My son is 24 yrs old and he’s been dating this girl who has a kid. I don’t like it, but I tolerate it because I don’t want conflict. His father doesn’t say much, so it leaves me looking like the bad guy when I do make remarks. I want my son to concentrate on his future being he recently graduated from college. I just think he’s too young to be dating someone with a kid. How do I tell him how I feel, and make it clear to him that he doesn’t need to be dating anyone with a kid?
A meddling mama is the worst thing to a boy. Although they will appreciate later in life. You have to tread lightly, because it can easily and ultimately become a reputation he’ll carry with him, without even being aware. Boys aren’t really into their mothers meddling in their dating lives. It also has this way of sending the wrong signal to the female too. Which can be a good thing if you want her to disappear, but then he may resent you for it. Especially if it becomes repeated behavior. You can come off overbearing and make him look like a “mama’s boy,” even if you’re just looking out for his best interest.
One thing I know to be true about being a parent is: when and what battles you choose to pick. Picking the right battle to fight later, might help you win the overall battle you wish to win now. Remember, he’s young so this can be puppy love, or simply a phase with a girl that might pass. What’s most important is just how vocal and stern you are about the matter?! Expressing your dislike too much might cause him to enter the forbidding fruit mentality. You know, only dating her because you don’t like it. You know how it was when you were young. Whatever your parents said stay away from, you run towards that thing full speed. He might date her out of spite to prove to you that he’s grown and capable of making his own decisions.
Far as handling the overall discussion. You and his father need to chat first and come to a common ground before addressing the matter to your son. Agree to address it together, and that it can’t just be you doing all the talking. You all have to evenly distribute the questions. This way you won’t come off as the bad guy. Remember, this is your adult child you’re talking to and you want him to feel comfortable. You don’t want this to go bad, and alter future conversations, whereas he won’t feel comfortable sharing parts of his life with you. I’d suggest beginning with how proud you are of his recent accomplishments, then proceed to how important the two of you think it is for him to concentrate on his next move professional wise. That’s to cushion the blow of the overall intended conversation. Am I to assume he lives at home? Because, if not, then how do you know the severity of the relationship between them two? So, stress how he’ll need to fend for himself soon, so having fun is good in all, but his career is most important. Now, remember you’re dealing with the male ego, which is fragile. So, pick your questions wisely. Don’t let it sound as if it’s an attack or interrogation.
I have a little rule that I live by, and encourage others too as well. I feel that no one under the age 31 that doesn’t have any children, should date anyone with a child. Once a person reaches age 31 their dating pool changes, forcing them to alter their dating options. I.E., someone with a child. Another reason why age 31. Mental wise. We like to think by that age one has lived a little, and have more knowledge of who they are and what they want. They should know if they’re mentally and emotionally equipped to handle being a step-anything. Hell, most people have an issue with turning age 30. I’m also a fond believer of the “an exception to the rule” notion too. I would go further into details, but that’s a topic for another day.
Understand the times we’re living in. Is it perhaps hard for your son to find a young girl his age childless? You’ll see a young girl with a child before her ID reads “over 21.” Not too many believe in waiting anymore. He may be dating her, because her having a child implies she’s sexual active. This just may be something you’re going to have to get used to.
It really all comes down to how active your son is in this child’s life? Is the child’s father involved? Is he not? Is she expecting your son to fill in the absentee gap? You may or may not be putting the cart before the horse. Your son may know what he’s doing here. This can become a series of conversations you have with your son. It’s great for keeping a line of communication open at his age too. But while he continues to date her, you and your husband need to reinforce new house rules. Starting with NO sleepovers! It’s ironic how many parents allow their adult children to have sleepovers. Give him a freshening up course on birth control if necessary. Safe sex is the best sex! Some may chuckle and find it invasive, but there’s no laughing matter in the rate of new STD and HIV cases in America.
Your son is 24, ultimately, it’s his decision who he wishes to date. And don’t force him into a corner where he has to choose between you or her. You just might get your feelings hurt. Remember, he’s young with an impressionable mind, and she’s able to give him something that you can’t!
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#AskB: My Ex is Engaged, But She Keeps Calling Me