I do not like my daughter's boyfriend

He is a dunce and his hair is greasy; she dresses vulgarly and has no conversation: how could my child fall in love?

Anne Lanchon

Parents often criticize the choices of their teenagers for various reasons: scratched narcissism (the mirror child or child investment should never disappoint), worries about the influence that the another will exercise on him (school results, look, associates) ... "The case is complicated if the teen, in conflict with his parents, chooses - unconsciously or not - the person most likely to displease them, says the child psychiatrist Daniel Marcelli: By setting his sights on someone who is opposed to their values, he marks his difference and asserts himself, thus showing that he is leaving the sphere of family influence, annoying, but rather healthy, unless he locks itself up in a system of opposition that can serve it in the long term. "

In any case, it is no coincidence that parental criticism is expressed at the moment when the adolescent begins his love life and sexual. This entry marks an essential step towards the separation and prefigures his departure. What some parents are not ready to accept, for many reasons: they may be apprehensive about the future loneliness of their couple, feel jealousy or nostalgia for these juvenile emotions ... "Whatever it is, the Boyfriend represents - symbolically - a potential danger, Daniel Marcelli explains, "It sends parents back to the fragility of their own love life, and being aware of what is going on makes them more objective, less anxious and therefore less negative."

If it is inappropriate to immediately adopt the boyfriend or girlfriend as a new member of the family - the emotional and sexual life of a teenager must remain far from parental control - it is detrimental to make your child feel that his choices are disappointing. You can express your feelings if he wishes, but with delicacy and without criticizing the chosen person, which would amount to disavowing him.

"You can also send him some warnings if you feel that his love life is too much of an impact on his school or family life, or that he is in danger (the boyfriend is a drug addict or delinquent), says the specialist. on the other hand, he does not ask for anything, do not make an opinion and respect his choice until the next ... "

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