There’s usually nothing I love more than telling the story of how Josh and I met at the age of 14(well, he was 13). That is until my 14 year old daughter came home all starry eyed and gaga over a boy and told us she was ready to date. Then my mama bear kicked in and I now know how my own parents must have felt when my 14 year old crush rode his bike to my house almost every day, hung out playing Nintendo and eating pizza rolls along with hours on the phone, tripping over the cord as I walked back and forth. (yes in my day phones were hooked to wall and you had a cord that only went so far!)
I realize now how important it was and is that my parents requested we hang out my house so they could obviously keep an eye on us but create a relationship with him as well. Pulling from my memory of 14 year old dating me, and the few books I’ve read hopefully I’m prepared for this dating thing, so here are a few from our family rules for dating.
We have to meet him: Yes I realize this sounds old fashioned, and I hated it when my parents requested it of me as well, but just like wanting to meet her friends, we want to meet the boy.
Group dates: 3’s a crowd but 6 is protection. In our family we don’t see a need to be having one on one dates yet. We gave options of inviting him to youth group, coming to youth lifting at our gym and having a group over at our house for a game night. This age they are still trying to figure themselves out and so why put the pressure on a REAL date? Nows the time to have fun and enjoy figuring out what each other is even looking for in a significant other.
Be Honest: If you have nothing to hide then hide nothing! (Thanks for that quote Dr. Phil) If they want to continue in any type of relationship I need both of them to be honest with me, and not make me have to hear about any misdeeds from other parents.
Invite us to your events: Science fair, sporting and music events-we want to get to know you and your hobbies so invite us to take part in the things you enjoy!
- Respect personal boundaries
- Respect his/her parents rules (ex. curfews!)
- Respect each others families, even the annoying sisters who want to sit and hang out with you two
- Respect the importance of school work and encourage each other to do their best
- Respect each other even when its over and end the friendship well so you can still be friends after
I’m clearly no expert on dating as I found my forever love at 14, but what I do know is as a family we have expectations. We also have some personal ones that I won’t list here. What I want each of them to learn during this process, is to help each person feel like they are important, safe and valued in the journey of dating. When the journey comes to an end, whether its just a friend or someone you feel you’ll eventually marry is to leave each person well. End with the ability to still walk with your head held high, values intact, and able to remain cordial.
Moms, if you have other great ideas for dating in the teen years please pass them along to this bone tired mama, cause I feel like I’m just trying to keep up most days!