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SquirrellyMama
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This question is for people who allow their kids to date. 

This is our oldest so the first we've had to deal with dating. She's 16 and has her first boyfriend. I'm trying to figure out how much control to have in this situation. Tonight she wanted to go see fireworks with him. Had she not been up at 4:30 am for work, swim team for 2 hours, another 6 hours of work, and up at 4:30am tomorrow, I would have let her go. My dh said no way would he have let her go even if she didn't have to work. 

They want to hang out on Thursday. Either lunch and to a lake or lunch and hiking. I'm thinking lunch and the lake because there will be more people around. My dh is not happy about either plan. 

So, I'm trying to figure out if I'm being too lax, or if he's never going to be happy with his dd dating. 

I do prefer that they hang out where other people are. Although, I have let them come over to our house to watch tv, and they have been to his house. They aren't allowed in her room at our house, or his room at his house. 

How much  control do you take over your teens dating? What kind of guidelines do you have for them? 

 

ETA: My dd is a lifeguard and has to work lap swim in the am. I don't want her falling asleep on the job. Natural consequences for falling asleep on most jobs would be firing while for a lifeguard it could be a drowning. Not taking that chance. 

Kelly

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At age 16, I would not have micromanaged my kids' free time. I would merely have wanted to know where they went and with whom. I would have had no problems with either the fireworks or the hiking (ETA: unless it were technical terrain or remote wilderness with inexperienced companions). Teens can handle an occasional night with little sleep, so I would have let her choose whether or not to attend the fireworks. 

My DD moved away to college at 17, and I had no control over what she was doing. Nights with little sleep were par for the course for a student. So I don't see a burning need to manage that for a 16 y/o.

 

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3 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Sorry, I don't fall into the category of  allowing, my teens to date.....but I do think you need to decide what message you want to convey.  Are you ok with them being unchaperoned? 

Yes, I am ok with them being unchaperoned. But, I'm less ok with them being completely alone for extended periods of time. That's why I prefer them to go places with people around. Bowling, movie, dinner, etc... 

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1 minute ago, SquirrellyMama said:

Yes, I am ok with them being unchaperoned. But, I'm less ok with them being completely alone for extended periods of time. That's why I prefer them to go places with people around. Bowling, movie, dinner, etc... 

Wait.....maybe we have a different definition of unchaperoned.  Unchaperoned to me is completely alone.  

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8 minutes ago, regentrude said:

At age 16, I would not have micromanaged my kids' free time. I would merely have wanted to know where they went and with whom. I would have had no problems with either the fireworks or the hiking. Teens can handle an occasional night with little sleep, so I would have let her choose whether or not to attend the fireworks. 

My DD moved away to college at 17, and I had no control over what she was doing, and nights with little sleep were par for the course. So I don't see a burning need to manage that for a 16 y/o.

 

There are times when I'm fine with her getting less sleep. She's been working so much this summer, and has to work at 5am all week. We've had some attitude issues due to lack of sleep so I told her no for tonight. She didn't have plans to even go, and was already in bed when he asked. 

I do feel like I'm micromanaging their dating, but I'm also afraid to not micromanage. But, when talking to my dh ormy friends I feel like I'm just inviting them to have sex. 

 I'm sure it will get better. First child, first boyfriend.

Kelly

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1 minute ago, Scarlett said:

Wait.....maybe we have a different definition of unchaperoned.  Unchaperoned to me is completely alone.  

Usually when I hear someone say unchaperoned I think they mean without someone on the date with them. Right now, I do prefer they go  places that have people around. But, I don't feel like they need an adult on their date with them. 

