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Finally registered and would like to hear from those with older teens about dating...


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Hi, I have been lurking now and then since the board change and have to say I love the new boards!

Now, about the subject of dating. I have a 17yo dd and 15yo ds and this has just recently become an issue for us. We have always said we didn't want our kids to date before 18 and would prefer they wait until after college, but realize that they will have to make that call as young adults. My dd has never wanted to date until now. She met an 18yo boy who is moving about an hour and a half away for college next month. They have been "talking" for a couple of months now and we have allowed group activities. There have been a few times where we allowed them to drive together to those activities. My dh is really adamant about her not dating and doesn't want her to participate in activities with one of her best friends and her boyfriend that would be considered a double date. I have really torn about this because I would like for her heart to not want to date and feel like she is just counting down the next 11 months until she is 18 and she can. My 15yo ds has always been a little girl crazy and our church youth group has only made it worse. We are the only homeschoolers so my kids feel like they are the "only" ones not allowed to date. I didn't imagine this issue being so hard. I don't know what I believe about it anymore and was hoping to hear from someone who has already been there or is there now and has some fresh perspective.

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Well, I won't be much help. I believe like you in that kids need to wait. And I'm even more along these lines in that these two wouldn't have driven anywhere together alone (alone is just not a good idea no matter what the age, even marital status. We don't want to LOOK like something could happen, even if it wouldn't).

 

Anyway, my oldest makes it nice and easy so far but my 13yo ds is like your 15yo, a bit too interested already. I worry about the amount of time he spends talking to one girl and there is another he's shown interest in (not as strongly).

 

Now, we do have it easier in that our religion itself strongly discourages dating one-on-one or while "in the bloom of youth," and our congregation seems to be the ideal place you'd want your teenagers and young men and women. There is only one young married couple (about 21yrs old). All others under 25 are single, very single.

 

Anyway, but I do worry what we're in store for. Ds has said that he believes 15-17 is a good age to start dating (his idea of dating isn't the serial dating of the world though). I hope by that time he decides, "oh, well maybe I could wait til I have my life in order first."

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Ours have been raised with a courtship view. There are lots of versions of courting though. Right now our oldest is at a college that encourages courtship. He spends lots of time in big groups of gal/guys. Some of his friends are courting with the permission of the parents.

 

I can tell you that the one time we were involved in a youth group we could clearly see what it was leading to, and it wasn't good. We don't do youth groups. Our dds are 15 and 14, and while they sometimes talk about "when I get married I want to do such and such" they've never talked about dating at all, or asked if they could date.

 

They want to attend the same college as big brother, and as they are both beautiful girls, I sorta worry about them being thrown into a coed world at 18. I just pray their hearts stay in the right place, and I pray for their future husbands.

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Chiming in to say we're another "wait to date" family. Wait 'til you're of marrying age, that's our mantra. :-) There's just no good reason for teenagers who are not eligible for marriage yet to be in one on one relationships, in my very humble opinion. Too much to be risked and potentially sacrificed - emotionally and possibly physically. I encourage you to stand by your original convictions even if you do find yourself swimming upstream.

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I have a 17yo dd and 15yo ds and this has just recently become an issue for us. We have always said we didn't want our kids to date before 18 and would prefer they wait until after college, but realize that they will have to make that call as young adults. My dd has never wanted to date until now. She met an 18yo boy who is moving about an hour and a half away for college next month. They have been "talking" for a couple of months now and we have allowed group activities. There have been a few times where we allowed them to drive together to those activities. My dh is really adamant about her not dating and doesn't want her to participate in activities with one of her best friends and her boyfriend that would be considered a double date.

 

I think micro-managing a near legal adult carries more risk than allowing dating.

 

I'd *absolutely* allow group and double dating. She's 17 (and the other 15). They know your (and I'm assuming God's) values. But they are both at an age where it's best, IMO, to allow them the earned trust to make their own choices with reasonable restrictions.

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Our age is 16y/o to date. I understand why a parent wants their DC to wait, but think that dating under supervision is preferable to heading off the college and being granted massive amounts of freedom never experienced. Isn't it better to guide them slowly into their adult years?

DH lived in a strict home and was lost when he entered college. His first year was a waste because he was trying to navigate the entire social scene. Wasn't really certain what was appropriate, how to date, what to do, is co-ed studying acceptable, etc.

