Mom wants him chaperoned on dates

Kareem LaTouche, Youthlink Coordinator

Dear Counsellor,

I am a 15-year-old male and my mother refuses to allow me to go on a date unaccompanied. I am an average student, I do OK. My mother constantly nags about my schoolwork and my don’t-care attitude. I know I spend a lot of time on my phone and I love gaming. How can I work this out? Yours,

Dear SH,

The situation you have presented is not unusual in mother and teen relationships. Your mother may have her reasons for her decisions, based on her experience or the experiences of others. I recognise, too, that your mother is not against your dating, however, she is against unaccompanied dating. Would you consider socialising within a group setting, where your mother is familiar with your friend(s), before your one-on-one dating experience begins? Might I suggest inviting your friend(s) over in order that your mother can observe and get to know your friend(s), so that she can see that you are in good company.

Group socialising may lessen your mother’s fears/concerns. Group outings provide safety in numbers, opportunity for building relationships, learning about differences, communication, respect of boundaries and healthy social interactions. Usually in a group, persons are likely to look out for each other and the decisions made usually benefit the group.

I see where you said that you are an average student. Does this mean this is your best performance, or can you improve your performance? You might want to create a balance between your time on the phone and gaming ... and spending quality time on your schoolwork. Your ‘OK’ performance might have contributed to our mother’s decision. Dating is a responsible and mature undertaking. Do you think that your performance and attitude show your mother that you are capable of handling your situations? School is your domain ... but as you said, your time on the phone and time spent gaming may be influencing your dedication to giving of your academic best. Find that balance between school, leisure time and attitude and you will see the difference. Mothers have different ways to show love; your mother nags. Nagging is usually out of fear and concern for your well-being. Spend some time to talk with your mother about your plans, your intentions, in order that you reduce her fears. Your actions will speak volumes as to your sense of responsibility and maturity.

When you continue the communication with your mother, she will develop trust and will eventually allow herself to let go enough, then you can explore and find yourself. Remember, be prepared to listen. Always try to be the best son, best student and best friend ... ‘en route’ to becoming a better YOU.

Dr Karelle Hylton, PhD
Counselling Psychologist

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