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Martha: How does your son approach relationships with girls? What does he think the point of dating is? What kind of girl does he want to date? What does he think will be his reaction to falling in love? And is he wanting to start down a path where that is likely?

 

These questions determine the girl he will be attracted to and whether he is ready to date. It will also get him thinking about what kind of guy he wants to be. Is he a guy that he would think ready for a relationship? Or are we just playing? Because playing with emotions and relationships rarely ends without heartbreak.

 

 

I know! We had this conversation, in-depth, just today! These are important questions.

 

I met my dh at 16. We were engaged within a few weeks and married at 19.

 

My parents were rather cavalier about it.

 

His parents were completely spazzing and freaking and trying to futilly reign in speeding train.:lol:

 

LOL.

 

Thing is, whether YOU think it is right, appropriate, real, good, or whatever doesn't matter at that point.

 

If they think they are in love, then they will ACT as though they are in love. And telling them it isn't so wont do anything but hurt everyone involved.

 

Yeah, I know. We aren't to the "in-love" thing yet, thankfully. Just the "I really like her and we agree on a lot of things" thing.

 

So, I'd sit son down and say its time to talk about what love is and how we act in relationships to reflect it.. Is he read to treat a girl that way? And if not, and if every decent girl deserves that, then why is he claiming a relationship with her?

 

He says, and I quote: You do not have to ever worry about my morals Mom, or hers. We are never going to proceed to anything intimate before I get married. This has been my decision for a long time.

 

Me: Yes, but you don't understand the power of hormones. The Bible tells us to FLEE temptation because it is a strong power.

 

Yes, it's all very serious. Not to purposely put a damper on things. Nifty side effect, but there it is.

 

Yes, I know! But if I just shut it down now, which I can do, since he is still 13, would that accomplish my goal better than letting him talk to her (so long as it does not get out of hand)? I dunno.

 

Also, I think it is EXTREMELY hard for parents to introduce this kind of thinking after the fact. We started these talks when our kids are about 12/13. Lots and lots of talking.

 

We've been doing this for a couple of years. I'm just surprised that this happened already. But then, I liked guys and even had a boyfriend at school when I was 12.

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Yeah, I know. We aren't to the "in-love" thing yet, thankfully. Just the "I really like her and we agree on a lot of things" thing.

 

He says, and I quote: You do not have to ever worry about my morals Mom, or hers. We are never going to proceed to anything intimate before I get married. This has been my decision for a long time.

 

Yes, I know! But if I just shut it down now, which I can do, since he is still 13, would that accomplish my goal better than letting him talk to her (so long as it does not get out of hand)? I dunno.

 

First, clear some things up!

 

This conversation is not about sex. Plenty of chaste people break each others hearts every day.

 

This is about relationships. Sure they just like each other now. That's the way it always starts. The point is: does he understand what he is starting and where it can end? It's not like there is some magical moment where a couple says, "oh no! I think it might start to get serious tomorrow, so I'm going to break up today."

 

No. It's more like this:

 

Point a - Interesting.

B - Hmm. Nice.

C - Sorta like her.

D - Really like her

E - I can't live without her.

 

The time from point a to e might be many months or weeks or longer. You just don't know when you ask that gal out on date bc she seems nice. At least I didn't have a clue when I went on my first date with dh. Maybe other people do.

 

I'm not sure what you meant by shutting things down. Already too late for that.

 

However, personally, we never pay for dates and we never drive for dates. Any man that can't pay for his date and meet her on his own, is not in a position to date. Besides that, it makes me feel like a pimp to pay for dates and drive them to it. :tongue_smilie:

 

So sure he can hang out with her. She can come over. Calls. FB. Whatever. But dates? Nope. Not in any strict sense of the term anyways.:)

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Martha: First, clear some things up!

 

This conversation is not about sex. Plenty of chaste people break each others hearts every day.

 

This is about relationships. Sure they just like each other now. That's the way it always starts. The point is: does he understand what he is starting and where it can end? It's not like there is some magical moment where a couple says, "oh no! I think it might start to get serious tomorrow, so I'm going to break up today."

 

No. It's more like this:

 

Point a - Interesting.

B - Hmm. Nice.

C - Sorta like her.

D - Really like her

E - I can't live without her.

 

You are so right. We talked about this today. It isn't casual when other people's feelings are involved. He claims he has some friends who already have been dumped by girls and it hurts them, so is aware. He claims he won't get too involved to get hurt and I tried to explain how impossible this is!

 

 

However, personally, we never pay for dates and we never drive for dates. Any man that can't pay for his date and meet her on his own, is not in a position to date. Besides that, it makes me feel like a pimp to pay for dates and drive them to it. :tongue_smilie:

 

Good advice there. I was really just driving him to the rink where I knew she would be. But yes, I'm going to use these lines. I don't mind taking him places he would go anyway, and he can pay if he wants to go.

 

So sure he can hang out with her. She can come over. Calls. FB. Whatever. But dates? Nope. Not in any strict sense of the term anyways.

 

That's how I feel about it. Now he wants to go to a sporting event next weekend at her school. Huge school so tens of thousands of people will be there. Going to have to say no to that one. No way to supervise or know who he will be with.

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I frequent a few forums and I just don't want to be this lady in a few years. That's why this is such a concern to me. I've heard this story and its variations over and over and over (details changed to protect person).

 

We are Christians who have six children, and who have homeschooled for 20 years. Two years ago when my daughter was 17, our family went through a hurtful separation from our church community of eighteen years, and our family decided to move to a different state when my husband landed a new position. Because of this move, my daughter's remaining high school time was filled with loneliness and rejection in her new school. As soon as she graduated, she moved out of our home and into an apartment with a coworker and has gone into complete rebellion. She says that she is an adult and can do what she wants. She stays out all night drinking and partying with friends, worries that she might be pregnant by the thirty year old man she is dating now. Two years ago, she was a Christian youth group leader, singing in the worship band...she has a beautiful voice and believes God has called her to worship ministry. She admits that she doesn't understand why she is doing what she is doing but doesn't care and is enjoying it. I am heartbroken and devastated beyond words over what has happened to my precious daughter in such a short time.

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jenn&charles: Did that girl do what she did because of her parent's restrictions? Did she do it for other reasons? Are the reasons much more complicated than whether she was allowed to date or not or...???

 

 

I don't know! I wish I did.

 

I'm not against girls and boys spending time together in a non-romantic context though. I'm in the "don't awaken love before it's time" camp.

 

 

Well, I agree with you. That's what I wanted too! So I'm not sure how to get there from here. I don't want love awakened now either and am not sure what to do, other than just a clampdown.

 

I'm hoping for the same thing you wrote about for my own daughter, by the way.

 

I'm just sharing my thoughts because I feel like it's in the minority and maybe someone else who is sitting by quietly will appreciate that they are not the only ones who DON'T believe in dating young.

 

 

I don't believe in it either. Are they dating, just to go skating together with her friends and his? I did stuff like that. I guess I need to define dating. They all say they are "dating" even if they are only talking to each other online!

