A parent’s guide to dealing with your child’s first boyfriend or girlfriend

Posted on April 25, 2012



My intentions for your daughter


Welcome to this edition of WTF Wednesday, where the advice flows unhindered by voice of reason and sensibility.

This week’s question comes from Sarah Minor  via Facebook. Sarah writes,
Dear IBMP,

How do you deal with a first girlfriend/boyfriend and are your techniques for dealing with them different if you have a boy or a girl?

It’s a big step: You’ve finally allowed your pubescent child to leave the safety of your home long enough to actually meet other kids.

It was OK for a while, but suddenly they’ve started doing things that are totally uncharacteristic, like showering.  You only seem to gain access to the phone during the hours when school’s in session. Your son actually wants to go shopping. Clearly, your son or daughter’s cognitive functions have moved southward to the groin; they have a boyfriend or girlfriend.

It’s not so much whether you have a boy or a girl; it’s whether you’re the mom or the dad. Moms and dads each have a role to play in ensuring this goes smoothly, so we’ll look at them one at a time.

You’re the dad and your daughter now has a boyfriend

I only have a son and he’s eleven, so I’m totally qualified to talk about what to do when your teen daughter comes home with her first boyfriend.

Your job is to scare the crap out of the boy. If your daughter is under, say, 30, the purpose is to ensure the boyfriend runs away screaming before he has a chance to lay a hand on your daughter. Nobody touches your little girl, period. In this way, your daughter, while sad and lonely, remains free from character-building relationships until she’s old enough to settle for a really nice guy.

There are exceptions. On occasion, your daughter will bring home a specific type of boy: despite how obvious it is to everyone else, the only two who don’t realize he’s gay are your daughter and the boy himself. Encourage these relationships when you find them.

You’re the mom and your daughter now has a boyfriend

This would be a good time for you to describe to your daughter that her purpose at this point in her life is to be the conduit through which you re-experience high school.

Your job is to take this opportunity to bond with your moody pubescent teen, or even have a decent conversation (which hasn’t happened since the hormones kicked in). You know how you want to be her BFF but for some reason, she prefers her BFFs to be younger and, well not you? This may be your chance, but don’t bet on it. You pretty much blew that chance when you asked her to describe what it was like to kiss him for the first time.

You’re the dad and your son now has a girlfriend

This, of course, would be my category. My son’s role is to allow me to re-experience high school–only this time actually get it right. Just having a girlfriend or boyfriend before the age of 30 would be a terrific start. I would take the opportunity to bond over stories from my wild days but I’d have to make them all up. So rather than look like a total dork, I’ll just resort to high-fives and winks with “She’s hot” elbow jabs.

You’re the mom and your son has a girlfriend

Your job is to tell your son’s dad to quit encouraging him and to point out that you were actually there in high school and could tell the stories the way they really happened.

And when your child is gay:

You’re the dad and your daughter has a girlfriend

The idea that you can bond with your daughter by talking about how you used to have sex with girls too is not recommended.   Your job is to deal with your male friends when your daughter and her hot girlfriend are at the house. When you see their imaginations firing up and their minds wandering, you must immediately remind them that’s your daughter by kicking them squarely in the groin. You may need to repeat this a few times before they’ll begin to associate hot lesbians with severe pain in the groin rather than arousal.

You’re the mom and your daughter has a girlfriend

Just know, they could still adopt or do some kind of insemination. Bringing up the, “Damn, I always wanted grandkids,” thing is not going to guilt her into going straight anyway.  Your job is to make sure dad does his job really well.

You’re the dad and your son has a boyfriend

Your response to this will depend on a few things. Look around the house: is there a Hummer in the driveway? Is your gun collection more prominently placed than your wedding pictures? And did you walk out of Brokeback Mountain because it made you feel weirdly uncomfortable? Then your role is to try and fix this mistake your son is making while doing everything you can to hide the fact that your son’s gay. Roughly, for every inch the Hummer adds to your penis, having a gay son removes two.

If that’s not you, then your role is to tell everyone you can about how your son is gay and how you’re totally OK with that because you’re such an awesome dad. Your son, by the way, would think you were more of an awesome dad if you shut up about it and stopped making his gayness about you.

You’re the mom and your son has a boyfriend

Congratulations, this is the one combination in which you actually have a chance to bond with your child. Your role is to get dad to shut up.  You may even be able to ask about that first kiss, but I wouldn’t push it.

Problem solved! You’re welcome.