To Date or Not To Date… That is the question…

Thanks to a good friend of mine, this has been serious discussion in our household the last couple of days.

We’ve always told our girls from the time they were little that they were never allowed to have boyfriends until they were 18. They were allowed to date when they turned 16, but it always had to be double dating and they weren’t allowed to date the same boy twice in a row.


I remember growing up and watching all those smut TV shows. Where they had to send their children to boot camp because they wouldn’t listen to their parents and the parents “Just don’t know what to do with them anymore!!” I remember watching those things and asking my mother about it. She told me that if you tell your children from the time they’re old enough to understand, it won’t be news to them when they’re a teenager. I’ve remembered that more than anything and knew that when I had children, there would be concrete rules on dating, what they could wear outside the house & I guess inside too, when they could wear make-up, things like that.

*tangent over*

So back to my friend. I was on facebook a couple of days ago and saw that this young boy was no longer in a relationship. So all of his friends were like, what?? Then the “girlfriend” popped on. I do say this loosely because they’re 12. Babies really. She’s all “No, we’re still together. I don’t get why his parent’s won’t accept me. I’m not a bad person.” To which I respond,  “it has nothing to do with you being a bad person, it’s your age.” It’s true. I think of my own daughters. Lauren will be 13 at the end of this month and Kathryn is 11. Lauren has a lot of friends who are boys. 1 girlfriend. So of course, this has been a hot topic at dinner and in the evenings.

Lauren talked about wanting to date a certain boy at school when they get older and was bemoaning the fact that he wasn’t a member (of our church) and so she couldn’t date him. So my husband and I were talking tonight and once upon a time, our church said to only date members. However, it has changed and our church asks the youth to date others who have the same standards as them. Which I can understand. Some members of our church are lazy, dead-beat dads, perverts, have some terrible morals, etc. Every church has those. So we talked about our girls’ dating boys of other faiths. We decided that we’d deal with it case by case. Do we let them date non-members in an area where there are a ton of members? No, we’re not in Utah, but there are a lot of members, a ton of stakes to work through.

However, would it change if we moved to Texas where Benjamin grew up and there was only one stake but a lot of good Christian girls of other faiths? Or the east? or South? I don’t know and hopefully we won’t move away from the northwest. We love it here.

However, going back to my tangent, they have always known the rules I expect in my house. I can give them the best upbringing, but eventually, they will move out. What choices they make once they are an adult are theirs. Yes, they will still call me and ask my opinion and I will give it when none is asked for. Sheesh, ask my mother. She tells Jeri and I all the time how to raise our children.

Just food for thought.

Question of the day: Do you have rules in your house regarding dating/wearing make-up/clothes they’re allowed to wear?


3 comments on “To Date or Not To Date… That is the question…

  1. Anonymous says:

    I still have rules regarding makeup and dating! I have strong feelings even though there is evidence that lots of times church members are perverts, etc. Anyway, I will give you my two cents in person!

  2. Bridget says:

    I used to work in one of those camps for delinquent youth. I loved it. The kids were great…but definitely grew up too soon.We don't have any rules in my house. My oldest is 6, so we're not to the comprehending part. They worry about who to marry, but that's okay.My mom didn't have any rules on make up. So in 3rd grade I got into her costume make up and put it on real nice. ha ha ha. I looked like a clown with bright pink cheeks and blood red lips. She let me go to school like that. I'm pretty sure it was that was the only day I ever showed up with make up on at school. Like never again in elementary school, jr. high, high school or college. I don't wear it now, either. I truly think that many parents make too big of a deal over "little" things and that causes rebellion and worse behavior. So, having an open and communicative relationship with the kids is great.Sandy Countryman had a Japanese guy (I think) staying with them one year who dressed with his pants around his knees and an extreme hairstyle. He thought that he looked cool. However, because of the way he dressed he was constantly being offered pot.He didn't understand why everyone thought he would want drugs. He viewed himself as a good kid.Dating or make up or clothing choice is not as big of deal as realizing what those choices tell others about how we are.Those who date 13 or 14 have a huge probability of becoming teen parents. I can't remember the percentage but it's something like 90% of 13 year olds. With every year delayed, the percentage decreases by about 10%.Those who wear make up early indicate to others that they are older and able to handle intense relationships. Those who dress like thugs are treated as such. Wearing sexy clothing indicates that you want sex, whether that's true or not. It DOES NOT MATTER to others what your are truly like on the inside if the outside message contradicts it. It's so important to act and dress in a fashion that matches your true self.

  3. Bridget says:

    Sorry for writing a book. :D

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