Young love: Is your daughter's boyfriend a keeper, or not?

Red Flags:
• He doesn't treat your daughter with respect (for example: You find her crying because he's stood her up for a date or doesn't make time for her).
• He clearly has serious problems with drugs, temper or intellect.
• He has an almost Svengali-like hold over your daughter -- that is, she mouths his words, has little interest in her schoolwork or friends, etc.
• He is sexually pressuring her.
• The longer she knows him, the less confident or self-assured she appears.
• She has suspicious bruises.

You know the bloom is off the rose when ... she appears less interested in spending time with her boyfriend, speaks less about him and starts talking about the cuteness of other boys at school.

If you feel it's time she calls it quits you can't order her to do so. Remember poor Juliet. But you can say how much you love her and hate to see her unhappy. Gently but firmly point out the reasons for your disapproval of the relationship. Again, bring up examples from your past so she'll know you're now a woman but were once a girl. If you approach her with gentleness, understanding and love, she's likely to respond.


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