How involved should parents be in their children's romantic relationships??

@miamilady (4925)
United States
February 14, 2009 3:28pm CST
Okay, this discussion is inspired by some things going on in my personal life AND a discussion that I just participated in here in myLot... I think that as parents, we should respect our childrens choices in their relationships. I think that we should give advice sparingly. I think that we should give advice if asked. We should be polite to their romantic interests and even friendly. I believe we should trust our kids to figure things out for themselves. I imagine it would be hard to sit by while my child was being abused or taken advantage of. But no relationship is perfect and people have to learn how to deal with their relationships themselves, don't they? We really can't protect them from everything. They will get hurt at some point. They will have their hearts broken. That's part of life. These are the things that help us grow. Where do you stand on this topic? At what point do you think it would be appropriate to intervene in your child's relationship? This could apply to adult children or young adults. Whatever direction you want to take your reply in, is fine by me.
7 people like this
20 responses
@zhuhuifen46 (3274)
• China
15 Feb 09
I guess children's marriage is important for the family in long run. I would take it as part of parenting at due time, so that he or she knows how to be rational as well as romantic. Among others, good manners, balanced personality are upfront in chosing a partner, and educational and famioy backgroundsare secondary, but still important for their critical influences. But once children are in a relationship, i would respect his choice and give positive influence to make them happy and healthy in the development, so that they have a happy mood for feeling and for career.
2 people like this
@riyasam (16583)
• India
15 Feb 09
i think it depends on the culture.here,parents and kids are involved in each others life but still i thinks,they should given space or else they are bound to feel suffocated.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Feb 09
I really think parents need to stay out of the relationships of their children unless there really is a huge distress thing going on that means they are in immediate danger, such as being abused or what not, or if they're just in a situation that really isn't that great for them and they're upset about it like if their partner is constantly cheating on them and they're not letting them go because they say they love them. However, parents need to step back and just let things be otherwise. I think medling too much is really a bad idea and it can actually create a huge rift between the parents and the children if they get too involved where they are not wanted.
2 people like this
@pergammano (7739)
• Canada
15 Feb 09
this is such a HUGE topic m'dear...and it just goes hand-in-hand with life! I think that the only time that I would chime in is; in the wake of physical or mental abuse, that would be a parenting instinct that would just happen! Other than that...I think we just have to be a soft place to land, cause we need to give them their wings! And pray!
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Feb 09
I completely agree with you on that one. This topic has my name written all over it. My marriage is broken all up mainly because of my husband's dad. For the last past year he has been butting around in our marriage, and it seems like he just woke up one day and decided that he doesn't like his daughter-n-law anymore. He and my parents had a really bad fall out right after my baby was born a year ago over small peddy stuff, so I guess he doesn't like me because of what happened between them. He told his son to kick me out the house and file for divorce. Oh and he doesn't have a life for himself, his wife left him because he was too controlling. Both of his wives.
@nanajanet (4439)
• United States
15 Feb 09
Kids learn best by the example we set for them while they are growing up. Once they are grown, we need to step back and let them handle it, letting them know that you are always there to support them and be a shoulder to lean on, if needed. Lecturing will stop them from sharing with you. I had my heart broken and lived. My husband tries to interfere with my daughter and I have to stop him. She is 26, had her share of bad boyfriends but is now resigned to staying away from those types in the future. She had to learn, on her own. Of course, if I saw my child were in danger, I might have to take steps but the rest is up to them. I just think to myself, "How would I feel if my parents interfered?" I would not like it and my mother has tried, God love her. In fact, my daughter said to me, "If Dad did not interfere with my relationship with XXXX, I would have broken up with him a year earlier, but wanted to prove him wrong." He did not believe me when I told him so she told him. I know that I was the same with my own mom. She tried to interfere and I stopped talking to her about my relationships and, truthfully, would have liked to have been able to ask her for advice, but she was more of a lecturer than a listener. I just listen to my daughter, and if she asks, I will tell her what I think. This way I know that she will always feel free to come to me.
