Question:My 14 year old daughter likes a boy who is 17. My husband and I feel this is too much age gap at this age. She is not allowed to date until 16, but they pass notes talking of "love." He is a friend of her older 17 year old brother. We have told her they are not allowed to "go steady." She wants to know why and will not accept the age argument. I know they are "going out" anyway. Should I just ride this out or confront her. At this age most of her boyfriends only last a few weeks. She is very strong willed, and I am worried about rebellion. They boy has no church background but did accept Christ at a youth service recently. Thank you.
As I read your question it seems you already know the answer but are unsure how to enforce it.
You say she is not allowed to "go steady." Then that must be reinforced.
Stating she is not allowed to date until she is 16 but allowing her to have official boyfriends may be sending her a mixed message. You are saying one thing (she cannot date until 16), but she is allowed to have boyfriends. To her this is likely confusing.
I agree with you that 14 is too young to "date" a 17 year old. There are too many differences in life stages, maturity levels, emotional levels, and expectations. It is my personal opinion that 14 years old is too young to begin any dating relationship, especially exclusive dating.
Many families choose 16 as the age when their children can begin dating. That is fine as long as you know WHY you chose that age. The pressure to date can be enormous. You are there to provide protective guidelines for her. I realize this will not make you popular, but it does make you a parent.
I suggest that you spend some time communicating with your daughter about your concerns and your decisions. This is also a good time to discuss the differences between teen boys expectations and teen girl expectations. Then, encourage her to strengthen her girl friendships instead of being so focused on a relationship with a guy. There will be plenty of time for that. I would encourage her to enjoy her teen years free of the pressure that comes with early dating. She may not like it now, but it will save her many days of heartache later.