How do you deal with a child that thinks they're ready to date?

Melissa - posted on 01/29/2014 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I have a pre-teen that thinks they're ready to date. She is saved but doesn't think it's anything wrong with it.

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Melissa - posted on 01/30/2014

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Shawnn, REALLY! Sweetie, I'm really not moved by how you feel about me. You don't know me and I don't know you. A typed message can come
across however the reader interprets it. Just as I stated earlier, and I'm stating AGAIN..."I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH MY CHILD HAVING FRIENDS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX. I DON'T THINK SHE'S READY FOR DATING." Because God did give me stewardship over her, I am WELL within my right to decide when that right time is for her. I'm not here to judge you or anyone else for what they do. I'm only here for advice and support. I've told you
APPRECIATE YOUR FEEDBACK AND WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR HER I WOULD INCORPORATE SOME OF THE IDEAS YOU EXPRESSED IN YOUR POSTS. How do you know what position i've stated to her and how that position was stated? For the record, me and my child talk about many things and we have talked about this as well. If you had an opportunity to speak to her she would tell you the very same thing and why I don't think she's ready to put a TITLE on a relationship. I respect you and all your feedback. At the end of the day, I still have to do what I feel is best for my child and our situation regardless of what others think. You can't judge my relationship with my child based on a brief synopsis given to you. All kids hide something from their parents at some point in their lives. That's a normal response. That's why I talk to her and let her know she doesn't have to hide anything from me. She is free to share all good and bad. As parents, we are not always onboard with everything our children do or want to do. We have to say NO to some things. I don't feel guilty for it when I have to. I'm okay with agreeing to diagree

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/30/2014

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Oh, good grief, Melissa. Quote exactly where you feel I attacked you, because I've just reviewed every single post on this board, and there are absolutely NO attacks going on.

I stated my opinion, I responded to your posts. If you feel that your posts were misunderstood, then perhaps you should review them as well. To be quite honest, they came across as "I'm very religious, and I don't feel it is correct for my child to be interacting with the opposite sex".

The reason she's concealing interaction with them is because you've blatantly stated your position.

If you don't like being told that you may need to open up with your kid more, I can't help that. Usually people that claim they're being attacked (without actually being attacked here) do so because they don't agree with another poster's response. Agree or disagree all you want, but don't call it an attack.

Truth of the matter is, if she's starting to hide conversations with the opposite sex, what's she going to hide next? It's a 'normal' kid response.

Ev - posted on 01/29/2014

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Oh there was and there still is. The boy (man) is not doing anything to help with finances. He sits on his bum all day playing video games and when this girl first went over there that is what she got into doing. He lives off his family. Its not good at all.

Melissa - posted on 01/29/2014

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Evelyn, thanks for sharing. I allow my daughter to go out with friends and interact with boys and girls alike. However, I don't encourage dating at this point. She has a very active life with me and with her friends. My mother was very protective of her girls but we didn't end up like that. I believe situations have to be dealt with on a case by case basis. Everyone is different and handles situations differently. What works for one may not necessarily work for someone else. I'm sorry to hear that things turned out like that for her and I pray it will turn around for her. Sounds to me, there may be some much deeper issues going on.

Melissa - posted on 01/29/2014

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Shawnn, I believe you misinterpreted what I said earlier. I did say to you that I had NO problem with her talking to the opposite sex. I don't think that I'm being overprotective or taking our Christian values too far. I have not always been saved so I know the other side as well. I know she will date one day but I don't feel as though she's ready. I have had "the talk" with her and I am VERY OPEN with my daughter. You can't attack me and tell me what I'm not doing as a parent. I love my daughter and she loves me. She is not mature enough to decide when she's ready for dating. If she was, she wouldn't hide the fact of her talking to the opposite sex and the inappropriate conversations. One day, she will date in groups and one she will advance to one-on-one dating, fall in love and get married. In the meantime, I will continue to help her in doing it the right way.

Ev - posted on 01/29/2014

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Melissa-I know of a young woman (20 now) who was over protected. Her mother never allowed her to really hang out with boys and girls much in a group setting. SHe would not allow her to date. She would not allow her to have a boyfriend even when she got to the right age. Every dance in high school and even in junior high that girl went to her mother was there. Walked her in, walked her out, and in some cases stayed there and she was not one of the adults watching the dance. SHe was lucky to go to prom on her own. Being sheltered like she was did not give her that need to learn how to be in those cute little boyfriend/girlfriend relationships that would last a few weeks to months and then move on to the next one. She did not know how to handle it when she got older. She graduated and still lived at home. She eventually met this guy--not sure how--and one Sunday night she up and left home with him to go to his house. No note, no nothing. No one knew where she was or who she was with. Her mother did a tailspin. But her mother knew she had been a good part of the reason behind the rebellion though at this point her daughter was over 18. A week later her daughter returned only this time after a week once again left this time with a note stating she was sorry she had done things the wrong way but she was going to live with this guy and his family. During the next six months she went back and forth to his house and her mom's. Then she found out she was pregnant. Again, she was back and forth. Complained her boyfriend and his family treated her like crap. Her mother finally told her if she came home and her mother helped her get medical care for her pregnancy, she would have to look for a job, not run back and forth to his house, and make sure she took responsiblity for herself. (SHe also has no clear idea how to be responsible. It goes back to grade school days with not doing homework and got worse over time because her mom did not enforce the rules well.) The girl has lacked any ambition or any care about what goes on. She finally agreed to do this. But at the same time, she sleeps all day or all night, sits on her butt because she thinks being pregnant means you do not have to do a lot of things, and expects everyone to cater to her wants and needs. She wants to plan her own baby shower. She wants and expects that people will give her everything she is going to need for baby. She also found out she has the gestational diabetes and what do you know...doc gave her meds for it and she thinks that will take care of it.

