Ten rules to dating my teenage daughter
In the fading twilight, the headlights of an approaching car reminded Bill to reach for the dashboard and turn on his lights.
She looked nonchalantly out her window as their car crossed a small bridge. “I would like to ask you a very personal question and give you the freedom not to answer if you don’t want to.” He paused, waiting for her reply. Our junior high and high school age teens don’t date anyone exclusively.Bill smiled and probed: “You know, your mom and I have been talking about you and all those boys who call on the phone.” Julie squirmed uncomfortably in her seat. Instead, we are encouraging our girls who are still home to focus on the friendship side of their relationships with boys.Realizing now where this conversation was headed, she rolled her eyes. When our girls do spend time with a boy, it’s in a group, not one on one.“Your mom and I just want to make sure you know what you stand for as you get old enough to date. We’re trying to train them to protect their emotions and not to send romantic signals to boys.And when a young man sends romantic signals to one of our daughters, we’ve talked with him and tried to keep the relationship on a friendship level.When a child can date Giving a child the privilege of spending time with a member of the opposite sex is a freedom that is based upon our judgment of how responsible we deem this child to be. Is he strong enough to withstand peer pressure in a boy-girl situation?In light of our reformatted definition of dating, we have the following very general age guidelines for spending time with a friend of the opposite sex (these are for our children still living at home).However, even with these guidelines, three out of four of our teens had their first real date to the school prom in their junior year at age 17.And those first dates were all with friends, not with someone with whom they were romantically involved.It’s not that our teens were not interested in dates beyond a friendship, but we had talked through the few pros and the many cons of exclusive dating enough that they felt changing the relationship from friendship to romance might ruin the friendship.Our teenagers would all say that their prom dates were a lot of fun. Many of the parents were involved with before-dance dinners, chaperoning the dance, and hosting after-dance activities at homes or rented facilities.