This has been a long debate in my household because I was rigidly raised to be a person who responsibly managed my life before adding to it, so basically I wasn’t allowed to date until I was older. So while I didn’t take it as far as my mother would like, not dating until 30, I did manage to:
- attend church regularly (raised as Jehovah’s Witness, so 3 times a week plus field service),
- have a job,
- maintain acceptable grades,
- and maintain family time (large extended family)
ALL before a boyfriend was even discussed, (now in the interest of full disclosure, I did have behind the scenes interactions unbeknownst to my parents, but my standards were still met) so my first official boyfriend was at the age of 17.
So fast forward, how do you effectively manage a mental diagnosis, youth, and the desire to have a boyfriend? I wasn’t diagnosed until 30 but my daughter who is now 13 years old wants to date. I don’t agree and she is aware, but I have decided to remain neutral to see how things go since she has only recently been stable. I don’t want to be overprotective and not allow her to live because of her diagnosis but I also have to be mindful that the least little emotional thing could send us back to square 1.
How do I be supportive but get her to realize that in the present time frame while its cute and fun, its also very emotional as a young adult navigating a relationship?