Kelly

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At 16 with a job (and access to a car?) I would say it's time to figure out if what we've talked about dating sticks and let her make her own choices.  My kids have stayed up late and realized the next day what a bad idea it was and they are usually smart about it the next time.  Natural consequences.  We've already talked about appropriate behavior, sex, safe driving, not being obnoxious in public...lol...all sorts of stuff.  So now they test drive their independence and their values.  We evaluate as we go.  We're not against dating but most of our kids have been older before going on dates and a few dates does not a boyfriend/girlfriend make.  All of my kids except for our oldest (ds) regularly come to me asking my opinion and advice, but they know the choices about what to do are theirs.  If they mess up, they know we'll be talking about it. At LENGTH.  lol

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4 minutes ago, 6packofun said:

At 16 with a job (and access to a car?) I would say it's time to figure out if what we've talked about dating sticks and let her make her own choices.  My kids have stayed up late and realized the next day what a bad idea it was and they are usually smart about it the next time.  Natural consequences.  We've already talked about appropriate behavior, sex, safe driving, not being obnoxious in public...lol...all sorts of stuff.  So now they test drive their independence and their values.  We evaluate as we go.  We're not against dating but most of our kids have been older before going on dates and a few dates does not a boyfriend/girlfriend make.  All of my kids except for our oldest (ds) regularly come to me asking my opinion and advice, but they know the choices about what to do are theirs.  If they mess up, they know we'll be talking about it. At LENGTH.  lol

I felt that not letting her go because of the bad attitude due to lack of sleep was a good consequence. I have no issues with that.

I'm trying to figure out how to let go of some control while not letting her feel lile anything goes. 

We've talked extensively about our expectations, but it is still hard to let go.

How did you word the obnoxious in public talk? I usually just say that no one likes PDA.

Kelly

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7 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

two different issues.....not letting her go out because she has had little sleep vs. letting her be alone with her boyfriend.  You just have to decide what your standards are --along with your husbands--and operate in harmony with that.  

My point about tonight was just saying that my reason and my dh's reasons were different. I was surprised that he wouldn't have let her go in any case. 

I've tried to get him to tell me his expectations, but he refuses. I cannot get our expectations in harmony if he won't tell me what they are. 

Kelly

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1 minute ago, SquirrellyMama said:

My point about tonight was just saying that my reason and my dh's reasons were different. I was surprised that he wouldn't have let her go in any case. 

I've tried to get him to tell me his expectations, but he refuses. I cannot get our expectations in harmony if he won't tell me what they are. 

Kelly

It would seem to me your Dh does not want your dd alone with this boy.   Seems reasonable to me.  They can go hiking with a group of friends.  Meet at the restaurant for lunch.  There are lots of ways to cultivate a relationship without the pressure of being alone when hormones are raging.  SWB talks about her view of teen dating  in TWTM.  Mostly, what is the point? What are they going to do with these feelings at age 16.  

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Just now, Scarlett said:

It would seem to me your Dh does not want your dd alone with this boy.   Seems reasonable to me.  They can go hiking with a group of friends.  Meet at the restaurant for lunch.  There are lots of ways to cultivate a relationship without the pressure of being alone when hormones are raging.  SWB talks about her view of teen dating  in TWTM.  Mostly, what is the point? What are they going to do with these feelings at age 16.  

I get that, and I don't want them alone much either. That is why I suggest dates in public places. I really didn't think fireworks in a public park would be that bad. IF, she wasn't lifeguarding at 5am.

My dh needs to make his expectations known and understood. But, he won't do that.

What is the point of teen dating? The same as any dating I suppose. I don't think dating has to lead to marriage. I'm ok with dating for fun.

Kelly

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As someone who has navigated this terrain with a son - there is little control you can take even if you wanted to.

Now is the time to continue (if you have not already) constant chatter about expectations in a friend, future aspirations, acceptable behavior / unacceptable, etc. 

We have no daughters but there are several girls in extended family and I have had good convos with BILs - the info I have gleaned from those talks is that it is very hard for most men to see their "little" girls with another guy. Perhaps give dh some slack but I agree that you should talk about what you can both live with in terms of them spending time together, curfews - if any, expected communication, etc. It won't hurt her to know her Dad is protective of her; it will likely make her feel more secure even though she won't admit it. Group dating seems to go much better with this age group but it's not something you can entirely control either.

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56 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

  Mostly, what is the point? What are they going to do with these feelings at age 16.  

They are hopefully going to embrace and enjoy them. Dating is enjoyable; a deep relationship can be beautiful and life enriching.  I fondly remember my boyfriends at 16 and 17; the relationships contributed to my growth as a person and taught me a lot about navigating relationships. 

