Part 2—My Advice to a Girl with Boy Problems and Parent Drama

Welcome back for part two of the Q & A post where I shared a conversation I had with a young lady who reached out to me depressed about her relationship with her boyfriend.

After digging a little further, I discovered that the real sad story was her relationship with BOTH of her parents.

Last week when we left off, she told me she had been crying every day—partly because of her boyfriend.

But also, because she didn’t socialize with her mother or step-father and felt all alone.

And that’s where we pick back up for today’s post.

My response:

That makes me sad to read that. Why don’t you socialize with them?

Teen Girl:

Well, my parents divorced and ever since then, I’ve never been the same kid. I view the world differently. My dad tells me his sadness, but never sees me. And it feels like my step-dad changed my mom. I kinda detached myself from them because I figured I’d better get used to being alone.

My heart broke reading this young lady’s response.

It’s so important for teen girls (and guys), to have a healthy relationship with both of their parents. And here this young lady didn’t seem to have one with either of hers.

In my experience working with teen girls, that’s a recipe for low self-esteem, being taken advantage of, making poor dating decisions, etc.

I couldn’t help but wonder about her mom.

My response:

Oh no! I think your mom would want to know that you feel that way. Would you consider telling her?

Teen Girl:

I do. Then she snaps at me and says it’s my fault because I distance myself. But whenever I try to socialize, they end up making me run around and do stuff for them. When I finally sit down, my step-dad picks at me. It hurts that my mom doesn’t defend me, but she says she’s just tired from work and stressed.

I’m not a counselor and never pretend to be, but it’s clear there’s a lot of hurt to go around in this young lady’s family.

And while I don’t have all the answers, I did offer her one piece of advice.

My response:

I’m really big on writing letters as a way of sharing your heart. I think you should write your mother a letter and tell her exactly what you told me. Tell her that you do want to socialize as a family. Tell her how much you miss being with her. Don’t make any of the letter about what she’s not doing. Just share your heart and the type of relationship you’d love to have with her. Tell her how alone you feel.

I believe a lack of communication and misinformed assumptions (made on both sides), are often to blame for drama that exists between teen girls and their parents.

Encouraging this young lady to open up and share the same pain with her mom that she confided in me does two things:

  1. Gives her the opportunity to be heard.
  2. Gives her mom the opportunity to be included.

It’s one of the best ways I know to help bridge the communication gap and get teens and their parents on the same page.

Teen Girl:

Thank you for that. It really helped just texting you. It really made me not feel so empty inside. Should I ask to see a therapist and talk some of my problems out instead of holding them in and getting worse?

My response:

I definitely think that you don’t need to hold your feelings and emotions inside, You deserve to be happy. Not crying every day. Would you say your tears are more about the guy or the home situation?

Teen Girl:

The guy.

This is where I had to challenge her thinking.

I didn’t buy that she was more upset about her rocky relationship with her boyfriend than the one she has with both of her parents.

My response:

Oh no! I think your home situation is a bigger issue than the guy situation. And I actually think that one reason you really want that relationship to work out so much is because you think it will fill the void of what you’re not getting at home. It all makes sense to me.

Teen Girl:

You’re absolutely right. Thanks for that!

My response:

The need for a relationship is just a band-aid for the real problem. Do you think your mom would be open to you going to counseling? I think the first step should be you being honest with her, but I do think counseling would help. 

I was encouraged that she seemed to be in a better place than when she first reached out to me.

Until she reached out to me again the next day…

NEXT DAY

Teen Girl:

He broke up with me today.

My response:

So how are you doing?

Teen Girl:

Very alone and sad.

I challenged her again. This time about allowing boy troubles to dictate her emotional state.

My response:

I know it must be sad, but please don’t allow the presence or absence of another person to have that much control over your emotional state. You may not think so now, but you’ll meet someone else one day that you’ll like just as much, if not better. I promise you! As I said earlier, I believe he was just a band-aid. Even if you were still dating, you’d still be sad because of your home situation. I think you should spend your time focused on fixing that.

Teen Girl:

Thank you so much.

My response:

Are you going to write your mom the letter like I suggested?

Teen Girl:

Yes, I will. She really helped me yesterday with the whole breakup situation.

My response:

YAY!!! I’m praying that things get better for you at home so you can smile and laugh again everyday instead of crying. Have a great day today!

Confiding in her mom about her breakup was a huge step in the right direction.

They’re communicating about what’s going on in her life and that makes all the difference.

I’m not saying that girls who have a good relationship with their parents never experience dating woes.

But you show me a young lady who feels safe enough to go to her parents about with her broken heart, and I’ll show you a young lady who’ll have a much easier time bouncing back from a break-up.

Why? Because she understands that even when a dating relationship ends, she’ll always have the love and support of her family.

Can your daughter say the same? Comment below and let me know.

If your answer is “no” or you’re not sure, please don’t lose hope.

Go ahead and print out this post so you both can read it.

And let’s have this conversation together!

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