@wheel416 (1019)
• Canada
15 Feb 09
Very Well said Nana. Sometimes the best thing we can do for our loved ones is to listen to them and support them but do nothing. As you say we have all had our heart broken and learned to deal with it and grow from the experience. We want to save those we love from that hurt and pain but unfortunately that's not our job. We cannot save our loved ones from every hurt even though we want to. It is only when a person feels loved and accepted that they feel comfortable coming to us as a confidant. An excellent post, until next time, happy Mylotting!
@mamabeezy (172)
• United States
15 Feb 09
I've never been comfotable talking about my relationships with my mom. And yes, I do believe it's because she's been very harsh and judgemental when I tell her anything.. When I was in an abusive relationship, my mom didn't say anything but to break up with him. And at that point in my life, I felt as if I couldn't. She was never very supportive with anything in my life that I did. Even if it was positive.. I believe that a parent should intervene when they believe their child is being abused. Or, if they notice their child spending wayyyy too much time talking to/being with their child's S/O. It's not healthy, and it could also be a controlling relationship. I also don't believe in big age gaps in relationships, especially at a young age. I also believe they should intervene then.
@miamilady (4925)
• United States
15 Feb 09
thanks mamabeezy, your brought up some important issues.
@savypat (20248)
• United States
14 Feb 09
I think interference with relationships of adults is useless. the best you can do is stand by and be supportive when and if needed. Of course if you see an abusive situation going on and especially if children are involved then you may need to take preventive steps, I hope you never have to face that choice.
@miamilady (4925)
• United States
14 Feb 09
I hope not too. Thanks for the post!
• United States
8 Mar 09
First i must say that I am not a parent so I am looking at this from the child's point of view. I agree with you. The Only time a parent Must interfere is when their child is being abused.If your child is a minor, then you should know the steady's parents, but that's it. If your child is an adult, then you have to wait to be brought in . If they need advice, they will come to you.
@jillmalitz (5132)
• United States
16 Feb 09
For me it would depend on the child. Kids seem to get involved earlier and earlier. Frequently they are ill equipped to handle some issues. But if we as parents tell our kids that "he/she is not right for you" all that will do is push them closer together. But we have to always be aware and available. We can't berate their choices but we can and should discuss why we don't or do agree with them. Unfortunately kids will not always tell parents the truth. We have to be careful and sometimes harsh to protect them. After all we are not their friends, we are their parent. That is why we have to make unpopular decisions which may make the kids mad.
@ellie26 (4114)
• Malaysia
15 Feb 09
I agree with you that we should respect our children choices in their relationship. But as parents, I think I will try as much as possible to make them understand that they should really be very careful whom they choose to be involved with especially when the relationship becomes very serious. My 15 years old son has his first girlfriends and I don't think it is ok considering he is still at a tender age.
@jenisky (406)
• Philippines
15 Feb 09
for me,i guess parents should not interfere with their childrens relationship..but just in case that advise are being ask by childrens, parents can give advice and share some points of view but let the childrens decides what they're choices are..but in instances that there was an abused in the relationship and one of the involved party wants to stop such thing and leave and the other half doesn't want..for me thats the time parents can intervene in the relationship.
• United States
15 Feb 09
I differ on this with you, but probably because I grew up in a protected home...also because as a young adult myself, I am seeing other young adults suffer needlessly because their parents are keeping quiet. There are some times in life when yes, we do have to discover things for ourselves, but also, we should be getting all the advise from our elders we possibly can, because they have far more experience than we do! While a parent should respect young adults and decisions they make, they should also be sharing their wealth of knowledge with them. If a parent sees something wrong, they need to say so. Tell me if I'm making a huge mistake for crying out loud! In todays society, we no longer value the aged opinions, and many young people are hurting from it, and don't even realize it until it's too late. When parents let their children go, they think they are allowing their children to make their own decisions...they are in fact, not. Their children will be "making" decisions based on peer pressure and inexperience. But they think it's ok...after all, they, the parents, turned out ok didn't they? Well sure, 2 year old Johny came out ok too after his mother stood by and watched him reach up and put his hand on stove top flame. Of course, Bob didn't do so well when he walked over the edge of a cliff...
