I have three little girls and I worry about them as teenagers on the dating scene. How do you encourage your girls to date and be friends with lots of different guys instead of focusing on just one? I’d love for my girls to date around and not become too close to one “boyfriend” in high school. Do you have certain rules for dating, or just encourage them in making wise and safe choices so that these boys are always on the right path to serve missions?
This is a really good question that I don’t have a great answer to because 1) kids in our area don’t seem to “date” that much these days. They just hang out a lot. Yes, some have boyfriends, but I don’t think there’s a lot of asking out on dates going on, some just seem to pair off, and 2) my girls in particular just really like being in groups. Elle repelled the “boyfriend” idea and would never even consider it in high school even though I know she had a few boys try to win her favor. I think because she saw some of her friends pair off and she felt like they were missing so much of the fun high school experience by closing themselves off of it with only one person. And I think Grace has just followed suite. She loves being in groups. Maybe it’s a “fear of missing out” if she just paired off with one person?
Maybe we encouraged this informally through our discussions. We do talk a LOT about friendships and dating, etc. Maybe it’s just their personalities. I have friends who really struggle because their kids have paired up, some for years, and it’s hard to find a balance. I think dating is healthy and helps kids figure so many things out with relationships. But it creates lots of different worries when kids get too serious at a young age and there has to be a balance so I get your question whole-heartedly.
Growing up our rule was that we could never go out with one boy more than twice in a row. I don’t know if that was followed very well, since I did date two different boys for quite a long time each. But somehow I never felt like I was closed off from the rest of the social scene because my friends always seemed to come with me on our dates. Ha! Obviously we weren’t overly serious, and I don’t know if that was my parents input put to work or if that’s just what I wanted. I can’t even remember back that far!
I think the bottom line is COMMUNICATION. Open discussions early on. Talk through every situation, and help kids understand WHY you want them to date and hang out with a variety of different people. Talk through situations that could come up, even embarrassing ones. (My Dad always did this and I think because of it I was never tempted to take the steps to get into a bad situation.)
Now I’m rambling a little so I hope this makes sense, but I think it’s just so important to think things through and talk them through. Not just dating but everything. That’s why I love Sunday interviews (which we’re horrible at), lunch dates, late nights with only one child, road trips, Family Home Evening, and even early-morning scriptures (Dave’s been going over the Strength of Youth this week with the girls during morning devotionals and I have loved it…it’s kept everyone so involved).
All these things give such a great opportunity for parents to help be on the offense rather than trying to deal with things after they happen. And builds good relationships in the process.
This is something I’m always working on.
Ok, and then quickly…I got this comment:
I use Feedly to get all of the blogs I read (as well as new videos from Youtube channels I subscribe to) and I haven’t had this problem. However, I got the 6 most recent blog posts all at once today.
Whoops, that wasn’t the original question, not sure where it went, but I’ve had a few people mention they’ve had trouble making comments and also that posts aren’t showing up in their email box any more. I’m not sure how to remedy this, if anyone knows please let me know how to fix that little issue.
Hi Shawni, I've followed you for years and I just wanted to say thank you for this positive space on the internet. I have become much more deliberate in my mothering over the past few years and I just appreciate everything you share.
haha That's my comment. Yeah, people were saying they weren't getting any notifications about your blog posts. So I commented on that.
Feedly works really well for subscribing to blogs though. I never have issues with it. Just that one time, I got like 6 all at once but it was a one time thing.
The only dating rule we had was to not date until 16 years old. I didn't until much later though.
Does the person with the question mean they are worried about a serious relationship or worried about sex? I hope the me too movement makes it clear that not all activity is due to the young woman or young man’s choice. This community seems picture perfect and demanding on fitting in. I hope the kids are taught what to do if the unthinkable happens.
I'm finding that the link is working OK now.
Thank you for addressing this tho.
Then you text her. When she replies, call her up right away and talk to her. She won't be expecting you to call, so she won't have time to get nervous about it. page