We have so many children practically the same age that we'll do a lot of double/triple dating (aka group dates) .

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I think micro-managing a near legal adult carries more risk than allowing dating.

 

I'd *absolutely* allow group and double dating. She's 17 (and the other 15). They know your (and I'm assuming God's) values. But they are both at an age where it's best, IMO, to allow them the earned trust to make their own choices with reasonable restrictions.

 

:iagree:

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Personally double dating and group activities together are a good thing for that age group. I don't see anything wrong with this unless your dd has given cause for this not to be allowed. To many restrictions at that age can lead to many issues of sneaking around to be together.

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There have been a few times where we allowed them to drive together to those activities.

 

If you've let them go off in a car alone together, then you've already let them "date." The horse, if it has been inclined to leave, is already out of the barn. Riding in the car alone together is a date. Maybe moreso than dinner and a movie. Just my opinion.

 

 

My dh is really adamant about her not dating and doesn't want her to participate in activities with one of her best friends and her boyfriend that would be considered a double date. I have really torn about this because I would like for her heart to not want to date and feel like she is just counting down the next 11 months until she is 18 and she can.

 

In our house, if one parent is adamant, then that parent wins. Period. Unless both are adamant, then we cuss and discuss for awhile. ;) But if you are torn and he is adamant AND his position is the more restrictive one, then in our house, he would win.

 

I say let her count the months. Or wait til he comes home from college next summer. You can't change her heart. But waiting will not kill her. Nor will it, IMO, kill your relationship. And if she sneaks around behind your back, well, that's on her. Explain to her that this is the way things are, and then immerse her in interesting activities to fill the next 11 months. (Or perhaps you could make the rule "until you finish high school" and then next summer, she can date this young man if he comes home from college for the break.) Not quite 11 months, and she can focus on her activities and studies -- perhaps a unit on living independently? -- until then.

 

But really, unless you actually DON'T have a problem with them dating, don't put them in a car together and send them out of sight.

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My son went to college at 18, as has almost everyone in my family. If you are not planning on college for your children, you may look at this differently.

 

But when my son was 17 and had a girlfriend, I could have said, "no dating." But then when he went to college and was 18, he would have all his first dating experiences off in the world, far from my guidance, with who to advise him? Oh yeah, the other guys in the dorm.

 

I felt better letting him just have that relationship when he was still in our home, when we were talking a lot and I could set rules about things like curfews (which he had) and the girl being with him in his room (a total no-no). That gave DH and I lots of opportunities to talk not just about s@x but about respect, appearance, propriety, protecting your heart, etc. We were always pretty strict about not being out on school nights, coming home at a reasonable hour, not being on the phone at night etc.

 

I would be letting your 17 year old date if she is a pretty responsible person. 15 does seem young to me, though, for your son. I probably wouldn't have a "no dating" rule so much as I would have a lot of normal parental involvement and restrictions. At 15 my son didn't have a cell phone or unrestricted email. He didn't go out on school nights, had a normal curfew, and we had to know where he was and who he was with at all time. I think that made dating not a lot of fun. He did briefly have a girl friend at that age, but it didn't last long because the girl didn't really appreciate our taking a stand on how long he could sit around gabbing on the phone and the fact that I never let them be alone in either house or to get together in the school week. It didn't last. In retrospect, I probably should have just said that we don't "do" girlfriends at 15.

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Figured I would chime in for the other side, just to give you buth sides to consider. I think dating is fine for teens. As a teenager you are exploring new things, learning to be an adult, etc... I think it's an ideal time to learn about the opposite sex. Girls are physically ready to be mothers from about 13 years old. I'd say that means they are ready to date.

 

Now, I would have rules, since teens don't always do the smartest things. I would insist on meeting the date before the went out. I would give her a cell phone. I would give her a curfew. If she was a virgin I would expect her to wait till she knows the guy well, but again, since teens sometimes make dumb decisions, I would give her condoms just in case.

 

If she had several dates with the same guy and they developed a strong relationship, I would strive to include the guy in family activities and meals.

 

 

Teens are at an age where they want to spread their wings. I wouldn't hold them back.