(You also never know whether one "sticks". I have been together with my DH since I was 18 - not so far off. My friend is married to the man who was her bf at age 15. )

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i wouldn't have any issues with either date for my 16yo, but we definitely let her be alone with her boyfriend. They had more restrictions for the first few months of dating since she is our oldest, but, honestly, you can't actually stop them from having sex. You can make it difficult, but kids have always found ways around restrictions. My grandparents did, and I'm sure teens haven't changed much. 

We focus our energy on talking with my daughter to understand where she is with the emotional and physical pieces of her relationship. We provide guidance on how to select boyfriends, how relationships should work, etc. Lots and lots of discussion with her and trust in her decision making. She comes to me for relationship help with things like how to talk through issues, how to argue fairly, should they kiss, etc, so our approach definitely seems to be working. The upfront discussions make her more confident and help me keep a pulse on her relationship. These efforts are far more effective, to me, than restricting her social activities (beyond safety issues). 

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28 minutes ago, regentrude said:

They are hopefully going to embrace and enjoy them. The point is that a relationship can be beautiful and life enriching. Why not at 16? I fondly remember my boyfriends at 16 and 17; the relationships contributed to my growth as a person and taught me a lot about navigating relationships. 

(You also never know whether one "sticks". I have been together with my DH since I was 18 - not so far off. My friend is married to the man who was her bf at age 15. )

 

Agreed. I see my daughter learning so much from her relationship, and she's doing it while I am here to guide her. Having a serious boyfriend for the past year has added a wonderful, rich component to her life. They are really good together, and they are growing and maturing into their relationship really, really well. I don't expect them to date each other through college*, but I will feel much better sending her to college knowing we've provided very hands-on guidance through her first serious relationship. 

*I could see my dd staying with her boyfriend long-term, but I am very careful to not speak about them in those terms. I call her boyfriend her "first boyfriend" and her "high school boyfriend". I think he's great for now, but I am not making assumptions beyond right now and I don't want her to either  

 

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44 minutes ago, regentrude said:

They are hopefully going to embrace and enjoy them. Dating is enjoyable; a deep relationship can be beautiful and life enriching.  I fondly remember my boyfriends at 16 and 17; the relationships contributed to my growth as a person and taught me a lot about navigating relationships. 

(You also never know whether one "sticks". I have been together with my DH since I was 18 - not so far off. My friend is married to the man who was her bf at age 15. )

Several of my high school classmates are still married. One couple who owns a successful business together started “dating” in middle school. And none were pregnant when they married. So either they weren’t having sex or they were having safe, responsible sex. 

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I think that it often works better to encourage positive, healthy relationships than to try to control and limit relationships.  In fact, I think that the sense of control is often a false sense of control.  if they go to a restaurant together, there is no guarantee that they do not leave together and spend a few minutes alone, etc.  

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On your husband's thoughts, there is some distance between, "That's my little girl and no-one should be dating her," and "That guy is looking her over in a disrespectful way and I noticed because I'm a dude and know these things."  I know my DH would have trouble articulating the reason for his unease unless I dragged it out of him.  I'd drag it out of him, in your shoes. 

What is he observing?  If it's the latter, I might do a lot more things to keep them close to our family and not alone.  Like, we'd ALL decide that the fireworks sound wonderful and we'll all meet him there!  DD can ride with the family!  Thank him so much for the great idea! 

Oh, I'm going to be a LOT of fun as a mom to teens.  My poor kids.  ?  

I'm hoping that by age 16, Dd will be fairly capable in self defense (I know, that isn't any guarantee), have a solid sense of how she should be treated, and be close enough with DH and I that we can talk, talk, talk.  

We just had a great talk the other day about the different versions, and implications, of the fairy tale, The Frog Prince.  It's all about making one concession and then being trapped, culturally, into a situation you no longer want!  In one version, he turns into a prince when she accepts him.  In another, he changes when she kicks him off her bed.  

I remember kissing my fiancé on the front porch and finding my little siblings giggling through the front window.  Delightful little brats.  

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Having just been through this with my dd16, I would suggest you go slowly. Trust your dh's instincts. See how things go doing things as a family first, then with friends, before being on outings alone. I've found you have to be very specific regarding expectations with teen dating. There is no rush. It's easier to go slowly then try to add restrictions later once you see behavior that you don't like or our suspicious about. 

