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Everest Academy Administrator
Question: What is your philosophy on teen dating?
My Answer: Hmmm.... Good question! I have a 20-year-old who was in a 4 1/2 year relationship from the time he was 14 until he turned 19. He missed out on a lot because of that relationship. We did limit the amount of time and what they were allowed to do. They were basically chaperoned for three of those years. He does say now that he sees why we did not like the relationship and wishes he had listened. He also says that relationship was valuable in that he now knows what he is/is not looking for in a lasting relationship. I'm really interested to hear your philosophy.
Well! As my oldest is just 14 (maybe that statement gives you a clue as to my philosophy...) and has not yet expressed an interest in dating, this is a subject DH and I are still pondering. We both started dating a bit later and did very little dating in high school---just didn't find anyone we were interested in until later and married when we were 31 and 33. I've been thinking that group dating from around 14 would be okay with a parent driving to/from. Single dating maybe around 16+ but it all really depends on the teens involved. My mother used to have these completely arbitrary "rules" that she made up at the door when a date picked me up ---really tough to deal with-- and I won't do that. We're planning to have a talk to make some rules whenever the time comes that DD is interested in going on a date. And, as we have two daughters, DH is talking about buying a shotgun.... : -D
You know, after having 2 young adults and 2 more teens entering those years I have come to the conclusion that the best laid plans are subject to change. It is really hard to enforce anything, what works for one child doesn't necessarily work for all, and they are going to do what they want regardless of what you say. So unless you are going to lock them up until they are 25, or kick them out as soon as they break the rules, it is a crap shot as to what will happen.
I don't worry much about it. My teens are smart, careful and responsible. When the issue has come up, I've let them do what I felt was reasonable.
My oldest son turns 16 this week. Yikes! I'm sure we will be having this discussion soon.
We do not allow dating. We make sure they get to hang out with their friends, but no boyfriends or girlfriends. We asked the children to focus on themselves, have fun, and be carefree. This is the only time in their lives that they don't have to worry about adult responsibilities. Plus the opposite sex will always be around, no need to hurry.