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We don't have a set age for dating, when you are thinking of marriage and in a position to become married you can start dating. I realize once my sons are adults they might change these "rules", but we walk along side them spiritually and talk openly about relationships and everything that entails, right now they are on board with it. If I had to get one point across to them it's this; every "first" you do with another woman is depriving your wife of that first experience with you. Some aren't going to be that big of a deal, the first time he climbs a mountain; some, like passionate kissing, I want them to consider. We are training them up now in the way they should go, when they go it's up to them. I don't think they need to be trained in the midst of casually dating.

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I wanted to add another thought. Just because they aren't thinking about marriage doesn't mean they won't meat their life partner. Dh and I started daiting when I was 15. We were NOT thinking about marriage. But 8 years later we are still together. We had premarital sex, but I can still say that dh was my first and I was his :)

 

If we hadn't been allowed to date, then we wouldn't be together right now.

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To the responses about "micromanaging," and not "holding them back."

 

I always come from that side of the coin for almost every parenting issue. In fact, sometimes what I see on these boards, I shake my head wondering what is going to happen with these overly controlled, held back, micromanaged teens...

 

However, I don't think any ONE issue (or few issues) makes someone micromanaged, held back, overly controlled whether it's a discussion about text messaging, dating, or having their own religious convictions. It's when it is many things in a teenager's life that it becomes problematic. It's when the attitude of the parent's is "I'm the boss" above any reason that it's an issue.

 

But a person simply saying no to one area is not micromanaging their teenager. I should HOPE that parents are saying NO to at least a few things, even when their teen is 17, almost an adult.

 

Of course, I think the discussion is healthy. It gives people on each side things to think about to solidify their original opinion (as this thread and others like it have done so far for me) or give pause to reconsider.

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Chiming in to say we're another "wait to date" family. Wait 'til you're of marrying age, that's our mantra. :-) There's just no good reason for teenagers who are not eligible for marriage yet to be in one on one relationships, in my very humble opinion. Too much to be risked and potentially sacrificed - emotionally and possibly physically. I encourage you to stand by your original convictions even if you do find yourself swimming upstream.

 

I wholeheartedly agree! I have never been convinced of a good enough reason for my children to date, other than being ready for marriage. I am completely and totally old-fashioned about this. Far, far too much is at risk. And, from a Biblical perspective, I cannot find anything to support dating just to date.

 

I could share more of my reasons, but I will leave it at that. :001_smile:

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Hi, I have been lurking now and then since the board change and have to say I love the new boards!

Now, about the subject of dating. I have a 17yo dd and 15yo ds and this has just recently become an issue for us. We have always said we didn't want our kids to date before 18 and would prefer they wait until after college, but realize that they will have to make that call as young adults. My dd has never wanted to date until now. She met an 18yo boy who is moving about an hour and a half away for college next month. They have been "talking" for a couple of months now and we have allowed group activities. There have been a few times where we allowed them to drive together to those activities. My dh is really adamant about her not dating and doesn't want her to participate in activities with one of her best friends and her boyfriend that would be considered a double date. I have really torn about this because I would like for her heart to not want to date and feel like she is just counting down the next 11 months until she is 18 and she can. My 15yo ds has always been a little girl crazy and our church youth group has only made it worse. We are the only homeschoolers so my kids feel like they are the "only" ones not allowed to date. I didn't imagine this issue being so hard. I don't know what I believe about it anymore and was hoping to hear from someone who has already been there or is there now and has some fresh perspective.

 

Hey, Steph! Welcome! :seeya: It's so good to see you here! :001_smile:

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When my daughters were 18 and 16 they had first boyfriends. I was in the boat with those who want the teens to go through that stage before leaving home, so that we are beside them to teach and guide them. The 18 yr old dated a boy whose family had very similar rules (no alone time) and both families have become great friends and they are still dating and my daughter wears a promise ring from him... the 16 yog had a fun, immature relationship that became challenging for her to deal with and she ended it and has had an opportunity to think through what she does/doesn't want in a future spouse. Of course she could think through these things without the experience, but it is very real to her now and she respects my views /opinions all the more. I would have liked her to not date yet and I gave her that opinion and she understands much more now.

 

Ideally, my girls' hearts would line up with what I want and believe!! Hee-hee. We have fabulous relationships and talk a lot and they know that with the freedom (not without rules!) comes responsibility (obey the rules!).

 

Wish I felt like I was offering more wisdom... as a parent I don't like black and white rules for everything, I like looking at context and making decisions for different situations. Life just doesn't work out nice and tidy and uncomplicated, we have to think... drats!