 

 

I've heard this over and over: "Well, they are just going to do it anyway and I'd rather know what's going on." I don't subscribe to that. I'm trying to teach my son self control and that he can't always indulge his feelings.

 

 

Ok. Would you not let him go skating with his male friend where he would meet girls (which is how he met this girl)? Told him he can talk to her but not text or facebook? I'd like to know what you would have done differently if you were in my shoes.

 

He is to treat her as a sister in Christ and it's not just about him, it's about her too!

 

 

We've had these conversations too. So would he not be able to spend time with girls he likes, if just friendly? I really thought that was what I was allowing, to be honest. I don't know how he decided it was ok to give her a peck, but we will be talking about it more, for sure.

 

 

Aren't you being a little judgmental about both the moms you mention? ;) I don't mean that in a harsh way. They just have a different belief than you and the one mom may be worried about her own son.

 

Well, I didn't mean to be. I was just blown away by the hypocrisy of the first, and I do understand that the second might be concerned for a reason, having Mr. Personality as a son. I don't think she was criticizing me. She's just worried, having had some tough experiences with an older child, but his other friends are just as eager - and less honest - about having or wanting girlfriends.

 

 

 

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Reading further, even though he did tell you after the fact, did it really conform to your values and what you have asked of him as far as behavior for him to kiss a girl even lightly upon their first meeting?

 

I guess your decision depends partially on your answer. But you do have to decide where your real line in the sand is and how you are going to respond to a child who crosses it. :001_huh:

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For what it's worth, I'm not one who frowns on young romance. I don't think having one's 'heart broken' through a dating break up is a life long catastrophe, and I certianly don't think that a variety of romantic experiences before marriage is like having pieces of your heart lost forever. I consider dating beneficial, even when it is unsuccessful and ends unpleasantly -- mostly because it teaches us who we are and helps us gather the information we need in order to make an important decision like spouse selection.

 

So, I don't see any problem with skating and dating, hugging and kissing at that time of life for boys or girls.

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MomatHWTK: Reading further, even though he did tell you after the fact, did it really conform to your values and what you have asked of him as far as behavior for him to kiss a girl even lightly upon their first meeting?

 

To clarify: It was not their first meeting. He has seen her a few times and talked to her daily since they met a few weeks ago. I'd be horrified if he kissed her when he just met her.

 

But no, it does not conform to my values, nor our instruction to "keep your hands and lips to yourself", which is exactly what I said when we let him go, knowing she would be there this time. Yes, he confessed the truth. But after he did it anyway.

 

So...

 

I guess your decision depends partially on your answer. But you do have to decide where your real line in the sand is and how you are going to respond to a child who crosses it.

 

 

So...how should we respond, in your view?

 

This kind of stuff turns my hair even whiter than it really is (under that pretty blonde color I purchase. ;))

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I'm so glad you took everything I said in the way it was intended. I went to dinner and worried you would think I was saying dating = sex. I was just showing that I don't think it's a simple equation.

 

I think the questions Matha poses are great ones. We talk like that too. I'm trying to have this conversation without you feeling like I am imposing my thinking on you.

 

By the way, I have been unflinchingly strict on all these topics you mention, and perhaps even more. My son has many goals, and is a serious athlete, which takes a lot of time in itself. This is all about what contact my son can have with girls - what is appropriate for him, given his nature and trustworthiness so far. I just can't go so far as to prohibit him, wisely...I think. :confused: I dunno...that's why I am talking to you all! I want to hear these various opinions!

 

 

 

 

And neither did my daughter. My son is totally different than my daughter, though they are both really academic-minded. He told me he would marry early and have at least 6 kids when he was really young, but that he would never do anything inappropriate and only wanted to really fall in love once.

 

On second thought....maybe I shouldn't let him talk to girls!;)

 

 

 

See, I had a totally different experience. My first boyfriend was in junior high, when we were twelve. He was wonderful, and a real inspiration. Top of the class, funny, smart and cute. I still remember him saying to me, "No, I'm not going to do your Algebra for you; you will never learn to do it yourself and you have to learn this!".

 

I eventually broke it off with him, because I was stupid and my "cooler" friends didn't really approve of him (can we say shallow? My kid today is a much better person than I was). One of the very few regrets of my life - how I hurt him. This relationship was truly mutually beneficial and he never did a single, inappropriate thing. I can't say that about the guys I dated in my late teens, by any means.

 

 

 

Yeah, I understand. More maturity means more hormones though.

 

 

 

This is true and I had the same experiences, back when abortions had just become legal! I was one of the only ones of our group who didn't get pregnant. But all of my more charged relationships were in my late teens, not my early ones.

 

 

 

You are right. It isn't simple. That's why I'm talking to all of you! Also, I just need to pray and find the right answer for this kid now.

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Tranquil,

 

I just want to make sure you know this is a safe place to talk these things through. I know that each one of us wants the best for our kids. Parenting is hard work.

 

Our eldest waited a long time to start dating by standards. But, it's been rocky. He's been dating his current girlfriend for a little over 6 months. He rents across the street from us. She spends most nights there. He says it's hard to have her leave when he knows nothing will happen and he thinks thry will marry.

 

Regardless, one day they do decide for themselves. I don't sanction what they are doing, and neither do her parents. But, they are adults not living at home. I am not for living together prior to marriage. I think they are cheating by enjoying something without the commitment. I think it looks bad to his roommates and the neighbors. I realize most people don't take issue to this. But I do.

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:iagree:

Honestly, I have no use for people who think their kids are some sort of clean slate that other people's kids are out to soil. Such people are living in the clouds and nothing will ever be their child's fault. I'd go look for some friends who admit their kids are imperfect and take appropriate responsibility.
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Wait! He disobeyed you on something that was discussed as a no go morally and per parental rules right before the event and he did it (kissed her) anyways? And then he says you have nothing to worry about with regard to his morals with this girl?

 

Alrighty. That is a whole other ball o wax.

 

One, that isn't about girls. If he had decided upon a "better to ask forgiveness than permission mindset" with a buddy in some manner (motorbiking, going somewhere he was told not to, whatever...) - what would be your response? I would impose it post haste! I hate that passive aggressive carp and it steams me royal. If they disagree and want to use free will, fine. I won't like it any different. But at least I can trust them and have some respect for their being honest about it.

 

Two, I'd be having a discussion about how his claims of high moral fortitude don't match his first venture in the wilds.;) What does it say about his relationship both with her and his family? It might say nothing. Maybe all it says is he wasn't thinking or considering that it was a reversal of his previous stated opinions and goals. (to not start relationship? To listen to family guidance? Idk if he had any. Just an example.) Even if it says nothing about the relationship aspect, it absolutely says something about his maturity and ability to think beyond the intensity of the moment. And I should add I would be careful to let him know this is not a failing of his character. Rather it is simply a sign of the truth of his age.

 

How would proceed from there is up to you.

 

I wouldn't be cracking a whip about the girl. I'd not encourage dating at all, but other than that, I wouldn't discourage hanging out in general among their friends in public.

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Martha: Wait! He disobeyed you on something that was discussed as a no go morally and per parental rules right before the event and he did it (kissed her) anyways? And then he says you have nothing to worry about with regard to his morals with this girl?

