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Concerned about daughter's boyfriend

My daughter (17) has a boyfriend (18). They have been seeing each other about a year now. The boyfriend is extremely saddened right now, perhaps even depressed about his future. Can't find a better job in this economy, still lives with his family and they make too much for him to get financial aid for further his education. He just seems to feel hopeless and worthless and is very down on himself right now. This makes my daughter feel awful and worry about him. I want to speak with his parents, but I am afraid that this might cause a rift between my family and him...perhaps it will upset him. I don't know if his parents know how he feels, but I know that if my daughter felt this way I would want to know. How do you let kids this age know that even though times are very tough right now, there is hope? Would you take your chances and speak to his parents or would you talk to him first?


Asked by Anonymous at 11:12 AM on Feb. 18, 2010 in Adult Children (18+)

This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • I think this is a great challenge to see what kind of stuff this young man is made of. If mom and dad won't put him through college then he needs to find a way to make it happen. I tell my children that for every door that's shut there are others that are open. He needs to make a plan as to what he wants to do in life then figure out how to get there. Tell him that you believe in him and that you support him finding his own way without it being handed to him. That's all some folks need to hear. He can go to the college of his choice and ask Financial Aid what is available. He can resort to school loans or work study. If not then he needs to see if he can get a job on campus so he can get free classes. there are always ways to get where you want to be in life. Sometimes we just need a push in the right direction. He can wallow in self pity or get off his behind and make it happen. Trying is most of the battle.

    Answer by admckenzie at 11:23 AM on Feb. 18, 2010

  • i would just talk to him. he is 18. he can file himself as independent and get financial aid for school.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:17 AM on Feb. 18, 2010

  • If you are close to the boy then you can try to help him. Show him scholarships that he can apply for, give him ideas of where you have seen help wanted signs, etc. Your own daughter should already be applying and you can just let him know you came across them while searching for her. This is a time where contacts are important to everyone. That's how most people are getting jobs, etc.

    As far as his parents you can also let them know that you are looking for help with your own daughter & if they ever come across and scholarsips that she might be elgible for you'd appreciate it and you'll do the same for their son. That you know how depressing it can get but you really think the 2 of them deserve the best education they can get.

    Answer by baconbits at 11:19 AM on Feb. 18, 2010

  • Anon: new rules out as of 2 years ago. You must be 21 or married in order to declare yourself independent from your parents. If you are in an apartment by yourself you must provide documentation that you pay the bills in order to get the finacial aide. They've really changed things in the past 2 years. They're trying to get those who still live with mom & dad but are claiming to live at another address usually a grandparents in order to get more aide.

    Answer by baconbits at 11:23 AM on Feb. 18, 2010

  • I wouldn't go behind him to talk to his parents, even though your heart is in the right place. Especially because he's new to adulthood, that could be the ultimate insult.

    Maybe set up a family dinner with both families, bring up topics later on about the economy and how it's affecting you, and that might open the door for him to discuss himself.

    It's a hard time, there's always light in the end... things will look up. He may just need an extra push, and support.

    Answer by Skepticchick at 11:24 AM on Feb. 18, 2010

  • If your family is close with him talk to him. Invite him over for dinner and let the conversation drift to the future. Ask him what he wants to do with his life and offer some practical ways for getting there. He might not qualify for free schooling, but student loans are available to anyone. I put myself through school using a combination of sources including student loans, and I did this while working and raising my daughter on my own (I didn't qualify for any financial aid other than loans until near the end of my schooling when my divorce became final). Let him know he does have options. If his aspirtations include a need for a college education, advise him to go to the financial aid office at a local community college, or if a trade school is more applicable direct him there. Let him know you think he can do it if he wants to because you have faith in him.

    I would try this first before going to his parents

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:25 AM on Feb. 18, 2010

  • OP Here....I think that part of the situation is as Bacon Bits daughter is applying like crazy to everything and anything and is currently doing a photography internship. She isn't paid, but it's wonderful experience for her. Seeing her go and go I think makes him feel a bit worse. AdMck....I think that you are absolutely right in what you said. Time to see what this fella is made of. I have been there (actually a bit lower than he is now) and dug my heels in and refused to quit. I am going to gather all of the info that I can regarding jobs, scholarships, financial aid, work study, etc., and have a chat with the two of them as adults. I want to treat him like the man that I know that he wants to be, not make him feel like I am tattling to his parents. You know? In my mind...worst comes to worst, he scrimps and saves with the job that he does have to get into school part-time for starters. Ctd....

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:30 AM on Feb. 18, 2010

  • OP Ctd.....putting one foot in front of the other and not giving up is the key though. I'll definitely support him. He has a good heart and I kinda like the fella. : )

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:31 AM on Feb. 18, 2010

  • OP again...sorry, the only thing is that I want to keep a watchful eye on him. I am petrified that if he gets too down he might try to hurt himself. I don't know him to be like this, but I know how hopeless the feeling can be and lately there have just been too many teens around here committing suicide. That's really what scares me the most I think.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:34 AM on Feb. 18, 2010

  • just stay out of it. when i was 16 my bf was 18. then when i was 18 i went off to college. he never went to college. he started working right away in a union with his father. i went off to college (and thought we were madly in love) but of course i met other people... and we broke up. i dated other people. and he was miserable and depressed and his mom would call me and ask me what to do ect. but in the long run, it is just life. he moved on. i moved on. it may have been hard for him... but im sure the challenges he had made him a stronger and more independent person.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:08 PM on Feb. 18, 2010