 

Bee

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My oldest is 15 and he confided last year that he "really, really likes" a girl from church. He still is smitten with her even though he rarely sees her. He has friends who date at 13 and 14, especially in Boy Scouts, so when he let me know about this girl he was asking for guidance. After my husband and I talked about it, we decided that 16 was probably a good age to start doing things with a single girl, even if it's "courting" instead of dating... even if it's just talking on the phone. As my son gets closer to 16 I wonder if even that's too young.

 

Truth is, my son is too much of a kid to start dating. He would not think enough of the girl and he would probably treat her badly and not even realize it. He needs to come out of himself just a little bit more before he can do any girl justice. And for this, I don't think any girl is doing herself any favors by dating before 16 or 17, because the boys out there are still little boys. I can think of very few young men I know who would treat a girl as well as she should be treated. I don't have daughters, but my oldest is on a few co-ed homeschool sports teams (swimming, cross-country), and the difference in maturity and outlook between the boys and girls are far different. The girls are often focused outward, and the boys are focused inward.

 

With girls, I think it's important for them to wait because they are sometimes so focused outward that they don't develop a sufficient sense of their own interests and abilities. I had friends in school who were so eager to please their boyfriends they abandoned their regular friends, they took up an interest in the sports team their boyfriend did, they did video games their boyfriend did (but they wouldn't dream of doing on their own), and they took up some other activities -- risky activities -- in the effort to reach out and grasp love and affection. If they had waited they would have been stronger all around to give of themselves, but to develop a self to give. Also since girls are often naturally giving, and see this charity as a virtue, they don't always develop the corresponding virtues of temperance and modesty.

 

My 15yo has started doing swing dancing through a very conservative group here in town once a month. I think it's best to try to start prepping him for how to treat women slowly, and he can practice on girls he doesn't know well... how to dance and not step on toes, how to ask a girl to dance, how to thank her for the dance... all these things are little, but they soon (hopefully!) will start adding up into a composite thoughtful young man who will be able to win and hold a thoughtful, loving young woman who will be trained (hopefully!) in a similar way, that is, to be considerate, prudent, and to have developed her own sense of self so it doesn't get lost in her boyfriend/spouse.

 

Some of these ideas aren't original to me. I heard a very good talk about dating and courtship a few years ago, and it really stuck with me.

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But a person simply saying no to one area is not micromanaging their teenager. I should HOPE that parents are saying NO to at least a few things, even when their teen is 17, almost an adult.

 

*shrug*. I'll have plenty of "no's" for my later teens.

 

I just don't think having a strict *no dating* policy for a near adult child is the best parenting choice.

 

Being attracted to, learning about, and indeed being with and around the opposite gender is a biological, emotional and developmental stage for teens.

 

I think boundaried dating is a much, much better choice than no dating during the mid to late teen years.

 

To address the "no Biblical defense for dating", I'd like to point out that during Biblical times, these teens were typically already married with kids. I'm not suggesting that as a defense of dating but that the circumstances of living have changed dramatically.

 

She will be starting middle college this fall and will be keeping a full schedule so I am hoping that will occupy her time and attention.

 

I hope she's centered, healthy and successful in *all* areas: academic, social, financial, etc.

 

It's perfectly possible to be Godly, productive, balanced, "Christian" and date as a young adult in college. My intention as a parent is to help my children do just that.

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*shrug*. I'll have plenty of "no's" for my later teens.

 

good :) And there will people that will think some of those aren't the best parenting choices. And others will believe your yes answers will not to be the best choices either (ummm, a good number of people on this board regularly disagree with my yeses---and then I wonder about overly controlled, held back, micromanaged teens....so I guess it makes sense that someone might think that of me when I disagree with their yes answer :) ).

 

Being attracted to, learning about, and indeed being with and around the opposite gender is a biological, emotional and developmental stage for teens.

 

Who said anything about locking the girls up, telling them their interests are wrong or anything of the sort? People that believe in waiting to date (or court) don't do those things generally. It is quite NORMAL for my son to start having an interest in girls. I would not suggest otherwise! And of course they are learning about the opposite sex, spending time with them, etc. We don't cut off half the world just because they became teenagers!

 

But the adult parts of the interaction are worth waiting for....until they're adults.