 

Alrighty. That is a whole other ball o wax.

 

One, that isn't about girls. If he had decided upon a "better to ask forgiveness than permission mindset" with a buddy in some manner (motorbiking, going somewhere he was told not to, whatever...) - what would be your response?

 

Yeah, I've been struggling with this. On one hand, he voluntarily told me. On the other, yes, it was exactly "it's better to ask forgiveness than permission", when you think about it. I used exactly those words tonight with my husband while discussing it.

 

But...if I now impose a punishment/consequence for doing something I told him not to do...will he just not feel so compelled to confess it next time? And if I don't find out, will he consider just not telling me the way to go? Or will he actually not do it?

 

Arrgh. I know I can't just leave it alone. This is exactly what has been bothering me today, now that I've pinpointed it.

 

I would impose it post haste! I hate that passive aggressive carp and it steams me royal. If they disagree and want to use free will, fine. I won't like it any different. But at least I can trust them and have some respect for their being honest about it.

 

 

So...what do I do at this venture. I don't understand the bolded. Can you elaborate? Might be me...it's late!

 

Two, I'd be having a discussion about how his claims of high moral fortitude don't match his first venture in the wilds.;) What does it say about his relationship both with her and his family? It might say nothing. Maybe all it says is he wasn't thinking or considering that it was a reversal of his previous stated opinions and goals.

 

Yeah, at 13, I'm thinking he hasn't really thought this inconsistency through.

 

 

Even if it says nothing about the relationship aspect, it absolutely says something about his maturity and ability to think beyond the intensity of the moment. And I should add I would be careful to let him know this is not a failing of his character. Rather it is simply a sign of the truth of his age.

 

 

Right. We had this talk today! Temptation is strong at any age when attraction is there.

 

How would proceed from there is up to you.

 

Well, help me, Martha! You are more experienced! We don't know what to do, actually. I want to make it clear that disobeying our rule is NOT ok, without discouraging truthfulness in the future. What do we do? We only have two kids, and the first put us through a lot, but not this, really. We are uncertain as to how to proceed to make this all clear.

 

I wouldn't be cracking a whip about the girl. I'd not encourage dating at all, but other than that, I wouldn't discourage hanging out in general among their friends in public.

 

 

Yes, this was our general conclusion but we still need to figure out the above. I need your advice!

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I guess I'm still stuck on being in any kind of relationship at 13. What's the point? He isn't getting married, he isn't in any kind of a position or maturity level to have any sort of a relationship. It's all just playing with words.

 

I didn't have my first kiss until I was 18. My husband didn't have his first kiss until we were engaged when I was 27 and he was 25. I was his first girlfriend or relationship, ever. He wasn't socially awkward, he was well-adjusted, had plenty of friends, had a good job, and had been so busy between work and sports since he was a young teenager that dating wasn't high on his list.

And it had nothing to do with parental restrictions, because neither of us had any. (Though if I had kissed a boy at 13, my parents would have been absolutely horrified)

 

Frankly, if your son is spending so much time with this girl and online playing games, chatting, and skyping, I think you need to find activities to keep him busy with.(Admittedly I have no use for computer or video games, and consider them pure timewasters) Hang out in groups and as friends, but there is no need at this age to have "special relationships" and certainly no reason for any physical romantic contact.

 

We have no intention of making any hard and fast dating "rules" for our kids. That is a bridge we will cross when we come to it; but we hope that our children have plenty of other, more valuable things to occupy their time with until they are at the point in their lives when marriage is a feasibility. Before then, dating really has no purpose.

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Yeah, I've been struggling with this. On one hand, he voluntarily told me. On the other, yes, it was exactly "it's better to ask forgiveness than permission", when you think about it. I used exactly those words tonight with my husband while discussing it.

 

Arrgh. I know I can't just leave it alone. This is exactly what has been bothering me today, now that I've pinpointed it.

 

So...what do I do at this venture. I don't understand the bolded. Can you elaborate? Might be me...it's late!

 

I'll be as blunt as can be then.

 

If the boy does not have the cajones to be honest and straightforward with his mama, then he doesn't have the cajones to be dating.

 

I have never told my kids they are to keep their hands and lips to themselves. (maybe I should? Hmmmm.) So I can't answer that aspect.

 

What we have told our kids over many many conversations, is what dating is. What having a relationship means or can mean or should mean. How we expect them to treat others and what kind of treatment we hope they view as acceptable. Whenever they say they are ready or interested or just want to talk more about it - we will be ready to do so. But we expect them to be honest with us. In return, we are honest enough to let them know that doesn't mean we are going to like it. But seeing they have the maturity to be straightforward with us, even when we disagree, is a huge point in their favor. It's absolutely a better road than 1/2 truths, lies, or other forms of deceit.

 

 

Yeah, at 13, I'm thinking he hasn't really thought this inconsistency through.

 

Thank goodness for parents to point it out.:tongue_smilie:

 

Right. We had this talk today! Temptation is strong at any age when attraction is there.

 

And so much of it might not even be temptation! Peer pressure. (other guys or just wanting to make her happy.) Curiosity. Spur of the moment inspiration. So often we jump to sexual temptation, but it isn't all or always even about that.

 

 

Yes, this was our general conclusion but we still need to figure out the above. I need your advice!

 

You and dh need to sit down and agree on how to handle it. And then let dad do most or all of the talking to ds. If at all possible. I know sometimes it isn't and then us moms and sons just have to muck it up as best we can and let the Lord fix the rest.

 

If there is a punishment/consequence or whatever for the kiss, I'd def approach it from this isn't about the kiss - this is about disobeying and inappropriate behavior. If you can relate it to an example of disobeying or inappropriate behavior while hanging out with a guy buddy. And make the consequence similiar. Nothing tragic, but impressionable. He needs to understand that just bc it's a girl, doesn't mean the rules change.

 

Other than that, a discussion about being straight forward and honest. Cajones might be mentioned. :D We would be honest, but most of this part of the conversation would be smiles and laughter here, but still very serious. We don't want to put them down or think we hate them. But we want to have AGREEMENT on manly behavior. Dating implies a manly relationship building activity. Men don't sneak or pull stunts like that with or about their lady friends.

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I'm flummoxed people think you can keep a teen so busy with extracurriculars they just won't have time for the girl. :lol:

 

I hate to break it to you folks, but being on the football team or whatever never kept anyone I went to school with from getting busy if they wanted to and I'm betting it hasn't changed with kids today. If anything it seems more likely today.

 

There is always time for tea if they want to do it.

 

By all means, keep him busy in positive ways regardless. That's just good advice for boys in general.

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MedicMom: I guess I'm still stuck on being in any kind of relationship at 13. What's the point? He isn't getting married, he isn't in any kind of a position or maturity level to have any sort of a relationship. It's all just playing with words.

 

I agree and I've said all these things!

 

I didn't have my first kiss until I was 18. My husband didn't have his first kiss until we were engaged when I was 27 and he was 25. I was his first girlfriend or relationship, ever.

