraq with PTSD, alcoholism and no desire to make his marriage work anymore, dd called one day and said, "Daddy, make him love me again!' 

So not only will our children get broken hearts, but WE will, too.  That's why we have to rise above it, and tell our kids that life isn't fair sometimes, and that bad things do happen to good people, but you can't let it make you bitter, or prevent you from moving on.    BTW, that dd now has a beautiful dd of her own.  And altho her current relationship is far from perfect, she has learned that she will survive, and that "it is far better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all".

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

It's good that your son can talk to his dad because you (or someone) has to give kids more advice than "don't."  when my son was dating this girl (I would have felt a little better if I had known she was on b/c) that I was not that fond of, we had many discussions about why not having sex would be a good idea.  At that time, the show The Secret Life of the American Teenager was just coming on so that was a good starting point since it involved a 15 yr old pregnant girl.  The show was stupid and unrealistic but anyway, I told him that if the girl did get pregnant, it was all up to her to decide whether to keep the baby, give it up for adoption or have an abortion--he'd have no say in the matter.  I told him that if she did have the baby that he would be the one responsible for paying child support--not me and that maybe he wouldnt' be able to go away to college.  I also told him that since I am no where near close to retirement to forget about me quitting work to take care of the baby or to be a regular babysitter--they would have to figure that out.  I don't know if that stopped him or it sank in, but luckily we are able to talk about everything, no matter how embarrassing.  His father was more of the type that would advise him about how to get girls to go on dates. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009

There is nothing in life that prepares a parent for the death of a child.  I cannot even imagine the pain of such a loss.   I don’t think there are words that I or anybody else could come up with that could comfort you and your hubby.   

There is a signature song by Garth Brooks titled THANK GOD FOR UNANSWERED PRAYERS.  It is the story of a guy who runs into his high school flame at a local football game.  They try to talk about the old days, she doesn’t seem to be the angel he remembered, and it was clear that he had lost stature in her eyes, but he couldn’t help but remember how he had prayed that she would be the one for all time.  They really didn’t have much to talk about.  And looking at his wife, he couldn’t help but THANK GOD FOR UNANSWERED PRAYERS.  When the MAN upstairs doesn't answer that doesn't mean HE doesn't care.  That is pretty reflective of most high school romances.   

It may be puppy love, but it is very real to the puppies.  Sabrtooth was spot on about the pains we feel when our little puppy is hurting.

I cried alone for several nights after discovering the kids were SA.  Hubby and I cried together for a few more when he came home from a business trip and I brought him up to speed.  A large part of it was because we were both promiscuous high school and college students who met in college.  And we came into our marriage with a stack of baggage larger than all the baggage on a fully loaded Boeing 747.  It took about ten years to work our way through most of that and we still have some scars that will be with us to the end of life.   Among a lot of things we cried and worried about is that the girls would follow our path and become bed hoppers.  They did not.

The girls were both on birth control to regulate periods, but when we talked to the OBgyn about it after the discovery, she explained that in the “real world” the annual failure rate for pills is about 10%.  That is something that Kate, Pete and both sets of parents need to understand.  Musiclover did a good job of explaining to her son what a pregnancy would mean.   We knew that our girls and the guys are tender bears and could never abort, so we had lots of time to somewhat get ready.  But, when it happens it does kind of suck the air out of your lungs, so to speak.  LOL

We had upgraded to the NUVA RING when youngest daughter got careless about doing the yucky task of checking it daily.  She found the darn thing it in a load of sheets, which meant she was not protected and about 20% of unprotected women get pregnant every month.  She was among the lucky 20% that month.  Hubby was somewhat philosophical when he said, “Who would have thunk anything could possibly  go wrong with something as complicated as birth control in the hands of two hapless witless teens?”  LOL

Kate’s parents are probably NOT putting Kate on the pill to get her ready to have sex, but rather fear having wished they had.  As Rose, who posts here, well said a few months ago, there is something worse than a 15 year old on birth control and that is a pregnant 15 year old. 

Lots of people think, hubby and I carry extra weight with this situation.  We don’t.  All three sets of parents contribute what we would if they were still single, three of the kids work part time, youngest DD just sits at home and does nothing (LOL), each couple has their own separate areas to retreat into, as hubby and I also have, they go to classes four evenings a week, fall, spring, and summer, and we have the pleasure of watching the grandsons four evenings a week. What else do we have to do.?  Right?  LOL   We feel blessed and we are blessed. 

I encourage you to join your hubby in facing the situation as it is and being a part of everything.  You may be able to get a few points through to Pete that dad can’t. And you may be able to get a few points through to Kate and to her parents—especially her mother—that dad can’t. 

And I can tell you this; the delivery room sends you home with the most fabulous parting gift.  LOL  I can also tell you that you will fall in love with the little stranger long before you know the sex or see the face.  They are truly gifts from GOD. 

All the best to you and yours,




iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Oh Meg, I'm so sorry. I can't imagine a pain worse than losing a child. I can't imagine even being able to go on. Sounds like you and your dh are doing a fine job with Pete and that he's growing into a fine young man.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I'd like to add my condolences.  I have a close friend whose 15 yr old DD died in a car accident a year ago.  their older DD was injured but recovered.  They also have 2 more children but having 3 surviving children doesn't take away the pain of the DD they lost.  I see how hard it is for her, so I can't imagine that x2.  You will never "lose" your son even when he does get married--you'll gain extra family members. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2009
I agree not to encourage but also do not forbid seeing each other. It's a fine line during the teen years. If your family outings can be limited to only family it would help limit their BF/GF time.
I would hope they both have extra curricular to keep their social circle big.
Avatar for coldfingers
Community Leader
Registered: 04-30-2000

First I would like to say, how sorry I am about your two sons... I can't imagine.

