One in three parents have launched a stealth mission to rid their children of a boyfriend or girlfriend they felt was unsuitable, it has been revealed.
Common tricks include deliberately igniting arguments between them, banning them from seeing each other and purposely not passing on telephone messages.
Others have gone as far as to follow their offspring to see who they are meeting in a bid to confront the lovers, while a handful have listened into phone conversations.
Confiscating or hiding mobile phones is another trick worried parents frequently employ, according to the report.
The book’s author Ali Cronin said: ”As a parent, I think falling in love for the first time – and the inevitable heartbreak when it ends – is all part of growing up and the best option is usually to let your child get on with it, but be there for support when things don’t end up as they had hoped.”
Rose Gardner, editor of the series, added:
”We wanted to investigate parents’ attitudes towards their teens’ romantic relationships.
”The survey revealed that a third of parents disapprove of their child’s love interest because they’re too old, or too dangerous – and true to form, older boys and bad boys are a recurring theme in our series!
”For almost every parent, finding out your little boy or girl has grown up and is embarking on their first real relationship can be difficult – we’re happy to see we’ve reflected that realistically.”
The study of 2,000 mums and dads found one in three has disapproved of someone their child has started dating; around one in ten admitted disliking them so much, they ‘did anything they could’ to try and break-up the young lovers.
One in five owned up to trying to discourage their son or daughter from staying with their new love by not passing on phone messages, grounding them and simply trying to talk them out of it.
Mums emerged as the worst culprits- one in three admitting they have won a battle to rid their son or daughter of someone they considered ‘not good enough’.
Only one in four dads said the same thing.
Mums are also the ones who struggle most with the idea of their son or daughter embarking on their first romance journey, as well as being most likely to disapprove of any relationship.
The study also found three quarters of parents have kept a close eye on their children’s fledgling relationships, with almost half admitting the idea of their offspring having a boyfriend or girlfriend really bothers them.
- More than one in four admitted the boyfriend or girlfriend was simply not good enough for their child;
- Another 24% thought the person their offspring had fallen for was ‘too old';
- Other reasons for taking a dislike to a new sweetheart include them having a ‘troublemaker’ reputation (23%), not liking the family (22%) or even because they came from a ‘rough part of town’ (16%).
Not working hard enough at school (16%), being a smoker or drinker and simply not being into the right kind of hobbies are also among the traits that put parents on edge about their teen’s new love.
Almost one in ten admitted their dislike of their child’s love has put a strain on the relationship them and their child, and had led to rows between them.
Researchers also found that it’s not just love lives that concern parents, with 30% admitting to craftily keep an eye on them on all areas of their life.
More than half regularly check their son or daughter’s Facebook profiles, while 30% even read through their personal emails.
15% even admitted to posing as a friend on Facebook or Twitter in order to see their profile, while a shocking one in 20 even follow them when they go out with friends.
Listening in on phone conversations, checking through text messages and even reading their diary were among the more extreme ways parents keep an eye on their offspring.
15 REASONS WHY PARENTS SABOTAGE YOUNG LOVE
1. Not good enough
2. Too old
3. Reputation as a ‘troublemaker’
4. I don’t like their family
5. Live in a rough part of town
6. Didn’t work hard enough at school
8. They sleep around
9. Drinks too much
10. Too young
11. Drug taker
12. Unsuitable hobbies or pastimes
13. Criminal record
15. Drive a fast car