 

I was my husband's first girlfriend too! He is NO help here. He never dated either. He went to an all male school for high school. He hasn't a clue what to do here either to discourage dating and encourage truthfulness without simply putting down the hammer.

 

 

And it had nothing to do with parental restrictions, because neither of us had any. (Though if I had kissed a boy at 13, my parents would have been absolutely horrified)

 

I kissed a boy at 12! My parents never had any idea of what I was doing, for a variety of reasons (one being a chronically ill sibling). I am not that parent.

 

Frankly, if your son is spending so much time with this girl and online playing games, chatting, and skyping, I think you need to find activities to keep him busy with.(Admittedly I have no use for computer or video games, and consider them pure timewasters) Hang out in groups and as friends, but there is no need at this age to have "special relationships" and certainly no reason for any physical romantic contact.

 

Well, he isn't, really. He may only text after school hours and before 10 and he has sports several nights a week, so he isn't texting then. No computer/skype during the school week. It really is limited to weekends after his sporting events, mostly and a few friendly texts after school (nothing inappropriate- I've followed them). He's on a travel team and will be busy most weekends for the next six months now.

 

Totally agree about the last sentence and trying to figure out how to get that horse back in the barn. I thought we were clear enough before. Maybe it's the co-op influence. He says everyone has a boyfriend/girlfriend there. This never occurred to me.

 

We have no intention of making any hard and fast dating "rules" for our kids. That is a bridge we will cross when we come to it; but we hope that our children have plenty of other, more valuable things to occupy their time with until they are at the point in their lives when marriage is a feasibility. Before then, dating really has no purpose.

 

Agree with everything you've said. For a heavily academic kid who works long hours on schoolwork and also plays travel sports, I'm not sure what else I could get him involved in!

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Martha: I'm flummoxed people think you can keep a teen so busy with extracurriculars they just won't have time for the girl. :lol:

 

Me too! I just responded to a remark like that. I've really tried! He does heavily academic work a year ahead of his grade level, and plays travel sports! The kid is busy all the time. But he still has eyes in his head for a pretty girl, I guess.

 

I hate to break it to you folks, but being on the football team or whatever never kept anyone I went to school with from getting busy if they wanted to and I'm betting it hasn't changed with kids today. If anything it seems more likely today.

 

Yeah, I think you are right. I'm really, really trying to discourage this!

 

 

By all means, keep him busy in positive ways regardless. That's just good advice for boys in general.

 

 

We sure are doing this!

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a Couple thoughts:

- I think its crazy for parents to overreact about parenting differences that have no affect on others beyond illustrating that everyone's different.

- I don't think its wise to make rules about acceptable ways of showing affection for people who are old enough to date. Sure, he shouldn't have disobeyed regarding kissing but ... if he's old enough to date, shouldn't he also be old enough to make that decision about expressing his feelings with a kiss? If you don't think he's old enough to decide that then maybe he shouldn't be dating yet. Don't get me wrong, I will teach my children what what I believe is the appropriate time to share physical intimacy, I just don't believe I can make rules about it & impose consequences if they went followed - at least not when I allow them to date, which is by definition an intimate relationship.

 

Idk, parenting is tough & my oldest is only 9. I may know nothing, ask me in 20 years how well I did.

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Martha:

 

If the boy does not have the cajones to be honest and straightforward with his mama, then he doesn't have the cajones to be dating.

 

Agreed. But he was honest. He did tell me. This is a matter of substituting his own judgment for ours, i.e. disobedience, not dishonesty, I think.

 

I have never told my kids they are to keep their hands and lips to themselves. (maybe I should? Hmmmm.) So I can't answer that aspect.

 

I guess I anticipated him. Rightly, it would appear. But there must be some consequence for not doing what I told him to do. What should that be?

 

What we have told our kids over many many conversations, is what dating is. What having a relationship means or can mean or should mean. How we expect them to treat others and what kind of treatment we hope they view as acceptable. Whenever they say they are ready or interested or just want to talk more about it - we will be ready to do so. But we expect them to be honest with us. In return, we are honest enough to let them know that doesn't mean we are going to like it. But seeing they have the maturity to be straightforward with us, even when we disagree, is a huge point in their favor. It's absolutely a better road than 1/2 truths, lies, or other forms of deceit.

 

Absolutely agree and said basically most of the same stuff.

 

 

And so much of it might not even be temptation! Peer pressure. (other guys or just wanting to make her happy.) Curiosity. Spur of the moment inspiration. So often we jump to sexual temptation, but it isn't all or always even about that.

 

I really think it was the bolded more than "temptation", now that I think about it. I don't think she is a vixen or anything (does anyone still remember that word?). They just like each other, the moment arose, and curiousity got the better of him. Plus the "swag" (bragging rights), I'm thinking, of having an older "girlfriend".

 

 

You and dh need to sit down and agree on how to handle it. And then let dad do most or all of the talking to ds. If at all possible. I know sometimes it isn't and then us moms and sons just have to muck it up as best we can and let the Lord fix the rest.

 

We did, tonight. He is clueless too! We'll revisit it tomorrow when he doesn't get home so late.

 

If there is a punishment/consequence or whatever for the kiss, I'd def approach it from this isn't about the kiss - this is about disobeying and inappropriate behavior.

 

Exactly!

 

If you can relate it to an example of disobeying or inappropriate behavior while hanging out with a guy buddy. And make the consequence similiar. Nothing tragic, but impressionable. He needs to understand that just bc it's a girl, doesn't mean the rules change.

 

 

Right!

 

Other than that, a discussion about being straight forward and honest. Cajones might be mentioned. :D We would be honest, but most of this part of the conversation would be smiles and laughter here, but still very serious. We don't want to put them down or think we hate them. But we want to have AGREEMENT on manly behavior. Dating implies a manly relationship building activity. Men don't sneak or pull stunts like that with or about their lady friends.

 

Noted. Will do and will let you know how it went.

Edited by TranquilMind
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momoflaw: a Couple thoughts:

- I think its crazy for parents to overreact about parenting differences that have no affect on others beyond illustrating that everyone's different.

 

True. But it has happened to me a LOT for some reason.

 

- I don't think its wise to make rules about acceptable ways of showing affection for people who are old enough to date. Sure, he shouldn't have disobeyed regarding kissing but ... if he's old enough to date, shouldn't he also be old enough to make that decision about expressing his feelings with a kiss? If you don't think he's old enough to decide that then maybe he shouldn't be dating yet.

 

Yes, this is a good point. And I have no idea what made me even SAY, "Keep your hands and lips to yourself" when I knew she would be there. It just came out. For good reason, as it turns out.

 

We need to have a respect conversation, I see. All of us, not just he and I, as we did today.

 

 

Don't get me wrong, I will teach my children what what I believe is the appropriate time to share physical intimacy, I just don't believe I can make rules about it & impose consequences if they went followed - at least not when I allow them to date, which is by definition an intimate relationship.

 

Well, you make an interesting point. I didn't call it dating. HE called it a date. I called it hanging out with friends (one of them a girl he likes). Other people do this. I figured he could do it, in a group.

