Saturday, October 5, 2013
Post 9: Instilling the Dating Vaules
The teenage years are quickly approaching. Our boys are taking interest in girls (or boys), and our girl is finding interest in boys (or girls). Either way, they are on the verge of the dreaded dating. If I were alive, we'd spend our nights discussing the dating rules, and preparing ourselves for the inevitable.
Since life didn't go exactly as planned, you're left to face this on your own as well. I understand that you feel that the boys should have different rules then our daughter, but I hope you reconsider. I know if you had it your way, our daughter would never date, and our boys would date them all. However, this isn't fair to her, and it's not good for the boys.
For Our daughter, you should lead as the example of the kind of man she should date, and one day marry. Don't try to lock her away from having friends, and boyfriends. It will only make things shoot off in the opposite direction, she'll rebel hard, and you'll only have yourself to blame.
Instead, teach her to be strong and to think for herself. Instill in her, the confidence to control her own destiny. Make her aware that she doesn't have to do as men (or women) say, to get them to like her. Raise her to know that a man (or women) should be kind to her, like her for who she is, and never pressure her to do things she's not ready for.
Give her the courage to say NO, and to be proud of it. Remind her that just because everyone else is doing it, doesn't mean she has too. Once middle school hits, the "dating" will be right around the corner. I feel 13 is an acceptable age to begin "dating". Of course, in my eyes, dating at this age is hanging out in a supervised surrounding. Playing video games together, joining the family for dinner, studying in a common room, those sorts of things. However, I know that dating at this age is unfortunately all about making out and in some cases sex. With any luck our children will be confident enough in themselves, and respectful enough not to take this age of "dating" past stolen kisses behind a locker, or on the bus. *crossing fingers on that one*
I do not think that full on making out is ok. In the years leading up to dating, you will be preparing them for age appropriate dating. This means you will encourage a sort of guideline for when they might feel ready for these kinds of relationships.
Ex: At 13 she may feel ready to kiss a boy, and spend more time with one particular boy. However, by this age she should already know that anything more is not appropriate. Anything past an innocent kiss is too much. She should have the knowledge, courage, and confidence to control the situation. If she's prepared with the lines boys use, and the knowledge of how boys thinks. She will be much better off, and less likely to fall victim to raging hormones.
As a female I can tell you that it is easy to fall victim to a man because he makes you feel better. Low self esteem, self confidence, self worth, and self imagine can be very hazardous at this age. For boys, as well as girls however, when they fill this void with sex, it often turns out badly. From teen pregnancy, to hurt feelings, STD's, and even suicide. Pay close attention, be an active parent, and keep her spirits high, I know you guys will be alright.
As for the boys, it's a bit simpler. Raise them to be the kind of gentlemen you'd want to marry your daughter. Teach them to look into a girls eyes, teach them to explore girls personalities instead of a just their bodies. No worries, mom isn't a prude. I understand that boys can't help but look at girls and its human nature to feel attracted.
This is why you should teach our boys to look further into who the person is. You wouldn't want another boy to look at your daughter like a piece of meat. Have the same respect for other fathers and teach your boys to never view women in such a terrible way as that.
While you're at it, do their future wives a favor and teach them to actually listen. Teach them to be after girls for their brain, and good company. Not for what's in their pants. Teach them that just because a girl will sleep with you, or acts like she will, doesn't mean she's worth the time.
Our children should go in to dating with the knowledge, and understanding that nothing should be expected from them. They shouldn't feel pressured into dating, kissing, or anything else. They should never base their happiness on someone else. Before they can every, be ready for a true relationship, they first have to be happy with themselves. Basically, self confidence, self confidence, self confidence, have I hit the broken record status yet? Haha.
I'm confident that you will consider this and do what's best for them, teach them to do what's best for themselves as well as others.
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