Mom Won’t Let Me Grow Up

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Hi , I’m in love with a boy i have known since i was 15 years of age. I am now 18 and i have never dated because i was always not allowed to .I live with my mother and two siblings and help out often. My mom is aware of the facts i like him and that me and him speak everyday. She thinks we have a nice relationship and understands i would like to be with him in the future. But she seems to have a very hard time with letting me hang out with him .

I know that i truly love him as a person and that he is trustworthy . He works two jobs, helps out is family, and really likes me and is a overall good person. I’m turning 19 in 4 months and he’s is turn 20 in 3 months. I love him and i know he feels like we have grown so much now its time to spend quality time together. My mom has me on a tight leash. i don’t know how to begin to tell her i want to be with him. I prayed about me and him every since i was younger and he has always entered back into my life. I’m very afraid of losing him ….what should i do ?

A: It sounds to me like your mother has lost sight of the fact that you are no longer her little girl. You are emerging into adulthood. That means that you are looking for love and will soon be leaving the nest to make a life on your own. Your guy sounds like an exemplary young man. Your mother should be proud and pleased that you have found someone to love who is so responsible.

It may be that your mom is afraid of losing your help. You didn’t mention a dad so I’m guessing that she is raising the three of you on her own. She may count on you more than she wants to admit. If that’s the case, part of the answer lies in figuring out what the family needs and alternative ways to get those needs met.

It’s time for you to stop being scared of talking to your mom. If you are old enough to have a relationship, you are old enough to have an adult-to-adult conversation with your her about how to prepare you and the family for the day when you will leave home. This isn’t something to have a fight about. Fighting will only confirm her idea that you are too young to take seriously as an adult.

Instead, lay out the problem and your suggested solutions as calmly and reasonably as you can. If she gets angry, resist the temptation to fight back. Simply tell her that you love her and that you know if may be hard for her to lose you to someone else. Emphasize that you have confidence that the two of you can work it out. Such conversations are often difficult and challenging but they are also part of growing up. I think you can do it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Oct 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Mom Won’t Let Me Grow Up. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/10/30/mom-wont-let-me-grow-up/