How Parents Can Influence Kids' Romantic Relationships

Dr. Wyndol Furman says parents are more in control of their kids' romantic lives than they expect.
3:25 | 12/17/15

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Transcript for How Parents Can Influence Kids' Romantic Relationships
All of us have a year or two to go before this happens but holiday time, the time when teens and young dulls bring on the new partners for the first time. Lots of new studies say parents influence their relationships who read about this great story in "The Wall Street journal" and Linzie Janis has tips. Mom, dad, this is Greg. 'Tis the season to meet the parents. Be nice to this one, okay. Okay, I'll try. Reporter: That awkward first encounter so many moms and dads dread. I will be watching you. Reporter: Take Robert de Niro in "Meet the parents" playing the overprotective dad. If you ever watched pornographic videos? No. But, according to Dr. Wendell Furman. You don't have to be that parent. His ongoing research reveals surprisingly you're more in control of your kids' romantic relationships than you hi. Parents have more influence on their children's Roman take lives than they expect. If the parent has a good relationship with their child they're going to be more credibility and that takes some trial and error. Reporter: Trial Ander and. Error is what Elliott did. His daughter Madison's latest boyfriend apparently struggled with her dad's initial interrogation. My dad will want to ask questions and then my friend will just give one-worded answers because he's just dying on the inside. Reporter: But if all hell breaks loose, Dr. Furman says it's best to bite your tongue. Parents don't want to have their child have to make a choice between having a relationship with them, the parent, or the romantic partner. Reporter: For "Good morning America," Linzie Janis, ABC news, New York. Some good advice there. Let's get more from Ericka souter and, you know, there was a lot of good advice there but what do you say to parents for that first meeting? It's Normal to go into judgmental mode. This is your baby. They're bringing home someone. Is this person good enough? So your human nature kicks in. You are very hypercritical. Most important thing, relax. It's the holidays, have fun with your kids. Create new memories and think of it that way. You want to have an open mind, yes, this person isn't likely to be who you envisioned for your prince or or princess but that's okay. Lastly, having an open heart. This kid coming into your house or person coming into your house is nervous to meet you and want to impress you so embrace them and make them feel comfortable. Let's say you give them a chance but after three or four months or a year you really don't like hem. That's when moms put their foot down. I don't like this person for X, Y, Z. The Romeo and Juliet effect drives the kid right into the arms. The children will never forget those words. What if they end up together. Let it run its course. If it's the first boyfriend or girlfriend it will probably end anyway. Be more supportive. How about -- go ahead. You don't want them to choose you or them. That's the bottom line. Right, you also want to have this open relationship and talk to your kids and be able to come to you and say, you know, this is why I like this person. These are the problems I'm having so you want an open and honest relationship with your kids especially when they're dating. Ericka souter, thank you very much.

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