 

Idk, parenting is tough & my oldest is only 9. I may know nothing, ask me in 20 years how well I did.

 

It gets tougher every year! The teen years are a wild ride. Hang on.

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Agreed. But he was honest. He did tell me. This is a matter of substituting his own judgment for ours, i.e. disobedience, not dishonesty, I think.

 

I guess I anticipated him. Rightly, it would appear. But there must be some consequence for not doing what I told him to do. What should that be?

 

Honestly? It sounds to me like you were ignoring your instincts here. Something told you this was setting him for a certain outcome and you seemed to have expected him to not fall in the trap. Or more likely you just hoped you were being paranoid or too worried.

 

I'd take ownership of that. I'd tell him that his choices are his choices and he chose wrongly by not listening to your wiser advice. But also, that this shows you do know something about these things. That you can see clearer than him about how things are likely to unfold. He probably didn't think he would end up kissing her, but you clearly saw all the signs he missed.

 

I don't know your kid. You do. My goal with whatever I did would be to get him to man up in the relationship. (e.g. Be straight forward if he disagrees and admit when he is wrong) and to reach a point of mutual agreement in how to proceed.. If you feel any consequence would be turned negative, then I suppose you should act accordingly.

 

Only you know how best to reach him to effect that response. I would completely have a different aproach with my oldest vs my second born vs my third born. They are so completely different and I have a unique relationship with each of them.

 

Sorry. Wish it was easier.

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We have no intention of making any hard and fast dating "rules" for our kids. That is a bridge we will cross when we come to it; but we hope that our children have plenty of other, more valuable things to occupy their time with until they are at the point in their lives when marriage is a feasibility. Before then, dating really has no purpose.

 

I'm sorry, but I completely disagree with you that "dating really has no purpose" until they are at the point in their lives when marriage is feasible.

 

What about people who never plan to marry? Should they never date? :confused:

 

Dating is fun. I dated for years. Life was good. :001_smile:

 

I'm not suggesting that 13 year-olds should be seriously dating. Not at all! My ds is 12, and I really and truly hope he doesn't want to start dating next year! :eek: But to say that dating has no purpose unless you are ready to think about marriage seems a bit extreme to me. Dating, whether casual or serious, can involve a lot of great times, and it's fun to meet and spend time with many interesting new people. Sure, I'll admit that some of the guys I dated over the years were idiots, but hey, I'm sure some of them thought I was an idiot, too, so it's all good. :tongue_smilie:

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We had the conversation this morning about the keeping of his hands and lips to himself. He said he thought I was joking around with light-hearted comments, and that he didn't associate that with a little peck. I made it clear that I was not joking and I did mean what I said, and why. It was gentle and I hope he gets my point. I want him to talk to me but I have to trust that he will follow our requirements.

 

I asked him if he thought I was "joking" when I said not to leave the building. No, he knew I meant that.

 

Giving him the benefit of the doubt...once.

Edited by TranquilMind
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Martha;4321670]Honestly? It sounds to me like you were ignoring your instincts here. Something told you this was setting him for a certain outcome and you seemed to have expected him to not fall in the trap. Or more likely you just hoped you were being paranoid or too worried.

 

Yes, I think that I am careful, and I definitely pay attention to my gut reaction. I don't know that I was ignoring it, but maybe I was.

 

I'd take ownership of that. I'd tell him that his choices are his choices and he chose wrongly by not listening to your wiser advice. But also, that this shows you do know something about these things. That you can see clearer than him about how things are likely to unfold. He probably didn't think he would end up kissing her, but you clearly saw all the signs he missed.

 

Absolutely. I told him about the FOUR friends I had in high school who got pregnant, and how this sort of thing is not God's plan for him, and how it would change his plans to start down a road he doesn't want to be on.

 

I don't know your kid. You do. My goal with whatever I did would be to get him to man up in the relationship. (e.g. Be straight forward if he disagrees and admit when he is wrong) and to reach a point of mutual agreement in how to proceed.. If you feel any consequence would be turned negative, then I suppose you should act accordingly.

 

Agree, but what does "if you feel any consequence would be turned negative" mean? Not following.

 

Only you know how best to reach him to effect that response. I would completely have a different aproach with my oldest vs my second born vs my third born. They are so completely different and I have a unique relationship with each of them.

 

I was too hard on my oldest, with some negative effects. I just really, really don't want to do this with an "easier" kid.

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Catwoman: I'm sorry, but I completely disagree with you that "dating really has no purpose" until they are at the point in their lives when marriage is feasible.

 

What about people who never plan to marry? Should they never date? :confused:

 

Dating is fun. I dated for years. Life was good. :001_smile:

 

Dating can be fun, so long as it stays within parameters. I dated til I was almost 30. That's too much dating! Finally, I stopped, deciding I was going to wait until my husband.

 

I'm not suggesting that 13 year-olds should be seriously dating. Not at all! My ds is 12, and I really and truly hope he doesn't want to start dating next year! :eek:

 

Laughing. Yeah. My words EXACTLY.

 

 

But to say that dating has no purpose unless you are ready to think about marriage seems a bit extreme to me. Dating, whether casual or serious, can involve a lot of great times, and it's fun to meet and spend time with many interesting new people. Sure, I'll admit that some of the guys I dated over the years were idiots, but hey, I'm sure some of them thought I was an idiot, too, so it's all good. :tongue_smilie:

 

I'm in the "Don't get heart-involved" category, but not the "Don't ever date until ready for marriage" category. I think both extreme edges have dangers and really want to guide him onto the middle of the road.

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I agree.

 

I kinda hope my kids don't want to date at 13, but I'm not against the idea of dating in general.

 

I dated a guy for 4 years starting when I was 17 (I had already graduated from high school). I cannot imagine being forced at that point in my life to only focus on marriageable material. I had no idea what I wanted at 17. The purpose of dating for me was to have fun and maybe figure out what it is that I did want.

 

I think a lot of the purpose of dating is figuring out what you DO NOT want. I know I did.

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What would I do... nothing different!

 

They are 13/15 - by the time you FIGURE OUT what you are going to do, the "relationship" could be over.

 

Or - it won't and you will get to know her and find she is a sweet girl who makes your son happy.

 

Or -- that won't be the case - but then I'd just cross that bridge when it happens!

 

I will say though - keep doing whatever it is you ARE doing b/c clearly it is working if you have such good communication with your son! Kind of ironic, isn't it, that the other mom could actually use some advice from YOU!

 

Yes to all of this! I think I would opt not to make a big deal one way or the other out of "boyfriend/girlfriend" -- I'd neither squelch them using those terms, nor would I push it. It's likely that they'll drift apart at some point, or find a natural end, but it's also possible that it will become serious. Teen relationships *do* sometimes last; I was in a relationship that became serious quickly, at age 14, with a 16yo boy, and I very much appreciate that my parents didn't put it down as "just a teen thing." Even if it might not have been what they'd have imagined for their 14yo, it was very real (obviously; they got four grandchildren and a son-in-law out of that teen romance). I think you are handling it all very well, and I think you need to keep your focus on your son and his relationships -- are he and this girl acting appropriately for their ages? -- rather than what other people say.