 

Now you might just disagree and that is fine. But it sounds like there may be some misunderstanding of what happens during the teen and young adult years for these young people in regards to the opposite sex. Thankfully, it's much different than what the world's children are going through when allowed, even encouraged, to have adult relationships well before they are ready (ie, preteen, teen, often into young adult years).

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I can't figure out the mult-quote, so Joanne, you are in black, and I am in red. (Actually, black is my better color! ;))

 

I just don't think having a strict *no dating* policy for a near adult child is the best parenting choice.

 

Why? I see it as a good parenting choice. We are guarding our daughters' hearts. Why would we want them to get involved with a boy, develop feelings for him, be tempted, etc. when they have no intentions to get married any time soon? Why "play house" when the risks far outweigh the few benefits? It makes no sense to me at all.

 

Being attracted to, learning about, and indeed being with and around the opposite gender is a biological, emotional and developmental stage for teens.

 

Yes, it is a very real occurrence in the life of every teenager. And yes, it is a stage that takes a very caring and involved parent to help their teenager get through it, with LOTS of love, affirmation, and understanding. Our dd's are allowed to be around boys, but in group settings only. Of *course* they think certain guys are cute, and that's fine. It's part of growing up and being normal. The difference with us is right now, they can't do anything about it. My older dd, who will be 17 next month, is okay with our no dating policy. It has not been easy for her, as she is seeing many of her ps friends involved in relationships. She and I talk about it A LOT, and I am completely sympathetic to her struggles. This is an extremely difficult road for a young person to take.

 

I think boundaried dating is a much, much better choice than no dating during the mid to late teen years.

 

I would (obviously) disagree with this. Are you saying that if you don't allow your dc to date, you run the risk of them rebelling and doing it anyway? As for our family, our dd's know our stance on it, and for now, they are in agreement with it.

 

To address the "no Biblical defense for dating", I'd like to point out that during Biblical times, these teens were typically already married with kids. I'm not suggesting that as a defense of dating but that the circumstances of living have changed dramatically.

 

I see lots of references in Scripture that support our decision to keep our dd's from dating until they are ready for marriage. "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." "Flee youthful lusts" is a pretty good one. Circumstances may have changed, but the underlying matters of the heart have not.

 

It's perfectly possible to be Godly, productive, balanced, "Christian" and date as a young adult in college. My intention as a parent is to help my children do just that.

 

I have yet to hear a good enough reason to allow my dd's to risk their hearts by dating. As KarenC shared, I am not moved.

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I think micro-managing a near legal adult carries more risk than allowing dating.

 

I'd *absolutely* allow group and double dating. She's 17 (and the other 15). They know your (and I'm assuming God's) values. But they are both at an age where it's best, IMO, to allow them the earned trust to make their own choices with reasonable restrictions.

 

I agree with this. I'm preferring my kids wait until they are 18 but want the choice to be theirs. Groups and double dating may be allowed at 16 but we haven't formulated the rules yet as this hasn't happened.

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As others have said, I don't want my kids heating up the oven until it is time to cook something. I think it is asking for trouble. I do talk to them a lot about desirable traits in a future spouse, and try to train them to know how to communicate with the opposite sex without being flirtatious.

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I think micro-managing a near legal adult carries more risk than allowing dating.

 

 

I agree with Joanne that it is a bad idea for parents to micro-manage a 'child' that age. She should be allowed -- expected -- to make her own decisions in most areas by now.

 

If you try to keep your thumb on her now, when she turns 18 soon and is out from under your influence and authority (at college, for example), she might rebel against your values. I've seen it happen time & again.

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As others have said' date=' I don't want my kids heating up the oven until it is time to cook something. I think it is asking for trouble. I do talk to them a lot about desirable traits in a future spouse, and try to train them to know how to communicate with the opposite sex without being flirtatious.[/quote']

 

LOL! I've never heard that one. :D

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...seem to be from those who have teens older than 16, and most of the responses are not addressing how to handle the teen who is 17-almost-18 (and therefore soon-to-be legally an adult).

 

As the mother of a just-turned-18yo, I can tell you that there is a HUGE difference in how much input I gave to ER when he was a younger teen compared to how much input I gave when he was 17 & now 18. As dh said a few months ago when ER was still 17, "The raising is done. We've done all we could, and now we have to trust that we did enough and did it right, because his choices are his own now."

 

I cannot imagine dictating to a 17/18yo on every detail; I can't imagine NEEDING to! If by that age we had not instilled values in him and taught him to make decisions, it would be too late!

