Your child brings home their new girlfriend, and your instincts are telling you she’s nothing but trouble. There’s not much you can do without causing a rift between you and your child. It can be very troubling as a parent to disapprove of your child’s choice in partner. So instead of screaming “I don’t like your girlfriend” across the dinner table, try doing these 6 things first.
State Your Concerns, Once
Share your specific concerns with your son or daughter about their girlfriend. But only do so once. Continually berating your child with why you don’t like their girlfriend is only going to put a wedge in between your relationship with them. So instead, have a heart to heart with them and let them know what troubles you.
Some tips for your conversation with your child include:
- Avoid being confrontational
- Relate past experiences about dating when you were their age
- Don’t alienate your child because of their choice in a partner
- Be loving and open-minded
- Remember you were once young
Don’t Give Ultimatums
Whatever you do don’t draw a line in the sand and create ultimatums with your son or daughter. Because you will not win that battle. Don’t say things like if you marry her, you will not be welcome in my home. Creating ultimatums will only push your child away from you and push them closer to their girlfriend. You may push them into an “us” against “them” alliance which could lead to drastic consequences.
Instead stay neutral, and keep your emotions low key. More than likely the relationship is going to run its course and fizzle out. Eventually your son or daughter will see what you see in this person and come to their senses. Don’t become their enemy in the meantime.
Trust the Child You Raised
Believe in the child you have raised. You may not see the same version of their girlfriend that they see behind closed doors. You know that the child you raised is smart and intelligent and has either carefully selected their partner or will make the right decision in the long run to end things if this person is not best for them. In the meantime, try to listen to their perspective and what they like about her.
Invite her over for dinner and family functions. Include them in your plans and get to know them as a couple. See how she interacts with your son or daughter and approaches their relationship. Stay interested in their relationship and dispassionate at the same time. This will either ease your anxiety or eventually your child will see for themselves what was making you anxious about her in the first place.
Find Something to Admire
Get to know your child’s new girlfriend and her background, beliefs and areas of interest. You may learn a common area of interest or something enjoyable about her. Find an area of strength in her and really focus on that. If you can take one quality you admire about her or approve of and hold onto that you can eliminate some of the negative feelings you have towards her.
She is meeting a need for your child right now so be grateful for her. You don’t have to love her, but respect her and your child. Appreciate that she is there for your son or daughter right now. As long as she is treating them well and making them happy, you have something to admire about her.
Put Your Worries At Ease- Run a Background Check
If you are still feeling really anxious and like something isn’t right about her, trust your gut. Run an online background check with Kiwi Searches. Find out information about her education history, employment history, marriage and divorce records, criminal records, contact information, social media profiles and much more. If there is something off about her, it will surely come up in an online background check. The information submitted is fully confidential so you’ll never have to worry the individual will be notified of your search.
Accept Her Completely
This may be the most difficult on the list, but your job as a parent is to accept your child’s choice in a partner. Even if you believe in your heart that your son or daughter is a mistake you have to accept the relationship. Acceptance will be the answer to all of your problems. This does not mean you have to love her, it just means that you are accepting your son or daughter’s choice in a partner.
Should things go badly between your child and their girlfriend, you will be there to step in and help them pick up the pieces. This is really important, if and when that happens you need to be there for them without giving them an “I told you so” speech or attitude about the situation. Your child is hurting and you are there to help them heal.
Most of the times, a parent knows what is best for a child. But children need to learn their own lessons in life. You want your child to hear your concerns in a respectful and loving tone so you do not alienate them from your life. You still want them to feel welcome in your home, because chances are they are going to keep dating her. Voicing your opinion strongly and aggressively can really backfire against you and lead to a strained relationship with your son or daughter.
Be smart and cool about your approach to their new girlfriend. Make an effort to get to know her and how they are together as a couple. And let things play out. You may end up loving her or he may end up hating her.
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