 

ETA: Fwiw, I don't really have a set plan in mind about my kids re: dating, because of my own experiences. I don't want to encourage a lot of casual, serial dating. I think I prefer more of a courtship mindset, in general, but I don't want to push my kids to get serious before they're ready, nor do I want to deny the possibility of that happening. I think I really am going to have to make decisions based on the information I have at the time, and it might be different for each child.

Edited by happypamama
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I'm flummoxed people think you can keep a teen so busy with extracurriculars they just won't have time for the girl. :lol:

 

I hate to break it to you folks, but being on the football team or whatever never kept anyone I went to school with from getting busy if they wanted to and I'm betting it hasn't changed with kids today. If anything it seems more likely today.

 

There is always time for tea if they want to do it.

 

By all means, keep him busy in positive ways regardless. That's just good advice for boys in general.

 

Yes, our oldest worked a lot with his dad in his teens. He was busier as a high schooler than as a college student. I think part of his downfall was entering college life and having so much free time. Most people his age in the Christian were a few years behind in their and much more social and laid back. He realized he didn't need to work so hard and slacked off. Clearly, he wasn't mature enough within, for when he started gaming with friends, that was it.

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Let me ask you this? Where is this relationship supposed to go? Do you expect it to be stagnant? If you don't want it to go any further, then why do you allow the relationship? Boyfriend/Girlfriend relationship by their very nature move forward. If that is not something you want for your son, I suggest you stop the relationship before it becomes "more" in terms of emotions and actions. Are you prepared to deal with the emotional baggage that will come with a failed relationship? Do you believe this relationship will lead to marriage, because if not, it will be a failed relationship you will have to get your son through. Think it through.

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Let me ask you this? Where is this relationship supposed to go? Do you expect it to be stagnant? If you don't want it to go any further, then why do you allow the relationship? Boyfriend/Girlfriend relationship by their very nature move forward. If that is not something you want for your son, I suggest you stop the relationship before it becomes "more" in terms of emotions and actions. Are you prepared to deal with the emotional baggage that will come with a failed relationship? Do you believe this relationship will lead to marriage, because if not, it will be a failed relationship you will have to get your son through. Think it through.

 

:iagree: These are great points!

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Let me ask you this? Where is this relationship supposed to go? Do you expect it to be stagnant? If you don't want it to go any further, then why do you allow the relationship? Boyfriend/Girlfriend relationship by their very nature move forward. If that is not something you want for your son, I suggest you stop the relationship before it becomes "more" in terms of emotions and actions. Are you prepared to deal with the emotional baggage that will come with a failed relationship? Do you believe this relationship will lead to marriage, because if not, it will be a failed relationship you will have to get your son through. Think it through.

 

 

Well, I am. I guess I don't think a "failed relationship" is the end of the world at 13. We've talked about it. I've explained the dangers. Most of us made it through young relationships that didn't work out, as I did.

 

I can't "disallow" the relationship. It is already there; they already like each other. All I can do is block contact, and based upon some experiences I had with my oldest, I'm not convinced this is the way to go.

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Well, I am. I guess I don't think a "failed relationship" is the end of the world at 13. We've talked about it. I've explained the dangers. Most of us made it through young relationships that didn't work out, as I did.

 

I can't "disallow" the relationship. It is already there; they already like each other. All I can do is block contact, and based upon some experiences I had with my oldest, I'm not convinced this is the way to go.

 

Supervise. Support. Believe that you've raised your kids well. You really can't dictate how people feel although parenting would be MUCH easier if you could. And tell others that you trust your kids. Support them. Be there for them. Champion them. Help them if things don't work out. People survive and learn from mistakes. People learn from relationships with other people. And sometimes, young people really do find the person they're looking for really early in life, but don't put that kind of pressure on a pair of young teens.

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I know, and I do understand and appreciate that. It's just the ...irony of the situation. I just don't want to be that parent who has no clue. I'd rather be aboveboard with it, with fair restrictions, given the temperament and honesty level of the given child.

 

 

 

So your son told you he had his first kiss. I will honestly say that mine didn't - I had to hear it from another. I don't know if that makes me "clueless." I think I have a pretty good clue of where teen relationships often go physically,even if I lack the specific details. That is why I am reluctant to let my boys date at a young age, even though they might really LIKE to have a relationship go in exactly that direction. I try to convince their hearts and minds, but meanwhile, I also try to protect them - from their own bad judgement and also from others. So the other Mom may be like me - aware of the possibilities and feeling pretty clued in to the dangers, which is why she is being more cautious than you are.

 

 

Your son may have told you about the kiss, so you feel superior to the clueless parents whose kids have experimented sex@ally without their knowledge. On the other hand, I think it is unlikely your son will continue to give you a play by play throughout his teen years. Will he come home some day and say, "Well, Mom, she let me touch her bre@sts" tonight?" Would you want him to? If he kissed a girl on the first date and they continue to date, you do realize that they probably won't stop with innocent pecks on the cheek, right? I'm not saying they will do anything ... reproductive ... but there will be more than kisses - eventually, with some girl, at some point. Do you plan to know the details? Do you think that it would be appropriate for you to insist he give you details? Are you clueless if he doesn't?

 

It's really hard to figure out how to handle these things in the modern world. My 24 year old is pretty close to us, but obviously we are not privy to all his romantic and s@xual encounters. As it certainly should be - anything else would be sort of icky. But 14 is a long way from 24. I tend to think that at the age when a boy is still so much under his parents' protection that they would really feel entitled to know if he kissed someone and would think he lacks "cojones" for not telling them, as one poster said, he's just flat too young to date.

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Danestress: I try to convince their hearts and minds, but meanwhile, I also try to protect them - from their own bad judgement and also from others.

 

And so do I, emphatically. Just because I didn't get the exact result I was hoping for so far, does not mean it is a failure. This could be a blip in the road. We just don't know yet.

 

 

So the other Mom may be like me - aware of the possibilities and feeling pretty clued in to the dangers, which is why she is being more cautious than you are.

 

I was unclear and conflated two different Moms here. The clueless one was the one who decided that IF our daughter had a boyfriend when she got into high school, the Mom would rethink her relationship with her own daughter - that was the ironic relationship, as her own kids got into relationships at age 12 - both of them. This Mom of the friend of my son is clued in to possibilities, definitely. Though she believes that by keeping her son away from girls, he won't find an opportunity to connect, and I simply don't believe that, especially given his technological prowess.

 

 

Your son may have told you about the kiss, so you feel superior to the clueless parents whose kids have experimented sex@ally without their knowledge.

 

No, I actually do not feel "superior", but thanks for the unwarranted judgment. I'm just wanting to keep the channels open and not come down with a sledgehammer where a chisel might do. Is that inexplicable? I think I DID use the sledgehammer with my oldest, and the result wasn't what I hoped.