Point is with this story is that all the over protection or over doing it by her mother made this girl make choices other than what her mother wanted to see her child make. And this girl is also "saved".

Melissa - posted on 01/29/2014

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Shawnn, I do talk to my daughter and I'm very honest and open with her. I never said that it was anything wrong with dating or with her talking to the opposite sex. I have explained to her that I don't mind her talking to boys as friends but when conversations become more than what they should because you're incorporating grown-up conversations, which if not addressed, can lead to grown-up actions and consequences (neither of which she's ready for) as a mother I have to step in. I do talk to my child and encourage to talk to me about these things and how she feels. I'm not going to sugar-coat the truth. I am her mom first and foremost and it's my job to protect her.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/29/2014

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Melissa, I'm 'saved' as well, but I prefer to say that I am a Christian. Just because people interact with the opposite sex, it is not 'displeasing' to God. After all, He created man & woman, so I'm pretty sure He wouldn't be disappointed in a young lady and young man having a conversation.

I'm pointing out that, it's at this age where Christian parents sometimes push the whole religion a bit too far, and the kids (while still being good kids) tend to perhaps rebel a bit, regardless of the background.

If you want to have an honest relationship with your daughter, you need to open up more. I'm not saying let her go on one on one dates, because, like I said, I don't think that's appropriate for a few more years in her case. But, you can't NOT allow her to speak to the opposite sex, nor can you not allow her to interact with them, because they exist on this earth, they are creations of God, just as you, your daughter, myself, and everyone else, and they aren't going to go away.

AND, I've seen way too many "good christian girls" who's parents have shut them off from regular peer interaction end up in bad situations because they made poor choices regardless of what their parents 'wanted' them to do.

Melissa - posted on 01/29/2014

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Hi Shawnn. In terms of her dating, probably nothing to the average person. Her being saved meaning she made the decision to give her life to Christ. Our faith in God is very important in our home. It is my job as a parent to teach/guide her in her Christian walk to live a godly lifestyle. Even dating should be done in the way that pleases God. I appreciate you sharing how you handled it in your home and I'm sure I will use some of the same approach when the time is right for her. I agree that it should not be a one-on-one date.

Michelle - posted on 01/29/2014

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Well she's already hiding things from you and it will only get worse. The more you put your foot down and forbid it the more she will hide.
Maybe you need to sit down with her and try and come to a compromise. Maybe agree to her going out in a group 1 day every month or 2 weeks.
I understand you don't want her grades to slip but if you don't get it out in the open she will go behind your back and they will anyway.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/29/2014

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Melissa, your daughter is growing up. She's going to talk to boys, and they're going to talk to her. And being Christian doesn't have anything to do with talking to or not talking to the opposite sex.

You need to have "the talk" with your daughter. She's not doing anything wrong, per se, but if you are uncomfortable with conversations that you are overhearing, you need to address that with her. Explain your expectations of her, explain what an appropriate relationship is (in your eyes). But also be prepared for her to say that "you don't understand her" and "you don't love her" Because that's kind of a knee jerk reaction at this age.

And, again, there is nothing wrong with dating...even the bible won't tell you not to speak to the opposite sex. But, age appropriate get togethers are much better at her age. If you want her to be open with you, you need to start by being honest with her. At this point, if she's hiding conversations from you, its because you are perhaps being a little overboard on the whole "boy/girl" interaction deal.

Melissa - posted on 01/29/2014

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Hi Michelle. I don't allow her to date. I feel like she is not ready and doesn't need the distractions. She is a straight A student and active in church. She's not open with me about bous and I have caught her only having conversations but the conversations are inappropriate, such as calling each other husband and wife and telling each other they love one another. She doesn't even know them to love them.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/29/2014

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What does being 'saved' (I presume you mean that she's been baptized Christian) have to do with whether or not she's ready to date?

My personal opinion is that pre-teens 'dating' should be in groups, with one on one dating as they get older, but not before 16. Exceptions to this rule in my home were 'special' dances such as valentine's day or end of year formal, which each of my sons were allowed to ask a classmate to. But even those weren't 'dates' in my book, because I was chaperoning the dance...

Michelle - posted on 01/29/2014

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It depends on what they will be doing on their date.
I "dated" when I was 12 but it was to the movies in a group and all we did was hold hands. We never even kissed!

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