How to handle a parent who can’t trust your boyfriend

Julia asks: If you have a friend that tells your mother “good morning” and everything but she doesn’t reply, and then says that he is disrespectful and has no manners… what do you do about that?

Hi Julia –


It sounds to me like your mother has a major case of “I Don’t Like That Boy!” going on.  It could be for many reasons, and the most likely one is just because he’s a boy and he’s hanging around you!

When Handsome was a teenager, he had a girlfriend whose father just complained and complained about him.  When he girl finally confronted him and made him admit that Handsome was a perfectly nice enough boy, the father told the truth, “All right, yes he is.  But he’s still a boy!”  And you know what, there is nothing wrong with that dad, or your mom, feeling that way.  That just means they care about you, and want to protect you.

But that doesn’t mean they have to complain all the time!

My advice to you is to really sit her down and discuss this.  Not casually at home – find a time when you and she can have lunch or dinner alone together, maybe even in a restaurant (neutral territory!) and talk about this.  Explain to her that the boy is trying to be nice and respectful, and ask what it is that she wants from him.  And then… and here’s the most important part of all… LISTEN.  Really listen to her.  Maybe even write down the things she says.  Does she have some legitimate complaints?  (Maybe he doesn’t look her in the eyes when he says “Good Morning,” or maybe he’s always leaving dirty dishes around).  And does she have worries about you, and about your relationship with him, that you can talk about?  Can you promise some things to her, to make her feel more at ease?

And here’s the best thing about doing this, Julia.  Probably, underneath all her griping, her real concern is that you’re still young, too inexperienced and immature to handle having a boy around.  But the fact that you’ve had this meeting, and talked so maturely, and LISTENED so well… will prove to her that that’s no longer true!  You will SHOW her how mature you are.

And my guess is that if you do that…  And if he does change any behaviors that are bothering her…  And if you can show that you keep your promises…

If all those things happen…  Then maybe, just maybe, she’ll give the poor guy a break!


Good Luck!





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