 

On the other hand, I think it is unlikely your son will continue to give you a play by play throughout his teen years. Will he come home some day and say, "Well, Mom, she let me touch her bre@sts" tonight?" Would you want him to? If he kissed a girl on the first date and they continue to date, you do realize that they probably won't stop with innocent pecks on the cheek, right? I'm not saying they will do anything ... reproductive ... but there will be more than kisses - eventually, with some girl, at some point. Do you plan to know the details? Do you think that it would be appropriate for you to insist he give you details? Are you clueless if he doesn't?

 

 

Of course not. Of course there will be more "with some girl at some point". So, I should lock him in a closet and take away his cell phone until he is the appropriate age of 18? I'm not sure what you are saying here.

 

I tend to think that at the age when a boy is still so much under his parents' protection that they would really feel entitled to know if he kissed someone and would think he lacks "cojones" for not telling them, as one poster said, he's just flat too young to date.

 

 

I just asked that he decline. He decided to tell me on his own. True, I think he is too young to date and would prefer group situations.

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[quote name=Danestress;4322736

 

Your son may have told you about the kiss' date=' so you feel superior to the clueless parents whose kids have experimented sex@ally without their knowledge. On the other hand, I think it is unlikely your son will continue to give you a play by play throughout his teen years. Will he come home some day and say, "Well, Mom, she let me touch her bre@sts" tonight?" Would you want him to? If he kissed a girl on the first date and they continue to date, you do realize that they probably won't stop with innocent pecks on the cheek, right? I'm not saying they will do anything ... reproductive ... but there will be more than kisses - eventually, with some girl, at some point. Do you plan to know the details? Do you think that it would be appropriate for you to insist he give you details? Are you clueless if he doesn't?

 

It's really hard to figure out how to handle these things in the modern world. My 24 year old is pretty close to us, but obviously we are not privy to all his romantic and s@xual encounters. As it certainly should be - anything else would be sort of icky. But 14 is a long way from 24. I tend to think that at the age when a boy is still so much under his parents' protection that they would really feel entitled to know if he kissed someone and would think he lacks "cojones" for not telling them, as one poster said, he's just flat too young to date.

I agree.

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Yeah, I've been struggling with this. On one hand, he voluntarily told me. On the other, yes, it was exactly "it's better to ask forgiveness than permission", when you think about it. I used exactly those words tonight with my husband while discussing it.

 

But...if I now impose a punishment/consequence for doing something I told him not to do...will he just not feel so compelled to confess it next time? And if I don't find out, will he consider just not telling me the way to go? Or will he actually not do it?

 

 

 

WOW! This is exactly what I am dealing with now, but on much younger "boy" terms. Hmmm... I think there is something here to that. I wonder what I should do NOW for when these situations become bigger situations when he is older. It's much the same dilemma, though. I hate to punish after he told me the truth because I don't want to keep him from telling me the truth next time. Being a parent is HARD.

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I'm flummoxed people think you can keep a teen so busy with extracurriculars they just won't have time for the girl. :lol:

 

I hate to break it to you folks, but being on the football team or whatever never kept anyone I went to school with from getting busy if they wanted to and I'm betting it hasn't changed with kids today. If anything it seems more likely today.

 

There is always time for tea if they want to do it.

 

By all means, keep him busy in positive ways regardless. That's just good advice for boys in general.

 

Exactly. After all, it doesn't exactly take hours back then. ;)

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I really feel for the OP and can understand your dilemma. I grew up in a great home with loving parents and my father was a pastor. I did, however, have lots of rules and restrictions. LOTS. I was always very interested in boys. I had my first "real" kiss at 12 or 13 (the summer before 7th grade) at a church camp. The boy broke up with me because I wouldn't "do more". He quickly found another girl the next day that would. :glare: I, however, moved on pretty quickly and had a real boyfriend when I was 13. We fooled around a lot. No sex, but that wasn't because he didn't want to. I lost my virginity at 14 forcibly and it just went downhill from there. Thankfully, I stopped when I turned 16.

 

All of my sexual encounters were at places that my parents had thought very carefully about and had allowed. Friends houses. School :001_huh:. A skating rink, etc.

 

What I think really matters here is the relationship. I never felt really connected to or attached to my Mom. I think that the OP should be commended for the relationship that she has with her child. That's a good thing!

 

I have no idea what to do in your position. I think about how I will handle it all of the time and it scares me. What is too lax and what is too strict? :confused: For right now, I'm just doing my best to form a very tight relationship with my children. That's all I know to do.

 

P.s. There is also a difference between a confident child and how they will handle circumstances and a child that is not confident. They will handle the exact same situations very differently. I know that some pp were talking about how their confident children are in their 20s and still haven't kissed or anything like that.

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lovinmomma: I really feel for the OP and can understand your dilemma. I grew up in a great home with loving parents and my father was a pastor. I did, however, have lots of rules and restrictions. LOTS. I was always very interested in boys. I had my first "real" kiss at 12 or 13 (the summer before 7th grade) at a church camp. The boy broke up with me because I wouldn't "do more". He quickly found another girl the next day that would. :glare: I, however, moved on pretty quickly and had a real boyfriend when I was 13.

 

All of my sexual encounters were at places that my parents had thought very carefully about and had allowed. Friends houses. School :001_huh:. A skating rink, etc.

 

 

Ack! :eek: Not the rink!

 

But yes, I grew up in a 1000 square foot house with SIX people, and um, yeah...things could happen right there with people home. That's all I will say.

 

 

What I think really matters here is the relationship. I never felt really connected to or attached to my Mom. I think that the OP should be commended for the relationship that she has with her child. That's a good thing!

 

 

Thanks. I'm really trying to keep this connection, while not tipping over into permissiveness.

 

I have no idea what to do in your position. I think about how I will handle it all of the time and it scares me. What is too lax and what is too strict? :confused: For right now, I'm just doing my best to form a very tight relationship with my children. That's all I know to do.

 

 

Me too. I have no idea what I am doing either. I just know that I was overly restrictive with the oldest and it came back to bite me.

 

P.s. There is also a difference between a confident child and how they will handle circumstances and a child that is not confident. They will handle the exact same situations very differently. I know that some pp were talking about how their confident children are in their 20s and still haven't kissed or anything like that.

 

 

I totally get this. I wasn't that confident child until my mid twenties, myself. I so want my kids to be.

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Honestly, I have no use for people who think their kids are some sort of clean slate that other people's kids are out to soil. Such people are living in the clouds and nothing will ever be their child's fault. I'd go look for some friends who admit their kids are imperfect and take appropriate responsibility.

 

:iagree:

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because I have obviously offended you, and without wanting to, because I feel like we are grappling with similar issues and similar types of kids, and if I knew exactly how to handle them, I would just tell you and would do it myself. I have no idea what to do!

 

 

And so do I, emphatically. Just because I didn't get the exact result I was hoping for so far, does not mean it is a failure. This could be a blip in the road. We just don't know yet.

 

Absolutely. I don't think anything about your situation sounds like a failure. It sounds like you have a nice kid who is talking to you and that you are just confused about how much to open the dating door right now for him. I am not sure I would "go there" in terms of letting him declare a relationship online, and letting her think he is her boyfriend, but I also don't think anything bad has happened. I mean, a kiss is just a kiss, right? And he hasn't done a single thing to be ashamed of.