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Have not read other replies yet. For the problem of needing to work early, I would also say no because we have to make choices and when one has a job like that, one must prioritize sleeping as needed. There will be other fireworks opportunities in her life. 

But the lunch and lake or lunch and hiking is, to me, an utterly normal thing to permit at 16 (though not much younger than that in my mind). 

My DH did struggle with permitting DD to go do things with her bf. When I began to allow her to go somewhere in bf’s car (IIRC, she was 17 and he had been driving for over a year), DH did not like it because of the opportunity to be alone and not be doing what they were supposed to be doing, but to my mind, that was already true. It was already possible, if she were sneaking and lying, that she was sneaking and lying and not really at work or not really at the library, etc. He relaxed about this soon enough. 

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Thanks everyone. Everything just seems harder with the first ?

It doesn't help that I always feel like my dh, church acquaintances and "close" friends are all thinking I'm way too lax in my parenting while I sometimes feel too anxious and controlling. 

She took the no about fireworks really well. I would have been much more whiny, rolling my eyes, and crying as a teen. I think I will tell her how mature she was last night when she gets back from work. 

I need to also tell her again how proud I am of her and how hard she works. She is not a morning person, but has done really well getting herself up at 4:30 am to work. And, she hasn't complained about her hours. The last 16 days of July she doesn't have a day off and will be working almost 56 hours each week. She's a trooper.

ETA: we do talk a lot about this. I sometimes apologize/not apologize to her. I tell her I know I'm probably driving her nuts, and I'm sorry. But, I'm also not sorry because I love her so much and am just trying my best. It helps her know I'm nuts for a reason ?

My dad was the type to say, "You're going to do it any way so I'm not going to stop you." My mom was the type to pretend nothing was ever going on. I never had any real limits. I can't do either of these.

It helps to come here to hash it out.

Kelly

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My 15 and 16yos are dating. I'm confident in the kids we've raised, and I have the added bonus of knowing the other kids well.  They're happy and having fun.  They have a strong support system if things go sour, which is always a possibility, but the one break up that's happened simply went back to being very close friends.  For the most part, that's how their social circles are.  These kids are way more kind, understanding, and mature than I was at their ages. (And I still have nothing but fond memories of dating at their ages, even through disappointing break ups.)

I'll admit I'm much more nervous about my nearly-20yo, who hasn't dated, and is much less likely to come to us for advice or support when he does.  He'll be 100% in charge of determining his own boundaries without any built-in "back up" to serve as a replacement for experience in navigating different scenarios.  

I just can't picture going to a public place with a picnic as some dangerous event. I do wonder what effect it might have to tell my kids I don't trust them (or their dates) to have lunch at a public place.  So far, they seem to understand and accept when I put my foot down on certain things (like having a date's older sibling take them to a late, far away concert), and I do think it's because they know my lines aren't overbearing, and they're very much aware (because we talk about it) that I'm gradually letting go of "ownership" over their lives.  They don't always like when I say no, but they (so far) show respect for my reasons, which I openly share with them.

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I also want to add a comment as a mom of a teen boy. My oldest son is only 14yo, so I am projecting forward a little with this comment. However, I would highly encourage my ds to not date a girl whose parents treated him as a likely rapist. He's a teen in the same developmental spot as any teen girl, and he deserves the same respect. A PP suggested having her family drive the 16yo girl to the fireworks and meet up with the boy. I would side-eye that arrangement and suggest my son move on to another girl whose family assumed the best in him rather than the worst. 

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6 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

I just can't picture going to a public place with a picnic as some dangerous event. I do wonder what effect it might have to tell my kids I don't trust them (or their dates) to have lunch at a public place.  

I don't think it's dangerous, and I'm not forbidding her to go. I used to love lake picnics.

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2 minutes ago, 2squared said:

I also want to add a comment as a mom if a teen boy. My oldest son is only 14yo, so I am projecting forward a little with this comment. However, I would highly encourage my ds to not date a girl whose parents treated him as a likely rapist. He's a teen in the same developmental spot as any teen girl, and he deserves the same respect. A PP suggested having her family drive the 16yo girl to the fireworks and meet up with the boy. I would side-eye that arrangement and suggest my son move on to another girl whose family assumed the best in him rather than the worst. 

