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Blog: Don't Let Your Opinion Drive a Wedge Between You and Your Child

By Dr. Laura on February 20, 2024
Blog: Don't Let Your Opinion Drive a Wedge Between You and Your Child

What does my son see in that girl?
What is my daughter doing with that loser?
If you're wondering something similar, you're asking yourself the wrong question. 


When Lisa called to tell me about her 23-year-old daughter's boyfriend who β€œdoesn't bring anything to the table,” I tried to explain that the guy does bring something to her daughter's table. Her child's perception of herself is such that she sees him as wonderful – for her. 


On paper, it's probably true that Lisa's daughter could do β€œSO much better.” But, what this mom failed to wonder was why this particular relationship was emotionally and psychologically attractive to her child. It may not be apparent, but there is a reason they need that particular relationship. Kids have unique fears, weaknesses and insecurities. They may not even be aware of them, but there are reasons the person you dislike is liked very much by your son or daughter.


You may believe your child deserves someone smarter, more successful, better-looking, more assertive β€”whatever. But, my suggestion to you is to stay quiet. As long as you're not seeing anything immoral or illegal going on, keep your opinions to yourself. He may not be the one you would have picked, but there is a reason she did. And the more you press, the more your child will likely pull away from you. 


One of the main reasons kids cut contact with their parents is because their parents act like Lisa: pushing their opinions and insisting that they know what's best. I see the same pattern that Lisa described all the time; β€œWe're very, very close. She's spectacular. He's just not good enough for her.” It's usually moms who try to dominate their kids in this way, and it's one of the major motivations behind children ghosting their parents. Moms call it closeness. Kids call it helicoptering, being controlled, overwhelmed and over-influenced. Shutting their parents out is the only way some adult children know how to handle it. 


I don't want you to lose your relationship with your child, so try to think more compassionately about what needs are being met by their love interest. What problem does that person help solve? Unless and until their emotional needs change, which can happen with maturity and experience, this is what's comfortable. The smartest thing you can do is not discuss it any longer. 



Dr. Laura's Deep Dive - The Tumultuous Teen Years - Play Now



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