@skysuccess (8886)
• Singapore
15 Feb 09
miamilady, I just find the words from one of my favorites - Helen Keller very befitting here: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure." Sometimes, there is no choice and better ways than to let your children have a go and be really independent on this part of their lives. I just feel that this is only simply fair and right. Afterall, both parents and child have already done much during the years of upbringing together and it is time for them to show and exercise how much they have learned and put them into practice. We cannot forget the fact that all of us have limitations including the limited time we can have here. So, as parents we just cannot be there for them throughout and they will need to "fly far" on their own after getting the hang of things. Take care and have a nice day.
@Darkwing (21591)
15 Feb 09
I agree most part with what you say. I think kids should be afforded our trust to have learned from us the etiquette of life and how they should behave in a romance. However, having said that, my Granddaughter went through a very bad time where she was being controlled by a boy. The boy had beaten up her father because he thought he was keeping her away from him, which was not true. She was being allowed to make her own decisions as to whether she went to family gatherings, and her boyfriend was mad about it. She went to live in a friends house and he moved in too. He abused her constantly but she was afraid to leave him in case he came round to her Dad again. So, knowing that she wanted to go home, from texts and so forth, I went up there and took her out of the situation. The rest was left to her. She kicked him into touch and is now flourishing in her college work, and a part-time job she has, which he was trying to stop her doing. So, I feel I did the right thing, but it was only on her say-so really. She had to learn the lesson of life before she asked to come home! Brightest Blessings.
@wheel416 (1019)
• Canada
15 Feb 09
Hi there Miami, Well, even though parents have the best interests of their children at heart most times, I don't think they belong in the role of the confidant, friend or advice giver if their child is having trouble with their intimate relationships. The reason is simple my mom would not be able to be objective in the situation. I am her daughter and because she loves me she is going to take my side in any argument and is going to find fault with the other person before she is likely to find fault with me. Every relationship involves two people and while it may not be split down the middle 50/50, both parties are responsible for at least some of the problems in a relationship. For all of these reasons, it's probably best that we not complain to our parents when we get angry or annoyed with our significant other because they're gonna come away strongly disliking the person, and they may not have a clear picture of what their child's role in the whole situation was. Besides that, as you say loving and losing and having our heart broken is just part of life. Although we want to save our loved ones from hurt and pain as much as possible there are some things they just have to do for themselves. I have to agree with you on this one parents should give advice sparingly and only if and when it is asked for. The only exception to what I have already said would be if the child is a minor or if you have significant reason to suspect abuse or some other major problem that is going to throw your child's life completely in the ditch or have serious consequences to their lives. Sometimes the best thing we can do for those that we love is just sit by and hold their hand and listen to them while they figure out what they need to do for themselves. That's just my 2ยข worth, until next time, happy Mylotting!
@winterose (39928)
• Canada
15 Feb 09
in a normal relationship with the ups and downs yes, but not in unhealthy relationships, no response is agreement, a parent should never sit by and watch their child being abused, the message you are sending is okay to be abused, just take, it is never okay to be abused. The school tells them psychologists tell them and above all their parents need to tell them.
@Debs_place (10551)
• United States
15 Feb 09
Yes, I agree. I tried to help my son have good relationships and never did he get upset about it and often he would ask me for help. You know finding the perfect gift, etc. The last girl he went out, I was concerned though - she was 20 and already divorced. I just told him I was concerned that she would come with a lot of 'baggage' but he said no, she had no kids. That was all I said. And within a month the relationship was over. If I had harped on it, I am sure he would have hung on past the expiration date and it could have gotten really ugly.
@deebomb (15350)
• United States
15 Feb 09
It all depends om the age of the child your talking about. If the child is over 18 then yes they have to bow out and let the child learn on their own if it is a good relationship or not. At the same time a parent can sometime see that a child is getting into a bad relationship and can possible let the child know and if the said child decides to stay in the relationship then the parent should back off because the child won't listen any way.
@GemmaR (8528)
14 Feb 09
I think basically it is the job of the parents to just be there when their child needs them to be. If they need advice about their relationship then by all means give it to them, but don't try to be very involved such as ask a lot of questions that you don't really need to know the answers to. You certainly should never tell them not to be in a relationship with someone. If you do this, they will only be more determined, and might think they need to hide things from you, and there is nothing worse than that. It only encourages lies.