THE EXPERT ANSWERS:
WHAT IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE OBJECT OF YOUR CHILD’S AFFECTION?
DR. BAX: You close the doors of communication when you take a hard stand with your kids about their romantic relationships or their friends. Ask them what they see in that person; sometimes parents can be surprised because what they see isn’t the same. Talk about qualities that make a good mate. In clinical practice, when a teen is in a serious relationship that we might be concerned about, I like to ask, “Do you see yourself with this person in 10 years?” Adolescents feel like the here and now is the most important thing, so sometimes helping them look to the future gives them some perspective and they realize that a long-term commitment with that person might not be what they want.