It can hurt When your daughter chooses boyfriend over family. Sometimes you may feel responsible for this behavior. Sometimes it feels like you did a lousy job raising her. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Teens and young adults prioritize spending time with friends and partners over their families. This tends to be only temporary as they find their footing in the world.
When your daughter chooses boyfriend over family – 16 actions to take
As teenagers distance themselves from their parents, this will usually continue into maturity. Then, usually between their mid-to-late 20s, adults will rebuild a stronger relationship with their parents.
Just because your daughter prefers her boyfriend over her own family doesn’t mean you’re doing a lousy job as a parent. This is a common misconception among parents.
Think back to when you were a teenager or young adult. Spending time with your friends or boyfriend was more fun than with your parents.
Unfortunately, there is a divide between parents and their children at this age. Our children view us as authority figures rather than a friend.
Although you can’t do much to make her see the value of family, there are things you can do to get her to build a relationship with the family.
Getting your daughter to stay close to family while a friend is around can be challenging. Her friends get to spend time with the family, and so does her boyfriend.
Here are some things you can do when your daughter chooses her boyfriend over the family.
1) Have a conversation
It’s hard to stay calm when you’re hurt, but try to have an open conversation with your daughter about why she chose her boyfriend over you.
Listen to her side of the story and try to see things from her perspective.
You may be able to come to a better understanding of each other.
2) Avoid Bitterness
Understandably, you feel hurt, angry, disappointed, and betrayed, but don’t let yourself feel bitter about it.
Remember that she is still your child and needs you.
She’s growing up and uncovering who she is, which sometimes means making choices she might disagree with.
Understand that love can make people do crazy things.
So, if your daughter chooses a boyfriend over family, it helps to keep calm and not let your emotions get the best of you.
It will only push her away if you become embittered and attack her.
3) You May Have Contributed
After talking with your daughter, take a step back and consider your role in her decision.
You may have made her feel like she had to choose between you and her boyfriend.
Maybe you were too arrogant or didn’t show her enough attention.
Consider what you could have done differently and try to change your relationship with her.
4) Make Sure She Knows She Is Still Loved
Whatever happens, your daughter should know that you still love her
You want her to know that you are there for her, no matter what.
Knowing this will assure her that her mom is always there for her, no matter what.
Even when things don’t go well with her and her boyfriend, she knows she can always turn to you.
Also, encourage her to confide in and be there for her if she needs to talk.
5) Be Supportive Of Her, But Give Her Space
Once you’ve talked things through with your daughter and let her know that the family loves her, give her the space to grow up and figure out who she is without putting too much pressure on her.
Most importantly, she knows she can always turn to you for help and advice when she needs it.
Sometimes, during this space, girls discover how important their families are to them and go home or choose their own.
6) Set Some Rules and Boundaries Regarding her Relationship
For example, you might demand that he comes during certain hours or not stay overnight. Be firm, but also be understanding.
Your goal is to keep your daughter safe and secure while giving her the independence to grow and make her own decisions.
7) Don’t Try To Come Between Them
I know you think she already chose her boyfriend over you, but she might want to be with him and enjoy the love of her family.
Just because she chose him over her family doesn’t mean she despises her family.
Asking her to choose between her family and her boyfriend will only worsen things.
She will feel controlled by you, which will push her away.
8) Focus On Your Relationship With Your Daughter
Instead of concentrating on what your daughter is doing wrong, focus on maintaining your relationship with her.
You may not be able to regulate her relationship decisions, but there are things you can control — your relationship with her.
Focus on doing things together that remind you why she loves being with you; it might be going out to dinner or watching a movie together at home.
9) Offer New Options For Family Time
One way to try to bring your daughter back into the family is to present to her new opportunities to spend time with the family.
Do something you love doing or try something new together.
The objective is to build happy memories and adventures that remind her of how much fun she has with her family.
10) Consider Family Counseling
If you struggle to restore your relationship with your daughter, you may contemplate family counseling.
A counselor can help you communicate better as a family and resolve unresolved problems.
This is an extreme measure, but it may be necessary if other attempts fail.
Without a doubt, praying for your daughter is the best option in this situation.
As a Christian, I believe the spirit takes over the physical.
It will give you the stability and peace you need now, but it will also give you the proficiency you need to deal with this challenging situation.
Pray that she will make the right choices, be happy and safe, and always remember how much her family loves her.
It is not easy to see your daughter make decisions you disagree with, but with prayer, you can find the strength to get through it.
12) Build Her Self-Esteem
The better your daughter feels about herself, the more she can expect from the people she’s dating.
When she loves herself, she will not tolerate nasty treatment from anyone, including the boyfriend presumed to love her.
Praise her for her achievements and give her sincere, concrete praise for her positive differentia. Allow her room to grow and express herself and watch her morale soar.
On the other hand, if all she receives is a complaint, she will feel she merits nothing but lousy treatment and choose her boyfriend over family.
13) Encourage Her to Build Positive Friendships
By encouraging your daughter to maintain and develop beneficial friendships, you will help her build a support network that will be there for her when the going gets tough.
Her friends may point out any toxic or harmful behaviors in her relationship and remind her that family comes first.
14) Be Alert For Abusive Behavior
Watch for any signs of potential abuse or toxicity in the relationship. The abuse is not just physical. It can also be psychological, verbal, and emotional.
If your daughter’s boyfriend is controlling or abusive, he;
- Will not respect her boundaries or her privacy
- He will belittle and criticize her until she feels dependent on him
- He will demand to know where she is, what she is doing, and who she is always with
- He will use guilt to manipulate her into doing things for him.
15) Dont Force It
Yes, you want your daughter to spend time with you and the family but don’t force it.
Forcing her will make her more likely to move away from her family and spend more time with her boyfriend. Instead, make suggestions.
In many cases, your daughter will say no to every invitation to spend time with the family.
Here are some ways to improve the deal to increase the chances of it coming out with you.
- Do an activity you enjoy.
- Offer to pay for the activity.
- Invite your friend too.
- Offer other incentives.
You know your daughter well; what are some things that would encourage her to spend time with her family?
We can’t force our kids to choose us over the person they date. You may need to accept that they have other priorities in their lives right now.
16) Be Less Of A Parent And More Of A Friend
If you can get your daughter to stop seeing you as an authority figure and more of a friend, there is a better chance she will willingly spend more time with you.
If she sees you as just a parent, this will be a complex transaction, but that can change over time.
When spending time with her, ask open questions and listen. This is the time to stop being judgmental and listen to what you say. Offer advice only when asked.
Make sure to use a non-judgmental tone, even if she’s discussing something you disagree with.
It will take practice to start having conversations with her as a friend rather than a parent.
Having your daughter choose her boyfriend over her own family can be unbearable and frustrating.
You feel as if she betrayed your love to pursue a stranger.
However, with tolerance and support, you can assure her that you will be there for her despite her faults.