 

 

Though she believes that by keeping her son away from girls, he won't find an opportunity to connect, and I simply don't believe that, especially given his technological prowess.

I wonder if she's just thinking the way I did with my oldest. He went to public school, so of course he connected. But I tried to do a lot of little thing to make it harder for him to really "date" at a young age, or at least to keep some "mom brakes" on it - for example, not letting him go out during the week at night, not letting him go to houses without a parent home, watching his time on the phone. I wasn't really trying to prevent him from having relationships with girls, just trying to make it inconvenient. Slowing things down, perhaps. If I could do it again, I would be bolder about just talking to him about the dangers of dating, the risks involved, the way girls can be possessive or needy, and I would just have talked more instead of trying to be more subtle but manipulative.

 

 

 

No, I actually do not feel "superior", but thanks for the unwarranted judgment. I'm just wanting to keep the channels open and not come down with a sledgehammer where a chisel might do. Is that inexplicable? I think I DID use the sledgehammer with my oldest, and the result wasn't what I hoped.

 

Nothing you have done is inexplicable. I am not sure what a sledgehammer would look like - saying that he isn't old enough to date or your friend not wanting her son in the position of being the "group" for a "group date" doesn't seem like a sledgehammer either. What were things things that you did with your older child that you feel were over the top now? Because from you post, you don't seem like an intrusive Mom.

 

Of course not. Of course there will be more "with some girl at some point". So, I should lock him in a closet and take away his cell phone until he is the appropriate age of 18? I'm not sure what you are saying here.

 

I guess I was trying to say that as a parent, I can see letting him date. And I can see saying "no" for a while. Both seem reasonable for a kid this age.

 

But among the things I would NOT do is that I would NOT make him feel guilty for not telling me about the kiss - and it doesn't sound like you did, but I did get that feeling from some other posters - that a good, mature boy would tell. I actually think it's ok not to - kids have an emerging desire and right to privacy at this age. I don't understand the concept of having punishment and consequences for a boy giving a girl a little kiss. If a parent has a problem with that, then I think they should err on the side of just not allowing the date. But to be clear, I don't have a strong feeling that allowing a date OR having a little kiss were all that bad. I just think it's going to be a problem to allow dates but then feel entitled to know the details of what happens on them.

 

I honestly don't think you have done anything wrong here at all. I'm sorry I made it sound otherwise, I did think he were sort of mocking other mothers who try to keep closer grip on their kids with less information, but I probably misread that. Maybe I felt defensive because with my oldest I probably was operating with less information, and while we were not particularly restrictive, we were probably more careful than some of his friends' parents were.

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Danestress: because I have obviously offended you, and without wanting to, because I feel like we are grappling with similar issues and similar types of kids, and if I knew exactly how to handle them, I would just tell you and would do it myself. I have no idea what to do!

 

I'm not offended. The suggestion that I'm a condescending jerk who feels "superior" to other Moms because I have a chatterbox son who simply cannot restrain himself from confessing things - which I think is GOOD - was a bit annoying, but I quickly got over it. ;) That was not my implication at all, truly. I just have to work from here with what I have.

 

 

Absolutely. I don't think anything about your situation sounds like a failure. It sounds like you have a nice kid who is talking to you and that you are just confused about how much to open the dating door right now for him. I am not sure I would "go there" in terms of letting him declare a relationship online, and letting her think he is her boyfriend, but I also don't think anything bad has happened. I mean, a kiss is just a kiss, right? And he hasn't done a single thing to be ashamed of.

 

Well, I didn't "let him" declare the relationship on Facebook, as in approving it; he just did it, assuming that if the two of them agreed, that was all that was important. He didn't realize that relationship status is public and thought only his friends would see it. We talked about it this morning. I'm not cool with that and told him so. If he retracts it now, it posts that "(son's name) is single" and then he has to deal with that fall-out from friends about being dumped, which he'd rather not do. I'm very decidedly saying NOT AGAIN in the future until he is much older. As of right now...not sure how hard to push it, as statistically speaking, it won't be a long run thing anyway.

 

I wonder if she's just thinking the way I did with my oldest. He went to public school, so of course he connected. But I tried to do a lot of little thing to make it harder for him to really "date" at a young age, or at least to keep some "mom brakes" on it - for example, not letting him go out during the week at night, not letting him go to houses without a parent home, watching his time on the phone. I wasn't really trying to prevent him from having relationships with girls, just trying to make it inconvenient.

 

Oh, she does all this. But so did I try to make it inconvenient. My son never goes anywhere without a parent or a group situation in a safe place with people we trust. Plus he has a heavy school load and travel sports that keep him busy several nights a week and every weekend. It still happened. This Mom friend of mine has hers in other time-intensive things. He is still desperately seeking a girlfriend, according to my son:tongue_smilie:.

Slowing things down, perhaps. If I could do it again, I would be bolder about just talking to him about the dangers of dating, the risks involved, the way girls can be possessive or needy, and I would just have talked more instead of trying to be more subtle but manipulative.

 

Yes, a thousand times, YES! I am really trying to do this now and wish I had done this more with my daughter.

 

 

What were things things that you did with your older child that you feel were over the top now? Because from you post, you don't seem like an intrusive Mom.

 

I prohibited contact with boys I found inappropriate because she was a year younger than the others in her high school class (another mistake that I'm trying not to repeat this time, having another gifted kid, but at least not putting him in public high school, but let me tell ya...the Christian Co-ops are no protection from relationships!) Today, I would talk to her more and let her come to her own conclusions

 

But among the things I would NOT do is that I would NOT make him feel guilty for not telling me about the kiss - and it doesn't sound like you did, but I did get that feeling from some other posters - that a good, mature boy would tell. I actually think it's ok not to - kids have an emerging desire and right to privacy at this age. I don't understand the concept of having punishment and consequences for a boy giving a girl a little kiss.

 

I don't think the suggestion was to punish for giving her a kiss, but rather punish/give a consequence for failing to respect our wishes in the matter when we asked him to keep his hands and his lips to himself.

 

 

If a parent has a problem with that, then I think they should err on the side of just not allowing the date. But to be clear, I don't have a strong feeling that allowing a date OR having a little kiss were all that bad. I just think it's going to be a problem to allow dates but then feel entitled to know the details of what happens on them.

 

 

I agree with that. It's really hard to back off as a Mom, but this is the job of all of us. My Mom always said, "You raise your kids to leave you." and she was right. She didn't tell me HOW HARD that would be! And she isn't here to talk about it now. I need her every day, more now than ever. (Appreciate your Moms, those of you who still have them).

 

I honestly don't think you have done anything wrong here at all. I'm sorry I made it sound otherwise, I did think he were sort of mocking other mothers who try to keep closer grip on their kids with less information, but I probably misread that. Maybe I felt defensive because with my oldest I probably was operating with less information, and while we were not particularly restrictive, we were probably more careful than some of his friends' parents were.

 

No harm done, and thanks. My kids still think I am really restrictive. I have everything over PG 14 blocked on the TV too. I think I am quite reasonable....gee, my son just spent an evening with a girl (in a public place) at 13!

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