As a parent of 3 boys and 2 girls, I hear you and understand where you're coming from, but that does not change the actual, statistical risks young women face.

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8 minutes ago, 2squared said:

I also want to add a comment as a mom of a teen boy. My oldest son is only 14yo, so I am projecting forward a little with this comment. However, I would highly encourage my ds to not date a girl whose parents treated him as a likely rapist. He's a teen in the same developmental spot as any teen girl, and he deserves the same respect. A PP suggested having her family drive the 16yo girl to the fireworks and meet up with the boy. I would side-eye that arrangement and suggest my son move on to another girl whose family assumed the best in him rather than the worst. 

I never ever said I thought he would rape her. I like the kid. It's more about mutual hormones that I worry about.

And, as a teen girl I was often the more agressive one, so I know it isn't always the guy pushing for sex.

Kelly

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2 minutes ago, SquirrellyMama said:

I don't think it's dangerous, and I'm not forbidding her to go. I used to love lake picnics.

Oh, I was definitely extrapolating there! Your husband "isn't happy" about the idea.  If I were still a teen girl, I'd be wondering exactly what my father thinks I'd be doing on a lake that's such a problem.  (Which is extra funny, because I spent my entire youth on lakes, lol.)

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Just now, Carrie12345 said:

Oh, I was definitely extrapolating there! Your husband "isn't happy" about the idea.  If I were still a teen girl, I'd be wondering exactly what my father thinks I'd be doing on a lake that's such a problem.  (Which is extra funny, because I spent my entire youth on lakes, lol.)

Ah, got it. Yes, he doesn't trust teen dating at all. He didn't date much, maybe 1 date in high school and a few in college before me.

I do find the dates where they hang out alone on the couch a little more dangerous. Those make me nervous.

Kelly

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Oh I definitely wasn't suggesting she is in danger of him raping her!  

I do think it is Important that you acknowledge there ARE hormones at play and encourage her to watch the circumstances they put themselves in. 

And while I agree with Quill that if they are going  to sneak and lie they will find a way to do that, I also know that they don't know what they don't yet know about how quickly things can move.

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I would absolutely let her go to the fireworks with him, sleep deprivation or not.  I wouldn't do that for more than a few special events a year, but if your town is anything like mine, it's impossible to sleep through the fireworks even at home.

I think 1-2 nights a week of dates out of the house are fine, assuming she's being responsible and respectful in the other areas of her life.

I also think it's totally reasonable to require her dates be in public places if extended alone periods make you uncomfortable. On the other hand, If she decides to go out and have sex, all the control in the world isn't going to stop her.  She claim a stomach ache, leave her job and go meet him in the afternoon whenever she wants.  I think at some point you have to trust that she's been raised well and she'll make good choices.. She's 16, not 6.

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1 hour ago, SquirrellyMama said:

Ah, got it. Yes, he doesn't trust teen dating at all. He didn't date much, maybe 1 date in high school and a few in college before me.

I do find the dates where they hang out alone on the couch a little more dangerous. Those make me nervous.

Kelly

Well, my DH did date, quite prolifically, and that is why he had a hard time with his “baby girl” going anywhere with a guy! ?

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

Oh I definitely wasn't suggesting she is in danger of him raping her!  

I do think it is Important that you acknowledge there ARE hormones at play and encourage her to watch the circumstances they put themselves in. 

And while I agree with Quill that if they are going  to sneak and lie they will find a way to do that, I also know that they don't know what they don't yet know about how quickly things can move.

I think I prefer they figure this out for themselves; better while still under parental oversight than not until they are off at college or elsewhere. But I also come from a different pre-supposition because I am not of the thinking that I must guard their virginity. I think it is ideal to wait and I wouldn’t be keen on anything younger than age 16, but it’s not a tragedy to me if they find that things moved quickly when there was opportunity. 

