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.
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?