Friday, April 9, 2010

More Just on Life

Please pray for Bailee. She came home last night rather rundown and is not feeling great this morning.

In regards to Bailee, my teenager, what do you think of teen dating?

When I was a teenager, there were many times I thought my mom was off her rocker. She would set rules and then change them with each new teenager she had. Now, I understand and I have to admit that I appreciate all that she went through. She did a lot of hard work for me. I have seven younger brothers and sisters and I have been allowed to hang on to her coattails and watch how each set of her rules worked.

I used Mom's experience and my own personal teenage dating experience to shape how I approach dating with Bailee. Thank you, Mom, for the experience that you have given me.

Now, I do not think that I have it all figured out, but my mom did a lot of hard work I will not have to do. One thing I learned is that each child will be different. I think that you can set overall broad family rules, but you will have to realize that you will also have to make individual rules that apply to each child.

I believe there is no reason for my teenager to exclusively date the opposite sex. (Before Luken, we would have just been dealing with boys.) Can I keep them from "liking" someone? No. Can I help guide them into the proper view of that other person? Yes.

I want my children to view members of the opposite sex as brothers/sisters in Christ first and then to realize that most likely they are someone else's future husband/wife. They will only get to marry one person, so chances are the first, second, third person...they "like" will not be their future mate.

From my experience and observation, teen dating creates an acceptance of a relationship being temporary. I like you today, but if I don't tomorrow, I can find someone to replace you. It is surprising to me that more people cannot see why the divorce rate is crazy. Our children are not being taught that relationships are meant to last through the good and the bad and their is no giving up.

There is definitely more to my philosophy on dating than I will put here. I challenge any of you with young children to firmly establish what you believe now, so that when your child comes asking the big question, you are prepared.

I have read a few books that I have found very helpful. One is "parenting today's adolescents" by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. It is not just on dating, but all of the traps of adolescents. Bailee and I also listened to "I Kissed Dating Good-bye" by Joshua Harris. We enjoyed it and it gave us something to talk about together. I am sure there are other great resources out there. In fact I am looking for more. Please let me know if you have come across an excellent book regarding this.

So, what do you believe?


  1. I argree with you that teenage dating doesn't benefit anyone. As someone who dated in high school, I think that although I did learn some good life lessons from it (being lessons learned the hard way) it would've made marriage easier had I not. Teenage dating just causes issues you have to work through later. In fact, any dating that gets quite serious without having the commitment of marriage is damaging.
    I agree with you that you should make up your mind when your kids are young- when I was little my parents always said I could date at 16. So I was a good girl and said no to all the boys until I turned 16. My parents hadn't informed me that they decided to change the rules until I was dating awhile. It would've worked out a lot better had I known from a young age that they weren't going to be okay with it. I don't look forward to this period in my kids' lives because I know it'll be hard in ways for them to understand that I'm not just old fashioned or crazy. I'm glad you get to go through all this first so you can let me learn through you. :)

  2. I am more than glad to help and share all that I learned from my mom. I think that being ready to discuss with your child is a big thing. Like you parents, setting a standard when they are young is important. I have also found at times that the "rules" I have created at times just did not fit, so I had to revamp them. I always try to be able to clearly explain why they have changed. It never matters though, Bailee is always upset when we change the rules. Even if she can honestly tell us, she understands. Kids!