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He has friends who date at 13 and 14 . . .

 

Does this mean they call each other on the phone?

 

Surely they don't go anywhere as boyfriend/girlfriend at those ages. By this I mean that surely there aren't parents out there who are facilitating their 13 and 14yo children in actual dating.

 

Dd 10 has acquaintances who tell her they have boyfriends in public school, but I don't think they actually get together and do anything.

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...seem to be from those who have teens older than 16, and most of the responses are not addressing how to handle the teen who is 17-almost-18 (and therefore soon-to-be legally an adult).

 

As the mother of a just-turned-18yo, I can tell you that there is a HUGE difference in how much input I gave to ER when he was a younger teen compared to how much input I gave when he was 17 & now 18. As dh said a few months ago when ER was still 17, "The raising is done. We've done all we could, and now we have to trust that we did enough and did it right, because his choices are his own now."

 

I cannot imagine dictating to a 17/18yo on every detail; I can't imagine NEEDING to! If by that age we had not instilled values in him and taught him to make decisions, it would be too late!

 

You know, I have to say that my answer was only addressing this particular teen and this particular set of parents. This situation finds the father adamant that this dd will not date. This situation finds the two teens in a car riding (if mom and dad are very lucky, they are riding from point A to point B) in a car together. It finds the mom torn but ambivalent between wanting more freedom for her dd's in opposition to the other parent who is decidedly NOT ambivalent.

 

I'm not actually opposed to teen dating (groups, well-chaperoned single) per se. But in this case, my opinion was sharing how I would work out the issue with my spouse were I in the OP's shoes.

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I cannot imagine dictating to a 17/18yo on every detail

 

Again, which no one actually said....and of course, I'm sure you do have SOME guidelines you expect of your older teen living in your home, yes?

 

Why are the things you say yes and no about better choices than the ones I may choose? They MAY or may not be better for your family. But I doubt that anyone can say they have the market on what is best for every 17yr old.

 

BTW, I see a huge difference once they hit 18. We'll have guidelines for our home still, but they will be significantly more loose. I mean, if they want to put a tv in their bedrooms at that time, so be it. If they wish to go out late, as long as they are respectful enough to let us know, so be it. However, if they go against our values such as getting drunk each weekend, then they'll need to find a new place to live. If they don't go to school, they'll need to be working (or volunteering full time or something of that sort). Again, just general guidelines for people in this home. If they choose to date, then they do. I hope they do not. If they choose to break our moral values, they've chosen to take it outside our home.

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most of those who posted don't seem to be addressing the issue of the 17yo who is soon-to-be an adult.

 

BTW, I see a huge difference once they hit 18. We'll have guidelines for our home still, but they will be significantly more loose.

 

Same here. Apparently, we agree more than we disgree. ;)

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You're only young once. Live life, experience pleasures. Treat others with kindness and respect, but don't be afraid to live.

Bill

 

It has nothing to do with fear Bill, I don't know why you would jump to that conclusion. Well, probably because of that different wave length you mentioned.

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We don't have a set age for dating, when you are thinking of marriage and in a position to become married you can start dating. I realize once my sons are adults they might change these "rules", but we walk along side them spiritually and talk openly about relationships and everything that entails, right now they are on board with it. If I had to get one point across to them it's this; every "first" you do with another woman is depriving your wife of that first experience with you. Some aren't going to be that big of a deal, the first time he climbs a mountain; some, like passionate kissing, I want them to consider. We are training them up now in the way they should go, when they go it's up to them. I don't think they need to be trained in the midst of casually dating.

 

:iagree: Just the other day a commercial for "eHarmony" dating service was on TV and ds(10yo) asked me about it. This lead to a really good discussion and I told him that God has someone special already picked out for him and when the time is right they will meet. So he needs to be learning and studying all he can to prepare for manhood and marriage and taking care of a wife and family. And that is why he cannot date until he is prepared to support a family...it is too irresponsible.

 

I know too many teenagers with children who cannot support themselves and their parents end up taking care of the baby while the teen goes to school or whatever.

 

I also know that I was raised in a very religious family and my mom let me date at 16yo because she felt I was old enough to make my own decisions and she could trust me. BIG MISTAKE. The lure of sin and hormones will overpower the will and common sense of most teenagers.

 

We don't believe in recreational dating.