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2 hours ago, 2squared said:

I also want to add a comment as a mom of a teen boy. My oldest son is only 14yo, so I am projecting forward a little with this comment. However, I would highly encourage my ds to not date a girl whose parents treated him as a likely rapist. He's a teen in the same developmental spot as any teen girl, and he deserves the same respect. A PP suggested having her family drive the 16yo girl to the fireworks and meet up with the boy. I would side-eye that arrangement and suggest my son move on to another girl whose family assumed the best in him rather than the worst. 

 

Yes! I completely agree. I hate this attitude toward teenage boys - they aren't animals. 

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Just now, Quill said:

I think I prefer they figure this out for themselves; better while still under parental oversight than not until they are off at college or elsewhere. But I also come from a different pre-supposition because I am not of the thinking that I must guard their virginity. I think it is ideal to wait and I wouldn’t be keen on anything younger than age 16, but it’s not a tragedy to me if they find that things moved quickly when there was opportunity. 

Nor would I try to guard anyone's virginity.  And I don't find mistakes tragedies.  

But I would consider it a mistake one should work to avoid.  I think OP needs to figure out how she feels about it. That will help her parent consistently and confidently. 

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On the one hand, I have a sister who got pregnant at 17 by slipping into a public restroom at the park with her BF in the middle of the afternoon, when they were allowed to go for a walk for an hour unsupervised. She was also cheeking her birth control pills.

On the other, you know your own kid. If you trust her, let her go do things with her boyfriend same as you would with other friends. Talk to her about what boundaries she is comfortable with and wants you to enforce. Talk to her about safety, etc.

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42 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Well he is of legal age now so he will do as he wants.  I was referring to being a parent who would let a 16 year old date. 

 

I just think it's odd that you'd have that policy given that you've stated you're concerned your stepson is awkward with girls. At 16 they are nearly adults...not sure what the big deal is in doing some dating. 

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2 minutes ago, hippiemamato3 said:

 

I just think it's odd that you'd have that policy given that you've stated you're concerned your stepson is awkward with girls. At 16 they are nearly adults...not sure what the big deal is in doing some dating. 

I don't even know what you are talking about.  He isn't awkward with girls.  Neither of them are.  They have a lot of friends of both genders and they seem to get along fine with girls.

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On 7/4/2018 at 8:20 AM, 2squared said:

I also want to add a comment as a mom of a teen boy. My oldest son is only 14yo, so I am projecting forward a little with this comment. However, I would highly encourage my ds to not date a girl whose parents treated him as a likely rapist. He's a teen in the same developmental spot as any teen girl, and he deserves the same respect. A PP suggested having her family drive the 16yo girl to the fireworks and meet up with the boy. I would side-eye that arrangement and suggest my son move on to another girl whose family assumed the best in him rather than the worst. 

 

I completely agree with this!!! My 14 yo ds just had his first relationship. He “dated” a girl from his class in our tiny Christian school for 8 months. Her mother and I met to have dinner to discuss their relationship when the “dating” began (her idea), and we left that dinner feeling like we were on the same page with their relationship. The girlfriend didn’t have a phone, so their was no texting. My ds went to their house a few times for dinner and family game night, took the girlfriend out to eat with our family a few times, and they hung out at school ball games. Very innocent and age-appropriate for 13-14 year olds who liked each other. The girlfriend’s dad wasn’t happy with it though. I kept wishing he would just make her end it, but he didn’t. He did not want his daughter to have a boyfriend and he was very open about it. I sort of understood (I have a daughter myself and I’m sure it will be hard when she stars down this path) but he always made me feel so defensive of ds. I’m going to try very hard to remember this feeling when dd starts dating. Ds was just a 13/14 year old boy. He wasn’t a monster. 

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On 7/4/2018 at 8:20 AM, 2squared said:

I also want to add a comment as a mom of a teen boy. My oldest son is only 14yo, so I am projecting forward a little with this comment. However, I would highly encourage my ds to not date a girl whose parents treated him as a likely rapist. He's a teen in the same developmental spot as any teen girl, and he deserves the same respect. A PP suggested having her family drive the 16yo girl to the fireworks and meet up with the boy. I would side-eye that arrangement and suggest my son move on to another girl whose family assumed the best in him rather than the worst. 

