16-Year-Old Is “In Love”

Dear Sara,

I am very worried about my sixteen year old daughter. She is dating a boy a couple of years older than she is and thinks that she is “in love” with him. He tells her things like “she is too fat” (she isn’t) and “she’s not as smart as he is.” (She gets good grades in school.) She believes him and tries really hard to be what he wants but is often crying when she gets off the phone with him. I really don’t like this guy but I don’t want to alienate my daughter. She says he’s just trying to help her. Is there anything I can do to boost her self esteem?

Dear Marian,

For some reason this guy needs an ego boost and he’s putting your daughter down to make himself look better. Most teens tend to see themselves negatively anyway so it’s easy for her to believe him.

All you can do is be there for her an let her know that you can’t see all the negative things her boyfriend says about her. If she’s worried about her weight, you could take her to see her doctor for a check up and he could be the one to tell her that her weight is in the normal range. If she still wants to lose weight, let her know that doing without high calorie soft drinks and sweets would be a good way.

If this guy really wants to control her he may try to cut her off from her friends. If you see this happening, you might try to limit her time with him. Keep her busy with other things if you can. She needs your love and reassurance right now. Hopefully she will begin to see this boy for the manipulator that he is.


  1. EGADS! I hope she dumps him, and the sooner, the better!

  2. Obviously the boy has issues. Putting her down due to his own insecurities. Time you had a heart to heart with him in the presence of his parents. They are probably totally unaware that this is going on.

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