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I have a 17yo ds and a 14yo ds and I have never forbidden dating of any kind. Instead we have discussed what they want out of life, what they would want in a spouse, why a young lady would choose to participate in s*xual acts, and things of this nature. If my 17yo chose to date, I would not discourage his choice; however, he has on his own made the decision to wait.

 

His choice is the example for the second ds. I won't discourage him from following the choices made by first ds.:D

Mandy

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I grew up in a home where group dating was allowed at age 16. I remember the day I turned 16, my 14 year old sister excitedly asked my parents, "So, Andrea can date now, right?" I couldn't have cared less, however, because I had already decided that I would not be dating anyone I couldn't see myself marrying, and since I had no intentions of marrying at 16-18, I wouldn't be dating until college! Though I was "asked out" several times, I turned them all down. I saw dating as a pointless, frivolous, emotionally-charged waste of time. Who need to have your "heart broken" multiple times before finding true love? Not I.

 

When I left for college at 18, my 16 year old sister was sure I was emotionally stunted and would be a "babe in the woods" since I had never dated. I met a wonderful guy named Jason during my first semester. We went to several group functions in the fall and starting hanging out together, then went on our first date in January. We married after 2.5 years of dating and have been married 5 years. I thank God every day that I didn't get tied up in relationships with other guys who I was not going to marry. I have nothing to regret, nothing to remember with shame. The awesome part is that he doesn't either! He was barely 17 when I met him, and he too had never dated. He was allowed to, and his parents were actually upset that he didn't, because it didn't fit with their image of the perfect well-rounded teen.

 

My sister, on the other hand, dated a handful of guys when she was 16-18. She got lots of "experience", but it sure hasn't helped her form a lasting relationship. At 19, she started shacking up with her boyfriend, and they lived together for 4 years, though she figured out much earlier she wouldn't be marrying him. She felt trapped because they had had sex and she still liked him but couldn't see herself with him forever. She finally moved out, and now at 25 is dating a guy who I think she may marry. They have both dated a lot of people, and I know this affects their relationship. They both have doubts about whether this relationship can last and whether it should. I think early dating/breakups contributed. They are both a bit jealous of each others' past relationships. Jason's 28-year-old older brother who dated extensively as a teen is in a similar situation.

 

Jason and I have decided that as long as our children are living under our roof, they will not be dating until they are ready financially and emotionally for marriage. This may be at an age younger than 18, since we're not discounting the possibility that we may have a child who has a viable trade or a jump on a college degree by then. However, we are not going to pander to immature teen desires to have a boyfriend/girlfriend. We think it is both silly and dangerous for teens to get entangled in such adult relationships when they are not prepared to actually be adults (feed, clothe, house, transport themselves, raise a child, etc.) We hope that this won't be something that we'll have to "enforce" with our teens, but rather that they will be convinced of the wisdom of waiting as we were.

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Does this mean they call each other on the phone?

 

Surely they don't go anywhere as boyfriend/girlfriend at those ages. By this I mean that surely there aren't parents out there who are facilitating their 13 and 14yo children in actual dating.

 

Dd 10 has acquaintances who tell her they have boyfriends in public school, but I don't think they actually get together and do anything.

Many 13 and 14 year olds are allowed to go on "real" dates...out to dinner, to dances, to the movies, etc.

(I haven't decided my stance on this, just wanted to share that there are many who ARE allowed to do this.)

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I can't possibly read through all the responses while waiting for my kids to finish their Erie Canal worksheets!! So please forgive me if I repeat someone else's answer.

 

My kids grew up in the teaching that recreational dating is wrong. We did not do the whole courtship thing, but I did teach them that we just don't play around with people's hearts. So there was no dating allowed until they were about 16 and then it was discouraged. I say all this to give you some background on how I approach dating.

 

Having said all that, I would have lots of serious talks with the son about his girl craziness. I would really work on getting him to value friendships with girls and not try to pair off at such a young age. You will be swimming upstream and feel like you are fighting a losing battle most days, but keep on swimming. Don't be be harsh, don't be judgemental, don't minimize your son's feelings. Just help him deal with these new attractions in a healthy way and keep the communication flowing!! Don't encourage the pairing off but encourage group activities.

 

As for your daughter, she is nearly an adult. I think you need to let her explore this relationship and provide her a safety net while doing so. If my current 17 year old had the situation that you are describing we would let her choose her course of action.

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