Watching your children grow up is always a bit of a scary prospect, especially when they start to bring home their dates, and most especially when they announce that the girl they bring in the door is their girlfriend–most especially, their first girlfriend.
Here are three tips for meeting your teen’s first girlfriend:
1. Ask to see a picture beforehand. Sometimes the appearance of your teen’s first girlfriend is more overwhelming to you than the fact that they have one. For example, it might shock you that they have a nose ring, or pink hair, or are super skinny, or fat, etc. It can be helpful not to show the girl in question your reaction to her appearance, as it can cause serious problems between you in the future. So, prepare yourself. Ask your child about her, and get to know the idea of her before you actually meet her. This will make things a little easier all around, and not make for any unhappy surprises.
2. Be accepting. Even if you hate the idea of your son having a girlfriend, you have to be accepting to a point. The fact is, kids will rebel if you are not. If you forbid them from having the girlfriend, you can almost always count on them doing just that. So, instead of giving ultimatums, or setting down big rules about no significant others, consider accepting the person. If you do, you will be privy to the facts about the relationship, and can better monitor your child’s activities, and add you input. If you forbid it, or are not accepting, then whatever you tell them not to do, they will do, and they will hide it from you. Would you rather know about it and be able to have an input, or have it go on behind your back? You kind of have to resign yourself to the fact that it will likely happen either way, so your choice is whether or not you want to know about it. If you do, be accepting of the person.
3. Plan something to do, or keep it short. It can be difficult to fill time with conversation. Even if you love the person they introduce you to, your child’s girlfriend and you should have your child in common, but little else. This means that conversation may be rather difficult. So, do not try to force yourselves to carry a conversation for an hour or even half of that. Instead, meet them, get to know the basics, and have a good escape plan. You could take them to dinner, or to a movie, and get to know her on the way, but then watch the movie. The fact is, if you keep it short, with something to keep you busy, it helps you all adjust to the idea without the added pressure of keeping up a conversation.