Yes. 

If we want to discourage toxic masculinity in our boys, then we can’t treat them like they’re toxic. You treat boys like a probable rapist and it normalizes rape to the boys and the rest of society. I feel like this is sometimes a missing piece of the conversation - we’re talking now about teaching boys not to rape, which is an important start - but I think we should also be treating them with respect and encouraging healthy behaviors in them. Taking a hike with a girlfriend shouldn’t have to turn into some suspicious situation.

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I've successfully navigated this territory, so here is what experience taught me:

We told our kids early that they could start "dating" when they were 16.  The reason for that age was that they would be in high school, have friend groups and be old enough (hopefully) to make good choices.

When they started dating - a date was going somewhere/someplace for a specific activity and then coming back home.  If they just wanted to "hang out", that could happen most any time here at the house when an adult was home.  This is the same set up they had with their other friends and since I was nearly always home, it really didn't put much of a kink in their social lives.

And we stuck with those two general rules through four kids. Simple, easy to remember and since our house was a teenage-hangout anyways, they found things to do here all the time.

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On ‎7‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 2:20 PM, 2squared said:

I also want to add a comment as a mom of a teen boy. My oldest son is only 14yo, so I am projecting forward a little with this comment. However, I would highly encourage my ds to not date a girl whose parents treated him as a likely rapist. He's a teen in the same developmental spot as any teen girl, and he deserves the same respect. A PP suggested having her family drive the 16yo girl to the fireworks and meet up with the boy. I would side-eye that arrangement and suggest my son move on to another girl whose family assumed the best in him rather than the worst. 

Oh, that was my post!  I must apologize for being unclear.  I meant IF a young person's parent thought their teen should not be alone with someone, I'd take some steps to keep them close to the family, with a support system nearby.  I agree that people, of either gender, should not be assumed to be creeps.  Absolutely.  The OP thought her husband was uncomfortable with the planned date, and I think they should be clear on why he feels that way, and to what extent.  

FWIW, I would be that way about either gender.  If my son was dating a girl that I thought might manipulate him or use tricks or lies to mess with his life, I'd be keeping them close, too.  

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4 hours ago, Farrar said:

Yes. 

If we want to discourage toxic masculinity in our boys, then we can’t treat them like they’re toxic. You treat boys like a probable rapist and it normalizes rape to the boys and the rest of society. I feel like this is sometimes a missing piece of the conversation - we’re talking now about teaching boys not to rape, which is an important start - but I think we should also be treating them with respect and encouraging healthy behaviors in them. Taking a hike with a girlfriend shouldn’t have to turn into some suspicious situation.

I never said he was going to rape her. It is mutual teen hormones that I'm worried about. I'm not sure why people are thinking I'm afraid he's going to rape her on a hike. It is just less public and more chance for them both to indulge.

I also have a son so I'm very aware of how boys are seen. 

Kelly

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1 hour ago, elroisees said:

Oh, that was my post!  I must apologize for being unclear.  I meant IF a young person's parent thought their teen should not be alone with someone, I'd take some steps to keep them close to the family, with a support system nearby.  I agree that people, of either gender, should not be assumed to be creeps.  Absolutely.  The OP thought her husband was uncomfortable with the planned date, and I think they should be clear on why he feels that way, and to what extent.  

I really don't know, and he isn't forthcoming. I'm assuming he's worried they will have sex and she will get pregnant. He's also having a hard time with the fact that she is our oldest, graduating next year, and going to college. 

For anyone who is wondering: yes, I have talked to her about birth control. The different kinds, effectiveness, etc... I have also told her I do not want her to have sex in HS and my reasons. I told her to decide if she wanted to wait to have sex. If so, what is her plan to make that happen. We have lots of talks.

Kelly

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On 7/4/2018 at 8:27 AM, Carrie12345 said:

As a parent of 3 boys and 2 girls, I hear you and understand where you're coming from, but that does not change the actual, statistical risks young women face.

Exactly. As a grown adult who was dating after a divorce I STILL didn't have a guy drive me places until we'd been dating a while,  drove myself. So to say that is the rule for a teen girl isn't weird or overly cautious. It's normal dating behavior nowadays. 

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