Sunday, December 1, 2013

What is Dating?



That seems like a simple enough question…but sometimes as a parent it can be a question that turns your world upside down; or so you think.

Growing up my mother was “old school” no boyfriend till it was serious, which to her meant close to marriage age. Unrealistic to say the least, I mean all I wanted was to go to the movies or hang out in the park or a museum. Who was thinking of marriage at age 13 or even 15? Some of my friends on the other hand their moms were fine with them having boyfriends at 15 or 16 years old. Since I didn't have those options, I did things behind my mother’s back. I would stay after school late and say I was working on school projects, or at the library. I would say I was at a friend’s house but instead be at the park or at the movies. Harmless fun and small fibs but still deceitful none the less.

Since my mother was so ridiculous in her ways I of course chose to go the opposite direction.

I raised my daughter always knowing it was just as fine to have male friends as it was having females. She was aware that it was normal to like boys or girls as she got older and that if by age 13 she thought she liked someone that it was fine but she was not going to be allowed to go places alone or to get hung up on labels. She could go out as friends in a group to the movies, park etc.

Now I was not naive to think that at that age they may not be exploring just as we did in our time. I was just straight forward with my expectations and she knew it.

By the time my daughter was in H.S. she had several boys interested in her at different times. I just reinforced what I taught her years before. Enjoy the company, respect yourself and easy on the labels. The more you teach, the more you gain trust, the more they share.

Dating has different levels and degrees. Trust and believe all children do not have the same definition of dating so allow your children to guide you in their mindset by asking questions and being open.
Remember you were once that age too!!!

I am including two (2) links that touch on this matter. Let’s keep the conversation going?  What do you think? Share your experiences and comments, would love to hear.

http://www.cafemom.com/group/33200/forums/read/19042444/Is_13_too_young_for_dating
http://www.cafemom.com/group/advice/forums/read/18978391/Dating_Age

6 comments:

  1. I grew up with my grandmom, so you know she was OLD SCHOOL to the max. Very strict island parenting and boys were not allowed in the house unless she was present, dating before 18 was out of the questions. So like you I did the dipping and dodging. I didn't want my girls to grow up lying to me, we talk about everything openly and when the "boys" topic was brought up I moved with careful steps, giving them enough freedom and borders to work with. I tell them now I wish I was like them growing up, the boys stand no chance fooling them. Their heads are screwed on straight and their eyes on their priorities, I love it

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    1. Camii! To funny can you believe that no dating before 18?!!! Ridiculous. I mean they didn't know how to find middle ground. I use to try to explain to my mother that you had to get to know different types of people in order to know what was right for you and she would be like well no, that is for loose girls!!! I would laugh so hard and just walk away. Thank heavens my daughter doesn't know what that is like :). Thanks for visit as always and comments.

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  2. I was raised with my grandparents, who were very strict but relaxed on the whole relationship front. However, I moved in with my mom when I was about 12, just when I was starting to show a remote interest in boys. And she went to great lengths to avoid me from even speaking to boys. Unfortunately, like you, I snuck around and still had numerous boyfriends that she didn't know about. The only boyfriend she knew about was the one I found at 16 who ended up being my husband when I was 18. I believe a lot of the reason why I rushed to get married was because of the pressure my mom put on me not to have a boyfriend or even male friends, and not wanting to talk to me about it at all. I plan to do things differently, especially because I have a son. I want him to talk to me about everything and I want to be open to listening how he feels. And encouraging him to have friends, both male and female, and that I'll be there for him through every experience.

    Thanks so much for sharing on Turn It Up Tuesday! We love having you! :)

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    1. Natasha, thank you ladies for having me :) xo.
      I am firm believer that doing the strict thing to point of suffocation will at some point backfire. At least we learned and are and will do better :)

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  3. I think dating is too generic a term. First, you have to find out what dating means to the child. Some it's holding hands, others it's in title only, no specific touching or whatnot. I also have to look at the maturity level of the child. Not particularly just whether they are "mature", but will they know what to do when they get in a bad situation; when it's over, is the child able to handle a break up; are they likely to follow instructions and keep it G-rated when you leave the room; etc. I don't know the answer for my family at this time. My son is 10 now, but I didn't particularly want to date until I hit 16. So there's that.

    Thanks for linking up with Turn it Up Tuesday!

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  4. April thanks for visit good points :)

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