I still feel like a teen, and having had the opportunity to teach teens last year and this year in a Bible study class, they have become my favorite people to hang out with. Our family rule is that dating starts at the age of 16. Couples can form as early as elementary school, and though it’s fairly innocent at that age, and definitely not considered “dating” in my mind, it’s one of the things that as parents we can be supportive of it, on the fence, or against it.
I’m so excited to start sharing more thoughts on parenting teens, in a monthly series with a few friends, where they will join me in talking about teen topics, as we share our thoughts/experiences. It’s always been that, they have always known, so that decision was made well in advance. Not sure if it’s because of my chill boys, or because they’ve just always known the family rule. My daughter was “asked out” in 4th grade, and though I thought it was adorable and fairly harmless, she said, “I can’t date til I’m 16” to the boy, and that was that.
Before deciding how you're going to proceed, it's crucial to realize that contemporary dating is radically different from what it was when the majority of today's parents were kids.
Sexual promiscuity is rampant, even among Christian teens, and many young people receive little or no moral guidance from their parents.
Though I’m VERY excited to talk about it, I have to also be very careful, to respect my children, and their privacy. I think she was flattered, maybe thought the boy was cute, but she knew she wasn’t up for that, and had an easy fall back of “I’m not allowed to.”In my head, I was kinda like….”well, you could have…” and thought it was sweet, but after thinking about it more, I was very impressed with her for being so mature.
She had told me months later that her friends that “went out” with a boy (mind you, this is 4th grade) it got complicated and awkward, and she felt bad for them.
But he wasn’t ready yet to surrender his role as a parent. Just what role should parents play to steer a child away from the traps in the most popular sport for many teens—the dating game? For us, dating or courting is a small part of the overall process of determining God’s will for discovering your life partner in marriage.
He hoped the conversation he was about to initiate would help close that gap. ” he asked, struggling to disguise the wobble he felt in his voice. Bill gripped the steering wheel and shot a glance into her eyes. Bill and his wife had talked before with Julie about God’s standards about sex, but soon she would be dating and making moral choices on her own. They were just a block from home, so gently but firmly, Bill pressed the final question: “Well then, would you mind telling me how far you intend to go? ” He stopped the car a few feet short of the driveway and feigned a look into the mailbox. If he had waited for a month, he wouldn’t have been ready for what she said. In our family the focus has not been on dating, but more on training our teens in their character and in how to develop a relationship with the opposite sex.
He glanced at her in the seat next to him and thought, .
In the fading twilight, the headlights of an approaching car reminded Bill to reach for the dashboard and turn on his lights.
As the horde of rush-hour cars streamed by, Bill reminisced about the teenage daughter he had just picked up from band practice.
The question is how parents should recognize the signs and not just dismiss it as teen drama.
According to Loveis Respect.org, 1 in 3 teens will experience dating violence.