And like so many other things that I was so certain about, I changed my mind. To my ancient mind, the term dating conjures up images of unsupervised alone time. I know that many people think this is a horrible reason to allow your kids to do anything. The key is finding the way to say it so they will listen.
My young teen boys are perfectly happy having their “girlfriend” come over to the house and have dinner with the family and then watch movies or play games in the family room with the entire family. Except that in this instance, I have seen time and time again parents who refuse to allow their kids to date and kids who lie, sneak around and do it anyway. One of my sons briefly had a girlfriend that was always angry at him for something.
We will not allow her to have a boyfriend until she is 16.
Since you have a houseful of kids, I am wondering how you deal with this. “Mean Mom” Back when all of my children were small I always said that they could date once they were ready to get married. Based on my own life experiences I couldn’t see how it possibly could be a good thing. As they have grown I have realized that there is no protecting children from being hurt. Once they can drive they will be off going places and you probably won’t know where half the time.
And that there are valuable lessons to be learned in all of our relationships, romantic and otherwise. You may be surprised by what your 13, 14, or 15 yr old considers . 4) They are still willing to listen to what you have to say.
” The stakes at this younger age don’t seem as high. It was much easier to help him realize that this girl was not really acting like a friend, which is the keypart of the word girl- A girlfriend or boyfriend should first and foremost be a friend. We may think our kids are perfect, but they are just learning to navigate this world and we need to remind them to be a kind and trustworthy friend and to expect the same. This is the one that I feel is the most important for our children to learn.
**************** Chris, Some of my children’s friends have started dating.
We have told our daughter that we don’t want her to date.
I am very pleased to announce that Chris Jordan will now be fielding questions about raising tweens and teens.
This really has come about because Chris’ inbox has been filling up with readers sending her personalized emails asking her advice and since we’re all in this together, why not share with you all, right?
Maybe you think your kids won’t lie to you, or disobey you, or sneak around and doing things behind your back, but I have been parenting long enough to know that they will. He never quite seemed to understand what he was doing wrong.
To my credit, I didn’t once say, “Dump that drama queen! Not just in boyfriend/girlfriend situations, but in all friendships.
If you have a question, please email Chris at this specific email address: adviceforparentsoftweens[at]gmail[dot]com.
Please keep your questions on the issue of raising older kids.