Gain Insight: Parents Dislike Boyfriend
Pat Palmeri of Insight Counseling & Psychological Assessment Paris Texas, is here to answer your questions. Use the form below to ask the therapist.
I’m 16 and have been dating this boy for 3 months now. I really like him and we have a lot in common. Only thing is, my parents don’t like him. At first when they met him, it seemed like they got along well. A few days ago, they told me that I could not date him anymore because he is black. My boyfriend is a great person, he volunteers at the old folks home, he plays baseball and is really good, and he is smart and kind to me.
I don’t know what to do. I am so angry at them right now and don’t want to stop seeing him.
What do I do?
Dear Need help,
One of the things young people forget is that until they are 18 years old they are answerable to their parent. May I suggest from the time a person is born they have the right to a safe environment, to food, clothing and shelter. It is also up to a parent to provide their child or children access to education. One would hope that during a child’s raising they are also introduced to morals and values. For different people this will mean something different according to the mores of the culture in which one is raised. Families also have rules, structure, boundaries and limits. So whatever it is parents determine about their child¹s social, emotional, spiritual and physical life it is up to the child to comply. You may not like it or agree with it. It may make you angry. Still your job is to comply without copping an attitude. The last part is probably the most difficult to accomplish. But remember your parents are legally responsible for you until your 18th birthday. They are also morally responsible for you until your 18th birthday. Allowing you to do whatever you want to do with whomever you chose to do it with is not up to you, but up to your parents.
The burden a parent carries until a child reaches his or her majority is a heavy one. One of the most important things a parent teaches their child during the 18 years they have them is to be a responsible human beings. When a parent says, “No” it generally has to do with what they perceive as a safety issue. You have at least 2 more years living with your parents. You can do this the easy way by compliance or the hard way by fighting/defying your parents and their authority. A person really has to enjoy being
miserable to suffer the latter. So when you ask, “What should I do?” You already know the answer. You tell the young man about your parents demands and that you are going to do as they ask even though you don¹t agree with them. If he is the “good person” you say he will respect the fact that you listen to your parents and do as they ask.
Patricia Palmeri, MA, LPC