I am the mother of a daughter. She is my only child. She is 21 now, so I have btdt. The philosophy that my husband and I had at that age was, we can't stop her from having sex, but we don't have to make it 'easy'. lol I think Kate's parents may be going on the idea, that if they are together at family things, there is less time for intimacy.

At that age, we often had dd's bf with us... Thankfully they were nice kids, at the time, and good parents. Getting to know the boys "helped". Getting to know the parents "helped'' too. I did say no to her going with bf on a vacation... She was not happy with me because bf's cousin's bf was going and ALWAYS went. I think it would have been 'ok', with 2 sets of parents there, but I was not ready for that. Remember, if they are in the back seat of your car, you can keep an eye on them. If they are sitting across the table from you, you can keep an eye on them. They feel good, spending time together and you can know what they are doing....  Our rule was NO boys in dd's bedroom. You could/should have that policy with your ds. Even when she got older, if they were in her room... door was open!!!!

I agree with the others, the thing that probably attracted him to her was not being pushy. And it sounds as if you have raised a good kid who is polite, etc, why wouldn't her parents like him? I don't think anyone will tell you this stuff is not hard.... but as parents, we have to go through it too.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009

WOW, one would be unbearable enough, but two . . . can’t even find the words for such. Add to that the death of the in-laws.  All of this would be every parent’s greatest nightmare. 

You showed great kindness in your response to their question.  Obviously, as you realized, their comment was well meant. 

There’s nothing wrong with being extra careful with what happens to your son.  And in doing so you’re also looking out for Kate.

I have a feeling that Kate’s parents are trying to chaperone the two lovebirds without them knowing that’s what is happening.    Not a bad plan, but it does have limitations on how long it will work.

Teens are like snowflakes in that they are all different.   It takes some trial and error in finding what will work with yours. 

Tomorrow or Monday evening, I’ll try to drop a few thoughts on things to include in your conversations with the young couple.  Things designed to make them think long range, rather than short range, which teens tend to do, etcetera. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009

I think you’re moving in the right direction by going to activities with Kate’s family.  You learn a lot by being with them and you are in a better position to work with her parents to help keep your kids moving in the right direction. 

A line of questions that you might want to casually ask Kate’s mother in conversation is, “Where did you and your hubby meet and how long did you date?”  You may find out that they were high school sweethearts or each other’s first love in freshman year of college. Or they met on a blind date set up by friends long after college. It’s always interesting and it’s a great ice breaker as well. 

And I would suggest sharing your loss with her also.  I’m certain that Pete, as well as you and Hubby, will always be affected by that loss.  It must still be devastating and always will be for all of you.  That information can help them to understand many things about Pete and his parents.  And in the process you will probably learn that they also have had some heartbreaks of a lesser degree. 

I have always thought that a marriage is the merging of two families.  It may not be necessary to have good relations between the in-laws, but it is a big plus for the couple and the grandkids.

As you have time to talk with Pete and Kate, you might ask things like:  Where are you planning to go to college?  What do you plan to study?  Where do you see yourselves a year from now, five years from now, ten years from now,  and twenty years from now?  This gets them to thinking longer than the next few months.  For a teen, five years is forever away, for us “old folks” it is day after tomorrow.  You’re already thinking about how to pay for college. 

If things continue for another year or so, you can ask questions like, what are you two  going to do during the year before Pete graduates? 

Some kids clam up and you can’t discuss things with them, but it sounds like Pete will talk to his parents. Let him know what you let us know that Kate is a good kid, the type you would like him to hang with and when the time is right marry.  By the way son, the right time is not next June.  LOL

As you have opportunity to talk with your son, you might talk to him about the difference between lust and love.  They look very much alike and are often found together, somewhat like gold and fool’s gold often being found together.  One is valuable while the other is comparatively worthless.  When reaching for the gold, you want to be careful about not picking up the fool’s gold.  Likewise with reaching for love, you don’t want to mistake lust for love.  Love is about giving, whereas lust is about getting.

Son, you want to be sure that you develop the right relationship with Kate and that takes time.  We want you to have a love relationship, not a lust relationship.  Does that make sense?

Son, most high school romances are very fragile and don’t go the distance.  We don’t want you two kids to do something that could have long term consequences that are not good for either of you.  When you become intimate with someone and then break up, you have given parts of your heart away that are very difficult to get back and can have long term consequences that are not good for you or her.  The loss of those parts of your heart makes breaking up extremely painful and moving on difficult.   Does that make sense?

Son it is important that you don’t inflict that type of pain on Kate or any other young lady.  When Kate’s dad gave you permission to court his daughter as you requested, you made a commitment to him to not use his daughter or hurt her in any way. 

The comment by Kate’s dad hoping Pete is a “keeper” spoke volumes about your son in their opinion. 

One of many good things you have going for you is the friends your son is picking; friends not using drugs and kids progressing in their schooling.  As Musiclover pointed out a few days ago on a different thread, the kids your kid hangs with are reflective of whom your child is. Be grateful because many parents are not so blessed.   

My sister and I have cousins with kids strung out on drugs like crystal meth that is called ICE on the street.  Their friends do likewise.  Sister and I are so thankful that our kids still think of ICE as something that floats in a soft drink from Costco or 7-11. 

All the best to a blessed future for you, hubby, Pete, and his future wife--Kate or some other lovely girl.  May they bless you with many grandchildren!